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The 7 Coolest And Best Nike Hiking Shoes (Review)

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Not that long ago, a hike in the mountains included heavy-duty hiking boots, even if you were going for a half-day walk on a relatively easy trail. Today, there is a place on easy and challenging terrain for a hiking shoe or even a trail running shoe. Luckily for those who love the Nike brand, Nike makes both hiking and trail running shoes. However, are either any good for hiking? Should you purchase Nike hiking shoes or turn your attention to more traditional manufacturers of hiking footwear?

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The Answer

The Nike approach is function and fashion, so although they are not the most apparent hiking equipment suppliers, their products are innovative, functional, and exciting to own and wear. Are they perfect and ideal? Not yet. But does Nike make good hiking shoes? Yes, Nike sells good hiking shoes and Niking hiking boots for today’s hikers.

How The Reviews Are Organized

In the reviews below, I have divided my discussion into “Features”, “Missing”, and “Is It A Good Hiking Shoe”.

The “Features” section highlights the Nike hiking technology included in a design so you can pick what suits you best. In the “What’s Missing” section, I point out the important features that are missing. Finally, I discuss a summary of important information in the “Is It A Good Hiking Shoe” section.

Nike tends to make its footwear unisex; it is simply a matter of finding a supplier that stocks your size in your chosen Nike shoe. Accordingly, most of the Nike hiking shoes discussed below are available in both men’s and women’s sizes, and available at competitive prices on Amazon.

The 7 Best Nike Hiking Shoes

Nike Men’s ACG Ruckel Ridge


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Outsole traction pattern aims to give you the grip of a mountain goat.
  • Air Foamposite sole section gives shock absorption and foot protection without loss of connection to the ground. 
  • Provides ankle support with a high-top.
  • Speed lacing system for a secure fit.
  • Ventilation panels for breathability.
  • Reinforce side panels for foot protection. 

What’s Missing?

  • Waterproofing – fair weather shoe where the upper is water repellant but not waterproof. 

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

The Nike Men’s ACG Ruckel Ridge is a cross between a hiking boot and sneaker. It is a cool-looking fashionable boot that is a surprisingly good hiking boot. The outsole is clever with a flexible middle section and a more rigid, deeper lugged outer rim. It gives you the best functionality of a ridged edge for rough, rocky terrain and soft flex for ease of movement.

The ACG stands for “All Condition Gear,” but the suede top won’t give you the best protection in difficult weather. The foam layer provides robust protection from sharp rocks and cushioning for a comfortable walk. Add in sensible ventilation and ankle support, and you get a great hiking shoe that has the added benefit of looking right at home in the city.

Nike ACG Air Revaderchi Men’s Hiking Shoes


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Neoprene sock improves fit and comfort and keeps out debris.
  • Thick rubber outsole for comfort and protection.
  • Sufficient tread for traction. 
  • Extra cushioning for comfort.
  • TPU heel cage provides a secure fit and support. 
  • Wide toe box and bumper

What’s Missing

  • Not waterproof.

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

The versatile and comfortable Nike ACG Air Revaderchi meets the needs of mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers. This retro design was one of the first to cross a hiking boot’s features with a sneaker’s comfort. 

The neoprene inner sock helps with the fit and to keep irritating grit out of the shoe – which is vital for foot comfort. The air cushioning and the heel cage give a combination of comfort and support. Plus, it’s a good looking sneaker. If you like to mix up your outdoor activities, this is the Nike hiking shoe for you. 

Nike Men’s Lupinek Flyknit Shoes


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Deep lugs on the outsole for traction and grip.
  • High top provides ankle support.
  • Traditional lacing with eyelets for a secure fit.
  • Ventilation panels.
  • Toe bumper. 
  • Raised rand around the foot keeps the mud away from the uppers.
  • Gusseted tongue helps keep debris out of the sneaker. 
  • Flex in the sole gives versatility in use for running or walking.
  • Cushioned for comfort.

What’s Missing?

  • A stiff leather upper to protect your foot in more challenging mountain trails.

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

Yes, the Nike Lupinek is a good hiking shoe. It has all the features that you would want for a day of hiking.

This Nike hiking shoe has good ankle support and cushioned comfort in the sole. It follows a traditional hiking boot model with the thick sole, traditional lacing, ankle support, and raised rand. The fabric upper is made from soft textiles rather than stiff leather which makes them light and comfortable. However, you wouldn’t want to hit challenging mountain trails which requires more protection in your upper foot to ankle region.  

Nike Wildhorse 6


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Rubber outsole is abrasion resistant (front toe area and heel) to give you durability on rocky trails. 
  • Sticky rubber section in the middle of the outsole improves traction and grip.
  • Anticlog coating over the outsole helps preserve the tread by stopping dirt from lodging in the grooves. 
  • Nike React foam provides extra cushioning with more support in the heel area for stability and bounce. 
  • Ventilation panels in the front upper.
  • Reinforced side panels for foot support. 
  • Soft ankle collar fits the foot like a sock, keeping debris out of the shoe. 
  • The tongue is lightly padded in strips to remove pressure from the laces on foot. 
  • Excellent underfoot protection.
  • Good water drainage

What’s Missing?

  • No metal eyelets – The eyelet area is the weakest part of the shoe. The laces ensure a good fit, but they may wear out these eyelets. 
  • The rubber layer covering the toe box is thin, offering little protection against stones. 

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

The Nike Wildhorse 6 is one of the coolest looking trail running shoes on the market and has some brilliant features for hiking. The sole has plenty of underfoot protection, traction, and bounce. The anticlog coating is a really nice touch. Mud sticking in the grooves of a hiking shoe can turn your excellent grip into a slippery nightmare within a few minutes of walking on wet terrain. 

The ankle collar does not provide support, but it does help keep grit out of your shoe. It’s a shame that the eyelets don’t have metal reinforcing, and the shoe is relatively narrow (a lot of people note that Nike is normally better for slim feet), but it lets you set a bouncy, fast pace over uneven terrain for a great hike.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Outer sole includes
    • Forefoot and heel traction lugs for improved grip on uneven surfaces.
    • Segmented rock plate in front section for foot protection with flexibility
    • Sticky rubber midsection for better grip.
    • Abrasion-resistant rubber.
  • Ventilation panels on the side and top upper for airflow
  • Woven textile heel area allows a snug fit to keep the heel in place.
  • Textured rubber toe protection. 

What Is Missing?

  • Metal eyelets for the laces.
  • Ankle cuff to keep debris out. 
  • More underfoot protection – other Nike hiking shoes offer more.

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6 appearance is like the Nike Wildhorse, but it is missing the ankle cuff. A small detail, but keeping stones and grit out of your shoes makes all the difference on a long day’s hike. Nevertheless, it’s an attractive shoe, and it performs satisfactorily as a hiking shoe.

The Terra Kiger 6 shoe fits on the narrow side, which can be an issue if you are hiking in the heat, or doing a demanding hike where your feet will sweat and expand. Accordingly, I would look at a size higher, or another hiking shoe if you feel that these Nike hiking shoes fit a bit too snug in your regular size.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail Gore-Tex


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Deep outsole lug for traction – arranged with a different outer and inner edge pattern, suitable for road and trail. Optimized for hill climbs.
  • Wider forefoot for greater comfort for hot feet. 
  • Reinforced eyelets for secure lacing.
  • Zoom Air units in the toe and heel area for additional cushioning against repeated impact. 
  • Mesh panel for ventilation in the forefoot.
  • Weatherised upper to keep feet dry in wet weather.

What Is Missing?

  • Rock plates give minimum protection from rocky surfaces.
  • Durability in question – Lightweight and comfortable to wear, but longevity in challenging terrain is compromised. 

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

The Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail Gore-Tex shoes are comfortable like trainers and provide cushioning and protection that suit hiking.

The advantage of these Nike hiking shoes includes suitability for road and trail walking with optimized traction for going uphill. Many popular walking trails include a mix of road, rough terrain, and obstacles that need technical advantages from your shoes. These shoes can face each of these challenges. 

Unlike other Nike hiking shoes previously discussed, the uppers of these Nike hiking shoes include Gore-Tex and will supply protection against wet weather.

Nike Pegasus Trail 2


Features Of These Nike Hiking Shoes:

  • Ankle cuff to keep debris out of the shoe.
  • Full react midsole for cushioned walking. 
  • Outsole has a decent tread pattern suitable for trails – large lugs with flat tops.
  • Wide flare on the midsole with reinforcement for better stability.
  • Rubber toe bumper for protection against rocks and woody roots.
  • Wide toe box for more natural foot flex. 
  • Wraparound heel provides extra stability.
  • Reinforcing on the eyelets.

What Is Missing?

  • No rock plate on the outer sole.

Is It A Good Hiking Shoe?

With the Nike Pegasus Trail 2, Nike has tried to balance the demands of hikers with those that might also want to use these shoes for casual use, trail and road runners. Overall, with this Nike hiking shoe, it manages to produce a good enough shoe for each of these uses.

You can wear it as a casual sneaker, pound the pavements on a city break, enjoy a run or hike on a reasonable trail, and your feet will be comfortable. The problem with trying to please all the markets is that it is not the best in any of them. However, it’s a comfortable hiking shoe, and the tread gives you traction on both road and trail. 

Most people looking for an all-round shoe that is also a good hiking shoe will be happy with the smart Nike Pegasus trail 2 shoes.

Buyer’s Guide To Nike Hiking Shoes

What Do We Mean By Hiking?

Hiking means different things to different people, but typically most people associate hiking with a day trip away from the city where you can experience the natural world. That may mean facing uneven terrain, slopes, obstacles in your path like fallen trees or streams, or a variety of trails from hard-pack dirt to mud to crushed rocks.

Of course, there is a more intense type of hiking that encompasses multi-day treks in the backcountry, sometimes in the snow. In those circumstances, people may cover dozens of kilometers, usually with extreme elevation gain, camp in the wilderness, and come across very challenging terrain that requires technical expertise. That is a whole other level of hiking that requires distinct hiking equipment different from a recreational hiker.

In this article, my comments and recommendations about Nike hiking shoes are only directed to recreational hikers who are not hiking in the cold or the snow.

What Do You Need From A Hiking Shoe?

A hiking shoe can vary from a lightweight sneaker to a cut-down hiking boot with all the technical features to cope with the most rugged terrain. In an excellent hiking shoe, you expect all the usual hiking features:

  • Protection for your feet – toe bumpers, heel support, and stiff upper material to prevent cuts from sharp rocks.
  • Lacing with reinforced eyelets to ensure a comfortable fit and secure the foot in the shoe.
  • Cushioning and shock absorption in the midsole. 
  • Breathability to wick away moisture from your feet when they get hot. 
  • A rugged rubber outsole to give you traction and grip combined with underfoot protection from sharp objects. 
  • Waterproofing because the weather can be wet, and you can encounter water obstacles on the trail. 
  • Durable – to make sure that your hiking shoes last the distance for multiple hikes.

In other words, most seasoned hikers expect a hiking boot’s performance from their hiking shoes.

Nike hiking shoes

Additional Benefits Of A Hiking Shoe

The additional benefits of a hiking shoe include:

  • Easy to pack.
  • Lightweight.
  • Quick-drying.
  • Stylish enough for leisurewear.
  • Ready to wear.

Hiking shoes fit your feet with the comfort of a sneaker. Many seasoned hikers prefer hiking shoes because they are more comfortable and versatile than a hiking boot with all the performance. In addition, hiking shoes are lighter than hiking boots without the need to break-in stiff structured boots. 

Hiking shoes are also brilliant if you think your day will be filled with multiple activities – a hike in the morning, an afternoon tour of a city, and maybe even a casual dinner out.

Problems With Hiking Shoes Compared To Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are more durable compared to hiking shoes. They also offer more protection to the foot, ankle, and lower leg in challenging terrain. Finally, they supply ankle support to limit the risk of a twisted ankle or other similar injuries. For recommended Nike hiking boots, please take a look at my article Are Nike Hiking Boots Any Good?

Can You Hike In Trail Running Shoes?

A trail running shoe makes a surprisingly good hiking shoe, and if you have the urge to sprint along the next path, then you are also good to go. 

The design of trail runners meets the expectation of those who prefer to travel on trails at speed. This expectation means there are compromises and innovative features in the design to accommodate the differences between running and walking. 

Running and walking differ in how the foot hits the ground and the backlash energy. Most walkers hit the ground with their heel first and roll forward to the toe.

On the other hand, runners have different styles that impact the ball of the foot or landing on the heel. A runner tends to hit the ground with three times the force than a walking step and accordingly, needs better cushioning. In addition, trail running shoes have much more flex to accommodate the quick movement of running on uneven surfaces.

Some hikers prefer that level of cushioning and flex.

Remember: Trail running shoes make comfortable hiking shoes, but the reverse is not true. Hiking shoes won’t function as trail running shoes because they are heavier and stiffer with insufficient ground contact.

Nike hiking shoes

Features Of Trail Running Shoes

Trail running shoes include:

  • Heavy-duty tread for grip on uneven surfaces and protection from sharp rocks. 
  • Wide soles and improved ground feel for stability. 
  • Protective rigid midsole for greater protection against sharp objects.
  • Drain well and dry quickly, but not waterproof.
  • Upper design to support your foot from rolling.
  • Mesh textiles to provide breathing panels and drainage.
  • Toe bumpers for added protection against abrasion. 
  • Cushion in high impact areas.
  • Flexible soles for a range of movements on uneven terrain. 

The Nike Approach

Nike is best known for its innovative designs and willingness to reimagine sneakers for running, cross-training, leisure, and active outdoor gear.

When you walk on a trail, you put some hard miles on your feet, and the use by Nike of air pockets, and reactive and neoprene foam provides underfoot cushioning where you need it. 

What About Nike Hiking Shoes?

Nike uses different technology and innovations in their Nike hiking shoes. When you are considering purchasing a Nike hiking shoe, you need to make sure that the technology in that shoe suits your particular needs.

Outsoles on Nike Hiking Shoes

The outsole design will include a selection of the following design features:

  • Different zones on the sole to provide various functions where you need them.
  • Flexible treads to allow natural foot flexing.
  • Stiff rock plates for protection against sharp rocks.
  • Coatings on the tread to stop dirt clogging and making it slippery.
  • Unique tread designs. 
Nike hiking shoes

Uppers on Nike Hiking Shoes

Nike uppers’ includes materials like leather, woven textiles, and neoprene, along with a range of other design features that differ among Nike hiking shoes. Some of the excellent hiking features include:

  • Ventilation panels to allow your feet to breathe. 
  • Good drainage and quick-drying materials.
  • An internal ankle cuff to keep debris out of the shoe.
  • Strategic reinforcement and support. 

As mentioned earlier, you don’t get all the features in all the Nike hiking shoes, so you need to carefully check whether the shoe in which you are interested has the most useful features for your hiking style. 

Last Word About Nike Hiking Shoes

Dedicated mountaineers and those who love to conquer harsh terrains far from the beaten track will always seek out dedicated (and expensive) technical footwear. But if you enjoy hiking on holidays and at the weekend, Nike hiking shoes are up to the job of protecting your feet so you can reach and enjoy the best views in comfort and security.

Nike hiking shoes have the benefits of style, comfort, and versatility. Yes, you can go hiking with Nike on your feet and enjoy the great outdoors.

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