Best Hiking Shoes for Kids and Youth

10 Best Hiking Shoes for Kids and Youth Beginners in 2023

Hiking with kids can be fun, but it can also be quite tiring. You have to keep track of your child’s safety, make sure they are hydrated, and keep them engaged on the hike. These tasks become even more challenging when you have multiple children hiking with you or an infant strapped to your back. With so many things to worry about, it is crucial to find hiking gear that makes the trip easier and safer.

The right hiking shoes can make a huge difference in how comfortable your children feel while exploring the trails. It is easy for adults to find good shoes for hiking because there are so many options available. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to find the best hiking shoes for kids.

That is why we have done all the hard work for you! We have gone through all the best brands that offer hiking shoes for children and narrowed them down to the top ten best options available today. If you are looking for high-quality, supportive outdoor footwear that will keep your child protected while exploring nature, this comprehensive guide is tailor-made for you.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Best Hiking Shoes for Kids & Youth

Our Top 3 Picks

Merrell Kids Trail Chaser Hiking Sneaker

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Tops our list is The Merrell Kids Trail Chaser Hiking Sneaker. It’s the best kids’ hiking shoes you can buy. Ranking number 1 in the kids hiking shoe category alone testifies to its quality. So, why is it so popular among kids?

It’s a lightweight, comfortable shoe that has all the features you need in a kids’ hiking shoe, including:

Durable suede and breathable mesh upper. The upper is made of breathable mesh that helps keep your child’s foot cool, dry, and comfortable. Plus, the suede upper makes this shoe extra durable and long-lasting.

Although kids love this shoe for hiking, it’s also great for a full day of playing outdoors or at school. The easy-on/off-hook and loop closure helps your child get their foot into the shoe quickly and easily—no small feat when exploring with your little ones!

The cushy EVA footbed is perfect for all-day comfort. Your little one will play or hike in these shoes all day long without hurting their feet or getting blisters.

It also features a flexible, non-marking outsole with extra grip for superior traction. This rubber outsole provides an excellent gripping surface for hiking over rocks and through the mud so your child won’t slip on the trail. It also absorbs shock when walking over rough terrain, helping to reduce foot strain and fatigue.

To be noted, this shoe is not waterproof. Thus, it’s not an excellent option for serious hikers who plan to be outside in heavy rain for long periods. Also, the lack of arch support may be an issue for some kids with high arches or flat feet.

However, if you’re looking for a pair of shoes so that you can accompany your child on long hikes or even walks around the neighborhood, this may be a good choice.

Adidas Outdoor AX2 Hiking Shoe

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One of the best kids’ hiking shoes on the market is the Adidas Outdoor AX2 Hiking Shoe. The name “Adidas” says all about the quality of this product.

It’s not only the brand reputation that got it featured on this list but also its all-terrain capabilities and a design that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for performance.

When it comes to footwear for hiking, kids need the same things as adults: durability, comfort, traction, and support. The Adidas Outdoor AX2 delivers in all these areas.

Sure, the shoes are slightly heavier than some other similarly designed shoes on the market, but the weight is worth it for the solid construction and durability. You will love that they can put these shoes on their own without much effort.

And the best part? The soles have excellent traction, which helps keep the little feet from slipping while they climb or run around outside. There is also no chance of blisters or sore spots after wearing them for long periods—thanks to the insole inside the shoe that will keep your kids’ feet from slipping around.

Like the previous one, the AX2 Hiking Shoe is not waterproof, so your kid might not wear them during rainier seasons. However, if you’re looking for a sturdy pair of hiking shoes for kids that perform well in a variety of outdoor terrains, the AX2 should be at the top of your list.

VITIKE Kids Hiking Boots

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When deciding on the best hiking shoes for kids, you need to consider several factors. What is the purpose of your hike? How long will it be? Will you be crossing streams? Will there be snow or ice on the ground?

If your child is willing to go on a hike that involves all three elements, then VITIKE Kids hiking boots are an excellent choice.

VITIKE hiking boots are a great choice for kids who want to get outside this fall and winter and play in the snow. This is the only “true” waterproof shoe on our list.

VITIKE boots also feature an anti-skid sole, making them a great pair of snow boots for kids. The outsole has a deep curved groove that grip surfaces like asphalt and concrete to prevent slipping. This feature makes these boots perfect for winter hiking outdoors with kids.

Another important feature is the breathable mesh fabric used for the uppers is not only comfortable and easy to clean, but it’s also water-resistant. Thus, kids don’t have to worry about their feet getting wet from slush or puddles when playing outside.

Even better, they made the uppers of VITIKE boots from high-quality warm plush that is windproof to help keep cold winds out and warmth inside. This plush will protect kids’ feet from snow, rain, and slush.

Besides all these features, you find that these children’s hiking boots are very comfortable to wear. Your kid can wear them on long hikes with little to no discomfort because of extra cushioning.

VITIKE Snow Boots are designed for a specific type of hiker, which is why they’re so famous for a specific niche market. They’re perfect for a lot of different activities in the snow, but they don’t do well in hot weather. Yes, you can hike in them, but it will not be pleasant or safe.

However, if you’re looking for good boots of great value and will keep your child’s feet dry when they’ve been out hiking or playing in the snow, these are an excellent option.

Hiking Shoes for Kids & Youth

Rated Highly by Parents and Experts

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Merrell Kid’s Jungle Moc Moccasin

It’s all about endurance when you’re out hiking—you need to go the distance. It’s not an easy task for kids, who are often less prepared than adults.

That’s why you should look for shoes that will help your child get prepared for different outdoor conditions. The Jungle Moc has been a favorite of parents and their kids for years for its durability. This is the perfect shoe for young explorers who want to go to new places and follow their own passion in life.

The upper is 100% leather, which means it will last longer than synthetic materials like nylon or suede, so it won’t fall apart after just a few weeks or months.

What sets this shoe apart is that the shoe has the proprietary M Select GRIP outsole, which offers flexible, non-marking traction in a range of environments. This means your kids can wear it on both wet and dry trails over mixed terrain without slipping or struggling to keep their footing.

It also features a slip-on design that makes it easy to put on and take off, so there’s never any fuss when you’re trying to get your children out the door and on their way.

The removable EVA footbed provides extra cushioning for the children’s feet, so they will be comfortable even after hours of hiking. The EVA midsole helps absorb shock and keep their feet feeling light as they walk through their favorite park.

Mishansha Boys Girls Athletic Hiking Shoes

The Mishansha Boys Girls Athletic Hiking Shoes are one of the best shoes for hiking for kids because they offer a secure fit, are comfortable, and can be used in a wide variety of situations.

The 24 unique designs on this shoe come in a variety of bright and cheerful colors. This makes the shoes appealing to children and encourages them to wear them as often as possible.

One of the best things about these shoes is their lightweight design. They weigh just over 12.8 ounces, so even the youngest hikers can easily wear them without becoming weighed down unnecessarily. This also makes them easier to carry when they’re not being worn.

They have specially designed the breathable Oxford cloth upper on these shoes for air permeability, ensuring that your child’s feet stay cool and dry during long hikes.

The water-resistant design of these shoes is also a great feature. This keeps your feet dry and comfortable during rainy treks through the wilderness while also protecting them from puddles and other water sources along the way. This waterproof feature also keeps dirt and mud from getting inside the shoe while your kid walks around on different trails.

Deer Stags Unisex-Child Drew-K

Trails can be hard on a child’s feet. They’re uneven and often rocky, root-strewn, or muddy. But with the right pair of hiking shoes, your little explorer will set off into the woods without worrying about hurting their toes.

And that’s where Columbia’s unisex-child hiking shoes come in. They’re designed for young hikers looking for adventure.

At first glance, you can see the attention to detail that went into the design of these kids’ trail shoes.

The material is leather and mesh, which offers a durable construction. With a waterproof seam-sealed construction with slip-free traction and superior cushioning, it is perfect for those long hikes.

The midsole is lightweight and has high energy return and superior cushioning, so your little one will be comfortable on the trail. They even have their proprietary Omni-Grip technology for a slip-free grip on any surface.

For years, Columbia has been designing hiking boots for adults that are inspired by classic mountaineering boots, and this kids’ trail shoe follows in those footsteps. This is your shoe if you like simple and classic designs that offer great value for money.

Merrell Kid’s Trail Quest Hiking Sneaker

If you’re taking a trip to the wilderness, you want to make sure your kids are ready for anything. The Merrell Kids Trail Quest Hiking Sneaker is a great shoe for kids to keep them safe and protected on any adventure.

The Merrell Kids Trail Quest Hiking Sneaker is made with a combination of rugged leather and lightweight mesh, so it’s durable enough for the toughest trails yet breathable enough for the hottest days at camp. The unique EVA footbed adds extra comfort, while a supportive midsole helps keep little feet from getting sore after trekking through the woods for long days.

The upper is machine washable, so if your kids get these shoes dirty while exploring caves or climbing trees, they’re easy to clean again. However, as some reviewers have noted, these shoes aren’t waterproof, so if you’re planning to take them on rainy adventures, you’ll need to throw on an extra pair of socks.

While this shoe is an affordable option compared with other hiking sneakers designed specifically for kids, some reviewers have complained that the fit isn’t quite right and that they’re hard to put on. But with the durability and comfort offered by this shoe, most customers say it’s worth giving a try.

Recommended Hiking Shoes for Kids & Youth

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Northside Cheyenne JR Hiking Boot

Northside is a company that has a mission to make your feet happy, no matter what adventures you’re on. They combine the best of comfort with the ruggedness that makes their shoes perfect for people of any age, including kids. Let’s explore why they’re one of our top choices.

As a parent, you want your children to be comfortable while they go on their hikes, so you can enjoy them without worrying about them being miserable the whole time. Your children will get just that with Northside’s Cheyenne JR hiking boots.

They make the upper from both leather and textile, allowing their feet to breathe while they walk through whatever terrain lies before them, and plenty of padding adds extra comfort that makes these shoes a joy to wear.

But comfort isn’t everything—you also want your kids’ shoes to be safe and functional. These Cheyenne Jr boots are just that. Not only does the lacing up closure ensures the perfect fit for each foot, but it also features a heel stabilizer and PVC mudguard for excellent control.

The Northside Jr falls short in some areas. For instance, it is not waterproof, which can be problematic if your child encounters wet conditions while wearing these boots. Also, some customers have complained about durability issues with these shoes after only a short time.

However, many customers were happy with how well these boots held up to several months or years of use from their children.

Merrell Unisex-Child Hiking Boot

The Merrell Kids’ Vapor Glove 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe offers great features that would make any kid excited. Sure, these shoes are pricier, but the features are well worth the money.

For example, it’s waterproof, and kids’ feet are sensitive to the cold. The waterproof construction keeps feet dry and comfortable, which is always important when your kids wear shoes while hiking or walking around town in wet weather.

Another important feature is the rubber cup sole along with the lug pattern outsole with M Select GRIP for superior traction. It is essential for exploring off-road terrain.

The shaft measures approximately an Ankle from the arch, so it fits comfortably on little feet, but you will want to check the sizing chart to make sure they get the right fit.

The alternative closure for easy on/off and adjustability makes the shoes an excellent choice for active children who don’t like to have their shoes tied. The shoe is slightly more expensive than other models on the list—but that’s a small price to pay for durability and performance.

Hawkwell Kids Outdoor Hiking Shoe

When you have a child who loves walking, hiking, camping, or running outdoors, it’s hard to find a comfortable and safe shoe. Enter the Hawkwell Kids Outdoor Hiking Shoe.

This is a super-versatile shoe for kids that can be used for casual wear, everyday adventures, and even when going on more extreme hikes.

The Hawkwell Outdoor Hiking Shoe is available in six colors and up to size 13 (as well as three big kid sizes). The new version features an updated closure system with an adjustable hook-and-loop strap to make it easier for kids to get on and off the shoes. This is a big improvement over the older versions, which had to be tied on.

But not only this but several other features make this shoe one of the best in its class.

For example, there’s the thermoplastic elastomers sole which offers comfort and durability. Even better, the breathable upper also makes it much more comfortable than most hiking shoes for kids out there.

The molded midsole and heel stabilizer give significant support to hikers who may carry a pack or heavy load. And finally, the EVA foam footbed provides all-day comfort without sacrificing support.

If you want a pair of hiking shoes that can keep your child comfortable while on the trail all day long, this shoe is worth considering.


Hiking is a fun way to get the kids outside and get them moving. And to do that, you’ll want them to have the right shoes.

We hope we’ve helped you make an informed decision that will help your little one take his/her first steps on the trail.

So pick up a pair of these 10 best hiking shoes for babies and get out there because we know your child will love hiking as much as we do.

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