Hiking is a popular way to exercise and retreat into nature for a while. Having a pair of high-quality hiking boots makes the day’s journey more enjoyable by keeping your feet dry and grounded. Active hikers opt for the lightweight ruggedness of hiking boots designed for shorter hikes on established trails.
Boston-based New Balance has been making comfortable, durable athletic shoes for over 100 years. Its range of hiking shoes combines the sturdiness of a trail boot with the agility of a sneaker. For its reliability on all terrains, the best New Balance hiking shoe is the New Balance Mens 1300.
What to know before buying New Balance hiking shoes
What are hiking boots?
There are three types of hiking boots.
- hiking boots feature high collars and are made from durable materials for rugged trails.
- trail runners are low and flexible, with a tighter fit for easier trails.
- Hiking boots are a hybrid with the lightweight, low-top benefits of sneakers, but are made from stronger materials with more durable soles for the dirt and rocks you’ll encounter. They offer more support than trail runners but won’t weigh your feet down like heavy boots.
Comfort and fit
Hiking boots should fit snugly around your foot, but not too tight. You want comfort and support at the same time. A good gauge is to make sure your heel doesn’t move but you can still wiggle your toes.
Hiking boots can provide excellent ankle support. The key component is found in the sole of the shoe. Having a firm sole that doesn’t let your foot roll from side to side is key to keeping your ankles strong. New Balance hiking shoes have sturdy soles designed for this purpose.
What to Look for in Quality New Balance Hiking Shoes
Hiking shoes are made with either leather or synthetic uppers.
- Leather hiking shoes are more expensive, but last longer and mold to the shape of your foot for optimal comfort. However, they can be hot and don’t always repel water.
- Synthetic shoes are made from nylon, polyester or faux leather. They are light as a feather and dry quickly, but they don’t last as long as leather.
Some hiking shoes feature both leather and synthetic materials for added durability, as well as breathability and flexibility. The types of trails you hike and how often you use your hiking boots determine the best gear for you.
If you often hike in wet areas, you may want water resistant hiking boots. Some shoes have a waterproof coating to help keep your feet dry. However, they aren’t always comfortable in hot weather, so if you can tolerate some humidity, you may prefer synthetic shoes that dry quickly.
New Balance uses its Fresh Foam midsole to maximize comfort while maintaining a lightweight feel to its hiking shoes. This is especially welcome during a long day on the trails.
How much you can expect to spend on New Balance hiking shoes
- Cheap New Balance hiking shoes cost between $60 and $90. These are basic hiking shoes and trail runners that offer synthetic uppers and versatile soles for any terrain.
- Average level hiking shoes cost between $90 and $140 and incorporate a more innovative design, with foam insoles and imported foam rubber soles for superior traction.
- Dear hiking boots are $140 and up. They are both leather hiking shoes and premium synthetic trail runners that come in the shiniest styles and feature the latest technologies.
New Balance Hiking Shoes FAQ
What is a gusseted tongue?
A. A hiking shoe tongue prevents stones and debris from getting inside the shoe. A gusseted tongue is attached to the upper of the shoe along the laces instead of a self-supporting piece of material. This creates a strong barrier against foreign objects coming through the laces.
When should you clean mud from your hiking boots?
A. Dried mud can be difficult to remove. As soon as you can get to a water source, spray your shoes. Even if you are on the trail, use your water bottle or look for a stream. The sooner you remove the mud, the easier the final cleanup will be.
What are the best New Balance hiking shoes to buy?
Best New Balance Hiking Shoes
What do you want to know: This rugged shoe is comfortable and rugged for any trail. It looks stylish in chocolate brown with a black or red interior.
What you will love: Crafted in full-grain leather, it features a gusseted tongue and a nylon shank. It features Rollbar technology, designed to prevent your foot from rolling in or out, and a waterproof membrane. The low-top design weighs just over 14 ounces.
What you should consider: The shoes are very stiff out of the box and it takes a long time to break in.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Best New Balance hiking shoes for the money
What do you want to know: This stylish shoe is designed for on-road and off-road activities while being affordable and comfortable.
What you will love: A synthetic mesh upper breathes and a trail-ready outsole provides excellent traction. DynaSoft cushioning is responsive. There are seamless overlays for an edgy look.
What you should consider: The shoes are too snug for some hikers.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What do you want to know: These stylish shoes are designed with specialized technology for comfort and off-road racing.
What you will love: Featuring the Vibram Megagrip outsole, made of a high performance rubber that grips wet or dry, New Balance technology creates a durable shell around your foot. The Fresh Foam midsole provides premium comfort and the upper is made from more than half recycled content. The shoes come in several bold patterns.
What you should consider: They are more expensive than other New Balance women’s hiking shoes.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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