Top Kids Hiking Shoes: The Ultimate Guide | 2024

Top Kids Hiking Shoes: The Ultimate Guide

From goofy photo ops, ticking off the bucket list, and, most importantly, watching your little one develop a taste for adventure, scouring the outdoors as a family is a great way to bond.

For parents, planning the nitty gritty is in our nature when setting off for a day of hiking with the kids. So, think of kids hiking shoes as an investment in your peace of mind. You want your child to be comfortable on the trail with their feet dry, free from blistering, as well as your mind free from worry as you scramble through rocky terrain.

That said, kids’ hiking shoes are critical hiking gear to consider when setting off for the outdoors. To keep your mind at ease, we have compiled a list of kids hiking shoes to consider for your outing as a family.

Be sure to make it to #1 for our take on why Merrell Kids’ Trail Chasers is a perfect outdoor companion for your little one.

Before you get lost in our blog, be sure to browse our Wanderful Storefront for all our favorite travel products, gear and must haves!

This post includes affiliate links. It’s super important for us to be transparent with our Wanderers! If you click on one, we may receive a small, but wanderful commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for WANDERING with us!

5. Salomon Speedcross Trail-Running Shoes for Kids

Material: Synthetic

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 6.35 Ounces

Price: $65+

The Salomon Speedcross Trail-Running Shoes are an excellent choice for kids’ hiking footwear. Designed specifically for young adventurers, the SPEEDCROSS shoes offer exceptional grip, allowing agile movement across diverse terrains. It’s an opportunity to let your children remind you of the pure joy of play!

Leveraging Contagrip® technology, these shoes provide reliable traction on the unpredictable paths young runners love to explore. Say goodbye to worries about slipping; these shoes ensure fast, secure fun. The lug pattern and grip on the Speedcross are remarkable, equipped with the perfect grip for various trail conditions.

The Sensifit system guarantees a snug, comfortable fit and a strong connection to the ground. Our little ones’ feet deserve nothing less than a warm embrace! Putting on and taking off these shoes is a breeze thanks to the quick lacing system.

Furthermore, the molded and injected EVA midsole offers comfort and cushioning for young feet. Unlike elastic lacing systems that can stretch over time, Salomon’s lacing system is made from durable, high-tensile material, ensuring long-lasting performance.

These shoes are built to withstand rugged adventures and will see your child through multiple seasons of exploration. It’s a win for any parent seeking dependable, durable footwear for their young adventurers!


  • They have wonderful grip
  • Easy to put on and off thanks to the quick lacing system


  • They take time to break in

Salomon for kids starting at $65

4. Merrell Kids Altalight Low Hiking Shoes

Material: Nylon ripstop

Waterproofing: No

Item weight: 1.3 Pounds

Price: $22+

In children’s outdoor footwear, every bit of ounce matters and Merrell Kids Altalight epitomizes this. Crafted as a youthful counterpart to a well-loved adult hiker, the Kids Altalight combines minimal, easily packable weight with comfort features suitable for the trail.

The plush EVA footbed is not only comfortable but also removable, making this shoe even lighter. Also, the airy outsole, boasting quantiumgrip technology, enhances traction without adding unwanted bulk.

The Merrell Kids Altalight excels in providing exceptional flexibility and traction, all while maintaining a lightweight profile. Whether navigating forest trails, scaling rocky terrain, or even engaging in mountain biking, these shoes offer superb grip, aiding young adventurers in keeping their footing on pedals.

These lightweight hiking shoes for kids prioritize breathability, making them ideal for hot weather excursions. The shoe’s lining also incorporates anti-bacterial properties, effectively curbing unpleasant odors. If your child tends to suffer from sweaty, smelly feet, these shoes are the ultimate solution.

Also, these kid-friendly hiking shoes are budget-friendly, ensuring your wallet remains intact. With several color options, they cater to both girls and boys, making them versatile outdoor footwear for all young explorers.


  • They are lightweight, making movements easy
  • They offer versatility


  • They aren’t waterproof

Merrell Kids starting at $22

3. Keen Knotch Peak Sneakers

Material: Nylon

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 5 Ounces

Price: $38+

The resilient Keen Knotch feature a low-profile rubber outsole to safeguard children on the trail and a notched-toe design that promotes balance. Kids will appreciate the lightweight design. Also, the Keen Knotch sneakers include a contoured arch for enhanced foot support and a hook-and-loop strap for a secure, adjustable fit. The sole’s multi-directional lug pattern ensures outstanding grip on various surfaces.

As an added benefit, you can easily clean these shoes by tossing them in the washing machine using a cold, gentle cycle. These sneakers are an essential addition if you are searching for a versatile footwear choice that transitions effortlessly from paved trails to playground adventures and beyond. The Keen Knotch has become a favorite among children and parents thanks to its lightweight yet robust design and machine-washable convenience.


  • Easy to clean because they are machine washable
  • Lightweight easing movement


  • Not suitable for all terrains

Keen Knotch starting at $38

2. Mishansha Kids Trekking & Hiking Shoes

Material: Oxford and nubuck fabric

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 10.23 Ounces

Price: $20+

If you are searching for affordable kids’ hiking shoes, these Mishana shoes are an excellent choice. These trekking shoes offer comfort, a lightweight design, and water-resistant capabilities suitable for a wide range of outdoor terrains.

Featuring a non-slip sole for dependable traction and a convenient bungee lacing system for easy on-and-off, these shoes come in both low-top and high-top variations, with options for bungee and/or Velcro lacing. Moreover, they come in a multitude of colors and offer sizes catering to toddlers and older kids.


  • Pocket-friendly price point
  • Has bungee lacing


  • They are not as durable as the other options on our list

Mishansha Kids starting at $20

1. Merrell Kids’ Trail Chaser Hiking Shoes

Material: Breathable mesh

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 6.6 Ounces

Price: $35+

Merrell Kids’ Trail Chasers are crafted to accommodate a wide range of family adventures, from navigating challenging trail terrains to leaping through puddles. Their suede and mesh uppers offer a balance of breathability and durability, complemented by antimicrobial, removable EVA footbeds that help manage odors. The slip-resistant outsole delivers exceptional traction, ensuring a safe and enjoyable outdoor exploration experience.

Whether your child is hitting the trails or the playground, the Trail Chaser is designed to keep pace with their upbeat lifestyle. Featuring a convenient hook and loop closure, a comfortable EVA footbed, and a non-marking outsole with a flexible grip for superior traction, the Trail Chaser is the perfect choice for all your young adventurer’s hiking needs.


  • They offer versatility
  • They are breathable, keeping the kids’ feet fresh and odorless


  • Not as durable as Altalight

Merrell Trail Chasers starting at $35

What to consider when picking out hiking shoes for kids

Hiking shoes are not just adult-sized footwear shrunk down; they are explicitly designed to cater to the unique needs of growing feet. Proper hiking shoes offer several significant benefits for kids hitting the trails. So, finding the right pair goes a long way to keeping your little ones invested in the experience for the entirety of the course. Here are some factors to consider when picking hiking shoes for kids;


Few things rival the discomfort of ill-fitting hiking shoes while you’re hiking, except, perhaps, managing a group of kids who are also feeling uneasy. Our kids’ hiking shoes lean towards flexibility for their comfort while ensuring they receive sufficient support. Opting to have kids try on shoes to make sure they fit well before buying is the smart approach.


A growth spurt can prove to be a nightmare when trying to buy reliable kids hiking shoes. Parents always wish for their kid’s shoes to remain usable for as long as they continue to fit into them or, even better, passed down to younger siblings when they get tight.

Lower-cost options often lack durability, but this offers the ability to replace them more frequently without breaking the bank. As kids grow older, investing a bit more in shoes that provide better support and comfort proves advantageous in the long term, as they tend to last longer as well.


When children are navigating rocky terrain or sprinting along loose dirt paths, it’s crucial that they have reliable traction. Adequate traction ensures their safety and prevents potential accidents. The footwear featured in this article offers excellent traction.

Waterproof or Not?

Before purchasing hiking shoes for your kids, take into account the terrain where you will be hiking. While waterproof hiking shoes for children offer excellent protection, they may not provide the same breathability as standard hiking shoes. If you plan on embarking on desert hikes, it’s advisable to choose breathable hiking shoes. On the other hand, if you plan to explore a wet region like the Pacific Northwest, or even just letting your kids splash in streams, waterproof hiking shoes will prove invaluable in keeping your child’s feet dry.

Equipping your child with the right hiking shoes ensures their safety, comfort, and enjoyment while exploring the outdoors. By considering factors like fit, support, waterproofing, and traction, you can make an informed choice and provide your kids with the best possible gear for their hiking adventures.

Remember that well-fitted, comfortable hiking shoes will not only protect their feet but also encourage a lifelong love for outdoor exploration. So, lace up those hiking shoes, hit the trails, and create lasting memories with your young adventurers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner