Best Hiking Boots for Beginners – ( Buying Guide )

Are you getting ready to embark on an outdoor adventure? Choosing the right hiking boots is essential for any beginner hiker – they protect your feet and provide support while navigating tough terrain. Best hiking boots for beginners should have waterproofing, breathability, cushioning, and good grip. 

With so many options available, choosing the best pair of shoes for your feet cannot be easy. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top five best hiking boots for beginners that offer great value and performance. Read on to learn more about each model’s features and benefits to find the perfect match.

Our Top Picks for Best Hiking Boots for Beginners

1. Oboz Sapphire Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot

Women seeking the perfect outdoor boot need look no further than Oboz’s Sapphire Mid Bdry. Crafted with female adventurers in mind, these boots provide a comfortable fit for all foot sizes – especially those hard to shop-for extra-wide feet. 

With supportive ankle protection and an articulated upper enabling greater movement on changing terrain, you’ll have stability no matter what the trail throws you. Additionally, thanks to their water-repellent nubuck leather construction, Sole Searchers will stay dry even when traversing wet conditions; plus, its rugged material ensures long-lasting wearability.

 To top it off there is also a secure lacing system that keeps ankles safe from moisture entry ensuring maximum safety out in nature.

2. Merrell Chameleon Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

If you’re searching for the perfect pair of Merrell women’s hiking boots, look no further than the Chameleon. These stylish leather shoes offer incredible comfort right out of the box and require almost zero break-in time. 

With a wide-toe box that can fit thick wool socks or swollen feet at day’s end, they feel like wearing slippers on your wildest adventures.

Their Merrell Air Cushion technology ensures optimal shock absorption and stability on uneven terrain–ideal for unpredictable downhill slopes. Just beware: these boots may not work so well if your feet are extra wide because of their moulding design—but otherwise? A true “hiker’s charm.”

Conquer any terrain with these Merrell women’s waterproof hiking boots. Their midsole flexibility provides plenty of movement, plus the Nubuck leather construction is wonderfully breathable. Rest assured that slippery surfaces won’t be a problem either – grip tight with every step and tackle steep inclines without worrying about height restrictions.

3. Oboz Sawtooth II Low-Hiking Shoes

Oboz Footwear is born of the outdoors. Trail-tested in Montana’s rugged Rocky Mountains, you can expect these shoes to be anything but ordinary – they’re beefy and durable yet surprisingly low profile for maximum stability on your hikes. 

Thanks to Oboz’s high-friction rubber outsole technology, every step will benefit from superior grip so that each terrain won’t slow down your journey. The Sawtooth II Low hiking shoe: made specifically with adventurers in mind.

For those looking to tackle long hikes and carry heavy loads, the Sawtooth II hiking shoes have all the features needed for an enjoyable outdoor experience. With plenty of room in the toe box, allowing your toes freedom to move as you walk and a snug fit that prevents slipping, your feet stay supported from start to finish on any trail journey.

 Go ahead – lace up these sturdy boots without hesitation or worry about breaking them in; they’re durable enough for peak performance right away. You can also choose between standard fits or wide sizes tailored specifically for men’s and women’s needs — it pays off big time when comfort reigns supreme during extended jaunts outdoors.

Experience superior support with Oboz’s Sawtooth II Low hiking shoes. Conquer any terrain, from hill scrambles to pavement pounding – the EVA midsole gives you padded feet while nylon shanks provide confidence-boosting stability.

The O Fit insole offers an extra cushion, taking your comfort game a notch. With deep lugs that dig into wet and muddy conditions yet remain sturdy on scree trails – these rockstars give you traction like no other.

The Oboz Sawtooth II Low hiking shoes are crafted to tackle even the most challenging trails. Built with durability in mind, these hikers will last you for years and can handle tough terrain confidently.

Plus, their one-year warranty makes it easy to buy them, knowing they’re backed by a brand that stands behind their product quality. Also, great news if you’re starting–these shoes grow with your trail experience as you gain confidence on tougher paths.

4. Danner Trailcomber Hiking Shoes

For hikers of all levels, the Danner Trailcomber hiking shoes provide both comfort and reliability – with an added touch of style. At a fractional weight than most traditional designs, you’ll be able to tackle even longer trails without feeling weighed down.

 Combining lightweight materials with their casual design makes them perfect for light-trail adventures, while the lacing system ensures they stay snugly in place no matter how far off-trail you go. Look no further when finding your ideal fit, whatever foot shape you have; grab some Danner’s today.

The Danner Trailcombers provide comfort, breathability and durability in warm climates. Their Cordura fabric upper keeps your feet cool while the airflow allows them to breathe easy on gentle terrains – perfect for days spent exploring or walking your dog.

Enjoy a reliable shoe that won’t tire out without being too bulky off-road. Don’t worry about dreaded foot sweat; with the lightweight construction of these shoes, you can stay comfortable during city hikes and day trips.

Confidently tackle any outdoor excursion with Danner Trailcombers. Their high-quality Vibram Megagrip outsoles provide superior grip on dry and wet surfaces.

Plus, Litebase technology reduces the sole weight to enhance your trekking experience without sacrificing stability. Don’t be fooled–these shoes weren’t meant for tough terrain; however, they will get you through all of life’s everyday adventures.

Trailcombers are designed to take on the toughest terrain – with abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric and a quick-drying midsole; there’s no need to worry about your shoes getting waterlogged. And did we mention that tough Vibram outsole? You’ll be covering plenty of ground before you have any wear or tear.

5. Danner Trailcomber Hiking Shoes

Ready to revolutionize your hiking experience?

 Step into the new trend of Barefoot shoes. These minimal shoes allow for natural freedom of movement, allowing you to readjust your posture and build strength from the ground up.

Many also claim they can help with long-lasting joint injuries – certainly worth considering if you want to start on this incredible adventure. Not ideal for beginners, but give it some time and these stylish kicks could be just what you need.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, no-frills hiking experience like none other that comes with all promises kept – look no further than Magna Trails’ minimal shoes.

These ultra-comfy shoes have become divisive favourites among converts, weighing in at less than 340g on the male version and even lighter on the female counterpart. But is it right for everyone? Try them to find out, as they may be your most comfortable pair.

Take your outdoor experience to the next level with Magna Trails. Our innovative design features a thin sole to help you feel more of the terrain beneath each step. At first, it may be strange as we all need time for our feet to adjust – but don’t worry; plenty about these shoes is still very comfortable.

 Plus, its wide toe box follows a natural foot shape and gives toes room to splay while bolstering balance and grip on trails. And since barefoot shoes are designed lightly without added support, stumble no longer: As you wear them often over time, your calves & ankles will become stronger.

Get ready to feel the terrain beneath your feet with Magna Trails. Their shallow lugs offer an optimal balance between grip and flexibility, ideal for various surfaces. Not only are they good for nature – their nylon upper is made from recycled plastic waste – but it’s also designed to be ultra-durable, so you won’t have to worry about tears or punctures in any situation, no matter how tough the trail.

6. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Hiking Shoes

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilators are a staple of any beginner hiker’s wardrobe. Praised for their comfort, light weight and affordability – they’re the perfect combination.

Not only do you get extra durability with these shoes (weighing in at 888g), but straight out of the box, Merrell ensures your feet will feel nothing short of great thanks to its padded tongue, ankle collar, & supportive insoles. Invest in an incomparable hiking experience today: choose Merrell Moab 2 Ventilators.

Take your beginner hikes to the next level with Moab 2s. With cushioned arch support and heel padding, you’ll feel comfortable and steady on those rocky trails. And for extra protection against sharp rocks underfoot, explore in confidence, knowing that these shoes have special outsoles specially designed for outdoor adventures.

 Don’t worry about getting hot feet either – refined ventilation helps keep them cool as you take each step closer towards adventure. Two silicon bands provide additional ankle structure, so no rolling or straining will slow down your journey.

Looking for a great all-rounder shoe to start your hiking journey? Look no further than the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilators. With Vibram outsoles that provide grip and traction even in tricky terrains, these shoes are perfect for beginners. 

Don’t let heavy loads or steep climbs stop you from exploring – take on new trails confidently, knowing that Merrell has your back.

Step into the great outdoors confidently in a timeless classic: Merrell’s Moab 2 Ventilator hiker. This renowned brand is known for its durability and price, delivering a reliable combination to take on any terrain – all without breaking your bank balance.

 Its upgraded upper material makes it less prone to ripping while also maintaining breathability. For those looking for even greater protection against wet weather, you can upgrade this model to get waterproofing performance too. With one step of these legendary shoes or boots – a journey through nature today.

7. Jack Wolfskin Force Striker Texapore Shoes

Make the most of your hiking experience with Jack Wolfskin Force Strikers. These German-made shoes provide ultimate performance across the terrain and are incredibly light, weighing only 830g per size 8 pair.

 You needn’t fear that comfort has been sacrificed, though – Reflex Foam in the midsole plus a Force Plate at the forefoot ensure maximum cushioning. Reach further on every hike by letting Jack Wolfskin’s lightweight efficiency take you there faster.

Get the comfort and protection you need for your outdoor explorations with Jack Wolfskin. The unique sole design guarantees superior support, while ankle padding plus tough rubber heels & toes keep joints safe from injury – everyone’s feet expand in heat, so order a size up to ensure yours have enough room. With great arch handling impact, no standing on ceremony here: hit that trail pain-free.

With Jack Wolfskin’s Vibram Megagrip outsoles, hikers everywhere can tackle any terrain fearlessly. These shoes are perfect for wet or dry climates and offer flexibility on steep climbs; these shoes will provide the stability you need when taking on rugged trails.

 And with its waterproof Texapore fabric upper and breathable membrane construction to keep out wind and water – but not your feet’s cool air – this shoe is a light yet tough companion that fits like an extension of the foot itself. Trek smarter: choose Jack Wolfskin footwear today.

8. Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes

The Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX is a lightweight, performance-driven hiking shoe trusted by the market leader. Perfect for long hikes and rugged terrains, this low-top walking solution offers incredible durability and build quality that won’t weigh you down. 

Offering unbeatable stability with superior cushioning compared to traditional boots – these shoes look great but get even better when taking on outdoor adventures. Make your next hike more comfortable than ever before with Salomon’s iconic X Ultra selection today.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX is a lightweight, performance-driven hiking shoe trusted by the market leader. Perfect for long hikes and rugged terrains, this low-top walking solution offers incredible durability and build quality that won’t weigh you down.

 Offering unbeatable stability with superior cushioning compared to traditional boots – these shoes look great but get even better when taking on outdoor adventures. Make your next hike more comfortable than ever before with Salomon’s iconic X Ultra selection today.

Get ready to hit the trails with confidence in these robust shoes. Their aggressive tread pattern provides superior grip to tackle any terrain, from compacted dirt and soft mud to rocky ground. Even snowy climates won’t stand a chance. The bonus? You’ll be less likely to roll an ankle while trekking along.

 Enjoy hassle-free trips thanks to their quick lacing system, which lets you tighten your shoes easily before setting off – but bear in mind that it may need replacing before the rest of your shoe does over time. The rugged upper material also offers heavy-duty protection for even more durable wear on all terrain.

What to look for in best hiking boot for Beginners

Comfort and Fit

Choosing the perfect first pair of hiking boots is critical – you want to ensure your feet are as comfortable as possible. Picking out footwear can be tricky, considering all hikers have different foot shapes and sizes. Even stiffer pairs take some time to break in before they become super comfy. Keep scrolling this post for tips on finding the right fit for success during those upcoming journeys.


Swap out heavy hiking boots for lightweight alternatives—it can make a difference. Renegotiate your relationship with gravity. Cut down on energy expenditure, stay nimble and agile on the trail, and avoid knee or hip-flexor pain from lugging around extra weight all day. Lighten up today – save yourself unnecessary hardship in the future.

Ankle Support

Get more confidence, better comfort and longer-lasting fatigue protection when you hit the trails with hiking boots designed for ankle support. It’s like an extra boost of strength – so your ankles can keep going mile after mile.


Don’t let wear and tear ruin your outdoor adventures. Leather hiking boots offer unbeatable longevity, ensuring you get the longest life out of each pair. Our customers have trusted them for years – with many experiencing up to 5 seasons worth of use from one set.

Waterproof / Non-Waterproof

When it comes to hiking, waterproof boots are a must-have for every adventure. But if your active lifestyle takes you from the driest of deserts to rainy alpine trails and beyond, breathable non-waterproof options are worth considering. 

After hours on the trail with my first pair of waterproofs, I learned that wet feet could come from inside and out – especially in soggy climates such as those found along Pacific Northwest hikes or Mont Blanc treks.

 Though there’s no denying that waterproofing is key in certain conditions, lightweight summer hikers now offer an amazing alternate option – perfect when seeking dry comfort at its finest.


Take advantage of high-quality footwear if you’re looking to hit the trail. While a basic pair of hiking boots can be picked up for less than $150, these might only last for a short time or provide enough support and protection out in nature. 

Luckily there are affordable options that still offer excellent performance – like Merrell’s Moab 2 Mid Ventilator Boots, which come highly recommended by serious hikers.

Pro Tips

  • If you’re ready to experience nature like never before, investing in a quality pair of hiking shoes is the way to go. It may be tempting with all the cheap boots flooding today’s market – but for long-term comfort and durability – nothing beats great value gear.  
  • As an avid explorer, I can tell you that my Salomon boots lasted me six years (which more than pays back your initial $200.) Your feet are key when hitting those trails just right– so make sure they have what they need by getting yourself quality footwear.
  • To ensure you get the best possible advice on buying a pair of hiking boots, take advantage of an insider secret – call your local outdoor store and find out when their resident expert will be in. Avoid general sports stores as they aren’t likely to have someone knowledgeable enough to give you trustworthy tips. 
  • When calling or visiting independent retailers like MEC/REI/Sail etc., what’s more important is that not just anyone makes recommendations; it has to be from someone experienced, so ‘tell them straight’ about exactly what kind of help you want. Get ready for some seriously helpful gear purchase guidance with this tried-and-true method.
  • Take your time when shopping for the perfect pair of hiking boots. Not only should you bring a friend to help try on shoes, but also consider bringing wool socks that are similar in thickness to what you would be wearing while out in nature. 
  • That way, as soon as you slip them on -you’ll get an accurate sense of how comfortable they will feel with added layers during longer hikes. Plus, once inside the store, don’t forget to chat with employees about trails and terrain, too –they know all there is to know about staying safe & stylish along the trail. So go ahead–walk around until those puppies fit like gloves so your next adventure can start right from day one.
  • Test drive your new hiking boots around the block or grab some groceries. Breaking them in may take a little time, but if you experience any persistent pain or discomfort, it’s best to return your purchase and try again for an even better fit.
  • Prepare for your upcoming adventure by breaking into those hiking boots – you won’t regret it. Start small and work up to longer treks over two weeks. Though the process may be uncomfortable initially, getting through that break-in phase beforehand ensures comfort on your journey, so pack those shoes with peace of mind.


For first-time hikers, choosing the right shoes can seem intimidating. After all, countless types of hiking shoes are out there with various features to consider. Fortunately, you don’t have to become an expert in specs and terrain; Salomon’s X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes make it easy for beginners to enjoy any trail. 

They provide unmatched comfort throughout your journey and offer unbeatable support no matter where the path leads – making them perfect for those just starting their adventure into nature. So what are you waiting for? Get ready – your next hike starts now.

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