There are countless benefits of hiking, including: reduced depression, better quality of sleep, improved muscular and cardiac health, weight control, and improved respiratory efficiency. With so many health perks wrapped up in a trip through the wilds, hardcore outdoorsmen and casual explorers alike have made hiking an ever-evolving hobby across the world. According to recent studies by the Forest History Society, hiking has grown in popularity due to increased society health-consciousness and environmental concern. Hiking is also one of the most accessible past-times available to people of every level of financial and social standing. The one thing every hiker has in common, however, is the need for proper hiking footwear. The following is a complete buyers guide for the Best Hiking Shoes Boots.
Best Hiking Shoes & Boots
Table of Contents
- Best Hiking Shoes & Boots
- Hit the Trail with Great Footwear: Your Guide to The Best Hiking Shoes & Boots
- The age-old debate: hiking boots versus hiking shoes?
- Best Shoes/Boots for Hiking
- 1. Merrell Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe
- 2. Merrell All Out Terra Trail Running Shoe
- 3. La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
- 4. KEEN Targhee II Hiking Shoe
- 5. Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot
- 6. Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe
- 7. Vasque Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoe
- 8. Oboz Sawtooth Low Hiking Shoe
- 9. Hoka One One Tor Ultra HI WP Boot
- 10. Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot
Hit the Trail with Great Footwear:
Your Guide to The Best Hiking Shoes & Boots
According to Zach Davis, veteran hiker and author of Appalachian Trials, the most common foot injuries sustained by hikers include: blisters, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendonitis. In addition, many hikers experience severely damaged toenails which, in extreme cases, can fall off. According to Davis, the best strategy for dealing with hiking injuries is to identify the cause so that you can prevent future damage if possible. As far as foot injuries are concerned, most are caused by inappropriate or sub-par footwear so the only way to prevent damage is to make sure that you have the right shoes for your hike.
Because hikers are a diverse group, the choices in footwear among veteran hikers is also diverse. The most popular hiking shoes include: hiking sandals, hiking shoes, trail running shoes, and hiking boots.
While many people instantly think of boots when hiking footwear is mentioned, there are other options. Hiking sandals are open shoes that are constructed to provide the necessary protection and support for outdoor activities. According to the Glacier National Park Official Travel Guide, hiking sandals have many advantages over traditional boots, including a morale boost for backpackers relaxing around the camp after a long day on the trails.
Hiking sandals offer unparalleled breathability that can greatly increase comfort for hikers journeying through hot climates. In addition, the increased airflow of the open-sided sandals allows for the drying of sweat on the feet. Excess sweat being trapped in a closed shoe can lead to blisters and the development of foot fungus of athlete’s foot. Hiking sandals avoid this and allow maximum airflow.
Hiking sandals are the most lightweight hiking shoes
you’ll be able to find that offer support and protection from sharp rocks or debris on the ground. This makes them easy to pack and store for your hike as secondary shoes that you can use for relaxation at camp or for crossing streams during the trek. After wearing hiking sandals to cross a stream, they’ll dry quickly and will be safe for wear without blister or fungus being a concern much faster than traditional hiking boots.
When hiking, energy conservation is key
to make the most out of your experience. Hiking sandals are so light that the energy required to wear or carry them when they aren’t needed is minimal in comparison to the advantages you’ll reap in terms of their versatility.
While hiking sandals decrease your risk of developing severe blisters quickly, there is still a chance that you may develop blisters at some point, especially at the heel where the back strap secures the shoe. In addition, even closed-toe hiking sandals have the tendency to accumulate sandal debris and dust or twigs from the trail. If you have a blister already, you’ll need to make sure that none of this trail debris makes it into the wound, which could potentially slow healing or cause infection.
Even the most avid hiking sandal advocates must admit that the shoes offer less in terms of protection from bugs, snakes, or injury to the foot and ankle than more traditional footwear. The official Glacier National Park stance on hiking sandals is that there is a time and a place for them. They recommend wearing hiking sandals when traversing well-maintained trails or light-hiking in mild, relatively predictable weather. It is also recommended that you not make hiking sandals your only hiking footwear.
If you’re looking for combination of comfort and functionality, you’ll want to consider investing in some good hiking shoes. Hiking shoes differ from daily athletic shoes or sneakers in that they are constructed with reinforced materials and a thicker sole with a focus on keeping the shoe lighter than traditional hiking boots and comfortable for any hiker.
When selecting a hiking shoe, you should check to make sure that the shoe is going to be able to survive intense the wear-and-tear of hiking. Look for strong stitching, durable material, adequate arch support, waterproofing, and a strong, functional lace design.
The closed-in hiking shoe construction will provide your foot with more protection from the elements, including weather, animals, rocks, and debris.
they will allow you to conserve more energy than more traditional, heavier hiking boots.
Many avid hikers also support the use of hiking shoes for their adventures because they are generally less costly and less demanding in terms of upkeep and maintenance than a traditional hiking boot. Experts advise that before selecting a hiking shoe, you should make sure that the shoe has a proper fit, is constructed to perform like a hiking shoe and not merely look like a hiking shoe, and purchase insoles for additional support if needed.
Trail-runners are popular with long-distance hikers and people who enjoy running through the wilderness because they offer comfort, support, and protection.
The main difference between trail-runners and sneakers is the sole and tread. The sole of tread-runners wraps around the front of the shoe to offer additional protection to the toes. The aggressive tread of trail-runners provides extra grip and control when navigating harsh terrain. Trail-runners generally have stiffer midsoles to provide the foot with more support and shock absorption when running or hiking. They are also constructed to provide additional ankle support and offer more padding than other options.
Choosing trail-runners should depend on considering the terrain and conditions of the hike. Though they provide additional support and protection, many hikers find it difficult to pull them free from mud or marsh. They tend to be best for light, dry, daytime hikes or jogging over gentle trails with forgiving terrain.
Also considered light hiking shoes, approach shoes are specifically designed to excel at navigating rocky terrain or rock-climbing. Though in the past many people would only wear approach shoes as they climbed mountains, the footwear has grown in popularity in recent years with many backpackers feeling that they have more secure footing when wearing these shoes.
The added maneuverability of approach shoes is due to a stiff midsole, a lacing closure that extends down to the toe for the best possible shoe fit, and a rubber outsole that allows your foot to better grip on rocks. While these shoes are often not waterproof, fans of approach shoes praise the footwear for its durability. It should be noted, however, that because approach shoes aren’t waterproof and rely primarily on an outsole grip for stability, their advantages can be greatly compromised in inclement weather or when hiking through mud or water. They are also constructed with a shallow cuff, which has been cited as being a water-log risk.
Traditionally popular footwear for many, hiking boots are the best choice for extended hiking trips in challenging environments. They offer the most protection, but they are also the heaviest and may require the most energy to wear when climbing or carry as a primary shoe to sandals.
Hiking boots are constructed to go the distance with you. They have thick, strong soles and a lacing closure that allows for secure shoe fit. Hiking boots also provide exceptional support for the foot and ankle, encouraging healthy skeletal alignment, while being designed with cushion and padding for comfort. These are the shoes for those planning to experience a highly strenuous, intense outdoor experience.
The age-old debate: hiking boots versus hiking shoes?
The question of what hiking footwear – boots or shoes – doesn’t depend on the qualities of the shoe as much as the requirements of the hike. The decision about what shoes or boots to wear comes down to the terrain and climate / weather you will be hiking in. There is no single right answer for everyone, and you may need to experiment with shoes to determine what works best for you. When deciding what footwear is right for your experience, it may be helpful for you to compare the pros and cons of hiking shoes and hiking boots to see what meets your needs.
Hiking Shoes: Pros
– Hiking shoes are lighter than boots and will aid with mobility when hiking.
– The synthetic or mesh materials used to construct hiking shoes dry faster than boot material.
– They require a minimal break-in period, which can be beneficial if you’re on a long-distance hike that will require you to swap out pairs of shoes.
Hiking Shoes: Cons
– Hiking shoes are not ideal for harsh environments like swamps, deep snow, marsh, etc.
– They do not provide as much protection to the feet and ankles as hiking boots.
Hiking Boots: Pros
– The high cuffs of boots provide ankle support and protects you from rolling your ankle when hiking over rough or uneven terrain. In fact, a study published by the National Institute of Biotechnology Information indicated that high-top shoes are more effective in reducing the amount and rate of inversion than low-top shoes which means that, depending on the loading conditions, high-top shoes may help prevent some ankle sprains.
– Boots are better able to avoid debris accumulation.
– Hiking boots consistently perform better in extreme conditions such as deep snow, water-logged bogs, marshland, or hiking in extreme environments.
– Boots offer more stability and protection when crossing streams.
Hiking Boots: Cons
– Hiking boots are heavy, require more energy to wear or carry, and will fatigue you sooner than lighter hiking shoes.
– Leather boots or Gortex boots that get wet will take longer to dry. Even if you treat your boots with waterproof spray or the boots come with a waterproof feature, water will accumulate inside of the boots due to precipitation or perspiration. The results of prolonged soggy feet include blisters, chafing, and risk of developing a fungal infection or athlete’s foot.
– Hiking Boots are not as breathable as hiking shoes, which can make your feet more vulnerable to blisters.
– They require a longer break-in period.
– Boots are more expensive and require more maintenance.
Regardless of what kind of hiking footwear you choose – whether you settle on boots or shoes for your trip – there are several key qualities that you should look for in great hiking footwear:
Good hiking footwear is as lightweight as possible.
A good hiking shoe should be reasonably lightweight. Though hiking shoes will be lighter than boots, even a good pair of boots shouldn’t be excessively heavy because this will cause you to become tired faster. The weight of your shoes is one of the most frequently overlooked drains on energy and stamina. According to Akweli Parker , journalist and outdoor enthusiast, 1 pound of weight on the feet is comparable to 5 pounds on the back, so finding lightweight shoes is crucial!
Breathability is important for comfort and prevention.
Another key factor of perfect hiking footwear is breathability.
Because exposing the feet to prolonged moisture accumulation caused by sweat, rain, or wet terrain can lead to blisters or the development of foot fungus, having a breathable shoe that allows airflow to wick away moisture is important. Breathable shoes also increase your comfort when hiking in a warm climate. In addition to breathable shoes, many experienced hikers also recommend wearing moisture-wicking socks to combat foot sweat during strenuous hikes.
Soles are the foundation of your shoe.
Hiking footwear is constructed with either hard soles or soft soles. Soft soles are usually found on the more lightweight hiking footwear because that particular footwear is intended for less strenuous, less intense hiking over friendlier terrain. Soft sole footwear is also preferred by mountain climbers because it allows you to more easily feel your grip on rocks to maintain your balance. Hard soled shoes are built for longer hikes and offer more protection, but they’re also heavier and recommended for experienced hikers.
Whether you go with a hard sole or soft sole on your footwear, you should ensure that the sole is sturdy, not elevated, and wider than your foot. Experts recommend standing for several minutes when trying on boots to ensure that the sole is wider than your foot with your body’s pressure applied. They also recommend trying shoes on while wearing a backpack to simulate the actual hiking experience on your feet.
Good hiking footwear allows room for the toes.
Our toes naturally provide balance and support when we walk and stand, so allowing them to function well is essential for your hike. Good hiking footwear should have a spacious toe box, or area at the front of the shoe for the toes, that allows the toes to wiggle and move as needed. Having an adequately spacious toe box will increase your balance when navigating tricky trails or terrain. The toe box should also be spacious enough to accommodate swelling, which happens naturally throughout the day and is exacerbated during the prolonged walking of hiking.
Traction is essential when hiking.
Your hiking footwear should grip easily onto the surface of trails. Before selecting footwear, having an idea of what your trails have in store will help you to determine what level of traction you’ll need. Hikers on well-worn trails will need less traction than those crossing streams or climbing rocks, for example.
Good fit, good hike.
Having well-fitted hiking footwear is important because hiking is an experience that requires you to be on your feet. You’ll want to make sure that you’re starting off on the right foot with a shoe that fits well to the contours of your feet. Hiking shoes should be snug in the heel and midfoot to minimize pistoling of the heel and forward slipping on downhills.
Expert hikers offer ample advice and tips for selecting great footwear. One of the best strategies for ensuring that you’ll choose footwear with the right fit that is comfortable is to get a size bigger than your actual foot size to accommodate swelling of the feet, which is common on long hikes. Veteran hikers also suggest that you break your shoes in before going on long hikes to let your feet adapt. Different hiking shoes will require different break-in periods. For example, leather boots require weeks of regular wear before they mold to your feet and become comfortable. Finally, it’s a good idea to pack your backpack when trying on shoes so that you can see how the hiking footwear feels under the heavy loads you’ll support during hiking.
With all of the benefits of hiking and a wide world to explore, there’s no end to the amazing possibilities of embarking on a backpacking adventure! With the right footwear for your experience, you’ll be a step ahead when it comes to making the most out of your hike.
Best Shoes/Boots for Hiking
1. Merrell Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe
- Cool design and colors
- Breathable mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane upper
- Outsole with great traction to ensure you never lose your grip
- Low-profile trail runner featuring lace-up vamp and pull tab at counter
- Reasonably priced for its quality
- Nearly one third of people found the shoe did not fit as expected
- The sole is slightly thin; can feel bumps and indents through the shoe
If you’re looking for a great hiking shoe that is reasonably priced and very sleek, with a cool design, then this option won’t disappoint you! This trail running shoe by Morrell is extremely breathable, with it’s mesh material that allows sweat and odors to evaporate and escape from the shoe, and also has a durable thermoplastic polyurethane upper portion of the shoe to ensure it will last a long time. Another great thing is that the outsole has incredible traction that will help you stay on your feet in any terrain and weather conditions. The shoe is also super convenient when putting it on with its pull tab laces that easily tie your shoes for you. The only real drawback is that almost 33% found that the shoe did not fit as expected when they tried it on, however if you can find a pair that fits your feet correctly this shoe will be your go-to, low-profile trail runner shoe.
2. Merrell All Out Terra Trail Running Shoe
- Incredibly unique design with a unique jagged edge texture
- Available in a variety of colors (blue, black, red)
- Nearly three quarters of the people who bought the shoe claimed it fits as expected
- Mesh and TPU upper portion of shoe
- Reflective details for increased visibility in low light
- Features a Trail Protect outsole for a great grip
- Can be potentially expensive, costing up to $130
- Peculiar design; either you will love it or hate it
Immediately at first glance, this design will capture you! This is definitely a trail running shoe that is one of a kind. This hiking shoe by Merrell, called “All Out Terra” features a design that is covered in a silicone jagged edge cover that is incredibly unique. It’s just one of those things where you will love or hate it. However, even if you hate it, there’s no denying that you will love the fit of this shoe. Neary 75% of the people who purchased the shoe found that it fit as anticipated when they put it on in person. The mesh and TPU upper portion of the shoe is awesome in preventing stinky shoes and from sweat building up, as it’s incredibly breathable. The shoe is available in a handful of different colors and is very dimensional; you will be sure to find a color that works for you and the look you want to achieve while hiking. On top of the color of the shoe, the reflective details on the exterior of the shoe is another huge plus, so people will be able to see you in low light. The trail protect outsole is great at walking or hiking on just about any surface. Try this shoe on for your next hike!
3. La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
- Very breathable shoe with a mesh upper portion; also very waterproof
- Gore-Tex technology that keeps water from leaking inside the shoe
- Stable midfoot feel for great support
- Incredibly stable and supportive outsole that prevents slips
- Zip shoelace tie; no need to tie shoe laces anymore
- Expensive; ranging from $170 to $190
- Only available in a gray design with yellow accent; no other color options
Despite the sticker shock you may be experiencing due to this shoe’s high price, you get what you pay for, and what you pay for this item is well worth the cost. To start off with, this shoe is super breathable with the mesh material of the upper portion of the shoe; however, it is also extremely waterproof o it prevents the water from leaking into your shoe while also allowing sweat to release outside of the shoe. When you’re putting this shoe on, you will have absolutely no problems with its zip technology shoelaces – you simply slide the zip tie down the laces and it secures your shoe firmly yet gently on your shoe. The comfort of this shoe is out of this word with its incredibly stable yet cushioned midsole for comfort and also support; you’re getting the both of best worlds! The shoe is only available in gray with yellow accenting colors, however it is very neutral and appeals to many people, so check it out for yourself and see if you like it!
4. KEEN Targhee II Hiking Shoe
- Tons of great earthy, natural, neutral colors and designs to choose from
- Lugs that are sturdy, collar with lots of padding and a cushioned tongue
- Rubber tipped toe for added strength and protection
- Textured outsole with tons of grooves for great traction
- Removable insole; add your own custom inserts
- Over 30% found the fit was not as expected
- A little difficult to put on and take off
The entire collection of KEEN Targhee II hiking shoes is incredibly well designed and is the epitome of what a hiking shoe should be. The entire line is made of very natural, earthy colors and designs so you definitely feel connected to nature when wearing these shoes, and they also act as camouflage while still being incredibly fashionable. Even the reds and purples and other bright colors are muted and made to look very earthy, so that is definitely a major plus. THis shoe is also one of the best as far as waterproof properties go – it employs a KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane that keeps the water out from your feet and getting them soggy. Also, the cushioned collar as well as the mesh tongue that allows sweat to release is incredibly comfortable and prevents the foot from rubbing against the top portion of the shoe. As far as the external properties of the shoe, it has tons of grooves of different sizes on the outsole in order to latch on to a variety of surfaces. Additionally, the durable rubber toe cover adds an extra layer of protection – no more pain from exposed toes and lack of protection. These shoes may require some time being put on and taking them off, but once they’re on; they’re on for good!
5. Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot
- Designed incredibly well with great materials that are durable; several colors
- Very waterproof; hike no matter the weather conditions
- Extremely great for use in cold weather; keeps heat in your foot while being breathable
- Great grip strength for optimal traction
- Shock absorbent, even on the roughest of terrain
- Expensive; ranging from $190 to $240
- Taller hiking boot; completely covers ankles and lower part of shin
Generally speaking, a good hiking boot is normally priced over $100, but when the price exceeds $200, it may be a little shocking. The Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot by Asolo is quite expensive, costing up to $240, but it is made of the finest materials and structure that is sure to withstand the wear and tear of usage for many years to come. The materials are very durable, and there are tons of great colors to choose from. The upper portion of the shoe is incredibly waterproof and prevents water or snow from seeping into your foot and causing your feet to get soggy and wet. This boot is highly recommended for use in the mountains and cold climates, as it is great at keeping heat in your shoe while so remaining breathable and never suffocating your feet. The outsole on this shoe is incredible – you can hike over just about any type of terrain with this hiking boot, and because of its shock absorbing qualities, it will be no problem for you!The collar is a little high up on this shoe, completely covering the ankle and going up to the lower part of the shin, however it does add stability and comfort without being irritating and being bulky.
6. Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe
- Probably one of the best designed hiking shoes on the market; incredibly popular
- Over 3,500 reviews on Amazon, nearly all being overwhelmingly positive
- Great textured outsole; lots of traction and prevents slips
- Tons of amazing colors and designs to choose from
- Shoe laces that tuck behind the tongue to hide where you tie the knot
- Sensifit technology that prevents rips and keeps water out
- Outsoles that is great for trekking mud and snow
- Quite costly; prices range from $68 to $215
- 19% found the fit to be not as expected
If you could only choose one shoe from the list, this one should be it! Everything about the shoe is amazing – from the incredibly fashionable style with the right amount of details and simplicity, to the textured outsole that makes walking or running on any surface safe and secure and to the incredibly water resistant upper part of the shoe that has ant-debris property mesh, that also allows sweat to evaporate through the shoe. It should come as no surprise that his shoe has over 3,500 reviews on Amazon, with nearly all of them being positive. You will also never have to worry about tying your shoes again, as the quicklace system tucks right under the tongue of the shoe, keeping it out of sight and making it look extremely fashionable. The tongue and the collar are also padded and feel very soft and supportive against your feet. The only drawbacks are that the shoe can be expensive depending on your size and the style you select, ranging up to $215. Also, the fact that 19% found the shoe to not fit as expected, however, this is still fairly reasonable since a shoe can not perfectly accommodate each and every one of our unique feet. Overall, this shoe gets two thumbs up!
7. Vasque Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoe
- Membrane that is waterproof using UltraDry technology
- Footbed resistant to wear and tear
- Lightweight hiking shoe that is also durable and strong
- Unique Vibram Nuasi outsole; great traction for hiking through any terrain
- Only two earthy shades of brown to choose from
- A bit simplistic and smooth on the sides
The Vasque Talus Waterproof hiking shoe is specifically designed to keep up with you on all of your hiking adventures, and one of its main selling points is its waterproof membrane. The UltraDry waterproof membrane keeps water in, while also allowing the moisture from your feet to dry from within the shoe shod your feet begin to sweat. THis hiking shoe is incredibly lightweight, but is also very durable and should last you many hikes to come! The traction on this shoe is aso unmatched, it has a very strong grip, no matter if you’re walking up mountainous hills, through snow, or simply on the sidewalk. One thing that would improve this product greatly is the availability of more colors. There are only two shades of brown to choose from, and since color and style are so important, these two hades may not appeal to as many people as if they had more colors to choose from. That being said, it’s still a great, very functional hiking shoe.
8. Oboz Sawtooth Low Hiking Shoe
- Plant a tree for every pair of shoe that is purchased
- Plush foot foam with medium density foam throughout for the right balance between structure and support and softness for your feet
- Nylon SHank outsole material
- Speedy shoelace tying system
- Only available in one color: Umber
- Costs over $100; $110 on Amazon
Nothing feels better than buying a product that adds value to your life, and also benefits an external cause simultaneously. And that is exactly what this brand is about – which just about everyone will love! Oboz will plant one tree for each boot that is purchased; they really put their money where their mouth is and show that they not only want to provide you with a quality shoe meant for hiking in nature, but also add to nature and keep it forested with trees. So the social aspect of the choe is very great, and is almost as great as the shoe itself. The Sawtooth low hiking shoe is incredibly comfortable while you’re out climbing mountains on your hikes. The foam it uses on the insole is perfect – it balances plushness and squishiness with firmness and support, so that it feels right for just about everyone’s feet. The dual density EVA and nylon shank outsole really make a difference as well when you’re climbing on uneven, rocky surfaces. This shoe is incredibly easy to sip on and off with its fast tying shoelace system. The only drawback to the shoe is that it’s available in only one color (Umber), although it’s very neutral and peasant. Also, it is $110 on Amazon, but for everything you get with this shoes, it’s really a small price to pay!
- Perfect five star rating on Amazon
- Variety of colors and styles; from plain neutral black and brown to fiery red and bright yellow and blue. Something for everyone
- Durable, thick mid and outsole to walk on any terrain
- Great for mountain use and walking through snow
- Combination of leather and tough nylon mesh provides support around the foot and ankle
- Expensive price range, depending on style: $170 to $230
- Slightly bulky and heavy
The ratings on this shoe, Hoka One One Tor Ultra HI WP Boot, really speak for themselves – this shoes has almost perfect stars! They are a little expensive, ranging from $170 to $230, However the quality really matches the price point. The outsole on the shoe is incredibly thick and durable so that you can walk easily and effortlessly on any terrain, but it never feels uncomfortable because of the nice padding on the insole. There are a multitude of colors to choose from – from just your plain neutral black and brown to fiery red and bright yellow and blue – there is a style and color out there for anyone’s taste. This boot is especially great for winter activities. Walking through snow, up a mountain, etc is much more easy with this show on your feet. The leather and durable nylon mesh around the foot and ankle add to the stability of the shoe and help you stay balanced, without feeling uncomfortable. The shoe is a little bulky and can weigh you down because of the thick sole, but it’s normally not a problem. Overall, amazing shoe to buy.
10. Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot
- Variety of colors to choose from, all very natural and neutral
- Latest technology that perfects your stride
- Vibram outsole that is durable and doesn’t leave marks
- Rubber toe protector
- Great grip strength offered by the outsole
- Over 25% found the shoe to not fit as expected when trying it on in person
- The outsoles grip is great, but could use more grooves for better traction
Anhu has created a really great women’s hiking boot! This show is praised for its design and natural, neutral color scheme, and also the mechanics of the show. Everything about this shoe will give you a great hiking experience. Starting with the outsole, it is made of non marking material by Vibram and has incredibly strong grip strength. Best of all, it has lugs on the bottom of the shoe that clean themselves. THe toe is protected by thick runner in case you accidentally kick or drop something on your toe. The shoe is very waterproof, and the laces practically tie themselves up the lace-up vamp. The interior if the shoe has padding in all the right place, including under the tongue and the collar of the shoe, so you know that each stable step you take with the Numentum Technology that the shoe employs will be gentle and supportive. However, 25% found the shoe didn’t fit as expected, and compared to other options, you may find that there are shoes with better grip strength out there. But overall, a really fantastic hiking shoe.