General Travel Tips

Travel Tip: A Stylish, Super Comfortable Hiking Shoe

Salomon Women's Ellipse GTX Hiking Shoe, Thyme/Asphalt/Dark Green, 8 M US

It was time to get a real pair of hiking shoes

It was June 2016, and my trip to Mongolia was fast approaching. I needed a hiking shoe and I had no idea what to get. I knew I’d be walking a lot, up big hills and small, over potentially rough terrain, but it wasn’t a “hiking” trip so I didn’t need a full boot. There would be rain too. I had to keep that in mind. What I wanted was a super comfortable, stylish, waterproof hiking shoe.

It quickly became clear that I was searching for an oxymoron. At the very least, I would have to tweak my definition of “stylish.” When it came to hiking shoes it was all pretty relative.

Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX Hiking Shoe, Thyme/Asphalt/Dark Green, 8 M US

Flash forward I’m in Mongolia, my new shoes on my feet. I’d Googled for the “most comfortable shoe for hiking,” read a few articles and decided to buy the Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX. I didn’t know the brand but I liked the neutral khaki green color, the generous interior padding, and the silhouette was sleeker than others I’d seen.  (I hate looking as if I’m wearing boats on my feet.) While I did wear them before my trip, there was no “wearing in”, they felt great from the start. No blisters. Yay!

They were surprisingly light and sturdy. My feet never got wet (and I walked in plenty of puddles), and they were very comfortable.  Just what I needed. (FYI – They do run a little big. I normally wear an 8.5 med but after reading some reviews opted for an 8 and they fit perfectly.) 

Wearing them in New York City

When I got home, they promptly went into my closet. I didn’t need them anymore, I owned a pair of “fashionable” slip on sneakers to wear around town.

Shortly after my return, I started a new habit; I take a walk before work, get a little exercise and catch up on my podcasts. After two weeks of New York City pavements, my lower back was killing me. I pulled out my Salomons and soon after my back aches vanished. Fashion be damned.

Salomon Men’s Evasion 2 Aero Hiking Shoe, Black/Magnet/Alloy, 12 M US

 

Now I wear them all the time: my walks, errands, exploring Central Park. (OK.. If I need to look cute I probably wear something else, unless it’s a rugged kind of cute, picnic or something like that. That said, I doubt I would have to look cute and walk a lot too.)  And from now on I’ll have them with me every time I travel.

From what I could tell from the Salomon website, there’s not a men’s Ellipse but the Evasion 2 Aero looks very similar. Obviously, I can’t speak to the men’s hiking shoe specifically but if it’s like the women’s shoe, they’re worth a gander.

(This is not a paid endorsement. If you buy these babies by clicking on the links, I’ll receive a portion of the revenue at no more cost to you.)


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23 replies »

  1. I just bought these same shoes for my trip to Ireland this summer! Did you have any “break in” time? Many of the reviews I read stated how comfortable they were right out of the box, which was true for my right foot but my left foot gets a bit sore where the big toe meets the ball of the foot. It might be the conformation of my foot, I have bunions on both feet but my other shoes don’t bother me. I’m just hoping they need to break in a bit and “mold” to my foot. PS You’re a great writer….I feel like I’m sitting across the table from you at Starbuck’s when I read your posts!

    • I think all shoes need a little break in time but these were broken in pretty quick. Like 36 hours quick. If you’re comfortable on one foot but not the other, it could be that it’s going to take longer because of your bunions. I hope they work themselves out of you. If they don’t, you may need something customized for that foot.

  2. This made me giggle out loud (gol!?)
    I don’t think it is possible to have good looking hiking shoes!

    I still love my hiking boots as they make me think of wandering around mountains and beautiful scenery. It’s worth looking a little daft if you get to see gorgeous views.

  3. I forget the brand, but my husband and I were on a hike in Colorado and about 3/4 of the way down the trail the bottom soul ripped off. Imagine what fun I had. Thanks for the recommendation. I really need a new set of hiking shoes.

    I don’t wear hiking shoes much around my home area, but I have fallen in love with a pair of Sketchers. They are my new love.

    • Oh no! That sucks. I never wore hiking shoes in NYC.. Now I barely take them off for all the day to day errands etc. For awhile I was worried the pain was more about me getting older, not working out as much as I should. I do need to work out more but at least the pain was easily fixable.

  4. I went to Glacier National Park this summer and we went on a 5 mile hike with my uncle. He is not in the best shape and doesn’t hike that much so off the bat it was going to be hard. But more than halfway through his hiking boot ended up ripping apart. There was a hole in the shoe by the end. This really put a damper on his experience and if he had invested in a better shoe it would have been more fun. All this to say a good hiking shoe is worth the investment, don’t go for the cheap stuff. Thanks for the post.

  5. I wear hiking shoes as my everyday shoes and sturdy walking sandals in the hot months. It is a habit I got into years ago when we moved to a rural area of Scotland. That was no place for flimsy footwear. After over a decade of living in that setting, my feet were spoiled. I now find I cannot wear any other type of shoes or boots (except for my snow boots) for any length of time.

Would love to hear from you!