Best Shoes For Hiking And Walking

Walking is a great way to get exercise and explore new places. If you’re interested in hiking and walking, then you probably already know that the right shoes are a must.

The best shoes for hiking and walking are comfortable, lightweight, waterproof, and supportive. You want something that will protect your feet from the elements and prevent blisters and other injuries while you walk or hike up mountains.

Best Shoes For Hiking And Walking

The 5 Best Trail Shoes for Walkers of 2022

Explore the great outdoors with the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes

Best Trail Shoes for Walkers
Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Trail walking offers different challenges than walking on flat, even surfaces like a track, sidewalk, or treadmill. Trails are uneven, rocky, and bumpy. Wearing proper trail shoes can keep your feet dry (many are waterproof), provide good traction for walking over rocks, and offer thick cushioning to protect your feet.

Reviewed & Approved

For a shoe that provides stability, support, traction, and comfort, the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes are our top choice. If you’re looking for a minimalist, lightweight shoe, the New Balance Women’s Vazee Summit V2 Trail Shoe is a good pick.

Find trail shoes that fit your walking needs, are comfortable, provide good traction, are flexible, and fit your feet well. Some offer a wider foot. Look for a rubber toe to protect you from stubbing your toes on tree roots or other trail obstacles. We reviewed trail shoes for our list based on the traction and weatherproofing they provide, cushioning, durability, and cost.

Here, our picks for the best trail shoes for walkers.

Best Overall: Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes


Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

Who else recommends it? The Strategist and Runner’s World both picked Merrell Women’s Vent Hiking Shoes.12

What do buyers say? 91% of 100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

The Moab gets rave reviews from women who wore them to walk the 600-mile, 30-day Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. That route has constant hills, often with gravel or rocks. You need a shoe that protects your foot and provides support, stability, and traction which is why we chose the Moab as our top pick. If you have a bunion or a wide foot, women with those issues love this shoe.

The molded nylon arch shank provides stability, and many praise the arch support. The Vibram sole will last through the miles. The ventilator design helps keep air flowing around your foot to allow sweat to evaporate, so you are less likely to get blisters. If you’re more likely to encounter wet conditions, they also make the Moab 2 waterproof version. Guys don’t need to feel left out as they are also available for men and get top ratings from them as well.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Ventilator
Verywell Fit / Justin Park 


Best for Brisk Trail Walking: Adidas Terrex Two Ultra Parley Trail Running Shoes


Courtesy of Adidas.

This is a lightweight shoe that can go from road to trail. It is designed to give good traction on wet or rocky surfaces with a sticky rubber outersole, which provides excellent grip on various surfaces.


Best Minimalist Trail Shoe: New Balance Women’s Vazee Summit V2 Running Shoes

New Balance Vazee Summit Trail Shoe

New Balance Vazee Summit Trail Shoe. Courtesy of Amazon

The New Balance Vazee Summit is a lightweight, minimalist trail shoe that is very flexible. The company touts the hydro-hesion sole for gripping wet and slippery surfaces, and users agree. They come in regular and wide widths, which is a significant advantage for those who need more room.


Best Mid-Height Hiking Boot: KEEN Men’s Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots

KEEN Men's Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots

Courtesy of Amazon

If you need extra ankle stability and support, a mid-height boot can give you extra confidence on the trail. The Targhee has been a favorite throughout the years for both men and women. With this waterproof boot, you can tromp through small streams and have less fear of turning your ankle on rough trails. They’re lightweight and breathable compared to many other mid-height hiking shoes so they won’t weigh you down. People who bought them report they also work well in the winter and for trekking in snowshoes. They are available in both regular and wide. The classic looks will also help you feel at home wearing them in the wilderness.


Best Waterproof Lightweight Trail Running Shoe: New Balance Women’s 910 V4 Running Shoes

New Balance


For brisk walks on the trail or even around town in rainy weather, the waterproof New Balance 910v4 is a great choice. Trail shoes don’t have to be heavy and clunky to perform well. These shoes are lightweight but supportive and cushioned from the sole to the upper. They are also flexible so you can get a good walking stride with a roll through your step from heel to toe.

When you are on the trail, you need protection from rocks provided by a toe cap and a rock plate in the sole. You won’t have an excuse to skip your trail walking plans if it is rainy, and you won’t fear crossing streams. These shoes work well against all the elements. They are available in both regular and wide, so that you can find your best fit. They come in versions for both women and men.

What to Look for in Trail Shoes for Walkers


Trails are uneven and slippery, and good trail shoes should provide good traction to prevent slips, falls, and ankle injuries. The bottom should be made of sticky rubber and have cleats. Bigger cleats usually provide better traction.


Many trail shoes have been treated so they are waterproof. These keep your feet dry should you be outside when it starts raining or you have to run through a stream or two. Look for the GTX label for waterproof shoes.


You should feel a bounce when walking in your trail shoes. That’s the cushioning providing some support and shock absorption. Those with joint pain may need more cushioning. Look for a lightweight cushion in trail shoes.

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