Also available in: French
Each different footwear brand offers hiking boots and shoes providing unique benefits and technology to the wearer. To help you in making your selection, we’ve created a list of the 10 most popular hiking boot and shoe brands so that you can head out on the right foot.
Check out our Hiking Guide to discover more tips about this popular activity that can be done both in summer and winter.
In this article, you will learn more about:
- 1. Aku
- 2. Columbia
- 3. Keen
- 4. Lowa
- 5. Merrell
- 6. Oboz
- 7. Salomon
- 8. The North Face
- 9. Vasque
- 10. Zamberlan
Note: The following brands have been classified alphabetically and not by order of performance or popularity in order to preserve neutrality throughout the article.
It was on Italian soil that Aku founder, Galliano Bordin, set up his workshop. Today, the brand has two manufacturers – one in Montebelluna, Italy, and the other in Cluj-Napoca, Romania – and is taking outdoor enthusiasts by storm all over the world. Its guiding principle: Innovate in terms of materials and design without losing the artisanal element that defines its reputation.
- Is AKU right for you? If you like attention to detail, you’ll love that AKU shoes are made in Italy and that their upper is designed in high-quality, full grain leather.
- The technology to watch: The MICHELIN Pulsar rubber outsoles developed by tire giant MICHELIN exclusively for AKU. Inspired by mountain bike tires, these outsoles allow hikers to gain momentum all while offering superior traction on all types of surfaces.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The Tribute II GTX hiking boots for men, and the Tribute II LTR hiking boots for women.
For over 80 years, Columbia has been dressing you from head to toe. Although this American brand is known for its ski clothing, it has begun becoming popular in the hiking field, with the creation of aerodynamic and colourful hiking shoes, as well as classic styles offering excellent heel support.
- Is Columbia right for you? If you’re a sports shoe lover and like the look of a running shoe, Columbia is for you. The brand also offers models for wide feet.
- The technology to watch: The Techlite+™ system, featuring extralight foam that reacts to movement and offers a good energy return and excellent shock absorption.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The Peakfreak™ waterproof hiking shoes for men and women.
“Engagement” is truly a word that defines Keen. Founded in Oregon in 2003 and known for its famous Newport sandal, the company makes continual social and environmental efforts that have a positive impact. Since 2017, it has minimized the use of perfluorinated compounds, synthetic chemicals that are harmful to the planet and humans, and replaced them with safe materials.
- Is Keen right for you? Does an environmentally-involved brand strike a chord with you? Then Keen is for you. It’s also perfect for families, as it offers hiking boots and shoes for both young and old.
- The technology to watch: The KEEN.Dry membrane that protects you from water all while allowing your foot to breathe.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The Targhee II Mid for men and the Terradora II Vent hiking shoes for women.
If you still don’t know about Lowa, you should take note that the almost century-old Bavarian workshop is now a well-established brand renowned for its high-quality hiking and mountaineering boots, as well as climbing shoes. The brand holds true to designing its products in Europe in order to guarantee an unparalleled quality level and good working conditions for the craftsmen and women who contribute to the brand’s reputation.
- Is Lowa right for you? Lowa is right for you if you are an adventurer who is looking for performance and quality levels as high as the mountains you’ll climb. Hiking enthusiasts with larger feet may also find wider models with this brand.
- The technology to watch: The double injection, which consists of a complex injection procedure using two different layers. The result? More comfort and optimal cushioning.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The renegade GTX Mid hiking boot for men and women.
If you imagine a traditional boot with blue laces when you think of Merrell, it’s because the brand is a hiking leader and stands out for its unique style, versatility and the remarkable durability of its shoes and boots. The brand has done so well: Merrell just celebrated its 40th anniversary!
- Is Merrell right for you? Longtime hikers who love classic models and who are looking for durability, with great style. The brand also offers models for wide feet.
- The technology to watch: M-SelectMC DRY technology allows you to explore the trails, as it prevents water from entering all while allowing humidity to escape to keep your feet dry.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The waterproof Moab 3 hiking shoes for men (this newest generation is the most environmentally friendly Moab ever, utilizing recycled materials in construction) and the waterproof Gore-Tex Moab Speed hiking boots for women.
Did you know that if you combine the words Outside and Bozeman (Montana), the city where the brand was born, you get Oboz? Established in 2007, the brand offers a ton of footwear models and promises to plant a tree for each pair sold.
- Is Oboz right for you? If you tend to be someone who likes to support eco-friendly brands, then Oboz might be right for you. Wide models are also offered.
- The technology to watch: The O FIT Insole™ Plus composed of ethylene polymers and EVA maximises foot stability; its medium arch and excellent heel support offers cushioning for shocks during high-impact hikes.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The Bridger hiking boots for men and the Yellowstone Premium Mid hiking boots for women.
This French brand has been equipping you for the ski slopes for 75 years. In addition to having expanded to other sports fields related to skiing – cross-country, ski touring, snowboarding, etc. – the brand introduced its line of hiking shoes in 1992.
- Is Salomon right for you? If you love having fun in the outdoors, and enjoy innovation and technology evolution, then Salomon may be right for you.
- The technology to watch: The ADV-C frame protects and stabilizes ankle and foot joints without restricting movement so that the forefoot can benefit from a smoother roll forward.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex hiking shoes for men (wide) and the X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex hiking shoes for women.
8. The North Face
Ironically founded on a beach in California by two hiking enthusiasts, The North Face has been conquering sports lovers and climbers, as well as athletes from all over the world.
- Is The North Face right for you? Love a daring trek and looking for shoe or boot models at the cutting edge of technology that are outside the box? TNF is an option for you.
- The technology to watch: VECTIV technology has been specially designed to maximize your energy when on the trails, as its structure helps keeps movement fast and smooth on flat terrain, and stability and responsiveness on descents while minimizing impact on the tibia.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The waterproof Vectiv Exploris Futurelight hiking boots for men and the Activist Futurelight hiking shoes for women.
Vasque has been taking you where you want to go for over 55 years, and it’s this very sense of adventure and power of nature that fuels each pair of shoes and boots made by this American company.
- Is Vasque right for you? Vasque is for you if you like wandering off on unforged trails and aim to reach new heights.
- The technology to watch: The Vibram® sole, also seen in other footwear manufacturers, which offers unparalleled traction.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The St.Elias Gore-Tex hiking boots for men and the Talus AT Ultradry leather hiking boots for women.
Slightly less well-known than other hiking shoe and outdoor brands, this Italian company is well established and run by the third generation of the Zamberlan family. Each boot model proudly exhibits artisanal detail and rounded design, the signature of this lasting brand that’s here to stay.
- Is Zamberlan right for you? This brand is for you if you’re looking for unique, high-quality hiking boots.
- The technology to watch? The lining and rubber Zamberlan® RRS protective membrane that guards you from rocks and keeps the edges of your feet shielded from water.
- Which are some of the most popular models? The Gore-Tex 205 Stroll hiking shoes for men and the Gore-Tex 333 Frida hiking shoes for women.
Also available in: French