What's the best footwear for day hiking the Grand Canyon?

I am going on a Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim day hike in several weeks. I have done a lot of hiking mainly in light boots but I am wondering about using trail runners for this one. Any suggestions?
Henderson, NV

Apr 29, 2011
Outside Magazine
The XA Comp Five GTX

The XA Comp Five GTX


Hey, cool—I leave for the canyon in a couple of days! Not rim-to-rim, four days in backcountry on Tonto Plateau. Beautiful place.

I normally am strongly pro-boot. I just think the extra foot protection and ankle support is worth a little extra weight, especially with today's boots. There are a lot of very light boots out on the market today.

But let's be candid, the rim-to-rim route is a pretty well-trodden, well-maintained path. No bouldering, stream-wading, or blow down-clambering. So if you're a fit hiker, have solid ankles, and are carrying a very light load (I want to be careful here, as a basic safety load with water, food, and extra clothing still is important), I think a decent pair of trail runners will be perfectly fine. Salomon's XA Comp 5 GTX trail runners ($125) would be great. Or the Montrail Sabino ($100), which might be a little cooler because they don't have a Gore-Tex liner. Same can be said for the La Sportiva Wildcat ($100).

You might also choose from one of several mid-height shoes that combine the light weight of a trail runner with a bit more heft and support. I really like Oboz Yellowstone II Mids, for instance ($145). They're very comfortable and light, yet surprisingly rugged and supportive. Or the Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid ($95), a highly breathable mid-height boot purpose-built for warm, dry weather.

None of these need much break-in—just a few check-out hikes to ensure fit is good, and you're off.

Hope you have a great trip! Send us some photos.

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