With sports and activities such as hiking, there also comes purchasing the right gear and shoes. For hiking it is important to find the best pair of barefoot minimalist boots for you. Change in weather or locations than what you are used to hiking in can throw you off, but having the right shoes are one thing you can rely on for a successful hike. Staying happy and excited throughout your whole hike will make you continue to love hiking itself, and having minimalist hiking boots is definitely the right way to go.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner hiker or someone who wakes up every morning by getting ready for their hike, having feet that are kept comfortable is ideal. Shoes and boots made specifically for hiking will guarantee you a great time.
Proper wear for your feet will also make sure you don’t have any pain or injuries. Activities like walking, running and hiking for long periods of time tend to put extra pressure on your feet and muscles. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes on your run and especially the wrong pair of hiking boots on your hike, will result in a trip to the doctor.
Choosing a pair of barefoot minimalist boots for hiking off of this list will decrease the possibility of injury or pain! Here we have picked some of the best shoes on the market for this specific activity. Finding the right pair of shoes for you specifically can be a hard task, but take a look at this list for a little more help. There are a ton of pairs to choose from- varying in style, colors, brands and prices that will work for you.
Here is the scoop on the best minimalist hiking shoes!
1. Xero Shoes Terraflex
First on our list of minimalist shoes that are a great option for long hikes are these xero shoes. The xero shoes terraflex are a great option for someone who prefers a more lightweight shoe when hiking.
The gear and things you carry with you can become heavy after long hours of day hikes or even from simple hikes on rough terrain.
Traveling long distances with these hiking shoes is no problem because of the durable materials the xero brand used to create this pair of shoes.
2. Merrell Vapor Glove
The Merrell Vapor Glove shoes are not the same as traditional hiking boots. These merrell vapor glove shoes are more flat because they are made with very thin soles, but still are highly supportive.
Flexible soles and minimalist footwear are two common things that hikers are looking for these days. Traditional shoes are great and perform well for many basic activities however, people who take longer hikes would prefer this pair over many other minimalist hiking boots on the market. Another plus to these shoes is that they provide good grip.
Having big, heavy boots weigh you down while hiking is never a good thing, that is why many pro hikers are very grateful that this option of hiking shoes came out. The flat and minimalist, almost barefoot looking shoe, the Merrell Vapor Glove’s– are outstanding.
3. Oranginer Zero- Drop Sole
Next on the list of the 15 best minimalist hiking shoes are the zero-drop sole shoes. These Oranginer Zero- Drop Sole’s are a top pick. It is clear that zero drop shoes are very popular for hiking. From a short day hike, to a 15 mile hike in the rugged terrain, these are a very reliable shoe option.
Wet weather, sharp rocks and stress fractures are all common concerns hikers have at times. These shoes are made with specific materials that will allow no wetness to get into your shoes or soak on to you feet, so there is nothing to worry about there.
Sharp rocks can be avoided with these shoes because of the overall protection and durability they were made with, making it nearly impossible to feel anything sharp you may step on. Stress fractures are common with any type of physical activity but the ankle support as well as the overall support these shoes have will make injury highly unlikely.
4. Fracap M120 Cristy Vibram Sole Scarponcino Boot Arabian
Another pair of minimalist boots for hiking are these shoes from the Fracap brand. These Vibram Sole boots are ideal for everyone. Ranging from beginners who hike the mountains near their house to high intsenity trail runners, these boots are a great choice. 10/10 would recommend the Fracap M120 Cristy Vibram Sole Scarponcino Boot Arabian’s.
The wide toe box in these shoes make your feet have plenty of room, optimizing maximum comfort for your long hikes or every day use. Although some may think that any pair of boots adds on extra weight, that is not the case here.
The vibram sole shoes are light but durable. They are cushioned and comfortable without adding any extra weight at all, being the perfect shoe for cold weather as well because cushioning keeps your feet warm.
5. New Balance MW1400V1
New balance is a very popular brand that carries numerous options of a great minimal shoe. For hiking shoes from this brand, I would recommend any style they have.
The creators of new balance have done a great job of ensuring that their shoes are made with enough protection for any type of use or sport. An activity such as hiking also calls for many other necessities.
An important factor to consider for any pair of hiking boots you purchase is whether or not they have good rip. The gripping on all pairs of shoes by new balance is tough and sturdy making falling a very low possibility.
It sure would be scary to slip and fall when hiking in the mountains. So, you should probably go get yourself a pair of New Balance hiking boots beforehand! The New Balance MW1400V1’s are very popular and going fast, so hurry!
6. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof
The last thing you want when hiking is to feel the cold or wetness soaking into your shoes, onto your feet. However, with this great pair of hiking shoes that is not possible. The merrell moab shoes are waterproof.
These Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof shoes should definitely be your new pair of boots for hiking. Water resistance is a key factor of a great shoe especially for hiking in outdoor locations that have inclimate weather or anywhere with wet conditions.
Quick drying is great and works for many other brands of hiking boots, but the merrell moab shoes make it so that there will be nothing to dry. Water will bounce right off and you will have a safe, dry hiking trip!
7. Vivobarefoot Tracker HI FG
The best minimalist hiking boots can be hard to find but luckily we have found this pair of vivobarefoot tracker shoes.
The Vivobarefoot Tracker HI FG boots are long lasting, reliable and durable shoes that are perfect for hiking. They have great traction and are pretty thick so they easily protect your feet from hard surfaces.
Although these are boots compared to low and thin hiking shoes, they still offer a natural feel to your bare feet when hiking. Providing comfort and enough support is the first thing you should look for in your next pair of hiking boots, and these vivobarefoot trackers definitely have both.
8. Lems Primal 2
Having a good pair of shoes that are reliable and long lasting for years of wear when hiking is great. It is even better when they are affordable. Many other shoes sold for physical activities tend to become very pricey. But good news-these Lems primal 2’s are only about $100!
Lems shoes are very popular in the hiking world for many reasons. Some might say that these are the best hiking shoes because of what they look like. Minimal footwear such as the Lems Primal 2’s are perfect for people who love the look of pairs referred to as barefoot shoes.
This shoe is made with much better grip than hiking shoes such as boots. Also the synthetic materials inside this shoe offers additional protection, keeping you away from harm of sharp objects. Rocky terrain is a fear of many when hiking and even though this shoe is very minimal and light, there is no better option of a shoe with better balance.
9. Skechers Selmen- Enago Trail Oxford
Thinking about hiking the appalachian trail any time soon? If so, or if you are needing hiking shoes for any trail at all I would recommend the Skecher Selmen- Enago Trail Oxford shoes. These great shoes come at a small commission of about $70.
Many hikers struggle with issues regarding pain in their achilles tendon or dealing with things like plantar fasciitis. But no need to worry about that anymore, these shoes have thick soles for support and are definitely one of the best options on the market for medical problems.
These long time lasting shoes are perfect for any trip whether they be used for hiking or every day activities. You could also call these water shoes because they do a great job of protecting your feet from everything and keeping them dry!
10. Hoka One One Anacapa Mid Gore-TEX(R) Waterproof
Next up on our list of the 15 best minimalist hiking shoes are the Hoka One One Anacapa Mid Gore-TEX(R) Waterproof boots. Similar to the lems boulder boots, these have a wider toe box than other options of hiking shoes.
Boots are sometimes preferred over barefoot looking shoes because they are bigger and feel more spacious.
Proper posture is another thing that is beneficial to have for physical activities such as a sturdy hike or a long run. Achieving good posture is a lot harder than it sounds though. It is definitely a process but with the right shoes it should be a nice gradual transition, fixing your back aches from bad posture.
When wearing these Hoka boots, your posture will get better because they are not so flat to the ground and have a rubber sole. The thickness of this boot is also nice for specific weather conditions such as snow, sleet, ice or rain.
11. Deer Stags Contour Comfort Casual Hybrid Hiking Sneakers
If you prefer sneakers for hiking rather than barefoot looking shoes or boots, the Deer Stags Contour Comfort Casual Hybrid Hiking Sneakers are amazing.
Many sneakers like these have a removable insole for personal preference. Removing your shoes insoles can work well for short hikes but I would recommend keeping them in for longer, harder hikes.
Since these are sneakers and not boots, you feel lower and get more of a ground feel. Depending on the shape of your foot, sneakers may be a better option for you when hiking, rather than boots.
12. Nortiv 8
A good pair of minimalist lightweight boots are the Nortiv 8 shoes. These come at a great affordable price and are easy to find with our affiliate links, attached to each shoe!
The idea of going on a long run in boots may seem uncomfortable but these shoes are so light that they can be used for many purposes such as running, hiking, and everyday use!
Many boots such as these have a rock plate which is meant for trail shoes, and put in to protect your feet from sharp things such as rocks on the ground. Making sure you have the correct shoes for hiking that has some sort of protection like this is ideal. A heel brake due to a misplacement of your foot or from taking wrong step would be very painful!
13. Trail Model 4
The Trail Model 4 hiking shoe is another great minimalist option to wear when hiking or walking.
These shoe have great lug patterns, providing extra traction and making it so that things like mud are less likely to stick to the bottom of your shoes. Another great addition to these shoes is the fact that they have the perfect toe drop, allowing a great amount of thickness on the bottom to protect your feet from hard surfaces.
A less shoe looking option for hiking would be boots however this particular model of the L.L Bean Trail shoes are extremely popular and stylish.
14. Vista Slip-On
Up next on our list of the best minimalist hiking shoes are the Vista Slip-On’s. These low top hiking boots are super cool and comfortable. Having shoes that you love the fit and style of is guaranteed to make your experience hiking 10 times better.
You know what they say- “if you look good, you’ll feel good”! These Vista shoes are selling fast among advances hikers as well as people who want them for everyday wear, so i’d recommend adding these to your cart- fast!
Something else i’d recommend related to the hiking world, is to always make sure you have the proper gear. This means a good pair of shoes, a change of clothes and specific clothing made for inclimate weather, a trail glove or two, a hat and a water bottle. Oh, and a lightweight backpack to store all of this in! Follow this advice and purchase these shoes, and you’ll be all set for your next hiking trip.
15. Chocolate Everest
Last up on our list of minimalist hiking shoes are the Chocolate Everest hiking boots. These are affordable, durable and perfect for anyone.
There is great ankle support provided, foot support from inside cushioning and just the right amount of room for your toes in the front.
There are many great things to say about these Chocolate Everest shoes however the most common review is that they are thick enough to keep any wetness out. Rain and snowfall comes often in the mountains so having these shoes on your next hike during a winter month is a perfect idea.
No matter your level of experience or knowledge on the activity of hiking itself, being comfortable is something that will make your experience better. There is definitely the right pair of minimalist hiking shoes for you. Whether that be boots, sneakers or barefoot shoes, it doesn’t matter. If you picked a pair of shoes for your next hiking trip off of this list, you will have a great and safe time. All of these shoes are extremely reliable and durable, being perfect to wear both every day and out on hikes.
For more fashion scoop, check out these articles:
- The 15 Best Minimalist Barefoot Shoes
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- 17 Best Minimalist Barefoot Shoes for Winter
- 15 Best Shoes For Walking on Beach Sand