Best men’s trainers for hiking UK 2022: lightweight shoes for walking, from Columbia, Merrell, Hoka

Great for keeping your feet dry, protected, and stable on rough terrain, a good pair of hiking shoes can be a lighter, more multi-purpose option than a hiking book. Here are the best trail shoes

Best men’s trainers for hiking 2022: lightweight shoes for walkingBest men’s trainers for hiking 2022: lightweight shoes for walking
Best men’s trainers for hiking 2022: lightweight shoes for walking

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A good pair of lightweight trainers for hiking have many benefits. Not only are they light, smaller and less bulky than traditional hiking boots, they also double up as everyday wear, offering a smart, comfortable trainer that can be used casually.

Showcasing excellent performance in terms of support, weight-savings and water and weatherproofing, we’ve reviewed and listed below a number of different hiking trainers that fit the bill and will enable you to head into the wild this autumn.

Best men’s hiking trainers at a glance

Which trainers are best for me?

Have a think about the activities you’ll be doing when purchasing a new pair of lightweight trainers. For speed and agility over rough terrain, we’d recommend trainers that feature a weight-saving sole and a mesh upper, which also have the added benefit of allowing your feet to breathe on tougher hikes.

For more strenuous activity in harsher conditions, it makes sense to look for a more weatherproof and sturdier material such as GORE-TEX and leather as these will probably last longer if you’re using them all year round.

For many trainers, you also have the option of a ‘low cut’ or ‘mid cut’ option, which offer a varied amount of ankle and foot support that’s vital to consider if you’re traipsing over uneven ground.

Get kitted out for all of your hiking adventures

We have detailed guides to the best backpacking tents for your adventures here. Want to steady your stride? These are the best walking poles for hiking.

Keep it comfy with the best camping folding chairs, and sleep on the best air beds around, as listed here. And keep things illuminated with a great camping head torch.

Here is our list of the best lightweight trainers on the market at the moment

Pros: great traction on the shoe base, ideal for wet conditions or rough terrain. Gore-tex membane effective at keeping feet dry.

Cons: loose around the heel

Traction and stability are the core features of the Moab Speed GTX. The shoe is built using a 100% recycled mesh lining, recycled laces and a padded collar for extra comfort.

We liked the fact that these shoes also feature a proactive toe cap, a nice feature if you’re hiking on rough ground or over terrain littered with rocks or boulders.

We found that the Vibram Traction Lugs provide good support and grip over wet terrain too, which is again something that inspires confidence when you’re out and about.

They run a little large, so we’d advise you to go down half a size.

Pros: Breathability, stability, comfort

Cons: None of note

These shoes retail for £110, but are currently on offer on the Columbia website, offering a hefty price saving that makes the shoes well worth a look.

They’re a simple, everyday looking shoe but what they lack in fancy design they make up with in practicality and waterproof ability.

They have a relatively bulky appearance but all the features are there for a reason - they’re well cushioned and the mesh upper provides excellent breathability and comfort, too.

We love that they can be used for all manner of outdoor activities - from hiking to rock climbing - in all types of weather.

Pros: great cushioning, vegan, super light

Cons: Pricy option

These shoes are 100% vegan approved - made of a synthetic material with a tightly-meshed upper that manages to combine waterproof ability, comfort and good breathability.

We found that they were sized a little wide, so would be a great option for people with wider feet or anyone who struggles with the tight fitting or restrictive nature of traditional walking boots.

Highly cushioned and with ample space for your feet to breathe, these were amongst the comfiest trainers we tested.

Pros: Great waterproofing

Cons: Not the best grip if you like to break into a run

Danner has significant pedigree when it comes to the American market - offering a large range of stylish, considered, well-designed outdoor wear suitable for tough terrain and outdoor lifestyle use.

The Trail 2650 Campo range is lightweight, but it also feels sturdy and well-made, suitable for tougher hikes. ‘Invisible Fit’ bonds the GORE-TEX membrane to the upper of the shoe, allowing for extra flexibility and comfort.

They’re intended to have a snug fit and stay secure in harsher conditions, and we found them to be coming up slightly small, so we’d recommend trying on a pair that’s one size above your normal size.

Pros: fabulously light, comfortable, and grippy

Cons: none!

If you need your hiking shoes light and fast, we’d recommend taking a look at Keen’s NXIS range.

Not only does the design look the part, Keen says that they’ve used the same technology as running shoes in this shoe, so you can be sure of excellent comfort, padding and cushioning that keeps your feet secure for longer.

Keen boots that use their KEEN.DRY technology are some of the best hiking boots we’ve tested, and these shoes also feature the same tech, so will still perform just as well in rainy conditions as they would keep your feet breathable in the sun.

Pros: Light, well cushioned, excellent traction

Cons: Laces are stretchy and toe-box is rigid

Hoka design shoes that are primarily concerned with running - but these trail orientated options we found would suit walking just as well. They are probably the lightest and most cushioned shoes we tested, with large traction lugs that keep you moving at speed through rough terrain.

We especially like the heel support that features on HOKA shoes, adding support and durability in high-pressure zones. Great for hiking, but if you’re also into trail running, we found these would also suit more athletic endeavours.

Pros: sturdy as anything but light, stable, waterproof

Cons: wide - not suited to narrow feet

Another brand that draws on their trail running experience, the Salomon X Ultra 4 feature dynamic ‘articulations on the outer foot to optimise stability without limiting your mobility.’

They’re a larger, sturdy shoe that focus on stability over technical terrain, and we also like the fact that they’ve thought about how to protect against the weather - with the GORE-TEX fabric coated to ensure that the shoe doesn’t absorb any moisture during rain showers.

The All Terrain Contagrip also works very well on loose or slippery surfaces.