best hiking shoes

Best Hiking Shoes for the Camino

Finding the best hiking shoes within your budget can sometimes take quite a while. However, I have hiked 1,000’s of miles and can almost tell if a hiking shoe will be good for me by just looking at it on the shelf.

The last thing you want is aching, blistered feet. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem – buying yourself proper outdoor footwear. But, believe it or not, boots are often not the best option for trekking.

My favorite budget hiking shoes are the The North Face Ultra 109 WP, an affordable pair of all-around shoes. However, if you want the absolute best, nothing beats the combination of comfort, traction, and durability offered by La Sportiva Spire GTX.

Related: the best hiking shoes for women and a list of vegan hiking shoes and boots.

Nowadays, many hikers opt for waterproof hiking shoes instead of boots. This type of low-cut hiking footwear mixes boots and running shoes that take the best from both worlds. They offer an excellent balance between traction, comfort, water protection, durability, and weight for those needing protective and stable trail footwear.

However, with dozens of different brands on the market, choosing the best hiking shoes is all but easy. To avoid painful blisters, one has to select a pair of shoes that is adequate for the conditions they are planning to hike in, particularly in terms of terrain difficulty, temperature, and a load of weight they expect to carry.

To help you out, we’ve decided to thoroughly analyze the market’s most popular models and find out everything about their advantages and downsides. We’ve also written a short but informative buying guide with a list of factors you’ll need to keep in mind while shopping for hiking shoes. Finally, if you need great sandals for the end of the day, check out these minimalist sandals.

The Top 20 Hiking Shoes Reviewed

The following is a roundup of our favorite hiking shoes – from supportive models that help with carrying a full pack to ultralight options for the less demanding outdoor adventures:

1. Arc’teryx Konseal FL

Arc’teryx Konseal FL


  • Weight: 1.32 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 3

The company that made these hiking shoes broke into the market with its unique Acrux series, which is now discontinued and replaced by the Konseal line. Available since December 2019, Konseal FL is one of the most popular members of this new range.

Designed to provide stability and comfort on rough terrain, these shoes come with Vibram Megagrip soles, similar to those found on La Sportiva’s top offerings. On the other hand, the fit is surprisingly narrow – Konseal FL may not be the best choice for the most dedicated of hikers.

At 1.32 lb, the shoes are great lightweight hiking shoes and are often used as trail running shoes. The manufacturer managed to keep the weight down by using light synthetic materials. However, the lightweight build doesn’t sacrifice protection or durability – Konseal FL is a pair of surprisingly durable synthetic hiking shoes.

As such, these shoes are bound to appeal to the fast-and-light crowd. However,  Arc’teryx also offers GTX and AR versions of Konseal FL, which cost more and provide more features and better construction quality. Read the full review.


  • Well-rounded, versatile hiking shoes
  • Surprisingly durable and lightweight
  • Grippy over all kinds of terrain


  • The fit is on the narrow side

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2. Salomon Outline GTX

Salomon outline shoes


  • Weight: 1.53 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 6

Next up is a modern-looking pair of waterproof hiking shoes from Salomon’s popular Outline range. Essentially, these look like your regular running shoes, but they have a hiking shoe tread on the bottom. So while they feel like running shoes, Salomon Outline GTX has the sole and traction of a hiking shoe.

An important thing to mention here is that Salomon’s proprietary Contagrip outsole is among the best on the market. The relatively deep 5mm lugs are well-spaced and provide good traction on all surfaces – from light mud to rocky terrain.

Unlike your regular hikers’ boots, Salomon Outline GTX is not designed for carrying a heavy pack. Although not suitable for long distance adventures, these elegant shoes allow waterproof hiking – they will keep your feet dry no matter the weather. There is also a non-waterproof hiking shoe version available.

Outline GTX trail runner features “Quick Laces” – a single pull system that works like a charm when it comes to the lacing system. Although not that important, one thing we particularly liked about these shoes is their sleek design – they’re far more eye-catching than most other hiking footwear out there. Read the full review.


  • Thoughtful, lightweight construction
  • Nimble but grippy
  • An appealing design


  • Not for covering severe ground

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3. La Sportiva Wildcat

La Sportiva Wildcat


  • Weight: 1.56 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 3

A favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, La Sportiva, is undoubtedly one of the most beloved manufacturers of hiking boots and shoes. Their Wildcat shoes come with a sort of crossover appeal – they’re great as a hiking or trail runner shoe.

Blurring the line between the lightweight hiking shoes and trail runners, Wildcat successfully grips most surfaces with ease. It’s a capable companion in normal conditions but isn’t that great when things turn wet – those in need of waterproof hiking shoes will have to look elsewhere.

On the other hand, La Sportiva Wildcat is very generous when it comes to cushioning and support – it will keep your feet comfortable and isolated from sharp rocks. Another great thing about these shoes is the mesh upper, which will keep your feet cool during summer hikes.

As a decent trail runner and a solid hiking shoe, La Sportiva Wildcat is a worthwhile investment. While not the best choice for those who often hike in wet conditions, these shoes are an excellent option for day hikes during hot summer months.


  • Great as a trail running shoe and light hiking
  • Mesh upper keeps the feet cool
  • Lightweight but stable


  • Not for wet conditions & surfaces

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4. Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX

Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX


  • Weight: 1.37 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 4

Most of the trail runners and hike boots made by Vasque feature a more traditional design, with elements such as the leather upper and stiff construction. This model, however, is an entirely different story – Breeze LT Low GTX is a pair of feather-light trail running shoes with a modern design.

Besides the low weight of just 1.37 pounds, Breeze LT Low GTX flexes quite a lot underfoot. In terms of performance, the model comes with an energetic, comfortable midsole and Vibram Megagrip rubber.

When it comes to downsides, it seems like the model’s trimmed-down trail runner construction could impact its long-term durability. While it does come with a Gore-Tex lining (a synthetic rainproof hiking shoe fabric), the mesh upper of Vasque Breeze is surprisingly thin. In addition, the mix of light and modern materials used in this shoe’s manufacture isn’t suitable for rough and rocky terrain.

Nevertheless, Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX is still a fantastic choice for those looking for a more stylish option that won’t let them down during lighter backpacking trips.


  • Vibrant, multi-colored look
  • Great for trail running
  • Lightweight and grippy


  • Compromises in durability

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5. Keen Targhee Vent

Keen Targhee Vent


  • Weight: 1.85 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 4

There’s a good reason why so many hikers consider Keen to be one of the best manufacturers of hiking gear. Their Targhee Vent shoe is an excellent example of how to modernize a classic design, though I find them a bit of a burly hiking shoe, at the same time my other half loves them.

Namely, this particular shoe is an update of Keen’s older Targhee Vent model. While not groundbreaking, the new changes turn this hiking shoe into a genuinely worthwhile investment. Most importantly, Keen decided to trim down the extremely wide footbed of the previous iteration – the result is a hiking shoe that’s a lot less sloppy over rough terrain.

Other features we liked are the well-cushioned interior, reasonable weight, as well as durable leather construction. Besides the ample ankle support, Keen Targhee Vent also offers excellent traction and plenty of support.

These and other perks turn the model into a great casual hiking shoe – it’s a solid choice for those who don’t hit the trail too often. Experienced hikers will have to look for tougher hiking boots, however. We also have a review of Salomon or Keen, and here is a review of Teva and Keen sandals.


  • Modernized classic Targhee design
  • Well-cushioned interior with a good fit
  • Great for shorter backpacking trips


  • The lacing system is somewhat flimsy

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6. Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

Speedgoat hiking shoes


  • Weight: 1.35 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 6

Behind this peculiar name hides a pair of genuinely stylish trail running shoes. Unlike the trail runners from Hoka’s older lines, the shoes from the Speedgoat range are different animals – they’re more than capable of handling rougher terrains.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 comes with a phenomenal Vibram outsole that provides a good grip no matter the conditions. Moreover, it’s a shoe with good ankle support (there are special reinforcements around the ankle) and one with an upper that’s both breathable and tear-resistant.

As we expected, this shoe’s midsole is substantial and provides ample protection from rocks during hiking and trail running. While not your best choice for hauling a heavy pack up the hills, Speedgoat 4 is suitable for ultralight backpacking and short day hikes.

Overall, Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 delivers when it comes to both hiking and running and is one of the most well-designed trail running shoes on the market. However, it certainly isn’t the most well-rounded option out there and can’t be compared to hiking boots in terms of durability and performance.


  • Colorful, eye-catching design
  • Stable and durable as a trail running shoe
  • Substantial, protective midsole


  • Not waterproof (Gore Tex version available)

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7. Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX

Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX


  • Weight: 1.53 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 7

Who doesn’t know about Adidas? Founded almost a century ago, this German company is one of the world’s most renowned sportswear manufacturers. But, as it turns out, Adidas has a lot to offer when it comes to waterproof hiking shoes, too, and Terrex Swift R2 GTX is a great example.

Although somewhat stiff and rigid, these waterproof hiking shoes don’t loosen up or create hot spots while still fitting snugly around the wearer’s foot. In our opinion, Terrex Swift wears like a walking boot but with lower weight and a lower ankle. This turns it into an excellent choice for people looking for flexible trail runners that offer ample protection.

At only 1.53 pounds, these are lightweight hiking shoes that give great support, in fact, many use them as a trail running shoe. On the other hand, Terrex Swift R2 comes with durable, well-spaced, and deep lugs when it comes to traction. The tread pattern resembles the one found on car tires, which directly results from Adidas’ partnership with Continental. Terrex Swift R2 is a grippy hiking shoe – there’s no doubt about that.

As expected, the model also delivers in protection, stability, and ankle support departments. In addition, waterproofing is ensured by the presence of a Gore-Tex liner, allowing you to use these shoes in both wet and dry conditions.


  • A lightweight hiking shoe with excellent traction
  • Outstanding protection from the trail
  • Very stable for low-cut shoes


  • A stiffer, more rigid feel

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8. Oboz Sawtooth II Low

Oboz Sawtooth II Low


  • Weight: 1.95 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 3

Hiking shoes made by Oboz are stable and protective for a good reason – the manufacturer is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. Updated last year, the company’s Sawtooth II Low undoubtedly deserves its place among the best walking shoes available on the market.

They are also offered in a mid-height boot style; Sawtooth II Low sports a very durable build. The proprietary heel counter of this shoe provides the wearer with steadiness over uneven terrain and holds its shape well. It’s a great choice for folks who want their boot to provide above-the-average support and stiffness.

Other great things about Sawtooth II Low include a wide toe box and a specially sculpted O Fit insole that provides ample heel and arch support. In addition, the model includes an upper with moisture-wicking properties.

Unfortunately, Oboz Sawtooth II Low hiking shoes are not waterproof, although a waterproof variant is available. Furthermore, this shoe runs surprisingly warm – you may experience overheating issues during long distance trips. As such, it’s much more suitable for shorter day hikes.


  • Sturdy, durable design
  • Moisture-wicking upper
  • Wide toe box


  • It runs warm – not for hot weather backpacking

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9. Keen Targhee III Low

Keen Targhee III Low


  • Weight: 2.35 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 6

Next up is yet another offering from Keen – Targhee III Low. It’s the latest product in its Targhee range and a successful update of the previous iteration, Targhee II.

Just as we expected, Keen Targhee III provides a comfortable fit straight out of the box. However, unlike its predecessor, this shoe uses softer, higher quality leather. The result of this is a shoe that’s much more flexible and allows one to walk for miles without feeling any discomfort.

However, while these are good lightweight hiking shoes the ESS shank provides sufficient support, but Targhee III isn’t as stable as its predecessor. Nevertheless, it features a well-designed lacing system and comes with an additional strap that provides a snug fit around the wearer’s ankle. Unfortunately, the traction is average at best – Keen Targhee III is not the best outdoor shoes for those who often venture far off the trail.

In our opinion, the best thing about this hiking shoe is the spaciousness it offers. So if you’re a wide-footed person, look no further – Keen Targhee III is your best choice.


  • A great daily driver for local day hikes
  • The best option for wide-footed individuals
  • Soft, flexible leather for better comfort


  • Average traction


10. Danner Trail 2650

Danner trail 2650


  • Weight: 1.5 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 5

Best-known for their range of work boots, Danner has decided to step into the market of hiking boots as well. Their Trail 2650 hiking shoes are surprisingly capable and provide excellent all-around performance. They are, in fact, among the most versatile hiking shoes in our roundup.

One of the first things to notice about this shoe is that it uses leather around the upper, unlike many other competitors that utilize mesh and nylon. While it tends to stretch, leather brings the much-needed boost in comfort. The Danner Trail 2650 shoes are very comfortable – we have no complaints about their cushioning.

The version we’re reviewing here is not waterproof, but the company also makes a Gore-Tex version that allows waterproof hiking. This non-waterproof variant weighs only 1 pound and 8 ounces and, as such, is impressively light and nimble while still offering protection and traction of a beefier boot.

Is Danner Trail 2650 the right hiking boot for your needs? If you want to move fast and light but still want decent stability and protection on rocky terrain, these hiking boots are a great choice.


  • A comfortable, well-rounded hiking shoe
  • Lightweight shoe without sacrificing traction or protection
  • The eye-catching design of a regular running shoe


  • Not waterproof (Gore Tex variant available)

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11. Salomon X Raise GTX

Salomon X Raise GTX shoes


  • Weight: 1.47 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 3

Salomon, one of the most renowned manufacturers of hiking footwear, has released their X Raise GTX hiking shoes for 2020. This boot’s flexible, well-cushioned, and trimmed-down design is intended to allow fast and light backpacking and hiking trips.

As a hiking shoe, Salomon X Raise GTX is built to last – it does a decent job of protecting one’s feet. However, these shoes are also highly comfortable. The moment you slip them on, it becomes clear that comfort was Salomon’s top priority, with the interior being plush, soft, and well-cushioned.

The flexible build of Salomon X Raise GTX resembles trail runners in many ways. The shoes never feel overly cumbersome or stiff. This comes with a downside, though – they’re not the greatest hiking shoes for hauling heavy packs over rocky terrain.

However, as the name suggests, the model comes with a Gore-Tex lining and is therefore waterproof (the non-waterproof X Raise is also available). However, the traction is quite disappointing in moist conditions – the shoes are prone to slipping on wet rocks.


  • Incredibly comfortable hiking shoes
  • Lightweight and flexible design
  • Good value for the money


  • Traction falls short in wet conditions

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12. La Sportiva TX4

LA Sportiva hiking shoes


  • Weight: 1.62 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 1

Over the past few years, La Sportiva became a favorite brand of many outdoorsmen. Their trekking gear includes some of the best hiking shoes on the market, with TX4 hiking shoes being a fine example of the company’s expert craftsmanship. Combining excellent performance on both rock and trail, good ankle support, as well as breathability, it’s a boot you won’t regret purchasing.

Hitting the trail while wearing La Sportiva TX4 is a fantastic experience. Although not waterproof (no Gore Tex lining), the shoes provide an impressive combination of traction, protection, and support on the trail. Featuring a Vibram Megagrip Traverse rubber sole, the model provides security and stability over all kinds of terrain.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast who wants his hiking boot to be durable, you’re bound to fall in love with TX4. Besides the sturdy Vibram sole, this shoe boasts a generously sized wraparound rand and a thick leather upper.

While not the ultimate hiking shoe out there, La Sportiva TX4 is a versatile sneaker that won’t let you down during your outdoor adventures.


  • Works well for both hiking and climbing
  • Vibram Megagrip Traverse rubber sole
  • Durable and long-lasting


  • Not fully waterproof – won’t keep your feet dry


13. Altra Lone Peak 4.5

Altra lone peak shoes


  • Weight: 1.31 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 5

Altra is well-known as a running-centric brand – their lightweight, heavily cushioned shoes are very popular with ultralight backpackers. The company’s Lone Peak 4.5 men’s shoes continue the same tradition and are a great option for minimalists and thru-hikers.

An update of an older iteration, Lone Peak 4.5, comes with a simplified lacing system and an upgraded midsole. However, the formula remains essentially the same – this is still a super-light option that looks and feels like your regular running shoe.

In use, Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is a solid performer as a shoe that provides decent traction and stability. While not as tough as hiking boots (nor a wet weather hiking shoe, for that matter – it won’t keep your feet dry), it is decently tough, and its thick cushioning offers some protection against sharp rocks.

All in all, Lone Peak 4.5 is one of Altra’s better offerings and a great choice for ultralight hikers. For rocky terrain and steep climbs, however, you’re better off with regular hiking boots.


  • Super light
  • Heavily cushioned and very comfortable
  • Provides solid traction and stability


  • Not suitable for rugged terrain


14. Merrell Moab 3

Merrell moab trekking shoes



  • Weight: 1.93 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 12

Merell’s original Moab shoes were held in high regard by hiking beginners and professional hikers alike. The all-new Merrell Moab 2 Vent hiking shoes aim to carry on that tradition. Coming at a genuinely reasonable price, Merrell Moab 2 offers quite a lot for the money.

Considered to be the best hiking shoes in this price range, these suede-style sneakers are comfortable right out of the box. The footbed of this shoe offers ample support, while the extra padding provides solid underfoot protection on the trail. However, remember that this isn’t a hiking boot and is more suitable for day hiking than serious outdoor adventures.

Nevertheless, Merrell Moab 2 Vent offers decent traction thanks to its trusty outsole with an attractive tread design. So while they don’t offer the best hiking experience, they’re a pretty good match for moderate-difficulty day hikers. Thanks to its mesh sections along the sides and top, Merrell Moab 2 Vent hiking shoe is also very breathable.

An important thing to mention here is that there’s also a waterproof hiking shoe variant of Merrell Moab 2 that costs $25 more. if you want to read more about Merrell shoes, check out our Merrell vs Oboz comparison as well.


  • A genuinely affordable hiking shoe
  • Excellent comfort and support
  • Very breathable – suitable for warm weather hiking


  • Too flexible for heavy loads

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15. Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX

Dragontrail hiking shoes


  • Weight: 2.78 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 2

Next up is something completely different from Merrell Moab 2 – a hiking shoe that could easily be mistaken for a low-top mountaineering boot. Extremely durable, stable, and supportive, Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX undoubtedly deserves its spot in our roundup of hiking shoes.

As we already mentioned, one of the most significant advantages of Dragontail MNT GTX is its durability. Resembling hiking boots in construction, this hiking shoe uses thick, full-grain leather that easily handles wear and tear. When properly cared for, Dragontails can last for years.

Traction is yet another field in which this shoe/boot excels. The outsoles feature thick lugs that won’t let you down in both wet and dry weather. And, as the name suggests, this boot sports a Gore Tex membrane that does a great job at repelling water.

A fantastic off-trail companion, Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment. As an actual mixture between a boot and a hiking shoe, it’s one of the unique offerings on the market.


  • Extremely durable hiking shoe/boot
  • Excellent traction and support
  • Water-repellent construction


  • Heavy


16. Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX

Aerios FL shoes


  • Weight: 1.64 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 5

Compared to Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX in terms of weight, these shoes are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Nevertheless, hikers who need light gear for faster transport are bound to love the Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX – they’re a great choice if you want to shave weight and move quickly on the trail.

The first thing to notice about this hiking shoe is its impeccable design. Available in five different colors, it can be used in town and on the trail alike. Despite their minimalistic design and low weight, these trail runners are made out of very durable fabric.

In addition, Aerios FL trail runner comes with a Gore-Tex membrane that prevents water from getting through the shoe to your foot. In terms of support, the model uses a compressed EVA midsole and a TPU shank. This shoe is supportive and quite helpful with torsional stability, although it can’t be compared to hiking boots when it comes to these departments.

For some, lightweight hiking shoes are the best for hiking. If you count yourself among these individuals, Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX is a fantastic choice – it’s an ultralight hiking shoe that successfully combines support, stability, and water resistance into one great package.


  • Minimalistic, superlight
  • Provide support and stability
  • Water-repelling Gore Tex membrane


  • For trail use only

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17. Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX

Salomon X ultra 3 shoes


  • Weight: 1.93 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 9

Are you into aggressive hiking? Do you often spend days traversing rough terrain? If so, Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX may be the best waterproof hiking shoes for your needs. Offering excellent support, traction, and comfort, it’s a shoe worth spending money on.

As expected, Salomon X Ultra 3 provides a snug fit and doesn’t take much time to break-in. The model’s toe cap is made out of thick rubber, while its High Traction Contagrip outsole excels when it comes to traction. In addition, Salomon X Ultra 3 comes with a Gore Tex membrane – out of all the products we tested, X Ultra 3 is a shoe with the best waterproofing.

Another great thing about this shoe is that it provides great ankle support and lateral stability. While not as thick as a mountaineering boot, Salomon X Ultra 3 also offers ample protection on and off the trail at any speed. To put it simply, it’s an all-around, versatile shoe that’s popular for a good reason.

As such, X Ultra 3 is one of the most comfortable hiking shoes on the market and a fantastic choice for hiking enthusiasts who like to pick up the pace in all kinds of terrain.


  • Versatile – performs well on all kinds of terrain
  • Superb comfort, support, and traction
  • Water-resisting Gore Tex membrane


  • Not the best lacing system

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18. The North Face Ultra 109 WP

North Face Ultra 109 shoes


  • Weight: 2.04 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 2

Those who search for the best hiking boots and shoes often look for versatility. They want their hiking boot to be a great all-around product that offers support, comfort, traction, and protection on the trail. The North Face Ultra 109 WP shoe is one of such products – it’s an all-purpose model like no other.

One of the best hiking shoes money can buy, Ultra 109 WP feels like it’s already been broken in – the shoe is ready to hit the trail right out of the box. Its toe cap is sufficiently wide, while the high-quality insole provides comfort inside and outside the city.

In terms of support, Ultra 109 WP sports an EVA midsole and an ESS shank, which work together to promote stable and supportive movement across rough terrain. While you can’t expect the long-term durability of a regular hiking boot, this shoe is well-built and should last you for years.

Finally, Ultra 109 WP comes at a genuinely reasonable price, rivaling Merrell Moab 2 in that regard. So if you’re looking for an affordable all-around shoe, get this one – you won’t regret your decision.


  • Very affordable and versatile
  • Offers boot-like support and stability
  • Waterproof (Hydroseal / Dryvent)


  • Questionable long-term durability

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19. Vasque Juxt

Vasque Juxt


  • Weight: 1.90 lb
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors available: 4

Most hikers don’t need the newest, most expensive gear. When it comes to footwear, they’re looking for an option that offers a good value for the money – an inexpensive shoe or boot that won’t let them down on the trail. If you’re on a tight budget but would still like to get a shoe with good traction and support, Vasque Juxt may be your best choice.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way – Vasque Juxt isn’t as durable as your regular hiking boot, and it’s not a shoe you want to use in wet weather. It is, however, extremely comfortable, especially once we consider its price. Whatever size you decide to go with, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the plush interior of this affordable shoe.

The model also provides ample support on rough trails and truly shines in the traction department. You’ll find Vasque Juxt hiking shoes to be a great companion on dry terrain – there’s a lot to like about its proprietary soles.

All in all, the Vasque Juxt is a fantastic option for those on a budget – it’s a shoe whose performance matches that of the pricier models.


  • Inexpensive but capable
  • Comfortable right out of the box
  • Excellent dry traction


  • No water-repelling liner

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20. La Sportiva Spire GTX

La Sportiva gtx shoes


  • Weight: 2.06 lb
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors available: 1

There’s a lot to like about La Sportiva Spire GTX. Feature-packed like no other model in our roundup, this shoe undoubtedly deserves the top spot. As one of the most desirable hiking shoes on the market, it excels in every category – durability, water resistance, traction, support, comfort, and versatility.

Like every other shoe made by La Sportiva, Spire GTX is built with comfort in mind. Thanks to its molded EVA sole, the model offers the same feeling you get while wearing trail runners. You’ll also find it to be very breathable due to special channels integrated into its midsole and footbed.

In addition, your feet will never get wet while wearing these shoes – they come equipped with a Gore Tex waterproof membrane. In terms of traction, however, Spire GTX is a shoe like no other. It is exceptionally grippy, thanks to its deep, widely spaced lugs. In addition, the outer shell of this shoe is exceptionally abrasion-resistant – you won’t have to worry about durability.

These and other features are precisely why La Sportiva Spire GTX is a top-of-the-line hiking shoe that easily beats its competition. So if you have the money, get a pair of these shoes for yourself – they’re a definition of a worthwhile investment.


  • The best option for long-distance fast packers
  • Impressive all-around performance
  • Excellent traction, comfort, and waterproofing


  • Expensive

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Hiking Shoes vs Trail Runners vs Sneakers

In four words – support, grip, traction, comfort.

There is an argument that trail runners are as good as hiking shoes. There is a convergence between hiking shoes and trail runners. In dry weather with little chance of rocks or in any way damaging my toes, I believe that the lightweight runners are a good choice. For long multiday hikes of more than a few days, I prefer the support and soles in hiking shoe construction.

Sneakers or trail runners are great for an easy day in relatively flat tracks. However, sneakers are not built to support your foot, ankle, and lower leg when climbing up or descending steep trails. This will result in stiffer legs and sore ankles at the end of the day. In addition, sneakers are not built to protect your toes during descents. The last issue I have with sneakers is that the sole is not good enough for the grip needed away from artificial surfaces, and at the same time, you will very quickly start to feel all the tiny stones through the sole as you hike along beautiful tracks.

Best Hiking Shoes Buying Guide

These are the most important factors to keep in mind when shopping for hiking shoes:


Comfort is undoubtedly one of the most important considerations. If the shoe is painful, you’re bound to have an unhappy time during your backpacking trip – it’s as simple as that. So instead, aim for a model with a plush interior and a wide toe box – our top pick, La Sportiva Spire GTX, is an excellent choice in that regard.

Many of the considerations we mention will seem like common sense, yet it is surprising how often people pay too little attention to comfort and fit. For example, you will be wearing your hiking shoes for long periods at a time, so you need the fit to be perfect, and you want to feel comfortable. Too large, and your feet will move around, which is bad for your balance and induces blisters, and too tight, and you will find things very uncomfortable. Take your time to get the fit right, and choose carefully.

Shoe Sizing

Be careful with choosing the right size of shoe; it might be prudent to have your feet checked for size, as many people routinely think they are one size when in fact, they are not!


One of the most significant benefits of hiking shoes over boots is that they’re a lot lighter. Still, not everyone hikes in the same way – some people want their shoes to be as ultralight as possible. If you’re one of them, Altra Lone Peak 4.5 lightweight shoes are a great choice, as they weigh mere 1.31 pounds.

You need to be comfortable not just in the fit of your lightweight hiking shoes but also in the weight. All shoes carry some added weight, but you don’t want to be burdened by needlessly heavy footwear. In addition, you want to be able to wear your shoes for an extended period without them encumbering you. Check different pairs side by side as a weight comparison, or check manufacturer specifications for details.

Support and Stability

These parameters are equally important. How much support and stability a particular shoe can provide depends on several factors, such as the shape and thickness of its midsole, insole, and outsole. Models such as Merrell Moab 2 Vent, Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX, and Salomon X Ultra 3 are great in this department.

As long as you buy good fitting, lightweight hiking shoes, you will not notice the areas where your foot and ankle are being supported. (Shoes should be snug and not tight.) Usually, the best way to understand the support hiking shoes give you is to put them on after wearing sneakers for a few hours. You will then feel support at the end of your Achilles tendon and around under your ankle and down the side of your foot. Also, assuming your shoe fits well, you will notice that your foot does not slide back and forward at any time – your foot stays in place whether you are going up or down a hill (you might get a little slippage on very steep downhills).


Dry feet provide more warmth and comfort than wet ones. Shoes with a Gore-Tex (GTX) barrier can be absolute lifesavers when you’re hiking in rain or snow. You’ll find an abundance of GTX hiking shoes in our roundup, with Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX being a standout.

Waterproofing your hiking shoes is a critical issue and one that you should not overlook. Even in the glorious environs of Northern Spain, where you will be walking the Camino de Santiago, you will encounter rain and wet ground, so you need your shoes to be waterproof. Of course, all of those on the list are designed to be so, but some have extra precautions such as specially designed tongues, so check them carefully for the best designs.


Traction is an essential factor. Unlike shoes with shallow lugs, which perform best on hard-packed trails, footwear with deep lugs provides excellent footing in loose dirt and mud. See Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX, Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX, and Vasque Juxt hiking shoes for hiking shoes with exceptional traction.

Shoe Soles

The soles of your walking shoes are the part that will do most of the hard work. Many people have their own choice of material for soles – you will find various options, including rubber, which is a common choice in many walking soles, and others such as Vibram, which is a rubber sole designed by a company in Italy with plenty of expertise in the area, and a strong reputation.


Just like with all of your other hiking gear, you’ll want your shoes to be durable. Your footwear will suffer a lot more wear and tear than anything else you’re wearing. For heavy-duty options, check out our reviews of La Sportiva TX4 and Oboz Sawtooth II Low hiking shoes.

Another point that ties in with all the above: you not only want your shoes to be comfortable, sensibly priced, and waterproof, but you want them to last a reasonable amount of time. These shoes will come in for some rugged use, so check the materials they are made with and read the customer reviews for added information.


Not all hiking shoes are created equal – some are budget-oriented, and some come packed with several convenient features. For example, if you’re looking to save money, you won’t go wrong with The North Face Ultra 109 WP, an affordable pair of all-around shoes. If you want the best of the best, however, nothing beats the combination of comfort, traction, and durability offered by La Sportiva Spire GTX.


It isn’t easy to test shoes comprehensively, but we recommend you check them out before deciding. You can also – as above – use customer testimony given in online reviews, as this will highlight problems in the main.


Last but not least, we have to mention breathability. You need your shoes to provide adequate breathability for your feet, as they will be enclosed for a long time. The shoes on our list have all been designed with this in mind, so check for added features that may help.

That’s our list of considerations to keep in mind when buying walking shoes, so let’s take a look at the details of the top 10.


Whether you’re only occasionally hitting local trails or you’re an avid hiker who often heads out on epic outdoor adventures, you want your feet to be comfortable and protected from rough terrain. And for that, you need a pair of quality hiking shoes.

Hopefully, our roundup of the market’s most popular options will help you find the proper footwear for your needs. Keep in mind that your shoes take more punishment than all of your other hiking gear combined – choose wisely!

And remember that choosing the right pair of shoes is not enough. You also need the right socks. Check out my Merino Wool vs Coolmax comparison to learn more about different hiking sock fabrics.

2 thoughts on “Best Hiking Shoes for the Camino”

  1. Debi Lynne Baker

    Glad to see Hoka’s Speedgoat on the list. These 69 year old feet loved them for the Portuguese Camino and Fatima on Oct 2921. Use Zimberland leathers on Frances in 1998 but too heavy and I got blisters. Because Caminos were very low on Pilgrams, I only meet 12 Americans and 4 had Speedgoat! I have the mid tops and going to buy another one as soon as I can find a pair.

  2. Thanks! I went The Camino Frances 760 km with “Danner Mountain 600″ without blisters. They are very comfortable and light. Only on the last day did they soak for several hours in the heavy rain. But they withstood 760 km ;).
    Everyday I go hiking with” ECCO Women’s Xpedition III Gore-Tex Hiking” and I feel like in slippers.

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