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With so many models and technical specifications to navigate, choosing the best hiking boots can be a tricky business. Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or weekend enthusiast, a reliable pair of quality hiking boots is essential for the success of your next backcountry adventure.

It doesn’t matter if you are off to tackle a Himalayan trail or visiting a local national park, keeping your feet safe is something you should always think about before leaving. With waterproof, insulated, and anti-shock boots available, there is something out there for every type of hiker.

We have selected the best hiking boots to help you get your head around what product is best for you, accounting for budget, performance, and terrain. Hopefully, thanks to this guide you’ll be spending less time on terminology and more time planning your journey.

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Hiking Boots for Women | Budget Hiking Boots

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Waterproof Hiking Boots | Winter Hiking Boots

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Boots

  1. AKU Alterra GTX
  2. La Sportiva Pyramid GTX
  3. Salomon X Ultra Winter CS
  4. Zamberlan Trail Lite EVO GTX
  5. Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX
  6. Garmont Santiago GTX Mid
  7. Merrell Phaserbound 2
  8. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP
  9. Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX
  10. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Boots

PictureNameWeightType of WaterproofingHeightPriceRating
AKU Alterra GTX2 lbs. 15 oz.Gore-TexMedium$$$4.9
La Sportiva Pyramid GTX2 lbs. 1.6 oz.Gore-TexMedium$$4.8
Salomon X Ultra Winter CS1.25 lbs.ClimaSaloman Waterproof MembraneTall$$4.6
Zamberlan Trail Lite EVO GTX2 lbs. 7 oz.Gore-Tex and Nubuck LeatherLow$$$4.7
Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX2 lbs. 7.1 oz.Gore-TexTall$$4.8
Garmont Santiago GTX Mid2 lbs. 1 oz.Gore-TexLow$$4.9
Merrell Phaserbound 22 lbs. 15 oz.M-Select Dry MembranesTall$$4.5
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP2 lbs. 4 oz.M-Select Dry MembranesLow$$4.3
Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX1 lbs. 7 oz.Gore-TexMedium$$4.3
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid2 lbs. 7 oz.Gore-TexTall$$$4.1
PictureNameWeightType of WaterproofingHeightPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Boots for Hiking

AKU Alterra GTX

Specs
  • Height: Medium
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 15 oz.
Features
  • Double Density Midsole With Anti-Shock Properties (to protect your feet from harsh impact on hard ground)
  • Waterproofed With Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Lining
  • Vibram Rubber Sole Ensures Traction Even On Slick Surfaces

BEST FOR: THE HIKER THAT’S ROARING TO GO

The AKU Alterra GTX hiking boots are made for a rough and ready explorer who isn’t afraid to get their feet dirty. There’s no need to worry about the state of your socks — these boots are completely waterproof. Unlike some hiking boots that need a few practice runs to break in, these AKU boots are fitted with custom-fit footbeds that mold to the shape of your feet and are ready to wear straight out of the box. 

AKU really thought of everything with these boots, even providing specially engineered eyelets (the holes through which the laces are threaded) that use a pulley system to ensure you aren’t stumbling around a trail due to a loose fitting boot. The rugged outsole on these boots provides grip and traction whether you’re hiking up the side of a snowy mountain, or going for a sunny afternoon stroll.

La Sportiva Pyramid GTX

Specs
  • Height: Medium
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1.6 oz.
Features
  • Midsole Designed For Extra Stability And Comfort
  • Abrasion-resistant Nubuck Leather Uppers
  • Breathable Waterproof Protection

BEST FOR: RAIN, HAIL OR SHINE!

The La Sportiva Pyramid GTX Hiking Boots should be your go to hiking boots for any terrain you were afraid to tackle before. These boots have a shock absorbing outsole as well as a unique impact brake system on the heel to prevent any slips or falls. As your feet adjust to these boots, you will notice how easy it is to cross even the rockiest mountains without worrying about tumbling down the slope.

The Gore-Tex Surround three-layer laminate provides water and weatherproofing to the boots while still allowing your feet to breathe, wicking away any sweat or heat that you’d normally be feeling after hiking for hours. You don’t have to worry about trails scuffing these boots, as the nubuck leather uppers are abrasion resistant!

Salomon X Ultra Winter CS

Specs
  • Height: Tall
  • Type of Waterproofing: ClimaSaloman Waterproof Membrane
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Features
  • Light Insulation For Keeping Your Feet Warm In All Conditions
  • Increased Ankle Stability
  • Traditional Lace System With Locking Eyelets

BEST FOR: LONG WINTER HIKES

The Salomon X Ultra Winter CS WP 2 boots are perfect for those day trips out to the snow capped mountains. The Thinsulate insulation ensures that your feet will stay warm and cozy, even when you’re trudging through the snow and ice. These boots come up over your ankles, giving you extra stability for those rocky climbs.

These boots come equipped with molded heel pads, making it easy to attach them to snowshoes when needed. The waterproof tongues seal into the upper of the shoes, ensuring that wet snow or debris can’t get inside and ruin your day with wet socks. 

If you’re worried about being bogged down in the snow, worry no more! These boots, even with all of their amazing features, are extremely light-weight and provide excellent movability, even in the coldest of winters.

Zamberlan Trail Lite EVO GTX

Specs
  • Height: Low
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex and Nubuck Leather
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Features
  • Excellent Traction Both On And Off Trail
  • Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Membranes For Waterproof Protection And Breathability
  • Durable Collars Lined With Calf Leather

BEST FOR: THE LIGHT PACKER

Do you want a hiking boot that provides a bang for your buck in terms of quality, but is also extremely light weight? Look no further than the Zamberlan Trail Lite EVO GTX Hiking boot! Handcrafted in Italy, these boots provide the comfort and durability that you would expect from an expertly crafted shoe. The Zamberlan HRT hardware prevents corrosion over time, and the Vibram outsoles provide high quality performance on any terrain.

Don’t be fooled by the light-weightedness of these boots, as they are jam packed with features that ensure you won’t be falling off the side of a mountain anytime soon, so you’ll have plenty of traction in even the rockiest or snowiest of terrains.

Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX

Specs
  • Height: Tall
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 7.1 oz.
Features
  • Leather Uppers With Protective Rubber For Extra Durability
  • To-the-toe Lacing For Maximum Customization Of The Fit
  • Over-the-ankle Cuffs For Extra Stability On Uneven Terrain

BEST FOR: ANYWHERE, ANYTIME

The Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX hiking boots really are that ‘anywhere, anytime’ kind of shoe. The Vibram rubber outsoles provide excellent grip in wet or dry weather, making them perfect for rocky trails or even rock climbing walls. The laces start all the way down at your toes, giving you the ability to truly customize how the shoes fit on all parts of your foot, ensuring a comfortable hiking experience. 

Coming in at just under $200, you’re getting a shoe that performs well regardless of terrain or weather, straight out of the box — no break in time needed. The suede and polyurethane-coated leather uppers are protected by rubber edging, ensuring that they are not at risk of any wear and tear that may come from harsh hiking environments.

Garmont Santiago GTX Mid

Specs
  • Height: Low
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1 oz.
Features
  • Comfortable Toe Boxes To Keep Your Feet In A Natural Position
  • Full-Grain Leather Collar Linings For Extra Durability
  • Adjustable For A Variety Of Foot Shapes And Widths

BEST FOR: THE SNEAKER LOVER

Traditional hiking boots not your style? The Garmont Santiago GTX Mid hiking boots provide all you could want and more in the style of a typical sneaker. The over-the-ankle cuffs are asymmetrical (taller on the inside, lower on the outside) and they work with integrated soft ankle pads to provide you with more stability when navigating through unstable terrain. 

These boots have Vibram Megagrip rubber outsoles which yield excellent grip on muddy or wet surfaces, ensuring that your rocky climbs don’t end in broken bones or grazed knees. 

Do you have a wide or narrow foot? That proves to be no problem for these boots, as the precision extended laces enable you to custom-fit your boots no matter your foot width.

Merrell Phaserbound 2

Specs
  • Height: Tall
  • Type of Waterproofing: M-Select Dry Membranes
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 15 oz.
Features
  • Protective Rubber Toe Caps
  • Metal Hooks And Webbing Loops For Secure Lacing
  • Compression-molded EVA Midsoles For Stability And Comfort

BEST FOR: STURDINESS AND DURABILITY

The Merrell Phaserbound 2 Tall Waterproof hiking boots provide the sturdy strength you need to conquer long day hikes or backpacking trips without the aches and pains you may experience with other boots. With little to no break in needed, these boots are equipped with removable contoured insoles that mold to the shape of your foot from the first wear, which ensures you won’t be walking away with any blisters or hot spots.

As well as being full grain leather (that means they’re really sturdy), these boots are built with breathable mesh linings that seal out water from getting in, while wicking away any moisture that forms inside. The Merrell Air cushion built into the heel of the boot absorbs shock and adds to the stability of the boot.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP

Specs
  • Height: Low
  • Type of Waterproofing: M-Select Dry Membranes
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
Features
  • Foam Tongue Keeps Moisture And Debris Out
  • Proprietary Waterproof Membranes Seal Out Water And Let Moisture Escape
  • Air Cushion In The Heels For Shock Absorption

BEST FOR: THE STYLISH ADVENTURER

While there is nothing wrong with the rugged look on a hike, there are some of us who prefer to look a little more stylish. The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP hiking boots are the epitome of wilderness chic with their brown suede, leather and mesh outsides. However, they don’t just look good — they’re comfortable too! With contoured foot beds that mold to your feet and cushioned heels that absorb shock, you won’t want to take these off any time soon.

The outsoles on these boots are great for traction, especially on sandy or rocky trails. With these on your feet, climbing up a huge sand dune will become an easy feat to achieve. These boots even provide waterproofing, enabling you to walk through puddles on a rainy day with no worries at all.

Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX

Specs
  • Height: Medium
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 7 oz.
Features
  • Durable Leather Uppers
  • Cushioned Midsoles For All-day Comfort And Support
  • Heel And Toe Ventilation Ports To Increase Airflow

BEST FOR: COMFORTABLE TRAVELS

If the first thing you look for when considering which new pair of hiking boots to add to your collection is comfort, look no further than the Vasque Breeze II Mid GTX hiking boots. The midsoles include a layer of cushioning that offer support and comfort throughout the whole duration of their lifespan.

The Waterproof Gore-tex extended comfort membranes allow for the shoes to breathe, all the while keeping your feet completely dry and protected. There’s no need to worry about overheating in these shoes, with heel and toe ventilation points keeping air flowing along the footbed of the shoe. These boots are great to wear straight out of the box, with no extra treatment needed.

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Specs
  • Height: Tall
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Features
  • Durable Nubuck Leather Uppers For Protection Against The Elements
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Liners For Increased Breathability
  • Vibram Soles For Extra Grip And Traction

BEST FOR: LONG DAY HIKES AND WEEKEND BACKPACKING

When spending most of your day on your feet and walking around on steep and muddy trails, you want your boots to work with you to ensure you’re traveling comfortably. The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots execute comfort and quality in a light pair of shoes, weighing in at just over 2lbs for the pair.

The durability of these boots proves them to last well over 500 miles, built with waterproof leather uppers and nylon ankle bands to improve the longevity of their performance. These boots are lined with polyester, which helps to wick away any moisture that may form on your feet during your long days traveling.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING HIKING BOOTS

FIT

It may sound obvious, but the first thing to do when buying hiking boots is make sure they fit. On top of knowing your size, take into account that you will be wearing thick hiking socks and more space than usual will be needed, so you may need to size up a bit. Hiking boots should be comfortable while fitting tightly around your feet to prevent blisters or abrasion.

 

MATERIALS

Hiking boots are built with different fabrics and plastic materials, which affect both performance and durability.

Uppers are normally produced with leather, mesh, or synthetic fabrics that guarantee durability and resistance to abrasion, while allowing your feet to breathe. Waterproof hiking boots are often made with Gore-Tex, a special kind of fabric that provides ventilation while protecting against water.

Nubuck leather is a thick and durable material used for the upper part of many hiking boots, and is ideal for thru-hikers trekking on rugged terrain. Split-grain leather, on the other hand, is more affordable and lighter in weight, but tends to wear out faster. Vegan hiking boots built with synthetic fabrics are also available, but they are less durable.

The midsole of a hiking boot is the component that provides cushioning. In most cases, the midsole is made with synthetic materials, while outsoles (the bottom, external part of the boot) are built with rubber and are designed to reduce the risk of slipping.

 

PROTECTION

Hiking boots are usually cushioned thanks the midsole. This feature protects you from the shock caused by trekking with a heavy backpack. However, boots with a lot of cushioning tend to lack flexibility. Because of this, lighter shoes with less cushioning are recommended for short and well-maintained trails.

When hiking on rugged terrain you often happen to hit your toes against exposed roots or rocks. Boots with heel and toe caps protect your feet with an extra layer of rubber in the areas that are more prone to suffer these kinds of injuries.

There is nothing more annoying than covering long distances in wet socks, so look out for Gore-Tex fabric if you plan to walk in mud or cross low rivers.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

MIDSOLE

The layer of fabric that provides cushioning, placed between footbed and outsole.

OUTSOLE

The layer of rubber found at the bottom of the hiking boot designed to provide traction and grip.

GORE-TEX (GTX)

A special kind fabric used in waterproof clothing and shoes. Gore-tex offers maximum breathability while keeping your feet dry.

NUBUCK LEATHER

A type of full-grain leather similar to suede.

VIBRAM

One of the largest producers of rubber outsoles.

READ MORE

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