What kind of hiking shoes should I buy?
THE TYPE OF HIKING SHOE DEPENDS ON THE HIKING TERRAIN
If you google "hiking shoes" you will find a plethora of options, and pretty much no guide on where to start. There are three basic shoes that are appropriate for hiking, and I have them listed below. Disclosure - these shoes are appropriate for 3 season hiking (spring, summer, fall), as very specific shoes and gear are needed for snow trekking. Continue reading below for additional hiking shoes that are appropriate for your specific hiking adventure.
When choosing a shoe, be sure to try them on and make sure they feel comfortable not only on your foot, but on your ankle too. Hiking shoe sizes vary. Your normal shoe size might be too big or too small in a hiking shoe. Also, it's a good idea to try the hiking shoe on with the socks you plan to wear (moisture wicking and/or wool), as hiking socks are thicker than normal socks and you want to ensure your foot and sock both fit comfortably.
My go-to hiking shoe is a trail runner. I like the lightweight, sneaker feel to them. They also grip really well when hiking on uneven terrain.
Other hiking-related shoes to consider
If you are still undecided about what kind of hiking footwear to purchase, you can't go wrong with a traditional hiking shoe. They are great for single-day hikes or short multi-day hikes. They provide ample foot support, grip, and comfort. Keep in mind that REI offers a one year warranty and return policy, so if you don't like them or you run into a problem, you can return them even after you've worn them!