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Best Hiking Shoes for Kids

Updated on November 16, 2014

Hiking is an excellent activity for people of all ages.  It allows people to get exercise while enjoying all that nature has to offer.  For kids, hiking is an excellent way to channel energy into learning about nature, biology, and the environment.  Kids can also derive fun from the more active aspects of hiking such as climbing trees, hiking around creeks and discovering swimming spots, and making it to the top of hills and mountains to see a bird's eye view of nature. 

When hiking, it is important to use proper equipment.  Without proper equipment many things, not the least of which is safety, could suffer.  Along with proper equipment comes a proper pair of shoes.  The skin of children is often times more tender than the more well worn skin of adults, especially in the area of the feet.  The best hiking shoes for children listed below have been chosen on their wearability, safety, durability, functionality and overall style.  Check out the links and pictures for more product information, prices, and reviews.

Merrell Hiking Shoe for Kids

Merrell is regarded as one of the top hiking and outdoors apparel manufacturers. They have taken their excellence in product manufacturing for adult shoes and replicated it into their kid's line of hiking shoes.

Merrell's selection of hiking shoes for kids offers a wide variety of excellent and durable shoes. The Merrell kid's collection culminates in a hiking shoe called the Chameleon. The Merrell Chameleon is a boot style shoe with a sneaker-like influence combining the ruggedness of nature with a sporty feel. The Chameleon is a mid-rise shoe offering excellent full foot and ankle protection.

Perhaps the best feature of the Merrell Chameleon is that it is waterproof. As many adults know, having wet feet is the least bit fun and is mostly miserable. Waterproofing the shoe allows children to hike in damp weather, through puddles, and shallow creeks without losing interest in the activity due to soaking wet uncomfortable feet. The Chameleon's sole is also retrofitted for the job with rugged treads that will provide serious traction, yet remain non-marking to prevent leaving unsighly marks around the home or other indoor surfaces.

New Balance Hiking Shoes for Kids

New Balance approaches kid's hiking shoes from a more sports and performance oriented perspective by manufacturing shoes that look more like sneakers than traditional hiking shoes and boots.  While most of the New Balance line of hiking shoes does appear to be within the classification of "sneakers", the sneakers are assuredly built to handle the best that nature has to offer.

The sole of the shoes is made from rubber and is deeply grooved and treaded to give excellent handling and grip.  The padded area between the rubber sole and upper of the shoe provides cushioning and support to lessen the amount of pressure and jamming on bones and joints.  The upper part of the shoe is crafted mainly from different mesh materials and sometimes includes leather in the materials used.  The color selection is rather expansive insuring the the kid will leave happy and wanting to wear his sporty new New Balance hiking sheos.

Columbia Hiking Shoes for Kids

Columbia's style for kid's hiking takes a similar approach to that of New Balance and a few others.  Columbia's offerings are also largely range in the sneaker variety.  The sneaker style has proven to be a hit amongst the younger crowd.  Kids seem to prefer the comfort and feel of a sneaker over the more rigid feel of a full on leather boot. 

The upper half of the Columbia hiking shoe is engineered out of leather and mesh to give the shoe flexibility and excellent ventilation as well as a level of durability and resistance to the elements of nature.  The sole is fashioned out of Omni-Grip rubber to prevent slips and slides along damp and wet trails or surfaces.  The Columbia shoe is retrofitted with a nylon "shank" to increase stability and torsional rigidity on even the most rocky and uneven terrains.  The padding between the sole and the upper provides cushioning and support while preventing blisters on tender skin.

Whether hiking is a regular family activity or just a once in a while event, having the right pair of hiking shoes could make the experience more bearable, comfortable, and even fun!

Lace up, buckle down, and have a good hike!


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