Brown hiking shoes

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Black or brown?

That is the question.

But when it comes to hiking shoes, the majority seems to favor the brown color.

Brown hiking shoes have been around for ages but they remain the most popular color option, especially among men. It isn’t surprising really because brown is such a versatile color. It works well with any outfit and doesn’t make dirt and mud look obvious. 

Reasons to choose brown hiking shoes

Best brown hiking shoes - May 2020

Versatility. A lot of people opt for brown hiking shoes primarily because they look so versatile. Brown is considered "the most universal" color, especially for men. Regardless of the style and color of your entire hiking gear (from your cap to your pants), you can't go wrong with a pair of brown shoes.

No need to worry about dirt. Dirt won't look obvious on your brown hiking shoes. A little mud there and here is totally fine. You can go ahead and do some errands or a walk around the streets after hitting the trail and not worry about filthy shoes.

You can't go wrong with its rugged look. The brown color looks really rugged. It makes an ideal choice for outdoor footwear. Brown hikers come in different shades - from dark brown to light brown. 

What brands make the best brown hiking shoes for men and women?


It’s difficult to talk about brown hiking shoes without mentioning Timberland. They make some of the most iconic hikers today, featuring premium leather uppers, grippy soles, and comfortable footbeds. Timberland offers brown shoes in different shades, from dark brown to wheat, light brown, and so much more.


This company is known for its apparel, outerwear, and sportswear. In addition, they also make hiking shoes, such as the Columbia Redmond V2. Their footwear collection features a waterproof membrane that keeps the feet dry without sacrificing breathability.


Known for manufacturing some of the most comfortable hikers, Merrell offers lots of stylish brown hiking shoes, including their most popular Merrel Moab 2 Waterproof. Most of their brown hikers feature leather (either full-grain or suede) uppers and Vibram outsoles.

Tips when buying brown hiking shoes

Make sure you really need hiking shoes, not boots. Regardless of their color and style, hiking shoes are a great addition to your outdoor gear. However, note that they aren't as sturdy and as protective as hiking boots. Always keep these in mind before buying hiking shoes:

  • Hiking shoes are most suitable for gentler terrain and well-established trails, though some experienced hikers love to use them on challenging terrain as well. Always take into account your experience level when deciding between hiking shoes or boots because the former offers less ankle support.
  • Since they are more breathable than their high-top counterparts, hiking shoes are great for summer outdoor adventures.

Check the features. Most brown hiking shoes you’ll find don’t need to be broken in. They are comfortable right out of the box. However, they vary in many aspects, such as weight, grip and traction, breathability, and weather protection. While hiking shoes with more features are tempting, you won't always need them. For example, if you're using your shoes for summer hiking, a waterproof shoe might feel too hot and uncomfortable for your feet.