Best Hiking Shoes For Hawaii in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Best Hiking Shoes For Hawaii in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Table of Contents

    Aloha! 

    So, you're planning a trip to Hawaii are you? As I am sure you're already aware, Hawaii is full of breathtaking scenery complete with limitless hiking trails and national parks.

    Many of these trails are no walk in the park, often taking hours to complete. As such, you're going to need a reliable pair of hiking shoes to make sure your feet can keep up with you.  

    To help you find the best pair of hiking shoes for your Hawaiian holiday, we tested out some of the best hiking shoes Amazon has to offer and put together the following comprehensive review.

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Preview
    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Poseidon/Capri, 9 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Men
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.95
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Preview
    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Men
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Preview
    KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Poseidon/Capri, 9 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    3 Best Hiking Shoes for Hawaii - Overview

    Here's an overview of the best hiking shoes for Hawaii:

    Preview
    Best Overall
    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    Best Overall
    KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Poseidon/Capri, 9 M US
    Best Hybrid Shoe
    Teva Men's Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe, Black/White, 14 Medium US
    Best Hybrid Shoe
    Teva Arrowood Swift Lace Shoe - Women's Hiking Black/White
    Best For Experts
    Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut, 12 M US
    Best For Experts
    Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Bracken/Purple, 7 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Teva Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe
    Teva Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe
    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
    Gender
    Men
    Women
    Men
    Women
    Men
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.95
    Price not available
    Price not available
    Price not available
    $109.93
    $109.93
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Best Overall
    Preview
    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Men
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best Overall
    Preview
    KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Poseidon/Capri, 9 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best Hybrid Shoe
    Preview
    Teva Men's Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe, Black/White, 14 Medium US
    Title
    Teva Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe
    Gender
    Men
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best Hybrid Shoe
    Preview
    Teva Arrowood Swift Lace Shoe - Women's Hiking Black/White
    Title
    Teva Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe
    Gender
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best For Experts
    Preview
    Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut, 12 M US
    Title
    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
    Gender
    Men
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.93
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Best For Experts
    Preview
    Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Bracken/Purple, 7 M US
    Title
    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
    Gender
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.93
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    Now, you might assume that your trusty old pair of hiking boots will do. Perhaps you think a pair of regular sneakers or flip-flops will do the trick. If these thoughts are running through your head, then this article is for you.

    Trust the experts on this one. If you want to make the most out of your Hawaiian vacation, then you're going to want to invest in some appropriate footwear. I am talking about a pair of high-quality, breathable hiking shoes that will protect your feet and toes, keeping you comfortable no matter the terrain. I don't care if you fall into a volcano; the following shoes will be the only thing left of you — that's the kind of quality I am talking about. 

    Our expert team has curated the following handy overview, covering the highest-rated, best-value options, divided into 3 product categories: the best pair of hiking sandals, the best pair of hiking shoes, and the best pair of hiking boots. 

    We've made it even easier for you to find your match by ensuring all products are available in both male and female versions.

    What are you waiting for? Discover our top-rated pics below. Who knows, you may just find yourself wearing one of them on the trails of  Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, or another one of the beautiful islands of Hawaii...

    Best Hiking Sandals For Hawaii 

    1. KEEN Newport H2 Sandal

    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    • Performance sport sandal featuring bungee lacing system and rear pull-on loop

    The KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is an ideal match for hikers who are looking for an all-in-one sandal that's lightweight and versatile. 

    This water shoe has the airiness of a sandal, the comfort of a hiking shoe, and the toe protection of a pair of sturdy hiking boots. Don’t be fooled by its "water shoe" title. Its quality design offers premium performance both in and out of the water. 

    If you prefer packing light and only plan on bringing one pair of shoes, then the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is the perfect choice to keep you comfortable whether in the city, on the beach, or deep in a national park.

    An expert brand in outdoor gear, the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal lives up to its reputation. Its design features many unique accents, all developed to add additional comfort, safety, and grip to any hiking experience. For example, this sandal features razor siping. This means there are thin slits cut across the rubber surface of the soles to improve ground traction in wet conditions. In addition, this sandal's multi-directional lug pattern adds even more traction, Keeping you from slipping or losing your footing in streams, on slippery rocks, and on muddy slopes. 

    Sure, if you’re only planning on hiking on trails that are paved, such as the popular Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail in Oahu, then traction is not a priority. However, should you decide you can handle more and want to hit some unpaved treks involving waterfalls and streams like the Manoa Falls Trail in Oahu, then traction is a key factor to consider. 

    Eco-friendly design

    Another reason we selected the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal as a top choice for Hawaii-based hiking is its eco-appeal. Keen is big on producing environmentally-friendly products with a more ‘natural’ approach. Instead of using harmful Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) to ensure their gear remains water-repellent, Keen only uses non-toxic alternatives that are friendly to the environment. 

    The Newport H2 Sandal’s Anti-Odor footbed was developed with special probiotic technology. This means that the footbed naturally breaks down the odors commonly found in sweat without relying on the hazardous chemical compounds that are often found in cheaper, low-grade footwear. No smell and no pollution — it doesn't get much better than that!

    We also love the fact that the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is made in the USA, adhering to quality regulations as set by the US-market. Other perks include a compression-molded EVA midsole, a quick-dry lining, and a durable 100% polyester webbing on the upper sole. 

    Rubber toe-guard

    This versatile pair of hiking sandals feature rubber toe bumpers to ensure your feet safe when on trails or in the water. As tour operators often require closed-toe footwear for participation, these toe bumpers will come in handy should you find yourself on any exciting excursions such as horseback riding or ATV tours. 

    Weighing in at just 14.2oz, the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is lightweight enough to meet any baggage allowance standards. This is important for those flying into Hawaii with only hand luggage. 

    Would we recommend the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal for all Hawaii terrains? Well, nearly all. This is a great choice for nearly all intermediate hikes, wet or dry. That said, when worn on long beach hikes, sand will get between your toes. Should this happen, simply step into the ocean and voila — problem solved. 

    If you plan on hiking volcanic terrain or super strenuous trails, then these sandals may not provide you with all of the support and protection you'll need. In this case, you’d be better off with a pair of solid hiking boots instead. 

    Highly-rated hiker favorite

    Other hikers, backpacking fans, and outdoor enthusiasts have given the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal top marks for performance, comfort, versatility, and quality, confirming Keen lives up to their high standards when it comes to outdoor gear. Keep in mind, some consumers recommend ordering half a size up from your regular shoe size as these sandals tend to run a bit on the small side.

    Other users have reported rough edges where the fabric meets the sole; this could cause blisters. However, as long as you break them in before your Hawaiian vacation, these edges will smooth out. Also, as this complaint is only echoed by a very small number of customers, the general consensus is that these sandals are a fantastic investment.

    Yes, we are aware that the KEEN Newport H2 Sandals are slightly pricey for a hiking sandal/water shoe. But trust us — as seasoned hikers, they're worth it. We have no doubt that you’ll be able to enjoy these premium sandals for many years, and many trips, to come.

    PROS

    • Lightweight
    • Can be used in the water and on land
    • Versatile
    • Rubber toe-bumper protection
    • Eco-friendly

    CONS

    • Less suited for heavy-duty usage
    • Might collect dirt and dust on the interior
    • Not waterproof, feet/socks will get wet

    Best Hiking Shoes For Hawaii 

    2. Teva M Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe

    The Teva M Arrowood Swift Lace Hiking Shoe is what we would call a perfect hybrid, combining multiple different shoe types into one, sleek silhouette. 

    If you’re looking for a walking shoe that is big on both performance, and style, then this may be the hiking shoe for you. We love this shoe's contemporary, sneaker-style silhouette which makes it highly suited for both active day hikes, and casual wear. 

    Don’t be fooled. Although it may look like a regular sneaker, the Teva Arrowood Swift is much more. Teva set out to create the Arrowood as a hybrid — a hiking shoe that combines the features of trainers, river shoes, heavy-duty boots, and trail runners into one, multipurpose style. The result? A trendy, heavy-duty piece of footwear suitable for both bush and city life without compromising on traction, grip, and comfort.

    Super comfortable Floatlite sole

    The Arrowood Swift Lace comes with many of the high-end features that Teva is renowned for. For example, this shoe includes Teva’s special Floatlite sole. This ultralight, durable sole is big on comfort without adding weight to the design. This is ideal for those traveling only with hand-luggage or daypacks. 

    According to reviewers, the sole of this shoe is one of the most comfortable they’ve ever experienced. Some compare the comfort of the Arrowood Swift Lace's sole to cushy orthopedic shoes, but without the unwanted bulkiness and un-attractive look. The rubber Floatlite sole also features individual rubber pods that run along the outsole providing extra traction and grip. 

    Another reason we recommend the Teva Arrowood Swift Lace is due to its excellent breathability. To ensure your feet stay cool, even in the hot and humid conditions of the Hawaiian islands, the manufacturer has incorporated some special design elements. For example, the silhouette has a breathable mesh foot covering and lining. It also features an upper Ariaprene layer that is soft, water-ready, and quick-drying. This allows you to wade through streams, waterfalls, or any wet conditions you may find yourself in on your Hawaii adventure. 

    A versatile choice in footgear 

    Customer reviews on the Teva Arrowood Swift Lace praise the design’s versatility, durability, ergonomic sole, and contemporary feel. Hikers confirm it makes for a stylish and lightweight alternative to traditional bulky hiking shoes without compromising on traction and comfort. 

    Whether you're sliding up and down a muddy rainforest trail or refueling with a delicious cocktail at a tiki bar, you won't look out of place in any Hawaiian scenario with a pair of these bad boys on your feet. 

    As with anything, there are some minor cons. The design is not fully waterproof, only water-resistant and quick-drying. Therefore, using them as water shoes during snorkeling trips is not recommended. 

    Also, reviewers mention that although the sole is cushioned enough for hiking, it lacks a bit of the extra support and cushioning crucial for trail runners. So, if you plan on sprinting through some rugged Hawaii scenery, be sure to pick a dedicated pair of trail runners, or running shoes instead.

    PROS

    • Lightweight and breathable
    • Floatlite cushioned sole
    • Quick-drying
    • Great for casual wear
    • Extra traction pods on sole

    CONS

    • Less suited for heavy-duty usage
    • Not recommended for running
    • Not waterproof

    Best Hiking Boots For Hawaii 

    3. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot

    The Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot is an outstanding choice for those adventurers that love exploring nature off-the-beaten-track. 

    This heavy-duty shoe is designed for all-day comfort, traction, and support, no matter the terrain or weather conditions. As one of the best-rated outdoor products on Amazon, the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot is guaranteed to live up to, and exceed, all expectations. In other words, it's a great investment for any hardcore hiking enthusiasts. 

    I'd like to clarify something. For those consumers that only plan on squeezing in some intermediate hikes on some moderate trails, these hiking boots are not a necessity. Instead, intermediate hikers would benefit from lightweight, casual options such as the KEEN sandals or Teva hiking shoes featured above.

    These hiking boots are only recommended for serious hikers that need the additional support, traction, and performance that these shoes offer. As they’re quite a bit heavier than the other options on this list, it can be quite a challenge to fit them into hand luggage or even a hiking pack. That said, these boots definitely outshine sandals and shoes when it comes to serious hiking. They're also great for challenging walks on tougher terrain, such as the Kalalau Trail or volcanic rims.

    A superior brand in outdoor gear

    If you’re still reading, it’s probably because you’ve got your heart set on a pair of hiking boots. So, let me tell you more about why the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot is the footwear for you:

    The Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot is designed by Merrell — an expert brand in outdoor gear. With such an established and renowned brand, you can trust that you’re getting an authentic product that will live up to its reputation. 

    Brands such as Merrell, KEEN, Teva, and Salomon, are known to invest plenty of resources into the research and development of their products — it's why they stay ahead of the competition. This is exactly why you shouldn’t settle for a cheap knock-off, but rather invest in a genuine piece of footwear that won’t let you down mid-trail. 

    Let's take a closer look at the premium traction and grip of this hiking boot. The Moab 2 Vent features a super slip-resistant ‘Vibram TC5+’ sole; the lug pattern on the sole has a depth of 5mm. This enables you to find traction even on the most challenging types of terrain, from rocky slopes to muddy trails. 

    This may sound complicated, but here goes. This boot boasts an ‘M Select™ FIT.ECO+ footbed’. This proprietary footbed is made from EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) — a type of rubber — to offer outstanding support. Further support, stability, and comfort come from the footbed’s special zonal arch and ergonomic shock-absorbing cushioned heel cup.

    Excellent breathability in hot conditions

    Another key feature of the Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot is its closed-cell foam tongue. This helps keep moisture and debris out — ideal for volcanic or rocky terrains. Furthermore, this boot's protective rubber toe cap guards your toes against any ground-level hazards you might encounter. 

    Although the Moab 2 Vent isn't waterproof, it is very breathable. The special mesh panels on the side of the boot allow heat to quickly escape. This ensures your feet stay cool and dry, even in the hottest conditions, making the Moab 2 Vent perfect for Hawaii’s warmer, tropical climate. 

    A 5-star hiking design

    The Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot has plenty of superb user reviews, including hundreds of 5-star ratings. Hikers give its design top-marks for comfort, durability, heavy-duty performance, and traction. 

    Many reviews also mention that the boots need little to no break-in time, fitting like a glove straight from the box. A minor con mentioned is that after repeated wear, the laces may fray and the insole may wear down. However, the main construction of the boot is solid and sturdy enough to handle even the toughest trails.

    Although they are quite expensive compared to cheaper knock-offs on the market, their outstanding durability and high-end features make them a worthwhile investment. This is a pair of hiking boots that will be with you long after your Hawaiian vacation...

    PROS

    • Super durable and heavy-duty
    • Shock-absorbing heel
    • Waterproof
    • Slip-resistant sole for extra traction
    • Excellent customer reviews

    CONS

    • Heavy to pack
    • Bulky
    • Expensive

    Verdict

    No matter the terrain you intend to hike upon, there is a product in this overview suitable for any trip to Hawaii. Which design is 'the best', depends on the type of hikes, activities, and trails you plan on undertaking.

    A hiking sandal is ideal for its versatility both in and out of the water. Doubling as both a hiking shoe and a water shoe, the KEEN water sandal will keep your feet safe and supported, thanks to excellent traction, ankle support, arch support, and grippy soles. They're also a great match for watersports, including kayaking, and snorkeling.

    If you plan on taking part in plenty of off-the-beaten-track exploration and strenuous volcano hikes, then you'll benefit from a proper hiking boot such as the Moab 2 by Merrell. A hiking boot offers the superior traction and support often required for tough conditions. Conversely, they are heavy to pack, bulky, and not suited for watersports or casual wear.

    The middle-ground is a lightweight hiking shoe. We chose the Teva M Arrowood Swift Lace as aside from hiking, it's also perfect for casual-wear. There's no need to pack multiple pairs of shoes when you have a pair of these trail running shoes. The Teva M Arrowood Swift Lace combines the performance of a hiking shoe with the style of a sneaker making it a versatile, all-in-one solution for both Hawaii's national parks and Hawaiian nightlife!

    Winner

    Preview
    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Poseidon/Capri, 9 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Men
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.95
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Preview
    KEEN mens Newport H2 Sandal , Raven/Aluminum , 10.5 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Men
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    $109.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Preview
    KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Poseidon/Capri, 9 M US
    Title
    KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
    Gender
    Women
    Suitable For Land And Water
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    All three products in this overview are winners. They have all beaten the competition from other leading competitors such as Salomon, Colombia, and more.

    That said, if we had to pick a product that we would pack on a hiking trip to Hawaii, we'd go for the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal. Its versatile design combines the convenience of a water shoe with the performance of a hiking shoe to produce an extremely comfortable hiking sandal.

    If you can wear sandals without sacrificing grip, traction, and protection, then why would you ask for anything else?

    Hawaii Hiking Guide Suggestions

    Besides a pair of hiking sandals, shoes, or boots, you're going to want to invest in a proper guidebook when hiking Hawaii. Not only will a guidebook help you navigate your way towards the most scenic delights, but it could also inspire you to explore and discover hidden treasures off-the-beaten-track.

    So, as a little bonus at the end of this post, here are our top Hawaii Hiking Guide suggestions:

    • Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond
    • Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii: Kauai (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
    • The Hikers Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Updated and Expanded
    • Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook 
    • Hawaii (National Geographic Adventure Map)

    Preview
    Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond
    Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
    The Hikers Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Updated and Expanded
    Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook
    Hawaii (National Geographic Adventure Map, 3111)
    Title
    Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond
    Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
    The Hikers Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Updated and Expanded
    Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook
    Hawaii (National Geographic Adventure Map, 3111)
    Price
    $17.79
    $9.95
    $21.99
    $5.94
    $11.95
    Rating
    -
    -
    -
    -
    Preview
    Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond
    Title
    Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond
    Price
    $17.79
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Preview
    Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
    Title
    Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
    Price
    $9.95
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Preview
    The Hikers Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Updated and Expanded
    Title
    The Hikers Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Updated and Expanded
    Price
    $21.99
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Preview
    Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook
    Title
    Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook
    Price
    $5.94
    Rating
    Details
    Preview
    Hawaii (National Geographic Adventure Map, 3111)
    Title
    Hawaii (National Geographic Adventure Map, 3111)
    Price
    $11.95
    Rating
    -
    Details

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    I grew up in Montana, spent my free time camping, hunting and fishing. I began writing as a side hobby while camping. Very happy to be working with the guys here at Outdoor Command and look forward to providing best in class outdoors content for you.

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