The 10 Best Hiking Shoes for Camping in 2021

1. Merrell Moab 2 Vent


2. Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid GTX


3. La Sportiva TX2 Hiking Shoe

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Having to turn back halfway through your hike because the blisters on your heel are killing you, is something that nobody wants. A good-quality pair of hiking shoes should be the foundation of your kit. A good hiking shoe should have a snug fit with enough space in the toe box for when you’re descending and should provide ample fixation in the heel to prevent slippage.

Furthermore, it should give you enough stability and traction to prevent ankle injuries while maintaining enough cushioning to not overload your knees. All in all, many aspects to consider and today’s offer might seem confusing. But don’t worry, just have a look at our rundown to see the best hiking shoes the market has to offer.

How We Rated Best Hiking Shoes?

  • Waterproof

    Is it well protected?

  • Traction

    Is it for all trail conditions?

  • Comfort

    Is it designed for comfort?

  • Support

    Is it supportive?

  • Material

    Is it breathable?

  • Weight

    Is it easy to carry?

  • Lifespan

    Is it build for years to come?

  • Durability

    Is it sturdy enough?

How We Conducted Research?

  • 17

    Hours Researched

  • 30

    Products Evaluated

  • 13k

    Reviews Considered

  • 4

    Sources Researched

1. Merrell Moab 2 Vent


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Merrell Moab 2 Vent

The Merrell Moab series doesn’t need an introduction. This shoe has been a favorite of many people for years. The name says it all: Vent. And that is exactly what this shoe does. It allows your feet to breath, even on hot summer days.

The abrasion-resistant Vibram sole holds up very well for many miles while the inner sole has a special cushioning cup below the heel which allows you to keep on going smoothly for hours. Keep in mind that this shoe isn’t waterproof, so if you’re looking for a shoe that’ll guard you from rain, this isn’t your model.

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2. Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid GTX


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid GTX

Like its lower brother, the Moab Mid has many years of being an all-time favorite. The chassis is very similar as the Moab Vent, but the main difference is the slightly better arch support. Besides that it has proper ankle support for more stability on rough terrain and a fully waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner.

You’ll be laughing during an unexpected rain shower on your weekend adventure. The Vibram sole with 5 mm lug depth gives great traction on gravelly slopes for a safe feeling during steep descents.

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3. La Sportiva TX2 Hiking Shoe


Technical Specs:

Why we picked La Sportiva TX2 Hiking Shoe

The TX2 is a lightweight approach shoe that stows easily. Approach shoes typically have a slightly stiffer sole for better grip and traction. Enhanced support and sticky rubber keep you sure-footed in the mountains, while the one-piece knit upper material optimize drainage and breathability.

La Sportiva is an Italian brand, which means their shoes typically are a bit narrower than regular shoes. Keep this in mind when choosing. Although they are quite flexible and break in rapidly. The ComboCord loops around the heel platform allow easy pairing and storage in a pack, perfect for when you have to cross a small stream or when you choose to hike on your sandals.

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4. Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Mid GTX


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

When you’re planning a medium to difficult hike on rocky terrain, it’s advisable to wear a shoe with ankle support to provide you with extra stability and to prevent injury. Especially when you are carrying a backpack.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid has it all. With excellent grip and traction thanks to its sticky rubber sole and support up to right above the ankle, this shoe is your perfect item of gear on all your adventures. Being fully waterproof, there is no reason anymore to cancel your long-awaited trip due to inclement weather. Fun camping trips guaranteed.

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5. Salomon X Ultra 3 GORE-TEX


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Salomon X Ultra 3 GORE-TEX

Like its higher counterpart, the X ULTRA 3, a bestseller, has evolved into an even more effective hiking shoe. Thanks to the innovative Descent Control technology, it efficiently tackles technical hikes and really shines during tough descents. Giving you more flexibility in your ankle, it’s the perfect choice for your next day hike or a fast & light trek.

You can wear this breathable pair in warm weather and dirt conditions or on rainy days thanks to its Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane. It’s one of the more expensive lo-cut shoes in this list, but you’ll get a premium-quality hiking experience for it.

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6. Salomon Men's X Crest GTX


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Salomon Men's X Crest GTX

A cushioned, stable fit based on the proven X-Ultra, will feel great from the first step to the last mile.

The durable upper with PU coated leather reinforcement, stands up to the most rugged terrain and wear and tear. A protective toe cap and heel counter, and reinforcement around the foot, offer protection from rocks and sticks. Full GORE-TEX membrane offers complete waterproofness for when you go out exploring beyond the trailhead. With a stable, cushioned midsole and an aggressive sole pattern you’ll be ready to take your adventure beyond the beaten path.

Protective mudguard around the base of the foot protects the lateral and medial sides on muddy trails. Anti-debris mesh upper prevents debris from being trapped between your foot and the foot bed. 

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7. KEEN Men's Targhee II


Technical Specs:

Why we picked KEEN Men's Targhee II

This hiking shoe is ready for off-road adventure. It lives up to its appearance, being a sturdy and durable hiking shoe. A proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in, very similar to Gore-Tex. The extremely torsion-stiff and luggy outsole adds traction and superb stability in rocky and uneven terrain, making this an exceptional choice for your off-the-beaten track adventures.

The internal support mechanism is anatomically engineered to provide excellent arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot. Be advised that the sizing is slightly smaller. It’s recommended to order half a size larger than your regular size to ensure a perfect fit.

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8. Under Armour Men's Mirage 3.0


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Under Armour Men's Mirage 3.0

Under Armour might be an unexpected show in the camping and hiking branch, but we consider their Mirage 3.0 a top-notch contender and that’s why it made it to our list. The outer sole has enough stability and torsion to perform well on any terrain without losing comfort and flexibility.

The material used for the upper part is a balanced mix between leather and fabric which allows enough breathability without compromising on durability, making this shoe a perfect partner on your future camping trips in the years to come.

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9. Adidas Men's Terrex Ax3


Technical Specs:

Why we picked Adidas Men's Terrex Ax3

Like Under Armour, Adidas is relatively new to the hiking shoe world. Nonetheless, they have decades of experience in making all kinds of other shoes. That’s exactly where they draw their knowledge and skill from when designing the Terrex line. Built for speed during your hikes, the Ax3 is a lightweight shoe with a Continental Rubber outsole for extraordinary grip and traction, even in wet conditions.

The upper fabric is fully made of synthetic fabric, giving you maximum breathability and flexibility. The molded sock liner prevents friction and possible blisters, allowing you to fully enjoy your hiking experience.

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10. ALTRA Men's AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5


Technical Specs:

Why we picked ALTRA Men's AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5

This is actually a trail running shoe. But since it performs so amazingly well off-road as well as on the road, we decided to include it in our listing. The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 features a trimmed down layer that offers added flexibility and comfort and a simplified lacing system for improved micro-adjustment. Balanced Cushioning technology places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage constant low-impact throughout your trail run or hike.

It has a slightly wider toe box that allows your toes to relax and spread out naturally for more comfort and stability in uphill climbs and downhill descents. To top it all off, the midsole foam formula has been improved to give you more cushioning while keeping stability.

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Hiking Shoes Buying Guide

Hiking shoes may be one of your investments for your outdoor adventures. Hiking shoes will be your best gear from countless point As to point Bs. Hiking shoes protect you from the demands of hiking, they offer a great balance between weight, water protection, blister prevention, comfort, durability, and traction for those who need stable and protective trail footwear. Whether you’re a hiking amateur or you’re thinking or replacing your current hiking shoes, we’ve prepared this buying guide for you.

Types of Hiking Shoes

There are three types of hiking shoes depending on the use. It really is a personal choice between which type you are most comfortable in. Here we list the details of each and decide which style fits you best.

Trail Running Shoes

These are lightweight shoes that tend to look more like a sneaker than a hiking boot. They are low-cut just under the ankle models with flexible midsoles. Trail running shoes are the most lightweight shoes and are best for day hikes. Though they do not provide a stable ankle support, being low cut allows you to bend and flex over challenging terrain. The ALTRA Men’s AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5 is a trail running shoes that performed so well off-road that it can be considered in the list. It has a pretty good traction provided by the 5mm lug depth. The shoes has a wide toe box and  low cut design to ensure comfort even during downhill.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are a cross between sneakers and hiking boots. These commonly range from mid to high cut models that can support day hikes or short backpacking trips but with light loads. Hiking shoes have stiff rubber soles and stiff upper that provides support that sneakers can’t provide. Like the Merrell Moab 2 Vent, the low cut model of the Moab 2 Mid GTX. This model is not waterproof but the abrasion-resistant Vibram sole can hold up yo hours of hiking even on hot summer days.

Hiking Boots

Heavier than the hiking shoes, the hiking boots are designed to carry heavier loads and can be used on multi day trips. Designed to be high cut that wraps around the ankles to provide a more stable support. We recommend the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid GTX, has a better ankle support that its hiking shoes counterpart. It is mid cut that provides stability on rough terrain and is waterproof.

Hiking Shoes Components: Uppers & Midsoles

Knowing the parts of hiking shoes will help you decide which are the best hiking shoes for you. Generally there are four parts to hiking shoes; uppe, midsoles, internal support and outsoles.

Uppers impact the shoes’ weight, breathability, durability and water resistance. Leather (full-grain, split-grain, nubuck or synthetic) are one of the widely used materials used in the upper component of hiking shoes. Leathers are preferred because of its durability and ability to withstand the harsh environment. Some shoes also used waterproof membranes such as Gore-Tex or eVent. Like the Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX has Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet dry even on wet climates.

Midsoles provide the cushioning, protects feet from the shock and largely is the main contributor to a shoe’s stiffness.A stiff shoe provides comfort and stability for hikes on long and uneven terrain. The most common midsole materials are EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and polyurethane.

  • EVA is lighter, less expensive and provides more cushion. Midsoles use varying densities of EVA to provide firmer support where needed (e.g., around the forefoot). 
  • Polyurethane is generally firmer and more durable, so it’s usually found in extended backpacking and mountaineering boots.

Hiking Shoes Components: Internal Support & Outsoles

Internal Support 

  • Shanks are the 3-5mm thick inserts between the midsole and the outsole to add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole . 
  • Plates are the thin semiflexible inserts below the shanks that protect feet from getting bruised by sharp roots or uneven grounds.


  • Lug pattern: these are the bumps on the outsole. Deeper, thicker lugs are used on backpacking and mountaineering boots to improve grip. Widely spaced lugs offer good traction and shed mud more easily.
  • Heel brake: this refers to the heel zone that is distinct from the forefoot and arch. It reduces your chance of sliding during steep descents. The protective toe cap and heel counter of the Salomon Men’s X Crest GTX, offers protection from sliding and injury from rocks or sticks.


Feet has the tendency to swell during long days on the trails, so it is recommended to buy hiking shoes at least a half size larger than you would for your normal shoes. Here is a suggested way to test the sizing of your shoes; put your foot inside the shoes so as your toes are touching the front of the toe box, then make sure you can put your index finger between your heel and the back of the shoe. This is the recommended allowance to ensure that your toes will not side forward the toe box when going on a downhill.

You might want to consider hiking shoes that has a narrow entrance like the La Sportiva TX2 Hiking Shoe, which is an Italian brand. But this shoe does not fail to deliver with its stiff sole that offers a better grip and traction to keep you sure-footed in the trails.

Other Considerations

Traction: It’s important that the bottom of your hiking shoes have a non-slip surface. You need shoes that give you grip and help you make that climb. We love the torsion-stiff and luggy outsole design of the KEEN Men’s Targhee II that adds traction and superb stability even on rocky and uneven terrain which will be an advantage on difficult terrains.

Weight: The lighter your shoes are, the further you’ll be able to hike with less strain. You don’t want to feel like you have cement blocks or anchors on your feet. Extra weight will zap your energy faster. 

Lacing System: The last thing you want is your laces to create a hazard on your feet. Your shoes should create a secure fit on your feet while maintaining your laces to keep them tucked up and out of the way. The Salomon X Ultra 3 GORE-TEX has a quick lacing system that allows one-pull tightening system for an easy-on/easy-off.


• Which Brand Hiking Shoes are Best?

Since hiking has become more and more popular over the past years, the market has been flooded with brands that offer hiking shoes. Since a good hiking shoe needs different characteristics than any other shoe, not any brand has the know-how to design and manufacture a good-quality shoe. Brands like Merrell, Keen, Salomon and La Sportiva have decades of knowledge in making high-quality footwear designed for the outdoors. Choosing a well-renowned brand gives you peace of mind, and knowing that you’re walking on a well-made pair of shoes, gives you confidence in pushing your limits even further.

• What are the Most Comfortable Hiking Shoes?

What the most comfortable hiking shoe is for you depends on what kind of trip you’re planning. If you’re going on a fast & light hike you can have a look at a lighter model which gives you more freedom of movement in your ankles, like the Altra Lone Peak 4.5. If you plan on doing a multiday trek with a backpack, a good option would be the Merrell Moab Mid GTX, which provides more support and has a luxurious foot bed so your feet don’t get tired to quickly.

• What are the Best Walking Hiking Shoes?

The best walking and hiking shoes should give you stability on any type of terrain. When you are carrying a backpack or when you have weak ankles, it is advisable to wear mid cut shoes to give you additional support. The sole and lug depth play a crucial role in traction and grip on steeper slopes. This is especially important when descending a steep gravelly trail, where you want to feel extra sure-footed. Good options are the Merrell Moab Vent, the La Sportiva TX2 and the Salomon Ultra series, with either the X Ultra 3 Mid or the X Ultra 3 Low. All of these models perform exceptionally well on traction and stability. 

• What to Look for in Hiking Shoes?

Hiking shoes should offer enough room to still wiggle your toes, offer a tight fit while not create hot spots anywhere. The best time to try on new hiking shoes is at the end of the day when your feet are a little swollen and with a good pair of socks. Know your size and double-check the sizing charts before buying a pair to prevent blisters and a negative camping experience.

• Should You Buy Hiking Shoes a Size Bigger?

Although it’s not always the case, most people indeed end up with their hiking shoes being bigger than their normal shoes. When out on a hike, it is recommended to wear a thicker pair of socks to prevent blisters and add support. This is why many people prefer to get their hiking boots a half or full size bigger than their normal shoe size. If your hiking shoes are too small, wearing thicker socks will result in the shoes being too tight and prevents enough blood flow. Keep in mind that your feet swell quite a bit when you walk many miles. It’s best to measure your feet and check the sizing chart before you purchase a new pair.