Introducing the Best Hiking Shoes of the Year for 2020

best hiking shoes 2020

These Boots Were Made for Walking – The Best Hiking Shoes of 2020

If there was ever a year to hit the trails, this is the one! Escape outdoors and enjoy fresh air, solitude, and peaceful moments while you hike. Here at Tahoe Mountain Sports, we believe the key to a great day on the trail starts with an excellent pair of hiking shoes. The curated list below and in-store selection of hiking shoes are lightweight, durable, comfortable, and highly functional. They provide long-lasting comfort and support as you set out to work through your summer hiking bucket list!

If you’re new to hiking, you might be wondering – Should I choose a waterproof shoe or a more breathable one? What do I need for backpacking vs. day hiking? What should I look for in outsole traction? If any of these questions cross your mind, stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports. Our footwear experts will answer all your fitting questions and help you discover your new favorite hiking shoe. Can’t make it to the store? Read on to learn about some of our favorite hiking shoes for 2020.


Men’s Hiking Shoes

The best men’s hiking shoes for 2020 are here! They’re durable, lightweight, and designed for adventure.

Click here to jump to Women’s Hiking Shoes.
Enjoying a good pair of hiking shoes in Rocky Mountain National Park
Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Salomon OUTline hiking shoe

Salomon OUTline

Price – $110

Weight – 330 g

Best Use – Day Hiking

 

Lightweight hiking shoes are becoming a popular choice among hikers and Salomon’s OUTline shines in this category. It looks and feels like a running shoe but has been thoughtfully designed to give you all the function of a typical hiking shoe without any extra weight.

The outsole uses Salomon’s signature Contragrip rubber which is made of a durable compound that sticks a variety of surface conditions. It has deep 5 mm lugs arranged in a way to provide optimal tread for uphill and downhill travel.

Hikers will appreciate the protective toe cap, mud guard (Tahoe hikers will need that this spring!) and superbly breathable mesh upper. You’re feet will be able to breath easily and stay dry and comfortable on the trail when you’re wearing the OUTline. The bottom line is this hiking shoe is comfortable, lightweight, and nimble on the trail.

Find the right hiking shoe for the eastern Sierra
Taking in the Eastern Sierra
Oboz Bridger Mid Bdry hiking shoe

Oboz Bridger Mid Bdry

Price – $180

Weight – 538 g | 19 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Backpacking

 

The Bridger Mid Bdry hiking boot Oboz’s flagship mid hiking boot and a classic on our shoe wall. It’s a favorite style among backpackers and day hikers looking for a shoe with great ankle support. You’ll get all the great features of an Oboz shoe – rugged tread, supportive footbed, and durable construction.

It’s made with Nubuck leather and has a waterproof, yet breathable, B-DRY membrane. It has a molded rubber toe cap, TPU forefoot plate, and heel counter to protect your foot from whatever you encounter on the trail – sharp rocks, twigs, etc. Like most other Oboz’s it fits on the wider side with a generous forefoot and toe box to accommodate toe splay and foot swelling after a long day of hiking.

Oboz is known for their supportive insoles that rival aftermarket ones like Superfeet and Sole. This hiking shoe comes with Oboz’s O Fit Insole. You’ll love the performance and feel of this, especially after being on your feet all day! The Granite Peak outsole is supportive, protective, and feels akin to four wheel drive for your feet. The deep lugs provide great traction and grip to slippery surfaces. This outsole combined with the Granite Peak midsole work together to provide all day comfort. The midsole features a TPU chassis for stability and protection from stone bruising and EVA foam for cushion.

La Sportiva TX3 Approach hiking shoe

La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe

Price – $135

Weight – 360 g | 12.5 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Climbing

La Sportiva TX3 approach shoe is perfect for those looking for a shoe that can handle technical terrain with ease. It has incredible traction, thanks to a Vibram® Mega-Grip™ Traverse rubber outsole and “climbing zone” toe. If you have a rocky scramble to base of a crag or are hiking over rocky, technical terrain, you’ll want these hiking shoes on your feet. They’re perfect on scree, mud, or rock.

A polyester mesh upper provides all day comfort and lets your feet breathe on hot days. It dumps water and dries out quickly making creek crossings a breeze – especially helpful this year with high water in the Sierras! This shoe is constructed with an MEMlex midsole, lending cushion and comfort to the design.

The bottom line is that you can take this hiking shoe anywhere. It’s at home on rocky scrambles, a high ridge line traverse, or on the tops of the highest peaks. Durable, protective and rugged is the name of the game for La Sportiva’s TX3 approach shoe.

Big Sur, California hiking
Hiking near Big Sur, California
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking shoe

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Price – $165

Weight – 450 g | 16.9 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Backpacking

Salomon’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is a lightweight hiker with great ankle support and enhanced traction due to Descent Control technology. It’s lightweight, for a hiking boot, and is loaded with Salomon technologies to keep your feet comfortable during a long day on the trail.

This hiking shoe is designed to last. It’s outsole is made from Salomon’s most durable rubber compound, Contagrip® TD, and has deep multi-directional lugs to keep you planted on the trail whether you’re ascending, descending, side hilling… you name it. The upper is made with polyurethane coated leather to make it stronger and more durable.

You’ll be protected from the elements with the X Ultra 3 on your feet. That’s thanks to a breathable / waterproof GORE-TEX membrane to keep your feet dry, a mudguard that wraps along the base of the shoe, and a sturdy, protective toe cap. This hiking shoe fits on the narrower side but it is also available in a wide version.

Oboz Firebrand II hiking shoe

Oboz Firebrand II

Price – $140

Weight – 519 g | 18.3 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Backpacking

The Oboz Firebrand II low is a favorite at Tahoe Mountain Sports. It’s a hiking shoe that has it all – waterproof, durable, comfortable, and rugged. It’s a best seller among folks looking for a waterproof low cut hiking shoe.

Oboz uses B-DRY, their proprietary waterproofing membrane, to keep your feet dry as you tromp through puddles and vent moisture away from your foot when your feet heat up and start to sweat. The upper is made from waterproof nubuck leather and highly abrasion resistant textiles to add protection and durability to the shoe.

This hiking shoes uses the Sawtooth midsole and outsole. The midsole uses dual density EVA foam to provide cushion and stability. The burly outsole can handle a variety of terrain while remaining flexible and supportive.

Oboz Cirque Low hiking shoe

Oboz Cirque Low

Price – $125

Weight – 451 g | 15.9 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Backpacking, Fast and Light

The Cirque Low is ideal for folks looking for a shoe to keep up with their summit dreams. It’s perfect for fast and light adventures, or technical scrambles. It’s made with a breathable synthetic micro suede and knit mesh which keeps the shoe lightweight and comfortable. Using their signature B-DRY waterproofing, Oboz makes the Cirque waterproof and breathable.

Inside of this hiking shoe, an A3 Chassis™ works to provide torsional flex and maintain a natural articulation. For underfoot comfort, Oboz has incorporated a single density EVA into the chassis. It also has an integrated shank and ESS plate which serve a couple important functions. The first is to provide support and flex points, the second is to prevent your foot from over flexing and protect from stone bruising.

The Cirque Low uses the Tempest outsole, a lightweight sole that doesn’t compromise on traction. It has multi-directional and perimeter lugs which work well in a variety of terrain – mud, snow, dirt, scree, etc. This lightweight hiking shoe is a great choice if you’re looking to save weight on footwear without making compromises to performance.

Waddle Ranch, Truckee, California hiking
Sunset hike at Waddle Ranch
On Running Cloudrock Waterproof hiking shoe

On Running Cloudrock Waterproof

Price – $299.99

Weight – 445 g | 15.7 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Speed

On Running is a Tahoe Mountain Sports favorite and you can usually find our staff in one of their comfortable running shoes on any given day. They are known for out-of-the-box, long last comfort and the Cloudrock is no exception. This lightweight hiking shoe combines the lightweight performance technology of a trail running shoe with the support and structure of a hiking boot. The result? A hiking shoe you won’t want to take off, even after a long day on the trail.

When we say “it feels like you’re walking on clouds,” we aren’t joking. You can thank On’s CloudTec® technology for that. It provides incredible cushioning and absorbs multidirectional forces with each footfall. Premium cushioning plus a hidden speedboard, work with your stride to energetically propel you forward. Add in the Missiongrip rubber for added traction on soft trails and there is no stopping you.

Despite weighing in at only 445 g, the Cloudrock offers a surprising level of durability and weather protection. It has a waterproof and windproof membrane and a 360-degree rubberized mudguard. So if you’re looking for a lightweight, speed-oriented hiking shoe that can withstand tough terrain and variable conditions, look no further: the On Running Cloudrock is your shoe.

Women’s Hiking Shoes

The best women’s hiking shoes for 2020 are here! And they’re the perfect balance of performance, comfort, and style.

Photo Credit: Johannes Griesshammer
Danner Adrika Hiker hiking shoe

Danner Adrika Hiker

Price – $170

Weight – 822 g | 29 oz

Best Use – Hiking

The Adrika Hiker is a comfortable hiking boot that is just at home on the trails as it is on an urban exploration. It’s designed to blend comfort, style, and function with a classic aesthetic that evokes the crunch of leaves underfoot and sitting around the campfire.

It’s made with a durable suede upper and uses the Danner Adrika outsole to provide lightweight traction. Danner Dry creates a waterproof barrier to keep your feet dry through stream crossings, hiking over snow, etc. It comes with a removable ortholite footbed which is made with three different density foams so that you can enjoy the maximum cushion and support.

Here is a hiking shoe that can move seamlessly between urban and outdoor environments. It’s stylish, comfortable, and designed to hold up to whatever the trails throw at you. We love the Adrika for everyday use and day hiking.

PC: Danner
Oboz Bridger Vent Mid Bdry hiking shoe

Oboz Bridger Vent Mid Bdry

Price – $170

Weight – 451 g | 15.0 oz

Best Use – Hiking

Oboz’s signature hiking shoe, the Bridger Mid, just got a whole lot more breathable. The Bridger Vent Mid combines everything you know and love about the Bridger in a lighter, more breathable package.

It integrates breathable synthetic mesh panels into the upper to let you feet breathe, a welcome feature on hot summer days here in the Sierras. Despite it’s high level of breathability, you don’t have to sacrifice protection from the elements thanks to a B-DRY waterprooof / breathable membrane.

It also has a TPU forefoot plate, a rubber toe cap, and a rubber heel counter to add to the durability of the shoe and protect your foot from stone bruising or rocks and roots in the trail.

Walnut Creek, California hiking
On a hike in Walnut Creek
Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoe

Oboz Sawtooth II Low

Price – $110

Weight – 351 g | 12.4 oz

Best Use – Hiking

One of our favorite things about Oboz footwear is that their hiking shoes and boots require virtually no break in period. That right, toss these on your feet and you’ll notice how comfortable they are straight out of the box. The Sawtooth II Low is popular for just that reason. It’s really comfortable and has amazing on trail performance. Year after year, it remains a best seller among those looking for a lightweight, breathable hiking shoe.

This hiking shoe uses the Sawtooth midsole and outsole. The midsole uses dual density EVA foam to provide cushion and stability. The burly outsole can handle a variety of terrain while remaining flexible and supportive.

It’s made with nubuck leather and highly abrasion resistant textile. The paneling on the upper allows the shoe to breathe even on the hottest days. This is a popular choice for folks who live in dry climates, who can forgo waterproofing in exchange for a more breathable, lightweight hiking shoe.

Oboz hiking shoe, hiking trail
PC: Oboz
Oboz Sapphire Mid Hiking Shoe

Oboz Sapphire Mid

Price – $160

Weight – 405 g | 14.3 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Backpacking

 

Style meets function with the Oboz Sapphire Mid. This women’s specific hiking shoe has been designed with careful attention to comfort and fit. It has a women’s specific last which provides a unique, sculpted fit and an asymmetrical collar to accommodate ankle movement. It, like all other Oboz hiking shoes, comes with their signature O-Fit Insole: an anatomically designed footbed that lends support, stability, and comfort to each shoe. This insole matches the shape and construction of the Sapphire to provide all day comfort, arch support, and protection in high-strike zones where you need it.

The Sapphire is made with waterproof nubuck leather, a durable and protective material. It uses Oboz’s proprietary B-DRY waterproof / breathable membrane to keep your feet dry. The inner workings of this hiking shoe, namely the midsole, provide the foundation for support and stability. The women’s specific Swiftcurrent Midsole uses women specific EVA cushioning, a TPU chassis, and an ESS plate in the forefoot. The result is a hiking shoe that boasts durable cushion and protection from stone bruising while remaining light and flexible. The Swiftcurrent Outsole provides the tread and traction necessary for the trail without any extra bulk. This makes this shoe perfect for a hike or a stroll in the city.

On Running Hiking Shoe

On Running Cloudrock Waterproof

Price – $229.99

Weight – 380 g | 13.4 oz

Best Use – Hiking, Speed

 

On Running is a Tahoe Mountain Sports favorite and you can usually find our staff in one of their comfortable running shoes on any given day. They are known for out-of-the-box, long last comfort and the Cloudrock is no exception. This lightweight hiking shoe combines the lightweight performance technology of a trail running shoe with the support and structure of a hiking boot. The result? A hiking shoe you won’t want to take off, even after a long day on the trail.

When we say “it feels like you’re walking on clouds,” we aren’t joking. You can thank On’s CloudTec® technology for that. It provides incredible cushioning and absorbs multidirectional forces with each footfall. Premium cushioning plus a hidden speedboard, work with your stride to energetically propel you forward. Add in the Missiongrip rubber for added traction on soft trails and there is no stopping you.

Despite weighing in at only 445 g, the Cloudrock offers a surprising level of durability and weather protection. It has a waterproof and windproof membrane and a 360-degree rubberized mudguard. So if you’re looking for a lightweight, speed-oriented hiking shoe that can withstand tough terrain and variable conditions, look no further: the On Running Cloudrock is your shoe.

Looking for something lighter? Try out one of our favorite Trail Running Shoes!

Best Trail Running Shoes

Ready to hit the trail? Here are the Best Places to go Hiking in Lake Tahoe.

Best places to go for a hike Lake Tahoe

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Tahoe Mountain Sports will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Affiliate commissions help fund the content for this blog.



Siobhan is the Marketing Director of Tahoe Mountain Sports. She's always down for a sufferfest, as long as it ends with ice cream. Favorite activities include backcountry skiing, trail running, and backpacking.


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