This year has seen some better weather in which we have been able to enjoy the outdoors so it has provided ample opportunity to try out a number of Walking and Hiking shoes for our review to find exactly which pairs are the best suited to a number of different factors that all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts look for in their ideal pair.
As with any footwear; walking shoe brands all offer a wide collection that cater to various terrain and weather conditions but also individual preferences and other factors that include pricing along with weight as well. This has resulted in a lot of options to choose from which can be baffling if you aren’t overly familiar with the types and technologies that are around which is why every year we review the most popular to make them more simple to navigate and so that everyone can find the best option. In the Top 5 we have looked at as many factors as possible to provide a decent overview and also given focus on certain qualities if you are looking for the most stylish, affordable or greatest overall performance.
Merrell Moab GORE-TEX Walking Shoes
The Moab style shoe from Merrell is one of their most popular as it is continually updated and comes in a number of different variations consisting of different technical features and fabrics and even overall design so all outdoor enthusiasts have the option for a pair best suited to their needs. This particular version of the Merrell Moab GORE-TEX Walking Shoes offers complete waterproof protection, prevents dirt and debris getting inside and is constructed with breathable mesh lining, a Merrell Air Cushion, EVA footframe, an Ortholite anatomical footbed and Aegis anti-microbe treatment all work together for a durable, supportive and comfortable shoe that is ready to take on any trail. The Vibram multi-sport outsole ensures you retain your footing throughout a trek as well. Buy Now
Salomon Conquest GTX Shoes
Designed for flexibility and sustained comfort over long distances the Salomon Conquest GTX Shoes have everything you would want in walking footwear but in a much lighter frame. Protective features like heel and toe caps along with supporting and stabilising ones like an EVA footbed, Ortholite and a Salomon Advanced Chassis work with the feet for greater performance on a hike and lasting comfort. Other Salomon specific features include the glove-like feel and fitting of Sensifit and Non-Marking Contagrip which works with the Mud Guard to stop debris and dirt from clumping together in the lugs so that grip isn’t compromised at all. If you are planning on a great deal of travelling these are ideal.
The North Face Mens Hedgehog IV GTX Hiking Shoes
Footwear so popular it is now in it’s fourth iteration; The North Face Mens Hedgehog IV GTX Hiking Shoes are light yet protective and designed for faced paced, light trekking with performance that lasts. Each version has seen enhancements to technologies and the overall design advancing it each time ensuring it is responsive to the feet and the tail ahead. Like the others in the Top 5 these are waterproof and breathable which are two essential features in any pair of walking shoes but also have abrasion resistant fabrics as well. Padding at the heels and forefoot ensure comfort and support with each foot-strike while a light Vibram outsole unique to this shoe has a sticky grip so you easily retain your footing when moving quickly across trails. Buy Now
Keen Targhee II Womens Shoes
The wet-weather Keen Targhee II Womens Shoes are a great ladies specific hiking footwear; made with a metatomical footbed that basically has a particular fit for the female foot while also moulding to each individual’s footstep as well for a lot of comfort and giving arch support. Besides being made from a waterproof leather upper these also feature the KEEN.DRY technical membrane that is also waterproof and breathable and have the KEEN.PROTECT outsole that wraps over the toe box for added protection and has 4mm multi directional lugs and is also non-marking . The internal components provide a lot of support and stability including comfort which is sustained even on a lengthy walk or trek on any terrain. These provide an almost custom-feel fit for greater comfort and plenty of safety for your feet in dry and wet weather making them ideal for wherever you decide to go for a walk. Buy Now
Teva Riva Winter Mid WP Shoes
The original version was designed for light hikes and is still a bestseller but the Teva Riva Winter Mid WP Shoes see all of the technical performance of them enhanced with cold weather protection and support so they can be easily worn year-round. Having a great fit makes the Rivas feel like a worn-in pair of shoes and with the Mush infused Insole they couldn’t be comfier. Not only do they have T.I.D.E Grip with Vibram Icetrek for unrelenting traction but T.I.D.E Hydro ensures they remain completely waterproof in snow covered ground and a Thinsulate liner so your feet stay nice and toasty.
As so many footwear brands compete with each other in similar markets it does mean that many new technologies and designs which are released are continually improved; especially with the needs of outdoor enthusiasts evolving so many are similar in terms of quality which is important in any walking shoe. This certainly applies to each of our Top 5 Walking Shoes for 2014 though while some are suited for just about any trek; others more for active trails; wintery conditions or anatomical fits as some are more suited to specific conditions than others so you can explore at your own pace whatever the weather.
If you need further details or clarification as with each year we have highlighted three from the Top 5 with special awards so you can see which ones deliver on particular aspects overall.
Best Value – Teva Riva Winter Mid WP Shoes
The Teva Riva Winter footwear are not only the lowest price making them affordable but also have the greatest versatility and most technical features of the Top 5 as well. While these are labelled as winter shoes and have technical fabrics and a construction that will keep you warm and dry in the colder months their comfort and support makes them ideal for any trail throughout the year so you have a premium multi-sport shoe for less. Buy Now
Best Performance – Salomon Conquest GTX Shoes
Packed with features and components for sustained use on any trail the Salomon Conquest GTX Shoes are made to be responsive and give continual performance in the toughest terrain conditions. These will ensure you stay comfortable and supported even while keeping fast pace with heavier footstrikes, plus firmly grip so you won’t lose any power when pushing off and all in a lightweight, sleek frame. Buy Now
Best Looks – Merrell Moab GTX Walking Shoes
While all of this years’ Top 5 look pretty stylish the Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Walking Shoes we thought captured a clear modern ‘technical’ shoe design with a familiar casual shape and a great use of the different outer fabrics and other external components in a way that besides looking good is actually effective in the overall function of the footwear as well. Buy Now