This Cute and Comfy Hiking Shoe Has Quickly Become My Summer Go-to for Trips From Maine to Mallorca

Whether I’m exploring New England towns or climbing rocky coves in Spain’s Balearic Islands, these are the trail shoes I keep reaching for.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Free People x Danner hiking shoes
Photo:

Susan Brickell 

Anyone who has ever shopped for hiking footwear knows that support, stability, and technical features are usually prioritized above all else — which means that style tends to fall by the wayside. As a travel editor, I usually opt for comfort over fashion, however nothing derails a vacation look like a not-so-cute shoe. A cool, versatile sneaker that can take me from the trail to city exploring is a must-have, since it also helps free up space in my luggage for other travel essentials.

In May of this year, I was making my rounds at an outdoor showroom in New York and discovered the Danner x FP Movement 2650 Sneaker. The teal, orangey-red, and yellow colorblock design was retro, bold, fun, and would stand out on any trail, from desert landscapes to forested mountains to rocky coves. I had zero shame in begging for a pair on the spot.

Already a major fan of both brands individually — FP Movement’s buttery-soft activewear is always in my rotation and celeb-loved Danner makes the most gorgeous footwear — I took this as a sign from the gods that it belonged in my sneaker lineup. Since receiving the limited-edition kicks three months ago, I haven't worn another trail shoe on any of my summer vacation hikes.

Free People x Danner hiking shoes

Free People

To buy: freepeople.com, $160

For starters, the lightweight shoes feature durable nubuck leather uppers that gives them a soft, velvety feel and look, which set them apart from other trail shoes. They also have breathable mesh linings, cushioned midsoles, and removable three-layer OrthoLite footbeds, which are made of a special material that encourages air flow to keep me comfortable and cool while I’m moving. 

I wore these kicks with merino wool crew socks for cooler mornings in Maine's Acadia National Park, as well as for meandering through Bar Harbor in the evenings, and with ankle socks on sweltering 95-degree-Fahrenheit excursions to "secret" beaches in Mallorca. On every single occasion, my feet remained appropriately warm or cool — and with the right socks and apparel, I'm a firm believer that these could easily transition to fall and winter, making them an excellent year-round pick.

Free People x Danner hiking shoes

Susan Brickell 

The grippy, lugged Vibram outsoles offer incredible traction on wet and dry surfaces, while the bumper at the toe and heel help protect my feet from rogue tree roots and rocks. I tested the shoes on everything from wooded trails and lake and beachside hikes in Acadia National Park (on some days, conditions were slick after it rained, but my trusty hikers kept me upright and did not allow me to make a fool of myself) to rocky coves in one of Spain's Balearic Islands.

It was in Platja des Coll Baix in Mallorca that I actually had to put some of my rock-climbing techniques to proper use, since the trek requires you to scramble across sharp, jagged boulders to enjoy a small, black-pebble beach that feels pretty exclusive. While others were ill-prepared and attempting the hike in flip-flops and Converse sneakers (with some giving up altogether), I cruised along in my FP Movement x Danner sneakers confidently.

Free People x Danner hiking shoes

Susan Brickell 

All that said, what I've been most impressed with is that I experienced no break-in period with these sneakers. I mean, who has time to walk around their house for weeks before a trip? Not me. Their comfy-out-of-the-box fit could be attributed to not only their supportive design, but also to the fact that these shoes offer slightly more width and wiggle-room in the forefront for stability. They didn’t pinch my toes, cut off circulation, or cause any blisters as I hit 20,000 steps in Maine in a day or while hiking for hours to different coves in Mallorca.

I will admit that I did have some foot soreness at the end of my bigger-walking days, but this happens with any of my shoes after being on my feet for 12-14 hours. After a good night's rest, it was gone and I'd lace up my FP Movement x Danner kicks the next morning, without hesitation. I also noticed that some of the dustier trails left a chalk-like coat on the nubuck leather uppers, but this easily brushed off and is so not a big deal given all the other perks.

Free People x Danner hiking shoes

Susan Brickell 

Thanks to the statement-making colorblocking, I've always received so many compliments when wearing these shoes. And while you might assume one would feel limited with outfit choices, I have found the hikers versatile and easy to coordinate with just about anything in my closet. I've paired the FP Movement x Danner sneakers with black leggings and khaki joggers and an array of tops, but they also look equally flattering with bike shorts and tennis skirts (one of my favorite looks is coordinating them with an all-white sports bra and tennis skort to really let them shine).

You can grab my new go-to hikers in two colorways: vibrant lagoon/candy apple (the ones in all of my photos) or a more neutral vapor blue/buttercream combination (pictured below). While they might seem like a splurge, I found them to be inline with the prices of other high-end brands — and a pair that is cute and comfy is definitely worth investing in, in my opinion. Considering these are limited edition, you'll want to act quickly before they sell out, so you can enjoy them on all of your upcoming adventures. I know I certainly will!

Free People x Danner hiking shoes

Free People

To buy: freepeople.com, $160

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles