16 Best Hiking Shoes For Men, Women & Kids: Reviewed & Rated

When you’re looking to head out into the great outdoors, you’ll want to know that you have the best hiking shoes available.

The right pair allows you to do more trekking, climbing and exploring while the wrong pair just leads to pain and discomfort. Don’t skimp on your next pair; read our complete reviews of the best hiking shoes around.

Comparison Table - Hiking Shoes

Product Name
Amazon Rating
View Product
Timberland White Ledge Waterproof

Timberland White Ledge Waterproof

Dark Brown, Wheat, Black, Tan, Brown, Guacho


Timberland Chocorua Trail Gore-Tex  Mid Hiking Boot

Timberland Chocorua Trail Gore-Tex  Mid​

Brown/Green, Black


Merrel Men’s Moab Mid Waterproof

Earth, Beluga, Olive


Salomon Men’s 4D 2 GTX

9 Options


Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof

Slate Brown/Russet Orange, Castlerock/Solar Power, Bungee Cord/Pesto


Keen Women’s Targhee II Mid WP

6 Options


Timberland Women’s White Ledge



Ahnu Women’s Montara Boot

Smokey Brown/Red Mahogany/Dark Grey


Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof

Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof

Grey/Periwinkle, Bungee Cord


Timberland Women’s Chocorua

Brown, Dark Brown


Different Types Of Hiking Shoes

There are various types of shoes you can use when you are hiking. Be careful which one you choose and make sure it is tailored to the activities you’ll be participating in.

Trail-Running Shoes

If your main goal is to move fast, you’ll want to opt for a high-quality trail runner.

These shoes are lightweight, flexible and immensely comfortable. They don’t provide a lot of ankle support, so that’s something to be aware of. There’s normally not much in the way of underfoot or toe protection either.

If you’re taking a fast day hike or you’re experienced in trekking and want a minimalist approach, this is still your best option. The nice thing about trail-running shoes is that you can generally find a wide range of styles and brands to choose from.

Hiking Shoes

For most hikers, a shoe that comes below the ankle seems to be the best fit. They are more protective than the trail runner and help you to carry a light load on most terrains. Because they’re still lightweight, you won’t feel like you are carrying around a heavy boot. Hiking shoes often have a tougher and more durable construction than the trail running shoe as well.

You’ll find that most hiking shoes use leather and nylon instead of the mesh found in the trail runners. This gives more of a medium-stiff feel and works great when walking over rocks and obstacles. 

Approach Shoes

Approach shoes are used by a small grouping of people; mainly hikers or climbers that need extra grip for the steep and rocky terrain. They’re often used by rock climbers on the hike up to the location and then swapped out for the vertical climb. That’s why it’s important that this shoe remains lightweight and easily packable.

You’ll be able to quickly spot a pair of approach shoes because they have a rubber toe rand, plus a low profile, sticky compound underfoot to provide additional grip on rocks. They’re comfortable enough for a day hike but they aren’t very secure on muddy trails.

Water Shoes

If your hike is going to involve multiple activities such as kayaking or fishing, then you’re going to need a versatile shoe. Water shoes allow your feet the comfort that they need for activity, but it also helps to keep them dry during the day. They have a construction that allows them to breathe plus they’re exceptionally lightweight.

Many people enjoy wearing them for walks on rocky beaches and sloppy trails that are filled with mud puddles. They’re the perfect balance between a pair of sandals and sneakers. Plus, you’ll find water shoes in a large assortment of styles and designs, perfect for pairing with your personality.

Features To Look For In A Great Hiking Shoe

When you’re on the hunt for a great hiking shoe, there are specific features you’ll want to be on the lookout for.


The most important aspect of your modern hiking gear is that it remains lightweight. That’s why most hikers choose shoes that aren’t your typical leather boot. Most good hiking shoes are going to weigh two pounds or less. This is ideal for your day hikes, minimalist overnight excursion or peak bagging.


As shoes become lighter, they are also moving away from having that traditional stiff construction that most hiking boots had. While most hiking footwear will still feature a level of stiffness because of the shanks or supports, they’ll be moving more to the level of a trail running shoe.

With that in mind, you don’t want a shoe that’s super flexy like a cross-trainer or road runner.
If you’re planning day hikes, your best bet is something lightweight and mildly flexible. If your trip is longer, then opt for something a little heavier with more substance.


Most hiking shoes have Gore-Tex booties or another type of waterproof liner. The problem with this is that they don’t tend to breathe well. These means that your sweat will stick to your feet and cause you to be uncomfortable.

Look for footwear that has thinner fabrics or a good amount of mesh. This will increase the moisture transfer plus airflow which keeps your feet from being sweaty.


Waterproof shoes are a nice security if you’re hiking near creek crossings, snow or where rainfall might occur. This extra layer does have a downfall though in the weight it creates. As we discussed above, it can also reduce breathability.

If a waterproof design is important to you, you might want to go with a Gore-Tex model.


Casual footwear will never compare to the traction you receive with a high-quality pair of hiking shoes. Vibram is one of the leaders in outsole and for a good reason. They’re synonymous with traction and a solid grip.

You’ll also find outsoles that feature rubber lugs for gripping mud or sticky rubber when you’re on the rocks. The level of traction you need will depend on where you’re hiking.


Keep in mind that as you spend long hours on the trails, your feet are going to swell slightly. Because of this, it’s often wise to pick a shoe that’s slightly larger than what you’re used to. You’ll also need to find shoes that have extra support if you suffer from foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis.


We all want to get a good deal, but that can’t be the main focus when supporting our body. Quality footwear is more important than the cost. With that said, you can still find a reputable brand at a decent price.


Each brand is going to fit differently which is why you want to check the sizing guide on Amazon. Each shoe will show the rating from users on how it fits. This rating will help you to determine if you can purchase your normal size or if you need a size up or down to fit accordingly.


Trail runners are normally less durable than a hiking shoe or boot. Trail runners tend to last for about 500 miles while hiking shoes tend to last about 750 miles and boots for about 1000. Depending on how often you’re hiking and the conditions you’re in, you’ll want to pick the right products for your needs.

Lacing Systems

Laces play a large role in the fit of your shoes. If your boot has a poor lacing system, your shoe is going to loosen and cause discomfort. In addition, you’ll want your heel to be secure within the shoe to avoid chafing. Some shoes have a single-pull lacing system which is a convenient and durable option worth considering.

16 Best Hiking Shoes Reviewed

We’ve put together a full list of shoes for your consideration plus picked apart every good and poor quality for your convenience. We trust these top rated brands to keep you or your family safe when hiking.

Best Hiking Shoes For Men

1. Timberland White Ledge Waterproof

Timberland White Ledge Waterproof

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A favorite among hikers, this full-grain leather boot has many features to brag about. As the name suggests, the shoe is seam sealed and completely waterproof to protect your feet from rain and water crossings.

The collar and tongue are padded for comfort and protection. The removable dual-density EVA foot bed provides cushioning and effectively absorbs shock. Perforations in the foot bed allow air circulation and wick away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry.

Like most Timberland boots, these feature the BSFP (brake, support, flex, propel) system for traction and ease whether you’re climbing, accelerating, or braking. The eyelets on this boot are designed to move slightly, allowing the lacing to contour to the foot as it flexes and moves.

As a result, your feet will experience less pressure while you hike. The smart, sturdy boots come in regular and wider sizes.


  • Full-grain leather construction
  • Waterproof
  • BFSP system
  • Removable dual-density EVA foot bed
  • Wide sizes available


  • Heavier than some other options
  • Arch support is lacking

2. Timberland Chocorua Trail Gore-Tex Mid Hiking Boot

Timberland Chocorua Trail Gore-Tex  Mid Hiking Boot

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Another reliable pair of Timberlands, these boots combine premium full-grain leather and cushioning textile with a Gore-Tex membrane for optimal waterproofing and breathability. This means they put together some features that make them perfect for different kinds of hikes. As the experts at Trevor Lane Podiatry suggest:

Your choice of upper material will depend on how you will be using your hiking boots. In rain and snow you will truly appreciate waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex; leather may be the best option for challenging terrain".

The tongue and collar are padded for additional comfort. The textile lining wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Known for being lightweight and not bulky, they won’t put additional strain on your feet.

They will, however, absorb shock and cushion your feet whether you’re commuting, shoveling snow, or braving a challenging trail. The toe box is sufficiently wide for your foot to be in its natural position but without allowing for too much movement and rubbing.

The rubber soles provide excellent traction on all terrain. Like most Timberland boots, these also feature a removable dual-density EVA foot bed and come in wider sizes.


  • Full-grain leather construction
  • Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing
  • Padded for comfort
  • Wide toe box
  • Superior traction


  • Tread isn’t aggressive
  • Laces are flimsy and will probably need replaced

3. Salomon Men’s 4D 2 GTX

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This robust leather and textile hiking boot is high-cut for maximal ankle support on or off trail. It features protective rubber heel and toe caps. The Gore-Tex waterproof membrane will ensure that your feet stay dry in any weather without adding too much weight.

It has a removable EVA Ortholite foot bed for specialized comfort. The 4D Advanced Chassis technology ensures that the base of the shoe will guide the foot on even the roughest terrain, and prevent fatigue on all treks.

The unique lacing system allows for the three top levels of the lace to be loosened and tightened independently, ensuring that the laces are ideally tied and the feet don’t experience unwanted pressure.

The boot comes in three different styles, and is especially recommended for longer hikes, heavier loads and a good balance if you are searching for the best walking and hiking shoes.


  • Maximum ankle support
  • Protective rubber heel and toe caps
  • Gore-Tex waterproof membrane
  • Removable EVA Ortholite foot bed
  • Unique lacing system


  • Need time to break in
  • Might need insoles for additional comfort

4. Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof

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The abrasion-resistant air mesh panels on this boot make it highly breathable, while the Gore-Tex technology provides waterproof protection. The molded rubber toe cap ensures that your feet and boots stay protected on any terrain.

The boot comes with a dual density EVA foot bed that provides excellent cushioning. Lighter, tougher, and more breathable than its predecessor; the boot is ideal for lighter loads and a faster pace.

The Arc Tempo technology gives you momentum with every step, meaning less work for your feet and easy progress. The aggressive sole provides traction and stability no matter whether it’s muddy, rocky, or steep.

These Breeze 2.0 are another excellent choice if you are searching the best waterproof shoes from men. 


  • Abrasion-resistant air mesh panels
  • Waterproof protection
  • Molded rubber toe caps
  • Dual-density EVA foot bed
  • Arc Tempo technology


  • Outsole rubber might not be durable
  • Not as high-quality as previous models

5. KEEN Men's Voyageur Hiking Shoe

KEEN Men's Voyageur Hiking Shoe

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This shoe is constructed from a leather upper with mesh sides for maximum breathability. It also has a pull-on loop design at the heel and the tongue, so they are easy to remove. The removable, dual-density EVA foam anatomical insole offers some additional support while the deep lugs provide the traction you need on any terrain.

This shoe is available in +15 styles and from a reputable, reliable outdoor brand. The durability is top-notch and the fit seems to be dead on. Many customers felt that this shoe required less breaking in when compared to a standard hiking boot.

Providing great stability and comfort, Keen has produced a great boot for leisure or day hiking.


  • Leather upper with mesh sides
  • Pull-on loop design
  • Deep lugs for traction
  • Dual-density EVA footbed
  • +15 styles available


  • Not waterproof
  • On the more expensive side

Best Hiking Shoes for Women

1. Keen Women’s Targhee II Mid WP

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These boots combine nubuck leather with hydrophobic mesh for excellent waterproof breathability. The boot features a dual density foam EVA footbed (removable, of course) and compression-molded EVA foam midsole.

These provide excellent cushioning for your feet. The rubber outsole’s 4 mm multi-directional lugs bite into the terrain and ensure excellent traction and stability.

The ESS shank provides additional torsional stability so that your foot can’t twist and slip, and the mid cut height supports and protects your ankles. The boot comes in seven color styles for you to choose from.


  • Nubuck leather construction
  • Waterproof protection
  • Superior outsole traction
  • Dual-density EVA foot bed
  • ESS shank for torsional stability


  • Toe box might be narrow
  • Needs extra time to break in

2. Timberland Women’s White Ledge

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This version of the White Ledge boasts all the great features of the men’s, but optimized for women. Again, they’re made of premium full-grain leather and breathable textile. The rubber sole is aggressive and reliable for any terrain, featuring BSFP anti-slip technology.

The dual-density EVA foot bed provides all the shock-absorbing cushioning your feet could dream of. The boots are seam-sealed to be completely waterproof in any weather and on any trail.

The gusseted tongue and advanced lacing system will relieve your feet of pressure at all times. The robust, sturdy boot is also highly attractive for its classical leather look.

This Timberland model offers great support and is ideal for women searching for the best trail hiking shoe.


  • Aggressive sole
  • Reliable
  • Waterproof
  • Dual-density EVA foot bed
  • Sturdy


  • Heavier than others
  • Only one style available
  • Bulky

3. Timberland Women’s Chocorua

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The women’s Chocoruas, like all of Timberland’s esteemed trail boots, feature all the essential technologies. It’s made of a combination of premium full-grain leather and mesh panels, seam-sealed and waterproofed with a Gore-Tex membrane.

The removable dual-density EVA footbed provides excellent support and cushioning in combination with the EVA midsole. The boots boast Timberland’s BSFP motion efficiency system, with the outsole’s lugs providing traction while braking, accelerating, or climbing.

The boots will keep your feet dry, cushioned, supported, and protected in any weather and on any terrain. They are among the top picks for high top hiking shoes. 


  • Premium full-grain leather design
  • Mesh panels
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane
  • Removable dual-density EVA footbed
  • Superior protection


  • Only available in brown
  • Heavy

4. Salomon Women's X Ultra Prime W

Salomon Women's X Ultra Prime W

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This women’s hiking shoe is made from an abrasion-resistant textile upper. On top of that, it features a protective mudguard around the base of the shoe. There’s an additional molded shank for underfoot support and an ortholite insole to provide some extra cushioning.

There is a heel-loop design that makes it easy to pull off at the end of the day. With the Contragrip non-marking outsole, you’ll find that this shoe provides superior traction. Moreover, the heel and the toe cap will provide an additional layer of protection.

While this shoe does only come in two colors, the price is right! And a cheaper price doesn't mean less quality, according to the doctors at Suffern Podiatry:

What is best for your foot is a shoe that is comfortable and well suited for your activity. It could very well be an under $20 pair of shoes(...) or something else ten times as expensive. It all depends".

Just keep in mind that some people felt the shoe ran a little larger than average, you might do good to order a size smaller.

Salomon has produced this shoe with weight in mind. These are one of the best lightweight shoes on the market.


  • Abrasion-resistant textile upper
  • Protective mudguard
  • Comes with ortholite insole
  • Heel-loop design for easy removal
  • Lower price than many other options


  • Not waterproof
  • Runs slightly large

Best Hiking Shoes for Kids

1. KEEN Chandler CNX Shoe

KEEN Chandler CNX Shoe

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The KEEN Chandler CNX-T is available in many different colors which makes it fun for any kid. They will also love the lightweight design and the easy-to-use lace system.

KEEN makes some of the best outdoor gear, so it makes sense to share it with your children. They feature a breathable mesh lining as well so their feet will stay dry and cool.

By design, many KEEN shoes tend to run a little small, so you may want to purchase a half size up to be sure. The non-marking outsole is going to keep your children safe and secure when walking on slippery surfaces.

This shoe isn’t just fun to wear but it gives you peace of mind over the safety of your children.


  • Available in many styles
  • Lightweight
  • Easy lacing system
  • Reputable KEEN brand
  • Secure traction


  • Might run slightly small
  • Hefty price for kids shoes

2. Salomon Kids' XA Pro 3D CSWP K Trail Running Shoe

Salomon Kids' XA Pro 3D CSWP K Trail Running Shoe

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Kids aren’t looking for a highly technical pair of hiking boots; they just want to have fun. That’s why you want this pair of shoes that are flexible, comfortable and waterproof.

On top of that, it is super protective. The shoe will prevent slippage on logs and rocks which you know the kids like to climb on, and will also keep them safe thanks to the protective toe cap. On the other hand, they're durable and the mudguard helps to ensure that.

This shoe feels like a cushioned running shoe so you can be sure that their feet won’t get sore. You might even find that you have trouble keeping up with them as they run around all day.

This pair includes a 2-year limited warranty. Also, keep in mind that some people felt they ran slightly larger than normal.


  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • Prevents slippage
  • Many styles available
  • Feels like a running shoe


  • Might run slightly large
  • The warranty is limited

3. Vasque Breeze WP 2.0 Hiking Boot

Vasque Breeze WP 2

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Much like the adult version of this shoe, you’ll find that these are quite lightweight despite being a boot. They feature a rubber toe and a rubber heel cap, adding protection without making them heavy. Even if your kids can handle a weighty boot, it's ideal to get lightweight shoes for them. According to the specialists at Foot & Ankle Center of Washington:

Casual hikers and hard-core backpackers will have different shoe needs (...) Stiffer boots are better for hard-core backpackers (while) lighter weights shoes are usually made for less intense hiking".

So even if your children hike a lot with you, it is best for them to take it easy until they grow up a little older.

These boots are also tough and waterproof, perfect for busy, active children. In general, hiking boots can cause children to experience blisters, but that isn’t the case here.

What we don’t like about this boot is that there is only one style available. That doesn’t give children the option to be creative and express their personality well.

With that said, some sizes have some lower prices available, so they will be easy on the pocketbook.


  • Tough
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight for a boot
  • Comfortable
  • Lower price option on some


  • Only one color available
  • Not as durable as some other brands

Top Brands On the Market

When you are looking for the best hiking shoes brand, you are likely to come across many that try to mimic the rest. Here are our top three choices you should be looking at if you want durability, excellence and comfort from your outdoor apparel.


Almost a century old, Timberland is a reputable outdoor footwear brand that produces many models suitable for plantar fasciitis. They produce highly attractive, premium leather boots for both men and women.

Most of their boots are waterproof and come with a removable  EVA foot bed and BSFP lug sole (brake, support, flex, and propel), both of which ensure comfort, stability, and shock absorption for sufferers of plantar fasciitis.



Merrell is another esteemed brand among hikers. It evolved to become one of the leaders in outdoor footwear and clothing. Their footwear consistently features innovative technologies such as Vibram Soles, Butterfly Arch Supports, and minimal heel to toe drops.

With many men’s and women's models to choose from, the brand is one of the leaders in comfortable and durable hiking footwear.



KEEN is a footwear company that is based in Portland, Oregon. They also produce many outdoor accessories as well. The company was founded in 2003 by Martin Keen. You’ll find their wide array of outdoor products in many online reputable locations as well as retail stores.


Foot Problems And Hiking Shoes

Wide Feet

If you have a wider than normal sized foot, you are going to need to ensure that your shoe has the extra room you need. Look for brands that sell wide sizes and remember to read the Amazon fit reviews. If you wear a hiking shoe that’s too narrow, you’re going to end up with sore and tired feet by the end of the day.

Many people think that they can take their wide foot and stick it in a regular shoe in an effort to stretch it out. This plan simply doesn’t work. Not only will you be in pain within a few minutes, but it can also lead to serious foot issues later in life. On top of that, you could suffer from blisters, painful abrasions and ingrown toenails.

Instead, set your sights on one of the brands that feature wide sizes. You’ll also want to ensure that they feature a roomy toe box for optimal comfort. Brands such as Timberland and KEEN often offer boots or shoes that will suit your needs perfectly.

Flat Feet

If you suffer from flat feet, chances are your feet tire easily. That’s because they have to compensate for the lack of arch support. You might find that there are pain and aches located in your heel or arches after being on your feet for any length of time. Imagine how severe that could feel after hiking!

With flat feet, you might also have swollen areas like the inner bottom of the foot. When you are standing on your toes, it is often difficult and could lead to leg or back pain. Why continue to be in this pain any longer when there are options that will help you to feel better?
Hikers that have flat feet need to be careful about the shoes they choose. For proper support, it’s best to either choose a shoe with arch support built in or put your specialized insert inside the shoes. If you choose to go this route, make sure there is additional room inside the shoe to accommodate your insert.

Read the reviews of the hiking shoes and find others who’ve had flat feet like you but found relief. That’s when you know you’ve found a winning hiking boot.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the heel and the bottom of the foot. It’s caused by a strained plantar fascia, which is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. If this ligament is weak, swollen, or inflamed, you’ll experience discomfort and pain in your heel and the bottom of your foot when you stand and walk.

A classic symptom that distinguishes plantar fasciitis from other causes of foot pain is heel pain when first standing up after lying down or sitting for a long time. It can lessen as your feet stretch more, but it can also become increasingly uncomfortable as the day goes on. The condition is especially common in people that are flat-footed or have high arches.

One of the main treatments suggested by doctors is wearing the right shoes, with adequate cushioning and good arch support, as well as excellent shock absorption. However, there are other treatments you can do yourself to help alleviate the symptoms.

Rest your feet and avoid running and walking on hard surfaces when possible. Put ice or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory cream on the area to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Wear specialized inserts (orthotics) in your shoes to cushion your heel. You can also do various stretches (such as toe, calf, and towel stretches) to strengthen your muscles and make them more flexible. 

High Arches

If you are one of the 20% of people that have high arches, chances are you have hammertoes or claw toes. Hammertoes are bent over and claw toes look like a clenched fist. In addition, you might also suffer from calluses located on the ball of your foot or the heel and sides.

Many people with high arches feel the pain more severely when standing or walking. In addition, those who have a high arch tend to feel unstable due to the heel tilting inward. Without the proper shoe support, it’s possible that this can lead to ankle sprains and twists.

When you have high arches, you need a shoe that will offer additional support and comfort. It’s also important to find a shoe that will give you the balance and stability you need for hiking all day. By selecting the right shoe, you’ll ensure that the pressure is relieved from the arch.

Don’t put yourself at further risk of injury by wearing a shoe that doesn’t work for your high arches. Instead, protect yourself with a high-quality pair of hiking shoes.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots?

Hiking boots are heavier and often made from leather. Hiking shoes are lighter and easier to take with you.

What kind of socks should you wear with your hiking shoes?

You want a high-quality pair of outdoor performance socks preferably made from merino wool.

How often should you replace a pair of hiking shoes?

While each shoe will wear differently, typical hiking shoes tend to last about 750 miles.

How tightly should your hiking shoes fit?

You want them to be snug, but not so tight that they cut off circulation or cause soreness.

How much should hiking shoes weigh?

Ideally, you’ll want your shoes to weight two pounds or less.

Can I run in hiking shoes or boots?

While you can run in hiking shoes, you might prefer a quality pair of trail runners instead.

Do I need a specific type of shoe for Hawaii?

You will be going through rain forests or hiking high up in the mountains so expect plenty of rain and mud. You’ll want to purchase a shoe accordingly.


The market is filled with quality hiking shoes for the entire family. With that in mind, it can often be difficult to determine which is best for you, but it doesn’t have to be. Now that you have this extensive guide to help you find the right pair, you’re ready to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors once again.

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