Wearing the right clothes and shoes is absolutely essential if you want to have a good hiking experience. Shoes, in particular, can make all the difference between a fun, comfortable hiking trip or a miserable, uncomfortable one. Your footwear needs to fit you perfectly and suit all your needs so your feet do not get tired while you go about your trekking trip.
Hiking shoes should always be waterproof, but there are many other features to look for as well. The problem is, with a hundred different brands and a thousand different products, the task of choosing your perfect pair can be rather difficult. This is why today we are going to talk about the best waterproof hiking shoes in the market.
We will first talk about the features which you should consider when buying your boots and then go on to list some of the best waterproof ones you should look at. Let’s take a look!
Our Top Picks
|Product Name||Weight||Material||Best Use||Price|
|Ahnu Coburn||13.7 oz||Leather/ fabric||Day hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell All Out Blaze Vent||27 oz||Leather/ fabric/ synthetic||Hiking on rough terrain||Check price on Amazon|
|Columbia Granite Ridge||13.7 oz||Leather/ textile/ mesh||Hiking on rough terrain||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Yokota||18 oz||Fabric and suede||Backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Moab 2||33 oz||Leather and textile||Hiking on rough terrain; backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
|Columbia Newton Ridge Plus||16 oz||Leather/ synthetic/ hardware||Backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Phoenix Bluff||14.4 oz||Leather/ fabric/ synthetic||Running and hiking on all terrains||Check price on Amazon|
|Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX||14.5 oz||Leather/ textile/ synthetic/||Climbing and hiking on rough terrain||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
It is best if you read up about hiking shoes, their types and properties before you make your purchase. That way, you will know exactly what you need and what kind of features you want in your boots. We are going to mention the most important things you should consider when buying hiking shoes.
Buying well-fitted hiking shoes is very important. A good tip here is to buy shoes during the latter part of the day or the evening, because feet swell all day long as you walk about. When you buy in the evening, during this time your feet will be at their largest, and therefore you won’t accidently buy shoes which are small for you.
A well-fitted shoe is one which makes your foot feel snug without being tight. Your heel should not lift up when you walk. You should be able to wiggle your toes a little but your feet should not move forward while walking.
When going to buy hiking shoes, always wear the socks you intend to wear during the hiking. And if the size feels too big, but one small size feels too tight, consider buying an insole. This can add half a size to a shoe and make your fit a perfect one.
The type of shoes you buy depends on the terrain you will be hiking on. When you are going to be hiking on a well-kempt trail, go for low-cut hiking shoes. These are lightweight and are mostly made of fabric, leather or suede. These shoes are not typically waterproof, unless the manufacturer has added a waterproof liner inside. They are not good for carrying a lot of weight, and therefore serve well as day hiking boots.
If you want to hike on rough terrain, go for mid to high cut boots. They provide better support to the ankle and offer better traction as well. These boots are usually lightweight and rather breathable, and come with waterproof liners.
Boots meant to be worn on backpacking trips are designed in a way, which makes it easy for the person wearing them to carry heavy loads. These boots have a high cut and thus offer more support to the ankles. They have stiff midsoles and offer very good traction. The sole is rigid but still allows for flexibility. These shoes tend to be heavier than the other types of boots, but even then you can find relatively lighter weighing varieties.
Mountaineering boots are even stiffer, taller with better insulation. They often have crampons and provide excellent traction. These boots are also rather durable, but are not comfortable to wear on a regular, well-kempt terrain.
Stiff or Flexible
The sole of the boot may be stiff or flexible, and each of these serve a different purpose. Flexible boots are easier to wear. They are more comfortable and lightweight and will keep your feet feeling relaxed. However, these boots also have the most chances of wearing your feet out on long hikes because they don’t protect your feet as much as stiff soled boots do.
Stiffer boots are not as comfortable as flexible ones, but tend to keep your feet well-cushioned against the terrain. Therefore, if you are going on a hike for several days, or plan to hike in the snow, go for stiffer boots. Flexible soled ones are better for day time hikes when you are not carrying any weight.
If you plan to go hiking in winters, you should go for boots which are well-insulated and will keep your feet warm. These boots are often completely waterproof, too, so you can hike in rain and snow and your feet do not get cold. For summer hikes, more breathable boots are preferable as they will keep your feet dry and will prevent them from getting too hot and sweaty.
Leather upper is very durable and resistant, and provides good insulation against water. However, it is not very breathable. It is mostly used in shoes designed for long time hiking or for backpacking trips, which require better support and more weight-bearing.
Split-grain leather upper is more lightweight and breathable; however it does not offer excellent waterproofing
Synthetic uppers, for example those made of nylon or polyester, are more lightweight than leather ones. They are not quite so durable, though, and tend to show wear and tear quickly.
Midsole provide cushioning and well as shock protection. EVA midsoles are lighter while Polyurethane ones are firmer. Firm midsoles are better for backpacking trips where weight needs to be carried.
Outsoles should always have rubber so they provide traction. Synthetic materials may be added to increase durability. Some shoes come with lug patterns on the outsole, which are bumps that improve traction.
Crampons let you hike even in winters and on slippery terrain. It is better to choose hiking shoes which have crampon compatibility
Best Products on Today’s Market
Here is a list of the best waterproof hiking shoes you can find in the market. All of these have been selected for their excellent features and value for money.
Price: Approx. $58
Weight: 13.7 oz
Specific features: Rubber sole; low-cut; waterproof upper; EVA midsole; arch support; removable insole; PU shank
Best use: Day hiking
Description: The Ahnu Coburn Hiking Shoes are meant to be worn during daytime hiking or on well-made trails. The leather/fabric combination offers breathability while still being waterproof. The midsoles provides excellent cushioning and your feet will not get tired during your hike.
These shoes come with shanks, which are inserted between midsole and outsole and meant to add a little stiffness. There is a removable insole which makes fitting a breeze. A rubber toe protector improves durability.
The shoes look very stylish, although they are a little large. They are solidly built and quite sturdy. It is also comfortable to walk in these shoes. Breaking them in will definitely help but they are also an easy wear right out of the box.
- Comfortable with good cushioning
- Fit very well
- Removable insole
- A little narrow
Related: For a good alternative pair, the Ahnu Moraga Mesh Hiking Shoes are made of leather and synthetic material, and provide excellent traction. These lightweight, comfortable shoes provide ankle support and can be worn on rough terrain.
Price: $66 – $280
Weight: 27 oz
Specific features: Low cut; Vibram sole; leather and mesh upper; breathable lining; Lug pattern on outer soles provides traction
Best use: Hiking on rough terrain
Description: The Merrell All Out Blaze Vent Hiking Shoes provide a great deal of traction, even in wet weather, which makes them ideal for hiking on rough terrain. These shoes have good shock absorption properties and a comfortable midsole, which means that you can hike on rocky ground without wearing out your feet.
The breathable material keeps your feet dry as the moisture escapes from inside the boots. The Uni-Fly impact absorption system keeps your feet stable and relaxed even when you jump and land. The inner lining is very comfortable and you can wear the shoes all day long.
The shoes are cut low. They are waterproof, and even if you walk in puddles your feet won’t get wet. This is what makes these shoes ideal wear during rain. The shoes tend to make a small squeaking sound when they get wet, but this makes no difference to their efficiency.
- Good shock absorption and stability
- Keep your feet dry
- Easy to wear on rocky terrain
- Low heel, which might not feel comfortable to some people
Related: Another noteworthy pair that you can consider is the Merrel Vapor Glove 2 Running Shoes and are made of textile and synthetic material. They are very breathable and lightweight and best for going on a run.
Price: $56 – $65
Weight: 13.7 oz
Specific features: Omni-grip outsole; lug patterns for traction; waterproof; removable insole; midfoot shank offers stability as well as cushioning
Best use: Hiking on rough terrain
Description: The Columbia Granite Ridge Hiking Sneakers are good for hiking in rough, uneven terrain. The soles are made of rubber and are specially designed to maintain strong grip on all kinds of surfaces. Even if you are hiking on wet rocks, your feet will remain stable, particularly because the lug patterns provide a good grip.
The cushioning in the midsole make these shoes very comfortable to wear. Shanks offer support while maintaining stability. You can wear them on climbs without wearing your feet out. The body of the shoes is waterproof although if you step in a puddle which is deeper than your ankle, water may seep in from the upper.
The shoes are not very breathable, which is why they are not a great option during a hot, summer day. If you sweat, you will be stuck with damp feet as the moisture does not evaporate properly.
- Provide good traction
- Good shock absorption
- A little narrow
- Tongue is sewn more than half way which makes it somewhat difficult to put on the shoes
- Not very breathable
Related: Another good consideration for hiking is the Columbia North Plain II Hiking Shoes and are breathable, waterproof shoes which have a leather/textile/mesh upper. They have a Techlite lightweight midsole which provides cushioning and stability.
Price: Approx. $79
Weight: 18 oz
Material: Fabric and suede
Specific features: Suede and fabric mesh upper; padded collar and tongue; lace-up closure; antimicrobial shield; outsole with lug patterns; EVA midsole; removable Air Cushion footbed for cushioning
Best use: Backpacking
Description: If you want to go hiking or backpacking on rough ground where there are loose rocks and debris, Merrell Yokota Trail Hiking Shoes are definitely a good option. These shoes provide great cushioning so your feet won’t feel anything even if you are walking on rocks. The footbed as well as midsole are designed to keep your feet stable and relaxed on rough ground.
The padded tongue and collar provide comfort to your feet. There is a pull-up tab at the back of these shoes, which makes it easy to pull them on. You can then tie up the laces for a perfect closure. The shoes provide good support to your ankles, which is why they work well when you are going backpacking
Hiking shoes often make feet smelly when they sweat, but not this one. An antimicrobial film prevents the build-up of odor, leaving your feet dry and fresh even after a whole day of wearing the shoes.
- Great cushioning
- Anti-microbial film prevents odor build-up
- Size may run a little small
Related: For another waterproof pair, the Merrell Chameleon Hiking Shoe is a good one and is made of leather. The upper is made of synthetic mesh. This waterproof shoe has an air cushion heel and is very comfortable to wear.
Price: $19 – $134
Weight: 33 oz
Material: Leather and textile
Specific features: Leather and mesh upper; moisture wicking technology; protective rubber toe cap; breathable; EVA midsole; EVA contoured footbed; arch and heel support
Best use: Multi-terrain hiking, backpacking
Description: The Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Shoe is made of rubber and textile with a synthetic sole. The Vibram outsole is designed to maintain a proper grip no matter what the track is like. The upper is made of leather and mesh and thus keeps the shoes very breathable. Even if you walk around in them all day long, the moisture will be wicked away and your feet will remain dry.
The EVA midsole and Merrell air cushion provide stability while also ensuring that you land softly every time you jump. The shoes provide great support and let you hike all day long without making your feet feel worn out. They are very durable as well and do not get damaged easily.
The shoes fit perfectly and are rather wide, allowing your feet a lot of space and comfort. You should break them in before going on a strenuous hike but they feel very comfortable as they are. For day-time hike, the shoes are amazing.
- Good level of cushioning
- A little stiff
- Relatively heavy
Related: If you require a more athletic pair, the Merrell Glove 4 Trail Runner is specially designed for runners. The trail pad protects the underfoot. The breathable mesh upper will keep your feet dry as you run, while the Vibram outsole provides perfect grip.
Price: $38 – $85
Weight: 16 oz
Specific features: Omni-grip rubber outsole; Techlite midsole; waterproof seam-sealed construction; snug fit
Best use: Backpacking
Description: The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Shoeis a little heavy, which makes it best suited to carrying weights for example while backpacking. The shoes provide good support, letting you hike with a firm step.
The Omni-grip rubber outsole allows you to hike on all sorts of terrains even in wet conditions without slipping. You can even climb in these shoes. The construction is completely waterproof, letting you continue your hike even if it is raining.
These shoes are comfortable to wear, although they are a little narrow in the region of the toes. There is ample space in the heel region, though. The shoes are durable and strong, and will not get damaged easily.
- Completely waterproof
- Good for backpacking as provide excellent support and cushioning.
- Narrow from the toes
Related: Columbia Redmond Hiking Shoes are made of suede leather/ mesh/ webbing and are waterproof as well as breathable. The mid-cut boots have great traction and are very comfortable.
Price: $59 – $100
Weight: 14.4 oz
Materials: Leather/ fabric/ synthetic
Best use: Running and hiking on all terrains
Specific features: Rubber sole; easy-on loop at back; lace-up closure; removable insole; air cushion heel; breathable
Description: When it comes to hiking and running shoes, breathability is just as important as the shoe’s waterproofing. In this regard, Merrell Phoenix Bluff Hiking Shoe does not disappoint. The boot fits rather nicely and has a removable insole.
The air cushion in the heel provides cushioning, ensuring that you land easy every time you make a jump. This cushioning also makes your running more comfortable as your feet do not get tired out. The shoes have a snug fit, and the removable insole ensures that everyone will find a pair which fits them perfectly.
The sole provides good traction, allowing you to hike in every terrain with no problem. You won’t slip even if it rains where you are hiking. The back of the heel is not very comfortable, though, and you will be best off if you wear socks with these shoes.
- Good cushioning
- May be uncomfortable without socks
Related: Another good pair that you should check out is the KEEN Voyageur Shoes which have a rubber sole and a removable insole. These waterproof shoes will keep your feet stable and comfortable while you go on your hiking trip.
Price: $99 – $215
Weight: 14.5 oz
Specific features: Lightweight; rubber sole; EVA midsole; waterproof; breathable
Best use: Climbing, hiking on rough terrain
Description: The Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX Hiking Shoe is ideal for going hiking in tough conditions and rocky terrain. The boots have Gore-Tex waterproof lining which makes it easy to hike in all weather conditions, dry or wet. The breathability ensures that your feet will remain dry even and if you sweat during a hot summer day.
The shoe fits rather nicely, and is snug without being too tight. Advanced chassis in the sole provides stability and traction, while the midsole keeps the foot well-cushioned and protected. The grip provided by this shoe is very strong, which is useful if you are climbing.
The shoes are sturdy and can withstand wear and tear. You can go hiking on all sorts of terrains without damaging the shoes, which make them ideal as climbing gear.
- Sturdy and durable
- Excellent stability and traction
- Laces may loosen over time
Related: The Salomon Eskape GTA Hiking Shoes have a water resistant upper and a lace-up closure. The waterproof lining will keep your feet dry even if it is raining.
And that concludes our quick guide and review of the best waterproof shoes for hiking. Buying hiking shoes is absolutely necessary if you want to go trekking for a long period of time. Even for day time hikes only, you will always be better off with a specialized hiking shoes which will keep your feet stable, dry and comfortable.
It is best if you try on hiking shoes before you buy them, so you can be sure about the fit. We hope our post helped you in choosing the right hiking shoe which will suit all your needs. Do you know about a great pair of waterproof hiking shoes we missed? Let us know in the comments section.