It does not matter if it is a soft turf or an impervious mountain path. When it comes to hiking shoes, however, things get more complicated: we go from models suitable for a simple walk to boots equipped to mount ice crampons. In this small selection, we have explored trekking and other more versatile footwear exclusively.
The sportswear industry produces increasingly sophisticated and specialized products, designed to provide the best performance in precise geographical and meteorological conditions.
Before deciding which trekking shoe to buy, it is necessary to be clear about what tasks it will be destined for: high mountains, simple walks, demanding excursions, long walks. Here we will be listing the top 8 best asics hiking shoes.
- Outdoor-ready runner with mesh and brushstroke-patterned underlays
- Rearfoot GEL cushioning
- Removable sockliner accommodates medical orthotics
- Trail-specific outsole with reversed traction lugs
- AHAR outsole rubber in critical high-wear areas
- Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system - Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
- Rear foot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
- SpEVA Midsole Material: Improves bounce back characteristics and decreases midsole breakdown.
- DuoMax Support System: A dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, positioned sport specifically.
- Trusstic System Technology: Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe.
- Trail Specific Outsole: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
- Rugged neutral runner in mesh with bright overlays
- GEL Cushioning System
- Removable foam sockliner accommodates orthotics
- Trail-specific outsole with multisurface traction
- High-abrasion rubber
- Ortholite X-40 Sockliner - This premium sockliner features higher rebound properties while providing excellent moisture management and a high-level of breathability (Ortholite is a registered trademark of ATP Manufacturing LLC.)
- Rubber sole
- Trail Specific Outsole
- Synthetic Leather and Mesh Upper - Lightweight, comfortable and breathable, enhancing performance and fit.
- Reinforced Toe Cap -
- Trail Specific Outsole - Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
- Rear foot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to instance.
- SpEVA Midsole: Material Improves bounce-back characteristics and decreases midsole breakdown.
- DuoMax Support System: A dual-density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability.
- Trusstic System: Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe.
- Trail Specific Outsole: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain. Fit Tip: If between sizes, order 0.5 size up ; Weight: 11.9 oz ; ASICS GEL-Kahana 8 is made for neutral- Foot Type:Normal size arches , Over- Foot Type :Low arches or flat feet.
Buyer Guide to Choose the Best Asics Hiking Shoes
The second step is to establish a budget. You can spend 40 euros or exceed 300 euros, but in both cases, you must be sure to meet some minimal needs.
So here is a brief introduction to the best trekking shoes of 2020, the result of our careful comparison.
Hiking, Trekking or Mountain?
Shoes are increasingly technological products, but the right technology must be chosen.
The outdoor activity requires some caution, especially with regards to stability, elasticity and our pace. These cautions change according to how intense and adventurous our business is.
The word Hike will remind those who made the scout of a feared and tiring mountain hike. The amphibians softened with seal fat are prehistory: hiking, today, means not too strenuous hiking, to which to combine quite light, relatively simple and practical shoes, but not less reliable.
It is a type of shoe that also adapts to country contexts, or to specific urban needs. For an average functional product, the price can drop below 60 euros, but also close to 200. Many models are married to both men and women.
The upper must be soft and possibly waterproof, even if perfect waterproofing is not essential.
The sole must be resistant and flexible, with a tread able to provide grip even on rough terrain, without reducing too much sensitivity.
Under the English definition “mountain”, which then simply means “mountain”, there are shoes made with a superior technique. Prices go up, but also the needs of the wearer: ice, snow, rain, these models must be literally ready for anything. It is not a question of taking walks, but small businesses, in which the need to tackle some short stretches to climb is not excluded.
Not surprisingly, some of the shoes in this category are designed to hook crampons if necessary. All models wrap around the ankle, and the more sophisticated have a multi-layer upper, to guarantee total waterproofing, made more impenetrable by a zip closure system.
The material that relies most on keeping your feet dry is gore-Tex, often abbreviated as gtx. The sole must be particularly resistant, without making the foot too heavy.
The trekking shoes, rightly so, are characterized by a remarkable versatility. The wearer must be comfortable on different types of terrain, and possibly not be afraid of water.
It is essential that the midsole can cushion potentially traumatic impacts, which is why Eva is one of the most adopted materials. The sole, on the other hand, cannot ignore an aggressive grip, and a robust rubber.
In this field, there are many patents created by specialized companies or by the best-known shoe manufacturers.
An example is the Vibram, to which the classic “tank” is owed, or the Contagrip, created by Salomon by mixing different types of rubber.
Then there is the product of CMP, the FullOn grip, based on a mixture of tires that should reach the right compromise between traction capacity, robustness and flexibility.
Lacing is also the subject of particular attention. Next to the traditional fastening system, there are often self-locking eyelets and hooks, which weld the shoe to the foot, to keep the ankle well bandaged.
The best-selling products are generally on the market with models for men and women, identical in technical quality, but different in fit and size.
Short excursus: don’t you know where to put all your shoes? Then you need a good shoe organizer!
Right “old” boot … but in this case of old, there is very little. The Salomon trekking shoe occupies the first position by its numerous technical qualities and a price which, although demanding in absolute terms (sold online for around 150 euros), is in line with the market and with the services offered.
The upper is in suede and water-repellent fabric, to which is added a Gore-Tex membrane to guarantee efficient waterproofing.
If you scroll through the buying tips, it’s hard to find any complaints. The opinion of users and professionals converge on one point: the shoe gives great comfort even after kilometres of walking.
A result obtained above all thanks to the quality of the midsole, made of Eva modelled with Advanced Chassis technology.
It is an advanced construction system, which in this version allows guaranteeing stability and protection on rough terrain, but also a reasonable degree of propulsion.
The midsole also benefits from the EnergyCell system, in polyurethane foam, which has the characteristic of cushioning the stride and restoring energy.
A Real Sole
The sole is always a fundamental element, and if you wonder how to choose a right trekking shoe, an efficient bottom is a good starting point.
The Salomon model can count on the exclusive Contagrip patent, a fierce competitor of the Vibram brand.
The advantage of this product lies in the so-called compound, i.e. the mixing of various types of rubber, distributed differently according to the different stresses to which the soles of the feet are subjected.
In the areas, most subject to wear, such as the edges of the soles, more resistant compounds are found. The whole central part, on the other hand, is made up of a more flexible quality.
Another characteristic element is geometry: with this term, we identify the shape and depth of the grooves and sculptures.
It is an essential element for trekking shoes that need sufficient grip on different types of terrain. It must prove stable even on slippery paths.
There is no “universal” grip, perfect for all circumstances, but this model is reliable on gravel, stones and even snow. Some reviews recommend more caution on ice and, in general, on slippery paths.
Often underestimated, the lacing system also has some relevance on this type of shoe. In this case, it is a traditional eyelet lacing to which the laces are added.
The eyelet closure is placed between the forefoot and the eyelets on the ankle, to lock the strings in the right position and allow precise and independent adjustment.
The possibility of varying the pressure of the laces on foot is useful for better adapting the shoe to its ends, and for loosening and tightening as needed, for example when facing a long and demanding descent or an impervious ascent.
But perfect closure also means protection from residues, dust, stones, water and ice.
This is the main task of the tongue, which in this case is joined to the upper on both sides, to remain centred and prevent any debris.