The Smoky Mountains are beautiful but rugged places to hike. In this resource guide on the best hiking shoes, we list the best hiking shoes for the Smoky Mountains, so you can choose the perfect pair for your next trip.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, the Smokies is the perfect place. Offering more than 800 miles of hiking routes, including some of the most difficult and highest-elevation portions of the Appalachian Trail.
This is why when hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you want a shoe that will give you good traction on the trails. You also want a shoe that is comfortable and has good support and grip on every step.
Keep scrolling to check out the best hiking shoes for the Smoky Mountains.
What Do I Need To Go Hiking In The Smoky Mountains?
To go hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you must have the proper gear. It’s also important to know what time of year you’re visiting, as the weather can vary significantly from one season to the next.
For example, winter hikers will need to pack extra layers of clothing and insulation.
We’ve rounded up the things you need if you plan to go hiking in the Smokies.
- Navigation- Trail maps and a compass are always essential, even on the so-called shortest trails, signs, and trail markers have been moved or damaged.
- Water, water, and more water! I can’t stress this enough. Your kids will not make it without enough water, and frankly, neither will you. I don’t care how short the trail is. The absolute BEST INVESTMENT I have made in hiking gear was when we purchased kids’ hydration packs. I also purchased an Osprey Hydration Pack for myself and love it. This single purchase was the difference between the quarter-mile hike and the 7-mile hike I mentioned previously. The great thing about the Camelbak Mini Mule and Scout is that they come with age-appropriate storage space for those all-important snacks. You will be surprised what a kid will do to earn a handful of skittles!
- Merino Wool Socks! Trust me, you will thank me for introducing you to these. Before we began hiking with the kids, I had NO IDEA HOW GREAT WOOL SOCKS are! I’ll be honest, after we began wearing wool socks to hike, I came home and replaced all my daily wear socks with wool. Yes, they are that great. Don’t believe me? Well, try them for yourself. DarnTough (made in America…yay!) or SmartWool are great options.
- Hiking Clothes- I am in favor of simplifying my packing on all my trips, whether they be National Parks vacations, beach trips, or camping. Here are a few of my favorites. I generally just search for similar items for the kids as well. You can shop my Amazon store to get a better idea of all my favorites.
- Snacks-Okay, I know this is a no-brainer, but just trying to be complete here. My kids have nut allergies, so I have to be creative, but we always bring Skittles for that added incentive of going when we can’t go anymore. Of course, we bring healthy snacks, like Quest protein bars for the non-nut allergic crew, and Enjoy Life Trail Mix for the others.
- High SPF Sunscreen– I admit, I am not the best at this, but with kids and lots of allergies, we found that Badger Brand sunscreen is the only sunscreen the entire family can use, and we love it.
- Insect repellent- you don’t want to be the feast of the mosquitoes and other insects while on the trail. Be sure not to forget your insect repellent, especially when hiking with kids
And the most important thing that you need if you’re hiking in the Smokies is a great hiking shoe. Be sure to read the buying guide below as we have listed the different hiking shoes that will suit the Appalachian trail.
Fun & Cool Hiking Clothes
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Related Hiking Resources
MORE RELATED RESOURCES
If you had a good time hiking in the Smokies, especially since the weather is getting cooler, you also have to check out these other US National Parks in the Fall.
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