What Are The Best Shoes For Backpacking? | Trail Running Shoes, Hiking Boots or Sandals?


What is the BEST footwear for backpacking? Is it traditional hiking boots? Trail running shoes? Sandals?! It can all get to be a bit much, so in this video we’re breaking down all things footwear to help you choose the type of shoe that’s best suited to your style of hiking and backpacking.

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1:00 – “Traditional” high-cut boots
2:07 – Waterproof or breathable?
3:26 – Approach shoes
4:21 – Trail running shoes
7:12 – Hiking sandals
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Produced by Heliconia: http//www.heliconia.ca/
Contact: info@helipress.com

Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates:

Gear used in this video includes: Vasque Footwear, FiveTen, Chacos, Adidas Terrex



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25 comments

  • what would you say about going in cowboy boots

  • Super simple and effective explanation. I like the sandals . its my favorite but unfortunately not for every occasion. thank you

  • Backpacking boots has nothing to do with goretex or high cut !! Its having an impact absorbing midsole for the extra weight your carrying .. blisters are caused more by carrying heavy loads with Solid rubber soles unsuitable for load bearing ,, iv learnt nothing here just bad advice0

  • What type of sandals are those? (The model)

  • I would avoid the sandals because of snakes too. Depends on your region!

  • One of the big reasons I wear fairly heavy boots is that the sole of the boot prevents the rocks from beating the snot out of the soles of your feet. I've never regretted wearing a 'too heavy' boot like I have wearing a 'too light' boot and ending up with horribly aching feet after pounding rocky terrain doing a lot of miles.

  • The Romans used to go from Egypt to England in socks and sandals, and you laugh at your father for that, shame lol

  • What is the benefit of zero drop shoes and are they good for everyone?

  • Perhaps a crazy question … Those "Toe Shoes" from Vibram. That encapsule each toe, has anyone had experience using these? As a camp shoe, hiking in wet conditions? Dry conditions?

  • Awesome video! Thanks.
    Btw, I sure love wearing hiking sandals… and one of the reasons is
    because I have ingrown toenails. 😔

  • what about sandals, with a toe box….

  • High ankle support and heavy soles will not make for a more stable option when hiking with a heavy backpack. Quite the opposite. Typically heavy boots like these have a sole that are somewhere between 20-30 mm thick and very often without zerodrop. This will make the probability of a sprained ankle higher than with a lower sole.
    To be fair it is even counterproductive given that these boots weigh more and thus add more weight that you effectively carry around.

    You want to have strong ankles and fairly low shoes so that the body can compensate fast enough in case of a roll over. Traditional hiking boots help with neither.
    I've spent more than 7 years hiking. The first 2-3 years with traditional hiking boots. Carrying sometimes upwards of 80 pounds. Ankle support inhibits free movement and really isn't sturdy enough to prevent roll over. I've had some serious sprains happen in the field when on week long hikes in the far north of Sweden.
    I switched to lightweight barefoot hiking shoes and boots, carrying the same load without a single sprain in 4 years.

    Now. You still need to work that ankle strength up before going head first into barefoot hiking but having developed that strength I can tell you that I will never ever wear traditional hiking boots again.

  • In trying to look for boots or shoes that have the same style as the Five Tennies, do you know any?

  • Altra Lone Peak Mid have much more durable Duratrac Outsole instead of Maxtrac of the Low-Cut Lone Peaks.
    For Backpacking you can go for Low-Stack like Altra Superior or higher stack with comfort and adjustable support like adidas Folgian Hiker.
    Something Special for Backpacking is the La Sportiva Akyra with an STB-Concept for Ultra-Trail-Running which Supports Backpacker as well. Against Sharp Rocks or roots you should wear e.g. Superfeet Carbon as the Akyra has no Rockplate underneath the midfoot like the prefered La Sportiva for Hikers the Bushido/Bushido II.
    E.g. the Topo Trailventure has a Rockplate from heel over the midfoot towards forefoot to protect against sharp rocks and roots. The Outsole is the brand-new Vibram XS Trek EVO. Better wet grip, which is most Important as the Former XS Trek has critical low wet rock grip performance.
    There is an Mid-Cut-Modell of the La Sportiva Ultra-Raptor announced for 2021. La Sportiva FriXion White-Outsole is defined as the nearest to adidas Continental Outsole-Rubber regarding grip on wet rocks and roots. The Ultra Raptor is the model with FriXion White Rubber.
    The La Sportiva Wildcat 2.0 is also an Thru-Hiker model. Same concept Like the Ultra Raptor but different upper – extremly breathable – and the Outsole is FriXion Blue, which means awesome durability. FriXion Red of Akyra means FriXion Blue and FriXion White in a Dual-Runber-Composite Outsole. The Bushido/Bushido II is also a FriXion Red-Model but has plenty of FriXion White as Core of the Outsole, while on the edges there is FriXion Blue-Rubber. Akyra is Blue for the Core and the Front- and Rear-Rocker is FriXion White.
    Traversing with the Wildcat 2.0 and Ultra Raptor is perfect. Nearest to that get the unknown Haix Eagle Adventure and Athletic-Models. The Dual-TPU-foam-midsole compensates uneven ground. Traversing is smoother compared to other shoes.
    Most agile and undestructable the Voelkl Delta/Safari. Also available as Low-, Mid- and High-Cut labeled as Gaston J. Glock, https://www.gastonglockstyle.eu/footwear.html
    Sympatex HIGH²Out Climate System is very interesting. Works even at heat and your socks kept drier than in any other shoes as the linning is hydrophile. The Safari High here like the Delta High for the Austrian Army are without Sympatex but the 3D-linning keeps the socks also drier than in any other shoes. Voelkl Delta High for Austrian Army are Multi-Climate Boots. Don't compare it with Alt-Berg Defender MKII. Voelkl Delta/Safari are defined as the Most agile Shoe/Boot for Outdoor, Hunting, Police, Army, Ambulance, Fire Brigades, etc..

  • My girlfriend and I have been hiked a couple times around Broken Bow Oklahoma and loved it! We're actually going on our first real hiking trip in late August to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. I'm looking to upgrade from my huge, hot, and heavy hunting boots that I've used the few times I've been hiking. Any recommendations on good shoes for the terrain out there?

  • which model of the adidas boots was on the table?

  • Dan

    Loving these vids thx. How would define the breathable ankle boots (I assume these cannot be waterproof?). What would u google or ask for in store. Ie not vortex but… ? Thx!

  • Ash

    This is a great spread of different footwear! great video!

  • I'm a big trail runner fan but I must admit I've been considering the sandal route for some time…

  • Thank you. Very helpful. Great job 😊

  • More than your gear, i envy your gear dedicated room!

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