The Best Trail and Hiking Shoes For 2021
One of the best places to really put shoes to the test is taking them into the great outdoors. This type of terrain necessitates footwear with special features, which thankfully, the market is loaded with for all sorts of adventures and budgets.
So, whether your wanderlust sends you towards K2 or simply to the peak of the local walking track, stand on sure ground with these range-topping trail and hiking shoes available now.
The Salomon XT-6 may rule the streets these days, but don’t forget that the company started on the slopes of the French Alps over 80 years ago. Considering the only thing that’s changed since the XT-6 first hit the dirt back in 2012 is its colourways, it remains a formidable option for serious trailblazers and sidewalk cruisers alike. If anything, the latest GORP-friendly colourways will have fans looking the part alongside the Quicklace system and tech upper.
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4
HOKA ONE ONE’s founders are actually ex-Salomon employees, so their trail shoes are in good hands and feet. The Speedgoat model is named after ultra-distance runner Karl ‘Speedgoat’ Meltzer, so in a way, it’s sort of a signature sneaker. And a signature means it’s built to perform – which is appropriate, given ‘Speedgoat’ (the person) has won more 100-mile races than anyone else. Speedgoat (the shoe) is equipped with Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsoles, 3D-printed upper overlays and a really cool finned midsole design. They’re also red, meaning they go faster.
The North Face VECTIV Enduris Futurelight Reflect
When The North Face launched the VECTIV at the start of 2021, it was the first trail runner to use a carbon fibre plate in the midsole, a component that propelled it to a number of off-road running records. With colder and wetter conditions forecast for the back half of the year, TNF have figured out how to add their proprietary waterproof-breathable Futurelight tech to the upper, plus reflectivity for safety. The Enduris is a well-cushioned and supportive shoe for enduring comfort and stability across all surfaces.
Adidas TERREX Hikster Mid COLD.RDY
Another model with a long name and feature list, this model from adidas’s outdoors-dedicated TERREX line adds practical touches to its design to optimise its use in colder conditions. The tall ankle cuff can be cinched up to trap the warmth generated by the Primaloft insulation lining the ripstop upper, thus earning the COLD.RDY designation. Underfoot, lugged rubber tread is as secure on slippery city concrete as it is crossing treacherous crevices. Furthermore, this women’s model is designed around the female foot for optimal ergonomics.
ASICS GEL-Venture 6
A good trail shoe don’t necessarily have to be the most expensive nor have a spec sheet of proprietary tech. Check out the ASICS GEL-Venture 6, a bang-for-buck offering with just the necessary features to tackle the less beaten paths. GEL cushioning, lightly cleated outsoles, welded overlays, and retro webbed strapping come as standard, and they sit (and wear) comfortably in the double-digit price range. Plus, all good trail shoes have a large heel pull tab as part of its early-2000s aesthetic, which the Venture 6 delivers in abundance!