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Best Hiking Shoes For Comfort

Designed with revolutionary technology—orthotic-quality support that cups your heel for stability and sure-footed traction.

Hiking never felt so good. When you’re blazing a trail up the mountain, you don’t need anything holding you back—especially foot pain.

While many hiking shoes today are equipped with trail-ready support on the outside, not all of them offer orthotic-level support on the inside.

At KURU, we want to help take pain out of the equation. We offer a lineup of some of the most comfortable hiking shoes and boots on the market, designed with our built-in arch support, heel cup, and cushion to keep you moving all day.

What are Hiking Shoes?

Hiking shoes are a form of outdoor footwear that help you stay stable on uneven terrain.

Depending on what type of terrain you’ll face, you might choose a low-profile waterproof hiking shoe for wet conditions, a high-top hiking boot for colder months or more ankle protection, or an active sandal for spring and summer months.

The best hiking boots feature grippy outsoles for traction, EVA midsoles for shock absorption, and durable materials to outlast the toughest terrain. A wide toe box can help to alleviate painful toenails on the descent while keeping circulation flowing all hike long.

KURU offers some of the best hiking shoes that go a step further. We build our patented, pain-relieving technology into every pair. That means you’ll get ample cushion, superior arch support, patented heel protection, and a generous toe box so your feet feel comfortable all day long.

  • A couple wearing KURU QUEST hiking boots hiking on a fall day.

Types of Hiking Shoes & Finding the Best Fit

Need a new pair of hiking shoes? Check out a few different types of hiking shoes and find the perfect fit for your next outdoor adventure.

For a comfortable fit for your new pair of hiking shoes, be sure they feel snug around the forefoot with ample space around the toes to help prevent bruised toenails.

Here are a few trail shoe types and features to look out for.

Types of Hiking Shoes:

  • Trail-Running Shoes
    Light weight hiking shoes or trail running shoes should offer traction-heavy rubber outsoles to provide stability, grip, and support while moving quickly on uneven terrain.
    Trail-Running Shoes
  • Low-Profile Trail Shoes
    Low-profile trail shoes like our CHICANE for men and women feature grippy rubber outsoles and your choice of a leather and mesh upper or Nubuck leather option.
    Low-Profile Trail Shoes
  • High-Top Hiking Shoes
    For extra ankle support and to maintain body temperature in extreme weather, try a high-top hiking shoe like our QUEST for women and men. High-top hiking boots are the best shoes for hiking sand dunes or hot, desert sand, since they help protect your toes and feet from burns. They’re also an ideal choice to keep your feet warm during fall and winter months.
    High-Top Hiking Shoes
  • Active Sandals
    The best lightweight hiking shoes for the spring and summer months are active sandals like our TREAD for women and men. These open-air shoes feature adjustable straps, water-friendly materials, and traction-heavy outsoles
    Active Sandals

Hiking Shoe Care Tips

Properly caring for your hiking shoes is essential to keeping them fit for your next time out on the trail. Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your hiking shoes.

  • Protect your hiking footwear from the dust, dirt, and water of the trail with a preventive spritz of KURU Shield, our proprietary blend of shoe protector spray. This water-repellent layer works on all shoe materials and helps safeguard your footwear from the elements.
  • Outdoor shoes get their fair share of dirt and water more than most footwear types. Refresh an extra-loved pair of trail shoes with our KURU Shoe Cleaning Kit. Equipped with an all-material shoe cleaner, cleaning brush and microfiber cloth, this kit helps your shoes last.
  • Allow your trail shoes to dry out between hikes, away from sunlight. Sweat and sunlight can prematurely break down materials. Giving your outdoor footwear some breathing room after each use can help your shoes last longer and stay fresh.
  • Wear a pair of durable socks with your hiking shoes. Socks will help reduce your risk of blisters and create a barrier against sweat and bacteria. Keeping bacteria and sweat at bay can help extend the life of your outdoor shoes and reduce the risk of odor over time.

How To Pair Your Hiking Shoes and When To Wear Them

Learn when, where, and how to wear your hiking shoes for the ultimate outdoor experience. Hike in comfort and style with help from our KURU GURUs.

When considering what hiking shoes to wear for the right trail, we first recommend first assessing what types of trails you’ll choose to face.

Heading out for a trail run and want to PR your time? You may do best with a lightweight trail runner. Will you be navigating more difficult terrain? You might consider a high-top hiking boot with plenty of traction and ankle protection.

Let’s unpack a few ways to pair your hiking shoes.

  • Long day hikes
    When you’re hitting the trail for a long hike, you’ll want a shoe you can remain comfortable in all day.
    Long day hikes
  • Spring or summer hikes
    A comfortable active sandal with open straps can help you stay cool and lightweight on a warm hike.
    Spring or summer hikes
  • Wet conditions
    Choose a shoe with water-resistant materials to help your feet stay dry through puddles, streams, and mud.
    Wet conditions
  • Extreme temperatures
    Consider a high-top hiking boot for extremely hot or cold climates to protect yourself from burns or frostbite.
    Extreme temperatures
  • Rugged terrain
    Choose a heavier, sturdier shoe that features plenty of stability, durable materials, and traction-heavy outsoles for lasting protection and comfort.
    Rugged terrain

FAQs

  • What shoes are best for hiking?

    The best shoes for hiking should feature breathable uppers, durable materials, and outsoles with plenty of traction. You’ll want a sturdy shoe with plenty of grip and strength to keep up with rugged outdoor terrain.

  • Are leather boots good for hiking?

    Absolutely! Leather offers natural breathability, durability, and stretch and can be waterproofed for extra protection. We recommend choosing a leather hiking shoe that features traction-heavy rubber outsoles and high-quality arch support and cushion for lasting comfort.

  • Are sneakers okay for hiking?

    You can wear sneakers for easy day hikes, especially if they are on paved roads. However, sneakers are not designed to navigate more technical terrain. Sneakers are often too soft without the needed stability to protect your ankle and enough traction to properly grip dirt and rocks. We recommend true trail shoes for hiking more rugged trails.

  • What is a good weight for a hiking shoe?

    The level of heaviness you choose for a hiking shoe may depend on the terrain you’ll be traversing. An average weight for a hiking shoe is between 2–3 pounds.

    For light summer hikes with lots of dirt and fewer rocks, a lightweight active sandal will do the trick. For more rugged terrain with lots of loose pebbles and rocks, you’ll want a more sturdy shoe capable of maintaining stability even on unstable ground.

  • How should hiking shoes fit?

    When trying on a pair of hiking shoes or boots, always remember to wear the socks you’ll be wearing with them—especially since hiking socks are often thicker. Hiking shoes should fit snug but not tight. Feet often expand while hiking, and too-small shoes going downhill can be a recipe for bruised toenails.

    If new to hiking shoes, we recommend getting fitted by a professional at a local shoe store and check out these hiking shoe fit tips.

Athletes, active individuals, and even those embarking on a new fitness regimen face a higher risk of experiencing foot and ankle injuries, whether from trauma or overuse.

 

In fact, 47% of respondents in our study reported that their foot pain began due to an injury.

Explore the latest foot pain trends, common causes of pain, treatment and prevention plans for maintained foot health in our 2024 Foot Pain Trends Report!

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.

Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

  • 1

    KURUSOLE

  • 2

    KURUCLOUD

  • 3

    ULTIMATE INSOLE

  • How KURU brings relief

    KURUSOLE

    Our patented KURUSOLE plate features a unique design that cups and protects the heel and allows for dynamic flexion with each step. This superior support helps utilize our body’s natural cushioning system, the heel’s fat pad, so you can last through every switchback and summit.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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ratings.

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New Favorite Hiking shoes. All my life I have had foot problems. I am IMPRESSED they are actually everything the website claimed and so much more. My knee pain is going away. I have found myself wearing my hiking shoes to the grocery store and for other errands. I am so excited.

Van Meter

CHICANE WIDE. After a couple trips around the hiking trail the fit is perfect. Light and very comfortable for all terrain.

MKE

Worth it. I bought these boots about a month ago, and wore them to work for the break in period. It went well and the fit is great. I do love that the foot bed is made to be removable, as I have to wear custom orthodics now (recovering from broken feet). The fit is fine and true to size. Looking forward to hiking weather!

Kathy Baglien

Solid shoe with a great fit. My husband needs a wide shoe for comfort. He is very happy with this shoe for hiking and general use. It fits him well and provides the support he needs. Every Kuru shoe we purchase is exactly what we need! We both have several pair and are very happy with the company and the quality of the shoes!! We love our Kurus!!

A Cataldo

Like Wearing Clouds. Bought a few weeks ago. Planning on wearing them hiking in a month or so. Very comfortable. A little snug at first but I following the breaking in instructions and they fit better every day!

SandraW

Recommended Shoes for Hiking

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