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The Best Hiking Shoes and Boots of 2022

We like the Danner Mountain 600s for women and the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX for men.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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Comfort is key when exploring the great outdoors on foot. But there's much more to a great hiking shoe, and having appropriate footwear can make or break your hiking experience. There's nothing like the misery of trekking in wet socks and shoes after encountering a surprise stream crossing or trudging the last few miles back to the trailhead sporting painful blisters. You don't want to find yourself on a more technical trail with tread that can't cut it, either. Luckily, most of this can be avoided by choosing the right shoe or boot for you and your hiking needs. Whether you're in search of a lightweight option that will have you moving at the speed of light (well, almost) or something with extra ankle support for long-distance treks, this list will have you covered. With so many choices out there, selecting the perfect pair for you can be overwhelming.

Our top picks are the Danner Mountain 600s for women and the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX for men. But there are a lot of options out there, so to help narrow it down, we researched dozens of shoes and spoke to Bennett Grimes, Senior Product Manager for REI's Innovation Solutions and Footwear Co-op brands and consumer-led products expert, for his input.

These are the best hiking shoes and boots to shop for women: 

These are the best hiking shoes and boots to shop for men:

The Best Women's Hiking Boots and Shoes

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Danner Women's Mountain 600 4.5" Waterproof Hiking Boot
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Danner Mountain 600s

View at Amazon

Also available at Danner

Why We Love It: They're ideal for almost any skill level.

What to Consider: While they provide good warmth, they are not insulated for more extreme temperatures.

What do we love most about these boots? Out-of-the-box comfort — the Danner Mountain 600s do not require any of that "wear them around the house'' breaking-in. As stylish as they are practical, these boots are made for versatility and are great for everything from blazing a full day on the trail or running a few errands to grabbing a beer downtown or taking the dog for a walk. 

Crafted in the Pacific Northwest, the Mountain 600s stand ready for adventure at any given moment and are equipped to handle the wild, changing conditions of their home region – rainy, cold, slippery, or totally sunny days. Made with both waterproof Vibram SPE in the midsole, and Vibram Fuga on the outsole, they'll provide fantastic traction on any terrain without having to skimp on cushion. The suede portion of the boots is treated with Danner Dry waterproof protection, so go ahead and cross that stream or trek up that rock slide. Although they're not insulated, they manage to keep your feet plenty warm in many types of weather. 

The Mountain 600s are ideal for almost any type of hike and won't leave you with any pesky hotspots. They're also lightweight and fit most types of feet.  And in general, Danner boots are an investment that's well worth it; you won't have to replace them for years and years to come.

Sizes: 5-11 | Materials: Full-grain leather or suede, Vibram Fuga, Danner Dry​​ | Weight per pair: 1 pound, 14 ounces

La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots - Women's
Credit: Courtesy of REI

Best Waterproof: La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots

View at REI

Also available at Amazon

Why We Love It: The standout traction provides an extra feeling of security on slippery slopes.

What to Consider: They aren't especially versatile for wear off the trails.

Get caught in the rain or cross a stream with no problem in the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots. "Keeping your feet dry will be one of the most important features when choosing a boot." REI's Grimes says. And the Nucleo High boots have answered that call with Nano-Cell technology and Gore-Tex Surround waterproof membranes that not only keep feet dry, but are somehow breathable, too. Water stays out and sweat escapes. They come in both regular and wide sizes, making them a great choice for most types of feet. This durable duo is lightweight and packs a cushioned sole, ankle support, and excellent traction into each boot. In addition to waterproofing, the soles are so grippy you'll feel secure in even the wettest conditions. 

Sizes: 37-43 EU (regular and wide) | Materials: Nubuck leather, Vibram Nano XS-Trek Rubber, Gore-tex​​ | Weight per pair: 1 pound, 6 ounces

Chaco Mega Z Cloud Sandal - Women's
Credit: Courtesy of Backcountry

Best Sandal: Chaco Mega Z Cloud Sandal

View at Backcountry

Also available at Amazon

Why We Love it: The cushiony sole provides a level of comfort unexpected from a sandal.

What to Consider: You'll still need another pair of boots or other hiking shoes if you plan on hiking in cool weather..

Prepare to rock the classic "Chaco tan" because you won't want to take these adventure sandals off. The cushiony Cloud sole is the feature highlight, creating extra comfort for your active pursuits. You'll feel stable navigating trails with the grippy rubber outsole and tailored fit with adjustable straps. No break-in required, these sandals are ready for any venture you can conjure, whether it's a day hike or kayak session or a combination of both. Those straps won't dig in and give you blisters when your feet get wet, either, so this set is comfortable, lightweight, and grippy. You'll find several colors and patterns to choose from as well.

Sizes: 6-11 | Materials: Rubber, Luvseat polyurethane, polyester jacquard webbing | Weight per pair: 11 ounces

Related: The Best Water Shoes for Women

REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots - Women's
Credit: Courtesy of REI

Best Breathable: REI Co-op Flask Hiking Boots

View at REI

Why We Love it: They're not just breathable — they're also waterproof.

What to Consider: They run a little narrow, so they're not the best option for those with wide feet.

With more of a sneaker design, the lightweight, waterproof REI Co-op Flask Hiking Boots use recycled material to keep your feet dry on any trail. "REI's Flask Boots are made with our exclusive HydroWall waterproofing technology and our FirmaKnit upper materials to create a great balance of breathability and waterproofness," Bennett shared. That sock-like knit fabric is part of what makes these hiking boots comfortable straight out of the box. The sturdy soles offer plenty of cushion for almost all foot types as well as that waterproof traction that will have you traversing all kinds of terrain without issue. The design eliminates any worries of moisture getting trapped in the shoe and keeps the air flowing to your feet.

Sizes: 6-11 | Materials: Molded nylon, rubber TerraGrip, recycled polyester FirmaKnit | Weight per pair: 1 pound, 13 ounces

Salomon Women's Quest 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
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Best Traction: Salomon Quest 4 GTX

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Also available at REI

Why We Love it: They can handle any terrain.

What to Consider: They are relatively heavy for boots that aren't winter-specific.

These boots are designed for hikers and backpackers who like to push the limits. They hit at the mid-calf, providing extra support, preventing most of those pesky (and painful) ankle rolls that occasionally happen on the trail. The tread on the soles is nothing short of impressive, with ultimate traction thanks to the Contagrip TD rubber. All of that said, the inspiration for the Salomon Quest 4 are actually trail runners, so they still maintain flexibility, allowing you to stay surprisingly spry. Keep your spry feet dry as well; these hikers are waterproof, too.

Sizes: 6-11 | Materials: Leather, textile, Gore-Tex, Contagrip TD rubber | Weight per pair: 2 pounds 6 ounces

Oboz Women's Bridger 7" Insulated B-DRY Waterproof Hiking Boot
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Best For Winter: Oboz Bridger 7-inch Insulated Waterproof Boots

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Also available at REI

Why We Love it: They're made to accommodate snowshoes and spikes.

What to Consider: They're not great for use in any temperatures other than cold ones.

The Oboz Bridger 7-inch Insulated Waterproof Boots are proof that winter is a fantastic time to explore, too. Warm and waterproof, they're made for winter hiking, snowshoeing, sledding, or pretty much any snow adventure you choose. The winterized rubber soles and lugs have excellent traction on their own for snowy and icy conditions, but add some microspikes and you might just be unstoppable. And between the Thinsulate liner and wooly bits at the top of the boot, your feet will stay cozy and warm while still maintaining breathability. 

Sizes: 6-10 | Materials: Waterproof nubuck leather, tricot mesh, winterized rubber, 200g 3M Thinsulate | Weight per pair: 2 pounds, 9 ounces

Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
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Best Arch Support: Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot

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Also available at Merrell

Why We Love it: The contoured footbed is removable, providing an extra level of customization..

What to Consider: The waterproofing could use some improvement.

These everyday boots can go box to trail with no breaking in required and offer extra support while doing so. Your foot's arch supports your weight while hiking; those with high arches will have trouble absorbing shock during various physical activities, adding unnecessary strain to muscles and joints. Venture through uneven terrain with these Merrell insoles that have additional cushioning due to the molded nylon arch shank, great for those in search of arch support and shock absorption without adding weight. The support goes past the arch too, with heel reinforcement adding to the allure. As an added bonus, the Kinetic Fit Advanced contoured footbed can be removed for those who don't need that additional feature, making these boots great for almost anyone. Give your arches some love with these Merrell hikers…your feet will thank you.

Sizes: 5-12 (regular and medium width) | Materials: Suede leather, Vibram TC5, foam midsole | Weight per pair: 2 pounds

The Best Men's Hiking Boots and Shoes

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Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots - Men's
Credit: Courtesy of REI

Best Overall: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

View at REI

Also available at Amazon

Why We Love it: The gusseted tongue stays right where it belongs while keeping all sorts of debris out..

What to Consider: It's not a great choice for those with wider feet.

A footwear cocktail with all the best features mixed in, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX boots are a fantastic accomplice to anything from a day hike to a multi-day backpacking trip. The ankle support helps when lugging an overnight pack, and the high-performance foam aids in absorbing shock. The boots are equipped to handle easy paths or technical trails, rocky or wet terrain, uphill or downhill trekking, and everything in between.

The thoughtful design garners attention to things we didn't even realize would be useful on the trails. This is where the gusseted tongue comes into play — the style keeps it where it's supposed to be, front and center, while also keeping debris like small rocks and dirt from making its way into your boot. Additionally, the traction is a star highlight with this pair of waterproof hikers. Loose rocks, muddy areas, and uneven surfaces are seemingly no match for the specialty lugs and Mud Contagrip. 

Sizes: 7-14 (regular and medium width for most sizes) | Materials: Leather, textile, rubber, Gore-tex | Weight per pair: 2 pounds

Vasque St Elias FG GTX Hiking Boot - Men's
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Best Waterproof: ​​Vasque St Elias FG GTX Hiking Boot

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Also available at Amazon

Why We Love it: This pair is particularly durable.

What to Consider: They are some of the heavier hiking boots on our list.

The classic leather design of the Vasque St Elias FG GTX Hiking Boots makes these both stylish and effective while being exceptionally waterproof from bottom to top. The Gore-tex membrane, waterproof nubuck leather, and moisture-wicking lining above the ankle work as a collective shield in the rain, creek crossings, and surprise winter weather. And you're probably not going to roll your ankles in these boots; the height keeps them in place with sturdy support, giving you confidence on any type of trail. An update from the original St. Elias boot, the new version has sprinkled in some comfort and functionality upgrades, while somehow making them a little lighter at the same time. The added rubber toe cap aims to protect your boot and your toes from rocks, roots, and much more.

Sizes: 7-14 (regular and medium width for most sizes) | Materials: Leather, Gore-tex, rubber | Weight per pair: 2 pounds, 15 ounces

Bedrock Sandals Cairn 3D Adventure Sandals - Men's
Credit: Courtesy of REI

Best Sandal: Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure Sandals

View at REI

Also available at Bedrock

Why We Love it: They're made with 100 percent vegan materials.

What to Consider: The thong strap design leaves the foot more exposed than other hiking sandals.

The Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure Sandals deliver the best bits of a hiking boot, in a sandal. They're lightweight, have a molded footbed for cushioning, and feature key arch and toe support. Three points of adjustment on the straps allows for tailoring the fit to your specific feet, ideal for wet conditions. We've all worn those sandals that as soon as they get wet it's a slip and slide situation in the footbed. This isn't the case with these; the geo-pattern design prevents most slippage to keep you rockin' and rollin' on the trail. Oh, and they're made with 100 percent vegan materials. 

Sizes: 5-14 | Materials: Rubber Vibram XS Trek Regolith outsole, polyester, nylon | Weight per pair: 1 pound, 1 ounce

HOKA ONE ONE Sky Kaha GORE-TEX Hiking Boots - Men's
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Best Breathable: Hoka One One Sky Kaha

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Also available at Backcountry

Why We Love it: They're very lightweight considering the size and the features.

What to Consider: They're not the best choice for those with wide feet.

The Hoka One One Sky Kaha Hiking Boot looks like a sneaker and performs like a boot, and they can be used for both hiking and trail running effectively. Despite the thicker sole, these boots are fairly lightweight. The Gore-Tex membrane is waterproof, but that doesn't mean you'll be stuck with sweaty feet; Hoka's membrane design lets air out without allowing moisture inside. Those prone to sweaty feet can feel comfortable whether hiking on a hot, sunny day, or getting caught in an impromptu rainstorm. The 5-millimeter  lugs and Vibram outsoles do a great job gripping to most terrain, too, whether it's a muddy trail, loose dirt, or a steeper rock slide. 

Sizes: 8-14 | Materials: Full-grain leather, Gore-tex, Vibram Megagrip rubber | Weight per pair: 1pound, 2 ounces

Related: The Most Comfortable Sandals for Men

La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Traction: La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots

View at Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love it: The soles' angled lugs act like a brake system on steeper terrain.

What to Consider: They're not especially suited for easier, beginner-type hikes.

Out-of-the-box comfort and superior traction make the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX hiking boots an all-around excellent choice, particularly for situations like scrambling and river-crossings, where grip is critical. There's a reason these hikers are a favorite amongst both men and women – they give you confidence to hike how and where you want to. The impact brake system means the soles have angled lugs, which naturally allow them to stay gripped to the ground, acting as actual "brakes" that come in handy especially on steeper terrain. Additionally, these boots are exceptionally waterproof and breathable, primed for keeping you dry and comfortable along any trail. 

Sizes: 6-13.5 (regular and wide) | Materials: Nubuck leather, synthetic, Gore-tex Surround, Vibram Nano XS-Trek rubber compound | Weight per pair: 2 pounds, 1 ounce

XPETI Men’s Thermator Mid-Rise Lightweight Hiking Insulated Non-Slip Outdoor Boots
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best For Winter: Xpeti Men's Thermator 8-inch Waterproof Hiking Boots

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Also available at Xpeti

Why We Love it: They are good in warmer conditions, too, meaning they can act as your year-round boots.

What to Consider: They might not be the most durable pair.

The Thermator's 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation do the trick for winter temps down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit, and the high, above-ankle design provides extra molded support and keeps snow out. The boots' waterproofing is impressive and includes a mesh lining that wicks moisture out so that your feet stay dry in a breathable environment. Take all that cozy warmth and venture outdoors with confidence due to the aggressive traction which features 7-millimeter multi-directional lugs — just what the winter hiking doctor ordered for superior grip capabilities.  Despite all of these highlights, they're still lightweight, so they won't hold you back. Although these boots are fantastic in wintry conditions, they make a stellar year-round hiking boot as well.

Sizes: 7-14 | Materials: Rubber outsole, X-Dry membrane, fabric, and synthetic | Weight per pair: 1 pound, 2 ounces

Salomon Men's Quest 4 Gore-Tex Hiking Boots For Men
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Arch Support: Salomon Quest 4 GTX

View at Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love it: They're flexible even with all the support features.

What to Consider: They are a little heavy.

With excellent support for those with high arches, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX offers a nice combination of heel and overall foot reinforcement while keeping flexibility a priority in the boot. The interior cushioning feels like a hug for your feet. All that support is noticeable when carrying a large pack for overnight hiking trips too. As an update to the previous model, designers have thrown in a fresh ADV-C 4D Chassis, aimed at preventing joint pain and inflammation. The waterproof capabilities act as an extension of comfort too, keeping your feet warm and dry, as well as supported. Navigate trails with the boot's signature stability over loose dirt, wet or muddy conditions, and rocky terrain. 

Sizes: 8-14 | Materials: Leather, textile, foam, Gore-tex membrane, Contagrip TD rubber | Weight per pair: 2 pounds, 14 ounces

Tips for Buying Hiking Shoes

Determine the types of trails you will be hiking

You want to narrow down your hiking shoe or boot options based on what kinds of trekking you plan on doing. Knowing if you want lower-cut hiking shoes, mid-cut day hikers, or full-on backpacking boots will help. Hiking shoes will be lightweight but offer less support, though they are typically suitable for shorter day hikes. Hiking boots will beef up the support with mid to high ankle height, and extra stability, making them ideal for day hikes of any length and shorter backpacking trips. Backpacking boots are excellent for overnight trips where you'll be lugging a hefty pack along trails. They offer more ankle support, traction, and cushioning designed to help you go the distance.

Try them on for comfort

This may seem like the most obvious tip, but it's also the most important. "What's the point of buying a shoe if it doesn't feel just right on your foot?" REI's Grimes says. "A good rule of thumb when trying on shoes and boots for the first time is to find a pair that you can almost forget is on your foot. All hiking footwear is made differently, so it's smart to try multiple to see which experience feels best to you."

When you slip into your hiking shoe and boot contenders, make sure you're wearing hiking specific socks, as that can affect the fit. Although sizing can be tricky, most hiking boots should fit a touch big (usually half a size) to accommodate thicker socks. That being said, it does not ring true for every boot, so start with your usual street shoe size and work from there. Trying them on at the end of the day is also key, since most people's feet swell a touch throughout. Make sure you have space approximately the width of your thumb between your big toe and the tip of the boot — your toes shouldn't jam into the front when walking downhill. 

If you order online, walk around your home to make sure the boots don't put uncomfortable pressure anywhere, which can lead to blisters and hotspots with use. That's a surprise you don't want to encounter on mile three out of seven on the trail. Arch support for people with flat feet or high arches will also be crucial when trying hiking shoes on for comfort. To avoid pain and injury on the trial, make sure to hone in on shoes or boots that provide extra support both in the arch and the heel with a footbed that has a firm insole. Additionally, insole inserts can be purchased to tailor your boot to your specific support needs. Consider the shape of your feet; do you have narrow or wide feet? This will help you find the right shoes for maximum comfort too.

"More often than not, if you can feel something that seems 'off' at first try on, that feeling will only get more exacerbated through extended wear," Grimes shared. "Comfort for most people is a balance of how the shoe fits and how the shoe feels under the foot. For underfoot comfort, there are a lot of options from maximum cushion to very little cushion. Maximum cushion is good for people who like the feeling of floating above the trail, and very little cushion is good for people who want to feel exactly where their feet are going. Of course there can be the best of both worlds too."

Choose the right materials

Grimes suggests asking yourself a few questions about the conditions you will encounter on your adventures after finding a few options that fit the comfort bill. "Is the majority of the adventure in a hot humid climate? Breathability might be your number one requirement. Is it going to be soggy and wet for days at a time?" 

Dialing in on the conditions you will primarily be using your hiking shoes or boots in will ultimately keep you the most comfortable. If winter hiking is your main focus, waterproofing and insulation are going to be crucial. Insulated pairs for winter hiking are usually equipped with 200 grams, 400 grams, or 600 grams of Thinsulate. Base your search on how cold the conditions you will be trekking in; 200 grams is ideal warmth down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, 400 grams is cozy down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, and 600 grams of Thinsulate typically works down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit when actively moving. 

If waterproofing is a priority, look for Gore-tex membrane in the design as well as eVent in order to have breathability for vapors to be released while still keeping waterproof abilities. This will reduce those sweaty sock situations and uncomfortable moisture getting trapped. For traction, lugs on the rubber outsole are important and measured in millimeters. Backpacking boots with solid grip typically have lugs that are between 5 and 7 millimeters. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I break in new hiking boots? 

More and more hiking shoes and boots (in general, "hiking shoes" refers to more sneaker-like options or those with less ankle support, while "hiking boots" go above the ankle) are designed to tackle the trails straight out of the box. However, some boots require a "break-in" period that can range anywhere from a day of wearing them around the house to sporting them on a handful of shorter hikes before they reach their optimal flexibility and comfort level. Typically, backpacking or mountaineering boots have a stiffer design initially. The best way to break in any hiking shoe or boot is to build up your time wearing them. Start by wearing them in the house or on a short walk around the park. Then, take them on a slightly longer nature trail before working your way up to a first day hike in them. Breaking them in before your first real adventure can make a big difference, as you don't want to get stuck in the midst of a hike with painful blisters or foot pain.

How often should I buy new hiking shoes? 

REI's Grimes shared that replacing shoes or boots depends on various factors. "The amount of wear, conditions worn, weight of the person and/or backpack, construction materials, and the build of the shoe/boot all play into it. The general rule for wear is between 300-700 miles of use."  

The type of trails you take your boots on will play into their lifespan, as well as the weather they endure. Waterproofing doesn't last forever either; if your boots start leaking that's a great sign to think about purchasing some new ones. Worn tread and cracked midsoles are two other things to look out for when you think your hikers have reached the end of the line. When your hiking boots have stopped performing the way you need them to, it's probably time to get some new ones.

How can I clean my hiking boots?

Keeping hiking boots clean can help increase their longevity. Laces can be thrown in the laundry, yes, but the rest of your boot needs attention too. Dirt, mud, mold, and water can ruin the boot's materials such as leather and fabric, shortening their lifespan. Dislodge small rocks from the traction and wash off mud or dirt from the outsoles. Use an approved boot cleaner for your specific type of hiking footwear and a brush to gently remove the offending dirt before rinsing clean. For quicker drying, remove the insoles and place everything in a well-ventilated, room temperature place. If you have a pair of full-grain leather boots on the upper section, you may want to consider conditioning them as well if they are becoming cracked.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are product and shopping experts who draw on research and first-hand experience to curate the best, up-to-date collections of items for readers. A hiking enthusiast and travel writer, Lauren Breedlove used some of her personal experience both with finding the right hiking boot, as well as using it on a variety of trails all over the world. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best women's and men's hiking shoes and boots. She interviewed REI Co-op's Senior Product Manager of Innovation & Footwear to gather expert insights. With all these factors, she curated this list of hiking shoes and boots for men and women.

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