Outdoor physical activities like hiking put a big strain on your feet. In addition, these could lead to injuries or pain in toes, ankles, and areas like metatarsal, midfoot, heel, etc. over time. Moreover, going downhill puts extra strain on the toes and you need to take precautions to protect them from damages. Using well-fitted boots can help you avoid any friction or trauma while walking, jogging, or running.
But, for many reasons, your toes could take the brunt of a long downhill stretch. These include feet slipping forward in the boots, bunched-up socks, and uneven or even long toenails. Furthermore, if your toes rub or bang against anything on every step of the hike, you will likely have a hot spot or injury on your toes by the time you reach base. Before, during, and after hiking, you need to take special care of your feet as it can make all the difference to the health of your toes.
6 Ways Shoes Protect Your Toes When You Hike Downhill
- Buy/wear the right boots with enough toe space or customize your current boots to make them more suitable for downhill hiking
- Breaking in your new shoes can be a good thing to do before going hiking if you have not already done it
- Choose a good lacing technique from the many available to lace your boots properly
- Memorize how to tie knots properly and keep retying your laces periodically
- Have good arch support and high-quality insoles in the boots at all times
- Buy a half or whole size larger than the usual foot size to accommodate the natural swelling of the foot and toes that occurs during a hike
To find out more ways to protect your toes while hiking downhill check this article out.
Top 12 Hiking Shoes To Protect Your Toes For Hiking Downhill
Some people are squeamish about feet whereas some people think they are the most interesting human body part. But, regardless of such views, it is a known fact that they are one of the most important body parts on a long-distance walk. Also, problems with your feet can change or limit your plans for enjoyment while hiking. It is important to do everything you can to prepare them in advance for your trip. This includes buying shoes that are proven to protect your toes while hiking downhill.
1. Merell Moab 2 Tactical Shoes
Merrell’s Moab 2 Tactical Shoes has mesh lining, and lace-up closure, which makes them suitable for hiking. These shoes provide the same out-of-the-box comfort you like from the original mother-of-all-boots (MOAB) models. Tactical shoes are re-invented for long days on duty and built for the toughest environments.
- Waterproof PU coating, leather, and ripstop textile uppers
- Mesh collar – rubberish – provides support and enhanced durability
- Non-metallic hardware, a tongue that keeps out debris
- Rubber toe cap resistant to abrasion and protects toes
- Kinetic Fit blended EVA contoured footbed for arch and heel support
- Lightweight & can wear it for long hours without getting sore feet
- Can be used as everyday footwear, good fit, comfortable, great design, and traction
- Durable, quality built, a nice combo between athletic shoes and mid-cut boots
- A slim insole that can decompress easily making heels discomfort
- Choosing a wide option can result in slipping of the foot
- The width of the shoes may not be tight enough for some people
Where To Purchase Merell Moab 2 Tactical Shoes?
You can purchase the Merell Moab 2 Tactical Shoes here on Amazon.
2. Salomon X Ultra 4 GORE-TEX
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 Mid GTX and Salomon Women’s X Ultra 4 Mid GTX have good rubber soles to power through uphills and descents. These boots have the agility of a trail running shoe with the stability, grip, and waterproof protection you need for technical hikes.
- Trail-inspired agility drawing on trail-running expertise
- Contagrip MA outsole – light, agile, nimble on uneven, wet & slippery terrains
- Enhanced stability on the outer foot provided by the new ADV-C Chassis
- Mobile wings help hold the foot in place to accompany the movement
- Comfy, Amazing lightness, Heavy-duty, Grippy, Waterproof
- Dependable collar, Adaptable, Odor-canceling footbed, Roomy forefoot for women’s
- Agile without sacrificing durability on a long-term basis or on-trail comfort
- Offered in dedicated wide sizes, Great all-around value
- Downgraded cushioning, Unflattering eyelets, Hit-or-miss arch support
- Quite a thin padding that can lead to sore feet while carrying a heavy pack
- The collar sits just above the ankle, which is fairly low and can let in debris & water
Where To Purchase Salomon X Ultra 4 GORE-TEX?
You can purchase the Salomon X Ultra 4 GORE-TEX here on Amazon.
3. La Sportiva Spire GTX
Both Men and Women La Sportiva Spire GTX are perfect for hikers who want light-duty hiking boots for day trips in variable to rugged terrain. Along with that, these can be used by backpackers who seek versatile and waterproof boots that breathe well and supports lighter loads.
- Durable abrasion-resistant mesh upper provides protection
- Nano Cell 2.0 structure for maximum breathable material
- GTX surround aeration channels inside the midsole and footbed
- STB control system integrates for comfortable, snug-fitting, and stable boots
- Available in sizes 38 to 47.5 and weighs 15.50 oz or 440g
- Superb waterproofness, Well-ventilated in-shoe feel, Surprising support
- Apt midsole stiffness, sturdy protection, light low-cut design
- Solid and reliable grip on different terrains, durable, well-made
- Much more accommodating and works for most foot shapes
- Flimsy on technical terrain, Fragile lace sheath
- Almost 2 pounds, heavy for a low-top hiking model
- Rides higher than most of the low designed hikers
- A little wide at the heel, thick midsole can feel tippy
Where To Purchase La Sportiva Spire GTX?
You can purchase the La Sportiva Spire GTX here on Amazon.
4. Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GTX
Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GTX model for men and women can be easily considered as your gateway to the great outdoors. This footwear is light, grippy, waterproof, versatile, and an easy pick for any trail.
- Light nubuck leather with GTX uppers to seal out wetness
- PFC-free DWR treatment for beading up the moisture on the surface
- Quick-lace hook hardware, Gusseted tongues, and Achilles-cradling
- Compression-molded EVA midsoles and PU sock liners
- Vibram Megagrip rubber outsoles for superior traction
- Stable, steady footing over different terrains
- Plush, comfortable, generously cushy midsole
- Bulky sole, yet astonishingly lightweight overall
- Glides effortlessly on level terrain, sticky outsole excels on rocky trails
- Excellent fit, a highly effective and customizable lacing system
- A little challenging to get the feet inside
- Exposed sections of outsole’s blown rubber – a negative impact on grip
- Design dips fairly low behind the heel, only available in a waterproof Gore-Tex model
Where To Purchase Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GTX?
You can purchase the Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GTX here on Hoka.com.
5. Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots
Nortiv 8 Women and Men Hiking Boots feature waterproof full-grain leather to keep your feet dry. These hiking boots use excellent technology to provide the ultimate traction and grip in any environment of your choice. Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots have breathable mesh lining and great arch support for a good in-shoe feel.
- Made by one of America’s leading footwear brands for professional outdoor sports
- Lightweight, Comfortable, Durable, Designed for Outdoor Activities
- MD Midsole provides long-lasting comfort and optimal cushioning
- Shock absorption for landing softly and striding lightly
- Hard toe cap design to keep your toes safe from accidents on the trail
- Suitable for a variety of activities like camping, hiking, cycling, fishing, mountaineering, backpacking, garden work, etc.
- Impressive ankle support, a rigid exterior, a perfect amount of interior padding
- Cradles the foot and disperses the foot-to-boot contact, easy to clean
- The sizing could be better, only available by full-size increments
- Could be difficult to find a near-perfect fit for your feet
- Breathability problems during hot summer days
Where To Purchase Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots?
You can purchase the Nortiv 8 Hiking Boots here on Amazon.
6. Saucony Peregrine 11
Men’s Peregrine 11 and Women’s Peregrine 11 by Saucony are 100% leather trail running shoes with rubber soles. The rubber digs in grips a wide variety of terrains, and the cushioning supplies a responsive feel. Also, a rock plate ensures additional protection for pushing uphill and driving downhill with confidence. Saucony Peregrine 11 has a new ultralight, durable top layer, which adds durability to the comfortable air mesh bootie so nothing snags your speed.
- Made to run on a variety of trails with peak speed and grip
- Delivers a ride that feels both aggressive and responsive
- Categorized as Neutral Trail Running Shoes
- Men’s shoes weigh 10.0 oz or 310g whereas Women’s shoes weigh 9.5 oz or 270g
- Available sizes for Men – 7 to 13 and for Women – 5 to 12
- Outstanding grip, Perfect foot lockdown, Great for mud, ice, rocks
- Durable, Superior protection makes for a durable shoe
- A solid mix of stability and moderate speed, a decent amount of cushioning
- For narrow feet only, Needs breaking in, Not breathable
- The tightness in the heel could be improved, A little heavy for a trail shoe
Where To Purchase Saucony Peregrine 11?
You can purchase the Saucony Peregrine 11 here on Amazon.
7. Colombia Crestwood
Colombia Men’s Crestwood and Colombia Women’s Crestwood are lightweight and durable waterproof shoes designed for multiple activities on the trail. These are built with expert craftsmanship to deliver versatile hiking performance. Great for short to mid-distance spring, summer, and fall hiking excursions makes Colombia Crestwood great all-around hikers.
- Features Omni-TECH waterproof bootie construction, combined with TECH LITE lightweight midsole
- Made for long-lasting comfort with superior cushioning and high energy return
- An all-purpose hiker that will deliver nimble and comfortable service
- High grip across a wide variety of terrains with signature Omni-Grip rubber outsole
- Designed for extended use, reinforced toe and heel barriers
- Keeps the feet warm and dry, Bulky, Durable, Secure fit, Excellent traction
- Lightweight, Budget-friendly, Highly cherished for its superior waterproofness and tough rubber outsole
- The insole needs improvement and the Toebox might feel a bit narrow for some
Where To Purchase Colombia Crestwood?
You can purchase the Colombia Crestwood here on Amazon.
8. Timberland Pro Reaxion Hiker
Timberland Pro Reaxion Hiker has Thermoplastic Polyurethane soles making them a good option for hiking. These shoes have durable leather uppers with waterproof protection, and mesh lining to keep feet cool and dry. The anti-fatigue footbeds offer shock absorption and the energy return is offered in a variety of color options.
- ReBOTL Material, Aerocore Energy System, Anti-Fatigue Technology
- Timberland PRO Rubber, Waterproof Membrane, Electrical Hazard Protection
- Metal-free, mutilation free, antimicrobial odor control
- Nylon top speed hooks and fiberglass shank for structural support
- Fully waterproof work boots featuring hiker-inspired styling
- Full-grain leather, TPU-wrapped Aerocore midsole
- Mostly true to size, width, and good arch support
- Timberland PRO features are mostly targeted as work shoes or boots so they could be difficult for some to be used for hiking
Where To Purchase Timberland Pro Reaxion Hiker?
You can purchase the Timberland Pro Reaxion Hiker here on Amazon.
9. Keen Voyageur
Men’s Keen Voyageur and Women’s Keen Voyageur have water-resistant suede uppers, which repels water, and performance mesh increases airflow. The rubber outsole provides a high-traction grip in muddy environments and on rocky surfaces.
- Eco Anti-Odor – uses natural probiotics that pass the same sniff test
- Leather that is preferred by environmentally friendly people
- Over 95% PFC-free, waterproof and breathable mesh upper
- Polyester linings wick, Secure-fit lace capture system
- Rubber toe bumpers protect feet and uppers from abrasion and bumps
- S3 – Shock, Suspension, Stability heel support structure
- Supportive, No break-in, Roomy toe box
- Lightweight, Breathable, Wide interior
- Not enough waterproof ability, minimal padding underfoot, Lining tore easily
- Sole separated quickly, Flimsy stitching, Low-grade eyelets
- Does not have as much support or cushioning provided by other similar shoes
Where To Purchase Keen Voyageur?
You can purchase the Keen Voyageur here on Amazon.
10. Keen Targhee II
Keen’s Targhee II model is made for both men and women. These 100% leather, imported, rubber-soled shoes are waterproof, breathable, durable, and add traction. Also, the Keen Targhee II model offers lightweight support, improved mobility, and control over torsion on uneven surfaces.
- Trail-tested hiking boots for high-performance hikers and most everything in between
- Waterproof offers four-wheel-drive performance for your feet
- Keeps your feet dry, lets them breathe, the aggressive outsole bites into the terrain
- Comfort and support of athletic shoes and resilience and protection of tough hiking boots
- An S3 heel structure & dual-density EVA midsole with molded compression
- True to size, Roomy toebox, Waterproof, Impressively durable, Grippy outsole
- Great support with extra toe protection, nice lacing system, and wide toe box
- Loose fit, Rigid feel, Break-in period needed
- Not suited for – a lighter day hiking shoe, and who need more ankle support from a mid-cut model
Where To Purchase Keen Targhee II?
You can purchase the Keen Targhee II here on Amazon.
11. Altra Lone Peak 5
The Lone Peak 5 model by Altra can be shopped for both Men and Women. Focus on the trail in front of you, and go further with the balanced cushioning platform, which places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground.
- Brings responsiveness to every step you take, so any road, any trail, any terrain
- Conquer every trail because of the TrailClaw and MaxTrac outsole
- The grippiest trail shoes to the date by Altra
- Has all the features you like in shoes plus more overall durability for better rides
- Specifically designed to address differences in the biology of men’s and women’s feet
- Well-cushioned, breathable, sensitive, suitable for zero-drop enthusiasts and PCT hikers
- Offers a wide fitting, stable platform with a good balance of protection and sensitivity
- Great for wide feet, Superb grip (rocks, mud, ice, snow), Stiff and durable
- Sheds mud easily, has Great water drainage, Balanced and stable ride
- Too wide for many runners, Feel 1/2 size bigger, No ground feel
- Too cold for winter days
Where To Purchase Altra Lone Peak 5?
You can purchase the Altra Lone Peak 5 here on Amazon.
12. Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX
Vasque’s Breeze LT Low GTX model is available for both – Women and Men. These imported, rubber-soled shoes are streamlined hiking shoes for fast and light trails. It has great traction, and a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane stops moisture from entering while evaporating the sweat inside.
- Lightweight, Waterproof, GTX with extended comfort technology
- Vasque’s exclusive Vibram ground control lite base with mega grip compound
- A lighter successor to the Breeze III Low for surer footing across varying surfaces
- Supplementing all-weather traction, saving 25% in outsole weight
- EVA Midsole Dual Density Compression Molded Enduralast
- Weighs less than 2 pounds or less than 700 grams
- Grippy, Superb lightweight, Quick break-in, Eye-catching design
- Nimble the trail with as much comfort and protection as possible
- Renders surefootedness on slippery surfaces, Good for a lightweight gear
- Narrow, Expensive
- The shoes might not appeal to users with bulky feet or buyers on a tight budget
Where To Purchase Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX?
You can purchase the Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX here on Amazon.
Buying shoes or boots that can protect your toes can be difficult whether you are doing it online or offline. In online stores or shops, you are unable to try them out to see if the toe box fits you properly or not. In offline stores/shops, even if you try out the new footwear, you cannot be sure that they will work for you on trails or can be worn all day without problems. Nonetheless, there are shoes and boots available that can be good for your toes while hiking downhill. Moreover, some of them can even be modified to make them suitable for you.
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I am Jordan James, I am a writer and researcher over here at Outside Origin. I love spending time in nature and just being outside. I have hiked many trails such as the Appalachian Trail, Pennine Way, Half Dome to name a few.