The Best Hiking Shoes Will Make You Want to Hit the Trails Hard

Hoo boy, hardcore hikers are probably pretty pissed right now. Can you imagine what it would feel like if your entire aesthetic identity was completely co-opted by aspiring creative-director types living in lofty studio apartments their parents copped years ago as “safe investments?” (Oh, you’re a card-carrying member of, like, any subcultural community ever? Shit, man. I’m sorry. Why don’t you take that massive chip on your shoulder and skate on out of here?)

Everyone in Soho (or, er, who would be in Soho) dresses like they’re ready to serendipitously hit the trails now, even if the closest they’ve come to hiking involved schlepping a pair of skis up the less scenic side of the mountain after the lift temporarily broke down while they complained the whole damn way. Sneakers like the Salomon XT-6 have become an unexpected sleeper hit on and off the trails, with some of the most stylish dudes in the world embracing the shoe like they’re about to start trekking across town using those poles your eccentric uncle routinely busts out walking around the suburbs.

Well, if you’re a hiker disgusted by what’s become of your beloved pastime, I’ve got some bad news for you, bucko: Demand for trail-ready gear isn’t going anywhere. Because if fashion’s infatuation with the look wasn’t bad enough, hiking now represents one of the few activities we can all still safely get on board with, provided you’ve got access to a trail nearby. The risk-taking involved is low, and the barrier to entry is even lower.

If you’re new to what your outdoorsiest friend will insist is a sport, you’re going to need a proper pair of hiking shoes, guy. (Think of them as tricked-out dad shoes, and then wear ’em like that too.) And whatever silhouette you’re feeling—from sneakers to boots to…sneaker-boots—there’s never been a better time to lean all the way into the look. So without further ado, here’s a few of the best options available now to help you push past the uphill part of your trail with style to spare. Happy hiking.

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ACG Zoom Terra Zaherra Sneakers



When in doubt, Nike ACG’s line should be a go-to for ultra-functional, super-stylish, all-terrain gear. 

Air Max 270 Bowfin Sneakers



If you’re a diehard Air Max devotee, The Swoosh also remixed the 270, incorporating elements found on classic trail-ready shoes while lifting design details from conventional water moccasins.  

Fresh Foam Hierro v5 Sneakers

New Balance


NB’s signature trail sneaker comes with all the comfort the brand’s beloved for, now with a Vibram sole for added traction and durability.  

Moab 2 Mid Vent Shoes

Outdoor Voices x Merrell


Not your mom’s Merrells. 

Ultra 111 WP Sneakers

The North Face


I mean shit, man, is it me or are these suddenly looking pretty damn near perfect? 

Targhee EXP Waterproof Sneakers



A true OG of the game updated one of its most iconic (yes, iconic!) styles with a stripped-back, streamlined design that doesn’t compromise on any the features that made it such a classic in the first place. 

Grey Possagno Sneakers



Leave it to the Italian footwear aficionados at Diemme to make the sleekest damn hiking sneaker I’ve ever seen. 

Lace-Up Hiking Sneakers

Rick Owens x Veja


In close second: An all-black take from the Dark Lord himself, made in conjunction with the environmentally conscious sneakerheads at Veja. 

Security Ridged Sole Sneakers

Heron Preston


A ridged Vibram sole lends these otherwise luxe sneakers a genuinely trail-ready vibe. 

Terrex Free Hiker Parley Hiking Shoes



Adidas’ Terrex line makes stylish gear specifically designed for standing up to the worst of the elements, and these hiking shoes are no exception. 

Colour-Block High Top Sneakers

ROA x Brain Dead


ROA is famous for making super resilient footwear that blends elements of modern streetwear with details that borrow heavily from hiking-inspired design. Case in point: These color-blocked bad boys  of its collaboration with indie darling Brain Dead. 

XT-Quest Sneakers



The fashion crowd favorite. 

Hoka X Oc Tor Ultra Hi

Hoka One One


XA Amphib Bold Reflective Sneakers

And Wander x Salomon


These collaborative sneakers combine the attention to functional design Salomon is famous for (see the hits of reflective mesh on either sides) with And Wander’s eye for sleek, city-ready detailing that makes everything it touches look like something you’ll want to wear, not something you have to. 

Black Hiking Sandals

Martine Rose


An absolute unit of a sandal ready-made to hit the trails with treaded rubber soles that can more than take a beating. 

Daiquiri Low Top Sneakers



Sleek mesh paneling and an easy-to-slip-on front lace-up detail make these sneakers—, yet again, of team ROA—a standout style for any and all aspiring hikers.

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Avidan Grossman is the Style eCommerce Editor at Esquire, covering men’s fashion, shoes, grooming, and accessories.

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