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Top 10 Shoes for Backpacking You Should Try Out

When planning for a backpacking trip, among the essential gear choices you’ll make is footwear. Strained muscles, blisters, and scrunched toes could ruin your backcountry journey easily. Selecting shoes for backpacking is an aspect where research and expertise go a long way.

It’s crucial to choose footwear that fits properly and is suitable for the conditions and terrain in which you intend to hike, irrespective of your preferences. The conditions may include difficult terrain, temperature, and the weight load you intend to carry. There are plenty of hiking boots and shoes available in large sizes that may be useful if you have bigger feet. Bigger sizes may be helpful to those whose feet swell when they take long backpacking trips or hikes. Whenever it comes to the pairs of shoes you should carry when backpacking, there’s no wrong or right answer. There are, however, some factors you may have to consider that might guide you in making your decision, including quality, comfort, and activity level. Investing in good quality shoes reduces the pairs of shoes you carry on your backpacking trip. Below are the best shoes for backpacking:

B07M6W5JT2 - La Sportiva Men's Spire GTX Hiking Shoe
LaSportiva Spire GTX – Men’s
La Sportiva Spire GTX Women's Hiking Shoe - Carbon/Purple
LaSportiva Spire GTX – Women’s
  1. La Sportiva Spire GTX 

The Spire shoes are very stable, even in high temperatures. Spire GTX are among the best shoes for backpacking through Europe. They have a perfect membrane that allows the feet to move through water more efficiently than conventional fabrics. They are comfortable, and you feel relaxed when hiking with loads of up to about 30 pounds. If you plan to carry more weight on your back or you plan to hike in steep terrain, you can chose  the shoes that have a little more support and structure. When you don’t have a heavy load and need a quality waterproof lining, this shoe is the best choice. It costs about $190.00.

Pros 

  • All-inclusive performance
  • Excellent waterproofness
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Have an average durability

B0858MDL6V - Vasque Men's Juxt Hiking Shoe
Vasque Juxt

2. Vasque Juxt

These affordable shoes are supportive, comfortable, and highly recommended for backpacking in dry settings such as the desert. Their outer soles are durable and provide significant momentum on bare rock. The upper leather is longer-lasting than most synthetic materials while retaining an average lighter weight. They are suitable shoes for backpacking Europe in summer. These shoes are great on an all-day hike in hot weather  – like hiking in the desert, when a waterproof membrane is not needed.   Cost of $110.00.

Pros

  • High breathability and lightweight
  • Perfect for dry climates
  • Friendly price for a great shoe

Cons

  • Not suitable for wet environments
  • Stitching

B07VN7FK76 - The North Face Men's Ultra 109 WP
The North Face Ultra 109 WP

3. The North Face Ultra 109 WP

These hiking shoes offer general performance and are friendly to the wallet. What distinguishes them as a podium finisher is the breathable and waterproof membrane. If you’re looking for budget-driven shoes that are comfortable and able to deal with whatever excursions you may think about, these are the shoes to go for. The Ultra 109 shoes are excellent at everything from day hikes to trail runs and even ultralight backpacking trips. They are commonly chosen for backpacking Thailand. Cost of $ 119.00

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable
  • High breathability and waterproof membrane

Con

  • Less stability

B073K2VC5F - Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes
Solomon X Ultra 3 GTX

4. Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX are the perfect backpacking shoes to use while going on and off the trail or on rough terrain. The quick lacing system makes the shoe cosy up nicely with simplicity and wraps tightly around the foot, making these shoes very successful in unstable environments. The shoes are an excellent choice for backpacking Europe in winter. Their stability is outstanding in dry and wet conditions, and a supportive midsole adds some strength to the shoe, enabling them to perform well in loose terrain. They are among the most versatile backpacking shoes available.  Cost of $149.00.

Pros

  • Perfect all-around shoe
  • Waterproof
  • Serves well on all trails

Con

Not everyone likes the unique lacing system


B07T1N465Z - HOKA ONE ONE Women's TOA Gore-Tex Waterproof Boots
Hoka One One Toa Gore-Tex

5. Hoka One One Toa Gore-Tex

Hoka One One Toa Gore-Tex shoes are among the top-rated backpacking shoes. They are incredibly well-cushioned and also have a soft, sturdy upper mesh, which makes them easy to put on.  Some supportive and conventional hiking shoes may be familiar to you.  However, this type is on a whole different level. They have a waterproof and breathable liner that efficiently protects your feet from water while allowing them to breathe. These shoes are among the most supportive models that use such a membrane, even in hot desert climates. The Toa GTX sole shoes are comprehensive and provide a lot of friction in the surface area, meaning they are well designed for use on the trail. They are the perfect remedy for the pain associated with long days on rough surfaces. Cost of $170.00.

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Supportive

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Modest durability

B07GH9J5H1 - Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX - Men's
Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX – Men’s

6. Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX (Men’s) (Women’s)

The Aerios FL shoes offer excellent performance in the backpacking shoe category, given their small weight. They are a perfect choice of footwear for backpacking India. They can hike over slabs of rough granite, some snow, and on loose soil. These shoes serve very well with neither sweaty feet nor blisters and are fitted with high-quality, waterproof Gore-Tex lining. They are a good selection for backpacking South America, especially during summer and are perfect for lightweight adventures. Pricing starts at $127.50.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Dependable waterproofing
  • Relatively comfortable on the trail

Cons

  • Questionable durability
  • Not suitable for off-trail adventures

B00K1BTY78 - Garmont Men's Dragontail MNT GTX Approach Outdoor Hiking Shoes
Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX

7. Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX

These heavy-duty backpacking shoes are designed on a rigid base. They are among the most durable on this list, as they’re made from leather, and are a perfect deal from the respected Italian boot maker. Also, these are heavy shoes and rated as the heaviest in this review. When hiking on a casual day, their weight feels unnecessary, although they are easier to use when you need the extra mountain strength and stability the shoe offers. They are also among the best shoes for backpacking in Europeduring winter. Cost of $139.97.

Pros

  • High durability
  • Offers great stability

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Expensive

B07VN9VQR1 - Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

8. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

The lightweight, convenient fit and an appealing price point have made the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator shoes popular over the years. A few years ago, Merrell upgraded the Moab with a more robust upper and more breathability in the footbed’s bottom, although the formula remains essentially the same. The Moab 2 shoes are an excellent choice for day-hikers who stick to trails. Cost of around $205.00.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Comfortable

Con

  • Not suitable for rough terrain

B07MBGWDCX - Danner Men's Trail 2650 3" Hiking Shoe
Danner Trail 2650 (Men’s)

9. Danner Trail 2650 (Men’s) (Women’s)

These shoes are tough and grippy for climbing or walking over steep and rocky terrain for long trips. The outsole of Vibram and smooth, sticky rubber underneath the toe makes them a perfect choice for rock scrambling and edging. Their versatility is very impressive. With their lightweight and relatively flexible design, they definitely help you move fast on the trail. You can use them daily due to the comfortable and attractive design. Cost of  $160.00.

Pros

  • Grippy
  • Comfortable
  • Great Design

Cons

  • Not waterproof

B07K2K2PQ6 - Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoe - Men's
Oboz Sawtooth II Low (Men’s)

10. Oboz Sawtooth II Low (Men’s) (Women’s)

Features a robust design that’s the right choice for those considering upgrading their support and stiffness. The exclusive heel counter keeps them in good shape and provides a smooth feel over rough terrain. Additionally, you get a supportive all-around fit with enough space in the toe box and stable heel and arch support. However, they are not suitable for backpacking in hot or warm environments. They are an appropriate choice for backpacking Central America during the summer.  Cost range of $110.00 ~$204.46

Pros

  • Stable
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not suitable for hiking in hot environments

In summary,  there are a lot of choices available, and people have a broad range of preferences. That’s the reason why it’s highly advisable, when making your first selection to research all of the different choices, and that way you can find out your tastes and preferences. The best tips to consider while selecting your backpacking shoes are: be sure the shoes fit you well and have efficient breathability to avoid sweating. Sweat accumulation inside backpacking shoes and socks can result in blisters. Besides, if your socks stick on the skin, that can lead to friction and friction burn, which is how formation blisters begin. Breathability is critical to avoiding the build-up of sweat, which is why so many backpackers prefer mesh hiking shoes, as the shoe dries while you’re wearing it. Always invest in quality shoes that have excellent performance in the environment where you plan to go backpacking.

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