Best Hiking Shoes For Costa Rica 2022

(Last Updated On: April 4, 2022)

For Costa Rica, we recommend closed-toe hiking sandals and trail running shoes. We’ve traveled widely around the country, and I’ll explain why further down.

Sandals For Hiking

Our closed-toed hiking sandals are a hit with Yeison and myself. They’re great for transitioning from land to water since they dry quickly and allow your feet to breathe. Our KEEN sandals, in particular, are a favorite.

Hiking sandals with closed vs. Open toes

“Which is better: open or closed-toed hiking sandals? What are your thoughts on this? “is a frequently asked question. “Let me explain why we favor closed-toe hiking sandals over open-toe hiking sandals. The distinction lies in the level of protection. Your toes aren’t covered in open-toed shoes, so they’re subject to being stubbed and jabbed. When walking, it’s simple to kick a pebble, get a thorny branch stuck between your toes, or worse, be bitten by ants. Because not all hiking routes in Costa Rica are well-maintained and ants abound, we recommend wearing closed-toed shoes.

Closed-toed shoes have a strong toe bumper and provide extra coverage. Closed-toed shoes are required for numerous activities in Costa Rica. Hence they are preferable to open-toed shoes in general. In Costa Rica, flip-flops are the ideal beach shoes. More types of shoes, sandals and sneakers are discussed below in this publication. In the meanwhile we have compiled some of the best hiking shoes for Costa Rica below. Do check them out.

Best Hiking Shoes For Costa Rica (Comparison)

Shoes Waterproof  
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Ventilator No

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adidas outdoor Terrex AX3 No

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Timberland Men's White Ledge Yes

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Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Ventilator

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Ventilator

You’ll see why Moab stands for MOTHER OF ALL BOOTS thanks to its sturdy leathers, cushioned footbed, and Vibram traction in a versatile package. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Ventilator gives you out-of-the-box comfort in this ventilated hiker, which is the best hiking shoe on the market.


On the trail, this leather and mesh upper provide breathability and durability


High-performance rubber sole that provides unrivaled durability, stability, and slide resistance while keeping your feet contained.

Cushion Of Air

With each step, targeted heel cushioning enhances overall comfort by decreasing stress on your foot.

Reported Pros & Cons are:

Pros Cons
Mesh, Suede Leather Some Customers Have Trouble Finding The Right Size While Shopping Online
The Closed-Cell Foam Tongue Of The Bellows Keeps Moisture & Debris Out
Rubber Toe Cap For Added Protection




adidas outdoor Terrex AX3

adidas outdoor Terrex AX3

You’ve planned the ideal peak-bagging trip, and if you get on the path early enough, you’ll be able to complete it in one day—but it’ll be a challenge. Turn to the lightweight performance of the Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoe when speed is a must on the path. It has the characteristics you need to move quickly on technical trails, as well as a low-bulk construction that saves weight and gives you a more athletic feel than heavier hiking boots. The Continental Rubber outsole provides sure-footed traction even when lovely alpine trails are replaced by slick rock and slippery mud. The molded TPU toe cap guarantees forefoot protection in case your immediate steps come into touch with unexpected pebbles and roots, and the lightweight EVA cushioning keeps your feet comfy and supported for long miles up and down steep slopes.

Reported Pros & Cons are:

Pros Cons
Synthetic & Mesh These Are A Bit Snug (True To Size For Everyday Wear), So Go Up A Size If You're Going To Be Doing Any Distance Or Trekking
Rubber Sole
Consistent Fit



Timberland Men’s White Ledge

Timberland Men's White Ledge

Timberland Men’s White Ledge’s uppers are composed of 100 percent premium waterproof leather from a tannery with an LWG Silver rating. Seam-sealed construction. Speed lace hardware with lace hooks at the top that is rustproof. The tongue is fully gusseted—footbed made of EVA. The midsole is made of EVA. Multi-directional lugs on a solid rubber outsole.

  • The White Ledge Men’s Hiking Boots feature full-grain waterproof leather uppers, seam-sealed waterproof construction, and rustproof speed lace hardware with top hooks for secure lacing.
  • FOR TRACK-READY PERFORMANCE AND STYLE, LOOK NO FURTHER. Men’s hiking boots, waterproof hiking boots, casual boots, and casual shoes are all made to complement your outdoor outfits.
  • WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MEN’S, WOMEN’S, OR KIDS’ BOOTS, TIMBERLAND HAS YOU COVERED. Choose Timberland for the best hiking boots, rain boots, work boots, casual shoes and boots, and more. With these waterproof boots on your feet, you’ll be sure to have a great time outside. They’re stylish, comfy, and long-lasting.

Reported Pros & Cons are:

Pros Cons
Leather Timberland White Ledge Boots Aren't Insulated, So They're Not Exceptionally Warm On Their Own
Rubber Sole



Different Types Of Footwear For Costa Rica


In the city, we mainly wear sneakers. When it comes to outdoor activities in Costa Rica, sneakers aren’t the best choice. This is because many adventure activities need you to walk through water, dirt, or mud, and sneakers do not have the finest traction or are waterproof.

Sneakers are great if you’re doing just sightseeing and nothing strenuous.

Running Shoes For The Trail

Bring trail running shoes or an all-terrain shoe that is light, breathable, protects against mud and dirt and has a decent grip for a completely covered shoe. Yeison recently purchased a pair of fantastic Salomon trail running shoes. They’re GORE-TEX waterproof, offer great grip and traction, and are lightweight while still delivering high performance.

Instead of closed-toed hiking sandals and sneakers, you should definitely bring waterproof trail running shoes.

Boots For Hiking

Most tourist attractions in Costa Rica do not require hiking boots. However, there are a few areas where they are recommended instead of trail running shoes or hiking sandals.

If you’re going to Chirripo, you’ll need hiking boots in particular. This is Costa Rica’s tallest trek, and the mountain rises to a height of 12 000 feet, necessitating the use of robust hiking shoes.

Also, if you’re taking hiking boots, make sure they’re waterproof. It is more likely to cross streams in that area because it rains more frequently.

Bring a pair of long, wicking dry socks with you to protect your skin and keep your feet from getting too hot.

Boots For Wet Weather

Rain boots are not required in Costa Rica. However, they may be required in a few places.

Because it rained the night before and the trails were exceedingly muddy, we wore rain boots at the San Pedrillo station in Corcovado National Park. The rain boots shielded us from the weather as we crossed several small rivers and streams.

We were planning on wearing our hiking shoes, but our hotel, Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, kindly offered rain boots. In several places, we were up to our ankles in muck!

You don’t have to bring rain boots if you don’t want to. They can be found for a low price at most hardware stores, and you may give them away when you leave Costa Rica to avoid having to bring them back with you.

If visiting Tortuguero National Park and Rio Celeste during the wet months of April, September, October, and November, rain boots are also recommended. (They are available for rent outside of these two national parks.)

Waterproof Boots

If you don’t want to buy a pair of closed-toed hiking sandals just for Costa Rica, water shoes are a great alternative. Because hiking sandals aren’t cheap, water shoes are the next best alternative if you don’t think you’ll wear them again.

Water shoes are less expensive, perform well for sports such as rafting, tubing, and horseback riding, and are easy to pack. They are also available for purchase in Costa Rica. Water shoes are widely available in supermarkets. Bring water shoes as well as sneakers or trail running shoes.


Frequently Asking Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Do you require hiking shoes for your trip to Costa Rica?

Ans. Hiking boots aren’t required for most of Costa Rica’s tourist attractions, but they are recommended in a few spots where trail running shoes or hiking sandals aren’t appropriate. If you’re going to Chirripo, you’ll need hiking boots in particular.

Q2. What can’t you bring with you to Costa Rica?

Ans. Bring no umbrella with you to Costa Rica. When it rains on planned day trips, a rain jacket or poncho is considerably easier to utilize. Many activities, such as ziplining, do not allow the use of umbrellas. If you merely intend to tour town centers, an umbrella will be enough.

Q3. In Costa Rica, do people tip?

Ans. Tipping is not required in Costa Rica, although restaurants will add a service charge to the final bill that includes a 10% gratuity. When dining out, this is considered a sufficient tip, but if the service surpasses your expectations, you can always leave a few more colons (or CRC)

Added advice

  • Shake out your shoes before putting them on to get rid of any unwanted visitors. Shoes are sometimes home to scorpions, snakes, and other creatures.
  • If you’re visiting during the rainy season, check out our packing for rainy season in Costa Rica page to see what else you’ll need. Alternatively, see our general packing list for Costa Rica.
  • Whether you’re visiting Corcovado National Park, see if your accommodation has rain boots. The majority of high-end hotels do.
  • We recommend bringing two pairs of outdoor shoes so that you always have a dry pair in case one gets wet.

Last but not the least,

We recommend bringing a pair of waterproof trail running shoes if you expect to do a lot of activities like white water rafting, tubing, ziplining, long treks, canyoning, horseback riding, and so on.

Closed-toe hiking sandals are ideal for lighter activities such as snorkeling, boating, tubing, easy climbs, hanging bridges, kayaking, and sightseeing. Sneakers and closed-toed hiking sandals are OK.

Sneakers are fine if you’re largely going sightseeing. If you want to combine touring with one or two outdoor activities, sneakers and water shoes are a good choice (no intense hikes).

Waterproof trail running or hiking shoes are recommended for longer treks.



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