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Which hiking shoe should I buy? Five choices.

Hello Everyone, 

I am retiring my Danner Mountain 600s that have served me so well on the Ausangate Trek in Peru, Big Bend National Park, and the White River National Forest in Colorado. Since I live in sunny AND hot South Texas, I am looking for a low hiker without Gore-Tex. 

Here are my top five pics. If you have strong feelings about one of these, either way, please let me know before I decide and purchase. 

1. KEEN Targhee Vent Hiking Shoes

2. Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes

3. Merrell MQM Flex 2 Low Hiking Shoes

4. Salomon OUTline Low Hiking Shoes 

5. Danner Trail 2650 Campo Hiking

4 Replies

I haven't personally tried any of them, but both Merrel and Salomon have served me well in the past. They would get my vote.   Keen's in general I have been less impressed with their durability and comfort.  

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Personally I like non waterproof Merrel Moab 2 shoes (not the boots) in their various forms along with Darn Tough merino blend quarter socks.  However they are not expensive and seem to fit me well.  Currently wearing the so called "ventilators"  although they don't seem to be particular airy.  

I also recommend you look a trail runners which will wear out faster but may be more cooler and more comfortable because they are not as stiff...depends a bit on your application.  Altra Lone Peaks (zero drop so be aware) , Brooks Cacadia, Hoka One One Speedgoats ( I haven't tried these)  are examples.   I notice this is starting to influence the "hike shoe" brands looking at your last 3 choices.  

Flip the shoes over and press on the sole in the "palm" area of the foot. Take the shoe with the least amount of give. I have had issues with blisters on the BOTTOM of my feet with weak soled shoes. 

Really, its about your personal foot shape and what feels most comfortable.

Finally I ALWAYS recommend this tape for anywhere blisters begin to form. It will stay put for days- unlike moleskin.


I think boots are a very personal selection.  With my last purchase (Oboz), I went to REI, tried them each on to figure out what was right for me.  I was shocked that I didn’t end up with Merrell (the book I’d been wearing for years).  After that experience I realize that every foot is a little different so recommendations are hard.

I have been happy with the wear from both brands.