We can all agree that hiking is an extremely fun activity. However, it can quickly become unfun if you have a bad pair of shoes.
What do we mean by this? Well, not all shoes are up to the task of going for a long hike, especially if its rainy and wet. You need shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and that can stand up to the elements.
In this article, we are going to be looking for the best water shoes for hiking. We will review a series of shoes and tell you what we think of each. If you want a personal recommendation, we would recommend the Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Water Shoes For Hiking 2021:
Best Water Shoes For Hiking Review:
Columbia Drainmaker Iv Water Shoe
For the first review on our best water shoes for hiking list, we are going to be doing a review of the Columbia Drainmaker Iv Water Shoe. This is a decent, moderately priced hiking shoe that is a great way to start off our review list.
We should also note, since this is the first review on the list, that the Columbia Drainmaker, like all the shoes that we will be reviewing as part of this article, comes in both a men’s and women’s version.
The exterior of the shoe is made from 100% synthetic material. The material bears all the hallmarks of a good hiking shoe material. It is comfortable enough for you to wear it for hours without feeling anything.
At the same time, the material doesn’t compromise its overall toughness to achieve this level of comfort. So, you end up with a very soft, comfortable shoe that is also going to last you for more than a couple of hikes. You don’t need to worry about tackling tough trails just because it could potentially damage your shoes.
A key part of any hiking shoe is the rubber sole on the shoe. You need to look for a few different things when searching for a good sole. The first thing that you need to look for is grip.
When hiking, you need to trust that your shoes will get a solid grip on surfaces, especially if it happens to be wet. The second thing that you want to look for is overall durability. If your soles get worn out, then your shoes aren’t going to be very useful for hiking, are they?
Thankfully, the soles on the Columbia Drainmaker Iv Water Shoes check all these boxes and more. They provide amazing grip and are extremely durable. You can easily traverse over any surfaces that you might encounter while hiking when using these shoes. The soles also don’t get worn out easily.
Finally, we arrive at the water-resistance aspect of these shoes. This is, after all, a best water shoes for hiking list, so we are of course concerned with how a particular shoe does when it gets wet.
Thankfully, the Columbia Drainmaker Iv Water Shoe once again manages to impress. When it gets wet, the water easily drains through various holes and gaps. Any material that gets wet dries extremely quickly, which minimizes the chances of developing infections or fungus, as well as discomfort.
So, given how much positive attention that we have lavished on this shoe, you may be curious why it isn’t our choice for the best overall water shoe. Well, we would have preferred for it to give you more arch support.
- Moderately priced.
- Drains and dries quickly.
- Made from a strong, yet light synthetic material.
- Great rubber soles that provide solid grip.
- Arch support could be improved.
bridawn Men Women Quick Dry Barefoot Hiking Water Shoes
For the next review on our best water shoes for hiking list, we want to take a look at the bridawn Men Women Quick Dry Barefoot Hiking Water Shoes. What makes this particular set of shoes unique enough to be included on this list? Well, aside from being relatively well-made, these shoes also have the distinction of being one of the more affordable options on the market right now.
Let’s start off this review by talking about the price of this pair of shoes. Based on a lot of other reviews on our best water shoes for hiking list, you probably figured that all decent water-resistant hiking shoes cost a decent chunk of change, and you would mostly be right.
However, some decent budget options exist. One such example is the bridawn Men Women Quick Dry Barefoot Hiking Water Shoes. These shoes are a good example of a budget pair of shoes that also happen to offer still decent hiking performance.
So, how do these affordable shoes stack up against the other, pricier hiking shoe options on our best water shoes for hiking list? Well, for starters, the bridawn Men Women Quick Dry Barefoot Hiking Water Shoes are made from this really great elastic fabric. It fits perfectly around your feet and it is surprisingly strong for such a cheap shoe.
Furthermore, the material has absolutely no problems with moisture. The material dries extremely fast if it does happen to get wet or submerged. There are also plenty of areas for the water to drain out of if you happen to step into a large puddle.
Something that long-distance hikers will really like is the fact that these shoes are extremely lightweight. The material that the shoes are made out of makes you feel like you have pillows on your feet. They are not heavy in the slightest. This helps to keep your feet fresh and not sore when on a very long hike.
Now, you may think that these shoes would be our choice for the title of best overall water shoe because they are cheap and seem to be of reasonably good quality. However, we do have one issue with the bridawn Men Women Quick Dry Barefoot Hiking Water Shoes that holds them back somewhat in our view, which is their durability problem.
Given the price of these shoes, you probably wouldn’t expect them to last you all that long, and you would be right. After all, who really expects a product that costs under $20 to last for a while?
- Unisex shoes.
- Extremely lightweight, which makes them great for long hikes.
- Both drain and dry noticeably fast.
- Material is both comfortable and reasonably strong.
- Very affordable hiking shoes.
- Doesn’t last as long as some other shoes.
Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner
The next shoe that we want to highlight on our best water shoes for hiking list is the Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner. This is an extremely high-quality water shoe that is also an amazing option for hiking.
While we will go into a lot more detail in our review, we want to say upfront that this is a really well-made shoe that is great for hiking (and a lot of other outdoor activities as well). In fact, we would go so far as to say that this is our choice for the overall best water shoe on this entire list.
For starters, this is an extremely comfortable shoe to wear. We really can’t overemphasize just how comfortable these shoes are; they will certainly make your hike a lot more enjoyable. They are really soft, and they provide your feet with a lot of support. The material also does a great job of fitting snugly over your feet, so you never feel like your shoes are “loose.”
The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner also comes with a breathable mesh exterior. This does two important things. First off, it helps to keep your feet cool by letting air circulate while running or hiking.
Secondly, the holes in the mesh also provide the perfect method for letting excess water to drain out of your shoe, should it get submerged. The increased airflow also ensures that your shoes dry out a lot quicker than a shoe with reduced airflow would.
Our biggest, and really only, issue with the Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner is that it could use a bit more padding on the bottom. What do we mean by this? Well, as it stands currently, the shoes work amazingly on flat surfaces.
However, the lack of padding on the bottom does mean that when you run over things like jagged surfaces, gravel, or rocks, that the shoes won’t provide quite as much protection as we are sure that some of you would like. On the other hand, you can fix this issue with some sole inserts, so we wouldn’t call it too big of an issue.
- Breathable mesh exterior.
- Keeps your feet cool while hiking.
- Lets water drain out easily.
- Made from a very comfortable synthetic material.
- Could offer a bit more protection against things like rocks and gravel.
Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe
The next shoe option that we are going to take a look at is the Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe. Now, those of you who read our last review will recognize the name Merrell, as they also made the previous shoe that we reviewed.
So, why are we reviewing two shoes from the same brand, that also happen to have similar features, on our best water shoes for hiking list? Well, this particular hiking shoe from Merrell is a pricier, higher-end version of the shoe that we just finished reviewing. So, if you don’t have a strict budget and you want an extremely well-made water shoe, then you can go with the Merrell All Out Blaze.
Like all high-end hiking shoes, the Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe is made out of a very great synthetic material. This means that in addition to the shoe being comfortable, it is also very strong.
As you would expect from a shoe being offered for a price point of around $90, this shoe is extremely well-made. We have looked at some fairly durable shoes during the course of this best water shoes for hiking list, but this shoe is definitely a cut above in that regard. They are built to last and they will last you for lots and lots of hiking trips. So, while they are pricey, they are going to last for so long that the cost will probably end up being worth it.
The sole on the Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe also deserves some mention. This is because in addition to being as well-made as the rest of the shoe, it also provides a lot of support for your arches and the exterior gives you some solid grip, which is great for hiking on rough terrain.
Of course, the entire shoe is built to dry out very quickly. Plus, much like with the other shoe from Merrell, large amounts of water will drain very quickly.
Finally, we have to mention the lacing system on the Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe. It comes equipped with what is called an omni-fit lacing system. Essentially, what this system does is make it very simple and quick for you to do up your laces. This means that you can make quick adjustments in the filed without having to hold up the rest of the hiking group.
- Omni-fit lacing system.
- Very durable and should last for a long time.
- Made from a tough, but breathable material.
- Pricier than the previous shoe option from Merrell.
Adidas outdoor Terrex Climacool Voyager Water Shoe
For the final review on our best water shoes for hiking list, we are going to be taking a look at a shoe option from a brand that needs no introduction. We are sure that you have all heard of Adidas before.
This brand, which is usually associated with sports shoes, also makes some very high-quality hiking shoes (which are usually water-resistant). One such shoe is the Adidas outdoor Terrex Climacool Voyager Water Shoe. This is an all-around, water-resistant athletic shoe that doubles as a great option for hikers. It is definitely deserving of some mention on this list.
If you have ever worn one of Adidas’ high-end athletic shoes before, then you have a good idea of what to expect from the Adidas outdoor Terrex Climacool Voyager Water Shoe. Their shoes are typically built to be very strong, while also very comfortable.
That is definitely on display here as the Terrex is an extremely comfortable shoe. It is soft, lightweight, and possesses all the other qualities that you look for in a good hiking shoe. At the same time, it is remarkably durable, and you can trust it to last you for a very long time.
Overall, this is a great shoe option and we highly recommend it.
- From a reliable brand.
- Remarkably comfortable interior.
- Strong exterior.
- Durable, long-lasting shoe.
- Exterior material is breathable and dries very fast.
- A fairly pricey investment.
Why Wet Shoes Should Be Avoided When Hiking
In this second section of our best water shoes for hiking article, we want to do something different from shoe reviews. We want to briefly go over some of the issues that can be caused by having wet shoes while hiking. We really want to emphasize why it is important for you to go with a water-resistant hiking shoe (like the kind featured above) over a plain-old, regular hiking shoe.
Walking with wet shoes is extremely uncomfortable. If you have ever gotten your shoes very wet (and we mean submerged in water wet), then you know what we are talking about. Not only do your shoes suddenly feel like bricks from all the excess water, but they also make that annoying sloshing sound when walking.
All-in-all, it is an extremely unpleasant experience that should be avoided. As you saw from our review list, water-resistant hiking shoes are designed to dry quickly, which helps to prevent this issue from occurring.
As we are sure many of you know, moisture creates a fertile ground for bacteria and fungus to grow. This is especially true when you add in the fact that your feet are already a bit sweaty from the act of hiking.
While hiking for a day with wet feet is unlikely to cause any issues, if you are going on a multi-day trip where hiking will occur every day, then this becomes an issue that you need to consider. Hiking with wet feet constantly can cause some pretty serious bacterial issues.
Again, using a set of shoes from our best water shoes for hiking list can help to prevent this because water-resistant shoes prevent a lot of moisture from actually getting to your feet and making them wet. Regular shoes tend to provide next to no moisture protection, which then leads to soaked feet and the above problems appearing.
If you still have questions regarding how you can find the best water shoes for hiking, please feel free to leave us a comment below.
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