Hiking Shoes

This article is a deep dive into hiking and trail running shoes.  For the complete article see our Training Shoes Page.

Hiking Boots & Shoes

As is true with other specific types of training; a basic athletic or cross training shoe, will work for most hiking situations.  They however are likely to provide less than optimal results and also wear faster as they are not designed for the rugged nature of some hiking trails.

The type of hiking can also vary widely from a relatively flat hike through a park to hardcore mountaineering across Antarctica.  Appropriately, there are specific shoes for each type of hiking situation.

In general there are two types of hiking footwear, either a shoe or boot.  Within this designation there are three variations; low-top, mid or high top.  Each is designed for a different level of flexibility and ankle support.  Ankle support is a critical factor with hiking as the terrain is typically more jagged and ankle rollover is more common.

Along with ankle support the main features of hiking shoes or boots are a rugged sole with strong tread and durable uppers.  Many hiking shoes or boots also feature waterproof or additional weather resistance technology.  Examples of various brands of hiking footwear are as follows.

  • Columbia
  • Iowa
  • Keen
  • North Face
  • Salomon

Trail Running Shoes

Trail Running is a subset of hiking that is a mix between rough terrain hiking and running.  The goal with shoes in this category is to balance durability while still keeping weight down to allow for faster traversing.  A good example of a mid-range trail running shoe is the Salomon XA Pro.