How to Choose Trekking Shoes: A Guide for Beginners

Choosing the right trekking shoes is very important in order to enjoy trekking comfortably. The equipment under your feet is the foundation that supports safe and comfortable mountain climbing. This time, we will introduce how to choose trekking shoes, how to care for them, and recommended shoes for beginners.

Types of trekking shoes

There are three main types of trekking shoes: Understand the characteristics of each shoe and choose the one that suits your purpose.

  1. Low-cut shoes

    • Features: Light and easy to move, suitable for short treks and day hikes.
    • Advantages: High breathability and high ankle freedom.
    • Disadvantages: Lack of ankle support, unsuitable for mountain climbing with heavy loads on your back.
  2. Mid-cut shoes

    • Features: Ankle-height, providing just the right amount of support. Suitable for day trips and trekking for 2 days and 1 night.
    • Advantages: Provides solid ankle support, allowing stable walking even with light loads.
    • Disadvantages: Heavier than low-cut shoes and slightly less breathable.
  3. High-top shoes

    • Features: High enough to cover the ankles, suitable for long treks with heavy loads or steep mountain trails.
    • Advantages: It has the highest ankle support, allowing you to walk stably even with heavy loads.
    • Disadvantages: Heavier than other types and less breathable.

How to choose trekking shoes

  1. Check the size

    • Fit: Since you will be walking for long periods of time, fit is very important. Try them on at the store and choose one that fits well without lifting your heel. If you have a little room in your toes, your fingertips won't hurt when going downhill.
    • Notes when trying on: We recommend trying on thick socks for mountain climbing. Also, if you try on the shoes in the afternoon or evening when your feet are swollen, you will get a fit that is more similar to how you will actually wear them.
  2. Checking waterproofness

    • Waterproof material: You may encounter sudden rain or cross rivers during your trek, so choose shoes made of waterproof material. We recommend shoes made of waterproof and breathable materials such as Gore-Tex.
  3. Checking the grip strength

    • Outsole: Choose a shoe with a grippy outsole so you can walk safely on slippery rocks or muddy surfaces. Shoes with high-performance soles such as Vibram soles are popular.
  4. Checking the lightness

    • Lightness: The weight of the shoes becomes a burden when walking for long periods of time. Choosing lightweight shoes can reduce fatigue. However, it is important to strike a balance between lightness and support.

How to care for trekking shoes

If you take proper care of your trekking shoes, they will last a long time and stay comfortable at all times. Please refer to the care instructions below.

  1. Drying after use

    • Natural drying: After use, let your shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight and forced heat (from hair dryers and heaters) as this will deteriorate the material.
    • Removing the insole: Removing the insole and allowing it to dry will help remove moisture from inside the shoe faster.
  2. Regular cleaning

    • Brushing: Leaving dirt and sand on your shoes will deteriorate the material. Use a soft brush to remove dirt.
    • Cleaning: If necessary, hand wash using a mild detergent. After washing, rinse thoroughly and let dry naturally again.
  3. Use of waterproof spray

    • Regular waterproofing: Regular use of waterproofing spray can maintain waterproofing performance. Spray on dry shoes and let dry thoroughly.

Recommended hiking shoes

Recommended trekking shoe models for beginners

  1. Montbell Alpine Cruiser

    • Features: Made of waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex material, it is lightweight yet provides firm support. Perfect for first time trekking.
  2. Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX

    • Features: A model with high grip and excellent waterproof performance. The mid-cut provides plenty of ankle support, allowing for stable walking.
  3. Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof

    • Features: This model has both cushioning and support, and is designed to reduce fatigue even when walking for long periods of time. These shoes have high waterproof performance and are easy to use even for beginners.


How to choose trekking shoes is an important point that affects the safety and comfort of your feet. Choose shoes that suit your purpose by considering size, fit, waterproofness, grip, and lightness. Also, be sure to take care of your shoes so that they can be used comfortably for a long time. Even beginners can enjoy trekking with peace of mind by preparing well and enjoying a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

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