7 Best Hiking Shoes For Beginners | Full Guide

hiking shoes for beginners

We've all been there before. You're in a shoe store, meandering down the seemingly endless rows of sneakers, sandals, and boots, not quite sure what you need. You want to purchase something practical for all your hiking adventures, but with so many options it's hard to know which shoes best fit your needs. Don't worry! We've got some tips and tricks (and shoe recommendations) that will help you find the perfect hiking shoes for your next adventure.

Hiking Shoe Vs. Hiking Boot

  • Hiking boots are more comfortable and durable, but they're also heavier and more expensive.
  • Hiking shoes are lighter and more flexible, but not as durable or as comfortable.

Why do you need a hiking shoe?

Hiking shoes are a unique breed of footwear. They're built for hiking and trekking, but they also offer many of the same features you'd find in athletic shoes, including support and stability. There are several types of hiking shoes available on the market today, but they all share some common characteristics:

  • They have sturdy soles that can withstand rough terrain.
  • They provide good support for your feet.
  • The sole is grippy and provides traction when walking on slippery surfaces or uneven terrain.
  1. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Vent MID

  2. Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent MID

    If you're looking for a hiking shoe that can handle all-day comfort, the Merrell Moab 2 Vent MID is an excellent choice.

    These shoes provide excellent comfort and support, so they're great for long hikes. They also fit wide feet well and have a waterproof lining. These features make them ideal for rough terrain like rocky trails or mud, and because they're breathable, they won't cause your feet to overheat in hot weather (or freeze in cold weather).

  3. Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Wide Mid GTX

  4. Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Wide Mid GTX

    The Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Wide Mid GTX is another excellent choice for beginners. It has everything that a beginner needs: durability, traction, support and comfort. The shoe also has an impressive weight of just over one pound per pair.

    This hiking shoe features Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet protected from the elements. This makes this shoe waterproof so you can hike in all weather conditions without worrying about getting wet feet or an aching back due to rain or snow hitting you while hiking through the woods.

    The midsole provides cushioning so that your feet will feel great even after hours on the trail. This is especially helpful if you are not used to walking long distances or going up hills with steep inclines like some experienced hikers may be accustomed too! The stability offered by this shoe also helps reduce injury risk when climbing up difficult terrain because it keeps feet aligned properly without causing strain on joints throughout knees/ankles/hips etc.

  5. Vasque Men's Breeze Lt GTX Mid Hiking Shoe

  6. Vasque Men's Breeze Lt GTX Mid Hiking Shoe

    The Vasque Breeze LT GTX Shoes made with Gore-Tex, which means this hiking shoe is ideal for all weather conditions. This lightweight hiker was designed to provide stability and support, an important part of any good hiking shoe.

    It also features a rubber outsole that’s perfect for rough terrain and rocky terrain, so if you're planning on venturing off the beaten path, this shoe has got your back.

  7. Columbia Women's Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot Shoe

  8. Columbia Women's Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot Shoe

    When the weather is not ideal, these mid-calf shoes are an ideal choice. Waterproof full-grain leather and mesh upper provides a durable shield against the elements.

    A lace-up closure adjusts easily for an ideal fit, while the dual-zoned winter tread pattern ensures solid footing on surfaces such as ice or snow. Pair with rain slickers or fleece to stay warm when temperatures fall below freezing.

    The shoe features an Omni-Grip multi-terrain sole for superior traction in wet and dry conditions.

  9. Oboz Men's Bridger Low B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Shoe

  10. Oboz Men's Bridger Low B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Shoe

    If you are looking for a hiking shoe that is lightweight and has great durability, the Oboz Bridger Low BDry Hiking Shoe is a great option. The shoe has a durable sole and is waterproof, which makes it ideal for long hikes in wet weather. This shoe also has a ton of ventilation to help keep your feet cool and comfortable.

  11. Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical Shoes

  12. Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical Shoes

    The Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical Shoes Backpacking shoes are comfortable and durable, with a lightweight construction. They’re designed for long hikes on uneven terrain, with room for your toes to move around without causing discomfort.

    They also have Gore-Tex waterproofing technology, which makes them great for hiking in wet weather conditions or when there may be snow on the ground.

    If you need hiking shoes that can handle tough conditions, these boots are a good choice because they offer excellent grip even on slippery surfaces such as mud or rocks. They also have deep lugs that help prevent slippage while climbing steep hillsides or rocky mountain trails by providing more traction than other rubber soles would provide alone.

  13. Asolo Women's Space GV Hiking Shoe

  14. Asolo Women's Space GV Hiking Shoe

    The Asolo Women's Space GV Hiking Shoe is a great all-around hiking shoe, with many features that make it ideal for beginners. It's best suited for hikes where you'll be hiking on rocky terrain and in wet conditions, as well as in cold, hot and warm conditions.

    It has an aggressive Vibram sole that grips well but also provides roomy toe boxes so your feet don't get too hot during summer hikes (or even winter ones if you're bundled up).

    The Asolo Women's Space GV Hiking Shoe also comes with Gore-Tex waterproofing to keep your feet dry when the rain falls or snow begins to accumulate.

  15. Asolo Freney GV Mid Hiking Boot - Men's

  16. Asolo men's Space GV Hiking boot

    The Asolo Freney GV Mid Hiking Boot is a fantastic mountaineering boot that can handle anything the mountains may throw at you. With a Gore-Tex membrane, you are protected from unpredictable alpine weather, and the Vibram rubber outsole provides excellent grip for rocky mountain terrain.

    The water-resistant upper is incredibly durable for rugged environments, and the supportive ankle design ensures stability on rocky trails. The cushioned midsole absorbs impact for long days on rough surfaces, and the TPU crampons insert is adaptable to semi-automatic crampons. These boots are perfect for any serious mountaineer or hiker looking for a reliable and sturdy hiking boot.

  17. Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boot - Men's

  18. Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boot - Men's

    The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boot for men is an exceptional product for those seeking a rugged and durable hiking shoe. Its wide fit ensures that your feet don't feel cramped even during long hikes, and the GORE-TEX lining provides breathable waterproof protection, which is essential for harsh weather conditions. The AirMesh upper allows for optimal air flow, keeping your feet cool and comfortable.

    The lacing harness and heel stabilizer give a snug fit, ensuring that your feet are secure and stable. The MEMlex midsole provides excellent shock absorption and stabilization, making every step comfortable. Additionally, the Impact Brake System and Trail Bite heel support ensure that descents are powerful and stable. Overall, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boot is an exceptional product for anyone looking for a durable, comfortable and reliable hiking shoe.


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Here's what we think is most important

  • Fit: Make sure your boots fit well. You don't want them too tight or too loose; they should fit comfortably and allow room for your toes to move around without being cramped up. Many people find that they need different sizes depending on whether they're wearing thick socks with their hiking shoes/boots or not—so don't get discouraged if it takes some trial and error before finding one that fits just right!
  • Comfort: After all, this is why we love hiking in the first place, it gets us outside in nature with friends and family members who share our passion for exploring new places! If something hurts after several hours out on trails (especially where blisters may form), then you need better gear than what currently exists in stores today.
  • Strength: The strength of a hiking shoe is an important factor to consider when purchasing hiking footwear. The strength of a hiking shoe is determined by the sole, upper, and lacing system.
  • The Sole: The soles of hiking boots provide stability and traction for your feet on rough terrain. A strong sole will have good grip and support for each step you take. You should be able to use the sole as a platform for your foot when you step up or down from rocks and roots in your path. The best hiking boots feature thick, durable soles that can withstand repeated wear over time.
  • The Upper: While most hikers are focused on the treads on their shoes' soles, they often overlook how important it is for their shoes' uppers to be strong as well. Many hikers don't realize that an upper's durability can be just as important as the treads on their soles when it comes to choosing hiking boots that will stand up to heavy use over time. A good upper should be made from a tough material like leather or synthetic leather that will hold up against abrasions and tears while you're on the trail. It also needs to be comfortable enough so that you don't feel any pinching or rubbing against your skin while wearing it during long hikes.
  • Durability: Hiking shoes should be able to withstand wear and tear. They need to be sturdy enough to handle the elements, including mud, dirt and water. They should also be able to stand up to the rigors of heavy-duty use over long periods of time.

You're now ready to tackle any hike you throw at them! Since we've gathered the top hiking shoes for you, it's time to go pick one out and take them for a test hike. You'll be doing all sorts of awesome things with these shoes on your feet.

About Author:

image of Kevin Pommells

Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of CamperRules.com, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

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