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2

Best Overall Hiking Shoe

1. Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX ($150)

Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX hiking shoe

Category: Hiking shoe
Weight: 1 lb. 10.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (non-GTX available)
What we like: Great mix of lightness, on-trail performance, and durability.
What we don’t: Gore-Tex model runs warm.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 is our top hiking shoe for 2021, combining a feathery feel with impressive on-trail performance. As with each iteration of this popular model, the third edition puts it all together: the shoe is competitively light at 1 pound 10 ounces (for a men’s size 9), the tread design offers impressive grip in just about all conditions, and the stable chassis and cushioned interior are great for long trail days. All told, we highly recommend the X Ultra for day hikes, quick summits, and even lightweight backpacking.

Salomon drew heavily from their trail running expertise with the X Ultra 3’s design. The single-pull laces are fast to use and provide a secure fit, and the shoe is far nimbler than traditional hikers like the Merrell Moab 2 or Keen Targhee below. But you don’t sacrifice protection like with a trail runner—Salomon includes a substantial toe cap and enough cushioning underfoot for hauling a pack. We found the fit runs narrow in the toe box, but the good news is that the low-top GTX version is offered in wide sizes. Tack on the non-waterproof “Aero” model, and the X Ultra 3 stands out as the best all-around hiking shoe line on the market. Finally, it’s worth noting Salomon recently released the X Ultra 4 GTX, which features a more modern look, revised chassis, and slightly higher-volume toe box... Read in-depth review