Most Comfortable Trail Shoes
Calling all adventurers! Keep your mind off your feet and on the scenery with comfortable, high-performance trail shoes.
A trail shoe’s rubber doesn’t just meet the road, it must meet every rock, crevice, dirt mound, and grass strip in between. It should offer grip against the ground, yet allow you to move naturally.
KURU offers a lineup of some of the best trail shoes designed with our built-in insole technology to relieve pain all day.
Trail shoes are a form of outdoor footwear that help you stay stable on uneven terrain.
Trail hiker shoes will feature grippy and more durable outsoles than traditional athletic shoes yet maintain flexibility in the forefoot for easy walking through off-road pathways. Breathable or water-resistant materials can help you stay cool and dry. A wide toe box can help to alleviate painful toenails on the descent while keeping circulation flowing all hike long.
And with KURU hiking shoes, our patented, pain-relieving technology gets built into every pair with our generous toe boxes for some of the most comfortable hiking shoes on the market.
Trail shoes are designed for off-road terrains and feature extra traction, durable soles, and waterproofing, which provide better performance and protection on trails.
Below, we break down the different types of trail shoes and their specific features to help you find the perfect pair for your next adventure.
Trail-Running ShoesHiking or trail-running shoes should have the added element of traction-heavy rubber outsoles to provide stability, grip, and support on uneven terrain.Trail-Running Shoes
Low-Profile Trail ShoesLow-profile trail shoes like our CHICANE for men and women feature grippy rubber outsoles and your choice of naturally weather-resistant Nubuck leather uppers or mesh and leather for all the ventilation you need.Low-Profile Trail Shoes
High-Top Hiking ShoesPerfect for cooler temperatures and more sturdy ankle support, high-top hiking shoes like our QUEST for women and men offer a more rugged option for a wide-variety of trails.High-Top Hiking Shoes
Active SandalsFor the spring and summer months, active sandals like our TREAD for women and men feature a trail-friendly, open-air design with adjustable straps, moisture-wicking insoles, and traction-heavy outsoles.Active Sandals
Shoe Care Tips
We take a look at helpful tips and suggestions to keep your favorite footwear in tip-top form.
Tip #1: 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.
Tip #2: 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.
Tip #3: Allow your trail shoes to dry out between hikes, away from sunlight. Sweat and sunlight can each prematurely break down materials. And since trail shoes are most often worn outdoors, give them some breathing room in the shade between uses to help them stay fresh.
Tip #4: Wear socks with your hiking shoes. Socks provide a barrier against sweat and bacteria and help reduce blisters, especially when you’re on the trail all day. Keeping bacteria and sweat at bay can help extend the life of your outdoor shoes and reduce the risk of odor over time.
Be prepared to hit the trail with safety in mind with these tips.
A safe day on the trail not only requires high-quality shoes, it requires a little know-how before you begin your ascent up the mountain.
Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running for a few tips. We also unpack a few general guidelines below.
Bring the essentialsAlways pack extra water, snacks, and emergency materials such as a basic first aid kit, an emergency blanket, headlamp, fire starters, map, knife, and a warm jacket.Bring the essentials
Share your plansAlways tell someone where you’re going when you head out for a hike, and let them know when you plan to return. Knowing someone can call emergency personnel if you are lost or injured can help keep you safe.Share your plans
Research trail typesBefore you hit the trail, do some research on the trail type you’ll be hiking. A trail can be groomed, hard-packed, or gravel; or it can be rocky, muddy, mountainous, or full of loose pebbles (also known as scree). Trail types will influence your choice of footwear and the length of trail you decide on based on experience level.Research trail types
Understand terrain and your limitsA flat, dry trail can be a completely different experience than a hilly, muddy mountain with significant elevation gain. You’ll want to slowly ramp up to higher elevation gains so your cardiovascular fitness can keep up with the terrain.Understand terrain and your limits
Sneakers for high archesShoes with plenty of arch support and medial stability can help to neutralize alignment and help prevent injury.Sneakers for high arches
Sneakers for flat feetFlat feet or low arches benefit from an extra-cushioned footbed and arch support to help soften your landings and neutralize your alignment.Sneakers for flat feet
What are trail running shoes?
Trail running shoes will have a stiffer midsole than an athletic shoe and grippier outsoles for protection and traction on uneven terrain.
Trail running sneakers prioritize lighter weights than hiking shoes and often feature breathable uppers and traction-heavy outsoles. This combination offers maximum breathability, traction, stability, and ease as you quickly fly from rock to rock.
Are trail running shoes good for hiking?
Trail running shoes for hiking can be effective for summer day hikes that won’t have very much mud or water.
Trail runners are often designed to be lightweight and breathable while still providing traction on rocky, dirt soil. For hiking in cooler or wetter conditions, we suggest a hiking boot with a higher top and water-resistant upper for the utmost protection.
Can you use trail running shoes on the road?
You can, although it’s not the most effective use of them. Similar to using snow tires during the spring or summer, you’ll be getting unnecessary tread and protection when you don’t need it. We suggest wearing athletic running shoes on the road and saving your best trail running shoes for the uneven terrain where firmer, traction-heavy outsoles are most needed.
What are trail shoes?
Trail shoes are a form of outdoor footwear that help you navigate and stay stable on uneven terrain. Trail hiker shoes will feature grippier and more durable outsoles than traditional athletic shoes yet maintain flexibility in the forefoot for easy walking through off-road pathways.
How do I choose trail shoes?
With any trail shoe, you’ll want to look for sturdy, grippy rubber outsoles that provide traction on uneven surfaces, a wide toe box to make the descent more tolerable, and high-quality arch support for all-day stamina.
More specifically, the best trail walking shoes for you will depend on the type of outdoor activities you’ll plan to do.
Will you be looking to best your trail running time? You may do best with a lightweight trail runner. Will you be trekking through mud, puddles, and streams? You might prefer a waterproof shoe. Will it be hot and dry or cold and wet? Consider a low-profile shoe with a breathable upper for warmer climates and a water-resistant leather high-top boot for cooler temperatures.
To experience the most comfortable fit for your trail shoes, you’ll want them to feel snug around the ankle to offer support but include wiggle room for the toes to avoid those dreaded bruised toenails. Here are a few features to look out for.
Traction-heavy outsolesGrippy rubber outsoles offer effortless stability even on dicey terrain, so you can step with confidence.Traction-heavy outsoles
Breathable uppers for summerMesh uppers offer your feet all the ventilation they need during hot and sweaty summer months.Breathable uppers for summer
Water-resistant upper for winterKeep your feet dry and warm with weather-resistant leather uppers that can withstand the winter elements.Water-resistant upper for winter
Flexible forefoot for a natural gaitA flexible forefoot allows for your foot’s natural roll-through movement to keep your feet healthy and comfortable.Flexible forefoot for a natural gait
Wide toe box to avoid bruised toenailsKeep the downhill descent less painful with a generous toe box that lets your toes lay flat without pushing against the top of your shoe.Wide toe box to avoid bruised toenails
High-quality arch supportFor lasting pain relief on the trail, look for hiking shoes that feature adequate arch support.High-quality arch support
Shock-absorbing cushionWhen you’re on your feet all day, you’ll want a shock-absorbing layer to protect your bones, ligaments, and joints.Shock-absorbing cushion
High-quality materialsLook for trail shoes constructed with quality, durable materials to last through any adventure.High-quality materials
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.
Our patented KURUSOLE plate features a unique design that cups and protects the heel and allows for dynamic flexion with each step. This superior …Show More
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.…Show less
When outside on a strenuous hike, shock absorption is a must. Our KURUCLOUD base layer is a cushioned footbed for an extra-smooth …Show More
When outside on a strenuous hike, shock absorption is a must. Our KURUCLOUD base layer is a cushioned footbed for an extra-smooth stride. This layer of lightweight EVA foam helps absorb impact to your joints, ligaments, and bones, even through a long day on the trail.…Show less
The final layer in KURU’s technology trio, our ULTIMATE INSOLES feature premium arch support and cushion for the entire sole of your foot. Made of 5mm …Show More
The final layer in KURU’s technology trio, our ULTIMATE INSOLES feature premium arch support and cushion for the entire sole of your foot. Made of 5mm of durable polyurethane foam, these insoles form to your feet to provide lasting comfort as you scale a mountain.…Show less
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.
When outside on a strenuous hike, shock absorption is a must. Our KURUCLOUD base layer is a cushioned footbed for an extra-smooth stride. This layer of lightweight EVA foam helps absorb impact to your joints, ligaments, and bones, even through a long day on the trail.
The final layer in KURU’s technology trio, our ULTIMATE INSOLES feature premium arch support and cushion for the entire sole of your foot. Made of 5mm of durable polyurethane foam, these insoles form to your feet to provide lasting comfort as you scale a mountain.
Fine, We’ll Tell You Our Secret
What makes KURU different? Every KURU shoe comes with built-in patented KURUSOLE tech—a foot health game changer.
While other shoes are flat on the inside, KURUSOLE is shaped like your foot to hug and prevent fatigue and pain.
I love them. These trail shoes are so comfortable. They run a little small and I had to exchange for a half size larger. I do have foot problems and I bought them for an upcoming vacation where we will be hiking a lot. My husband wanted to cancel the trip but after purchasing these shoes I feel I can walk pain free. Woohoo. The blues stripes are very cute and shiny.
First pair is a winner! The shoes came promptly and I have worn them in the three hour time frame each day on our usual walks on the local trails. They feel great, and I may no longer need the lifts provided by my podiatrist. I also have been doing some new foot exercises that help circulation so my feet are no longer cold. In spring-or next time there is a ‘special’-Marsha will order sandals.
David O. Gohsman
My favorite shoe! This is the best built, most comfortable shoe in my closet. In fact, I just bought another pair in case they become unavailable or wear out. But so far, after almost a year, the Quantum shows no signs of wear and tear. I use them on trails up mountains, for staying comfy around friends houses, for playing golf, for biking, etc. The build quality is amazing! I did replace the liner with a somewhat stronger arch support. But I do that with all my shoes anyway, no big deal.
2nd pair of Chicane women’s Trail Hiking shoes. Purchased my second pair of Chicane women’s shoes last pair black and this pair tan.They are so comfortable on my feet.
Comfy! I bought these because I’m having a flare up of heel pain. I love the way they support my arch, heels and ankles . They do look more orthopedic than I thought they would and I’m not a fan of the glittery cuff material but for comfort, they are excellent, they are well made, and I’ll use these for walking the dog once I finish breaking them in. (Honestly, they feel great right out of the box) I usually wear dansko, but this mid height boot is really secure for hitting a trail. I’m sure I’ll try another style at some point.