Home / Backpacking Skills / Foot Care / Best Hiking Footwear

Best Hiking Footwear

Old and New Hiking Boots
Old and New Hiking Boots

What is the best hiking footwear: Hiking boots, mids or trail runners?

Like backpacks, I think that hiking footwear is a very personal choice since the fit of footwear varies s much between different people. What’s your experience been like in finding the best hiking footwear and what factors brought you to your current choice.

Most Popular Searches

  • oboz mendenhall vs keen austin

117 comments

  1. Michael Brouillette

    I like Hiking in Aslo Mid Hiking Boots. I like the Ankle Support and they keep my feet warm and dry, the Rocks out and Bugs away from My Feet

  2. I ‘m trying to bring myself to wear a pair of low cut TNF “Hedgehog GTX XCR IV shoes but I normally wear HI -TEC V-Lite Altitude Max Wpi or Altitude IV boots for day hikes in S.N.P. or on the AT , Chester Gap north bound usually . I switch boots by a 1/2 size sometimes depending on width and anticipated diversity of area . A pair of Columbia Frontier Peak GTX when I might carry a pack and I’ve recently purchased a pair of Vasque St. Elias GTX for back packing with a heavier load .

  3. Merrell running shoes . Less is more better

  4. I wear Vasque Breeze boots when backpacking anywhere. They strike a midpoint in terms of weight, but Zi opt form them due to past ankle injuries that make trail runners too risky.

  5. I wear Brooks Cascadia’s all the time…around the house, around the town, and on all my hiking trips. I made the switch about five years ago from New Balance after it seemed the NB quality had declined. The Cascadia’s wear extremely well, lasting a long time. They do not require any break-in period, they do not give me blisters, they fit me well, and from year to year the fit is the same. I just wish they offered some subdued colors instead of bright garish ones.

  6. I wear Vasque Breeze boots for all hikes either short length to two week long backpacking journeys. After trying many other brands of boot, the Breeze suits my feet and style of walking better then the others. No boot pleased my feet for a 2 mile per hour gate, 100% of the time hiking, but the Breeze allowed the greatest distance walked before having to stop because of foot pain.

  7. I hike in Keen Targhee II low hikers on all terrain. They work well for me and are a nice balance between trail runners and heavy leather hiking boots.

  8. I wear Oboz Bridger hikers for all my hikes whether just a couple of hours in the woods behind the house or multiple days on the AT. They fit my feet very well and I like the grippy soles on wet terrain.

  9. I’m wearing Merrell Moab on my hikes. They fit great, aren’t too expensive, and seem hold up to the abuse that we call the AT here in PA.

  10. I wear Danner Mountain Light II (black) which are great on rocky terrain like on the AT. My last pair of Danner hiking boots lasted more than 20 years, so I expect the same from the awesome boot!

  11. 1. Vasque Mindbender.

    Good traction, light. Comfiest of the mesh trail-runners I tried on at REI. The Salamons and La Sportivas were too narrow.

    Have not held up too well, though. About 30 days of hiking in them, a busted seem around the big toe. I will probably try something new when the weather warms a little.

    2. The North Face Ultra Fastpack Mid GTX Waterproof Hiking Boots

    This was for the one winter trip I did over xmas break, when I was home and had not brought hiking shoes. Still, gotten some good use out of them since.

    Comfy, light, good traction. The waterproofing has worked so far, but I have just tested them in a puddle or two of icy slush here in nyc.

    The branding is annoying, but they are good enough that I will probably try a low non-GTX version this spring.

  12. I wear an older pair of Merrell, high top leather/Gore-Tex on any hike without significant snow. They are similar to the current Phaser but much older. I trade-off the extra weight for the ankle support, as my ankles get flimsy after long day hikes or when carrying heavy overnight packs. They have never done me wrong, always kept me dry, and are well worn in and comfortable. The soles are wearing a little thin, and after this coming season I will probably replace them with the Phaser’s or something very similar.

  13. I wear a pair of Vasque boots right now on much of my hiking around New England. A few years ago I broke my ankle in two places while running. I just haven’t been able to transition away from high top hiking boots since then. It may be more pyscological than anything, but for the New England AT / LT and peak bagging in the Whites and Daks, I prefer a full boot.

  14. I wear Salomon Quest 4D Hiking Boots. I bought some Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX Trail Running Shoes but my son liked them so much he stole them.

  15. After much trial and error, with some foot and knee issues, I settled on Salomon Synapse hiking shoes. They have served me well on a JMT hike and several AT section hikes, as well as on day hikes in Idaho and the Canadian Rockies.

  16. i hike in la sportiva ultra raptors there incredibly durable with abrasion resistant were the sole meets the top of the shoe, the sole is very grippe.the shoe is plenty breathable. the toe protection is there for that occasional rock you just had to kick to know it’s there. the inside heel has a durable strip where other shoes wears out from putting the shoe on and off. i just got another pair after 350 trail miles threw PA, 100 mile wilderness, part of VT and wore everyday for a year outside of backpacking and still going but there in there final miles. i snow shoe in lowa boots with overboot, the ultra raptors out surpassed my expectations.

  17. Asolo Stynger is the boot I love. I went to ebay and bought a bunch of different boots just to try and fell in love with these. Now I have several pairs and keep them all broken in. No blisters, no wet feet. I’m sure that will change as I hike even more but it got me through the Great Smokeys in 31 hours of rain a few months ago. Happy Trails!

  18. I wear Brooks Cascadia trail runners when I day hike. The Brooks have a mid sole that protects me from the “roots and rocks” so prevalent in the North Carolina Piedmont. The terrain is low hills with thick forest and small streams.

  19. I wear Vasque Summit GTX boot for most of the year. With the terrain in the Mid-Atlantic Its easier to turn a ankle with all the rocks along the trails. They are a little heavy compared to most boots I’ve had. But having blown through boots that are more fabric and less leather wasn’t very cost effective to my hiking budget…. And REI stopped taking them back. J/K…

  20. Salomon speedcross 3s and Chacos. I am just a “casual” hiker…for now.

  21. I wear Solomon XA Pro 3D trail runner. I mostly hike on rocky/rooty hills in the New York/New Jersey highlands region. I chose them because I wanted a lighter shoe (trail runners are the trend!) and they’re the only trail runners REI had in wide. I had initially purchased a pair of New Balance trail runners, but the material they were made of seemed too soft and non-durable. I returned them and went to REI with my dividend check!

    The XA Pro 3D’s are comfortable and drain well. The traction is not as good as my old Merrell Chameleons, but is pretty descent. I like the speed lacing system which lets me tighten up the shoes before heading down hill, or loosen them up in camp to let me feet relax.

    These have also become my go-to shoe for work and air travel. The speed-laces are very TSA friendly. The light shoes with their stiff soul/shank are great for climbing ladders on job sites. They’ve proven equally effective riding a bike or doing a crossfit workout. Since I pack as light for travel as I do for the trail, I enjoy having one pair of shoes that I can wear for everything.

  22. I currently have a pair of Garmont GTX hiking boots. I use them on all terrain from low fields on the AT in New Jersey to the rocky steep terrain of the Devils Path in the Catskills. Over the past 2 years I have found them to be comfortable, rugged and waterproof!

  23. I like hiking in my Nevados boots great ankle support decent boots for the price gonna be wearing mine on the AT here in the next 3 weeks really need the trail guide

  24. Asolo Advance. Maine woods, AT, backcountry Baxter. My feet stay dry and comfy through muddy rooty terrain with many stream crossings.

  25. Vasque footwear seems to fit my feet better than most brands. When I’m day hiking, I like to wear light, non-waterproof trail runners or similar. When I’m carrying more than 20 pounds or going multi-day, I almost always go back to my Vasque Sundowners (GTX). These give me some good ankle support and help protect my ankles from brush. I have an insulated pair of these I use in all but the deepest snow. (and then I wear my Sorels)

  26. I only wear Danner hiking boots..I have tried various other brands over the years and suffered for it.. Some of the current ones I see in the Mall with a $179.00 price tag on them were the $19.95 brand not to long ago..So price means nothing…

    The secret behind Danners I believe is the Sizing, it is not Uni-sex sizing and they carry a wide variety of widths and sizes instead of the stardard 9 D..and the “Last” they use to build the shoe on is the most important part of the Manufacturing process. If your brand has to add dozens of layers of cushioning then something is not right.. I took my last pair of Danner Gore-Tex leather and fabric Hikers right out of the Box and hit the southern Portion of the Pacfic Crest Trail and did a two day trip from the Kitchen Creek Campground to Warner Springs where I spent the second night at the Warner Springs Ranch. Then in the morning, I turned around and retraced my Steps. Not one blister, a little sore and hot spots but not one blister…I’ve been wearing Danner since 1968 when my first pair of Combat Boots were issued by the Marine Corps Quartermaster at Parris Island..When I got out I continued to go on force hikes, or what they were calling Backpacking then with a 75 pound pack and destroyed many a heavy leather Mountain Boot joining the legions of other blister sufferers at the end of the day. Oh in case your wondering, back in those days, when you exited the Service you had to turn in all your gear including your boots….

    Every Time the Companies came out with a new boot I was the first in line and wore out a number of Brands, Herman’s, Trek, Timberline, Hi-Tec, Vasque, Merrell and Montrails all of which I tore up via Cross Country Desert Hikes and in the Eastern Sierra’s and suffered through the nightly ritual of sitting around the campfire with other hikers Doctoring our feet.

    Then I met my former Wife’s Uncle, also a Hiker, he was 68 years old that year and we spent a few days hiking in the the Sespe Creek Wildnerness area which is now a Condor Sanctuary. He wore a pair of low cut all Leather Danners.. I wore Montrails. At the end of the trip I had the expected sore spots and a blister starting to form he had nothing wrong with his feet whatsoever.

    So when I got home I went shopping. I checked over a dozen stores in the area. No luck. I called Uncle and he told me where he bought his at a store in Los Angeles, so I drove up there and bought my first pair of Leather Danner Hikers.

    The Salesmen took over an hour and a half with me fitting and trying on various boot brands and I just kept coming back to those $250 Danner’s. In sizing I wear a Regular size 10.5 D. In the other Boots I tried on my size varied from a 9 to a 9.5 to as big as a 12 depending on which Manufacturer made the Boot.. A few years later I bought a Pair of Danner Lights, which I wore on over 30 trips in the Eastern Sierra out of Bishop to Blue Lake, Piute Lake, Hungry Packer Lake, the John Muir Trail Loop, to summiting Mount Darwin before they gave up the ghost and could not be repaired due to the amount of torn leather on the sides and toe…. My next pair of Danners are what I wear now, a pair of Danner Gore Tex Fabric and Leather Hikers…I will not give them up..These are my second pair and I now know that I do not have to go to the store get get a fitting I can buy them on line and know that they will fit…They are joy on my feet…My current pair has about 250 miles on them and they still look and feel great…More expensive than others, they sure are, but the price is well worth it to me….

  27. New Balance 978s. New Hampshire mountain trail terrain. They have great traction and felt great brand new.

  28. I use a pair of hiking boots I bought at Walmart for $24. I am a full time firefighter and don’t get to hike a lot and it didn’t seem feesible to spend a lot on boots at the moment. They are waterproof and supportive. And when they wear out. I’ll grab a new pair.

  29. Vasque hiking boots. Mostly on rocky terrain in the Catskills. They’re lightweight and have ankle support.

  30. Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX – or other minutely differing models of Salomon trail shoes with Gore-Tex. They are amazingly comfortable, tough, and keep my feet warm and dry. I thru’d with Asolo boots in 1997, but haven’t worn boots since I found these shoes. I prefer them an any terrain – yes, even while shoeing. They are that good.

  31. For three season hiking I wear a pair of light trail running shoes. In the winter I either wear a pair of LL Bean Cresta hiker boots or a pair of full on plastic mountaineering boots depending on the location and conditions.

  32. I mainly hike in a pair of Keen low-cut waterproof hikers. I use them on the AT, mainly in the northeast & I use them in the Adirondacks. There’s plenty of rocks & water where I hike. I prefer low hikers because I’ve never had trouble with my ankles. My Keens are light enough that they don’t weigh down my feet while backpacking, but strong enough to handle rocky trails.

  33. I bought 3 pair of older Roclite Terroc 330s on clearance when they changed the design (thanks for the heads up on that Philip!) so I’ll likely be set for as long as I can hike. I like the aggressive tread which also stands up pretty well. On a recent hike with my daughter and grandkids on a rocky mountain that included much travel up and down scree, they all completely wore out new tennis shoes and my Roclites had no apparent wear.

    The Roclite shoes are designed to hike through streams and walk them dry. If I wish to keep my feet dry in cooler weather, I wear waterproof liners on my feet.

  34. I have a pair of Cabela’s XPG mid gore-tex hikers. They fit my feet and don’t give me any blisters and have a Vibram sole, which I prefer. They are lightweight and feel good. I hike in Maine and NH and prefer a boot sole that I won’t feel the rocks through on every step. At the end of the day, my feet don’t hurt, although my legs might and I will be tired. For me, they are fine. If I find another pair of boots that fit better and are lighter, I will switch, but until then, these are it.

  35. Switched to trail runners several years ago on your recommendation. When Inov changed the design of the 330 I quickly bought 3 pea of the older design. Use my boots only when I carry a heavier pack above tree line for ankle protection. Mostly I’m below 17lb for everything for 4 days. Old knees love light gear!

  36. I wear KEEN PCT boots. They are no longer made, but I think they are relabeled as a work boot named “Pittsburgh”. Even though they are heavy by trail runner standards, I wear them because they fit great to surgical alerted feet where I need a wide toe box. I have never had a blister, they keep my feet dry, and breath OK so my feet have never felt hot. I have tried trail runners, but they have never felt right in the toe box area. Trai runners have caused blisters and discomfort. Maybe I have not tried the right one yet… The PCT’s are sturdy, good for rocky trails where I hike: Long Trail/Upper Valley. Their traction is great in wet/rocky trails. Whenever they wear out, I have tried the KEEN Gypsums in the store, so they might be the one in the future…

  37. I wear Merrill Phoenix mid-hikers, for day hiking on the rocky, rooty, often wet trails of northern VT and NH. I use them with micro-spikes in the shoulder season, unless the snow depth or temperatures require me to use my Vasque Ultra Drys. I tried a low trail sneaker/hiker, but they did not provide enough protection for my toes.

  38. I wear salomon speedcross 3 trail runners for their excellent traction, light weight and keeping my feet at just the right temperature. And they dry really fast should I have stepped into a puddle, stream,… wear them even when backpacking.

  39. I wear a pair of unknown, due to wear, Brooks trail runners that are about 4 years old. Decided I should finally get a new pair since the tread is gone and hiking has become more adventurous than it should be. I actually came across this site from googling salomon comp 7 reviews. Great site. Headed to REI this weekend to try a couple on starting with the Ultra Raptors many people seem to enjoy.

  40. I love my LaSportiva Ultra Raptor trail runners for hiking – supportive, highly breathable, incredible traction on all surfaces. They’re perfect for the mid-Atlantic sections of the AT I regularly hike on.

  41. I wear Merrell Ascend minimalist running shoes on all terrain. I like to feel the ground and find that I’m less prone to injury and bones feel better during and after.

  42. I use whatever higher end New Balance trail runner I can find for 50% or more off on Joe’ New Balance. Great selection of sizes and widths for my big feet. Perhaps not as durable as some but I cycle them into hiking after several hundred miles of running so I get my money;s worth. They are comfortable, light, and adequate for 3 season backpacking on any trail in the northeast.

  43. Still searching for the perfect shoe. I prefer light trail runners. The Nike Alvord has been my favorite (but recently discontinued) I primarily backpack on the AT in Maine plus lots of day hikes in Acadia. I prefer keeping them on for river fording. My feet are very picky about comfort. I tried one pair of inov8 (RocLite?)shoes and loved the lightness and stickiness of the rubber but they seemed to lack the heel cushioning I am used to. Open for any suggestions. I need a trail runner makeover!!

  44. I wear a custom made pair of Catskill Mountain Moccasin boots and I wear them on all terrain. It doesn’t matter if it’s the granite of the White Mountains, the clay of North Georgia, or on an archaeology dig in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I can have them resoled for different terrain, but they do well in everything. I love them most because they are the only pair of boots that I have ever pulled on and immediately thought “these boots deserve and adventure”.

  45. Shoes: I’ve been wearing Keen Newport Sandals (yes they have the toe bump) and just got a new pair sent free of charge from Keen after my last 220 mile hike in the fall because of the distance I have been running with them (great reputable company to me-no questions asked). I have about 500 miles on them now…and still use them like an old, lovable T-Shirt.

    Terrain: Used them to hike most of VAs AT and gearing up to use the new pair on my next 200 mile section to complete VA and into TN this spring (no break-in required). Used them to basically run up dragons tooth rock with 20lbs in the pouring rain as it was getting dark; no slippage!!! The rest of VA was gravy for these sandals.

    Why: For me, back to basics really – I’m a Birkenstock guy…so comfort of course and weight…but these Keens coupled with Injinini toe socks, have helped alleviate blistering of my somewhat crooked pinky toe and plantar fasciitis…wow, why go back. Granted a 3 season solution — but I’m a section hiker — really works great in the rain and heat…give ’em a try!!!

    Not many sandal folks out there!

  46. I wear water proof Keens, i have 3 pair. I used them on all hikes, rocky mountain tops, AT backwoods and deep wet low lands. I wear mid to high top for support but the big toe box is the main reason i love my keens. I have my eye on a fouth pair already.

  47. Currently wear a pair of Keen leather hiking boots that are “waterproof”. They have been retreated, but sure are heavy when wet. I will next try to find a lighter hiking boot, or if I get my weights down enough, switch to some trail runners, especially for dayhikes with no backpack weight.

  48. Just recently got my first expensive pair of hikers, lowas…wow! I have only been wearing them locally, mostly on long walks because I’ve never winter hiked before and we are in deep snow where I live. I’m leaving for a week hike in April starting at Springer mountain. These hikers are the answer to my feet’s dreams! Sturdy, warm. Amazing. I’m already worried about when they’ll wear out.

  49. Merrell Moabs for me when I hike around Virginia’s varied terrain.They fit my feet well, and hold up pretty well.

  50. Most of the time I wear Salomon Quest 4D GTX. Midwestern and Northeastern trails can be mucky or rocky or both – these boots support my ankles, provide plenty of forefoot room, and keep me dry. Last summer on a Tahoe Rim Trail thru-hike I wore Merrel Moab Ventilator Mids, perfect shoe for dry dusty trail, although on the rocky sections I could feel the sharp ones through the flexible soles.

  51. I have transitioned into wearing trail runners (New Balance MT610v2). I have been lightening my load over the past year and not only are the TR that I wear lighter, but I go for those which are very breathable. Sure I’m not protected by rain, BUT they do dry quickly. For those of us who have worn waterproof shoes/boots and they’ve become wet on the inside, it can take FOREVER to dry. My area that I hike is primarily in the North Carolina Piedmont, Pisgah National Forest and along the AT and Smokies in NC/TN.

  52. I use Vasque Breeze mid hiking boots. Even though it’s heavy compared to what most ultralight folks use, it’s light compared to other hiking boots. I also like the extra ankle support. These properties let me use these boots everywhere. The boots are also on sale all the time at REI. I liked the older model more because it had a wider toebox, but the 2.0 model isn’t bad.

  53. I wear Merrill Moab Ventilators when on my day hikes. I like them because they are light, well ventillated and durable.

  54. I use Salomon XA 3D Ultra 2 trail runners – exclusively.
    I use them in all my 3-season camping, and even moderate winter camping. Terrain is typical range of Appalachian mountains trails – rocky, sandy, etc.
    I use them exclusively, because they fit me perfectly – just enough room in the toe box, good ventilation, comfortable, good traction, and absolutely NO blisters or hot spots – EVER!

  55. 1. I wear an old pair of “Hi-Tec” boots. High ankle, leather, “waterproof”, Vibram sole, heavy old-school hiking shoes.

    2. I’ve used them for full day hiking (up to 12 miles) on the flats and up and down hills, in desert, on volcanic rock, and in rain forest: on the Oregon Coast, Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP, Rocky Mountain NP, Vancouver Island south coast, Bend Oregon area, Joshua Tree NP, Hawaii Volcano NP, Kauai trails, John Muir Woods, Mt. Rainier, Seattle’s Discovery Park.

    3. Although not a high mileage or thru-hiker, these have been good shoes and lasted more than 12 years of intermittent dayhiking use with no maintenance. I’ve been carrying kids in baby backpacks all these years (finally the last one is too big), so these have been supportive and grippy as I’ve schlepped 35-50 pound, “dynamic” loads!!

  56. I wear new balance trail runners. They’re light, have great grip and I live near an outlet so can’t beat the price. If there isn’t snow on the ground they’re my go to shoe.

  57. I wear Vasque boots because I like the ankle support and that they are waterproof. They also FIT, which is a problem I often run into with other boots/shoes. I have a pair of trail runners for just general wear, but haven’t tried them out hiking as much. Something to try this spring!

  58. I got a pair of Asolo Fugitives to wear on Isle Royale’s rocky uneven trails. I need the ankle support and I do like the waterproofing.

  59. Wore Timberlands for years, switched last year to Merrill Moabs. One pair of boots = all hiking; day hikes, multi-day hikes, AT Section hikes. I hate bumping my ankle bones in rough rocky terrain–I apparently don’t pay enough attention to where I put my feet and if I don’t have ankle coverage and support I bang into roots, rocks, ow ow ow.

  60. I wear a pair of Scarpa leather boots. I am middle aged now and old enough to be old-fashioned, but I find the ankle support and stout nature of the boot to be reassuring on the uneven ground as I hike on the uneven and rocky trails of NE, NY and NJ (where next!?).

  61. I wear 510’s. Great support and the best on wet rocky surfaces.

  62. I like wearing the Brooks Cascadia range. Super comfy, water resistant but breathable. I get hundreds of miles on a pair, on hilly terrain with out problems. I only get a chance to hike mountains every now and them, but they still do great then too.

  63. I have been wearing on day hikes Hoka One One Stinson ATR’s. They are light and have a great amount of cushioning on them. The tradeoff for a guy of my size (240 lbs) is durability. On backpack trips I wear Merrill Moabs.

  64. I have worn Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boots for about 2 years now. Finally a boot that does not cause blisters! Actually I really like these boots. Fairly lightweight for boots which I am partial to. However I have just ordered a pair of Brooks Cascadia 9’s which I am going to try since so many recommend trail running shoes.

  65. I wear a pair of Keen hiking shoes. Besides the fact that they’re comfy, I really like how the sole wraps up and over the front. It makes for some very durable and long lasting footwear. I wear them in mountainous terrain.

  66. I wear the Keen Marshall Mid WP hiking boots, while hiking the rolling hills of Michigan and the Midwest. I love wearing them because they are the perfect width to put my orthotics into; I also wear them because hiking boots provide the extra ankle support I like and need.

  67. I used 4 pairs of Merrell Moab Ventilator on my recent PCT thru hike. I found the wide edition really suits my feet, and I got almost no blisters in them.
    I used them all along the PCT (desert, mountains, meadows), and I plan on using them again (a pair that hiked 600+ miles) on an upcoming short trip to HaMakhtesh HaKatan (The Little Crater) next month.
    They never got too hot inside, they are not too heavy, they have good grip. I was happy.

    I might try using Cascadia 10 sometime along the way as well. I use them day to day, and I like them as well.

  68. I wear Asolo Flame GTX for most backpacking trips, either the Asolos or Garmont GTX for day hiking. After seeing so many AT thru hikers wearing trail running shoes, I gave them a try, but found I needed the support of a boot. And while I like both the Asolos and Garmonts, neither keeps my feet dry for long. Eventually, water seeps in under the laces where the foot bends. My next pair of boots will not be “waterproof,” since there is no such thing and so-called waterproof boots take days to dry once wet.

  69. After weeks of deliberation on footwear in preparing for a 200 mile stretch of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, I finally settled on Cascadia 7, which turned out to be the right decision and has become my shoe of choice whether day or overnight hiking. To be more specific, I actually used a combination Cascadia in the morning, then switching over to Teva Tanzas (good arch support) when things started heating up. This gave my foot a nice change and allowed it to breathe. I can’t imagine wearing boots for long hikes like that, or even shorter one’s for that matter.

  70. I wear Vasque Breeze boots. I need ankle support so can’t get away with lighter tennis-shoe-style hiking shoes. These fit comfortably and required very little break in time. I use them for any extended trail walking (more than a couple miles) and have also put around 50 miles on them in Yosemite backcountry.

  71. I started wearing Vasque Breeze boots a few years ago. I had been wearing Merrill boots but it felt like I could feel every stone or root that I stepped on. I wore my Vazque Breeze boots on the AT during the spring of 2014 and they were very comfortable. I did not feel every stone that I stepped on. They also did not feel as cramped as the Merrills. Liked the Vasque Breeze so much I bought another pair.

  72. Recently started wearing ll bean GTX. mountain tread mid cut boots, i like these for the ankle support for day hikes on P.A. rocky A.T. trails but light enough to work well on paved rail trails and because they come in a wide width, and feature a vibram sole for good traction

  73. Keen waterproof sandals or Merrill trail shoes; they are light and breathable. With a light pair of quick dry socks I like the Keen’s best. The socks help improve the comfort from sand in the footbed. I hike mostly in flatter to rolling hills and some foothills.

  74. I like to wear a backpacking boot for hiking, like Salewa or Salamon or Lasportiva. For trail crew I wear Limmer boots, nothing better! Prefer lighter footwear, but something that can still support my foot.

  75. I wear Vasque boots for hiking in any terrain. With troublesome arches, ankles and knees I find the quality support of these boots the best.

  76. For short (2-3 hour) hikes around home, I usually wear LL Bean Women’s Explorer Sandals, Leather. I have gone through 5 pairs in the last few years. I have lots of problems with blisters and overheating feet, and I need a high toe box because of a toe I broke 50+ years ago. I mostly use them without socks, and occasionally have to shake out debris, but they have enough grip for slippery rocks, are waterproof and can deal with mud and puddles. They are also my preferred shoes for jogging.

    I found a comfortable pair of Wolverine Highlands boots (for Men) that I have worn in colder weather, but I think they would be a problem on longer walks because of wet socks due to overheating (happens in a one-hour dog walk!). My feet get colder in them than in my sandals!

  77. I wear Salomon Trail Runners. I like them because they are lightweight and dry quickly when they get wet. I wear them on a types of soil, but mostly hiking in the mountains on the AT. I am considering though getting the Salomon Hiking Boots next time for the ankle support.

  78. I wear Vasque mid-height hiking boots on the AT because us older guys need all the ankle support we can get. They are also great in Maine’s rocky terrain.

  79. Trail Running Shoes.
    No boots.
    Anywhere on the AT

  80. I wear Keen Gypsum WP Mid Hiking Boots for all my hiking.

    Most of my hiking has been in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, and the AT in the south.

    I prefer them because… I got a great deal on them at the REI Garage Sale when I needed a new pair of boots. Have not really tried others, and sense these work well for me will probably eventually replace with another pair of the same.

  81. I wear Teva Dozer sandals for any terrain I hike, which is usually in the Great Smoky Mountains. I love these sandals because my feet get claustrophobic in shoes but i’m flat footed so I cant wear things like chacos that have extreme arch support. These sandals are open enough that my feet can breathe but sturdy enough that I can cover the terrain safely.

  82. I use a Merrell pair of trail runners (don’t know the name, got them on clearance for $20 :D). They are super light and very flexible. Perfect for those long days on PA rocks on the AT! Boots never really worked for me because of how stiff the sole is. I’m always left with aching feet! These trail runners are my favorite hiking shoe so far!

  83. I wear Northface hiking shoes; they are comfortable and offer good support

  84. I wear Merrell Moab waterproof boots for my day hikes. The boots are light and give me excellent support on the rocky Georgia trail.

  85. Well, let’s see I own 7 pairs of Keen shoes/boots. My Keen Targhee’s took me over 400 miles here at home on the Sheltowee Trace and other trails in preparation for my AT Hike which will cover two years. Last year I did just about 500 miles to Damascus. Waterproofing went “kaput” around mile 1,000…can’t complain about that. Still using them here for “sidewalk” hiking as I try to stay in shape for 2015’s “Aim for Maine”. You guessed right! Another pair of Keen Targhee’s ready and waiting for my early May start.And oh yes..one more thing, I have been wearing Keen Targhee’s for several years so why change. Several hikers on the AT “informed” me that my boots were for very light weight hiking…never, ever have I had a blister and with the wear I get out of them. An outfitter along the AT suggested my boots were for larger capacity than my narrow feet. What? at that time I was around mile 700 on them! What was he smoking?…Wow! just can’t recommend anything else…excellent on all surfaces..rough, wet, and hard.

  86. I wear Timberland Ion Mask Technology by P2i when hiking for a variety of reasons. I love that it a lightweight, breathable, odor resistant and extremely durable. They are so comfortable and dry quickly when dry. I am currently breaking in my second pair after the first pair gave up the ghost after 700 miles or so of hard use including 300 miles on the AT in 2012. All I did was replace the insole with a gell arch support insert and go. ? Love these boots! ?

  87. My wife and I both wear Salomon Goretex Quest 4d GTX hiking boots to hike various trails in Pennsylvania most notably the AppalachianTrail which is notorious for being rocky. These boots are extremely comfortable, waterproof and provide the much needed ankle support that I need. Never had cold or wet feet while wearing these boots. Jagged rocks pose no threat to your feet while wearing these babies. We love them.

  88. I wear Ahnu low top shoes. I wear them on all terrain types, including pavement, in all weather conditions. I wear them because of fit and durability. They’ve got a perfect wide toe box, they don’t bind across the top of the foot, and they cup the heel well without too much pressure on the Achilles tendon.

  89. I love my plain old Hi-Tec Altitudes. I do mainly off trail hiking and they’ve performed really well. Light and comfy and not overly expensive, I think they are a great choice for either on or off trail hiking.

  90. I wear Merrell Moab Woman’s.. I’ve hiked katahdin, the 100 mile wilderness and beyond in them, as well as the CT section of the AT, parts of the wonderful rocky PA section of the AT, Delicate Arche in UT, Bright Angel in AZ (Grand Canyon), Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Zion… and more random terrain all over (all the same pair!). I just got another new pair for my trip to Alaska this summer, I think I’m well overdue, but boy did they hold up like champs!! I cannot wear boots, they are too heavy and restraining, in my opinion. Although, I did wear my Oboz Boots hiking the narrows in Zion because I wanted to be able to hike dry afterward. And I was reminded why I don’t like boots, yet again.

  91. i recently got a pair of -georgia boot- hikers i believe i will put some serious miles on this year.. the terrain.. well it will include of course the
    – AT – as i live an inexcusable distance of 7 miles away from it here in ct..
    but will dabble a bit in a couple sierra mountains of northern california soon to break em in, on the hunt for a long lost gold mine :) or leadfoot meets bigfoot , which ever comes first..oh yeah..and why do i wear em? because its what i got (xmas gift) and my -vans- suck on wet ground bigtime ;) happy hiking

  92. I have been wearing Cabela brand hiking boots for about 10 years. I am on my third pair. I hike on bike paths, but I use them also while camping and early spring turkey hunting and other times I’m in the woods. I bought the first pair not knowing how they would be, but after 2 years, they held up great. so I kept buying the same model/brand. why change what works?

  93. I’ll be trekking the AT nobo this year with my Oboz Bridger Bdry. They’re extremely comfortable with almost no break in time. The heal cup and rocker make hiking feel like floating.

  94. I wear Salomon Speed Cross 3 for hiking and backpacking. The terrain is usually hilly with dirt and tree roots. These shoes allow me to keep a good grip on the ground and allow for more speed as I hike. They are lightweight as well so I don’t feel so heavy as I walk.

  95. I wear Keen Target II mid not only while backpacking the Appalachian Trail, but as my general all purpose footware. These boots provide me with good support in all kinds of terrain. I started wearing them all the time when my orthopedic surgeon recommend it to prevent further injury.

  96. I wear a pair of Brooke’s trail runners. Most of my hiking is in the rocky areas of the Appalachian trail around Maryland and Pennsylvania. I love how light they are and how quick they dry.

  97. I have worn Merrell Moab Ventilators every year on section hikes since 2008. I have hiked the AT in them from Springer Mountain to Davenport Gap. They are lightweight, extremely comfortable and have good treads that have kept me from slipping on numerous occasions.

  98. i wear Vasque St. Elias GTX for all my hiking needs. I wear them because they are light enough when I want to move fast and sturdy enough when I’m carrying a heavier load.

  99. I wear Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking shoes. They are light and comortable. The fact that they are waterproof is a bonus.

  100. I wear Altra Lone Peak for all of my hiking or trail running. Planing on 11 day hike in March. That is what I will wear.

  101. Well, since Vasque stopped making my style of shoe, I have been on a quest to find a new one. I mostly just use the sneakers I currently own for the short hikes I get out on. I used montrail low top trailrunners when I started the trail. Bought the Vasque in Harper’s Ferry and with no break in time whatsoever finished the trail with them. They were that good.

  102. My preferred trail shoe is MERRELL Moab Ventilator. I wore them nearly exclusively on the PCT, in the snow, rain and through sand and rivers and general trails. They are a superb shoe for hikers, in my humble opinion

  103. The footgear I use hiking = Brooks Cascadia Trail Runners. I went through 4 pairs on my 2013 AT hike. Worked great. They fit my feet perfectly. Water drains quickly. So many hikers use Cascadia that Brooks put a disclaimer on their website that they are not meant for backpacking.

  104. I wear Salomon XA Pro 3Ds because they are a terrific fit for me. Like the majority of hikers, I’ve been through lots of brands and models trying to find the perfect shoe. And like many, I’ve experienced the heartbreak of learning that my favorites have been discontinued. That’s why I have a spare pair of these Salomons stashed away.

  105. For short hikes I have a pair of Merrel low hikers. I really like them because they are much lighter than my boots. I bought them on clearance at the merrell outlet and don’t know which style they are. My other hikers are a pair of Keen Targhee. They are really comfortable and have great support in different terrains.

  106. I use Keen low cut hikers in all terrains. Don’t like high boots. Haven’t tried trail runners but want to

  107. Hello Phil,

    Enjoyed reading all the entries waiting for the entry date to pass. I was justing getting back to a good place with my planter fasciitis after switching to an AARN pack. But fate intervened and a non trail foot injury took me out. Nothing seemed to work as all my boots and shoes caused pain. A friend suggested birkenstock sandals. Wasn’t I a skeptic. But they were comfortable and my foot slowly recovered. I bought a pair of birkenstock sandals (not leather) with an ankle strap and some kayak socks to go over my Injins. It allows for pain free walking with my pack. Drawbacks: 1) limited toe protection; 2) not the greatest traction; 3) pebbles get in; 4) feet get dirty. Benefits; 1) very light weight; 2) dry fast; 3) very comfortable; 4) no more broken laces. Works for me on the AT.

  108. I have La Sportiva Raptors. I love these trail runners. It makes no difference whether I’m hiking the trails of Pennsylvania or running errands. They are so comfortable. They are ready for the A.T.

  109. I prefer Keen hikerz. I live in ME right on the AT and i do alot of day trippin in the Bigelows and north toward Caratunk and Monson. For continued comfort AND DRY feet, Keens are the way to go.

  110. I lace up my Merrell Allout Blaze w/Superfeet black insoles before heading the trails of the GSMNP. Terrain varies from dry compact dirt to wet loose rock and the shoe conquers them all. These shoes rock b/c they are lightweight, waterproof and comfortable.
    Fin.

  111. I wear Timberland because that is what my husband bought me. They provide nice support and stay dry . We have hiked easy sandy trails in nj. Have started the AT in jersey so expect much more rugged hiking .

  112. The North Face Ultra FastPack Mid — As the name says, these are fast boots with a hybrid design built to trek quickly for miles or even run long distances on trails. They have running-shoe-like tread and a reasonably light weight at 17 ounces a boot. A thin tongue and lightly cushioned cuff make them fit nicely on the ankle. I have hiked the Kanawha State Forest located in WV several times in these boots…I love them

  113. I rock the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

    These are my first pair of quality hiking boots. I got them because I was planning some multiday trips in the Presidentials and based on my past experience, I wanted extra ankle support for the rocky terrain.

    After breaking them in, I find them to be great. The only problem I had is that the inner sole lining was slightly too short for my foot. It felt like my toe was on a lip in my boot. I had to return a few pairs before I got it right, and even now I notice the problem returning. I’ll probably replace with a more form-fitting inner sole.

    For less strenuous hikes, I will likely switch to a lighter boot or trailrunner to reduce weight.

  114. I know its not the “in thing” anymore on trail but I just prefer hiking in boots over the trail runner type shoes . I know the weight is the major drawback to boots but I think the trade off in traction and support is worth the weight .

  115. I wear a pair of Merrell trail runners for all my local day hikes. They are very comfortable and light. For my backpacking trips I choose to wear my tried and true Asolo 520s. They are built for the backcountry and have proven it time and time again. Did the pemi loop, the Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains and Katahdin this year with my 520s without a single complaint to be had about them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *