If you landed on this article, you've probably been searching for the best hiking shoes that are waterproof for when you're heading up the mountains or backcountry trails.
The best hiking shoes should offer an outstanding balance between comfortability, durability, traction, weight, and water resistance, especially for those looking to find protective trail shoes.
If you are looking to step up or buy your first hiking shoe for an upcoming trip, this article will help you make the right decision. We have reviewed the five best hiking shoes and a list of features to consider before buying a waterproof hiking shoe.
However, if you're just going on a quick, casual, city back-yard type hike you can just grab a pair of comfortable runners. But if you're afraid of getting them wet and muddy, check out Vessis 100% waterproof and machine washable runners for both men / women!
1. Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Shoe
The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Shoe is an affordable shoe that is absolutely on point when it comes to performance and design. The back of these shoes is higher on your ankle, offering plenty of support for your ankle.
Furthermore, these shoes are extremely durable and are recommended for hiking in both dry and wet seasons. It also comes with a wider range of sizing, ranging from a size five to twelve to match your foot size comfortably.
They are made from full-grain leather material that is both stain and water-resistant, which is an addition to their durability and waterproof nature. Weighing only 16 ounces, these shoes are lightweight and flexible enough to ensure you're comfortable on your night or day hikes.
It also features a Techlite cushioning midsole that adds shock absorption benefits to these shoes. On the sole, there is Omni-Grip traction that grips on the ground and rocks ensuring you get enough stability while outdoors.
- Comfortable and flexible
- Great for a wide foot
- True to size
- Waterproof uppers
- Simple and stylish design
- Some may find the insoles too thin.
2. Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot
The Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot are versatile boots made from full-grain waterproof leather upper, and all the seams are sealed with waterproof construction to keep your feet dry all through the hike.
It features rustproof speed lace hardware that helps keep your laces secure. The padding on the ankle and the upper part are thick to support your ankle in those long grueling hikes. Despite the fact that they are all leather boots, they are surprisingly lightweight.
The full-grain leather material, which is considered the best quality leather, is not only waterproof but also very durable and comfortable. The breathability of these shoes is excellent due to the technology used. You get a removable dual-density EVA midsole that offers plenty of comforts and cushioning and is perforated for air circulation.
- A waterproof construction
- Rustproof speed lace
- Very comfortable.
- Solid rubber outsole
- Ankle support.
- Reasonable price.
- Different colors and sizing
- The sole may be too soft for rough terrain.
3. Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Shoes
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus, II Walking shoes are protective shoes and well-made with a combination of durable materials for excellent performance in most conditions. It has a strong synthetic upper that aids in keeping it waterproof.
For additional warmth on cold days, it features an extra seam-sealed body. Furthermore, the rubber sole offers a good grip with breathable mesh on the tongue. The tongue has plenty of padding that helps in the great feel of the waterproof liners as well as the shape of the midsole.
You can easily lace up these shoes to your preferred tightness and comes with a loop on the back to assist you in putting them on. These Columbia Newton Ridge walking boot shoes are comfortable and reliable, and you can depend on them for your hiking needs.
- Excellent comfort and protection
- Additional bootie inside
- Good quality outsole
- Quite lightweight
- Has a breathable mesh
- Great stability and comfort
- Improved water resistance
- The ankle support is not the best
- They may be too stretchy at the top
4. Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe is an excellent choice for a day hiker or a light backpacker who mostly sticks to maintained trails. It is made from 100% suede leather and mesh material that offers a lightweight and comfortable feel at an affordable price.
They use a type of technology that seals out water and moisture to ensure you stay dry all through the hike. This hiking shoe features a breathable mesh to enable airflow and a protective rubber toe cap to provide comfort.
It has a built-in Merrell air cushioning that absorbs shock and adds stability, as well as a padded ankle collar to provide support. The sole is flexible enough to allow the foot to bend freely. With the Merrell Moab 2 shoes, you get great cushioning, Vibram outsoles, and also a waterproof membrane.
Although Merrell Moab 2 features an outstanding construction, it may lack premium materials which means this pair may need to be replaced sooner. Despite this, it offers a great mix of performance and comfort for both the weekend and day hikers.
- Well Cushioned
- Flexible and comfortable
- Great for wide feet
- Very breathable
- True to size
- High heel-to-toe may not be for everyone
5. Skechers womens Dlites-play
The Skechers D’Lites waterproof hiking shoes feature a synthetic and leather upper that is waterproof and, at the same time, quite breathable. They are lightweight, with plenty of cushioning and a rubber sole to give you the comfort you need on long hikes.
Skechers D’Lites shoes have an air-Cooled memory foam insole which offers comfort, especially for those who go for long hikes. It features excellent cushioning that helps reduce fatigue and keep you energized on long day hikes.
With rubber and flexible outsole, you are assured of an excellent grip, traction, and stability with every step you take. The sole is thick, especially on the heel area, so you probably won't feel the terrain, which means you can use them for different types of terrain.
- Lightweight and shock-absorbing design
- Air-cooled memory foam
- Flexible rubber traction outsole
- Great cushioning
- Attractive and stylish
- Easy to clean
- Great heel protection
- Narrow toe box
- Lacks a removable insole
Features To Consider When Buying Waterproof Hiking Shoes
1. Comfort and Fit
What you have on your feet can make your hiking experience great or terrible and either enhance or reduce your performance. This is why you need the best hiking shoes that match your foot needs and preferences.
The comfort and fit of a hiking shoe are the two most important considerations when looking to buy a waterproof hiking shoe. Different people are looking for different shoe features, from wide or narrow shoes to arch support.
Your hiking footwear should fit properly, not too tight, and not too loose. For extra comfort, it is also essential to wear a pair of socks and have a great lacing system.
The material of the hiking shoe has an impact on breathability, durability, waterproofness, and weight. The different types of materials available include;
i. Full-grain Leather
This material offers great abrasion resistance, durability as well as good water resistance. However, compared to the split-grain, they are not very lightweight and breathable. It is commonly used in hiking boots or shoes designed for heavy loads, rugged terrain, or extended trips. It may require some time to break in before starting an extended trip.
ii. Split-grain leather
It "splits away" the smooth exterior from the rough inner part of the cowhide. It is combined with nylon or nylon mesh to offer excellent breathability and a lightweight shoe at a lower cost. However, the material is less resistant to water and abrasion compared to the full-grain type.
iii. Nubuck leather
This is full-grain leather that has buffed to look like suede. Like the full-grain leather, it has excellent water and abrasion resistance and also very. Moreover, it’s relatively flexible.
Synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and synthetic leather are taking over in modern boots. It is lightweight, dries faster, and more affordable than leather. They look nice and are durable however, they may wear out sooner because of more stitching on the outside of the synthetic shoes.
This material is great for warmer temperatures as it constantly allows air in and out of the shoe. The breathable days make the hot hiking days more bearable. It is combined with other synthetic materials to improve durability, and it also dries very fast.
Different models may come in different materials, but what about the underfoot. Here are the underfoot features you should consider;
i. Insole/ Footbed/ Sock Liner
This is the piece of material that is below your feet. They are either rigid for support or soft and flexible. For some waterproof hiking shoes, the insoles are more ventilated, although most of them will wick away moisture to keep your socks and feet feeling dry.
Based on your preferences, there are some that come with removable insoles, which makes it easy to take them out during washing and drying or when replacing them with other types.
The midsole consists of either EVA( Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) or PU( Polyurethane) or, sometimes both. It is the part where most cushioning comes from and determines the balance between stiffness and flexibility.
EVA is a soft and lightweight midsole variety that offers shock-absorbing cushioning. PU is a more stiff foam that offers excellent support and is also durable. For most hiking footwear, you get a combination of both to ensure a smooth but supportive walk.
This is the part where the hiking shoe meets the road. They come in different forms, with the softer compounds having more flex but wear out faster, while hard ones are the exact opposite.
A sticky rubber will grip the rocks well, and there are others that grip the cold and icy grounds better. The outsole pattern of the hiking footwear should have lugs facing different directions to increase grip and support as you walk. The deeper the lugs are, the larger the surface area the sole has to grab on the ground.
The durability is one of the advantages of waterproof hiking shoes. However, regular hiking shoes are lighter but not as durable as hiking boots. If the durability of a shoe is more important to you, then you need to consider getting a hiking boot.
A compromise of durability means an increase in the performance and functionality of the hiking shoes. This means the use of lighter materials, more mesh, which aids in comfort and excellent breathability. Also, the durability of the products may differ depending on the design and construction.
5. Types of Waterproof Hiking Shoes
i. Hiking Sneakers and Boots
These sneakers shoes tend to be lighter than boots, but they have stiffer rubber soles and uppers made of leather and mesh. The boots feature solid midsoles, and rubber toe caps and solid midsoles offer you generous support that you can't get from sneakers.
ii. Trail Running Shoe
The Trail runner shoes look more like sneakers but are more lightweight, allowing you to be fast when hiking. However, you have to sacrifice ankle support because they reach under your ankle, but it's also advantageous because it allows you to flex or bend over challenging terrain. Their bottoms will also grip to give you traction.
ii. Approach shoes
An approach shoe is designed for those who constantly like to hike on steep, rocky terrain. Most climbers tend to wear them on the way to the climbing spot because they don't consider them climbing shoes. However, these shoes feature a massive amount of grippy and sticky rubber on the toe and sole. Their treads work well on rocks but are not great for some sort of muddy hiking trail.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) on Waterproof Hiking Shoes
1. What is the best waterproof hiking shoe?
The best waterproof hiking shoe for women is the Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Shoe, while for men is Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot. These shoes have an exceptional amount of support and comfort for your hiking needs.
2. What are the top footwear brands for waterproof hiking shoes?
The top hiking footwear brands are Columbia Sportwear, Timberland, Merrell, Keen, Salomon, etc.