Best Hiking Shoes for Half Dome

Best Hiking Shoes for Half Dome

Half Dome is one of the most famous hiking trails in the US. The mountain stands 5,000 feet above the Yosemite Valley and has 8 miles of trail to cover. The hike up the valley is a challenge like no other. To conquer it, you will need the best gear you can get. One of the most essential parts of that gear is the hiking shoes.

The Half Dome hike is a strenuous one, and you will need the best shoes you can find. The shoes need to have more than sufficient traction to grip the smooth top of the summit. Some parts of the valley, such as the cable section, are too slippery and steep that regular shoes won’t cut it.

Luckily, I have compiled the top 3 hiking shoes you need to get if you plan a trip to Half Dome. These shoes can hold their own when conquering this beast, and you can use them on other hikes too. Without much ado, let’s look at the best hiking shoes for Half Dome.

What to Look for in Hiking Shoes

The Half Dome trail is no joke, and you will need the best possible hiking shoes you can find. To do that, you need to know what features of a shoe you should be looking for. Some of these features include:

Fit and Comfort

Getting a properly fitting shoe is one of the most crucial things. You need shoes that fit your feet precisely while still giving your toes some breathing space. Aside from the fit, you also need to pay attention to the shoe’s comfort.

Since you will climb to higher altitudes, you don’t want your feet to get fatigued or sore. To avoid this, find a shoe with flex in its upper that enables it to move with your foot. You also want the shoe to have enough cushioning to support your foot shape.


Heavy hiking shoes can zap around 5 times more energy than the weight on your back. To avoid feeling muscle fatigue, flexor and hip problems, and less stumbling, you need to get lighter shoes. Lighter shoes give you more freedom of movement and will not weigh you down.

Waterproof vs. Non-Waterproof

The Half Dome hike is covered in ice, and getting waterproof shoes can be a lifesaver. Waterproof hiking shoes come in handy when hiking in wet areas as they don’t get soggy. Non-waterproof shoes, on the other hand, are more suitable for warmer hikes. They do, however, dry fairly quickly and are more breathable and lighter.


Find a durable pair of hiking shoes. These are like your investment and will give you more value for money. Look for high-quality materials that won’t wear out quickly.

Top 3 Hiking Shoes for Half Dome

The three best hiking shoes you can get for hiking Half Dome are:

Merrell Moab 2

Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Shoes

With Moab meaning “Mother of All Boots,” these hiking shoes are the best when it comes to hiking anywhere. The Moab 2 boots are waterproof, give decent underfoot protection, and are waterproof. The boots can easily handle the Half Dome trail without a problem.

The boots are lightweight, weighing in at 2 lbs 4 oz, perfect for hiking. They may, however, be a little heavy for those with less experience. The most important feature of the shoes is their incredibly good grip on different terrains. You can use these boots on the Half Dome without fear of slipping. They are also extremely durable and provide great cushioning and support.


  • Excellent grip and traction
  • Highly durable
  • Breathable
  • Affordable
  • Proper cushioning and support


  • A little heavy
  • High heel-to-toe drop

Where to buy Merrell Moab 2? Merrell Moab 2 Discount Coupons?

You can buy Merrell Moab 2 from Amazon here.

Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots

These Nortiv hiking boots have great support, ensuring you won’t get tired while on the trail. They have a soft interior padding that cradles your foot, dispersing foot-to-boot contact evenly. The materials used give the shoe’s exterior a rigid feel that provides great traction even in off-road conditions. The materials also enable the shoes to handle any kind of terrain.

The boots are also easy to clean and are waterproof. They are also relatively lightweight and will not zap your energy, enabling you to do the 8-mile climb easily.


  • Waterproof
  • Great traction in all terrains
  • Incredible support
  • Easy to clean
  • Great foot-to-boot ratio


  • The interior is a little rigid, which can make them a little uncomfortable
  • Subpar breathability

Where to buy Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots? Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots Discount Coupons?

You can buy Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots from Amazon here.

Salomon Speedcross 5

Like the two previous shoes, the Salomon Speedcross 5 boots have excellent traction and support. They have a 10mm drop that works well for hikers or runners that prefer a higher drop in their shoes. The Speedcross 5 is moderately lightweight and will not weigh you down.

The material used gives all the durability you could ever need. They also have a wider fit that suits a wide range of feet sizes. The shoes feature a reinforcement that makes them a lifesaver and adds extra protection, ensuring you won’t slide off the side.


  • Excellent traction for different trails
  • More cushioning and support than other shoes
  • The weight is good for transitioning to light trail runners
  • Made of highly durable materials
  • Wider feet for different foot sizes


  • High drop doesn’t work well for some people
  • Heavier than similar shoes

Where to buy Salomon Speedcross 5? Salomon Speedcross 5 Discount Coupons?

You can buy Salomon Speedcross 5 from Amazon here.


Can you hike Half Dome in tennis shoes?

It is not advisable to make the hike in tennis shoes. Parts of the trail and the summit are very slippery, and tennis shoes don’t have enough grip to ground you securely.

Do you need hiking shoes for Half Dome?

Yes. You need an excellent pair of hiking shoes when hiking Half Dome. The shoes give you ample support and grip to ensure you stay on the trail without sliding or slipping away.

What are the best shoes for hiking Half Dome?

The three best shoes for hiking Half Dome are the Merrell Moab 2 boots, the Nortiv 8 hiking boots, and the Salomon Speedcross 5. They have the best traction and support to conquer this difficult trail.


While hiking Half Dome is not an easy feat, having proper hiking shoes make it more manageable. The three hiking shoes covered in this article give you all that you should get from a hiking shoe and more. Get yourself a pair of these incredible hiking shoes and get ready to conquer the formidable Half Dome hiking trail.

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