Best Shoes for Backpackers & Travelers

Epic trips require top-notch shoes that can handle everything you throw at it. But it can be a challenge to find backpacking shoes that can bear a vast array of occasions, temperatures, and activities during one-day trips, let alone long-term backpacking. Will you be exploring the busy streets of Hyderabad, or exploring the French countryside? This guide will take you through the best shoes for backpackers and travelers (shoes that can fulfill a variety of needs!).

What Should Backpackers & Travelers Look for In a Shoe?

Backpackers usually travel throughout the year with heavy carry-on backpacks, so picking the right shoes is extremely vital. While it makes sense to base the footwear decision on the locations you’ll be traveling to and the kinds of activities you’ll be undertaking, you should (at the very least) look for the following things in a backpacking shoe.

Hikeable: You’ll be doing a lot of trekking and walking if you go to a country like Nepal. Plus, your water source might be a mile away after you reach the summit. Shoes featuring a heel strap will help stabilize your feet while reducing the risk of “slip and fall” disasters.

Waterproof: Backpackers also frequently experiencer river crossings during their journeys. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for shoes that are water resistant (with minimum to zero possibility of becoming wet). If your shoes get soggy, they’ll not only add to your weight, they’re also a big pain for drying out.

Easy to Wear: You don’t want to buy a pair that takes 15-20 minutes to lace up. A good rule of thumb to follow while searching top shoes for backpacking and traveling: is it possible to wear them with one hand?

List of the Best Backpacking & Traveling Shoes

Where to Buy
Vasque Unisex- Adult Saga GTX
Columbia Conspiracy III Titanium Outdry XTRM EC
XIANG GUAN Men’s Outdoor Low-Top Oxford
Mammut Trovat High GTX Boot
Brooks Men’s Cascadia 12
The North Face One Trail
Arc’teryx Mens Konseal FL
Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker

1. Vasque Unisex- Adult Saga GTX

This high-collar backpacking shoe offers good ankle support. Once you wear it, you’ll feel like you’re on a basketball court rather than on a backpacking journey (it’s that solid). It’s comfortable and ensures the wearer doesn’t get even the tiniest of blisters. Its foot box too is roomy and excellent, and the GORE-TEX waterproof membrane that comes with it allows feet to stay cool than they’d in a leather boot. Additionally, its Vibram Contact Grip sole works quite well to ward off slipping in the moistest of environments.

What makes it stand out?

It contains 3D mesh panels that offer industry-leading breathability. Moreover, the molded ventilation ports offer weather comfort all around.

2. Columbia Conspiracy III Titanium Outdry XTRM EC

This travel low-top is manufacture with 40% recyclable materials. At the midsole, it features regrind EVA while the polyester upper ensures it is capable of standing up to any trail. Also, its TPU shank ensures the Conspiracy III remains good on uneven trails, while its Extreme ECO technology keeps water out (it’s actually a PU membrane on the external area). It ensures your feet will stay draw, even as you splash throw the shallows in a rafting journey. Lastly, its Omni-Grip outsole is just enough “sticky” to have a firm grip on flat pedals.

What makes it stand out?

Backpackers would find that the show’s lug pattern gives them a vast amount of contact area while being low on the aggressive scale.

3. XIANG GUAN Men’s Outdoor Low-Top Oxford

XIANG GUAN’s offering is ideal for everyone who’d be walking miles around town. It’s 100 percent oxford and comes with a breathable material that enables users to keep their feet dry while experiencing great comfort. The sole is made of breathable material, while the internals of the shoe is manufactured using textile fabrics that are synthetic and keep the feet breathable. Moreover, it features a classic rubber overlay for the heel and toecap to ensure security while trekking or hiking. Other than that, there’s a removable EVA (insole), and a high traction outsole (rubber) for solid grip in sleep or wet environments.

What makes it stand out?

The shoe boasts highly durable water-resistance features and offers low weight, good cushioning and high flexibility.

4. Mammut Trovat High GTX Boot

Looking for an all-around backpackers’ shoe that can handle rough conditions – and won’t break when you’ll put it through some break-in-time? Look no further than Mammut Trovant. It comes with toe protection along with the classic backpacking shoe style. You’ll find nubuck upper capped off with a rubber heal and using Gore-Tex as the lining. They’re perfect for rough terrains under a medium/heavy load; they’ll keep your ankles secure and loosen up the leather some, making for an enjoyable journey. There’s also the ankle, shin, and instep padding that is created from a resilient yet comfortable form that offers good comfort.

What makes it stand out?

It comes with unique 3-zone lacing that is adaptable to different kinds of bindings. Also, its padding and lining system factors in the varying areas of the foot to ensure there is minimal perspiration.

5. Brooks Men’s Cascadia 12

This is a very popular pair in the backpacking community. It features a durable upper mesh and an extremely comfortable sole. Also, its toe box has ample room, and it feels good on the foot. Consequently, its traction is quite grippy, and the presence of durable shield inside the sole ensures you won’t feel any rocks while you’re out and about. Additionally, it features a Pivot Point system that helps improve stability. Another area where it excels is the crash pad; it offers industry-leading absorb shock and accommodates any type of foot landing.

What makes it stand out?

It also contains a durable thermoplastic (Ballistic EVA Rock Shield) between the outsole and midsole. The technology ensures the forefoot remains protected laying point loads out from sharp items.

6. The North Face One Trail

These backpackers’ shoes are comfy and contain a toebox that’s quite roomy, letting the wearer’s toes splay naturally. The midsole contains an EVA that’s 8mm near the toe and a 4mm insole is augmented by a plush. Also, the upper of the mesh contains big vents, making the North Face One Trial one of the most breathable travel shoes around. Additionally, the wraparound leather alongside the rubber tor guard provides users with extra protection, but if you’re someone who loves to hammer on tough trails, know that the bottom of the shoe is prone to getting chewed up.

What makes it stand out?

With the eyestay/heel lace closure on The North Face One Trail, its Sling Fit system helps place the wearer’s foot in the ideal position.

7. Arc’teryx Men’s Konseal FL

Many footwear pieces that strive at splitting the difference between backpacking and traveling scramble, but are less relevant when you have big miles to hammer. That’s where Konseal comes in. It features an EVA midsole that’s bouncy along with a 4mm insole. Together, these create a plush ride that backpackers would find more comfortable than any other shoe on the market. There’s also a TPU frame that goes beyond low-cut hikers in terms of stability, allowing the wearer to shoulder on heavy backpacking gear from and to any crag. Besides all that, the pointy toe and the relatively stiff sole aid to Konseal in edging, so the wearer won’t face any issues while he/she toques it into small cracks or pockets.

What makes it stand out?

It comes with a toe cap that’s 3D-molded. In addition, the perimeter sidewalls are raised for offering added protection.

8. Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker

Backpackers who are traveling to a location where they’d be walking barefoot require a shoe that offers good protection and stability. That’s where this pair comes in. Its minimalist sole ensures you feel connected with the ground since the feet should be gloved into any obstacle. Also, it comes with a wide toebox that offers ample room for toe splay. Plus, the Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker has a zero-drop design that lets the feet flex and bend naturally. And because the DayLite runs small, it’s essential to get a complete size. Wearers would also find a 2mm sole without cushioning; this is ideal for making the feet strong and avoiding injuries. The ballistic mesh upper of the DayLite ensures no marks are left by scree or any type of rock, along with preventing outsoles from suffering via visible damage.

What makes it stand out?

The DayLite offers a great bare feet experience and is strong enough to bear loads (day-mission), but we’d suggest getting other pairs if you’re planning to go any heavier. Also, there’s a mid0cut cuff that locks alongside the ankle, which comes in handy on the sections of the trail that are roof-infested.

Final Verdict

So there’s Worldgoo’s list of some appealing versatile footwear for backpackers and travelers. Indeed, shoes are a necessary part of globetrotting and when you take the right ones along you can save a lot of hassle and space. If you’re planning a long journey it’s definitely worth buying at least one decent pair that can come in handy. Happy backpacking!