You can call it the gorpcore effect, but it has become commonplace for brands to create pieces ready for the great outdoors in their collections. From luxury fashion houses to streetwear labels, everyone is at it and the end result is (nine times out of ten) fire.
Dior’s recent collection was a hiker's paradise, and recent collaborations between Salomon and Comme des Garçons proved that luxury fashion is getting becoming more acquainted with hiking and trail-ready brands.
However, being able to decipher which pieces have the technical credentials to back up their outdoorsy look can be tricky. In particular, when searching for good hiking sneakers, different sneaker and shoe manufacturers often incorporate their own midsole technology into their products leaving one to wonder what makes good hiking shoes these days.
First off, durable outsoles are crucial to your expedition. Brands like Vibram and Continental are well-known icons for their advanced research when comes to applying grip. Depending on the weather conditions you'll want to have strong, durable protection to keep your feet free of rain or snow, or breathable mesh and ripstop uppers for the Summer months. All things considered, when searching for a sturdy hiking sneaker, the style must also be considered.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite brands that are prepared to handle wet or dry surfaces during your next hike while also being a flex in the city.
Check out our favorite designer hiking footwear options below.
adidas x And Wander TERREX Free Hiker 2
Pairing and wander's minimal aesthetics with adidas TERREX technology is a match made in hiking heaven, hence the reason for the duo's recent collab. The Free Hiker is engineered with adidas' signature Primeknit collar, an extra stable EVA footbed, and a Continental outsole that ensures you're well protected while exploring tricky terrains.
Nike ACG Air Mada
The ACG line is amongst the more popular models in Nike’s arsenal simply because the sneakers are versatile for any occasion. Whether you’re hopping around town or planning a quick hike, the Air Mada’s are sure to get the job done.
Moncler Trailgrip GTX Sneakers
Moncler's new Trailgrip GTX is one of those rare do it all sneakers that excels in every category. The thick Vibram outsole is catered to take on the toughest terrains while the Gore Tex upper protects from water and unpleasant weather. Although a lot of luxury sneakers released this year, this one is arguably the best.
Merrell x Adsum MTL Long Sky Sneakers
Vibram outsoles are a must when foraging through trails. Adsum adds a refined grey finish, complete with branded graphics to the signature Merrell model.
Salomon XT Quest
Salomon has been at the forefront of the gorpcore and hiking shoe explosion, which has partly been because of its collaborations with the likes of COMME des GARÇONS and Maison Margiela. This fall-ready colorway celebrates the brand's 75th anniversary of producing quality footwear that caters to comfort.
Camper Drift Hiking Shoes
Camper is well renowned for its quality products, especially its footwear. Made from high-end leather (scoring gold from the Leather Weather Group tannery), this hiking shoe is made to last for countless expeditions.
Reebok DMX Trail Shadow
The DMX has come a long way since it was first released in 1997. Since then Reebok has upped the shoes technology overall adding an air cushion for additional shock absorption and a sturdy trail-specific outsole that works just as well on the city streets.
AMBUSH Hiking Boots
If you detest wearing black boots or any other dark colors then AMBUSH has got you covered. These ankle-high boots are equally made for the trails and getting around town fashionably.
Salomon Techsonic Leather Advanced
Not only are these shoes from one of the premier hiking sneaker labels, but when things get too hot they convert into a pair of sandals. With a fold-down heel, these shoes quickly become a slip-on mule that offers increased airflow to your feet.
adidas Originals Terrex Swift R3 Hiking Sneakers
The Terrex is adidas' signature hiking shoe and has seen many iterations since it was first added to the brand's roster twelve years ago. When coupled with a Treaded Continental™ rubber outsole from Continental whose been making outsoles since the late 1800s, you’ve got a breathable, mesh sneaker with grip that's meant to last.
Merrell Catalyst Pro Earth
Even if you are not a keen hiker, you will have likely seen a pair of Merrell's outlandish water shoes. The label was founded as a manufacturer of high-performance hiking boots, so they are experts in this topic. This shoe, in particular, takes its inspiration from climbing footwear of the past, adding modern technology and sustainable materials.
Converse Run Star Hike Low
The Run Star Hike OX draws inspiration from the trails and is naturally trail-ready with a rugged sole. If you’re one to appreciate classic silhouettes and grippy outsoles the Run Star is the way to go.
Reebok Zig Kinetica II Edge Sneakers
The Vibram® Ecostep outsole is one of the best soles for grip on wet or dry surfaces. When paired with Reebok’s aesthetics and signature cushioning system, you have a trail-ready shoe that works on or off the beaten path.
Nike ACG Mountain Fly Low SE
Nike’s Mountain Fly Low is truly ready for all conditions. With its sticky rubber outsole and underfoot cushioning that provides comfort along the footbed, this sneaker is built to handle rocky terrains.
Timberland Vibram Euro Hiker WP
Although every model in Timberland's roster is geared towards the great outdoors, the Euro Hiker will surely hold you down. The improved silhouette is made from a breathable nubuck and suede combo, and features the brand's TimberDry™ membrane to stay dry while you're exploring.
Moncler Henry Hiking Boots
Sure this could be considered a boot, but Moncler's Henry silhouette sits comfortably in that almost a sneaker category. The combination of leather, suede and mesh throughout the upper ensures you can pretty much wear this boot in any landscape.
New Balance M2002RWM
New Balance is best known for its running shoes, and this rugged leather version of its popular 2002r silhouette takes the technology from its running shoes to create something more trail-ready. ABZORB cushioning in the midsole and an N-ergy shock-absorbing outsole will stop your feet from aching after a long day out.
Converse x A-COLD-WALL* Aeon Active CX
This brand new silhouette, made in partnership with A-COLD-WALL*, puts other collabs to rest. Converse's CX Foam adds an extra layer of support for this futuristic sneaker as it’s ready for all occasions.
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