Most hiking shoes are built around the idea of being lightweight and breathable, which eliminates most leather hiking shoes, making them a not very popular choice. But if you want a cross between a hiking boot and a hiking shoe, a leather hiking shoe is a good choice. It gives you the kind of durability and protection from use and abuse that a boot does, but gives you the weight savings of a shoe over a boot, which can be equally as important over a long day of hiking.
Leather Hiking ShoesWhat to look for when you are wanting leather hiking shoes.
- Waterproofing – If you’re looking for leather hiking shoes then you’re probably also looking for some amount of waterproofing. Leather by itself, if properly cared for will keep your feet fairly dry, but it’s a better idea to get a pair of hiking shoes that come with a waterproof liner, like Gore Tex, which will add a bit of redundancy as far as keeping your feet dry goes.
- Weight – With leather hiking shoes it’s going to be inevitable that they end up weighing more than most other hiking shoes. But still, a heavy hiking shoe is not a good hiking shoe, and even within the limited selection of leather hiking shoes out there, there are lightweight leather hiking shoes and then heavy shoes.
Best Leather Hiking ShoesA few of the best leather hiking shoes for both men and women.
- Ahnu Elkridge eVent Cross-Training Shoes (Women's) - These shoes from Ahnu have a combination of hardy full grain leather and synthetic leather on top, with no mesh in site, to ensure that you get as much protection from the elements possible. That leather outer is combined with an eVent liner on the inside, eVent being a waterproof material similar to Gore Tex, though eVent is generally believed to be more breathable, which makes it an ideal material for a waterproof shoe liner. All that in a low cut shoe package. They weigh 2 pounds 4 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms, so not the lightest shoes ever, but then you cant expect full grain leather shoes to be all that light.
- Patagonia Footwear Drifter GTX Hiking Shoes (Women's) - Another pair of excellent leather hiking shoes, this time from Patagonia. These do have a bit of mesh, right around the laces, so depending on whether you want a bit of breathability these may or may not be the right choice for you. The rest of the upper is leather, however, and that is complimented by a Gore Tex liner inside, to keep your feet nice and dry. Between the leather and the Gore Tex, there isn't much chance of ending up with wet feet. All that is complimented nicely by a Vibram sole. These also weigh slightly less than the Ahnu shoes above, at 2.06 pounds, or 935 grams.