Kids Best Hiking Shoes - Feature Image

5 Best Kids Hiking Shoes 2022 (Ranked & Reviewed)

You may be asking yourself if your kids really need hiking shoes. They grow out of them so fast. Won’t a pair of sneakers do the trick?

The answer is both yes and no. Sneakers are great when the trail is flat and dry. But your kids will need something better if there’s any mud or water. Hiking shoes have better traction and support. They will keep ankles safe and prevent your little one from slipping.

If you plan on doing any hiking with your kids, then you should invest in proper footwear and a backpack.

We often hike with our kids in the mountains on rocky terrain that could easily result in twisted ankles. We have purchased hiking shoes for our kids, and the peace of mind offered by a good pair of hiking shoes is well worth the investment. I don’t worry about them slipping and falling or hurting their ankle because of the added support and protection that the best kids hiking shoes provide.

When purchasing hiking shoes for your kids, consider the following:

  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Grip
  • Support
  • Weight
  • Waterproofing

We’ve found the 5 best kids hiking shoes of 2022, so without further ado, let’s get started!

What Are The Best Kids Hiking Shoes?

Here is our ranked and reviewed list of the best kids hiking shoes.

The 5 Best Kids Hiking Shoes

  1. Best Overall Kids Hiking Shoes – KEEN Targhee Waterproof Hiking Shoe
  2. Best Budget Kids Hiking Shoes – Hawkwell Kids Outdoor Hiking Shoe
  3. Best Hiking Boots for Kids – Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Kids Hiking Boots
  4. Best Hiking Trail Runner For Kids – Salomon XA PRO V8
  5. Best Hiking Sandals For Kids – KEEN Newport H2 Sandal

1) Best Overall Kids Hiking Shoes – KEEN Targhee Waterproof

Best Kids Hiking Shoes - Best Overall Kids Hiking Shoes - KEEN Targhee Waterproof Shoe
Best Overall – KEEN Targhee Waterproof Shoe

The KEEN Targhee Waterproof Hiking Shoes are our top pick for the best overall kids hiking shoes. They are rugged, comfortable, stylish, and keep your kid’s feet dry in any weather.

The secure lace capture system makes them easy to put on and take off. And the padded tongue and collar provide extra comfort. The TPU heel capture system and the all-terrain traction will give your kids confidence on any trail.

The KEEN Targhee Waterproof Hiking Shoe is available in sizes 4-7 for little kids and 8-13 for big kids.

Features

  • Best Use: Hiking
  • Footwear Height: Ankle
  • Footwear Closure: One Pull Quicklace
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Blue, Grey, Black

Recommendation

The KEEN Targhee Waterproof Hiking Shoes are rugged, comfortable, and stylish. They are the best overall kids hiking shoes and will keep your kid’s feet safe and dry in any conditions.

Price

MSRP $75

2) Best Budget Kids Hiking Shoes – Hawkwell Kids Outdoor Hiking Shoe

The Best Kids Hiking Shoes - Best Budget Kids Hiking Shoe - Hawkwell kids outdoor hiking shoe
Best Budget – Hawkwell kids outdoor hiking shoe

Overview

The Hawkwell kids outdoor hiking shoe is a wallet-friendly shoe that is great for kids who want to hike. It has an EVA foam footbed for comfort, a molded midsole with a heel stabilizer, and a protective toe cap. The shoe is on the wider side and might be roomy for some children. Some customers have commented on durability issues.

Features 

  • Best Use: Hiking
  • Footwear Height: Ankle
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors: Grey, Black, Blue

Recommendation

The Hawkwell kids outdoor hiking shoe is a great budget-friendly option for parents looking for a hiking shoe for their child.

Price

MSRP $29.99

3) Best Hiking Boots for Kids – Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Kids Hiking Boots

Best Kids Hiking Shoes - Best Kids Hiking Boot - Merrel Moab 2 Mid Hiking Boot
Best Hiking Boot – Merrel Moab 2 Mid

Overview

The MOAB 2 Waterproof Hiking Boots from Merrell are excellent for kids who love to hike. Featuring a leather and mesh upper for breathability and durability, these boots also have a waterproof construction to keep feet dry. These boots provide superior traction with traditional lace closure and a flexible, non-marking outsole with extra grip.

Features

  • Best Use: Hiking
  • Footwear Height: Mid-Ankle
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Brown, Green, Grey

Recommendation

These boots are durable and will last for multiple children. The laces are actual shoelaces, and the boots have excellent traction.

Price

MSRP $70

4) Best Hiking Trail Runner For Kids – XA PRO V8

Kids Best Hiking Shoes - Best Trail Running Shoe - Salomon XA Pro V8
Best Trail Running – Salomon XA Pro V8

Overview

The Salomon Kids’ XA Pro 3D V8 are rugged and versatile kids trail runners that provide all the grip, stability, and protection that young feet need. A junior version of the XA Pro 3D, it delivers durability & confidence on wet, dry, hard, or loose surfaces. With athletic lines and a sporty look, the shoe is an excellent choice for kids and teenagers who want to get outside and explore.

Features

  • Best Use: Trail Running/ Light Hiking
  • Footwear Height: Ankle
  • Footwear Closure: Quick Lace
  • Waterproof: No
  • Colors: Grey, Green, Maroon, Dark Green

Recommendation

The Salomon Kids’ XA Pro 3D V8 is an excellent choice for kids who want to get outside and explore. These trail running shoes offer all the grip, stability, and protection that young feet need for any adventure.

Price

MSRP $79.95

5) Best Hiking Sandals For Kids – KEEN Newport H2 Sandal

The Best Kids Hiking Shoes - Best Hiking Sandals - Keen Newport H2
Best Hiking Sandals – Keen Newport H2

Overview

The KEEN Newport H2 sandal is a hybrid sandal designed for adventure, just like your child. The original adventure shoe, which debuted in 2003, is back to support and protect the next generation of outdoor explorers as they run, leap, and splash their way through summer.

The covered toe design protects your child’s feet, while the easy on/off closures make it simple to get the shoe on and off by themselves. The Newport is also machine-washable, so you don’t have to worry about them getting dirty.

Features

  • Best Use: Light Hiking/Water
  • Footwear Height: Ankle
  • Footwear Closure: Velcro Strap
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Colors: Lots of Patterns

Recommendation

Whether your child is exploring the trails or playing in the treehouse, the KEEN Newport H2 sandal is an excellent choice for summertime adventures.

Price

MSRP $65

Kids Hiking Shoes What to Look For

There are a few key features we consider whenever buying new hiking shoes for our kids. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when making your decision.

Comfort

The most important factor when choosing a shoe is comfort. Your kids won’t want to wear them if they aren’t comfortable. Look for shoes with padded collars, cushioned midsoles, and plenty of room in the toe box.

Durability

Kids can be tough on gear, so choosing a shoe that can stand up to some abuse is essential. Durable hiking shoes will have reinforced toes and uppers made from durable materials like leather or synthetic leather.

Grip

Good grip will keep your child’s feet firmly planted on the ground, even on slippery or uneven terrain. Look for shoes with deep tread patterns and lugged soles.

Support

Hiking can be tough on little feet, so choosing a shoe that provides good support is crucial. Look for shoes with stiffer midsoles and shanks that provide stability on the trail.

Waterproof

If you’re planning on doing any hiking in wet conditions, it’s essential to choose a shoe that has some waterproofing. The best hiking shoes will have waterproof uppers or a waterproof coating.

Weight

Your child will be carrying their own weight plus the weight of their backpack, so it’s important to choose light hiking shoes. Look for the best hiking shoes made from lightweight materials like mesh or synthetic leather.

How To Save Money on Kid’s Hiking Shoes

There are a few ways you can save money on kids hiking shoes. Here are a few tips:

  • Shop sales: End-of-season sales are great for finding deals on kids hiking shoes. You can also find good bargains at outdoor retailers like REI and EMS.
  • Buy used: Kids grow quickly, so you can often find lightly used shoes at consignment shops or online. Just inspect the shoes for wear and tear before you buy them.
  • Join a warehouse club: Membership clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club often have good deals on kids hiking shoes. Just be sure to check the return policy before you buy.

Kids Hiking Shoes vs. Kids Hiking Boots

There is a lot of debate over whether hiking shoes or hiking boots are better for kids. Here are a few things to consider:

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are usually lighter weight and more comfortable than hiking boots. They’re also easier for kids to take on and off by themselves. However, they may not provide as much support or protection as hiking boots.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are usually more durable and provide more support than hiking shoes. They’re also suitable for kids who have narrow feet or high arches. However, they can be heavier and less comfortable than hiking shoes.

Which is better for kids depends on their individual needs. If they need more support or protection, hiking boots might be a better option. However, hiking shoes might be the way to go if they need lighter weight and more comfortable footwear. Ultimately, it’s up to you as the parent to decide what’s best for your child.

Boys Hiking Boots vs. Girls Hiking Boots

There is no difference between boys’ and girls’ hiking boots, except for the sizing. Boys’ and girls’ hiking boots are available in various sizes, widths, and colors.

Toddler Hiking Boots

A toddler hiking boot is designed for kids aged 2-5. They’re usually lightweight and have flexible soles that are easy for toddlers to walk in. Many toddler hiking shoes also have velcro closures that make them easy to take on and off.

Kids’ hiking shoes are often split into sizes based on age group:

  • Little Kids (Size 10.5-13.5)
  • Big Kids (Size 1-6)

Which size you need depends on your child’s feet. It’s best to measure their feet and compare the measurements to the size chart for the shoe you’re interested in. This will ensure you get the right size shoe for your child.

FAQ

What are the best kids’ hiking boots?

The Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Kids Hiking Boot is the best hiking boot for kids. They are durable, have a traditional lace closure, and a flexible, non-marking outsole with extra grip.

What are the best hiking shoes for kids to hike in?

The best overall hiking shoes for kids are the KEEN Targhee Waterproof Shoe. They are comfortable, have a waterproof construction, and have a non-marking outsole.

How do I choose the right size hiking shoe for my child?

To choose the right size hiking shoe for your child, you will need to measure their foot and then refer to the size chart of the specific shoe you are interested in. You should also consider whether your child will wear socks with the shoes.

Is it OK to wear running shoes for hiking?

Running shoes are not ideal for hiking as they do not provide the same level of support and grip as a purpose-built hiking shoe. However, running shoes may be sufficient if you are only going on short hikes or well-maintained trails.

Do You Need Hiking Shoes for Kids?

If you’re planning on doing any hiking with your kids, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of hiking shoes. They’ll provide better support and grip than regular sneakers and be more comfortable for longer hikes.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, our list of the top 5 best hiking shoes for kids. We hope this list has helped you narrow your choices and find the perfect pair of shoes for your child’s next hike. Remember to consider their individual needs when making your decision, and happy hiking!

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