Hiking boots tend to be bulky and take up a lot of space in your suitcase, but a pair of sneakers sometimes just won’t cut it. While it’s common to see travelers wearing sneakers to the airport and around town, if you’re planning on hiking a peak or exploring the backroads, sneakers just don’t hold up. While there are plenty of hiking boots that you can wear exploring, there are a few that are more versatile than others.
Just as there are sneakers you can wear all day long, thanks to some much-needed upgrades, there are also hiking boots that do the same. The category of light hikers or heavy-duty trail running shoes will serve you well both traveling and hiking. While these don’t provide quite as much ankle support as a full boot, it also means they are lower profile and leave ample room in your suitcase for any keepsakes from the trip. These alternatives to standard sneakers keep your style fresh and your feet comfortable throughout all of your adventures.
Five Ten Access Mesh Approach Shoe
A durable and breathable upper with a rubberized exoskeleton lacing system makes these Access Knit sneakers ideal for summer hiking excursions. A reinforced toe cap protects your digits from sharp points along the trail.
Lowa Locarno GTX Lo Shoe
An all-tan option blends seamlessly with cargos or Carhartts, so you can wear them to work as well as up a mountain. The Gore-Tex fabric guarantees no wet feet in puddles, so these are a smart idea for year-round use.
Ridgemont Outfitters Heritage Boot
The EVA foam footbed guarantees comfort and the solid lugged rubber tread grips on snow and ice. A waterproof Hydroguard lining eases any summer to winter boot transitions. And the premium leather upper will survive rainstorms, hail and other weather ups and downs.
Danner Tramline 917
Handmade in Portland, Oregon, these all-leather mountain boots are built to survive the tough temperatures the Northwest brings. They are also 100-percent waterproof with a shock-absorbing Vibram outsole.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Solo Approach Shoe
While these boots look slightly more technical, the all-green or all-black colors work just as nicely with jeans as they do with hiking pants. Plus, when Adidas partners up with Alexander and Thomas Huber, who climbed El Capitan in just two hours and forty-five minutes, the shoes are bound to be lightweight and protective.
Arc’teryx Acrux SL Approach Shoe
With technical-enough specs to climb tough summits, these low profile climbing sneakers fit like a glove. The seamless PU-coated nylon upper features a high abrasion tolerance so you can drag these all over the Pacific Crest Trail without ruining them. An intense Vibram light approach sole with Megagrip compound stays put over all types of terrain, and the all-black and all-navy uppers blend in with jeans, so you can go straight to the bar post-hike without changing your kicks.
Five Ten Access Leather Shoe
A fast-moving hiker with an EVA midsole that’s still comfortable enough to wear to the bar after the summit is ideal for a travel-friendly hiking shoe. The leather upper adds a bit of an aesthetic edge to typical hiking sneakers. The mix of leather and suede will have you standing out (in a good way) on rock scrambles or in the baggage claim.