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Hiking Shoe Recs with good toe support

Just as the warm weather was tappering off last year, I had been working up to rougher terrains and climbs and was about to upgrade my gear because my athletic shoes I'd been using didn't cut it anymore. At that time, I was diagnosed with a bone spur in my big toe. Depending on how I use it, depends on how sore it is after.( I blame it on all the tip toeing I've done my whole life, I'm only 5'2 😬)  Now that it's warming up, I'm ready for the upgrade. I don't want to let this slow me down.  I have a Mt Rainier trip in my future! I will use the soles the Dr. gave me in whatever I buy but I'm really looking for something with good support, preferably waterproof. Any suggestions?

4 Replies

Hi @AmberWaves - if you’re near an REI store, I’d recommend stopping in and working with a staff member to get the shoes dialed in. If you’re not, try the virtual outfitting option, too. They’ll be able to answer specific questions and help you determine a good shoe. Or boot. Or trail runner. 🙂

FWIW, I’m a big fan of Merrell and the Moab 2 hiking shoe. It’s got a nice sized toe box that, for me, eliminates any pressure on my toes.  Also know people who swear by Keen for the same reason. 

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

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Thanks for the info. I do have a store close but, inventory seems to be low everywhere even online. I have tried on the Moab 2 vent and it was extremely comfortable However they did not have the waterproof version available and I really wanted that if making the investment. Glad to know these will probably work for me then. Hopefully I can find them! 


Hi @AmberWaves,

As someone who is dealing with a heel spur at the moment, I can definitely sympathize with your toe pain. If you are currently seeing a podiatrist, I'd talk to them about whether or not they recommend a stiffer toebox, or a softer toebox. I'd also ask them if the toespring, or the angle of the toe relative to the shoe's middle matters, as you might be affected if the toespring is too aggressive. 

(This is a link to a Podium Runner article on toespring. You'll see different studies with different opinions on the effectiveness of a higher toespring; this article claims its better for running, but I am including it just to show you a very good picture of what it looks like!)

If your doctor recommends a softer boot, I'd recommend the following:

Hoka Sky Toa GTX (note that this boot's toespring is higher than other boots due to Hoka's rocker construction).

Topo Trailventure Mid WP

Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM

For a more firm boot, I'd recommend:

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Aku Alterra GTX

A footwear associate in store, or one of our virtual outfitters can help you determine the correct size. You might even size up if you need more space in the toebox to accomodate for discomfort.

I hope these ideas help, and I hope you heal soon!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


Thanks, this is great information that I hadn't considered. Definitely looking into this further!