Gear

Choosing the Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women

October 12, 2023

Connor Merritt

Connor Merritt

Hiking is a wonderful way to stay active while exploring the great outdoors. No matter what kind of hiker you are, it’s vital to pick the best hiking shoes you can find. The right pair can make your hike a comfortable and enjoyable experience, while the wrong pair can leave you wishing you stayed at home. In this article, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when buying hiking shoes and provide a few personal recommendations for the best hiking shoes available in the market to help get you started.

Key Factors to Consider

Terrain Type

best hiking shoes

The first consideration is where you’ll be hiking — this determines the type of landscape you’ll encounter. Different terrains, such as rocky trails, muddy paths, or steep inclines, require specific types of shoes.

Fit and Comfort

Your hiking shoes should fit snugly without being too tight or too loose. Make sure to try them on with the same socks you intend to wear during your hikes. A good fit is important to avoid blisters and discomfort while on the trail.

Protection and Support

Look for hiking shoes with sturdy toe caps and ankle support. This will protect your feet from rocks and roots while providing stability on uneven terrain.

Waterproofing

best hiking shoes

If you’re hiking in wet conditions, consider waterproof shoes to keep your feet dry. Waterproof membranes can be beneficial, but can make shoes less breathable, which might be a concern in hot, dry conditions. Pick the best ones to suit your environment and weather.

Weight

Lighter shoes are ideal for fast-paced day hikes, while heavier, more durable shoes may be better suited for backpacking or rugged terrain.

Durability

Consider the quality of materials and construction. High-quality hiking shoes may come at a higher price, but they will last longer and provide better performance over time.

Best Hiking Shoes For Men

Merrell Moab 3

The Merrell Moab 3 is a popular choice among hikers for its comfort, durability, and versatility. It’s suitable for a wide range of terrains and activities, featuring a breathable mesh upper, a Vibram outsole for excellent traction, and a comfortable EVA midsole. Available for $120.00.

La Sportiva Spire GTX

La Sportiva Spire GTX is a great option for those tackling more challenging trails. It offers exceptional protection with a Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing and a durable sole. The shoe’s TPU shank provides added stability, making it perfect for uneven terrain. Available for $208.95.

Anacapa Low GTX

The Anacapa Low GTX is a comfortable and lightweight hiking shoe with a breathable mesh upper and a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing. It provides excellent traction and support, making it suitable for day hikes and light backpacking trips. Available for $118.96.

Best Hiking Shoes For Women

Merrell Women’s Speed Eco

The Merrell Women’s Speed Eco offers a comfortable fit and is made with recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly choice. It provides good traction, breathability, and support for day hikes and light backpacking. Available for $74.99.

La Sportiva Spire GTX

The women’s version of the La Sportiva Spire GTX offers the same high-performance features, including waterproofing, durability, and support. It’s a versatile choice for women who enjoy challenging trails. Available for $208.95.

Danner Trail 2650 Campo

The Danner Trail 2650 Campo is a versatile hiking shoe designed specifically for women. It features a Vibram outsole, a comfortable OrthoLite footbed, and a waterproof liner to keep your feet dry on wet trails. Available for $169.95.

Depending on your specific needs, the best hiking shoes for men and women may vary, but the options listed above are excellent starting points for your search. Once you make your pick you can be on your way exploring all the natural beauty that the world has to offer.

Read about my personal favorite hike in the Devil’s Marbleyard on iSportsmanUSA.

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