Best Hiking Shoes for Hawaii: Choosing Facts And Top Picks

Published on: February 24, 2022
Written by Camila Avery / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Hawaii is a piece of paradise on the earth for commoners and a pilgrim for hikers. There are many low, medium, and high trails in Hawaii that won’t feel boring because of the scenic beauty. From now and then you have to cross canals, dip in a waterfall, and walk through wet vegetation while hiking, everything is fabulous. Or should I mention a stroll at the beach? No matter if you are a pro hiker or not, you don’t want to miss the adventures that Hawaii laid out for you.

hiking shoes for hawaii choosing facts and top picks

Is it possible to complete a trip without taking any hiking boots there? Yes, possible but you will miss many things and can’t enjoy the rest of the things fully. I recommend people get a pair of hiking boots and a pair of water shoes. These two pairs will suffice to protect your feet and will be proven to be convenient no matter how you have planned to spend the trip.

Why Hawaii for Hiking?

Why not? The weather is favorable there in the winter season, not too hot, not too cold. But the summers are best to visit Hawaii as it is less crowded then. Considering the divine islands full of natural beauties, waterfalls, trails, valleys, camping grounds, and backpacking trip facilities, I can bet these are not found so conveniently anywhere else.

Hawaii is a package for adventure lovers and explorers where you can experience many things in a very short time. In other countries, you may have to experience hiking in snow, but miss the waterfalls, or enjoy the beach but miss the camping. But that won’t happen when you plan a visit to Hawaii. 

What Kind of Shoes Should Mountaineers Wear?

1. Hiking Shoes:

Low-cut models with adaptive padded surfaces are great for day climbing. Some ultralight hikers may even choose trail-powered shoes for significant-distance ventures.

2. Day Climbing Boots:

These range from mid-to-high models and are recommended for day climbs and short exploration trips with light loads.

What are Climbing Shoes in Hawaii?

To put it bluntly, the best footwear to wear during a Hawaiian trip would be walking shoes and running shoes. For the perfect choice, you should consider these-


It is the first and foremost quality for a pair of hiking shoes that you want to take to Hawaii. The weather is very humid, even the winter season can be suffocating the humidity. If the shoes are not breathable, you may have to walk the trails barefoot instead and throw the shoes off the cliff. 

Water Resistance

The trails are crisscrossed with small streams and waterfalls. Considering the heat, it will be hard to restrain from the clear cool water. So it is best to have a pair of water shoes handy so that you can walk right through the stream if you need to. 

When it comes to wearing hiking boots, you won’t want to get wet from unwanted rain. Besides, you won’t want to get wet with your own sweat. So it is better than shoes that are water-resistant if you can afford them. Otherwise, water shoes are best friends during the summer


The most visited trails in Hawaii are not very steep. Still, for backpacking and camping, a pair of good traction is a must. Look for the grip of the shoes. Does it support all kinds of surfaces? Does it support your heels and arch? 


We always look for lightweight shoes during hiking. It is no different in Hawaii. For people with wide feet, the weight of the shoes may need to be sacrificed for ordering a size up.

Special Features to Look for in a Hiking Shoe to Protect From Sunburns or Stings

When looking for hiking shoes to protect from sunburns, look for shoes that have a high UV protection rating and a darker color, as darker colors tend to absorb less heat. Also, look for shoes with a good ventilation system to keep your feet cool and dry.

To protect from stings, look for shoes that have a tight weave or are made of thicker materials, such as leather or synthetic materials, as they can provide more protection against stinging insects. Additionally, look for shoes that have a built-in bug repellent or have a treatment that repels insects.

It’s also important to consider the fit and comfort of the shoe as well, as ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can cause blisters and other foot issues that can make your hike less enjoyable.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to apply sunscreen to your feet and wear socks that cover the ankles to further protect you from sunburns and stings.

Concluding Remarks 

I don’t see the point of being confused while choosing a pair or two from this list. All the shoes I have listed here are affordable and of high quality. Moreover, I considered the fact that most people will consider wearing these shoes casually after returning home. So I chose those shoes that look casual and classic; needless to mention super comfortable for daylong wear. 

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pair for yourself or give a pair to your lazy friends on their birthday so that they can’t back out from accompanying you on your trip to Hawaii.

View Recommended 10 Hiking Shoes for Hawaii, Below-

1. Zhuanglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

These are decent water shoes for men. For hiking in places where you have to cross wetlands and streams, these shoes will be better than wearing real hiking shoes. Water gets in and out of the shoes instantly and dries super quickly too! It will keep mud and gravel from getting in, but won’t keep the fine sands found on the beach. If that is okay with you, you can surely go for this pair.

This shoe is available in a wide range of colors, and all are equally well built and priced cheaply. The sole is flat with low arch support but is equipped with a removable insole. The sole is made of soft rubber, which is not as durable as the Vibram sole, but way more comfortable than that. Now I know how these shoes weigh so lightly. If you don’t want to miss anything on the adventure trip in Hawaii, you must have these water shoes ready. 

What I liked

  • Quick-drying; 
  • Well built;
  • Reasonable price.

Things to consider

  • Gets filled with sand on the beach.

2. KEEN Men’s Voyageur-M Hiking Shoe

  • 2″ heel;
  • Rubber sole, leather, and mesh fabric on the upper part;
  • Suitable for flat feet.

Going on a trip to Hawaii is an excuse for many people to buy new hiking shoes. Most visitors in Hawaii are not regular, enthusiastic hikers. So, a cheap pair of breathable shoes are enough to get all the support one needs during a walk or run on a moderate trail. These shoes are good for those occasional hikers who want to explore the divine beauty of Hawaii from the top. 

These are leather shoes that require regular cleaning, but the top has a mesh fabric so that your feet can breathe in humid weather. The sole is somewhat flat due to its low arc support, but you can remove the insole and put in an insert for better support. There is about two inches high on the heel area for better balance on steep walking. Overall, these are decent shoes that you can use for casual use later, but it is not for serious hikers. 

What I liked

  • Cheap;
  • Good grip;
  • Breathable;
  • Supportive.

Things to consider

  • Not waterproof;
  • Not long-lasting.

3. Merrell Women’s Hiking Water Shoe for VIsiting WaterFalls in Hawaii

  • For women;
  • Breathable;
  • Available in black, slate, purple, pink, and aqua color.

Water boots are a must-have for visiting Manoa Falls on Oahu. it’s one of the most visited spots in Hawaii, surely you wouldn’t want to miss it for a pair of water boots that come really cheap. This pair from Merrell is the most comfortable shoes one can ever have for the money. These are highly breathable and light enough to float. Once you are done with your little tour of the falls and rivers, you can rinse the shoes and leave them to dry. As simple as that. 

These shoes have a wide toe box that most women’s hiking shoes do not provide. Moreover, the rest of the shoes fit like a glove when it is all laced up. It also gives good arch support and the sole has the right amount of traction to have a grip underwater. You can complete your tour with this pair, just consider visiting the waterfall at the finish because it may take time to dry out fully and you don’t want to go hiking with wet water shoes. 

What I liked

  • Well ventilated;
  • Snug fit;
  • Very comfortable;
  • Wide toe box.

Things to consider

  • Nothing to mention.

4. Vasque Hiking Shoe- Men’s Mantra 2.0

  • Leather shoes;
  • Wide toe box.

Are you confused about where to go for backpacking in Hawaii between Kalalau and Haleakala? No matter where you go, you must have a pair of reliable shoes for those destinations. Vasque has brought these shoes specifically keeping backpacking in mind.

These shoes will provide a superior grip on the rocky ground so that the baggage on your shoulder won’t let you down. The lacing of these shoes caught my eye at first. It is super easy to set up and it won’t distract you from your journey.

You may have to face rain or walk into the wet ground depending on the season, but no worries, these are waterproof too. The top is made of leather and durable mesh fabric that does not get damaged as other shoes do and your feet won’t be drenched in sweat for day-long hiking. For heavy use and serious backpacking, this is my top choice.

What I liked

  • Superior grip;
  • Long-lasting;
  • Easy lace-up;
  • Waterproof.

Things to consider

  • Heavy.

5. Clorts Women’s  Lightweight Boot for Camping in Hawaii

  • Women’s shoes;
  • Available in purple, pink, grey, black, yellow, and black colors;
  • Protective toe cap.

Have you been to Halape or Malaekahana beach compound for camping? Surely these sites are not good during summer. During winter, these two spots are the best places for camping. Because the summer heat is unbearable in Hawaii and the winter is not at all snowy. A perfect environment for week-long camping. 

However, these boots from Clorts are meant for camping in the winter season. Your feet will remain as warm as toast in the morning and on top of that, these are best at biting the ground no matter how steep or sloppy it is. 

The best thing about these boots is, they are super stylish. Women’s hiking boots don’t need to be big, bulky, and dirty looking. Clorts boots can be worn as a daily winter boot when you are not hiking. These are well-padded all around to cushion the feet in the right places. There is no need to break in the shoes because they are already soft and comfortable. You can go camping just right out of the box. 

What I liked

  • Lightweight;
  • Waterproof; 
  • Well padded;
  • Feminine look.

Things to consider

  • Less breathable, not for summer.

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6. Wantdo Women’s Lightweight Trail Running Shoes 

  • Upper: mesh and TPU;
  • Reflective stripe;
  • Suitable for terrain running.

For trail running, you can’t wear any ordinary shoes. It has to be a pair of shoes that don’t slip in the middle of the run. Wantdo shoes come with superior traction capability that makes running on any trail worry-free in Hawaii. All in all, you are getting good arch support provided by a shock-proof Vibram sole. Already planning to go to the text run on a rocky trail? No problem, the protective toe box will keep the toes alright no matter how hard and rough the surface is. 

The top part is totally made of mesh and TPU fabric. This combination is ideal to wear in any weather whether dry or humid, summer or winter. Thinking of wearing these while camping? The reflective stripes will save you from getting smashed by your teammates. However, for the price, these shoes are amazing.

What I liked

  • Lightweight; 
  • Protective toe caps;
  • Budget-friendly.

Things to consider

  • Nothing to mention.

7. Merrell Zion Waterproof Hiking Shoes 

  • Available colors: black, grey, olive, toffee, and brown.
  • Made in the USA and 100% Leather;
  • Breathable leather and mesh fabric upper.

It doesn’t matter if you are going for a honeymoon or hiking in Hawaii, you can literally spend the entire trip wearing these beautiful shoes. These are high-quality multipurpose shoes. These are waterproof, but dry out the sweat build-up leaving the feet dry and fresh. This feature makes these boots perfect to wear in any weather whether it is sunny or rainy. In Hawaii, you can’t tell when it is going to rain, so why not stay prepared? 

The second best thing about these shoes is, they look great on any occasion. From a romantic date night to running on the trails, these boots will get dirty no doubt, but the maintenance is effortless. Just wipe it with a damp cloth, dry it, and wear it the next morning.

If you are already a hiker, then you must have heard of Vibram soles in hiking shoes. These Merrell shoes have the best category Vibram sole-the mega grip sole. It is perfect for any hard rock or loose grainy soil. As this pair doubles and triples for other shoes, it is also priced high. I don’t know about you, but I would have bought it if it was twice the advertised price. 

What I liked

  • Waterproof;
  • Keeps feet dry;
  • Protective rubber cap;
  • Long-lasting.

Things to consider

  • Pricey.

8. Clorts Men’s Mid-Hiking Lightweight Outdoor Backpacking Trekking Shoe

  • Uneeb Tex mesh and leather upper;

Hawaiian weather is full of surprises. To me, the different islands of Hawaii portray different specialties. So do we need to have different sets of shoes to visit different places? No, in fact, if you spend your money wisely, you may find a pair of trustworthy shoes that works fine in all conditions.

Mud or water, grass or gravel, and concrete or granite, these Clort boots are the best to have by your side. These are superior-quality hiking boots that can accompany you during camping, trekking, backpacking, or just a stroll at the local park.

The upper is made of breathable mesh and durable leather with a tiny strap for toe protection. There is no way water can sneak into these boots from the water-resistant leather and mesh, but it will keep sweat at bay with proper ventilation. The sole has good traction for terrain running. The arch support may seem low for people with a high arch, but you can fix it with a proper insert.

What I liked

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable ankle support;
  • Durable;
  • No need for a break-in.

Things to consider

  • The arch support may not be sufficient for everyone. 

9. MORENDL Men’s Outdoor Sports Shoes

  • Mesh upper;
  • Anti-collision toe-cap and heel material;
  • Trail running and casual walking.

Targhee shoes from Morendl have gained popularity among hikers worldwide for specific reasons. This pair is surprisingly durable, waterproof, comfortable, and roomy but supportive enough to hike steep trails. Exactly the things we look for during a hiking or backpacking mission.

These shoes are available in three colors, black, black and gold, and brown. All three come in with superior quality materials. The insole is removable and it is an EVA footbed with gel cushioning in the right places. Unlike other shoes, the gel cushion makes it padded in the inner part but makes the shoe lightweight. For your next countless enjoyable and adventurous trekking, these shoes are worth your investment.

What I Liked

  • Highly waterproof;
  • Highly durable;
  •  High-traction grip sole;
  • Suitable for wide feet.

Things To Consider

  • Not to mention.

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10. ASICS Men’s Running Shoe-GEL Venture 5

There is one reason to put this pair on this list despite its low quality. These shoes are compatible with orthotics and are budget-friendly. Generally, shoes that are meant to be used with orthotics are not affordable for everyone. But should it refrain you from hiking Hawaiian trails? Of course not. These shoes fit a small budget and are very roomy so that you can remove the insole and put in an orthotic instead. 

There is gel cushioning in the heel area for extra support and comfort. The upper is mostly made of synthetic material for making it waterproof. These shoes are great for a daily outdoor walk close to nature and occasional trail running, but I don’t recommend wearing these on serious hiking frequently. It lacks that quality. 

What I liked

  • Gel cushioning;
  • Suitable to use with orthotics;
  • Budget-friendly.

Things to consider

  • Heavy;
  • Not durable.

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About This Writer

camila avery author

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

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