Hiking is an exciting and fulfilling outdoor activity that requires proper gear to make the most of your experience. Among the essential gear, hiking shoes are arguably the most crucial. A good pair of hiking shoes provide support, comfort, and protection for your feet as you trek through various terrains.
Advancements in technology and materials continue to improve hiking shoe design, making it essential to stay up-to-date with the latest models. In this article, we will explore some of the best hiking shoes available in 2023, highlighting their features to help you make an informed decision when selecting a pair for your next hiking adventure.
Here are some hiking shoes that have received consistently positive reviews in 2023:
SALOMON Men’s X Ultra Pioneer Gore-tex Hiking Shoe
If you’re looking for a versatile hiking shoe that can handle climbs, descents, and everyday adventures, look no further than this offering. With two types of rubber and a patterned heel area, you’ll have superior grip and control in wet and muddy conditions. The GORE-TEX membrane ensures that your feet stay dry, no matter what.
Made with synthetic materials both inside and out, these shoes have a flat heel and medium width. They lace up securely for a customizable fit. One of the standout features of this shoe is the reinforced SensiFit construction, which holds your foot in place even during challenging downhill treks. Plus, foam cushioning surrounds your foot for ultimate comfort.
The shoe’s Advanced Chassis connects directly to the sole to keep your heel stable and supported. Whether you’re hiking on rough terrain or just need a shoe that can handle all kinds of weather, this versatile option has got you covered.
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator
The Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator feature a combination of suede and breathable mesh materials in the upper section, which provides both durability and breathability. Additionally, the breathable mesh lining enhances airflow and keeps feet cool and dry. The shoe also includes a bellows tongue that prevents debris from entering and a traditional lace closure for a secure fit.
The outer material of the shoe is leather, while the inner material is textile. The shoe has a lace-up closure and a flat heel type, with a synthetic material composition. The shoe is designed to fit medium-width feet, with a shoe width of medium.
The Kinetic Fit modern removable contoured insole is a highlight of the shoe, offering medium support with reinforced heel cushioning. The shoe’s lightweight EVA foam midsole, combined with the Merrell air cushion in the heel, absorbs shock and enhances stability during activity. Finally, the shoe’s Vibram TC5+ rubber sole provides excellent traction on various surfaces, making it suitable for different outdoor activities.
Keen Targhee III Waterproof
The Targhee 3 Waterproof shoe by KEEN is an excellent option for those looking for a durable, waterproof shoe that can handle any terrain. With its KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane, this shoe will keep your feet dry and comfortable in even the wettest environments. The leather mud shield adds extra durability, ensuring that these shoes can withstand all types of weather conditions.
The KEEN ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole provides high-traction grip on muddy and rocky surfaces, and the 4 mm multi-directional lugs offer superior traction in any direction. The shoe’s outer material is made of leather, while the inner material is synthetic. The rubber sole and lace-up closure make for a sturdy and comfortable fit, and the shoe is built on a women-specific foot form.
The Targhee 3 Waterproof shoe features a dual-density EVA midsole that provides support and comfort while reducing the overall weight of the shoe. Additionally, the shoe is crafted with Eco Anti-Odor for natural odor control. The external stability shank offers lightweight support for improved mobility and torsion control on uneven surfaces, and the injected TPU heel-capture system provides stability.
La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX
The La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX is a high-quality hiking shoe perfect for rugged terrain. It has been designed to provide the ultimate combination of durability, protection, and comfort. The boot features durable Nubuck leather uppers that provide excellent protection, while Nano Cell inserts ensure maximum breathability. The waterproof Gore-Tex Surround membrane enables unprecedented breathability, allowing heat and sweat to escape while keeping feet dry.
The Vibram Nano XS-Trek sole of the Rubber sole boot provides unparalleled traction and grip, thanks to its large, well-positioned lugs. The Compression Molded EVA foam midsole cushions each step, while a stiffener insert provides support for hiking with a pack. The boot also features a 3D Flex ankle hinge that greatly reduces break-in time and offers enhanced mobility.
The Rubber sole boot is available in both medium and wide widths to deliver comfort during long days on the trail. With a weight of only 16.80 oz (476g), this boot is lightweight, making it easy to wear for extended periods without causing fatigue. Whether you’re hiking in wet or dry conditions, the Rubber sole boot is an excellent choice that will provide the durability, protection, and comfort you need to tackle any trail with ease.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
This mixed-media hiking boot is made from 100% leather and synthetic materials, ensuring both durability and flexibility. The Vibram sole provides excellent traction on any terrain, making it suitable for hiking or other outdoor activities. The shaft measures approximately 5″ from the arch, while the heel measures approximately 1.75″ and the platform measures approximately 1″.
The speed lacing hardware and padded tongue and collar provide a comfortable and secure fit. The climate-control footbed keeps your feet dry and comfortable by regulating temperature and moisture. The polyurethane Monowrap frame at the midsole offers additional support and stability, while the full-length nylon shank provides added strength and durability.
The Vibram Evo outsole ensures maximum grip and traction on any surface, making these boots suitable for any outdoor activity. Whether you’re trekking through rugged terrain or simply enjoying a leisurely hike, these boots will keep your feet comfortable and protected.
Vasque Breeze III GTX
The Vasque Breeze III GTX is a popular choice among hikers worldwide due to its superior performance and protection. Designed for ambitious backcountry adventures, this waterproof boot is a reliable companion that strikes a balance between lightweight performance and durability.
One of the key features of the Breeze III Gore-Tex is its waterproof membrane, which is made by GORE-TEX. This membrane blocks moisture from the outside, while still allowing moisture from inside to evaporate, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.
The upper of the boot is made of abrasion-resistant air mesh for breathability, while the waterproof nubuck leather construction provides excellent durability. The combination of these materials makes the boot suitable for tough conditions while still keeping your feet comfortable. The midsole of the Breeze III Gore-Tex is made of a dual-density all-terrain compound with EVA cushioning pods and a thermo-plastic shank. This design provides superior support and stability, making it ideal for long hikes and uneven terrain.
The outsole of the Breeze III Gore-Tex is a Vasque exclusive Vibram Contact grip outsole with Megagrip compound technology. This system provides excellent control in all weather and trail conditions, giving you the confidence to take on any challenge.
Oboz Bridger B-DRY
The Oboz Bridger B-DRY boasts a range of features that are tailored to provide the best possible experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The O FIT insole is designed specifically to match the construction of each pair of boots, which results in a fit that is unmatched in the industry. This insole also ensures exceptional comfort and performance.
The upper of the boot is constructed using nubuck full leather, which is both durable and protective. It is designed with the trail in mind and features a molded rubber toe cap that protects toes from trail debris. The heel counter is also carefully designed to ensure a snug and comfortable fit over time.
The Granite Peak midsole is ideal for day hiking but is also strong enough for multi-day backpacking trips. It features a TPU chassis that enhances stability and prevents stone bruising without restricting flexibility. The single-density EVA provides cushioning and comfort to ensure a comfortable hiking experience.
The Granite Peak outsole is the quintessential hiking outsole, designed to be both supportive and protective. It effectively prevents hikers from feeling rocks and roots underfoot, providing an enjoyable hiking experience.
Finally, the boot features a proprietary waterproofing system, B-DRY. This system allows feet to breathe while keeping moisture out, making it ideal for hikes in muddy and wet conditions. Overall, the hiking boot is designed to provide hikers with the ultimate comfort, protection, and performance on the trails.
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
The Zodiac Plus GTX by SCARPA is a remarkable piece of footwear that combines the ruggedness of a hiking boot with the technical prowess of a mountain boot. This shoe is designed to deliver exceptional traction and responsiveness on rocky scrambles and challenging terrains, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
One of the key features of the Zodiac is the GORE-TEX Performance Comfort technology that ensures waterproof protection without compromising breathability or durability. This technology makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities in changing weather conditions without worrying about damp feet.
The Zodiac also boasts an abrasion-resistant construction, thanks to the rubber rand that wraps around the shoe’s perimeter and the suede upper. These features ensure that the shoe can withstand harsh conditions and offer added protection for your feet.
The Sock-Fit DV System is another remarkable feature of the Zodiac. This system incorporates water-resistant, breathable Shoeller elastic fabric into the tongue and flex point, delivering a snug, midfoot-hugging fit that ensures maximum comfort and stability.
Finally, the Vibram Mont Outsole completes the package, making the Zodiac an exceptional mountain boot. This outsole is designed to perform at low temperatures, thanks to its firm, sticky, and durable rubber compound that has been tested on the world’s highest peaks.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 GTX
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 GTX is a lightweight hiking shoe that is perfect for all kinds of hikes. It has a waterproof and breathable design that keeps feet dry and comfortable, and it has a durable design that provides excellent support and traction.
They are constructed with a lightweight and breathable design, featuring an anti-tear network that is highly resistant to abrasion. The central foot is supported by a TPU structure, providing stability while traversing uneven terrain.
The Traxiontm sole incorporates Continentaltm Rubber to ensure optimal grip on both wet and rocky surfaces. The upper is composed of mesh and synthetic materials, providing a comfortable and lightweight fit.
Internally, the shoes have shaped subsidies that enhance both the fit and comfort. The EVA midsole is light and long-lasting, providing sustained amortization over time. The sole is made with Continental Rubber, offering extraordinary grip even in the most challenging of conditions.
Columbia Redmond Waterproof
The Columbia Redmond Waterproof is a great shoe for hikers who want a comfortable and supportive shoe. It has a waterproof design that keeps feet dry in wet conditions, and it has a durable design that can withstand tough terrain.
They are engineered to conquer various terrains and weather conditions, featuring a waterproof upper that remains breathable, ensuring your feet stay dry throughout the day.
Additionally, the boots’ comfortable and long-lasting traction sole enhances their instinctive performance, making them the ultimate choice for hikers.
What To Consider When Buying Shoes For Hiking?
When buying shoes for hiking, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you get the right pair for your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Fit: A good fit is essential for any pair of hiking shoes. They should be snug but tight, with enough room to wiggle your toes. Make sure you try them on with the same type of socks you plan to wear on your hikes.
- Support: Hiking shoes should support your feet and ankles well, especially if you’re carrying a heavy backpack. Look for shoes with sturdy soles and ankle support.
- Traction: You’ll want shoes with good traction, especially if you’re hiking on rough or slippery terrain. Look for shoes with deep lugs on the soles that grip the ground well.
- Breathability: Your feet will sweat when you’re hiking, so you’ll want shoes that allow good airflow to keep your feet cool and dry.
- Durability: Hiking shoes should be able to withstand the rigours of hiking, including rocks, roots, and mud. Look for shoes made from durable materials that can withstand the trail’s wear and tear.
- Waterproofing: If you plan to hike in wet conditions or cross streams, consider shoes with waterproofing to keep your feet dry.
- Weight: The weight of your hiking shoes can impact your comfort and endurance on the trail. Consider how much weight you will carry and choose lightweight shoes that still provide adequate support and protection.