Best Hiking Shoes in 2021
Do you practise mountain sports like me, but don’t know what footwear you need? Do you want quality footwear that is appropriate for trekking without compromising the health of your feet, your safety, and your physical integrity? There is no multipurpose mountain boot (even if it is one of the best hiking shoes on the market in 2021) that is valid for all types of terrain.
Although many characteristics must be evaluated when purchasing this type of footwear, the sole and breathability are 2 of the keys and to which you should always pay attention.
However, we are going to provide you with a complete buying guide and a selection of good and cheap trekking shoes so that you can choose the one that best suits your type of gait.
We made a selection of the best shoes, depending on the quality/price ratio, which we consider to be the best hiking shoes of the moment. So that you can assess with criteria, we are going to detail the advantages and disadvantages of each of the selected models.
Ideally, have a pair of the best hiking boots so that we can alternate them depending on the weather conditions and the route you are going to do.
6 Best Hiking Shoes For Men and Women to Buy in 2021
If you are starting trekking and you are looking for cheap mountain boots, I think these are the best quality-price you can find. Although they are not high-end, they are off-road boots
As for the upper, tell you that it is a fairly wide and comfortable last, suitable for a short walk or several hours if you do it on easy trails. It also has a lacing system that guarantees an optimal fit.
As for the sole, it is resistant and strong, although on hard and wet surfaces they slip a bit:
- At first, they may be somewhat stiff, but the EVA sole and midsole come equipped with a flesh zone that allows a comfortable and soft footprint.
- The grip is correct both on loose soil and on rock, as well as providing good results on both snow and ice.
Normally, if you order the same number that you have been using, they will go well, neither too tight nor too loose to avoid chafing.
Also, note that they are not 100% waterproof in the event of a downpour. In short, although they are not suitable for high mountain walks and technical terrain, they are suitable for easy slopes and quiet walks due to their flexibility and comfort.
Its strong point: It is undoubtedly its price. They are some of the cheapest mountain boots you can find.
The little grip on wet asphalt
If you are looking for shoes to wear both in the mountains and in the city casually and daily, these are a good option for their good quality and elegant design. An upper that offers good performance Its upper is designed for a perfect fit, without chafing.
It is made of Omni-Tech fabric to repel water while keeping your feet cool thanks to the mesh. In addition, it is a reinforced and stitched textile material for greater durability and support.
Thanks to the pulls on the heel and tongue, you won’t have a problem putting on your shoes. On the other hand, the technology of the sole and midsole come with some interesting features:
- An optimum grip thanks to the material OMNI-GRIP with multidirectional drive. They are quite stable both on ice and on wet surfaces.
- The midsole has excellent cushioning thanks to the Techlite that guarantees correct cushioning and good energy return.
You can buy your usual number, although it does not give you much size, I think it will suit you like a glove. Although they are not GORE-TEX, they are waterproof thanks to their Omni Shield technology.
Its strong point: They are very comfortable shoes for hiking. In short, although they are not the most protective boots, they are very versatile footwear for the city and basic or medium-level trekking by design, comfort, and grip.
Sleek and discreet design
Lightweight and quite comfortable. They do not touch the feet
Lightweight and waterproof.
Cushioning with rapid energy recovery
Good quality of materials
Their cleats are small so they slip on muddy surfaces.
They are not as stable as other models
A little more breathability is missing
If you are looking for soft but versatile, comfortable, and super breathable boots for summer. The lightest model with one of the best soles. The comfort provided by this ventilated shoe is noticeable right out of the box. In addition, the last is generous so, even if you have wide feet, you will not have space problems in the instep.
Finished in leather and a Merrell air chamber that absorbs impact and increases stability makes it a very comfortable and even cushioned boot. Perhaps they are the best trekking shoes 2020 in terms of sole:
- With Vibram TC5 + technology, it will guarantee a good grip and resistance to abrasion.
- The reinforcement in the toe box offers fairly solid traction on hikes of light to moderate difficulty.
They are boots that cut quite well so we recommend that you take the number that you usually wear. If you want a waterproof model, I recommend the Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX.
In short, it is a lightweight shoe one of the best trekking shoes for women due to its design. In addition, they are suitable for any terrain, wide fit, and very breathable to use in summer.
Its strong point: They are very breathable shoes, even for walks in summer.
Very good value for money
Excellent breathability and traction on mixed soils.
Its last is very comfortable
Can be tough on asphalt
The foot support is not high
If you are looking for very comfortable shoes for long walks like the Camino de Santiago, its the best in quality-price Goods and cheap trekking shoes to offer you the best experience
Suitable for all types of weather conditions thanks to the leather and Omni Tech mesh fabric on the upper part. This provides high waterproofing and breathability, so your feet will stay dry without sacrificing breathability. In addition, its fit is more than adequate thanks to its combination of ribbons, suede, and mesh.
Its Techlite cushioned midsole gives it a high energy return and the Omni Grip rubber sole allows excellent traction control and grip on any terrain thanks to these multidirectional studs, both dry and wet.
By the way, this sole offers extra durability thanks to that quality rubber. If your feet aren’t particularly narrow, you’ll want to order a size larger than usual.
In short, these are boots among the best women’s trekking shoes for their quality, comfort, and for being comfortable both thermally and in fit.
Its strong point: They are very comfortable and comfortable shoes because they fit well to the foot
Excellent value for money
Quick energy recovery.
Good fit and support
A little heavy
Slip-on wet surfaces
If you are looking for some mountain boots for women, this model from the French firm is positioned as one of the best women’s trekking shoes (unisex version). If you have to highlight something in this shoe it is its mesh material since, in addition to allowing excellent air circulation, it reduces weight. Its lightness and breathability make it the ideal footwear for long mountain tours.
Strong point: They are very light and breathable. These characteristics make them ideal for long distances in the mountains.
On the other hand, its Contagrip sole adapts to multiple surfaces, guaranteeing good adherence. The EnergyCell midsole, its OrthoLite insole, and the Sensifit system complete this sensational shoe with which both your feet and your joints will reduce the impact caused by sports practice. Ultimately, this is a hiking boot that provides the ultimate in mountain fit, breathability, and grip.
Lightness and breathability
Support reinforcement with the Sensifit system
Slightly narrow forefoot
Smaller numbers than usual
If you need some of the soft boots for comfortable medium and low mountain, I think these are the ones that offer the best fit for the price they have. Its main advantage is its excellent level of comfort.
An ergonomic, mid-rise design that reduces chafing, but without compromising rock protection. In addition, it has other interesting features:
- 100% waterproof design enables them to cope with extreme weather conditions without sacrificing maximum breathability.
- Descent Control Technology: Offers a cushioned, slip-resistant outsole that provides unbeatable traction and grip, even on the toughest loose dirt descents.
- Good support on the ankle: it is important that in the mountains it is tight in the neck area, but at the same time allows movement in front.
Its strong point: It’s excellent comfort for demanding routes, even in summer because even though they are gore-Tex, they are breathable.
In short, they are one of the best mountain boots in terms of support, grip, and comfort for demanding use.
Very versatile, good results on all types of terrain.
Quite small numbers
The toe reinforcements are somewhat tough
What hiking boots to buy?
A practical guide to choosing the best suits
Looking for your first pair of hiking boots? Or maybe, your boots are worn out and you need new ones that are comfortable for you?
With this guide, we will describe some criteria that when taking into account will help you choose good and cheap trekking boots or shoes according to a reasonable quality-price ratio. To choose the boots that best suit you and that feel good on you and avoid problems such as chafing, you just have to keep reading.
Trekking boots or shoes?
Both options are specially designed for this type of activity, but choosing one will depend on the use that we will give and the level of protection we seek.
The shoes are more flexible, lighter, as they do not have an upper, they have more perspiration, they support the ankle, but do not protect it completely. They are more recommended for mild to medium hiking, in not so demanding terrain, trips to the countryside, and to move around the city.
On the other hand, the boots are less light, but offer much more stability and are more suitable when doing long runs, hiking with a backpack, or some other weight. They also protect the foot from rocks, mud, water, snow, and kinks, and with them, you can do light or more advanced hiking.
What level of hiking do you have? How is your physical form?
This is the first thing you should know before buying a pair of trekking boots. This means that you will have to know:
- High boots, if you carry weight.
- Type of terrain you are going to practice trekking or hiking: it is not the same to walk on trails or easy fields as on technical or steep terrain such as mountains. In case you practice easy hiking, it will come with more flexible and lighter footwear such as the Columbia Peakfreak Venture boots. In the case of practicing more technical trekking, the ideal is to have boots like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX with more protection, more stability, and a more durable sole.
- The weight that you will carry in the backpack if you carry it: For short hikes, the normal thing is that the shoes are light, but if you go hiking to camp, the boots will be robust and stable.
- The pace at which you usually walk and how long the journey will last: depending on the terrain, time, and pace it will be more or less. It is not the same 1 hour of walking on rocks and stones as on river trails. Remember that, for a long and demanding hike, the ideal is a boot with a hard and stable sole.
Finally, you must ask yourself how you are in physical shape.
This is determined by if you do a lot of walks per month and have technical walking experience. For example, if you are physically fit, trekking regularly, and are not prone to injury, I think more flexible boots that allow more movement for your foot will suit you well.
On the contrary, if you have just started or are taking it up again after a long time, you may find boots with a high top that protect your ankle well and are more stable. A good example is the Merrell Moab 2 Vent or the Salomon Evasion 2 Aero.
At least until you get more experience and more technical! Main characteristics of the best trekking shoes. According to the above, you should assess the characteristics that your boots should have. To find hiking boots that protect you and that are comfortable to avoid chafing or foot problems, I think you should read what follows.
Mountain shoe soles are harder, stronger, more stable, and cushioned for obvious reasons. All the models we described above meet those requirements, but some may have a more aggressive sole for certain floors or levels of hiking. It is advisable to look for a model that:
- Suits mixed soils.
- Be able to absorb the impacts of your footsteps against the ground. If you don’t do it the right way, your feet, thighs, and even your knees will suffer.
- Have excellent traction on the climbs and grip on the descents, whether in dry, wet, or muddy conditions.
When you go to choose, consider where and at what time of year you will wear the shoes. For example, if you are looking for something with extra grip for off-road and long runs, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX, the Chiruca Pointer Boots, and Merrell Moab 2 Vent are the best alternatives.
For a more flexible grip and use on the less difficult ground, you may want a shoe like the Columbia Canyon Point Mid and the Columbia Peakfreak Venture.
Excessively inexpensive models sacrifice a lot in the grip of the sole, the size of the studs, the tread, and the traction, essential elements to guarantee our safety all along the way.
All mountaineering footwear must be stable to prevent us from slipping or losing our balance or twisting, as a fall or injury can be serious in the mountains. For this reason, trekking boots and shoes are usually a bit stiffer and heavier than a conventional shoes. Therefore, they will have 2 conditions:
- Good sole construction in terms of grip and traction.
- Correct ankle support for the boots to be as secure as possible in this area of the foot.
Breathability and impermeability
Currently, the most modern footwear combines these two elements, in many cases essential for hiking and going out into nature at any time of the year.
However, it is also true that if we live in an area with a mild or dry climate or are looking for something more adapted to the summer, we can choose footwear that is much more suited to our needs, such as the Salomon Evasion 2 Aero or the Merrell Moab 2 Vent.
Perspiration is something that you should not sacrifice so that the foot is always dry, fresh and avoid the proliferation of fungi or bacteria caused by sweat and humidity inside the boot or shoe.
If you are looking for a shoe that protects your foot from the rain, with which you can cross a puddle or cross a river, even walk in the snow, it is best to buy a waterproof boot. So you will always be prepared to face any situation.
Of course, comfort is another factor to take into account. When mountaineering, the irregularity of the terrain can affect the practice of it when you do not have adequate protection between the ground and its formations and our feet.
What should you look for?
The ideal is to find the perfect combination between:
- The comfort of the insole and the cushioning of the sole and midsole.
- Good foot support, especially the heel and materials that guarantee a reduction in impact pressure.
All the boots and shoes in the list above are top of the line when it comes to cushioning, but the ones that stand out the most in this regard are the Columbia Canyon Point Mid and the Columbia Peakfreak Nomad for their rapid energy recovery effect, which It helps us to maintain a constant rhythm when walking or climbing.