Life is better in hiking shoes

When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This summer, I plan to hike the Vasaloppsleden in Dalarna, Sweden. When hiking with a full backpack, I usually wear my sturdy hiking boots by Lowa that I’ve had forever. I bought those boots in 2002 and have had the soles replaced in 2015. They’re still amazing. The only thing is, that they’re quite heavy. And maybe it’s heavy on my knees, with that weight pulling down on them. It’s not a theory I have tested or anything, but it could play a part in my knee issues.

For a while now, I’ve followed a few hikers on YouTube. They all hike in trail runners. And this got me thinking if that was something I could try myself. Granted, those folks hike ultralight and for a longer period of time than I’m going to, but it’s always nice to learn and to get excited about fine tuning my own hiking set up.

So quite a while ago, I ordered Altra Lonepeak 3.0 trail shoes. I really liked the idea of a wider toebox, so I was curious to try them. I prefer a bit higher shoes when I hike, because my ankles are not the best. I’ve hiked in these shoes a bunch of times and have used them cruising around town as well. They’re so comfortable! I love that the sole is nice and chunky, so you have good grip, even when it’s a bit slippery. I bought these shoes half a size bigger than my regular shoe size. So far that’s worked out fine. I just have to do some more testing with wearing two pairs of socks because I did notice my pinky toe being a little uncomfortabe on the last hike I did on these shoes. Maybe if I wear a thinner liner sock and a thinner woolen sock over that it will be fine. Either way, these shoes were a great buy, in my opinion!

Last week, I ordered a pair of Merrell hiking shoes in a sale. They were 50% off, so a total steal in my opinion. I have to admit, I find them a bit cheap looking, because the design on the shoe is basically some kind of decal printed on the shoe, instead of say, a stitched design. I suspect those decals will wear off. But I wanted to try them anyway, and my first impression (I haven’t worn them out yet as I’ve only tried them on for the first time today) is that they fit comfortably, even with two pairs of hiking socks (Injinji liner socks and Smartwool hiking socks). I bought these shoes one size bigger than my normal shoe size. They only had that size left anyway, so there wasn’t much of a choice, haha. These shoes feel a lot lighter than the Altras, a bit narrower too, but since the material is less stiff than the Altras I think it will be fine.

Now comes the proces of deciding which shoes I’m going to bring with me on the Vasaloppsleden trail this summer! Will it be the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 mid high, or the Merrell Siren Edge Q2 mid high?

If you’re into hiking, what is your ‘go to’ hiking shoe? What kind of socks do you wear in them?

Published by Alive and Trekking

Dreamer. Adventurer. Traveller. Geek. Idealist. Nature. New Zealand, Nordic countries and the Arctic.

23 thoughts on “Life is better in hiking shoes

  1. I prefer Keens, in both high-ankle and low-ankle, as well as their sandals because of closed-toe and water-proof. Merrell are great too. I had a pair of Bean hikers years ago that were pretty great too. Keen is my go-to though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in hiking shoes and trail shoes.. I did want to try a pair of Merrell shoes.. I wear a wool hiking sock that I ordered on line from a shop in England.. I have never worn 2 pairs of socks at once..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would if I could too! But can’t wear those to work, haha. I use two pair of socks because it prevents friction between your feet and the sock and therefore hopefully help prevent blisters! 😉


  3. I just came back from a trip in Utah and used my Merrell’s almost every day. I also purchased mine during a sale. That mesh decal area collected small particles when I crossed a river on day 2. Now that I’m back, I can hear sand moving around when I’m holding them. They were super light and comfortable though. I hope to one day own a pair of Lowa’s for comparison. Thanks for sharing your post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to hear they were comfortable! A bummer though that small particles were collected behind the decal though. I own a pair or Lowa hiking boots and they are super comfortable. Maybe a good sale will come along so you can get a pair? Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m currently using Brooks Cascadia trail runners as my go to hiking shoes. A waterproof lightweight sturdy base provides me with what I’m looking for. I am hearing a lot of good things about the Altra Lone Peak series. I like the integrated attachment for gaters (waterproof attachment) to keep the morning dew or water when crossing out of the inside of the shoe. Great post! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like the right choice of shoes for you! The gaiter traps are so convenient. And thank you, great to hear you like my post 🙂 Happy hiking!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a pair of Hoka One One trail runners. I wanted Altra’s but they’re so hard to get in Australia. I’ve gone from Merrell’s – that I absolutely loved except I should have bought them a whole size bigger not half a size as I have bad issues with my toes hitting the front when I’m doing a lot of incline & decline trails. And they feel heavier on my foot. Then I went to Salomon X Pro’s but I find the heel area really hard and my heel gets sore. So then I got the Hoka One One trail runners. And absolutely love them. They are so light & cushy, I feel like I’m walking on a cloud & puts a good spring in my step & can hardly tell I’m wearing shoes they are so light. I need to buy a pair of mid boots for a trail I’ll be doing next year & I’ll be getting the Hoka’s in those too, except they too seem to be hard to get here as they’re always sold out in my size.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of Hoka’s before. I’ll need to investigate! Walking kn a cloud sounds most excellent:-)
      Altra’s aren’t for sale in the Netherlands either. I ordered them through Amazon and it shipped from the States. A bit extra, but they are so comfortable that I don’t regret going through that hassle.
      Indeed always good to get hiking shoes/boots bigger than your normal shoe size. My Altra’s are half a size bigger and that worked out just fine with a thin liner sock and a pair of smartwool socks over that.
      What trail will you be doing next year?


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