Top Picks for Trail Shoes for Walkers

Trail shoes have rugged soles for the traction you need when walking on natural surfaces. They also have protection in the sole and toe area from rocks. They should also provide more stability than road shoes to meet the challenges you'll find on a natural trail. In the past, you might have bought hiking boots for this purpose and then had heavy, inflexible footwear. But the trail running shoes now produced are lightweight and flexible, making them suitable for faster paces. Another feature of trail shoes is that they usually have gusseted tongue, which helps keep trail debris out of your shoe. Some of these come in waterproof vesions as well.

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This waterproof trail shoe works well for hiking or for walking. It is lighter in weight than many boots, yet sturdy enough for rocky and rooted trails. It is waterproof and built to keep out trail debris. They are very comfortable for a rainy day walk around the suburbs through puddles and street rivulets, but they are also great for the trail. They'll protect your feet and help keep you from slipping. If you want a shoe that is beefier than a trail running shoe but lighter than a boot, it's an excellent choice.

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The Brooks Cascadia comes in some jazzy colors. But don't be fooled by the flash. This is a top recommendation for walkers on the Camino de Santiago. It can take on rocky hills, up and down, while not weighing you down. An ultramarathoner gave input for the original design when Brooks wanted to create a stable shoe built for going fast on the trail. The mesh upper allows your feet more air, but that also means it may not last as long as leather hiking shoes. It has that in common with the other trail running designs.

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This waterproof hiking shoe is serious enough to tackle wet Pacific Northwest trails.The Vibram sole is time-tested for durability. It has excellent quality construction and a true seamless lining. As with the Vasque Mantra, it is a very sturdy shoe that you can use on day hikes rather than a hiking boot.

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This is a lightweight shoe that can go from road to trail. It is designed to give good traction on wet or rocky surfaces with a sticky rubber outersole, and users rave about the grip. But it is also narrow in the toe box, so those who need more toe room should try before they buy.

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This shoe has been well-rated for many years by Runner's World magazine. The tongue is gusseted to keep out trail debris and waterproof for splashing through puddles or those rainy days. It has good stability elements and should work well for heavier people.

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This trail shoe get praise for protecting your foot from rocks and roots. It also has great traction and stability. It is of moderate weight and is fairly stiff. It have a glove-like fit, so be sure to try it on with your trail socks to get the right size. The Bushido comes in both men's and women's versions.

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The New Balance Vazee Summit is a lightweight, minimalist trail shoe that is very flexible. They tout the Hydrohesion sole for gripping wet and slippery surfaces, and users agree.  They come in regular and wide widths, which is a big advantage for those who need more room. You can wear them with or without socks.

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This trail running shoe has a Rock Stop plate to protect your foot from stones and a Toe Protect guard in front. These are both essential elements in a shoe you wear on natural trails. It features REVlite foam which provides excellent cushioning with minimum weight. They also have a Gore Tex waterproof version, which offers good breathability while keeping out the rain. These come in styles for both men and women.

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Hi-Tec offers its shoes at a value price. This waterproof hiker has a low heel, which works best for walking. It is a stiff shoe with a steel shank for stability on the trail. But you can enjoy full ankle motion due to the low cut.

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If you're going to be carrying a heavy pack, these mid-high boots have a full shaft for stability. They are waterproof. The ankle cuff is aggressively padded. These are studier than you may like for trail walking, but may fit the bill for Camino walkers and backpackers. Hi-Tec can usually be found at a lower price point than many other trail shoes.

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