Best Shoes For Mud Hiking
When it comes to hiking, one of the most important things to consider is your footwear. You want a shoe that can handle all types of terrain and weather conditions. The best shoes for mud hiking will be able to keep your feet dry and comfortable even when you’re slogging through thick mud puddles.
The best shoes for mud hiking should have excellent traction, support, waterproofing, and breathability. They should also be lightweight and flexible enough to allow your feet to bend as you walk.
Here are some of the best shoes for mud hiking:
Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoes – These shoes have a breathable mesh upper for ventilation and moisture wicking capabilities, so they’ll keep your feet cool even during hot summer hikes. They have a Vibram outsole with multidirectional lugs for excellent traction on slippery surfaces like wet rocks or dirt roads that may be covered in mud. They also feature an EVA foam footbed with arch support and a removable molded EVA midsole insert that provides additional cushioning underfoot while still allowing your feet to breathe naturally. These shoes are available in men’s sizes 7-12 or 13-15
Best Shoes For Mud Hiking
Any environmentally conscientious hiker knows that hitting the trail during muddy, wet conditions can possibly have adverse erosive effects on the trail. Whenever someone steps on the soggy, muddy ground, it dislodges the trail’s surface which leaves it susceptible to displacement. This doesn’t, though, mean you necessarily have to avoid hiking altogether in wet conditions – only that you should follow certain precautions in regard to what trails you hike and how.
Trails with a lot of sand like the Great Island Trail in Massachusetts are a great choice during transitional rainy seasons. Another option is hiking old railbeds – which were built to withstand heavier traffic. If you do plan to hike in the mountains, look for a south-facing, rocky trail or one that has been reinforced for heavy use. Websites and groups like The Appalachian Mountain Club, The Hiking Project, and Alltrails are great resources to help you find a suitable trail.
While hiking, stay in the center of muddy trails as much as possible and utilize as many rocky surfaces available. You’ll want to walk on trail edges and avoid the center (where puddles and mud are more prevalent) to help keep your feet dryer. However, that won’t actually do anything to minimize loosening the side soil, which can lead to potentially damaging erosion. So, since you’ll likely be stepping into some pretty deep puddles, you’ll want to have footwear that performs well while being repeatedly submerged in water.
Salomon Outline Hike Mid Gore-Tex
Salomon Women’s OUTline Mid GTX W Hiking Boots, Black/Magnet/Green Milieu, 7.5
I love my Salomon Fastpacker boots because they’re lightweight, durable, and waterproof with a sole that provides great traction in mud. Alas, like so much of my favorite gear, they are out of stock in most places. The Outline Gore-Tex boot is a great substitute.
They have a grippy rubber outsole with a lug pattern that works well on mud. They’re very lightweight (as many Amazon reviewers attest) and provide exceptional breathability. The fit is akin to that of running shoes which allow for flexibility when navigating uneven, puddle-strewn trails.
Scarpa Rush Mid GTX
SCARPA Women’s Rush Mid GTX Waterproof GORE-TEX Shoes for Hiking and Trail Running – Black/Provence – 8
Scarpa trekking shoes are extremely lightweight and waterproof with the kind of traction you need in muddy conditions. A relatively new addition to the Scarpa family, the Rush hiking boot features an all-synthetic upper that provides support and flexibility. The sole is manufactured out of what Scarpa calls SuperGum rubber – a compound that provides grippy traction in all conditions while also being quite durable.
U.S. Army Jungle Boots
B Belleville Arm Your Feet Men’s BURMA 901 V2 Lightweight Jungle/Tropical Boot
B Belleville Arm Your Feet
If you’re looking for a boot specifically made for trekking in jungles for months on end, you can’t really go wrong with U.S. Army jungle boots. Belleville makes the 901-V2 for the military and, like most everything these days, you can purchase your very own pair on Amazon.
These are tall boots (8”) with both medial and lateral drainage perforations so water won’t pool in the bottom. The upper is unlined for breathability and the insole is puncture-resistant – both great things when you’re on a multi-day jungle trek.
Be aware, these boots are definitely not for everyone though as they do not have any cushioning around the ankle and are not known for being lightweight.
No matter what boot you find is right for you, excessively muddy conditions often call for the use of trekking poles. I never would have made it through the Borneo jungle without my REI Co-op Carbon Exp Vario Trekking Poles – which are, of course, no longer available. The MSR DynaLock Foldable Carbon poles are a great alternative though – lightweight, foldable, and adjustable.