Hiking is one of those activities that combines the fun of outdoor adventure with the pleasure of staying fit and active. Unfortunately, for people that suffer from painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis, hiking seems like a painful and increasingly stressful task to undertake. The risk seems higher than the reward.
The good news is that the pain can be reduced and the pleasure of hiking maximized if the correct types of hiking boots are chosen for the task. There is an immense variety of hiking boots and if correctly chosen, they can relieve the sufferer of plantar fasciitis from all their complaints and help them partake in the fun of hiking.
10 Top-rated Hiking Boots For Both Men and Women
1. Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boot
The Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boot is designed to be ankle length so that it can provide a maximum amount of comfort to the ankle joints. The midsole area of the foot also has extra support and cushion which enhances stability and helps maintain balance.
These boots have extra padding in the ball and heel of the foot which is great for people with plantar fasciitis. Since climbing mountains and hiking on uneven terrain can flair up plantar fasciitis symptoms, this extra padding helps stabilize the foot. The ankle area and the tongue flap of the boot also have extra padding in it. This helps prevent any kind of strains or injuries to your ankle as well as your foot.
The Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boots provide a good blend of being comfortable and providing foot stability. This is important since boots that are meant for hiking need to be a bit sturdy and hard, but at the same time, they have to be comfortable.
- Extra cushioning in the ball and heel
- Provides stability
- High ankle for extra ankle support
- Padding in the tongue flap.
- Arch support is not enough
- Works better with insoles.
2. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Boot
The Merrell brand is known for making good quality hiking and trekking shoes. Unlike most other shoes, the leather on the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is highly durable and can withstand all kinds of wear and tear. The footbed of this boot is very supportive and gives great balance while walking on uneven terrain.
The exterior of the shoe is comfortably breathable so the foot doesn’t get stuffy. However, at the same time, it is also waterproof while being breathable. This is the perfect combo since it lets in fresh air but repels and keeps water and external moisture out of the shoe so as to not damage it.
Although they are breathable, the padding inside the shoe keeps the feet warm and cozy during cold weather. So if you’re hiking in the winter months, not only will these boots give you a warmer feeling but keep you dry and moisture free as well.
- Good arch support
- Absorbs shock through shock absorbent pads
- Highly breathable and waterproof fabric.
- These shoes make you have to run large without anything to back it up
- A bit hard some spots.
3. KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot
The Keen brand is a pro when it comes to the manufacturing of hiking and trekking boots. One of the key features of the KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot is the specially designed fabric of this boot. This fabric is porous enough to let a good amount of air in which makes it very breathable for your foot. This prevents your foot from getting too sweaty or too hot.
However, being as breathable as it is, the KEEN Targhee II is also completely waterproof and keeps external moisture outside of the boot. This makes it ideal for hiking in areas where there is expected mud or any large bodies of water like lakes or ponds.
The soles of these boots have extra grip so they prevent any kind of slippage when trekking in harsh areas. The foam bed on the bottom of the shoe is easily removable and allows you to add your own soles and orthotic fixtures in.
- The bottom of the shoe can be removed
- Nice stability soles
- Ankle support through the high cut.
- Not suitable for hiking in very harsh terrains.
4. Vasque Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Vasque Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot is one of those hiking shoes that is designed keeping maximum comfort in mind. The boots come with extra cushioning and padding in the midsole so as to provide maximum support to the foot arches and feet with pronation issues. This support makes it perfect for people with plantar fasciitis as it prevents pain and aches from hiking.
The outer sole of the Vasque Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex is made of rubber, which is an excellent material for stopping slippage. This gives the foot great grip on the land, especially in harsh hiking conditions. The rubber sole also helps support ligaments in the arch of the foot and prevents any kind of injury or pain in that area.
The durability of these boots has often been brought into questions by customers, but overall they have been praised as being great shoes for hiking when it comes to comfort and stability.
- Extra cushioning in the midsole
- Outer sole made from rubber
- Focus on comfort
- Provides maximum rubber traction.
- Durability is lower compared to other brands
- The leather is fragile in harsh environments.
5. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot
An American company, Columbia Sportswear has been around since 1938 making outdoor sportswear of all kinds, but they’re particularly well known for their hiking gear, including their boots. The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boots have a very good quality waterproof leather which repels any kind of moisture or water during trekking.
These boots also come with a special clamshell lacing technique which ensures that the laces stay done and hold in their place longer than normal. The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is also a very good hiking boot for different kinds of terrain and weather because of its great balance technology.
The midsole of these shoes is made from high-quality EVA style foam which is not only incredibly lightweight but it also provides superior balance and traction. The exterior of these shoes is made up of fine grain leather which is not only resistant to water and moisture, but also resistant to stains and keeps your boots looking clean at all times.
- Lightweight EVA foam midsole
- Very durable and last for years
- High durability
- Stain Proof.
- They don’t give good enough balance in the snow.
6. Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot
The Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot is a boot that was designed keeping in mind a large variety of hiking terrain. Like all good trekking boots, the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX comes with great midsole support. The midsole is made from EVA foam which is of a very superior quality and provides comfort alongside stability.
Unlike most other hiking boots, the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX comes with a cup in the heel area that makes the heel of the foot even more stable during long hikes. Not only in the heel, but this boot is designed all over in such a way that it cups and secures your entire foot. This is great for people suffering from plantar fasciitis as it gives unlimited stability to the foot and its ligaments while facing harsh terrain.
The best thing about these is that you don’t need to break them in like other boots. The ankle support these boots provide is also really great.
- Cupped heel area
- Designed with EVA foam
- Sizing is perfect and doesn’t need to be broken in.
- The arch area has less support.
7. Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX Multifunctional Hiking Boot
The Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX Multifunctional Hiking Boot is one of the best choices for high traction hiking boots currently available in the market. This boot comes with an advanced chassis technology that takes a combo of EVA midsole and TPU technology to provide advanced levels of foot stability. This gives the foot more control and protection against sprains and injuries, along with a good external sole grip.
One of the highlight features of this boot is its patented Sensifit technology. With this technology, the boot is designed in such a way that it cups the foot starting from the soles all the way up to the top of the shoe. The shoe molds around the top of your foot near the lacing area and give a protective grip on your foot. This gives you maximum comfort along with support by cradling your foot in its entirety.
It also comes with a good weather protection guarantee that keeps your shoe dry even in the moistest weather and terrain.
- Snug fit on the foot with Sensifit technology
- Superior stability and protection.
- The ankle support is slightly lacking.
8. Hi-Tec Altitude IV Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Hi-Tec Altitude IV Waterproof Hiking Boot is a boot that is designed specifically for hiking at higher altitudes and in wet conditions. The waterproof skin on this shoe allows the penetration of air for the sake of ventilation but doesn’t allow any water in at all, which makes this boot perfect for hiking through rivers and streams of water.
Since the defining feature of this shoe is it being waterproof, there is no room for allowing any kind of water in. This is why even the tongue flap of the boot is designed to be wide enough so that it basically seals the front of the shoe, preventing any water from getting inside of the boot.
The outer sole is made up of the highest grade rubber that provides maximum traction. The rubber sole gives stability to the foot in all kinds of terrains and prevents your foot from slipping. The seams of this boot are also sealed with a micro seal technology that keeps any water out. The inside is lined with mesh that gives the foot maximum comfort and warmth.
- Great traction
- Waterproof Seams.
- The durability is comparatively lower.
9. Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boot Copper
The Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boot Copper is one of those hiking boots that were made keeping a rounded and well-covered approach that prepares it for all kinds of situations. Even though it has a bunch of useful hiking features, the best thing this boot is known for is its great stability. To provide greater stability these shoes come with special ATS technology that holds the foot in place inside the foot, as well as stabilizing the grip on the ground from the outside.
These boots also come with Duratread soles that give the flexibility to move around in a varying terrain, as well as stability and traction. These qualities make this shoe great for people suffering from plantar fasciitis because they reduce the strain on the foot and especially the arch and ligaments of the foot.
The Duratread outer sole is also stain proof and can clean itself which means you can take it on a hike through the muddiest region and not worry about cleaning the boots later. And of course, like other good quality boots, this one comes with waterproof leather.
- Self-cleaning outer sole
- Stable grip.
- Low ankle height.
1. Danner Men’s Radical 452 GTX Outdoor Boot
The Danner Men’s Radical 452 GTX boots are the best-rugged men’s boots for hiking out there. These boots are designed to withstand the harshest conditions and the harshest terrains. They can cope up with any kind of weather without enduring damage or causing you any kind of discomfort.
The boots are line on the inside with a breathable material that allows your foot sweat to escape and airs your foot out, while at the same time keeping out water from the outside. They also have a Danner Boulder outer sole which provides the maximum amount of traction, especially in rocky mountainous terrains.
The lower part of the shoe is protected with an extremely durable material that can resist scratches, abrasiveness, scuffing and tearing. This is what makes this boot the best choice for those who work in harsh terrains or even tactical type jobs where they need durability as well as rugged support. The overall quality of this boot is very good and turns it into a great investment for people with plantar fasciitis.
- Resistant to all kinds of damage
- Best traction soles.
- Heavy in weight
- Traction could be improved.
1. Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot
The Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot is the top hiking boot for women who battle with plantar fasciitis, and there are many reasons for this. For starters, this boot comes with all of the best qualities that you can expect in any good hiking boot like being waterproof, having a stable rubber sole, and padding on the inside for added comfort.
The main feature of the Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot is best known for its clutter-breaking stabilization technology that no other brand has yet been compared to. This technology positions your foot inside the boot in such a way that you obtain a neutral walking posture. This technology normalizes your gait, which is a big relief for people that suffer from plantar fasciitis.
This technology works with your foot’s natural alignment and makes your foot stable enough to endure the irregularities of all kinds of terrains with grace and minimal pain. By using this boot, the posture technology will greatly reduce your overall foot and back pain greatly by correcting your gait and relieving all the undue pressure on other parts of the body.
- Neutral posture technology
- Slightly large size.
Why are The Right Hiking Boots Important?
Hiking is a fun activity, but it can get very strenuous for your feet because of the kind of terrain you might be hiking on. For people that battle every day with chronic pain and plantar fasciitis, the condition can worsen after going for a hike wearing improper boots. This is why choosing the right kind of boots for hiking is even more important for people with plantar fasciitis.
How to Choose Hiking Boots
1. The Difference Between Hiking Shoes/Boots and Other Sports Shoes
The main difference between hiking boots and sports shoes is the type of terrain they’re each designed for. Hiking boots are more versatile and rugged enough to deal with the harsh terrain of a forest or a hill. Hiking boots are also more capable of dealing with different kinds of weather, unlike regular sports shoes.
2. Types of Hiking Boots
There are three main types of hiking footwear: hiking trail shoes, mid-weight hiking boots, and heavy-weight rough-trail hiking boots. If you’re looking for a very light hike that goes along the trail, then hiking trail shoes would be best suited for you. Mid-weight hiking boots are the most suitable for daytime lightweight hikes and these boots have higher ankles than trail shoes. The last type, the rough-trail hiking boots, have the highest ankle and are heavier and sturdier to support carrying of heavyweights and hiking on rougher terrain.
3. Factors to Consider
Since there is extreme pressure and pain in the balls and heels of the foot in plantar fasciitis, the best bet would be to choose hiking boots that maximize comfort in these two key areas. For this, it is necessary to look for hiking boots that have an ample amount of padding in the ball and heel of the boot. Another important thing to keep in mind is the flexibility and stability of the sole of the shoe which maximizes comfort, corrects posture, and reduces pain for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.