ozark trail shoes review 01

Ozark Trail Shoes Review: What I Liked And Didn’t Like

Quality trail shoes don’t have to cost so much. That’s the most important lesson I learned after getting the Ozark Trail Shoes and in this review, I want to share with you the overwhelmingly positive experiences (and some negative ones) I had using this product and how it’s still in great condition after putting on so many miles.

Basic information on the Ozark Trail shoes (boots):

ozark trail shoes review 01

Company: Ozark.

Price: $21.98

Where to get it: Amazon and Wal Mart. Click here to get it from Amazon.

My thoughts on these shoes:

I really love them and use them for most of my hikes today.

They truly surprised me as I never expected them to perform so well and the review below will explain all of the places I’ve worn them to.

First, here are the quick pro and con experiences I’ve had with them:


  • Very affordable trail shoes.
  • Great for trail runs or just regular walks on trails.
  • Extremely resilient shoes (I’ll explain below).
  • Great for hiking in water (I tested it many times).
  • Their grip is amazing, even on wet areas.
  • Long term resilience (I still use the same pair 3 years later).
  • Way better for slippery rocks than my Salomons.
  • They’re very light to carry.


  • The only thing I dislike is the shoelaces that come with them (they come off a lot, so change them to something better and you’re good).

My rating for the Ozark Trail running shoes: 5 stars (easily).

Aside from the shoelaces (which can easily be replaced), these trail shoes are amazing and I will continue to use them for many more adventures!

How are the Ozark trail running reviews from other people?

I never looked at the reviews when I bought this product, but after doing so did some research and found a lot of positive ones (including in the comments below). These trail hiking shoes really are awesome in many ways. I would even say these hiking shoes rival some of my trail running shoes too (although I still think trail running shoes are a better fit for me).

My video review of the Ozark trail shoes:

Prelude: How I got my hands on the Ozark trail shoes.

It was actually a coincidence. I was driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on what would become my first official road trip through the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

I had planned on seeing as much of California, Oregon and Washington as possible in 7 days, but I was very under dressed for the trip and the hikes I’d need to do. And so on my way to L.A, I stopped at Wal Mart on the Interstate 15 (one of the most beautiful scenic drives in North America by the way).

The selection of trail running shoes there wasn’t grand, but the only one which stuck out as “perfect” for me would turn out to be the Ozark Trail shoes, which looked pretty good, but at about $30, how good could they actually be?

Well because I didn’t have much of a choice on selection, I bought them and it didn’t take long before I put them on realize that I’d made a good purchase, but just how good it was would need to be tested on the hikes I’d be doing in the next week.

Here’s what happened for the next 7 days:

I must have done at least 10 hikes over the 7 days I had traveled on the Pacific West Coast Highway.

About half of them involved hiking through pretty easy areas, while others weren’t so simple, and for all of those hikes, I had only relied on these trail shoes.

I estimate I did about 30 miles of hiking in that time, and while the distance wasn’t that huge, some of the hikes I ended up doing were very dangerous and I honestly have to say that the Ozark trail running shoes saved me.

Here’s just a small documentation of the stuff I did with them:

And this was just for the 7 days. Just wait until I tell you about all the other hikes I’d taken this exact pair on in the following YEARS (we’ll get to that soon).

Click here to get the Ozark trail shoes.

The “incident” that made me appreciate the Ozark Trail Shoes (sneakers):

ozark trail shoes used on natural bridges 09

During the Natural Bridges hike which was on the Oregon Coast, I tried to hike down into a very scenic area I’d been looking to explore for years, but there wasn’t any official trail there and I had missed the right path 3 times before finally reaching it.

You can see a picture of me in this area to the right (video of the crazy landscape further below). During that time:

  1. I had hiked on a regular trail.
  2. Hiked down and bushwhacked a near vertical hike to the beach.
  3. Hiked down some more steep unofficial trails.

And when I finally reached the Natural Bridges area, I had to hike on rocks, at one point getting stuck in a tight spot where I almost fell, and not because of the shoes, but because I was very nervous and kind of put myself in a tough position.

At NO point in time during these situations did these shoes fail me, and it was on the last area where I thought for sure they would. They didn’t and it’s mainly due to the grip, traction and steady control they gave me, that I was able to climb out of this area unscathed.

This is the video from that incident/area and you can see me wearing the Ozark Shoes:

A confession:

I’m not going to lie, these shoes saved me in getting there and that was when I truly realized that I’d made an incredible purchase. Every moment that led up to this one, I had been nervous when testing these shoes, mainly because there was always a part of me worrying that because they were cheap, that sooner or later, they’d mess me up.

3 years later, they still have not failed me.

And I’m just getting started with this review of it because I continued to take these shoes with me on just about every road trip and hike I would do for the next 2 years.

Here’s where I tested the Ozark Trail Shoes over the next 2 years (9 places):

After having such an overwhelmingly positive experience with them on my Pacific Coast Highway road trip, I decided to start using them more on hikes I would do nearby New York City where I reside, and here is a compilation of places I’ve taken them on over a 2 year period:

1) Catskills (I’ve done at least 40 miles with them here).

2) Smugglers Notch and more places in Vermont (I’ve done about 10 miles here).

3) Green Mountain National Forest and I’ve done about 2 miles here.

4) Took them on another major western US road trip a year later and hiked a ton of the dessert environment with them, plus revisited the west coast areas again (at least 50 miles of hiking here), including a ton on the Washington Coast such as Cape Flattery (did a lot of hiking there).

5) Did another road trip shortly after in the same areas, but with different people in places like:

ozark trail shoes used on the oregon coast line 02

In total, this was easily another 50+ miles added to these shoes.

6) Breakneck Ridge. A very steep but short hike where these shoes were also tested. They owned this hike (as well as other hikes in Hudson Highlands State Park).

ozark trail shoes used on breakneck ridge hike 07

7) I’ve taken them to Vancouver Island on more than one occasion (10 miles of hiking).

8) I’ve taken them across the Canadian Rockies (easily another 30 miles of hiking there, including in ice cold glacier water).

9) Delaware Water Gap: I’ve worn them when hiking at Delaware Water Gap twice and found them very helpful in the steep trail I did there (the Mount Tammany hike).

hiking delaware water gap with ozark trail shows

And after all of the stuff I’ve put these shoes through: Sand, water, snow, mud, you name it. It has always come out fine.

I still own the exact same pair to this day and still use it. The short story is: These shoes are awesome.

And that long list I just gave you which easily crosses 200 miles of hikes, is still not all of the adventures I’ve used these shoes on, and they still operate just as well for me today.

Click here to get the same Ozark Trail shoes I use (to this day).

To finalize this review of the Ozark Trail Running Shoes:

I’ve tested only a few trail running shoes in my life, mainly the Salomon Speedcross 5, the Merrell Speed Moab and the Ozark trail shoes in this review.

Two of them are considered high end, while the Ozark isn’t really. Yet my experiences in hiking some seriously dangerous places with them on proves different.

Aside from the shoelaces that I don’t like, I have nothing but good things to say about the Ozark Trail shoes and I highly recommend them, whether it be for simple day hikes, camping, long distance trail runs or more. I did a comparison between hiking shoes vs trail running shoes before and these ones are a contender for why you may want to consider going with the former.

They aren’t that expensive, but their value is many times over the price, that much I am 100% confident in saying.

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  1. I have a pair of Ozark trail hiking shoes that I have been wearing for 4 years. They are water proof mid top, because I like my ankles to be protected at all times. I wear these all the time and they are wearing well. I wear them Deer hunting in the Appalachian mountains. Where the terrain is sometimes challenging. But I also wear them as a everyday and work shoe. For a reasonably priced hiking shoe I don’t think they can be beaten. I agree they are worth buying.

    1. Thanks for sharing this Dan! Hope they continue to provide you with awesome experiences in the coming years!

  2. You will probably erase this because it evidently is the only REAL review for these boots: These boots are ok until they are not. Mine had the sole come loose on BOTH boots. This never happens at home when you put the boots on. First thing is you notice a sound like someone is following you, then it gets worse and then you may stumble if the sole peels way back. I had Rocky Boots do the same thing. From now on I will never buy a pair of boots without the sole STITCHED on.

    1. I wouldn’t even call these boots, but hiking shoes William. Also I don’t erase negative comments as long as they are accurate and respectful. My experience with the Ozark trail shoes was way different than yours. I’m not sure if you currently have a better pair/alternative but if not, I’ve always recommended the Salomon Speedcross 5 shoes for people. They are trail runners, not traditional hiking shoes but they have been great in my experience.

  3. I would agree that the Ozark Trail hiking shoes were fantastic. I hiked 5 R2R Grand Canyon treks using the same pair. I also hiked the first 1,200 miles of my Appalachian Trail Thru hike of 2021 with one pair. However the new hiking shoes have a horribly inferior sole compared to shoes from two years ago. Also the sole pulls away from the shoe. Mine pulled away within the first 100 miles of training for my next R2R. Please go back to the old design as well as sole composition, they were fantastic shoes at a great price, but no longer.

    1. Hi Ron, yeah I noticed that a few years after purchasing the brand, it either got worse, or wasn’t available at all, whether in Walmart or online. I didn’t know they made a new “evolution” to that shoe, but made it worse. It reminds me of what they did with the New Balance trail running shoes where a lot of people said the newer versions were worse, while the older ones were amazing. I have no idea why this happens. You’d think that if the shoe gets great reviews, why ruin it?

  4. I agree 100 percent. I’m on my second pair. (The first pair got chewed beyond repair by one of my rottweilers, or I’d still be using them). I have the Ozark brush waterproof hiking boots that I use for winter hiking in upstate New York. I’ve been day hiking for over 40 years and these are the best hiking boots for me by far. I’m female, but the men’s size 8 has a wider toe box than any women’s hikers I’ve tried on and fits my foot like a custom boot. The shoe is agile and perfectly balanced for hiking with a deep heel and ortho sole. Love them.

    1. Sucks to hear about the dog eating the first pair of Ozarks Lizzy! But I’m glad you liked them so much you got a second!

  5. Totally agree– these are great shoes and it was great that Walmart brought them back. I had some years ago and traction was awesome, the new ones I bought last spring don’t budge on any surface. In fact you have to be careful not to drag your feet, you’ll fall. They are that good. I have some high end hiking shoes and boots with poor traction, I wear my Ozark Trails shoes now and those are gathering dust. Just checked though and Walmart is out of stock, plan to buy another pair before they quit making them again. $21.98 at Walmart, on Amazon $49! Though I may well pay the $49 to get them, they are that great.

    1. Glad we agree Michael! In my case, I’ve started doing more trail running recently and I have to say for that, these shoes might not be the best thing. They are great as hiking boots (and walking), but for trail running, I would say the Salomon Speedcross or the Merrell sneakers are great.

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