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It’s a bit embarrassing to admit — especially as a professional travel writer and avid hiker who has hiked on all seven continents — but it took me 25 years to finally realize the importance of hiking shoes. Prior to my first official hiking boot purchase, I tested my luck by wearing running shoes and “all purpose” sneakers on trails around the world. Thankfully, I never suffered a serious injury, but I did end up melting my zero-drop running shoes on a hike to the Kamokuna Lava Flow in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (while my husband’s Salomon’s remained unscathed). I finally realized I needed more serious footwear when a story assignment sent me to Australia to bushwalk in the Outback.
The first step I took among the tall grasses and red dirt in my above-the-ankle Khombu hiking boots was all it took for me to realize the power of a good hiking shoes. My ankles were supported, stray rocks never found their way inside, and I felt glued to the trail with precision traction. I’ve since discovered hiking shoes aren’t a waste of suitcase space, they’re a necessity. I have a pair for every type of hike I’m planning, including hiking sandals for Azorean waterfall hikes and trekking boots for hiking through Sagarmatha National Park of the Himalayas.
I’ve also discovered that not every pair of hiking shoes needs to cost more than a plane ticket — in fact, you can find some really great deals on quality hiking boots at Amazon. The retailer is already secretly dropping big sales ahead of Prime Day on July 11 and 12, and Prime members especially can reap the benefits of these discounts before hitting the trails this summer. Big brands like Merrell, Teva, The North Face, and more are marked up to 57 percent off right now — and some of these pairs have been my favorites for trails across the world … and, bonus, they are all less than $100. Happy hiking!
Salomon Women’s X Ultra Pioneer Mid Climasalomon Waterproof Boots
I had to listen to my husband rave about his Salomons while tossing my melted zero-drop running shoes in the trash after our hike to the Kamokuna Lava Flow in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and then again through Germany, Iceland, etc. I finally got myself a pair, and now I will stop anyone on the trail for the chance to rave about this brand. They have it all, comfort, traction, cushioning, etc. It’s rare to find a pair for less than $100, so snag these quickly before the price goes back up.
To buy: amazon.com, from $95 (originally $150)
Merrell Women’s Moab 3
The updated version of the ultra-supportive hiking boots shoppers call “comfortable straight out of the box” are up to 47 percent off right now — a steal of a deal that that’s too good to pass up. With heel cushioning for support and glowing reviews at Amazon, these shoes prove why Merrell is such a trusted name in the hiking world.
To buy: amazon.com, $59 (originally $110)
Skechers Women’s Go Run Trail Altitude Sneaker
If you don’t want to feel as much as a pebble beneath your feet while hiking, these shoes are for you. They’re cushioned through the midsole and insole with technologies that use descriptors like “air cooled” and “comfort foam,” so you know they’re going to be wildly cushy. I like the water-repellent features, and the sneaker-like design makes them perfect for trail running or long hikes on marked trails.
To buy: amazon.com, $51 (originally $76)
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
This is such a classic boot from a trusted brand, and you can’t go wrong with this durable style since it’s designed for all terrain. The leather and suede are both waterproof and the rubber sole is lightweight yet thick enough to protect from rough or rocky trails. And at 40 percent off, the price is definitely right.
To buy: amazon.com, $60 (originally $100)
The North Face Truckee Women’s Hiking Shoe
These breathable, low-profile boots are comfortable enough for daily wear but they do best on the trails, where they were meant to be worn. They’re super lightweight — and super cute in all six color options — and are made with an eco-friendly footbed that keeps your feet dry and cool.
To buy: amazon.com, from $66 (originally $100)
Merrell Women’s Siren Sport Waterproof Hiking Shoe
It’s not often you find such a highly rated brand (even worn by royalty on their outdoor adventures) at such a low price, which is why this waterproof Merrell hiking boot is a no-brainer. Plus, this comfy, sturdy pair has a breathable mesh lining that will keep you cool all summer.
To buy: amazon.com, from $86 (originally $130)
Columbia Women’s Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Not only is this mid-ankle boot waterproof, but it has treads that were specially designed to keep traction on snow and ice. You can wear them in the summer, too, especially since it blends sturdy leather with breathable mesh.
To buy: amazon.com, from $77 (originally $100)
Ariat Women’s Terrain Leather Outdoor Hiking Boots
Ariat is often better known on the horse tracks than the trails, but over the years this equestrian brand has branched out to all outdoor activities, and their hiking boots are incredible, let me tell you. Comfort is key with Ariat, and these boots prove that with shock-absorption, flexibility, and removable cushioned insoles.
To buy: amazon.com, from $72 (originally $120)
Teva Women’s W Tirra Sandal
Teva can do no wrong with its classic velcro hiking sandals that are oh-so-comfortable and just at home on the trails as they are adventuring around a new city. This pair features quick-dry straps and a hook and loop closure for an adjustable fit. The nylon shank provides all the support and traction you’ll need for rocky terrain.
To buy: amazon.com, $67 (originally $85)
Keen Women’s Whisper Closed Toe Sports Sandal
I’ve stubbed one too many toes in open-toed hiking sandals to ever leave my digits exposed again. This pair from Keen can handle anything on a hike, from rocky creeks to dry bouldering. I love the lace-locking bungee since it hugs tightly to my foot while in motion but it can also be loosened quickly to slide the shoes off. Only specific colors are on sale, so if they have a pair you like in your size, snap it up quickly.
To buy: amazon.com, from $76 (originally $115)
Camel Crown Hiking Sandal for Women
I have a pair of Ecco hiking sandals that I’ve loved for years for kayaking trips, and these updated Camel Crowns are eerily similar in comfort, style, and performance. I like them as camp shoes since they’re so easy to slip on and off. They’re also great for people with high arches, although they are ergonomically designed to support all foot shapes.
To buy: amazon.com, $40 with on-site coupon (originally $46)
Khombu Men’s K Seneca 2 Hiking Boot
Men can also find a ton of great deals on quality hiking shoes, too. This pair is essentially the men’s version of the hiking boot that saw me through the Himalayan Mountains, the Red Center of Australia, and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda. The ankle supports are everything you need while on uneven terrain, and the grippy soles will hold up against the slickest rocks.
To buy: amazon.com, $28 (originally $55)
Merrell Men’s Speed Eco
This has to be one of the most well-thought-out designs for a hiking shoe out there … even the heel loop, which was designed to clip in easily with a carabiner. The majority of this shoe is made from recycled materials, making it one of the most sustainable shoes on the market. It ticks the boxes for comfort, grip, and stability, but it also has features that keep debris from getting in while hiking.
To buy: amazon.com, from $96 (originally $100)
Merrell Men’s Chameleon 8
These sporty, waterproof men’s Merrells hiking boots stretch for comfort, and they’re reminiscent of the hiking water sandals my husband used to pack for trails that traversed rivers, now the only shoe he needs for multi-terrain trails. This version has nubuck leather instead of a water shoe exterior so it’s not quite as purpose-built for water, but it’s got a removable insole for support plus a tongue to keep debris out, too. Right now, they’re the lowest price they’ve been in 30 days.
To buy: amazon.com, $74 (originally $130)
Teva Men’s Forebay Sandal
Teva is best known for their Velcro and nylon sandals that are ideal for river rafting, but I like these sport sandals better since they offer toe protection. They still have Velcro (for Teva purists out there), but they also have bungee lacing and rubber soles that allow hikers to go farther with more foot protection, allowing you to enjoy your summer without a moment of stress.
To buy: amazon.com, $48 (originally $70)
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