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 of 5 stars
Kuiu Yukon Gaiters

Great quality ruined by a bad top strap design. If you are walking in any kind of slash where debris can hit the top strap I would not recommend. The straps are pinched down with a lever type holder which comes undone every 20 steps or so—major flaw major piss off for $150. Full review

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Yaktrax Pro

Not worth the money. Fell apart right away. Called the company and they won't do anything. Never buy another product made by them. Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Keen Men's Summit County

A truly warm winter boot, comfortable out of the box, with features expected of Keen. I acquired these boots a couple months ago, as a Christmas gift from “the dogs” (with the assistance of my wife), who appreciate my efforts to walk ‘em even when it’s colder than the dark side of the Moon out there. I’ve since worn them dog-walking (of course) in single-digit to mid-teens temps (and a little warmer, too), and for a few short day hikes in mid-teen-to-twenties temps in rolling terrain,… Full review

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Danner Mountain Light Mojave Brawler

Handmade to an exceptionally high standard in Portland, Oregon, using the best possible materials, these rugged boots are built to withstand as much punishment as you can give them and last a lifetime. They look superb and if needs be they can be resoled and refurbished to an "as new" standard. Buying a new pair of boots is a big event as along with socks it is probably the most important purchase you will ever make (and at significant cost too!) as once worn you are stuck with them for years potentially. Full review

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Herman Men's Survivor

Herman Survivors used to be good...now junk. They went to cotton tongue, cheap rubber that squeaks as you walk, and junk laces. God bless America import it by rich white elitists who never work a day in their lives. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH HERMANS. THEY WON'T LAST 5 MONTHS! If brain-dead Americans buy Walmart you get what you deserve....junk! It's OK though, you can buy another in six months time. No proud American funds these greasy rich crooks. Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
L.L.Bean Women's Alpine Hiking Boots, Leather

These are use-right-out-of-the-box hiking boots! Really! Leather hiking boots that fit perfect and can be hiked in immediately. I purchased these in MN at L.L.Bean as replacements for an older worn out pair of leather Coleman boots. I planned on some break-in time and was taking these with me to GA to hike a portion of the AT.   I wore them out of the store and soon found that I didn't need to worry about break-in time as they fit perfect without rub points. Worn in GA hiking close to 50 miles… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Asolo Men's Neutron GV

Lightweight, sturdy, long lasting, and comfortable right out of the box. Gore-Tex makes them waterproof and breathable. The Asolo Neutron Gore-Tex boot has proven to be exactly the boot I‘ve needed for my backpacking requirements. When I first began shopping around for a boot in 2016, I was looking for a boot that would be waterproof and provide sufficient foot support and most importantly, comfort for my then upcoming backpacking trip on the North Country Trail in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Full review