Hiking enthusiasts know that they need the best hiking shoes for safe and comfortable walking.
Indeed, if you invest in poor quality equipment, you not only risk having foot pain but also exposing yourself to accidents.
Poor quality shoes are not a good idea because they won’t make your feet breathe. On the contrary, your feet will feel suffocated and may swell.
Also, a heavy shoe will not provide much support for either the ankle or the feet. At the end of the day, you will have the sensation of heavy and cramped legs.
Best hiking shoes For Comfortable Walking 2022
What are the best hiking boots?
To make the best choice in terms of equipment for walking or strolling, choose high-end models that are made with good quality materials.
Above all, it is a light and breathable shoe that offers you support and comfort in all weather conditions and in all types of activity. Waterproof models are recommended.
Models with good cushioning protect you from shocks and are suitable for all types of terrain.
Choose soles that provide better rolling and soft rebound. Rubber outsoles provide grip and running support.
Through the following comparison, find the 5 most popular models on the market to find the one you need.
1. COLUMBIA XCRSN II MID Hiking Boots
This lightweight shoe features a waterproof and breathable leather upper. It gives you support and durability even in wet conditions. A synthetic lining ensures better foot perspiration.
A midsole cushions and absorbs shock while rubber outsoles help control your trajectory.
This shoe will offer you comfort, grip, cushioning, sturdiness on all types of terrain. Its lace-up closures are practical and comfortable.
2. Bottes Chukka Timberland Euro Sprint Hik
This Timberland brand boot offers you increased comfort and good value for money . It allows your foot to breathe well.
It has an EVA midsole that guarantees superior shock absorption. The rubber outsole provides great stability whatever the terrain.
Thick and durable, this gear can be used for years without wearing out. It is suitable for all weather conditions.
3. High hiking shoes with scratch MILLET Hight Route GTX
These high models with Velcro are intended for mountain walking . Modern and sporty, they provide comfort and safety during all your expeditions.
With light and comfortable insoles, these sneakers offer a feeling of hold, fluidity and grip. The leather outsoles provide good grip, especially on dry or alpine terrain.
The textile lining ensures better breathability of the feet. At the end of the day, your feet will feel light.
4. ADIDAS Terrex Swift R2 Low Top Shoes
These are models with low soles for men that are suitable for all types of mountain excursions. They are suitable for sports practice or low-intensity walking.
Its insoles made of synthetic materials provide good comfort and breathability for the feet. While the outsoles provide good grip and great resistance to stones, twigs.
Its lace-up closures are practical and rigid. This pair of shoes is not likely to come undone along the way.
5. SALOMON Evasion 2 Aero Low Top Hiking Shoes
These models of hiking shoes give you optimal comfort and lightness. They are suitable for longer workouts.
Made of lightweight and breathable materials, this model is resistant to abrasion. The SensiFit system perfectly surrounds the foot.
An injected EVA midsole provides a precise and secure fit. As for the outsole, it offers better rolling and a soft rebound. It is made of rubber and offers perfect grip and support on all types of surfaces.
What is a hiking shoe?
These are shoes optimized for hiking. There are different types that are suitable in different situations. They can be walking sandals , approach sandals, low or heavy models.
Trail Trailers are optimized to cover a lot of distance. Approach shoes are optimal for a combination of walking and climbing.
Heavy boots will provide more protection than any of the alternatives. The bass models offer the best compromise of all. There are also orthopedic models for sensitive feet .
Why wear special shoes for hiking?
Wearing this kind of equipment rather than a classic model has many advantages. Ankle support, blister prevention, grip and durability are benefits.
Are they suitable for walking?
They are designed for walking long distances, so yes, they are ideal for walking . However, there are different types suitable for different walks. For example. If you are walking on a rough road, low models are better than heavy models.
If you don’t need protection, opt for a lightweight alternative, a classic model or a trail .
Are they suitable for racing?
The heavier the shoe, the less optimal it is for running. Trail models are good equipment for running. However, the bass models are not optimized for racing. But it allows you to travel a short distance.
Hiking boots vs classic shoes
Over the past ten years, the outdoor footwear industry has undergone a revolution.
In the past, everyone wore clumsy big shoes or tennis models on the street. These days, lightweight running and hiking shoes are gaining popularity.
Below we have highlighted the biggest advantages and disadvantages of boots and shoes:
They have many features:
- Ankle collar helps stabilize the ankle with added weight
- Helps keep debris and bugs out of the trunk
- Easier on your feet if you’re dragging heavy packs
- Ideal for long distance hikes, intense climates and steep elevations
They also offer a number of advantages:
- Weighs less than boots, requiring less energy for each step
- Offers plenty of support for casual rowers
- More breathable without the ankle collar
- Ideal for summer day hikes and as camp shoes
Hiking boots or shoes? The main arguments
In reality, it almost entirely depends on your personal preferences. What do you prefer: boots or shoes? Some people are used to wearing boots, while others prefer the lightness of shoes.
In the name of shoes
Also called trail shoes, they are a mix of tennis shoes and hiking shoes. It’s like taking every rugged aspect of a shoe from the rugged outsole to the cushioned sole and then removing the ankle collar.
They are almost always lighter than boots, and many hikers, especially those who like rocks and lots of obstacles, feel more agile. They are more breathable and provide plenty of support in most situations.
In the name of the boots
Boots protect the feet better in rough terrain, especially off-road or in the jungle .
For venturing into deep snow or soggy bogs, you’re best off with boots.
The extra support around the ankle can make walking more comfortable , especially if you have to climb for a few hours.
The extra padding and weight also help stabilize a hiker carrying a heavy pack. It is recommended that you always wear boots unless you are carrying a light backpack.
How to choose the best pair of hiking boots?
The most important thing in buying boots is to have a good fit, with a snug fit in the heel and wiggle room for your toes forward.
Match the style
Select your shoes based on the terrain you will be walking on and the loads you plan to carry. However, because the added pounds on your feet significantly reduce energy expenditure at the end of the day, opt for the lightest boots.
The boots have stiffer soles, more stability and better traction than regular running or walking shoes. Consider using low-cut gaiters to avoid litter.
If you like light or aggressive hiking, these ankle boots are your best bet.
Tapered plastic midsoles or half sleeves give these boots enough rigidity to protect your feet against stony trails, while still allowing for good foot flexibility.
When the only path you can find is a goat trail through embankments and alders, you’ll appreciate the full-grain leather, above-the-ankle support, and stiff-soled stability that hiking boots provide.
The all-terrain boots offer superior waterproofing and durability with their all-leather construction and minimal seams. Many hiking boots are surprisingly light, thanks to the new midsole.
These shoes feature a full-grain leather upper, minimal stitching, great traction, and sometimes a bit of insulation. They rise well above the ankle and accept crampons.
With long sleeves or stiff nylon midsoles, mountaineering boots are usually too stiff for comfortable stride hiking.
Look for rockered soles, minimal heel slippage, and rubber bands along the welt for durability and waterproofing.
The latter are mostly low-cut and mid-cut hybrids with a snug fit, sticky rubber soles, and abrasion-resistant toes. Designed for light hiking and scrambling, they will suffice under a light backpack, in good trail conditions.
The right fit
Start with the right socks. Details such as toe seams and overall thickness can cause or relieve pressure issues.
If possible, buy boots while wearing the same socks you will use in the woods. Or buy socks and boots at the same time.
Adjust according to size
Ignore the size numbers and choose a shoe that fits your foot size. This may mean buying a pair one size larger if you have a wide foot .
A footbed prevents your foot from deforming inside the shoe by keeping the sole in a neutral position.
For persistent problems, you may need custom molded orthoses.
Attention to detail
Shoe comfort depends on fit, but shoes should also have the correct fit and ample padding.
The tongue padding should be loose, but relatively stiff to prevent the “cutting” feeling of tight laces. The stiffer the sole, the more padding the tongue needs to counteract the torque of a stiff sole.
The internal padding is a well-hidden feature as your ankle is devoid of layers of oily skin, but bends thousands of times a day.
Choose a model suited to your type of frequent use and your terrain.
How to keep your shoes longer?
To keep your boots ready for years to come, follow these tips.
- Frequent waterproofing with wax or silicone treatments will soften the leather, not only making your boots more comfortable, but also stretching them out a bit.
- Recondition your boots frequently.
- Rain and stream crossings help the boots conform to your feet, but water degrades the leather and can cause shrinkage.
- On long hikes, pack waterproofing treatments.
For the purchase of this kind of equipment, consider the following points:
Weight carried on your feet results in 4-6 times more energy than weight carried on your back. Plus, nimble feet lead to less muscle fatigue, less tripping, and over time can help prevent knee and hip bending issues.
We tend to spend a little more on quality shoes, as this relates directly to the enjoyment of our hikes. Comfort and fit are usually expensive, but have a variety of quality options.
You’ll be doing thousands of steps on your hiking trips, so you need to know that your shoes will be comfortable and won’t cause blisters. Buy your shoes a few weeks before practice and spend as much time in them as possible, making sure they work well.
Traction is one of the most important parts of quality shoes. It’s crucial to know that your shoes will hold you down and prevent you from slipping, especially on scruffy or exposed sections of trail.
The humidity in the air will make it difficult to stay dry. The rain will fall on your legs and seep into your shoes. Sweat and condensation will form on the inside of your shoes, soaking your shoes from the inside.
Your feet will sweat a lot, especially in hot weather. If this moisture does not easily escape, it will make the skin soft and prone to blisters.
Highly breathable shoes are generally not waterproof and will quickly get wet in the event of rain. Although they dry quickly. Prefer aquatic hiking shoes for lake crossings.
When choosing trail boots or a hiking shoe, avoid large sections of unsupported mesh, which can wear out quickly.
To get true ankle support, you need high shoes around your ankles, which most carriers don’t know how to do.
Look for running shoes with relatively thick, well-cushioned soles so we don’t feel every stone under our feet.
Alternatively, hiking shoes and boots tend to have stiffer soles, which will last longer and feel stiffer underfoot.
Traditional shoes usually have a noticeable height drop between the heel and the feet, with the idea that this increases your running efficiency.
Some runners have “zero drop,” which means your foot is the same distance from the ground from heel to toe. Zero drop puts less stress on your body and more closely mimics a natural running style.
- 1 Best hiking shoes For Comfortable Walking 2022
- 2 What are the best hiking boots?
- 3 1. COLUMBIA XCRSN II MID Hiking Boots
- 4 2. Bottes Chukka Timberland Euro Sprint Hik
- 5 3. High hiking shoes with scratch MILLET Hight Route GTX
- 6 4. ADIDAS Terrex Swift R2 Low Top Shoes
- 7 5. SALOMON Evasion 2 Aero Low Top Hiking Shoes
- 8 What is a hiking shoe?
- 9 Why wear special shoes for hiking?
- 10 Are they suitable for walking?
- 11 Are they suitable for racing?
- 12 Hiking boots vs classic shoes
- 13 How to choose the best pair of hiking boots?
- 14 Purchase criteria