Trekking shoes are an integral part of your trekking experience. A good pair can make the whole adventure fun and pleasurable while a bad one can turn it into a nightmare.
All trekking boots don’t need to be heavy duty and firm. Various types of shoes are available depending on your activity. Let’s check out the different types of hiking and trekking shoes so that you have all the information!
The hiking shoes are generally lightweight with flexible soles meant for short period use. You can wear them on your day hikes and weekend treks on trails which are dry and non-technical. Some shoemakers manufacture variations of hiking shoes which can be used on wet surfaces or rocks.
You can move fast due to the low weight, but hiking shoes are not suitable when carrying heavy loads or walking over very rough and rocky terrain.
Trekking boots are more protective and provide enhanced support to the feet and ankle. The boots are higher than the hiking shoes to provide the ankle support. These also come with heel protection and thick midsole for treading over rocky and challenging surfaces.
The upper is generally made of leather, suede or synthetic with superior waterproofing features. You can take them on long treks lasting for days and weeks in harsh conditions. Some trek boots can also be used on snow and loose gravel.
Trek boots are heavier than hiking shoes and give a more firm feeling. You may need to break them in for few weeks before they can be used on your hikes.
Hardcore trekkers who cross-mountain passes, traverse over glaciers, and cold deserts will require the heavy duty expedition boots. You will find aggressive soles with superior rubber grips for better traction.
The midsole also feature dual density materials to provide improved isolation from rocks and debris on the ground. The ankle support is also coupled with the protection supplied by heel and toe pads.
While expedition boots can be used for serious trekking, they are not suitable for mountaineering.
We have compiled a list of the best hiking shoes and trekking boots with detailed reviews. If you are thinking of getting a hiking boot for yourself, this is the perfect place to begin your research.
We will be taking a look at the different types of hiking and trekking shoes on offer for you.
The lightweight shoe from North Face provides immense value for your money. Though it is sold as a trail running shoe, its build and durability make it a good hiking shoe.
You can comfortably wear it on dry terrains and feel no fatigue carry medium weight like 40 to 50 pounds. The upper part of the shoe sports a smooth finish of leather and mesh both of which are of good quality. The GTX breathable fabric keeps your feet cool and makes it waterproof.
The trekking shoes provide adequate support and stiffness with a rock plate and shank as the midsole. You can confidently take on uneven terrains without any fear of straining your feet muscles.
Short lugs and the tread life reveal the trail running nature of the shoe. It can give you the agility you require on your trek effectively.
The Ultra 109 GTX is perfect for your backpacking trips and short day hikes for its comparatively sturdy design and low weight. But it is not suitable for rocky and challenging terrains where the sole may start to wear out.
The X Ultra 2 also draws inspiration heavily from the trail running series of the brand. You will find features like multidirectional lugs; single pull easy laces and aggressive design that help you take the trails comfortably.
But the hiking shoes are also equipped with EVA midsole, heel cups and Advanced Chassis for adequate cushioning and support. The Contragrip rubber provides the much-needed traction and makes the pair suitable for easy to moderate level treks.
Lightweight and durable, it can accompany you on day hikes, weekend treks and easy summit climbs.
The shoes don’t feel heavy weighing just a bit over 1 pound, but are durable to be taken for longer treks where the terrain is not that challenging. You can get the shoes with or without GTX depending on your preference. The high quality moisture wicking polyester lining also keeps your feet dry in warm weather.
The reduction of weight brings only a single drawback- you can feel a bit of the rugged terrain under your feet. But it is not meant for harsh treks anyways!
Adidas has always been a leader in the sports category, but the Terrex is worth a consideration when it comes to trekking shoes. Some of the design elements like its stance and lacing system resemble Salomon shoes, but it is more athletic and lightweight.
The GTX makes it breathable and waterproof, but the lining is not as comfortable as other products on our list. But the hike shoes have got one thing covered- you can take the trails at a quick pace with the agility of a leopard!
The midsole is designed in a way so that it facilitates motion control and makes climbing down trails comfortable. The design is also responsible for propelling your front foot forward giving you speed.
You might find the price of the shoes a bit on the higher side compared to others in the list. But if you are going for hikes and looking for performance, then this is the right pair for you.
You seldom find such a perfect combination of the sturdiness of trekking shoes and the agility of sportswear. But Vasque is known for its innovativeness, and the Breeze 3.0 is their proof.
The waterproof and breathable GTX makes sure your feet don’t get wet or smelly! Additional mesh ventilation panels are integrated into the upper leather part for increased comfort and add to the style. It even has toe and heel ventilation ports!
Your sole and heels also are protected thanks to the stiff yet flexible sole. EVA cushioning and high-density midsoles are responsible for proper support to your feet. Extra sturdiness and structure strength are also added by the thermoplastic shanks.
You can wear it on paved trails or moderate off-trails without any feet fatigue.
What we didn’t like is the lacing system which doesn’t match with the overall quality of the shoe. With an upgrade which guarantees secure fastening, the Breeze 3.0 Low GTX can be among the top winners.
Now here’s something you don’t see every day!
A new innovation in the line of approach shoes made from two separate parts. An inner GTX liner ensures you have the best waterproofing and ventilation functions. On top, a tough and durable outer synthetic shell gives the shoe its sturdiness and structure.
The pair is one of the most durable hiking shoes in our list!
The inner layer being separate is adaptive to your feet shape and size and gives the comfort of gloves. Acrux FL also minimizes the use of seams and adhesive to enhance the breathability and ventilation properties of GTX fibre.
As a good waterproof shoe, it’s quite breathable!
The traction provided by the outsole is suitable for rocky terrains and rock climbing. But keep it off muddy tracks, snow or slush as it may fail to get a good grip. So as long as your hikes or treks are over dry lands and running streams, the shoes will perform beyond expectations.
The looks of the shoe may fool you into thinking that this is just a sneaker. But it turns out that the La Sportiva FC Eco 2.0 GTX is one of the best performers when it comes to gripping.
Sporting Vibram River outsoles, the traction is superb! The lugs are designed to give you a braking impact minimizing speed and improving grip on steep inclines. The dual density midsole provides the necessary support and protect your feet from harsh impacts.
The looks of the hiking shoes are also really sophisticated and minimal. Lightweight Numubk leather on the outer part is flexible yet durable. Mesh panelling from recycled nylon is integrated into the leather to improve breathability.
Overall, it is a great shoe for off-trail treks and can handle steep descents. But it’s a bit heavy and carrying a big load wearing it can be challenging. Also, if the weather is too hot, your feet may feel the brunt because of the leather and waterproof feature.
The shoes don’t really excel in the category they are placed, but that’s a good thing!
The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack is targeted at the adventurists who run the trails carrying minimum weight. But the pair is more versatile and can be supplemented as a great hiking shoe.
Compared to a fastpacking shoe, it has got good cushioning and support with a dual density midsole. Traction is also more than adequate for your long or tough hiking trips and won’t fail on dirt or semi-rocky terrains. It can also handle mud and slush effectively!
The Vibram rubber outsoles provide enough grip on the trail, and the shank design protects the underfoot from any injury from sharp objects.
The GTX membrane ensures industry standard ventilation and waterproofing. Additional breathable textile mesh covers a significant area of the outer shoe improving air flow. But the leather upper may give you the sauna effect on very hot days!
The Hedgehog is a great performer tackling long and off-trail treks than being used for fastpacking.
Now here’s something for facilitating the true experience of trail running!
Altra has developed itself around trail running shoes, and this one is the continuation of their most popular product. The Lone Peak 3.5 comes with some upgrades which still make it a good runner with perfect weight and comfort combination.
The reinforced mesh parts on the upper shoe provide ample durability and firmness. The dense cushioned midsole coupled with Stoneguard outsole technology keeps your underfoot from any harm.
These features do not make the shoe bulky; it’s lightweight and feels like a feather.
You can run on paved to semi-rugged trails without feeling the impact of sharp objects on the ground. But the wide fit of the shoes may make it challenging to navigate rough terrains for people with narrow feet.
It also comes with drainage ports to handle the mountain rivers or streams. You can purchase water resistant NeoShell version for a full waterproof solution.
Oboz footwear being near to the Rockies makes durable and high-quality shoes for serious trekkers. The Sawtooth Low trekking shoe is a bit raised to offer the firmness of mid height boots.
You also have the specially designed moulded heel portion which gives strength and sturdiness enabling you to take on rough terrains. The nylon shanks and the EVS midsoles also keep your feet safe while contributing to the firmness.
It’s natural that the shoes are not the lightest. They are built for harsh conditions and make comfort a priority. You won’t feel the heat thanks to leather and mesh panel combination for greater breathability.
Overall, it’s the pair of shoes you can depend on offering great traction, sturdiness and longevity.
It also comes in a non-waterproof version for the lesser price.
Superior underfoot comfort and sufficient traction make the Brooks Cascadia one of the best hiking shoes. It’s the 12 edition of the popular pair that has been a favourite choice for trail runners and casual hikers.
The BioMoGo DNA midsole is responsible for the cushioning effect and also adapts to your steps. Crash pads are integrated on the soles to prevent harsh impacts and also distribute the force equally from heel to toe.
Aggressive outsoles give a good grip and can be used on wet surfaces. Overall, it’s a nice hiking shoe for casual treks and day hikes.
You need something different for your heavy duty trekking needs. Here are a few that can suit your needs well.
We will begin with a lightweight trekking boot which can be used for moderate and long treks when the terrain is not very challenging.
The Moab 2 is one of the most affordable boots which offer great value for money. The footbeds provide consistent heel support while the higher arch keeps your feet in the best position.
Ultimate comfort is provided by the EVA midsoles with thick cushioning. It is M-Select Dry waterproof, and you can even go for a GTX version by paying more. The suede leather and mesh panel combination on the upper shoe makes it breathable and keeps your feet happy.
You will find no issues while walking the paved trails or level terrains. But the trek boots are not suitable for rough trails or carrying heavy loads. It won’t give you adequate support or traction on rocky or rugged trails.
It is cheap and lightweight, making it great for 4 to 5-day treks over easy terrain.
Salomon has carefully blended the features of a hiking boot and a trail runner in X Ultra Mid 2 . It’s got moderate ankle support and protection though not as high as others in the class.
But it was not a heavy boot meant for fast packing and thru-hiking lasting over many days. The flexibility and reduced weight combine with good traction to make it a great choice.
The pair sports an advanced underfoot chassis which increases the stability and motion control for dealing with steep inclines. The molded EVA midsoles offer comfortable cushioning, and additional heel cups are provided for heel support. You never lose control on the trails thanks to the Contagrip rubber outsoles.
All being said, you can’t expect comprehensive underfoot protection on technical terrains from this pair. If you are taking on challenging trails or carrying heavy weights, consider the mid-weight to heavyweight trek boots in our list.
If you are looking for some serious backpacking and want an all round performer, the Quest 4D 2 should fit your purpose. It strikes the perfect balance between weight and comfort and provides immense stability.
In fact, it is one of the lightest waterproof hiking boots which is fit for long duration treks spreading over days. The 4D Chassis supports your feet with dynamic cushioning and improves the traction considerably.
You can get a good grip on even rugged surfaces with the Salomon’s proprietary grip technology. The trail running design proves its worth while climbing down steep inclines.
The adaptive fit of the boots coupled with improved lacing system gives a snug feeling. It can be a bit tight for people with wide feet so they can go for one size bigger.
The only time the Quest 4D can disappoint you is when you are carrying a heavy load over rocky terrain. You may find some lack of support and the thin footbed can lead to foot fatigue.
Now we have something for the serious trekkers traversing over mountain passes and rugged rocks on week long treks.
Arc’teryx is a leading name when it comes to outdoor clothing, but their footwear is also quite impressive. Keeping in line with the science of the feet, the Bora2 Mid GTX boots come in two separate pieces.
You get a comfortable, yet breathable and waterproof inner liner made of stretchable nylon mono-mesh. It goes into a firm and sturdy outer shell which protects your feet and makes the boot fit for rough use.
The inner liner can also be replaced with a special one for winter use. The standard one is fit for summer conditions with optimum ventilation and moisture wicking features. The breathable surface is increased with the minimum use of adhesive and seams.
The outer shell is composed of water resistant microfiber, and PU coated nylon which makes it durable, breathable and abrasion resistant. Advanced cushioning and support from the midsole also help you carry heavy rucksacks without foot soreness.
It’s for serious trekking and is too much for paved trails or casual trekking.
We got a traditional all season heavy duty trekking boot from Asolo next in our list.
The Asolo Fugitive GTX has got a stiff construction and comes in traditional boot design. The performance is striking even in demanding conditions and the pair excels even in snow.
The nature of the terrain can be tough, but your feet will be comfortable thanks to the high-density outsole and midsole. Even the sharp rocks while light mountaineering won’t leave an impact. It is highly recommended for hardcore treks even in the remotest areas of the Himalayas.
The weight of the trekking boots adds up with all the protective features and sturdy construction. So walking long distances wearing it can be tiring.
If you just want a casual hiking boot, look for the lightweight options. But for heavy duty trekking needs give it a good consideration.
Lowa Innox is a trendy and stylish hiking boot that can perform like a champ on maintained trails. The mid cut design with adequate ankle support helps you gain a stable footing even on loose gravels.
The boots feel like a feather on your feet and provide comfort all day long. The synthetic upper part is of high quality and tough offering strength to the overall structure.
NTX outsole is known for high traction and works well on dirt or mud. It is even waterproof and breathable with a GTX liner.
You can wear the boots even for casual use, and that is another reason for its inclusion in our list. Many backpackers look for something versatile which they can use alongside trekking on their journeys.
So while you are at town down from the trails, these make a great pair for a visit to the café!
If you have a tight budget but want a solid pair of boots, look no further.
The Talus Trek Mid feels great on your feet and provides full proof protection for its price. The upper 1.8 mm Nubuck leather makes the boots ready for serious trekking. It comes with an UltraDry lining which makes it waterproof and breathable.
The construction is made more durable with minimum use of abrasion-resistant mesh required for ventilation. That being said, it can feel a bit stuffy on hot days though the performance should offset it.
Vasque has been making trekking boots for a long time, and this one is suitable for wet and rocky surfaces. The traction is superb, and the Vibram Nuasi outsoles never slip off the ground. Stability and good grip come naturally to this pair.
The dual density EVA footbed and EVA midsole isolate the rocks and roots keeping your feet safe from harsh impacts. The soft and athletic midsole material also provides the bouncy response reducing your fatigue.
Only concern is for people with wide feet who might find it a bit snug.
Coming from the makers of mountaineering gear, this trekking boot is never going to fail you. Along with trekking, you can also use it for a bit of rock climbing and as alpine boots.
The Mountain Trainer Mid GTX performs equally well on loose rocks and snow, and gives immense foot protection. The suede leather upper is tough and suits harsh conditions and weather elements. An additional rand covering the lower portion of the boot further improves the protection and keeps reduces the impact of sharp objects.
You can get a good fit thanks to the adaptive feature of the lacing system. It runs up to the toes whereas in normal boots the laces end midway. So whatever the shape of your fit, you can get customized feet adjusting the laces.
Though the trek boots are in the mid-weight category, it feels quite heavy and firm giving you a stable footing and support. That’s requisite of heavy duty boots, and these are not meant for casual use.
If you are rock scrambling or trekking in cold deserts, this one is the perfect pair!
Coming in the design of a traditional trekking boot, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is the choice of many backpackers. The boots strike an optimum balance being lightweight and comfortable without compromising on protection.
You won’t feel the obstructions underneath your feet with the thick midsole and full featured nylon shanks. The polyurethane midsole also act as the shock absorbers limiting the impact on your feet. The external polyurethane frame contributes to the stability and helps in keeping the weight down.
You can cross flowing streams and take on the rain with the waterproof GTX liner which offers sufficient ventilation. All features make it perfect for some medium level hiking or weekend trek over off trails and semi-rocky surface.
The upper Nubuck leather part is not very thick and can give out to wear and tear over time. But the main scoring areas of the Renegade GTX Mid are its comfort, feet protection and weight carrying capability.
It also fits feet of all sizes and shapes as it comes in varying sizes.
More than a trekking boot, this can be called a high ankle trail running shoe .
It does offer more cushioning and protection than a normal trail runner, but not like the trek boots. It makes a great choice for fast-packers and thru-hikers as it is one of the lightest.
The comfort factor is also high, and the toe box is fully cushioned with a zero drop profile. You also have adequate toe protection in a boot this light! It is also quite flexible making it nimble.
If you want to really blaze the trails with protection, go for this one!
North Face Ultra 109 GTX
Hiking shoe/trail running
1 lb. 15 oz
Leather / mesh
Salomon X Ultra 2
1 lb. 10 oz
Adidas Terrex Fast R GTX
1 lb. 11.2 oz
Vasque Breeze 3.0 Low GTX
2 lb. 3 oz
Leather / mesh
Arc’teryx Acrux FL GTX
2 lb. 0 oz
Sportiva FC Eco 2.0 GTX
2 lb. 1 oz
North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX
Hiking / Fastpack Shoes
1 lb. 14 oz
Altra Lone Peak 3.5
Trail Running Shoes
1 lb. 4.8 oz
Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry
2 lb. 1.4 oz
Brooks Cascadia 12
1 lb. 8.2 oz
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP
Trekking Boot- Lightweight
2 lb. 4 oz
Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX
Trekking Boot- Lightweight
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
Trekking Boot -Midweight
2 lbs. 13 oz
Mesh/ Nubuck leather
Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid GTX
Trekking Boot -Midweight
2 lbs. 11.7 oz
PU coated nylon
Asolo Fugitive GTX
Trekking Boot- Heavyweight
3 lbs. 0.6 oz
Lowa Innox Mid GTX
Trekking Boot- Lightweight
2 lbs. 0.5 oz
Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry
Trekking Boot -Midweight
2 lbs. 8 oz
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX
Trekking Boot -Midweight
2 lbs. 15.2 oz
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
Trekking Boot -Midweight
2 lbs. 7 oz
Altra Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mid
Trail running Boot- Lightweight
1 lbs. 6 oz