The Best Trail Shoes for Hikers

By Heidi Green , last updated February 12, 2012

The best trail shoes for hikers provide stability, support and protection from the environment. No matter what type of weather or terrain you're challenged by, there are trail shoes that will help you enjoy your hikes to the fullest. Read on to discover where to find the best trail shoes for both men and women.

Men's Trail Shoes for Wet, Unstable Terrain
Whether you're hiking after a rain or during a snowfall, it's important to have a trail shoe that protects you from the elements. In this case, opt for a shoe like the Merrell Chameleon Waterproof Trail Shoes. Available at online at onlineshoes, these mid-rise shoes have a silhouette that's a nice cross between a tennis shoe and a boot. The Vibram sole provides superior traction, and the leather uppers are completely waterproof to keep your feet dry and warm. Even better, a secondary waterproof membrane inside of the shoe provides yet another shield against wetness, and it has antimicrobial properties to prevent odor. They come in a dark chocolate color and have logo details on the sides.
Men's Trail Shoes for Hot Summer Days
Keeping cool is a priority for hot weather hikers, and the Keen Kreek Trail Shoes can help you stay comfortable and protected as the temperature rises. Available online at Zappos, these trail shoes fit similarly to sandals, though the reinforced rubber toe provides much more protection. The uppers are made from waterproof leather and have a drawstring cord at the top for an easy, custom fit. The contoured footbed provides stability, while the cutouts over the top provide maximum breathability and comfort. For many hikers, blisters are a concern, but the wide, padded heel strap on these trail shoes won't rub or chafe. Superior traction on the sole helps keep you stable, and the antimicrobial mesh lining helps tame odors.
Women's Trail Shoes for Inclement Weather
Your hikes won't always be dry, so it's important to have a trail shoe that provides superior protection against water, snow and mud. The Ecco Macia GTX Trail Shoes are a great choice for hiking in inclement weather. Made of chocolate brown nubuck leather that's entirely waterproof, these lace-up trail shoes have a mid-rise that helps with stability. They're completely waterproof, but they're also breathable, which helps keep feet comfortable all day long. Gore-Tex lining provides durable cushioning and warmth, while the textured sole provides traction in the slipperiest of conditions. You can find them online at ShoeBuy.
Women's Trail Shoes for Warm Weather Hikes
If you're a hiker that loves tackling trails in warm and hot weather, a breathable trail shoe is key. Go for a pair like the Patagonia Women's Drifter Trail Shoes, available online at Endless. These attractive, low-profile trail shoes have mesh and leather uppers for maximum breathability. They lace-up in the front and a reinforced toe cap provides extra protection. Vibram Ecostep Trail Soles provide maximum stability, while the contoured footbed allows for a cushioned, comfortable step. Though they're breathable, the lining is waterproof, so you don't have to worry about stepping in the occasional puddle.
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