Best Hiking Shoes For Travel

Best Hiking Shoes For Travel: Top 5 Review 2021

One of the best things about hiking shoes is their versatility. By using a comfortable and casual design, they can be a great option to wear throughout your entire travel and trail experience.

Many traditional hiking shoes are simply too ‘hard and heavy’ to wear when you’re not on the trail. However, there are plenty of modern looking designs that are ideally suited for long journeys where comfort is required.

Here at SnowSunSee, we know that choosing the best hiking boots for travel can be confusing. Finding a pair that can perform on and off the trail isn’t always easy, so we’ve done the legwork for you.

In this guide, we discuss the performance markers you should be looking for in hiking boots that are suitable for travel. We have compared the top products and relayed the key features in an easy-to-read format to help you make the right choice.

Ranking The Best Hiking Shoes For Travel

  1. Danner Trail 2650
  2. Asolo Grid GV
  3. Vasque Breeze LT GTX
  4. Oboz Sypes
  5. Merrell MQM Flex 2

Best Hiking Shoes For Travel Comparison Table

Name

Price

Overview

Casual looking pair of hiking shoes that perform on the trail and feel nimble during travel

Super lightweight and durable pair of shoes that can handle tough conditions

A hiking shoe that offers stablity on the trail and looks great throughout any journey

Lightweight and grippy hiking shoes that will add spring to your step when travelling to the trail 

Nimble feeling hiking shoe that provides ample protection for a budget price

Best For

Overall

Lightweight

Support

Traction

Budget

Pros

Comfortable, lightweight, good traction, attractive design, durable

Lightweight, cushioned, comfortable, waterproof, durable, good traction

Supportive, waterproof, durable, good traction, appealing design

Excellent traction, lightweight, comfortable, cushioned, stylish

Lightweight, nimble, breathable, cheap, feels secure, good protection

Cons

Lacks ability on technical terrain

Limited lateral support

Lacks cushioning, not always comfortable

Lacks durability

Lacks cushioning, poor sole durability

Overall Rating

Material

Suede, Textile

Polyester

Nubuck, Textile

Mesh

PU, Mesh

Weight

1lb. 8oz (680g)

1lb. 4oz (567g)

1lbs 15.4oz (890g)

1lbs. 6oz (624g)

1lbs. 9oz (709g)

Why Do I Need The Best Hiking Shoes For Travel?

Hiking shoes come in a range of different styles. Some are designed to be stiff and supportive on tough terrain, while others use a more ‘casual’ design that can also be used for travel.

Finding a pair that are versatile enough for use away from the trail can be advantageous. It will allow you to pack lighter when travelling to your destination and gives you the opportunity to get more use out of your purchase.

The best hiking shoes for travel need to be lightweight, stylish and breathable enough for comfort on the journey. They will also need to provide the strength, traction and weather-resistance required for your outdoor adventure.

Tip: If you love feeling fast and light on your feet, we have also reviewed the best lightweight hiking shoes.

Best Hiking Shoes For Travel
Find a pair of shoes that can support every step of your journey

How To Choose The Best Hiking Shoes For Travel

Weight

If you plan on wearing your hiking shoes for travel, you need to find a pair that aren’t going to weigh you down. Fortunately, modern technology and use of ‘tough but thin’ fabrics is starting to make heavy hiking shoes obsolete.

Lightweight hiking shoes tend to provide improved breathability, flexibility and comfort. They can also give you an added spring in your step and will allow you to preserve energy when you’re on the trail.

It’s worth noting that lighter shoes can lack an element of durability and support in comparison to heaver products. However, they are well-suited to day-hikers and multiday minimalists that prefer to leave the heavy pack at home.

Best Hiking Shoes For Travel
Many modern hiking shoes are incredibly lightweight

Breathability

Travelling can be a recipe for hot and sweaty feet. Wearing a breathable pair of hiking shoes is a great way to mitigate this problem, helping to keep your feet cool and dry.

In general, shoes that are designed from thinner synthetic fabrics or mesh are the most breathable. By increasing airflow and allowing moisture to evaporate, they will prevent your feet from sweating and are usually quick-drying.

It’s also worth noting that non-waterproof shoes tend to be more breathable. When adding waterproofing, manufacturers will add an inner ‘membrane’ to stop water entering, but this can also limit airflow.

If you are set on finding a waterproof product, look for a membrane that includes breathable features. Gore-Tex surround generally does a good job of keeping your feet breathing, offering 360-degree breathability with the use of vented insoles.

Comfort

Whether you’re on the trail or in the car; you need to make sure your feet are comfortable. Most modern hiking boots tend to prioritize comfort, although some do a better job than others.

You will generally find that lighter and less rigid hiking shoes are the most comfortable. They have a ‘sneaker like’ feel that conforms naturally to the shape of your foot and requires little ‘break-in’ time.

It’s worth noting that different manufacturers tend to have a different fit. American brands such as Keen and Merrell tend to be a bit wider, while European brands like Salomon and Asolo can run narrow.

It’s best to check the previous customer reviews to see if your prospective shoes run wide or narrow when making your purchase. Getting the right fit is always a big part of ensuring comfort.

Tip: If you have particularly narrow feet, we also have a guide reviewing the best hiking boots for narrow feet.

Waterproofing

If you plan on hiking in wet weather or regularly need to cross rivers and streams; waterproof shoes are essential. Designed using an inner ‘membrane’ or ‘bootie’, they come with a reliable layer of protection that will stop water from reaching your feet.

The most common type of membrane used is Gore-Tex. It provides all the waterproofing you would expect from their reputation, while also being one of the most breathable.

Other manufacturers use their own in-house weather-resistance methods. Each one claims to provide the perfect blend between waterproofing and breathability, but the end result can vary greatly between products.

It’s worth noting that shoes designed to resist water will always run warmer than non-waterproof options. Despite the advanced technology used to keep your feet cool, they will always sacrifice an element of ventilation.

Support

It’s clear that hiking shoes offer limited support in comparison to a traditional backpacking boot. However, they do come with a range of design features that can give your feet the stability required to tackle uneven terrain.

The most common ways hiking shoes maintain stiffness is through the use of internal shanks or supports. It provides an element of lateral stability that separates them from regular trainers.

It’s worth noting that the stiff upper material that’s used in heavier hiking shoes tends to provide the most support. The majority of ‘modern’ hiking shoes use a softer design that is light and nimble, but does sacrifice some stability.

Cushioning

Ample underfoot cushioning can improve the feel of a hiking shoe on and off the trail. It gives your feet much-needed shock-absorption and will help to protect you from sharp rocks and roots.

The job of cushioning your feet lies predominantly with the midsole. It’s the ‘spongy’ layer that sits directly underneath your insole.

The best hiking shoes for travel generally use an EVA midsole. It’s a lightweight and soft material that’s perfect for taking the sting out of heavy impacts.

Some minimalist shoes will use a thin layer of EVA, while heavier options will have a midsole that’s thicker and stiffer. If you’re looking for a pair that are ideal for use during travel, it’s often best to choose a softer midsole for maximum comfort.

Traction

Once you reach the trail, you need to make sure you’ve got enough grip. That’s where the outsole comes in, providing the traction required to safely navigate slippery surfaces.

Outsoles are made from high-density rubber, using underfoot lugs to provide solid grip on a range of surfaces. The most popular outsole producer is Vibram, who supply the traction for many of the top boots on this list.

Some other brands will instead choose to use their own in-house outsole construction. Salomon is a great example, with their Contagrip outsole proving to be a reliable choice.

Many lightweight shoes focus on using sticky rubber that is great for scrambling up wet rocks. If you look towards the heavier options, you will find designs with larger lugs that can cope with steep slopes covered in slippery mud.

Best Hiking Shoes For Travel
Traction is vital when the going gets tough

Best Overall Hiking Shoes For Travel

Danner Trail 2650

Danner 2650 Hiking Shoes For Travel

Weight

Comfort

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Style (Fashion)

Overall

Finding a shoe that feels equally at home on the trail and when travelling can seem almost impossible. However, the Danner Trail 2650 has a reliable all-round performance and casual looking design that makes it the standout candidate when assessing the best hiking shoes for travel.

Danner are a company that are best known for their work boots, but they have brought all of the durability they’re so famous for and applied it to the Trail 2650. The suede and textile upper gives the shoes an unbreakable feel that can stand up to the combination of every-day wear and heavy outdoor usage.

The shoes feel super lightweight and comfortable at all times, with no break-in time required. We were also impressed by the level of traction offered, mainly due the Vibram outsole that felt secure on a range of wet and dry terrain types.

If you’re looking for the ultimate pair of versatile hiking shoes, we believe that the Danner Trail 2650 is an excellent choice. The comfort, durability and design used makes them ideal for serious day-hikes or leisurely strolls around the town.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Out of the box comfort
  • Breathable
  • Great traction
  • Excellent foot protection

Cons

  • Not super supportive or stable
  • Size runs slightly narrow

Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes For Travel

Asolo Grid GV

Asolo Grid GV Hiking Shoes For Travel

Weight

Comfort

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Style (Fashion)

Overall

Anyone that loves travelling light will be impressed with the lightweight performance of the Grid GV. It’s a shoe from Asolo’s ‘A-Fast’ range that is specifically designed for day-hikers looking for the same comfort and performance you might usually find in trail running footwear.

The Grid GV uses a polyester upper material that has all the comfort and flexibility you might expect from a modern hiking shoe. It’s combined with a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing and a fast lacing system that works well to keep out the elements.

Underneath the shoe, ample cushioning is found in the EVA midsole and footbed to provide an energetic feel throughout. The outsole is produced from Vibram MegaGrip for reliable grip on a range of terrain types and long-lasting durability.

Upon review, we were thoroughly impressed by the well-rounded performance of the Grid GV. It has a snug and secure feeling on your feet at all times that will make your hiking experience feel energetic.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Reliable durability
  • Cushioned
  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • Good traction
  • Decent protection

Cons

  • Lightweight flexibility diminishes support

Best Supportive Hiking Shoes For Travel

Oboz Sypes

Oboz Sypes Hiking Shoes For Travel
  • Material: Nubuck Leather, Textile
  • Weight: 1lb. 15.4oz (890g)
  • Waterproof: Yes (B-Dry)
  • Midsole: PU
  • Outsole: Carbon Rubber
  • Retailers: Amazon
  • Alternate Versions: Sypes Mid

Weight

Comfort

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Style (Fashion)

Overall

Most modern hiking shoes tend to lack the robust support offered by more ‘traditional’ footwear. However, the Oboz Sypes provides more than enough stability to support you across uneven terrain while still maintaining a casual design that’s suitable for travel.

The substantial nubuck leather upper is lined with Oboz’s time-tested ‘B-Dry’ membrane to provide excellent protection from wet weather. The durable upper material slightly reduces flex to give the shoes an added sense of stability, along with an internal nylon shank that further enhances support.

The underside of the shoes are also designed with strength, using a PU midsole to provide standout strength and stability that will last for many years. The outsole also uses comes with extra-large traction lugs that are more than capable of standing up to muddy trails.

Finding a modern looking hiking shoe that also feels stable underfoot has become increasingly difficult; but the Oboz Sypes is the perfect solution. Its exceptionally durable and rugged yet casual design makes it a great choice for anyone travelling to difficult terrain.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Reliable traction
  • Stable and supportive
  • Strong sole
  • Decent cushioning
  • Good foot protection

Cons

  • Less nimble than lighter options
  • Can run warm during travel

Best Traction Hiking Shoes For Travel

Vasque Breeze LT GTX

Vasque Breeze LT GTX Hiking Shoes For Travel

Weight

Comfort

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Style (Fashion)

Overall

Vasque are best known for their more traditional ‘heavy duty’ footwear, but the Breeze LT GTX bucks the trend to prove they know how to make a top-quality lightweight hiking shoe. The striking design features a mesh upper construction that feels soft and flexible, combining with a Gore-Tex membrane for reliable water-resistance.

Whether you’re travelling to the trail or embarking on a ‘speedhike’, the shoes have an energetic feel in every situation. This is thanks predominantly to a dual-density EVA midsole that gives great rebound and shock absorption on solid ground.

Traction is another strong point for the breeze, with the Vibram MegaGrip outsole providing outstanding grip on a variety of wet and dry surfaces. The flexibility in the sole is also evident after heavy use with the shoes adopting the supreme comfort that’s often associated with lightweight shoes.

Overall, we were impressed with the level of performance offered by the Breeze LT GTX; despite being a featherweight shoe. Its comfort, weather-resistance, reliable traction and attractive style make it a great choice to accompany you on a day-hiking adventure.

Pros

  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
  • Super lightweight
  • Excellent traction
  • Great cushioning
  • Attractive style
  • Moisture-wicking interior
  • Energetic feel

Cons

  • Questionable long-term durability

Best Budget Hiking Shoes For Travel

Merrell MQM Flex 2

Merrell MQM Flex 2 Hiking Shoes For Travel
  • Material: PU, Mesh
  • Weight: 1lb. 9oz (709g)
  • Waterproof: No (GTX Version Available)
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: Quantum Grip Rubber
  • Retailers: Amazon
  • Alternate Versions: MQM Flex 2 GTX

Weight

Comfort

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Style (Fashion)

Overall

It’s no secret that top-quality hiking shoes can be expensive. However, Merrell have been a reliable producer of ‘budget friendly’ hiking footwear for years, with the MQM Flex 2 being a great option for those wanting a travel friendly shoe that won’t break the bank.

Using a soft and flexible PU upper that’s complimented by mesh, the shoes feel incredibly lightweight underfoot on every occasion. The out of the box comfort is a top selling point for the MQM Flex 2, along with the secure and nimble feel they have for day-hikers and minimalists.

Despite being such a lightweight shoe, the MQM offers excellent foot protection against sharp undergrowth. It features an underfoot rock plate and beefed up heel protection that will keep you safe on overgrown trails.

Merrell have been a trusted supplier of traditional hiking footwear for a while, but the MQM Flex 2 proves they know how to produce a lightweight modern hiking shoe. Its secure and comfortable design is ideal for those looking to wear it during travel and its bargain price tag will make it a popular choice.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Decent traction
  • Budget friendly
  • Comfortable
  • Secure fit
  • Breathable
  • Good foot protection

Cons

  • Minimal cushioning
  • Sole tends to wear down quickly

Summing Up

Finding hiking shoes that you can wear during travel isn’t a simple task. It’s difficult to find a pair of shoes that are comfortable enough for casual wear without sacrificing performance on the trail.

The best hiking shoes for travel have proven comfort, cushioning and breathability. They also come with a design that’s ‘stylish’ enough to make sure you look the part when you wear them around the town.

Each shoe on this list is best suited to a different type of hiker, so take the time to find the one that’s right for you. Once you’ve found a pair that you can wear on and off the trail, you will be incredibly happy with your investment.