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Best Shoes for Your Outdoor Adventures - Written by Bruce Lee

Everyday at Straightline we get asked about what are the best outdoor shoes for hiking, hunting, tubing, and more. I've been in the outdoor industry for over thirty years helping people make informed decisions about their choice of footwear. Based on my own experience, reviews from others, and expert opinions, I have put together this guide to highlight the best summer shoes that we have in our store. After years on the trail and river, we believe shoes can be such a game changer. Whether you’re floating the river, hanging out in town, or going on a multi-day backpacking trip, it’s important to have the right footwear. 

Salewa Alp Mate Hiking Boot (Women’s)

This midway hiking boot has great ankle and arch support. It's made with a Vibram sole, which is a unique compound that blends foam and rubber to create an outsole that has the softness and springiness of foam, and the durability and traction of rubber. This boot is also waterproof with GORE-TEX lining. It’s a real solid boot. You can get plenty of wear out of a boot like this. Most people get at least a few years of wear.

Oboz Arete Low (Women’s) 


This shoe provides a quality insole with great arch support. It’s super lightweight, making it the perfect shoe for everyday wear and light hiking. Outside Magazine named this shoe the "Best Low Hiker" for its superior stability, uncompromising fit, and trail performance. The Arete has a no-sew breathable upper fabric that will keep your feet cool on the warmest of days and its women’s-specific midsole delivers support in a lightweight package that is ready to go.

Salomon Speed Cross (Women's)

The Speedcross is a super lightweight shoe that cradles the foot from the midsole to the lacing system, providing a secure, snug, and virtually customized fit all around the foot. Built for maximum grip on loose, soft, rugged, and uneven surfaces, it’s great for casual hiking and trail running. The best way I like to describe this shoe is a mountain tennis shoe. 

Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoe (Men & Women's)

This is a great low cut boot that is lightweight but also supportive for treks of all lengths. It’s waterproof and uses B-Dry instead of Goretex. As far as a boot and shoe, this is very marketable to anyone because it does both. The O fit isole wicks moisture while providing support and cushioning. People who need good arch support are going to love these. It’s the easiest boot I’ve ever sold and I’ve been selling boots for over thirty years. 

Chaco Sandal (Men & Women's)

For those of you who are not familiar with Chaco you are probably familiar with Teva. Teva was the first company to start making a sports sandal, but Chaco came in and took it to a whole new level. When you try these on you can tell why you are spending over $100 versus $50 for a Teva. People love these shoes because they are great to use in the river, casual hiking, and for just everyday wear. I like to tell people that these sandals are like an outdoor Birkenstock. They provide a great footbed with arch support, and made for everyday wear with no velcro. 

Lowas Renegade (Men & Women's)

The Renegade is a boot that Lowa has made for over 25 years. When a company continues making a product for that long you know it’s a winner. This is a sturdy hiking boot built for backpacking and trekking technical terrain and made with GORE-TEX for reliable waterproofing and comfy breathability. We have sold this boot to people who are going on trips to Africa, Europe, Alaska and everyday wear here in Steamboat. It’s a proven winner. 

Crispi Thor II (Men’s)

Crispi is a superior Italian company that makes their boots in Italy. The quality of their products is unbeatable. These boots are super lightweight, making them  great for backpacking. I have sold a lot of these to elk hunters. This is a real boot that you cannot beat the fit right out of the box. Most of what I call “real hiking boots” take some work to break in. But with these you can put them on and a day or two later they're ready to go. I’ve never had a boot that is this sturdy and you don’t have to worry about breaking in. 

Keen Newport (Men’s)

This is a great sandal which a lot of people would look at it like a half shoe, half sandal. Unlike true sandals like Tevas and Chacos, these give you total toe protection. They are real sturdy and made with waterproofed leather that can be washed for easy cleaning. A lot of people like to use these one the river but they also make the perfect casual hiking sandal. A lot of people love these and there's a reason you see them all over town.

The right type of shoe can make all the difference. I always recommend trying products on in person and getting fit by an expert because a lot of people make the mistake of buying footwear that is either too small or too large. So if you're in the market for a great new pair of shoes, stop on by and we will help you out!

Thanks for reading!