Trail hiking is a lot of fun, but you really do need the proper footwear if you’re going to get out there on the trail. Trail hiking shoes are the ideal solution. But there are a wide variety of choices when it comes to trail hiking shoes, and you will need to make a few decisions on just what you want your trail hiking shoes to be able to do. Above all else, however, your trail hiking shoes should be comfortable, and shouldn’t cause you any foot problems which might ruin the trail hiking experience.
Trail Hiking Shoes
Things to look for when reviewing trail hiking shoes.
Weight – Heavy trail hiking shoes will tire you out, while lightweight hiking shoes will leave you with a lot more energy at the end of the day. It’s nothing that you will notice right away, but over the course of an entire day of hiking you might take thousands of steps, and the weight of your shoes really does add up over those thousands of steps.
Breathable – For most hiking, you want a pair of hiking shoes that is breathable. Sweaty feet can lead to a lot of foot problems, and while waterproof shoes are good for keeping water out, a lot of the moisture that causes people to develop foot problems is generated from feet that are stifled inside shoes that don’t breath.
Best Trail Hiking Shoes
Some of the best trail hiking shoes for men and women.
Inov8 F-Lite 230 Trail Running Shoes - If you prefer your trail hiking shoes small, minimalist and very breathable, the F-Lite 230s are for you. At just 8.1 ounces, or 230 grams it will seem like you're hardly even wearing anything on your feet. The sole is sticky rubber, ideal for bad terrain, though there really isn't much material between you and the ground with these hiking shoes, so you will feel the pointier sticks and rocks. Still, if you want lightweight, you cant have as much padding. They're also unisex.
The North Face Hedgehog III GTX XCR Hiking Shoes (Women's) - The Hedgehogs are big, well padded hiking shoe. They come with a Gore Tex XCR liner to keep your feet dry, and a mesh exterior to allow for plenty of ventilation, which helps the Gore Tex to do it's job. They also feature a Vibram sole. At 1 pound 12.5 ounces, or 807 grams you're definitely going to know you're wearing them, but plenty of padding and a waterproof liner is going to add weight.
Montrail Mountain Masochist II (Women's) - The Mountain Masochists are ideal if you want a basic but solid pair of trail hiking shoes that will breath well. They're low and have a fairly minimal design, but are sturdier than the F-Lite 230s above, at 21.6 ounces, or 612 grams for the pair. The upper is mesh, so again they will ventilate very well, which is great in the summer heat when the last thing you're worried about is rain or puddles.