Footwear

Proper, comfortable footwear can make the difference between outdoor adventure and outdoor agony. Save yourself the blisters. Find our top hiking, backpacking, and climbing shoes and boots, plus trail runners, sandals, and water shoes below.

Browse thousands of independent footwear reviews and ratings by real hikers, backpackers, mountaineers, climbers, paddlers, and trail runners to select appropriate, dependable, field-tested shoes for your next trip. And don’t forget the wicking socks, gaiters, insoles, and booties. Your dogs will thank and reward you.

Learn more about how to choose footwear below »

Reviews and product information will point you to quality outdoor footwear, but ultimately the most important aspect is a good fit. Here are some tips to help you properly fit hiking and backpacking boots:

  • Try on boots at the end of the day, when your feet are their largest.

  • Wear the socks and any insoles or inserts you would normally use with the boots.

  • One of your feet is probably larger than the other. Size boots to the larger foot. Better to have one shoe a little loose than the other too tight.

  • Walk around in the boots for at least 15 minutes.

  • Toes should have a little room to wiggle, and shouldn't jam into the toe box.

  • Heels should feel firmly in place with no heel slippage.

  • Walk up and down an incline to check for heel slippage on the uphill and any toe jamming on the downhill.

  • Try different styles and widths. You may be a different size in different brands.

  • Women typically should consider footwear that's built on a women's last, instead of models sized down from a men's last (but everyone is different, buy the shoes that fit you).

  • Boots should feel like they fit initially. Don't rely on breaking them in to make them fit. If they don't fit now, they won't stretch to fit later.

  • While you want to pick a boot that fits from the start, you can tweak boots with custom orthotics and insoles (to fill up extra space), professional stretching of the boot (to add space), and different lacing techniques (to reduce foot movement).

  • No matter how well they fit, don't forget to break in your boots around the house or on some easy day hikes before you embark on that weeklong backpacking trip.

Need more help? Read our Guide to Outdoor Footwear and The Wet Foot Test: Find Your Foot Type.

Recent Footwear Product Reviews

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Herman Men's Survivor

Bought the 400g Herman Survivors camo hunting boots at Walmart. I left my expensive Redwing hunting boots at home on trip to hunting camp. The Herman Survivor 400g camo hunting boots held up surprisingly well. They kept my feet warm and dry over several days of hunting in PA deer season 10 to 40 degrees with snow.  The boots are four years old now and I still wear them on occasions only for hunting. Bottom line is they have held up reasonably well for $40 boots, which is pretty incredible in my… Full review

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Northwest Territory Men's Hiking Boot

Advertised as waterproof, they leak in through the soles! Used them only for a little over a month, the soles cracked, waste of money even at a cheap price. Besides soles cracking after a month's usage, the inner lining began to come apart too.  Boot is not too comfortable initially, stiff rubber sole, perhaps why they cracked. Full review

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Barefoot Company Free Your Feet (Classic Swiss)

Definitely a scam...just normal uncomfortable socks. Definitely a scam. Bought them on supersockcompany.com They are not Swiss, but Chinese. Supersock has terrible customer care. Don't buy because that have "satisfaction guaranteed". They won't answer and won't give money back. They are not durable or tough...just normal uncomfortable socks. Don't trust supersockcompany. Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Lowa Men's Tibet GTX

Serious hiking or backpacking boots don't come any better than this. The Tibet GTX is a serious piece of equipment. Excellent support and comfort with no breaking-in needed. Yes, they are heavy, but no more than to be expected with boots of this quality. The water resistance is also very good; my feet have stayed consistently dry. With boots weighing in at 1 kilo each, clearly they are more designed for winter than for summer wear. That said, they have never felt unduly warm. The new Lowa lacing… Full review

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Salomon Men's Sense Pro 2

These are a lightweight, low profile trail shoe. I have been using them for backpacking (as a guide, and recreationally) on well-maintained, rocky, gravelly, and moderately muddy tracks in Tasmania and Nepal. They lack the cushion needed for heavier packweights (15+kgs) over long or hard trails, but are comfortable at lighter weights or shorter days. The Salomon Sense Pro 2's are a light and low-profile trail runner that makes a good backpacking shoe for lightweight packs and/or shorter distances. Full review

rated 1.5 of 5 stars
Ecco Terracruise II

Firstly, this is in no way a hiking shoe. I have had my pair for one year, and already there are signs of serious wear and tear to the webbing. I have a Gore-Tex version; and it is not waterproof. I have and have had several pairs of Ecco shoes and sandals, and the Terracruise are the first that are not satisfactory. Mine are just over a year old; and I will probably have to throw them out soon. On one shoe, some damage to the webbing was inflicted by the nails of an excited puppy (should this have… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Baffin Evolution

Great Canadian winter boot for those that live outside. Great winter boot. I have had these for a couple of years now. Use them about 120 days a winter. The liner is showing no signs of wear yet it feels so soft. Air being that great insulator. Though they say they are rated for something like -70° ?? I have had them in -40° for hours and my toes were cool not cold. With that said as soon as you go indoors your feet will sweat. Now these are really big boots and that is probably why they work… Full review