The Best Trekking Shoes of 2024

Salomon X Ultra Low III GTX

Salomon X Ultra Low III GTX

Whether you’re a weekend wanderer or a seasoned summit conqueror, having the right footwear is crucial. If your idea of a good time involves tackling “easy” trails (more about terrain than distance), then trekking shoes, also known as hiking shoes, might just be your perfect fit. Unlike their bulkier counterparts, these shoes are not just lighter; they’re more comfortable and thus perfect for easy trail. However, don’t get too cozy if your adventure involves rocky terrain or a heavy backpack – that’s where trekking shoes tap out, due to their flexible soles and limited ankle support.

In this roundup, we’ve sorted through the options to bring you the best trekking shoes, aiming to simplify your buying journey. Our list features only top-notch products known for their durability, lightweight design, and all-around comfort. If you want to dive deeper into the world of hiking footwear, check out our comprehensive Guide to Hiking Footwear. Let’s get you geared up for your next adventure!

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1. Our Picks of Trekking Shoes

Best Trekking Shoes

Best Trekking Shoes

  1. La Sportiva Spire GTX
  2. Keen Targhee III
  3. Salomon X Ultra Low III GTX
  4. Lowa Renegade GTX Lo
  5. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

2. Comparison of Trekking Shoes

Scroll Horizontally
Feature/Product La Sportiva Spire GTXKeen Targhee IIISalomon X Ultra Low III GTXLowa Renegade GTX LoMerrell Moab 2 Waterproof
Weight (pair)1 lb. 14 oz. 1 lb. 14 oz. 1 lb. 13 oz.2 lb. 4 oz. 2 lbs. 1 oz.
Weight -
Metric (pair)
860 g 873 g810 g 1040 g940 g
Upper MaterialMesh (Nano Cell 2.0) and Polyurethane Nubuck LeatherNylon Nubuck LeatherNubuck Leather, Nylon
LiningGore-Tex Surround Keen.Dry Gore-TexGore-TexM-Select Dry
MidsoleEVAEVAEVAPUEVA
OutsoleVibramKeenContagrip Vibram Evo-TracVibram
Height Ankle Ankle Ankle Ankle Ankle

3. The Selection

La Sportiva Spire GTX Trekking Shoes

La Sportiva Spire GTX Trekking Shoes

1. La Sportiva Spire GTX

Suitable for:

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Everyday use

Introducing the La Sportiva Spire GTX – your versatile companion for trekking, hiking, strolls, and daily wear. Ideal for easy trails, these trekking shoes feature Nano-Cell 2.0 synthetic uppers for breathability. Paired with Gore-Tex Surround technology, they ensure excellent moisture control and quick drying. Durability comes from sturdy materials, while Gore-Tex lining adds weather protection. Notable is the Gore-Tex Surround innovation, offering all-around breathability by letting moisture escape in every direction, even towards the sole. The Vibram outsoles and Stability Control System provide torsion resistance, comfort, and a secure fit. These La Sportiva Spire GTX trekking shoes are ready for your next adventure.

Women's Version: Available - La Sportiva Women's Spire GTX

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Nano-Cell 2.0 synthetic uppers for breathability
  • Gore-Tex Surround technology for all-around breathability
  • Vibram outsoles and Stability Control System for stability
  • Suitable for hiking, trekking, and everyday use

Cons:

  • May be on the higher end of the price spectrum

Video

Keen Targhee III

Keen Targhee III

2. Keen Targhee III

Suitable for:

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Everyday use

The Keen Targhee III is your go-to for trekking, hiking, walks, and everyday use. Similar in weight to the La Sportiva Spire GTX, these trekking shoes are no lightweight in durability. Crafted from nubuck leather, they offer protection against rocks and vegetation, coupled with a Keen.Dry lining for waterproof assurance. Underfoot, EVA foam midsoles and an anatomically shaped footbed provide solid arch support and comfort. Torsion stability is ensured with Keen outsoles and an ESS system. The 4mm multi-directional lugs on the outsole guarantee reliable traction across diverse terrains. While they may not match the La Sportiva shoes in breathability, the Keen Targhee III trekking shoes make up for it with a rugged build at a reasonable price. Ready for your next adventure without the frills.

Women's Version: Available - Keen Women's Targhee III

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Nubuck leather uppers with Keen.Dry lining
  • EVA foam midsoles and anatomically shaped footbed for comfort
  • Keen outsoles with good traction
  • Suitable for various outdoor activities
  • Relatively more budget-friendly

Cons:

  • May not provide as much breathability as some synthetic options
Salomon X Ultra Low III GTX

Salomon X Ultra Low III GTX

3. Salomon X Ultra III GTX

Suitable for:

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Everyday use

Salomon X Ultra III GTX are reliable companions for trekking, hiking, walking, and everyday use. Offering a pragmatic approach, these trekking shoes ensure dependable performance without unnecessary frills. Engineered with abrasion-resistant nylon uppers and a Gore-Tex lining, they strike the right balance between breathability and water resistance. No compromises on cleanliness – the connected tongue keeps the interior dirt-free. When the going gets tough, a sturdy rubber-like material shields your toe area. Prioritizing stability and cushioning, the 3D Advanced Chassis takes its place between your foot and the outsole. Featuring a Contagrip outsole with high and low-density elements, durability is a given where it’s crucial. For swift and straightforward adjustments, the QuickLace technology steps in. The Salomon X Ultra III GTX trekking shoes live up to their reputation, delivering reliable performance at a price that won’t break the bank.

Women's Version: Available - Salomon Women's X Ultra III GTX

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Durable and abrasion-resistant nylon uppers
  • Gore-Tex lining for weather protection
  • 3D Advanced Chassis for stability
  • Contagrip outsole offers great traction
  • QuickLace technology for easy adjustments

Cons:

  • May be relatively pricier compared to some alternatives

Video

Lowa Renegade III GTX Lo

Lowa Renegade GTX Lo

4. Lowa Renegade GTX Lo

Suitable for:

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Everyday use

The Lowa Renegade GTX Lo is a versatile shoe for trekking, hiking, walking, and everyday use. It stands out for its robust and durable design. Crafted with nubuck leather uppers and featuring Gore-Tex lining, these shoes offer exceptional protection not only against weather but also abrasion and tearing. Adding to its top-tier build, the Lowa Renegade showcases a Climate Control footbed, Vibram Evo-Trac outsole, and a hybrid midsole with Dura polyurethane and Dyna polyurethane along with a Monowrap frame. The Climate Control footbed ensures moisture wicks away, providing excellent breathability. While synthetic uppers may offer a slight edge in breathability, the nubuck leather’s durability is unmatched. The Vibram Evo-Trac outsole delivers outstanding traction on diverse terrains, and the DuraPU midsole provides efficient cushioning and stability. What’s remarkable is the lightweight nature of the Lowa Renegade GTX Lo, despite its heavier polyurethane midsoles and durable nubuck leather uppers, making it an excellent choice for those seeking longevity without compromise.

Women's Version: Available - Lowa Women's Renegade GTX

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Robust nubuck leather uppers with Gore-Tex lining
  • Climate Control footbed for moisture-wicking
  • Vibram Evo-Trac outsole provides excellent traction
  • Hybrid midsole for cushioning and stability
  • Lightweight despite durable materials

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to some competitors

Where to buy?

Also available at:

Backcountry | Moosejaw

Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

5. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

Suitable for:

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Everyday use

The Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof stands as a reliable choice for trekking, hiking, walking, and everyday use. Excelling on easy and flat trails, these shoes feature synthetic uppers reinforced with leather overlays for enhanced durability. The M-Select Dry PU coating in the lining keeps water out, although it may not match the breathability of materials like Gore-Tex. Importantly, the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof is the most budget-friendly option in this review. With Vibram soles, these shoes deliver reliable performance on flat trails, though their relatively shallow lugs may lack traction on steeper slopes. If your trekking ventures lean towards relatively flat terrains or you’re working within a tight budget, the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof offers a practical solution.

Women's Version: Available - Merrell Women's Moab 2 Waterproof

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Synthetic uppers with leather overlays for durability
  • M-Select Dry PU coating for water resistance
  • Vibram soles for reliable performance on flat trails
  • Most budget-friendly option in the lineup

Cons:

  • May lack the breathability of higher-end materials like Gore-Tex
  • Shallow lugs may limit traction on steeper slopes

4. Buying Advice for Trekking Shoes  – What is important?

Weight:

Trekking shoes are typically lighter than hiking and backpacking boots, but heavier than running shoes. However, the weight of shoes/boots depends on the materials. The midsole and upper have the biggest impact on the overall weight. Therefore, trekking shoes usually have lightweight synthetic uppers and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) midsoles. In this review we only listed lightweight products.

Upper Material:

Trekking shoes usually have synthetic uppers, but some do feature leather uppers. Shoes with synthetic uppers are lighter and provide better breathability than shoes with leather uppers. However, leather uppers provide better abrasion-resistance and support because leather is a very sturdy material. Leather comes in different forms such as full-grain leather, split-grain leather and nubuck leather. Full-grain leather is the heaviest and most durable. Split-grain leather and nubuck leather offer lower abrasion resistance but they are also lighter and more breathable.

In this selection we listed three pairs of shoes that have synthetic uppers and two pairs of shoes which have nubuck leather uppers.

Lining:

The fabric on the inside of shoes/boots is called the lining. The lining should be breathable and moisture-wicking to transport moisture/sweat to the outside of the shoe. This is very important as moist feet get cold faster and often get blisters.

Waterproof shoes use a waterproof lining (such as Gore-Tex and eVent) which reduces the breathability to some extent. However, with advanced technologies (such as Gore-Tex Surround), shoes can nowadays be very breathable and water-resistant at the same time.

Insole:

The insoles of shoes should be moisture-wicking, breathable and durable. Many trekking shoes come with insoles that are treated with antimicrobial agents in order to reduce the growth of microorganisms and bacteria.

Midsole:

The midsole provides cushioning, support and stability. There are two types of midsoles; EVA midsoles (ethylene vinyl acetate) and PU (polyurethane) midsoles.

EVA midsoles are lighter and more flexible than PU midsoles. Therefore, trekking shoes typically have EVA midsoles. However, EVA midsoles are less durable than the PU midsoles – they get “flat” faster.

PU midsoles are very durable and rigid. They are typically used for backpacking and mountaineering boots.

Outsole:

The outsoles provide traction. They have lugs of different patterns; the deeper and thicker the lugs, the better traction they provide. Some brands develop their own outsoles like for example Lowa while others use outsoles from well-known manufacturers such as Vibram.

5. Questions and Answers

What is a trekking shoe?

Trekking shoes or hiking shoes are more robust than running shoes but less robust than hiking boots. They are ideal for easy trails because they are lightweight, breathable and very comfortable. They are more durable than running shoes, which might start tearing fast on rough terrain.

How should a trekking shoe fit?

Try trekking shoes with the socks you plan to wear on your hikes. The trekking shoes should fit snug but not tight.

Do I need waterproof trekking shoes?

It really depends on the weather conditions. Waterproof trekking shoes will keep your feet dry in rainy weather, but they don’t provide as good breathability as shoes without a waterproof lining.

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Author Information

Blaz

Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

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