Top 10 Best Hiking Shoes for Your Outdoor Activities in 2018

The most important gear to take along with you while hiking is a good and high-quality pair of hiking shoes. If you are planning to trek through a rocky or wet terrain, or is in a plan to climb steep hills, then choosing hiking boots are best options.

However, for a good hiking trip, a pair of high quality shoes will do the magic for you. In this write-up, we have rounded up some of the top brands which are currently available in the marketplace so that you can pick the right ones easily.

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Quick Comparison: Top Hiking shoes

  1. Keen Voyageur
  2. The North Face Men's Ultra 109 Gore-TEX
  3. Salomon Men's X Ultra Prime Multifunctional Hiking Shoe ​​​​​
  4. Vasque Men's Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe 
  5. Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 CS Trail Running Shoes

**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

How to Choose the Right Pair of Hiking Shoes?

It is always recommended to try out your hiking shoes with a pair of socks which you are planning to wear for your trails. This will make sure that you are getting the right fit. A good pair of socks will come with features such as breathability, wicking moisture (sweat), quick dry as well as cushioning effect.

It is better to go for synthetic or wool material hiking socks for your trails. Try to avoid cotton socks since they absorb water and won’t dry that easily. It can also result in the formation of hot spots as well as blisters on your foot.

Things to Consider While Choosing Hiking Socks

Material

You should always go for those models which are highly durable since the hiking shoes need to withstand all the climatic conditions while being on the trail for providing better comfort and support throughout hiking. Try to choose the one which is of low weight since this won’t let you feel tired while you climb up or down the hills.

Nubuck leather is one of the top materials which you can rely on. This is specially made for outdoor adventures and is strong and resistant to use for your hiking needs. Another option is to go for Suede leather.

Even though this material is comparatively less robust, hiking shoes which are made from this material will be softer and flexible. They will easily switch to the shape of your foot.

In certain models of hiking shoes, they will be crafted from a combination of leather clubbing a textile mesh side panel. These models will be lighter even though they will be less durable. On the other hand, they will be comfortable, cooler and more breathable.

Durability

Those models which are durable will be mostly of more weight. If the focusing is on lightweight and comfortable models, then durability will be compromised there.

But hiking shoes which are made from complete leather uppers are found to be durable when compared to those synthetics models, however they weigh a bit more. Rubber covered toe boxes will also provide better durability. Dense as well as durable soles are yet other contributions for high weight and are heavier than the softer rubber.

Waterproofing

Depending on the type of hiking you are planning choose the right kind of model. Waterproofing models will add extra heat to hiking, however it offers a good deal of versatility as you can get them for all seasons. Leather hiking shoes are naturally waterproof and their quality is improved by adding waterproofing treatment at regular time periods.

On the other hand, they are not that durable and less breathable since they are made with a combination of textile mesh on their sides. Choosing hiking shoes with breathable as well as waterproof membranes will make sure that you stay dry while being on wet conditions.

hiking shoes wooden board background

Comfort

Comfort is the most important element to be considered while you pick your favorite piece. Whether you are planning to spend few hours or a full day or even for multiple days, nothing will be more worth than spending on your adventures with happy feet.

Some of the major elements which influences comfort is the amount of padding that is used within the uppers, how well the hiking shoes are fitting with your foot and the lacing system. Consider these factors before you choose a particular model.

Cushioning and Support

Cushioning and support are yet other important factors which will keep you feel comfort while you hit the trails. The hiking shoes offers cushioning effect through the insole – the removable lining which is present inside the shoes. They can be chosen for varying thickness of the EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and this shows how much comfortable your shoe feels.

In addition to this, the midsole and the outsole (the base of the hiking shoes) will be made from this material for maintaining cushioning effect and also absorbs shock. There are certain designs which come with toe caps as well as rubber heels and these models are focused on providing added protection to your feet from the rocks and bushes.

Finally, based on the material which is used for manufacturing the model, the rigidity is defined. Sturdy materials like leather or some addition of the thermoplastic urethane will overlay the material and this in turn will help to maintain your foot in place.

Weight

Lightweight models are right for footwear. Lifting up extra pounds with every step you take will make you feel tired very easily. Consider those models which come with better stability for your feet and ankles. They will give you all the comfort which you need while happily hiking around.

Traction

Based on the condition which you are planning to hike around, the depth of your tread inside the sole should be chosen. Thicker and deeper lugs which are having wider spaces among them will give you better grip and traction on all surfaces.

Before you pick a model, try them on an angled surface since they indicate on how effectively your hiking shoes will offer traction.

How to Care and Maintain Hiking Shoes?

In order to maintain the life of your hiking shoes, it is highly required to take good care of it. Below listed are the tips for keeping your hiking shoes in good working condition.

young couple hiking outside in sunny winter mountains
  • Cleaning: After each hike, it is highly important to ensure that you clean your footwear to maintain its performance the next time you use it. Try to dislodge the dirt in it by walking through puddle or some wet grass while you are returning. Then rinse your hiking shoes with clear water. Remember, you should not submerse the footwear in water since it will affect the overall performance of your hiking shoes.
  • Brush it: Before you brush it, make sure that you take out the foot beds and the laces for getting into the tighter areas of the shoes and then brush off the dirt and mud inside it. Grim it using a soft brush and a bowl full of water.
  • Dry Carefully: Make sure that you never choose to dry your footwear in direct heat. This will lead to hardening or even deterioration of the outer layers of your hiking shoes. Try to go for natural drying. Stuff dry newspaper within the shoes for soaking up the moisture content and change it frequently when wet for quick drying.
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    Condition: Once you dry the hiking shoes, the next important step is to apply waterproof as well as conditioning treatments. Leather hiking shoes requires conditioning for preventing splitting. The application of the waterproof treatments will certainly lower the ability of moisture to go inside the upper material and hence those models which come with mesh panels will be benefited with improved breathability.
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    Clean the inner areas: Based on the frequency in which you are wearing hiking shoes, give it a good clean inside. Salty sweaty deposits will definitely damage the inner leather and will block the membranes of waterproofing, thus resulting in poor breathability of the hiking shoes. In order to clean the inner areas, fill it with luke warm water and then leave them for a whole night. Then tipping the water away and drying it naturally will give you are fresh and good looking hiking shoes.


Review of some of the Best Hiking Shoes



Our Recommendation

Keen Voyageur

The KEEN Voyageur hiking shoes comes with 4-wheel drive traction along with better stability. The mesh linings which are seen in the shoes will replace the waterproof barrier for the continual airflow.

The rugged outsole will help to maintain a good grip even on the rough terrain with the multi-directional lugs. For better torsion, ess shanks are built within. The polyester linings will help to wick the moisture content from the feet and keep your foot feel dry and comfortable throughout.

Extra support is provided by the secure-fit lace capture system as it contains heel wrap as well as sturdy leather eyelets to the footbeds. The patented rubber toe bumpers will add extra protection to your feet and the uppers from the abrasion and bumps.

In addition to this, there are a lot of other highlights which keeps them top rated among the others. Choose this model for enjoying your trails.

KEEN Men's Voyageur Hiking Shoe

Pros

  • plus
    No breaking-in period
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    Wide toe cap for feet protection
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    Excellent traction
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    Breathable

Cons

  • Not waterproof

The North Face Men's Ultra 109 Gore-TEX

The North Face Ultra 109 Gore-Tex XCR shoes provides reliable, rugged as well as waterproof performance and can be used in the toughest terrain in all seasons. It is made with full-length EVA midsole, rigid Snake Plate at the bottom of the ball of your foot as well as a midfoot shank for better protection.

The double UltrATAC, rugged rubber soles will provide enhanced traction for the solid footing even on dry or wet surfaces. A mix of polyurethane-coated leather, thermoplastic urethane and the nylon mesh will help to form flexible uppers along with better stability which suits your trail. It comes with waterproof protection and improved breathability.

The North Face Men's Ultra 109 Gore-TEX

Pros

  • plus
    Short breaking-in period
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    Breathable
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    Very good traction in all terrains
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    Designed for trail running also

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide good foot support
  • Poor durability

Foot Note!!!

The hiking shoes are available in lots of variety models, which come as a real blessing for you. Together with waterproofing uppers, comfortable soles and high traction, these hiking shoes will offer support for the foot along with freeing your ankle.

We have mentioned a few top-rated models in this write-up for you to narrow down your selection to the best ones available in the market. Make sure that you pick those models which provide support for your ankle and add better stability while enjoying the trails.

Buy the one which fits you the best and choose the model only after wearing your hiking socks.

Image Credit: amazon.in, amazon.com

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