Choosing the best hiking boots for boys means a blister-free, enjoyable kids’ hiking experience. We tested 10 boys hiking shoes to find the best of the best.
A day on the trails is one of the best ways to enjoy time as a family. Whether you’re strolling through the raw scenery of the national parks or enjoy long strolls along the coast, having an excellent set of kids hiking boots can make the difference between outdoor fun and spending your time tending to blisters and sore toes.
We love researching family hiking gear. So we spent a lot of time studying hiking shoes for boys to find the styles and brands that offered the best fit and the most comfort wrapped up in a style that kids will love.
Further down this list of the best boys hiking boots, we’ll share the criteria we look for when choosing the best hiking boots for boys. But, to save you time, we’ll start with our top picks.
Our Choices For The Best Hiking Shoes For Boys
Comes in two widths
Very flexible soles
Easy to clean
Simple, high-quality build
Good for long hikes
Classic, affordable hiker
Lightweight and Breathable
Available in Gore-Tex
Our Favorite Shoe Brand
Great all-around shoe
What We Look For In The Best Boys Hiking Shoes
There are quite a few things that we take under consideration when we evaluate boys hiking boots. Because choosing the wrong ones can lead to uncomfortable feet, or worse, making a child fall out of love with hiking and the outdoors. The more enjoyable the hiking experience for kids, the more likely they will enjoy a lifetime of outdoor adventures!
Comfort is the number 1 factor when choosing the best boys’ hiking shoes. Uncomfortable feet make for miserable hikers. And miserable children make for cranky adults. It’s a vicious cycle that we want to avoid.
We look for boys hiking boots that are flexible, light, comfortable, and offer support that will keep them going on even the longest trails.
The second factor that we consider is all about the adults. As a parent, I know the struggle of keeping up with growing feet. The cost associated with hiking shoes can be high, so purchasing a pair that will last as long (or longer) than your child can wear is something we all want.
We look for boys hikers that will take everything that kids throw at them and still hold their seams. Durability and build quality will make for a shoe that might even be able to be passed on to a sibling.
Kids find themselves in the wildest places when hiking. Whether they’re climbing rocks, trees, or running along wet sidewalks, we want hiking shoes that have excellent traction. We look for shoes that will keep their grip under the toughest circumstances.
Lastly, the best hiking boots for boys need to have high-quality support that will keep feet, knees, and ankles in great shape for years to come.
We look for shoes with quality arch support, firm ankle support, and enough rigidity to keep your children hiking long enough to take their grandkids on the trails.
The Best Hiking Boots For Boys
Without further ado, here are our choices for the best boys hiking boots and all the details about why we chose them to make this list.
Merrell Kids Trail Chaser
I have been a big fan of Merrell shoes for as long as I can remember. They make my favorite men’s hiking shoes AND my favorite women’s hiking shoes, so it’s no surprise that they make the list of the best hiking boots for boys as well.
The Merrell Kids Trail Chaser is unique in that it comes in two widths, narrow and wide. This means that no matter how your child’s feet are built, these boys hiking boots should fit the bill.
The Trail Chaser by Merrel offers excellent support and breathability. The lightweight mesh lets air flow through the shoes, while the synthetic fabrics help keep kids’ toes dry. My kids really enjoy the bungee laces with the single hook-and-loop strap. The pull-on tab makes getting the shoes on easy and saves wear on the thumbs.
The soles of the Merrell Kids Trail chaser are built of non-marking rubber and are grippy enough to provide traction when needed without leaving rubber streaks behind.
Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners
Salomon knows how to make amazing shoes. I’ve been a big fan of their runners for ages, but the Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners have hit a home run in the boys hiking shoe department.
The flexibility of the soles lets kids’ feet really conform to the terrain, which is, honestly, one of the best ways for little feet to grow. They are also super durable. My kids rolled through some muddy hikes that would have sent other hiking shoes running, and the Salomons cleaned up and kept on hiking. The high-tensile material shows its quality over and over again.
The XA Pro 3D Trail Runners also features an excellent easy lacing system that will make them a popular hiking shoe for small boys. The lacing system is built to last as well. There will be no yank and snap incidents with these at all.
The Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners also have excellent traction. The lug-pattern design of the soles latch onto every bit of the ground, and these have among the best grip of any of the boys hiking boots on this list.
Altra Lone Peak Trail Runner
I love a no-frills hiking shoe design. A simple, high-quality build often wins me over more than a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo that is often thrown around to justify a higher price point.
Altra, which makes one of my favorite adult runners, the Zero-Drop Crossover Trail, makes a very similar product as a hiking shoe for boys. The Altra Lone Peak Trail Runner is light, flexible, and durable. This makes it a very popular choice for families who enjoy through-hiking or long days out on the trail.
The design is excellent for the wide variety of activities that kids get up to on the trails. From hiking to running, climbing, and everything in between, these boys’ hikers will leave your children’s feet in a good place at the end of the day.
Merrell Moab Kid’s Hiking Shoes
Merrell makes the list of the best boys hiking boots more than once. And this model, the Merrell Moab Kid’s Hiking Shoes, is a personal favorite of mine. In fact, the Moab hiking shoes by Merrell are the hiking shoes that I normally wear, AND my wife’s favorite hiking shoe as well!
The Merrell Moab Kid’s Hiking Shoes have sturdy laces, excellent arch and ankle support (even in their low-cut models), and real shoelaces. The shoelaces could be a struggle for younger kids, but they are well-built and not prone to breaking for those who can tie their own laces.
These hiking shoes are definitely designed for the trails. They lack the flexibility that makes other boys’ hiking shoes more versatile for running and jumping. But if you’re looking for dedicated boys hiking boots, these should make your list.
Columbia Kids Newton Ridge Boot
I’m a sucker for a classic hiking boot style. And if you’re kids look at pictures of hiking with the kind of thousand-yard-stare that I do, the Columbia Kids Newton Ridge Boot should get them pretty excited. Not only does this boy’s hiking boot look great, but it’s an extremely high-quality hiking boot that will likely outlast your child’s foot size.
The Columbia boys hiking boot is lightweight and durable. And the mid-height design makes this excellent for ankle support. The Omni-Grip rubber soles offer phenomenal traction, and the seams are designed to be waterproof. This makes this one of the best boys hiking shoes for wet or muddy hikes.
This is my favorite waterproof hiking boot for boys. It will handle whatever the trail sends at you and keep on going.
Do You Love Hiking With Kids?
Swing over to our Trekking With Tykes Facebook community; we have discussions on all aspects of family hiking, from hiking with teens to tottering with tots.