Summer is a glorious time for people who enjoy hiking, as it’s a low-impact workout you can do while also exploring the outdoors. Aside from the health benefits of the activity (like core strengthening, a lower risk of heart disease, and balance improvement), for many hikers, it provides a much-needed mood boost.
Logan Reavis, an Oregon-based hiker and content creator, told HuffPost that hiking sets the tone for her overall mental health.
“Being out in nature gives me clarity, peace, and time to contemplate,” she said. “Moving my body by putting one foot in front of another to see a beautiful place challenges me in a unique way that I don’t get from anything else.
Meryl Mukenge, a hiker based in South Africa, explained that it’s important to her because she feels most alive when she’s outdoors.
“Nature doesn’t care who I am and where I come from, it just embraces me with open arms,” she said. “There is freedom in the outdoors and there is always a lesson to be learned with every hike, whether it challenges me to be a better human and lead with grace and compassion, or it reminds me to always keep going and that the toughest journeys are always the most rewarding.”
If you’re going on your own hiking journey soon, you need the right shoes (and some bug spray) that can withstand all types of terrain and weather conditions. Durability, stability and comfort are crucial when it comes to choosing a hiking shoe, so we asked the folks who have logged real miles about their most trusted footwear. Below, you’ll find six hiking shoes that actual hikers wear, including picks from Reavis and Mukenge.