If you’re looking to be comfortable and agile on the trail, then it’s time to invest in some quality lightweight hiking shoes. The trend for trading in bulky boots for lightweight hiking shoes is on the rise and it’s not hard to see why. Shedding weight and enhancing performance, lightweight hiking shoes offer terrific traction, comfortable cushion, and a nimble fit. The problem is, how do you find the best lightweight hiking shoes for you?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we do all the hard work so you don’t have to. We’ve scoured through all the options, weighed out all the pros and cons, and narrowed it down to the best lightweight hiking shoes on the market. Here’s what you need to know about lightweight hiking shoes along with our top recommendations.

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Shoes

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Hiking Gift Guide

Quick Answer - The Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes

  1. Altra Lone Peak 4
  2. Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX
  3. Saucony Peregrine ISO
  4. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Low
  5. Brooks Cascadia 13
  6. La Sportiva Wildcat
  7. Astral TR1 Mesh
  8. Arc’teryx Aerios FL Low GTX
  9. La Sportiva TX4
  10. Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry

 

Comparison Table - Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes

PictureNameWeightWaterproof?PriceRating
Altra Lone Peak 41 lb. 3 oz. (men’s)No$$4.6
Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX1 lb. 10.8 oz (men’s)Yes$$$4.2
Saucony Peregrine ISO1 lb. 5 oz. (men’s)No$$4.9
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Low1 lb. 15 oz. (men’s)No$4.6
Brooks Cascadia 131 lb. 7.8 oz. (men’s)No$$4.1
La Sportiva Wildcat1 lb. 9 oz. (men’s)No$4.5
Astral TR1 Mesh1 lb. 5.2 oz. (men’s)Yes$$4.7
Arc’teryx Aerios FL Low GTX1 lb. 8.4 oz. (men’s)Yes$$$4.6
La Sportiva TX41 lb. 10 oz. (men’s)No$$4.7
Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry2 lb. 2.8 oz (men’s)Yes$$4.5
PictureNameWeightWaterproof?PriceRating

MULTI-DAY HIKING PACKING LIST

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Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Lightweight Shoes for Hiking

Altra Lone Peak 4


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Roomy Toe Box
  • Super Comfortable
  • Grippy Soles

BEST FOR: LONG DISTANCE HIKING

Altra’s Lone Peak line has earned a reputation among the long distance, thru-hiking crowd for being one of the best lightweight hiking shoes around and we agree. At 1-pound 2-ounces a pair, the Lone Peak 4 is by far the lightest shoe on the market. When it comes to performance, these lightweight hiking shoes deliver. Wet, dry, or uneven terrain, the grip on these soles offer prime stability.

The roomy, wide toe box allows for full foot splay while also decreasing blisters, which is a much-appreciated feature on long distance hikes. Pair that with the 25mm cushioning and you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds. The coveted zero-drop feature aids in low-impact foot striking while allowing for a more natural movement. Equipped with gaiter hooks so you can easily secure gaiters to the shoes while hiking through thick forests or watery swamps, you can keep unwanted debris out of your shoe no matter where you decide to hike.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Single-pull Lace
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10.8 oz (men’s)
Features
  • Waterproof And Breathable
  • Comfortable Cushioning
  • Tongue Gussets Block Debris From Entering The Shoe
  • Quick-lace System

BEST FOR: NARROW FEET

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX offers hiking boot protection with trail running shoe performance. Durable and aggressive, this narrow lightweight hiking shoe is built for endurance.

Slip your foot in and pull on the convenient single lace for a snug and secure fit. As you get into your trail groove, you’ll stay comfortable thanks to the foam cushioning and breathable liner. Should you need to pick up the pace, the nimble design allows you to move swiftly. With rugged grippy tread, you’ll be able to maintain your speed even when trail conditions turn muddy.

Saucony Peregrine ISO


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Great Traction
  • Flexible Sole
  • Secure Fit

BEST FOR: DAY HIKES

One glance at the tread on the Saucony Peregrine ISO and you know you’re in for some serious traction. As your foot strikes the ground, the aggressive tread bites into the terrain to provide you with sure footing every step of the way.

As for the weight, the Saucony blows most of the competition out of the water. At 1-pound 5-ounces a pair, the minimal weight of these hiking shoes is astounding, to say the least (and even less for the women’s version!). Add that to the comfortably cushioned midsole and you have a recipe for agility on long distance or day hikes.

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Low


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 15 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Durable, Yet Affordable
  • Quality Construction
  • Sturdy Soles

BEST FOR: BUDGET OPTION

If price is a concern, consider the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator. Made with quality construction, these sturdy and affordable hiking shoes have been a popular choice year after year.

As you trek along the trail, the contoured footbeds offer ample support while Merrell’s air cushion works to absorb the brunt of the shock upon impact. Together, these two features increase stability while optimizing comfort. Sporting an attractive suede leather and mesh exterior, these shoes are durable enough for the trail while also offering ventilation to let your sweaty feet breathe. If you find yourself doing more casual hikes than technical ones, these shoes will suit you well.

Brooks Cascadia 13


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7.8 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Superior Traction On Wet Terrain
  • Moisture Wicking Lining
  • Mud Guard Protection Against Debris

BEST FOR: MUDDY TRAILS

Mud, gravel, or grass, the soles on the Brooks Cascadia 13 let you breeze right along the trail. The thick, grippy soles provide terrific traction on tricky terrain while the cushy midsoles adapt to your stride for a better feel.

Thanks to the rubber mud guards and gaiter hooks preventing debris from entering your shoes, you’ll find mud is no match for these hiking shoes. Walk right through the muck and the stabilizing suspension system will give you the control you need to get through even the most uneven or slippery terrain. With the addition of a lace guard, you can stride in confidence knowing you won’t get tripped up by something as simple as an untied shoelace.

La Sportiva Wildcat


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Moderate Cushion
  • Excellent Traction
  • Secure Fit
  • Moisture Wicking Lining

BEST FOR: FAST HIKERS

Light and breathable, La Sportiva Wildcat is designed to let you hike fast. The moderate cushion is firm enough to support your foot on take off, yet cushy enough for comfort on long distance hikes. Pair that with the protective soles and you’re ready to tackle roots and rocks without your shoes slowing you down.

As you work up a sweat, the mesh liner works to ventilate your feet, allowing them to breathe. Should a trail obstacle suddenly deter you from your line of stride, the multidirectional sole grooves let you easily change course. This shoe is an excellent choice for the hiker looking to keep a steady pace without uneven or jagged terrain slowing them down.

Astral TR1 Mesh


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5.2 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Quick Drying
  • Breathable
  • Odor Control
  • Natural Barefoot Movement

BEST FOR: HIKING AROUND WATER

Stream crossings are Astral TR1 Water Shoes’ specialty. Offering excellent stability with a water-ready design, these shoes perform best under wet conditions.

Step into a creek and the clever water ready holes located on midsoles drain out the H2O. Meanwhile, Astral’s Balanced Geometry design imitates natural movement to help maintain your footing while the tacky soles grip the ground to optimize sure footing. Since wet situations like these have been known to cause swamp smelling feet, these hiking shoes even come with odor protection on the insoles.

Arc’teryx Aerios FL Low GTX


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 8.4 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Minimal Design
  • Excellent Traction In Wet Or Dry Conditions

BEST FOR: RAINY DAY HIKING

Drippy conditions require a waterproof shoe that performs well when weather strikes. That’s when having a pair of the Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX comes in handy.

These lightweight hiking shoes feature a GORE-TEX membrane which offers some of the best waterproof protection around. The tough outsoles deliver supreme traction while the toe guard provides extra protection in slippery situations. Sporting a streamlined designed, these lightweight hiking shoes are great for the minimalist who desires comfort, performance, and quality construction.

La Sportiva TX4


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz. (men’s)
Features
  • Terrific Traction
  • Good For Climbing Approaches
  • Odor Control
  • Wide Toe Box

BEST FOR: ROCKY TERRAIN

When the trail gets rough, you’ll be glad you slapped on your La Sportiva TX4s. These lightweight hiking shoes double as climbing approach shoes, meaning they reach their peak performance when you’re scrambling along rocky terrain on your way to the crag.

The La Sportiva TX4 hiking shoes are built with super grippy soles that optimize stability on uneven ground. As you step down on roots and rocks, you’ll feel fully supported by the durable construction while the cushioning increases your comfort level. Built with an abrasion resistance exterior, these shoes can take a beating and still go strong.

Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lb. 2.8 oz (men’s)
Features
  • Waterproof
  • Sturdy Soles
  • Ankle Collars Promote Comfort And Motion

BEST FOR: STABILITY

If you like the sturdy sole hiking boots have to offer, yet want something more nimble, then take a look at the Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry. The solid rubber sole and lighter weight of the Oboz Sawtooth II strike a nice balance between hiking boot and shoe.

Breathable and waterproof, these hiking shoes offer a comfortable fit with moisture protection. The lofty rubber outsoles provide plenty of stability along with the heel collar which allows for fluid ankle motion. No matter the type of terrain, as your foot strikes the ground you’ll maintain a solid feel.

Although this is the heaviest shoe on the list, if you’re a hiker who wants a sturdy, solid, and secure fit, you may find the trade-off in weight to be worth it.

 

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING SHOES

COST

Lightweight hiking shoes can range from relatively affordable to downright expensive. How much you spend depends upon your comfort level.

Less expensive options are likely to have less comfortable features. Meanwhile, the more you invest, the more likely your comfort will increase. Your biggest tool for hiking is your feet, so it’s worth it to invest in a quality pair that feel good to you.

 

WEIGHT

How nimble you want to be on the trail will determine your hiking shoe weight. If you plan on putting in heavy mileage on long distance hikes, you’ll want a pair of hiking shoes with minimal weight. On the other hand, if you plan on doing more casual day hikes you can get away with a heavier weight like the Oboz Sawtooth II.

 

TRACTION AND TERRAIN

Are you hiking on uneven terrain? How about in the mud? What about stream crossings? The traction of your lightweight hiking shoes should match the terrain. Quality traction should provide a solid grip to prevent slippage and enhance stability according to the type of terrain you are hiking on.

 

ANKLE SUPPORT

When it comes to ankle support, lightweight hiking shoes offer little to none. If you find you prefer the feeling of ankle support, you may want to look elsewhere.

 

BREATHABILITY

Breathability is a big kicker when it comes to hiking. No matter how short or long your trek, your feet are going to break a sweat. If they don’t have proper ventilation, you’ll be more prone to nasty blisters (not to mention stinky feet – yuck!). Luckily, lightweight hiking shoes tend to be one of the more breathable options when it comes to footwear. Some, however, are more breathable than others so be sure to find a pair that suits your comfort level.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

ZERO DROP

Zero drop refers to the elevation of the shoe from heel to toe. Most hiking shoes offer an elevated heel, whereas zero drop shoes like the Altra Lone Peak do away with elevation in order to imitate barefoot motion. By doing so, it allows for full foot splay and a more natural stride.

GAITER HOOKS

Gaiter hooks are the attachment point for shoe gaiters. Gaiters themselves are thin pieces of material that hook to your shoe to cover the top opening around your ankle. They are designed to prevent kicked up debris from entering your shoe.

GORE-TEX

Gore-Tex is a thin breathable and waterproof membrane that is common in outdoor apparel.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

Hiking Shoes | Hiking Hats

Trail Running Shoes for Hiking | Socks for Hiking

Convertible Hiking Pants | Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Lightweight Hiking Boots

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