You would be surprised just how fast a big, heavy pair of hiking shoes can sap all of your energy and leave you bent over, gasping for air. It doesn’t happen all at once, but over the course of a day, those heavy hiking shoes add up. Which is why it’s such a smart idea to get a pair of light hiking shoes. The lighter your hiking shoes are, the less energy you need to devote to lifting and swinging your legs, and the better you will feel throughout the course of your hiking.
Light Hiking ShoesWhat to look for when you want light hiking shoes for your feet.
- Breathable – On the choice of whether to go with waterproof hiking shoes or breathable hiking shoes, the best choice, as far as weight is concerned, is breathable. In theory, the more breathable your hiking shoes are the less material there is, so the most breathable hiking shoes will also be the lightest hiking shoes.
- Proprioception – Proprcioception is your ability to sense the environment around you. With regards to hiking shoes, it’s the ability to sense what’s underfoot, which can actually improve your hiking, by reducing injuries, for instance. Eliminating all of the excess material between you and the ground also helps to save on weight.
Best Light Hiking ShoesA few of the best light hiking shoes for men and women.
- Inov8 F-Lite 195 Trail Running Shoes - These are an excellent pair of very light unisex hiking or trail running shoes from UK manufacturer Inov8. The weight of Inov8's shoes is so important that they actually put it right in the name. These weigh 195 grams, or 6.8 ounces, which makes them almost absurdly lightweight. They're nothing but mesh on top, and have a very thin, minimalist sole that wont offer much padding with the ground. But you also wont find many pairs of shoes lighter than these from Inov8.
- Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport Multisport Shoes (Women's) - Vibram's FiveFingers toe shoes might seem gimmicky, but many people swear by them, and they're minimalist design lends itself well to a low weight. These actually have a slightly thicker sole than some other pairs of FiveFingers, and some grip on the bottom too for uneven trails. But even with these extras the TrekSports manage to weigh just 12.4 ounces, or 351 grams, which is very respectable compared to most hiking shoes. So a good choice if you like the Vibram FiveFinger design.
- New BalanceMT10 Minimus Trail Running Shoes (Women's) - The Minimus shoes are another pair with a minimalist design and a thin sole, which lends itself well to a low weight. They're mesh on top, so they will breath very well, and have a solid Vibram sole, so you don't have to worry about sliding around on less than stellar trails. They even have an anti-microbial treatment to keep smells to a minimum. They weigh 14.2 ounces, which is 402 grams, making them the heaviest pair of hiking shoes on this list, but still a light hiking shoe compared to the average pair.