Updated: Mar 10
One of the most common requests I get is for boot recommendations for disabled hikers. Unfortunately, it’s never as simple as just finding a shoe that you like – there are so many factors to consider depending on your specific needs.
So, I asked other disabled outdoorspeople to share their favorite hiking shoes with us. Here are the top recommendations. A few commonalities came up: ankle support, wide toe boxes and narrow heals, stability and shock absorption, and traction. The majority of these shoes also fit well with braces, orthotics, or prosthetics.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but hopefully it provides you with a place to start. I recommend trying on as many shoes as you can at a knowledgeable retailer, such as REI or a specialty/orthopedic shoe store. I’ve listed the typical retail price of each shoe, but you can often find them at a discount, especially if you shop end-of-season sales; it is possible to get good quality hiking shoes for $50-60.
Many thanks to the Disabled Hikers community for these recommendations!
Keens Targhee: The Targhee II and III in high and low rise received the most recommendations. Many users wear them daily.
Adequate arch support for flat feet, wide rounded toe box and narrow heal, excellent ankle support, with balanced stability and feedback. Waterproof, sturdy, and good traction. Fit customized inserts and ankle braces. Has held up for multiple years of daily use. Available in wide and standard widths. Price point: $120 Style: Men’s, Women’s Retailer: REI, Keen
Merrell Moab II: received the second highest number of recommendations.
Moab comes in several styles; the Moab 2 has low and mid height. Mid-height has good stability without being rigid, excellent shock absorption. Good traction even on ice, waterproof, good temperature regulation in summer and winter. Price Point: $120 Style: Men’s, Women’s Retailer: REI, Merrell
La Sportiva: Wildcats are a rugged trail running shoe. Provides good ankle support, enough room and flexibility for orthotics and braces, wide toe box. Has held up for 200-300 miles before support and cushion wears out. La Sportiva boots are a comfortable vegan leather option with great ankle stability and long wear, but they may take time to break in. Price Point: $200-250 Style: Women’s
Hoka One One Sky Toa: lightweight, waterproof, good cushioning and arch support. Great traction (“on regular cement, I feel like I have little suction cups on my shoes”). Breathable but comfortable in winter with thick socks; works with microspikes. Didn’t require breaking in. Price point: $170 Style: Men’s, Women’s Retailer: Tried them on at a specialty/orthopedic shoe store then bought online from REI. (Note: REI does not carry them in store)
New Balance M1400V1 Boot: very lightweight, waterproof, designed in wide width. Price point: $100 Style: Men’s Retailer: WalMart, other general shoe retailers
Lowa Renegade GTX: Excellent ankle and foot support with high impact cushion. Waterproof, sturdy but flexible. Poor traction on slick surfaces. Renegade comes in many styles. Price Point: $200 Style: Women’s Retailer: REI, Lowa Boots
Columbia OutDry sneaker boot: cross between hiking boot and trail runner. Lightweight, great traction, fits well on a prosthetic foot. Price Point: $150 Style: Women’s Retailer: Columbia (being phased out?)
Altra Lone Peak trail runners: Good traction and padding, wide toe box and narrow heel. Typically wears at 300 miles. Price Point: $120 Retailer: REI, Altra (being phased out? product was on clearance half off, and some sold out)
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