9 best urban hiking shoes

Based on reviews from 15 experts and 132 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to urban hiking shoes. Updated Jun 2020.

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      If you find deciding between hiking-specific shoes and sneakers a difficult task, perhaps urban hiking shoes are for you. With them on, you would spend less time solving the mentioned dilemma and more time enjoying the expansive wild and various locales within the city. Because such pieces of footwear are technically a hybrid, wearing a pair means having the ability to travel with trail-worthy performance but with a kind of comfort experience in a sneaker.

      The wonders of wearing the best urban hiking shoes

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      Best Urban hiking shoes - May 2020

      Urban hiking shoes blur the line between footwear that people wear for trail pursuits and footwear that work well in casual settings. And while that may be true, their value need not be blurry at all. The following points will cast some light on the exciting stuff surrounding footgear of this sort.

      No switching necessary

      When it comes to versatility, urban hiking shoes could be considered remarkably special. Are you itching to catch some sun in the great outdoors? No problem—just slip in a pair, and you are ready to go. But what if you have a casual party to attend that same afternoon? No need to change shoes; simply dust off your kicks and have fun partying. Bottom line: being in two places at the same time is practically impossible, but a seamless transition between the two is what hikers of this type are all about.

      Cumbersome they are not

      Urban hiking shoes are designed with lightness in mind. They are built in such a way that gives wearers freedom of movement, whether on or off the trail. That said, if trading off versatility for extreme lightness does not sound so bad in your book, try sporting a pair of fantastically lightweight hiking shoes instead.

      It’s a fashion thing

      During the early days of hiking, most footwear offerings from popular brands were not so easy on the eyes. Since then, however, strides were made in shoemaking in both form and function, and urban hiking shoes are a testament to such advancements (especially in the area of aesthetics). Yes, earning style point with these hikers on is hardly a challenge.

      Multi-surface traction

      Whether you are negotiating rugged backcountry paths or traveling over concrete, you can expect adequate grip performance from urban hiking shoes. Balance is key, and footwear makers take into account the versatility of these hikers to craft outsoles that can deliver sufficient traction on a variety of outdoor and urban surfaces.

      Pack convenience

      The low-profile and often simplistic construction of urban hiking shoes makes packing them rather convenient. Some models, although durable and tough by design, have portions of their uppers collapsible for easier storage in your pack.

      Urban hiking shoes and known brands that make them

      Danner

      For hiking footwear that can take on the many challenges of the trail, Danner is one of the best companies you can seriously rely on and trust. They have been around since 1932, and their decades of expertise in the boot-making space is noticeable in every pair they make. Although their selection of urban hiking shoes has yet to grow in number, the few that they got bear qualities that would make many consumers believers in their brand. Do you need something more reassuring on your next adventure? Try Danner’s range of ankle-supportive hikers instead. 

      Keen

      Gear up with a pair of quality hikers courtesy of Keen if seizing trails with confidence and style is what you are after. Their kicks, which include some of their urban hiking shoes, are built with several trail-centric technologies exclusive to the brand. One of these proprietary technologies is Keen.Dry—a breathable membrane capable of walling off virtually all sorts of wet elements. Two other Keen-exclusive technologies are part of their urban-style trail shoes: Keen Evofit and Keen.All-Terrain. The former provides enhanced breathability, while the latter grants multi-directional grip over different types of terrain.

      Columbia

      Adventuring around the backcountry can be quite exciting if you are well equipped for the task. If you are looking to expand your library of outdoor shoes, give Columbia’s magnificent selection of comfy hikers a shot. While many of their offerings are on the brawny and rugged side, they do put out versatile pieces in which you may transition seamlessly from your workplace to your favorite hiking spot and back again. They also produce some of the best waterproof hiking boots and shoes the west has ever seen, so if your location receives a lot of moisture or precipitation year round, such kicks from Columbia are your best bet.

      4 best urban hiking shoes

      1. Columbia Ivo Trail
      2. Columbia SH/FT Low
      3. The North Face Trail Escape Crest
      4. Mammut Saentis Knit Low
      Author
      Paul Ronto
      Paul Ronto

      Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.

      paul@runrepeat.com