Best Hiking Shoes and Boots for Men & Women

Let’s face it – hikers are such tough guys (and girls) that they literally destroy their footwear during a hike. It is a normal thing to finish a hike with torn hiking boots.

Or is it normal? If you are wearing cheap hiking footwear, this is all right, of course. Yet real tough hikers choose only the best hiking boots. Like those we have reviewed for you in our article.

We have tried these boots in the most severe mountainous areas of the US. After all these trials, we know that finding a good pair of hiking boots is not an easy task. Yet, nothing is impossible for real enthusiasts.

With our hiking boots, you can go conquer the Appalachian train without taking a spare pair along. Your feet will feel great even if you walk a million miles an hour.

Best Hiking Boots and Shoes 2017

NameBestType ProtectionWeight  
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTXFor MenBootCushioningMoisture protectionProtection from coldProtection from snowBreathableMedium Check Price
Merrell Moab 2For WomenShoesCushioningMoisture protectionBreathableLight Check Price
Hi-Tec Unisex HillsideFor KidsBootCushioningMoisture protectionProtection from coldProtection from snowBreathableMedium Check Price
Timberland White Ledge WaterproofWaterproofBootMoisture protectionProtection from coldProtection from snowBreathableHeavy Check Price
Salomon X Ultra 2LightweightShoesCushioningBreathableExtra light Check Price
Under Armour UA Clackamas 200 BootWinterBootMoisture protectionProtection from coldProtection from snowFreezing wind proofLight Check Price
Keen Voyager MidSummerBootBreathableLight Check Price
North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTXFor Plantar FasciitisShoesMoisture protectionBreathableLight Check Price
Northside Apex MidFor Wide FeetBootMoisture protectionProtection from coldProtection from snowLight Check Price
Hawkwell Couple OutdoorBudgetShoesMoisture protectionBreathableLight Check Price
ASICS GEL Venture 5Trail RunningShoesCushioningBreathableLight Check Price
Vasque Summit Gore-TexLeatherBootMoisture protectionProtection from coldProtection from snowBreathableMedium Check Price

Gender & Age

Best Hiking Boots for Women

Women’s Montara WP Boot from AhnuFinding good hiking boots is especially important for women. Women really care a lot about their feet – how they look and how they feel. Nobody wants to have blisters and bruised nails by the end of a hike, especially if it is summer and you want to wear fashionable sandals or other open shoes. Tired and bruised feet will not make anyone happier.

Montara boots from Ahnu are among the best women’s hiking boots, and not without reason. They are very durable and will last many miles in the most rugged terrains. Every element of their design is meant to improve the durability of the boots.

Leather uppers are designed to protect your feet from the environment and the elements. Rubber soles are tough and flexible at the same time, offering both protection and comfort. The outsoles have perfect traction to help you keep balance on rocky roads.

These boots will make you feel great in any conditions. They are breathable and waterproof to offer comfort under the blazing sun as well as under a downpour. The boots are made waterproof thanks to the rubber soles, oiled leather, and the eVent technology used in the production of rain jackets. Apart from that, Montara boots have a nylon mesh quarter panel and rubber toe and heel caps to offer protection from moisture and a comfortable fit.

Women’s Montara WP Boot from AhnuThese are mid-height boots, neither too high nor too low – just a perfect height to offer good ankle support without covering too much. They are lightweight yet, thanks to the Vibram outsoles, can support you with a heavy 40-pound backpack.

These hiking boots come with the unique patented Ahnu’s technology called Numentum. It is especially helpful for hikers who go on a long trip. This technology helps to center the foot inside the boot and guide it to create an even stride. That helps to keep balance and feel less tired even after many hours of walking. This feature also helps to keep your feet healthy, as all the bones and muscles work in an efficient way. No sore heels or toes!

These boots are also a good choice for winter hiking. They are rather warm to protect you from low temperatures. Besides, they have a perfect traction on snow packed trails and slippery ice. The boots are waterproof, so no moisture from the snow will permeate them.

These hiking boots are available in sizes from 5 to 11. Remember that you need boots that are a little larger than the shoes you wear on a daily basis. When hiking, you need some wiggle room for your toes. So it is best to get a size or two up. They come in a few colors including blue, black, green, and brown.

Pros
  • Do not need breaking in
  • Offer a comfortable fit
  • Great for any season – lightweight, waterproof and breathable yet rather warm
  • Perfect traction on any trail – sand, rock, snow, or ice-covered
Cons
  • The size chart is not precise; sizes tend to run a little bit small compared to the shoes you usually wear

Main characteristics

Uppers material Oiled leather
Weight Medium
Durability Good
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Shoes for Women

Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes from MerrellHiking shoes are a lighter version of hiking boots. They have a more comfortable fit and are great for hikes in not too harsh conditions. As for design, hiking shoes look much more feminine as they are not so bulky.

The Moab 2 hiking shoes from Merrel look rather attractive. The uppers are a stylish combination of suede leather and synthetic mesh. The choice of materials makes the shoes sturdy and lightweight at the same time. They come in four different shades of gray.

These shoes offer great arch support thanks to the nylon arch shank. If you are used to wearing additional inserts for that purpose, you can leave them for good. Your feet will be fully supported and protected with this pair of shoes.

The shoes have Vibram outsoles to ensure perfect traction on any tricky surfaces. You can be sure that your shoes will have a perfect grip on any kind of trail. The soles have a pattern that makes traction even better.

Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes from MerrellBuying these shoes, you can be sure that they will last long. They have a durable construction; all the parts of the shoes are held securely together thanks to reliable seaming and high-quality glues.

The shoes are very comfortable. They are lightweight and add almost no weight to your feet. With these shoes, your feet will feel as good as new even after a day-long hike with no rest. This is possible thanks to the air cushion placed inside the shoes. It creates excellent padding that helps your feet get tired less quickly.

These shoes are great for wide feet, as well as for feet with regular width. The width and the rounded toe cap is great in both cases. You can regulate the width of the shoes with the help of laces.

You can hike in these shoes on a rainy day – they will protect you from any moisture thanks to the waterproof materials. Your feet will stay dry all the time, no matter how much you hike or how heavy the rain is.

The shoes have an excellent fit. However, it is better to order half a size up to be on the safe side. It will allow you to wear thick socks and still have some spare room inside to avoid tightness all the problems caused by wearing too tight shoes.

Pros
  • A very comfortable fit
  • Great for wide feet and regular-width ones
  • Soft padding thanks to air cushions
  • Good arch support
Cons
  • Sizes are not always precise; the size you usually wear might turn out to be too small

Main characteristics

Uppers material Suede leather and mesh
Weight Light
Durability Good
Support Good

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Boots for Men

Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot from SalomonThese sturdy boots are designed specifically for real men who are not afraid of the most difficult trails. Their tough design will protect you from any possible natural dangers. They are great for thru-hikers planning to go through the Appalachian Trail or another great hiking trail.

These boots are completely waterproof thanks to the well-known Gore-Tex protection that keeps moisture out. Apart from being completely waterproof, Gore-Tex is known for its breathability. It will keep your feet from overheating and becoming sweaty, which is sure to cause a lot of discomfort on the trail.

The synthetic soles are really hard and can endure any kind of trail you choose to test your boots on. At the same time, they are fairly flexible. That means they will repeat the shape of your feet as you walk.

These are high hiking boots offering excellent ankle protection, which is very important if you are going on a serious hike. They have rugged lacing to keep the shoes securely on the feet and a rubber toe cap both for comfort and protection.

Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot from SalomonEvery component of these boots is ergonomically designed to offer the highest comfort and give you maximum aid for perfect performance on the trail. With these boots, you will get protection and stability you can rely upon.

With such level of protection, you might think that these boots are too heavy and sturdy. However, that is not the case. They are very lightweight and comfortable on your feet. Actually, size seven boots weigh only 560 grams.

The boots feature Salomon’s patented 4D Chassis. Their outsoles are made of four layers to offer bouncy cushioning, great stability, and wonderful traction that makes these boots reliable even in mountainous terrains. Such four-component outsoles even add to the boots’ comfort, protection, and foot control.

The boots are not insulated; however, they are great for low temperatures. Just be sure to wear warm socks underneath, and your feet will stay toasty. And the Gore-Tex will make sure that no moisture from snow gets inside the boots. Traction on snow is good, too.

If you think that pure leather is the best material when it comes to hiking boots, think again. Leather blended with textile is far more breathable while offering the same level of protection and durability. These boots can boldly be named among the best Gore-Tex hiking boots.

Pros
  • Excellent waterproof ability
  • Patented 4D Chassis outsoles for excellent traction and cushioning
  • Good in severe weather conditions
  • Laces stay tied no matter what
Cons
  • These boots will be way too narrow for hikers who have wide feet, so make sure that they will fit your foot’s width

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Medium
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Shoes for Men

Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe from MerrellThese shoes will become your best friend on a hike. Comfort, protection, and support – these are three main advantages of these shoes. Whether you are going on a long hike or for a short walk, these shoes are just the thing for you.

The shoes are available in more than ten colors so that every customer can choose one to their liking. The shoes have a stylish design that will make your feet not just feel great, but also look good on the hike.

The shoes’ uppers are made of water-resistant leather and synthetic mesh. This makes the shoes durable, breathable, and lightweight at the same time. In fact, these shoes are among the most breathable models on the market. They are not called Ventilators for nothing.

With these shoes, your feet will never “burn” even after a daylong hike under the blazing sun. The shoes vent really well. Your feet will never get sweaty, either, no matter how hot it is.

The soles of the shoes are designed to satisfy all the needs of a hiker on the trail. The rubber outsoles come with the Vibram Multi-Sport TC5+ technology for a perfect traction. The Air Cushion midsoles offer padding and act as shock absorbers, eliminating any foot aches and pains on hard roads.

Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe from MerrellThe outsoles have lug patterns for a good grip with the trail, dry or wet. The lugs are placed over all the surface of the soles, except for the arches. That allows your feet to stay naturally flexible in the shoes.

The insoles come with the M Select Fresh technology that contains several antimicrobial agents that prevent odor-causing bacteria from flourishing inside your shoes. This technology makes sure that your shoes stay fresh no matter what.

With these shoes, your toes and heels will be protected thanks to the toe bumper and heel counter, both made of a durable rubber compound. The design of the shoes is very sturdy thanks to the compression-molded foot frame made of EVA.

The Moab Ventilators are comfortable right out of the box and do not need breaking in. Wearing these shoes, your feet will always feel rested. You will be ready to go an extra mile even after a full day of hiking.

Please pay attention to the fact that the shoes run about half size small. So, ordering them, be sure to get one size up to have a perfect fit for hiking so that your feet are not compressed.

Pros
  • Soles offer great traction, support, and comfort
  • Perfect breathability
  • Antimicrobial agents that fight odor
Cons
  • The size chart is not correct – sizes are smaller than what you are used to, so make sure to get a larger size

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and synthetic fabric
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Kids Hiking Boots

Kids Unisex Hillside Hiking Boot from Hi-TecGoing on a hike with kids might be challenging both for parents and for children. Parents will have to be very careful and exercise reasonable precautions to avoid all kinds of accidents. Children, especially those who are not physically prepared for this kind of activity, will experience a lot of ups and downs of long-term hiking.

With these boots, your kid’s first hike will be far safer and much more comfortable. They are designed to support the still forming feet of kids as they make their way through rough trails.

These boots have everything to offer maximum comfort and support. The uppers are made of a durable combination of suede leather and synthetic fibers. This ensures durability, moisture protection, and breathability, all combined in one model.

Synthetic soles are sturdy without being too heavy. At the same time, they are comfortably flexible. The heel measures about 1.5 inches and the shaft measures about four inches from the arch.

Kids Unisex Hillside Hiking Boot from Hi-TecThe boots have a removable cushioned sock liner made of EVA for extra padding and comfort. The three main priorities of the brand when manufacturing hiking footwear are comfort, light weight, and quality.

The outsoles have a patented Hi-Tec pattern for good traction on any surface. You can be sure that your kid will not slip if it starts to rain when you are conquering a rocky path.

The boots are waterproof so that your kid’s feet will stay dry and warm if the skies decide to humor you with some rain. The leather and synthetic uppers will make sure that all the moisture stays out of the boots.

The membrane of the boots is not just waterproof, but breathable as well. It makes the boots great for dry and hot weather, as well as for chilly weather with high humidity. You can clean them quickly and easily if your kid has hiked through some mud.

The boots are available in two color choices – brown/orange and charcoal/blush. The boots look stylish, so your kids will be satisfied with the design. As the shoes are made of leather, they are hard to break in. So make sure your kid wears them a few times before a serious hike to avoid blisters and other hiking-related foot injuries.

Pros
  • Have a padding liner for extra comfort
  • Great for both dry and wet weather
  • Sturdy yet flexible outsoles
  • Have a stylish design both girls and boys will like
Cons
  • The shoes are rather stiff and require some time to break in and become softer and more comfortable for your feet

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and synthetic fabric
Weight Medium
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Shoes for Kids

Chameleon Mid-Lace Hiking Shoe from MerrellIf you plan a weekend backpacking trip with your kids, then you probably want to find good footwear for them – not too heavy, yet durable, comfortable, and offering great support. Well, look no further. We have found a perfect pair that meets all those requirement – Chameleon hiking shoes from Merrell.

The shoes come in several colors so that both boys and girls can choose one they like the most. The colors include olive/orange, brown/pink, black, and gray/turquoise. These boots are for two age groups – little kids and big kids, each available in different sizes.

The design of these shoes includes Merrell’s patented M Select Dry membrane that makes the shoes completely waterproof. The shoes feature leather/mesh breathable uppers for comfort and durability.

The shoes also have an odor-resistant liner with the M Select Fresh antimicrobial agents. It will keep your kid’s shoes fresh and good-smelling no matter the amount of heat and moisture inside.

Chameleon Mid-Lace Hiking Shoe from MerrellThe outsoles also feature a unique patented technology called M Select Grip. They are characterized by perfect traction that stays reliable on wet and dry trails. You can be sure of your child’s safety.

The shoes have a padded tongue and collar, which make them soft and comfy. They also come with a removable footbed made of EVA for extra support on long hikes. These shoes are lightweight, so they will not add much weight and will not make your child’s feet feel tired.

The shoes are rather warm, perfect for fall weather. At the same time, they are very breathable, which makes it comfortable to wear them in summer. They are great for camping trips in any weather.

These are not the standard low hiking shoes. They come up as high as mid ankle, offering additional support. This is great for those who are afraid that their kid will sprain an ankle while hiking through a mountainous terrain.

Please note that these shoes too run small. So it is best to order size and a half up so that the shoes will not compress your kid’s feet and they will still feel comfortable at the end of the hike.

The shoes are very soft and do not need any breaking in. If it is too hot, your kid can even wear the shoes without socks – no blisters guaranteed. The laces are very long so that you can lace your shoes up in different fashions.

The shoes endure a lot of hiking with almost no signs of wear. They will last long, supporting and protecting your kid on different trails. These are great shoes for the money.

Pros
  • No breaking in needed
  • Very affordable
  • Completely waterproof and highly breathable
  • Fight odors well
Cons
  • The shoes run really small, even smaller than the previous models; two sizes up is your solution if you want to feel comfortable and save your toes from being crumpled

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Qualities

Best Waterproof Hiking Boots

White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot from TimberlandEver experienced finishing a hike with wet feet because of the rain that had started so unexpectedly? Then, you are probably looking for really waterproof hiking shoes to avoid such situations in future.

If you want hiking shoes that will 100% protect you from moisture, have a look at the White Ledge boots from Timberland. They are designed to keep all the moisture out of the shoes and keep your feet dry.

The uppers of the boots are made of waterproof full-grain leather. All the seams are sealed with a rubberized tape to make sure that even the tiniest waterdrops do not seep on through the seams. These details make the boots perfect for hiking in rainy and muddy conditions.

The boots offer excellent ankle support. Their design includes a padded collar and tongue to protect the ankle. And the extra softness and cushioning will make your ankles feel much more comfortable.

The boots come with a dual density perforated footbed. Made of EVA, it aids air circulation inside the boots and eliminates any moisture. The footbed is removable in case you decide that you do not need it.

White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot from TimberlandThe boots come with Timberland’s patented B.S.F.P. system that means Brake, Support, Flex, and Propel. The design of the boots includes high-quality rubber outsoles that offer great traction and durability. The surface of the outsoles is covered with multidirectional lugs to offer perfect traction on a variety of surfaces. These boots offer exceptionally stable footing so that you can rely on them even on the most tricky trails.

The design of the boots includes two flexes – primary and secondary. The primary flex is placed behind the ball of the foot and the secondary one is in the toe area. They help to maintain the natural grooves of the feet as you walk.

The boots are really stylish and have a brutal look to them. They come in four colors – dark brown, wheat, brown, and guacho. The boots are available in sizes from 7 to 15, each size has a standard and wide version.

Thanks to the waterproof capacity and leather uppers, these boots are great for hiking in winter. Low temperatures and snow will not create any discomfort to your feet, especially is you wear warm socks to add an insulating layer.

Although these shoes are sturdy and have good thick soles, they are also rather lightweight. They weigh no more than two pounds. Being this lightweight, they will help your feet stay rested even after a long hike.

Pros
  • Durable leather uppers
  • Excellent traction outsoles featuring a unique B.S.F.P. system
  • Great waterproof capacity
  • A stylish design
Cons
  • It might be difficult to get the right length/width based on the size of the boots; be very careful when choosing the size

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Heavy
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Men’s Granite Ridge Waterproof Hiking Shoe from ColumbiaIf you want waterproof hiking footwear but find that hiking boots are not appealing to you – either because of some extra weight or because of a high price – waterproof hiking shoes are your best choice.

These hiking shoes are a great find for those who want to keep their feet dry on a hike. They are great for short and long hikes thanks to all their fine qualities and unique features.

The sturdy design of the Granite Ridge hiking shoes includes textile uppers and rubber outsoles. Apart from that, the shoes come with removable insoles. You can use them or switch them for any other insoles you prefer.

The shoes will protect your feet from any outside moisture thanks to the waterproof design. They have a waterproof membrane that does not let any moisture inside the shoes. However, like most hiking shoes, they have a low cut design. Meaning, if you want better protection from water, you should pick hiking boots as they cover your feet all the way up to your ankles, giving protection to a larger surface.

Men’s Granite Ridge Waterproof Hiking Shoe from ColumbiaWith these shoes, you can discover new trails in any terrain. They have thick rubber outsoles that offer good traction and provide great stability on any kind of trail. These shoes will make sure that you finish even the most difficult hike feeling great and wishing for more.

Unlike most hiking shoes, the Granite Ridge waterproof shoes need some time for breaking in. The textile uppers are very sturdy and will not be comfortable right out of the box. Be sure to give the shoes a good try before going on an actual hike.

These shoes have a perfect sizing for hiking footwear. If you choose your usual size, you will likely find that your new hiking shoes are slightly larger than what you are used to. If we look at this from the point of view of hiking, this is forethoughtful. Your toes will be glad to have some wiggle room, especially if you have to come down from a hill.

The shoes are great for those whose feet tend to get tired really quickly. They offer great padding, making your feet feel a relaxing softness with each step. Although, if you are planning to go on a really long hike, you’d better replace the insoles with stiffer ones. When you have many miles to go, good support is much more important than cushioning.

Pros
  • A waterproof design
  • Rubber outsoles offer great traction
  • The insoles offer great padding
Cons
  • Need some time for breaking in, otherwise you will suffer from severe blisters and other unpleasant consequences

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Good

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Lightweight Hiking Boots

When going on a long-term hike, you have very specific requirements for your hiking footwear. Your hiking boots or shoes need to have durable uppers and outsoles, they need to have a comfortable fit, have shock-absorbing abilities, have great breathability and offer decent weather protection.

Last, but not least, the boots need to lightweight. Otherwise, your feet will get tired too quickly. Everybody knows that heavy boots will make you tired much quicker than a heavy backpack. That is why it is so important to find hiking boots that do not weigh too much.

Men’s Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot from MerrellYou might think that if you want lightweight hiking footwear, you should forget about hiking boots and get hiking shoes instead. However, that is not true. There are a lot of lightweight hiking boots on the market. And Moab Ventilator hiking boots from Merrell are among them.

Each boot weighs less than a pound. Such light weight is achieved thanks to the mesh uppers with a little leather for durability. The design is rather sturdy thanks to the leather, yet lightweight and breathable thanks to the textile mesh.

The outsoles are also light thanks to the choice of material. They are made of a synthetic compound, lightweight yet sturdy and durable. It will protect your feet from any hardships on the trail. The outsoles have a non-slip Vibram quality to them that enhances traction, making you feel stable on unstable footing.

Men’s Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot from MerrellThe shoes come with a set of unique technologies from Merrell. The M Select Fresh technology works thanks to antimicrobial agents on the insides of the shoes. They prevent the development of odor-causing bacteria even when your feet get sweaty. The M Select Dry technology also helps your feet stay fresh. The shoes have a mesh lining that wicks moisture and helps your feet stay dry no matter what.

The shoes have everything to ensure the utmost comfort for your feet. They come with the patented Ortholite footbed that has an anatomical shape and offers great support for the feet. This feature makes these shoes especially good for those who suffer from foot pain.

The laces on the shoes go through fabric eyelets. Most hiking shoes have metal eyelets. Some might think of it as of a disadvantage. However, the eyelets on the Moab Ventilator are very durable, despite the fact that they are made of fabric, not metal.

The boots are not waterproof. If you cross water during your hike, your feet will be wet through. However, the fact that the shoes have soaked will not affect their quality or performance.

Pros
  • True to size
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Have an anatomically shaped Ortholite footbed
  • Will keep your feet dry and fresh if you star sweating
Cons
  • The boots are not waterproof, meaning they will not protect your feet from moisture on a rainy day

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes

Men’s X Ultra 2 Hiking Shoe from SalomonFor those, who find hiking boots, even the lightest of them, too heavy for their liking, there are lightweight hiking shoes. They weigh less thanks to the fact that they do not come all the way up to the ankles. They are also made of lightweight materials to decrease the weight of the product.

The X Ultra 2 hiking shoes from Salomon weigh just 13.4 ounces, which makes them extremely lightweight and almost unnoticeable on your feet. With these shoes, you can be sure that your feet will not get tired because your shoes weigh too much.

The shoes are very comfortable. Unlike most shoes that have laces you need to meticulously tie and untie each time (which can be rather irritating sometimes, let’s be honest), this model comes with the Quicklace system. Now you can tighten the laces with one pull.

These shoes have an athletic design, stylish and sleek. They come in five finish colors – Autobahn/Black/Steel Grey, Fjord, Fjord/Black/Ray, Bistro Gre/Navy Blaze/Su, and Blue. Each of the colors only accentuates the sporty design. Sizes available range from 7 to 13.

Men’s X Ultra 2 Hiking Shoe from SalomonWith these shoes, you can conquer even the muddiest trails. Their design includes a mud guard, which makes the shoes easy to clean, no matter how much mud gets onto the surface.

The uppers are made of synthetic materials and the soles are made of rubber. Both materials are rather lightweight but, at the same time, durable. There is a protective toe cap at the front.

Although being lightweight, these shoes offer perfect stability on the trail. They have advanced chassis that are made of three parts – a midsole made of EVA, a TPU chassis for stable footing, and the patented Contragrip outsole for good traction on any surface.

The shoes come with Salomon’s technology called Sensifit. It is designed to comfortably fit the foot all over its surface. This model also includes heel straps that makes putting the shoes on much easier.

The synthetic mesh uppers are highly breathable, which will make your feet feel great on a long hike on a hot day. Like some other models, these shoes come with an anatomical Ortholite footbed for the utmost comfort of movement.

The shoes will fit your feet comfortably right out of the box, so no need to break them in – just put them on and go for a hike. It’s that easy! The shoes are very soft thanks to the textile uppers and EVA footbeds, so no blisters guaranteed.

Pros
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Quicklace lacing system
  • Anatomically shaped Ortholite footbed
  • Contragrip outsoles
Cons
  • Like most lightweight footwear with mesh uppers, these shoes cannot offer decent water protection

Main characteristics

Uppers material Textile
Weight Extra light
Durability Good
Support Good

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Season

Best Winter Hiking Boots

Hiking in winter is not an easy task. You need to have proper gear to protect you from severe weather conditions – low temperatures, snow, and freezing wind. A good insulating jacket, warm bottoms, and, of course, a pair of best snow hiking boots is what you need.

When looking for boots for winter hiking, you should pay attention to two main qualities – waterproof ability to protect you from snow and warmth to protect your feet from cold.

UA Clackamas 200 Boot Men’s from Under ArmourThe Clackamas boots from Under Armour are great for those who decide to conquer new trails no matter the weather conditions. The boots are high – they come up to mid-calves. You can tuck your pants into them to prevent cold and snow from getting close to your skin.

The boots are mainly made of rubber with a touch of water resistant canvas in the uppers. Both materials are added for the utmost moisture-resistance to make sure that your feet will stay dry even when you have to go through a snow-covered path with snow rising up to your ankles.

The rubber outsoles have aggressive lugs to provide good traction in slippery conditions. The outsoles are made of non-marking rubber, meaning you will not leave marks on the floors when you go inside.

The lacing system of the boots is designed to be as durable and reliable as possible. The metal eyelets and high-quality laces will make sure that your boots are laced tightly no matter how long you have been walking.

The boots are designed to be as comfortable as possible. They might seem not very comfortable at first glance. However, when you put them on, you’ll find that the real situation is quite the opposite.

UA Clackamas 200 Boot Men’s from Under ArmourThe insides of the boots are equipped with molded midsoles made of EVA. They are aimed at making the shoes more comfortable on long hikes. Another great feature of the boots is an antimicrobial Ortholite sock liner. It does not give odors any chances, which is especially important as the boots are made mainly of non-breathable rubber.

The boots have a very stylish and ergonomic design. They are available in two color choices – Black/Charcoal/Big Apple Red and Branch/Uniform. The sizes you can choose from range from 8 to 12.

Although having no insulation, these boots are very warm thanks to the fact that they let no moisture of cold air inside. After all, you can add an insulating layer yourself – just wear a pair of thick merino socks, and your feet will feel as if in a warm bath.

The shoes are sturdy and look rather heavy, however, in reality, they do not weight much at all. That is also very important when looking for winter hiking boots. It is quite difficult to walk through an ankle-high layer of snow, even more so if you are wearing heavy boots.

Pros
  • Great protection from snow and cold
  • Sturdy yet lightweight
  • A comfortable design
Cons
  • The boots have no insulation, meaning you should add an insulating layer to keep your feet warm when it is freezing outside

Main characteristics

Uppers material Rubber and canvas
Weight Light
Durability Good
Support Good

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Summer Hiking Boots

Men’s Voyager Mid Hiking Boot from KeenSome people are so used to hiking boots that they will not trade them for anything, even the most comfortable hiking shoes. That is why some hikers suffer from “burning feet” once it gets hot. When hiking in summer, you need footwear that is lightweight and breathable. There are hiking shoes and boots with mesh uppers that allow your feet to breathe, avoiding the uncomfortable feeling when your feet are moist and start rubbing against your shoes.

Planning some summer hiking yet are too used to hiking boots? Then, you need a pair of the best hot weather hiking boots. Luckily, we have found just what you need – Voyager boots from Keen.

With these shoes, you can be sure that your feet will maintain a comfortable temperature, no matter how hot it is outside. Their uppers have multiple mesh inserts to create good air circulation inside the boots. This way, your feet will breathe and stay fresh.

The uppers are made of leather with textile mesh. Leather offers protection and long-lasting performance, while textile inserts decrease the weight of the shoes and make them breathable. The outsoles are made of rubber, sturdy and durable.

The leather also gives the boots some waterproof quality. Although, the mesh inserts will let any water inside. So, these boots are not the best option for those who want to forge rivers. If you need to cross a river or stream, you’d better switch your boots for hiking sandals. Going barefoot might be dangerous as there might be sharp rocks underneath the water.

Men’s Voyager Mid Hiking Boot from KeenMaybe the fact that the shoes are not waterproof might disappoint you. However, the boots dry pretty quickly thanks to the proper air circulation. Even if the boots do get wet, they’ll be dry again very soon, especially in summer.

The boots offer a great grip for stable footing on any trail. Either you walk on rocks or have to go downhill – you are safe as long as you are wearing the Voyagers from Keen. They have hard molded soles with ridges and pockets that offer wonderful traction.

The boots tend to stretch with wear. So, if you have ordered a pair and found that it is slightly tight, wear them a few times, and the boots will stretch a bit. Although, as with any hiking footwear, it will be more reasonable to get a size up.

The boots are super light thanks to the lightweight leather and mesh. They are perfect for hikes on long and short distances. After you have taken some time for breaking them in, the boots will feel like the most comfortable slippers.

These boots offer perfect support to your feet and ankles. Your feet will still feel great after a day in them. The shoes also look great. They come in several colors including Raven/Tawny Olive, Cascade Brown/Raven, Barley/Bossa Nova, and Magnet/Tortoise Shell.

Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable – perfect for summer hikes
  • Dry quickly
  • You will have a stable footing thanks to the good grip of the soles
Cons
  • The boots are not waterproof; that is a common downside of lightweight and highly breathable hiking footwear

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and mesh
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Exquisite

Best Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a problem of many hikers. This pain in the heels bothers so many people, becoming especially irritating when on a hike. Having to fight pain as you are testing your endurance on the trail can be rather frustrating.

It may sound strange, but plantar fasciitis that ruins any hiking experience is often caused by… hiking. Or, rather, hiking in uncomfortable shoes. Walking hour after hour in the wrong kind of shoes, you strain your plantar fascia (the ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone). As a result, the ligament becomes weak, starts swelling, and, with time, gets inflamed.

Men’s Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiking Shoes from The North FaceIf you are a hiker that suffers from plantar fasciitis, you probably know how important it is to find comfortable shoes with a good arch support. You also know well that can be rather difficult a task. Apart from the arch support, shoes that can ease the symptoms of plantar fasciitis should have thick midsoles offering good padding.

The soles of the shoes should also have a certain shape. The heels should be raised a bit. Thanks to a slight flex in your feet, the strain of the plantar fascia will be eased considerably. And, consequently, the pain will not bother you as much, if at all.

Men’s Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiking Shoes from The North FaceYes, finding a pair of shoes that will have all the features necessary to soothe your plantar fascia is not an easy task. However, we have managed to find such a pair for you. Meet Hedgehog hiking shoes from the North Face.

These shoes combine many advantages. They have breathable mesh uppers that make the shoes lightweight. This will also come in handy for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. The less weight you carry on your feet, the less strain your feet will get. These shoes weigh only 32.9 ounces.

The fact that the uppers are made of mesh should not make you think that the shoes are not waterproof. On the contrary, the construction of the shoes includes a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane that will leave rain or any other moisture any chance of penetrating the shoes. The design of the uppers also includes polyurethane-coated leather for better waterproof capacity.

The shoes come with a unique Cradle technology that offers great support and stability for the feet. The arches, the toes, and the hills will be supported thanks to the anatomically designed soles.

The soles are thick and sturdy, yet not heavy at all. They offer great traction on a wide variety of surfaces. You can hike through wet and muddy trails thanks to the waterproof quality of the shoes.

Pros
  • Offer great support for the feet thanks to the heel stabilizer
  • A waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane
  • Thick outsoles with good traction
  • Combination lace entry and rustproof hardware
  • Great for plantar fasciitis treatment and prevention
Cons
  • These hiking shoes are rather pricy; they cost like a good pair of hiking boots

Main characteristics

Uppers material Synthetic
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

Men’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot from KeenIf you suffer from plantar fasciitis but prefer boots to shoes, we have a solution for you – these Targhee II hiking boots from Keen. They deliver comfort as long as you keep walking, offering great sensations for your feet.

The uppers are made of a durable combination of leather and textile. There is a liner inside the shoes for extra breathability. The soles are made of high-quality rubber, sturdy yet flexible.

The Nubuck leather of the uppers works as a waterproof barrier, while hydrophobic mesh liner only contributes to keeping your feet dry no matter the weather conditions.

Men’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot from KeenThe shoes are designed to offer outstanding support to your feet. They have a contoured heel lock that keeps the heel securely in place, creating stable footing no matter what.

The stability of your feet will also be provided by aggressive outsoles. They have four mm-thick multi-directional lugs for excellent traction on any surface. No matter what terrain you are conquering today – these shoes will keep you walking on any trail.

The shoes come with the patented KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry as you hike under a pouring rain or cross streams on your way to the destination point. The membrane is not only waterproof; it is also breathable, keeping your feet comfortably cool in hot weather.

The boots have a mid-cut height that offers decent ankle support without being too heavy and bulky. The design of the boots includes the patented ESS shank for good torsional stability.

Thanks to the perfect stability, arch support, and anatomical design, these boots will be a real lifesaver for those who want to soothe plantar fasciitis pains or just to prevent their feet from getting tired on a hike.

plantar fasciitis orthoticsIf you decide to get these boots, be sure to take a size up as they will be smaller than your normal footwear. Besides, you always need some extra space in your boots when hiking, so taking half a size or full size up is always a good idea.

These boots come complemented with insoles that can be removed if you’d like. You can replace them with plantar fasciitis orthotics to offer even more relief for your feet.

These boots have a sturdy design. They will effortlessly endure five to six months of hardcore hiking, protecting and supporting your feet wherever your hiker’s ambitions take you.

Pros
  • Waterproof – great for rainy weather
  • Breathable – great for summer hiking
  • Good foot and ankle support
  • Excellent torsional stability
Cons
  • Just like so many hiking boots, this model tends to run small; getting a larger size will be a wise decision

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Medium
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet

Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe from MerrellThe wider your feet are, the narrower is the choice of footwear available for you. The same is true for hiking shoes and boots. Only some models are available in standard and wide widths. Others are way too narrow for people with wide feet, meaning they are not suitable for wear, even less so for hiking.

Hiking footwear for wide feet should have an efficient lacing system to keep the shoes securely on the feet. There aren’t so many hiking footwear brands that offer shoes for wide feet. Merrel and Columbia are two of the few.

However, when choosing hiking shoes for wide feet, the width should not be your only priority. The shoes should be comfortable, offer good support for your feet, be durable, and have a good grip on different surfaces.

The Moab 2 hiking shoes from Merrel come in two variants – for standard-width feet and wide feet. They are available in a wide range of men’s sizes – from 7 to 15. The shoes come in several colors – dark brown, granite, beluga, espresso, dusty olive, and walnut – each equally stylish.

Like most hiking shoes that combine durability and light weight, they are made of leather and textile uppers and synthetic soles. The leather and mesh uppers create a sturdy design and offer perfect breathability, which will come in especially handy if you are going on a hike under the blazing summer sun. In addition to good breathability, the shoes offer prime waterproofing.

Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe from MerrellThe outsoles, made of a synthetic compound, come with the patented Vibram pattern to provide good traction. Thanks to the Vibram technology, you can always be sure of your footing, even on the most unstable and slippery path.

The stability of your feet will be ensured by EVA footbeds. They are designed to offer support for the feet. It is also increased by arch shanks made of nylon. Your feet will feel support with each step.

The laces will make your feet fit snugly into the shoes, without too much looseness that might cause rubbing and, as a result, painful blisters. The shoes come with Merrell’s patented air cushions to prevent your feet from getting too much shock on hard rocky trails.

The shoes are extremely lightweight. They weigh about a pound both. They will give you the feeling of such lightness and padding thanks to the light weight and the air cushions, that you will feel as if you are walking on clouds, not on hard earth.

The outsoles are thick and rather stiff, perfect to protect your feet on rocky trails. However, the outsoles are not very flexible, which might be a bit uncomfortable. But, on the other hand, it means that the outsoles are unlikely to crack.

Pros
  • Excellent waterproof capacity
  • Light weight and breathability thanks to the choice of the material for the uppers
  • Good foot support and stability
Cons
  • The outsoles lack flexibility, which may cause possible discomfort on the trail, such as foot stiffness and strained ligaments

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet

Men’s Apex Mid Wide Hiking Boot from NorthsideWhen choosing hiking footwear for wide feet, boots are preferable to shoes. Boots come all the way up to your ankles, holding the shoes securely on your feet. With hiking shoes, you have to rely only on the tightness of laces.

The Apex boots from Northside have a mid cut – not too high, not too low, just perfect for comfort and support. They have a lace-up closure with durable and rustproof metal rings.

The uppers are made of pure leather, waterproof and durable. With these shoes, you can be sure that your feet will stay dry no matter the moisture levels around you. You can boldly cross streams and shallow rivers without fear of getting your feet soaked through.

The uppers have a detailed and reliable stitching that holds all the parts securely together. The uppers have a fabric lining on the inside, soft and moisture absorbing to offer the utmost level of comfort.

The boots come complemented with fabric insoles for extra softness and cushioning for the soles of your feet. The insoles are not attached to the boots, and you can replace them if you choose.

Men’s Apex Mid Wide Hiking Boot from NorthsideThe soles are made of rubber. They are covered with lugs for traction and prevention of slippages on wet rocks and other treacherous surfaces. The boots are rather lightweight for leather hiking footwear.

These shoes are designed specifically for hikers with wide feet. They come only in wide sizes. The boots are available in two colors – brown and black. These dark colors are perfect for hiking as they do not show signs of dirt and will look great after several weeks of hiking.

Thanks to the waterproof leather uppers with a textile liner, these shoes are warm enough for wearing during cold winter months. Be sure to wear warm hiking socks, though. Some additional insulation is always welcome when going on a winter hike.

The boots have good arch supports. This feature will make sure that the muscles of your feet do not overstrain during a hike. And this will save you from hiking-related foot pain and other problems.

As these boots are made of leather, make sure to take some time to break them in before going on a hike. This will ensure a good fit when you do go on a hike. And we all know how important the fit is and how it can make or break a hike. With wear, these boots will become like your second skin, and you will feel as if you are wearing nothing on your feet.

Pros
  • A perfect design for wide feet
  • Waterproof leather uppers with a moisture-absorbing liner
  • Rather lightweight for leather boots
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • You’ll need some time to break the boots in if you want to avoid blisters on the hike and feel great on your journey

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Budget Hiking Boots

Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot from Hi-TecLet’s face it – good hiking boots are rarely affordable. All the high-quality materials used in the production of the uppers and outsoles and offering waterproofness, breathability, comfort, and protection cost quite a bit. That is why most hiking boots come for a price of $100 or more.

However, among all the models on the market, there is a good possibility of finding decent hiking footwear under 100. If you are looking for the best cheap hiking boots, you should take a look at the Bandera boots from Hi-Tec.

Like so many hiking boots, their uppers are made of a combination of leather and textile. The uppers are sturdy yet soft. The tongue feels very comfortable against the skin once you lace the shoes up.

The soles are made of rubber, which is also quite usual for hiking boots and is found in more expensive models. The outsoles offer good traction thanks to the unique Hi-Tech pattern, designed specifically for a reliable grip.

The front of the boots is protected with a rubber toecap to prolong the lifespan of the boots. It is so common to bump into rocks and all kinds of obstacles with the front of the foot. With the toecap, the signs of wear and tear will be kept to a minimum.

The boots are available in men’s sizes from 7.5 to 14. You can choose out of three colors – Bone/Brown/Mustard, Taupe/Gold, and Brown/Olive/Snow. Each of the colors will look natural on the trail, no matter the landscape.

Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot from Hi-TecThe boots have a mid-cut design, the most comfortable and anatomical. It offers great support without being too heavy or covering too much. Boots that come all the way up to your ankles or mid-calves are much bulkier. However, they are a good choice when you have to hike through the snow.

These boots offer great protection from moisture. Their construction includes a waterproof breathable membrane that will keep your feet dry, giving moisture from the inside or outside no chance of ruining your hike.

The boots will keep their quality and looks after extended exposure to rain. They have rustproof hardware that will keep your shoes laced tight no matter what. This model has a stylish design that is made even more interesting by natural colors.

Apart from all the abovementioned advantages, the Banderas from Hi-Tec provide excellent stability for your feet. They come with steel shanks to offer prime arch support and protecting you from feet pain.

As you can see, you can find good hiking boots for a reasonable price. However, it is not easy and requires a lot of time, patience, and attention. Luckily for you, you do not have to spend hours and hours on the choice. Just get these boots, the best boots for the money.

Pros
  • A very reasonable price
  • A waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Excellent protection and support
Cons
  • The insoles do not offer sufficient cushioning; you can replace them with any insoles of your choice

Main characteristics

Uppers material Leather and textile
Weight Medium
Durability Good
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Budget Hiking Shoes

Unisex Couple Outdoor Hiking Shoe from HawkwellIf you want to save as much money as possible when buying hiking footwear, you should look for hiking shoes. They tend to be much cheaper than boots for hiking. In fact, you can find hiking shoes for under $50.

If you are looking for the best cheap hiking shoes, have a look at the Unisex Couple shoes from Hawkwell. They are a nice option for those who want to get good hiking shoes without spending a fortune.

The shoes are completely waterproof. The uppers are made of mesh fabric and polyurethane. This combination of materials is often used in the production of rain jackets. The PU ensures impermeability and the textile mesh has moisture-wicking qualities.

The outsoles are made of a durable synthetic material. They are rather thick; however, not too thick to sacrifice flexibility. The outsoles come with the patented SELECT GRIP technology for good traction and stable footing on any surface.

The shoes come not with standard laces that are usual for most hiking shoes and hiking boots. They have bungee laces instead. They are very stretchy to offer a perfect fit for any feet.

Unisex Couple Outdoor Hiking Shoe from HawkwellThe shoes are designed to offer the most to users. They are durable and abrasion resistant to offer the best performance. These shoes have a perfect price/quality ratio and allow you to get a decent product without spending a fortune.

These unisex shoes are available in sizes from 6 to 12. They come in four colors – two for men (black and brown) and two for women (black and gray). The men’s colors are available in men’s sizes, and the women’s colors – in women’s sizes.

The shoes have a wide fit that can be regulated with the bungee laces. You can loosen them when your feet start swelling a bit after hiking all day long or tighten them at the beginning of the next day of hiking. The shoes are highly adjustable, which is one of their great advantages.

The shoes might seem stiff the first time you put them on. However, with wear, they become much more flexible. Which is why it will be wise to take some time to break them in before going on a hike. Most hiking shoes are comfortable right out of the box. However, having to break the shoes in is no big deal, especially considering the price of the product.

Pros
  • The best price/quality ratio on the market
  • Perfect waterproofing capacity
  • Thick outsoles with a good grip
Cons
  • Not comfortable right out of the box; you’ll have to spend some time breaking the shoes in so that you experience no discomfort on the trail

Main characteristics

Uppers material Polyurethane and mesh
Weight Light
Durability Good
Support Good

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

When getting a new pair of hiking footwear, many hikers decide in favor of trail runner shoes. And that is understandable. They can replace heavy hiking boots thanks to the stiff construction, decent foot protection, and good grip on rugged terrain.

Trail runners can be of different types, each for a certain type of trail. There are shoes for light trails – calm countryside roads that do not require much protection for your feet. There are trail running shoes for rugged trails. They have thick outsoles with lugs for good traction and protection. There are also off trail shoes. These are the most durable and offer the highest level of protection.

Men’s GEL Venture 5 Trail Running Shoe from ASICSThe Venture 5 from ASICS are trail runners that offer maximum protection. They have thick outsoles that create a reliable barrier between your feet and the rugged surface of the trail.

The outsoles are made of durable rubber to make sure that they stay whole and show no signs of wear for as long as it is possible. They are equipped with reversed traction lugs for excellent grip. The outsoles are enforced with extra-durable rubber in high-wear areas.

The uppers are made of synthetic leather and textile mesh.  These are good shoes for those who are looking for violence-free footwear, as they have no animal products in their construction.

Men’s GEL Venture 5 Trail Running Shoe from ASICSThe shoes have a middle-height shaft, neither too high nor to low. These shoes are just perfect for people with standard feet. However, they might not be comfortable for those who have flat feet or high arches.

The shoes offer great padding on the trail thanks to the rearfoot gel cushioning. Rocks underneath the soles of your feet will cause no discomfort to you thanks to this handy feature.

The shoes come with a removable sock liner that is designed to accommodate medical orthotics. It is very comfortable for those who have some foot issues – plantar fasciitis, over-pronation, or others – and want to help their conditions with medical accessories.

Selecting these shoes, you will get a wide variety of colors to choose from. They are available in more than fifteen colors – light and dark, neutral and with dark accents. There are even lady-like designs with pink elements.

The shoes come in sizes from 7 to 15. All sizes are available in two variations – for wide feet and feet with standard width. The extra width is mostly noticeable in the forefoot area.

Pros
  • Aggressive soles that will protect you against rocks and other dangers on the path
  • All-synthetic uppers
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Great for wide fit
Cons
  • Will not fit you well if you have high arches or flat feet; however, an orthotic will solve this problem for you

Main characteristics

Uppers material Synthetic textile and mesh
Weight Light
Durability Excellent
Support Good

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Best Leather Hiking Boots

Men’s Summit Gore-Tex Waterproof Backpacking Boot from VasqueMost people think that there is nothing better than a good pair of leather boots when it comes to hiking footwear. And, in most cases, they tend to be right. So what are the advantages of leather hiking boots?

They are usually long-lasting thanks to the durable uppers. They are also waterproof thanks to the qualities of leather. You can even improve the waterproofing by applying mink oil to the leather of your boots.

Leather boots offer good protection from all kinds of natural dangers, starting with rocks and branches on the path and ending with rain, cold, and snow. Apart from all that, leather boots are very stylish.

Men’s Summit Gore-Tex Waterproof Backpacking Boot from VasqueThere are many leather boots for hiking on the market. Our choice is Summit boots from Vasque. They have 2.6 mm thick full-grain leather uppers that have all the abovementioned advantages. Durable and waterproof, they have a very stylish and expensive look.

The waterproof capacity of the leather uppers is enhanced by the Gore-Tex membrane that does not let any moisture to get through it. Another great feature of Gore-Tex is its excellent breathability that helps your feet to stay dry and fresh.

These shoes come with the Performance Comfort Technology that will make you feel comfortable in any conditions. Heat or excessive moisture – your feet will always be ready for a hike with these boots.

The Summit boots from Vasque have grippy Vibram outsoles for good traction that will guarantee you a sure footing on any kind of trail. Actually, this model is among the best backpacking boots. With them, you will be available many hours of hiking with a heavy backpack behind your shoulders.

The boots are not insulated. However, they are still rather warm thanks to the thick leather uppers. Just add a pair of thick and warm merino socks, and you can use them for winter hiking without fear that your feet will get cold.

Pros
  • Thick leather uppers that ensure great protection and make the boots good for hiking in low temperatures
  • A breathable Gore-Tex membrane with the Performance Comfort Technology
  • Vibram outsoles with a good grip
Cons
  • Like all leather hiking boots, they need serious job on breaking in to make the leather softer and less likely to rub your feet

Main characteristics

Uppers material Full-grain leather
Weight Medium
Durability Excellent
Support Excellent

Additional features

Waterproofing  
Warmth  
Cushioning  
Breathability  

Hiking Boots and Shoes Buying Guide

Hiking is a great way of getting to know the world around us. At the same time, it helps to discover the world inside you. It can also make you a much better person. Trying to go through a challenging trail, you get a good preparation for any difficulties of life. At the same time, you learn to be fearless, as you do not know what is awaiting you several steps ahead.

However, hiking might be dangerous. That is why you need all sorts of hiking gear. And, most importantly, you need the best hiking boots.

If you are looking for hiking footwear, you have found the right place. We have picked the best backpacking boots hiking shoes for you.

Types of Hiking Footwear

When we think of hiking footwear, most of us think of either hiking boots or shoes. These two types are the most popular of all, that is true. However, the choice of footwear for hiking is not limited by these two options.

Hiking shoes are an upgraded version of running shoes. They are also sometimes called trail running shoes. They come up higher than your usual running shoes and offer higher protection. They are the best option for short and not too adventurous hikes in warm and dry weather.
Hiking sandals might seem like a joke to some as they offer almost no protection. The only part of the foot they cover is the sole. However, experienced hikers always carry a pair of hiking sandals in their backpack if they know there will be a stream ahead. They are a perfect option when you have to cross a stream or river. This way, the boots or shoes you are hiking in will be dry.
Day-hiking boots are designed for moderate hiking. They are made of aggressive threads to offer good protection. Other features of day-hiking boots include a padded scree collar, a stiff fiberglass shank for extra sole protection, and an attached tongue.
Backpacking boots are designed for long hikes in moderately harsh conditions. They are a great option for backpackers who plan several days of hiking in the wilderness. Backpacking boots are usually higher above the ankle than day-hiking boots. They have a fiberglass or steel shank and a fully or partially attached tongue. They are made of threads that can resist high impact.
Mountaineering boots are designed for the toughest trails. If you are a mountain-path-goer, they are a necessity for you. These boots are the toughest of all; they are made of aggressive materials and are truly rigid. Usually, mountaineering boots are made of heavy leather or molded plastic for highest-grade foot protection.

Hiking Shoes vs Boots

Hiking boots or shoes – which is better? Boots are an obvious choice for most hikers. However, a lot of lovers of challenging trails give their preference to shoes – hiking shoes and trail running shoes. Both shoes and boots have their ups and downs, and there is no precise answer to which of them is better. Each is good for its purpose.

Some hikers who have tried running shoes as their hiking gear state that it is a misconception that you necessarily need hiking boots if you go for a hike. Running shoes are much better. However, that is not often so. It all depends on your hike. In some cases, a good pair of hiking boots can be a real lifesaver (or, indeed, a real feet saver).

Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiking boots and shoes and try to find out which will be better for you depending on your needs and the peculiarities of your hike. But first, lets define the conditions that might influence your choice of hiking footwear.

The Trail

What kind of trail do you prefer? If you are a day hiker who chooses light trails with a calm landscape – rolling hills, not too steep slopes, tiny rivers, and all that Hobbiton-like scenery – shoes will be just fine.

If you are a distance hiker and like to test your endurance on challenging trails – rocky slopes or mountain paths – hiking boots are your only choice if you want to keep your feet whole and unharmed.

If you are a thru-hiker going on a 12-month hike, you’ll probably need both – shoes and boots. This way, you’ll be able to change your footwear depending on the trail that lies ahead. Besides, it never hurts to have a spare pair of shoes on such a long hike. Even if it will mean some additional weight in your already heavy backpack.

The Weather

Every hiker (except the most reckless ones) makes sure to have a look at the weather forecast before starting on a hike. Of course, an experienced hiker cannot be frightened by rain. It will only mean more preparation and specific gear. The best rain jacket and a good pair of waterproof hiking boots will protect you from excessive moisture.

If the weather is going to be warm and sunny, boots will only cause inconvenience. It is very unpleasant when your feet are too hot; it makes them feel even more tired. Light and breathable shoes are just what you need. By the way, make sure to take the best sunglasses along – a good UV protection means as much as feet protection for good performance on a hike.

Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes?

Hiking shoes weigh much less than hiking boots. We all know that saying stating that every pound on your feet is equal to five pounds on your back. That is why perfect footwear should be lightweight.

Apart from being lightweight, hiking shoes can offer a lot of other advantages. They are soft and flexible, which makes blisters unlikely when you break in your brand new trail runners. They will let your feet breathe, making sure they do not sweat. When the feet are sweaty, they become blistered much easier. Hiking shoes will make you comfortable on your hike if the weather is warm and dry.

Hiking shoes

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Dry quickly
  • Flexible
Cons
  • Will not support your ankle
  • Not durable
  • Thin soles

good blister kitHowever, sometimes, some extra weight on your feet is a good price to pay for extra support, protection, and durability. Hiking boots can offer all that. You need a nice and tough pair if you are starting on a long and challenging hike. Make sure to take along a good blister kit to offer proper first aid for your feet. Most hiking boots are very rough and hard to break in.

But, if there is a rocky path lying ahead of you, hiking boots are your only option if you want to avoid injuring your feet and ankles. They are also much better than hiking shoes when you encounter water. Hiking boots are also the only reasonable option for cold and wet weather.

Hiking boots

Pros
  • Great weather protection
  • High durability
  • Good ankle support
  • Rough and thick soles
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Not very breathable
  • Take a lot of time to dry

So, how to decide what to wear for your upcoming hike – boots or shoes? The choice is up to you. Hopefully, the following table will help you choose the best footwear based on your need.

Feature

Hiking shoes

Hiking boots

Protection Great: thick material, tough soles, and high ankles Medium: light materials and light soles
Durability Last about 1,000 miles of hiking Last no longer than 500 miles on trail
Comfort Tough and restrictive Flexible and comfortable
Climate Best for cold weather: autumn and winter Are good only for summer and warm spring
Weight Heavy Lightweight
Water Waterproof Non-waterproof
Breaking in A lot of time for breaking in Almost no breaking in

The Anatomy of a Hiking Boot


Any footwear has to have several essential components in order to be comfortable and protect your feet from the environment. The main components of a hiking boot are:

  • uppers that include lace eyelets, toecap, tongue, and collar. Basically, upper is everything that is above the sole. It holds the foot in place. Uppers cover the feet and protect them from cold and moisture.
  • insoles, or midsoles, are added between the uppers and the outsoles for extra comfort and support. They help your feet get tired less quickly and act as a shock-absorbing layer to protect the bones and joints from the impact of constantly walking for hours and hours on end.
  • outsoles are the hard parts of the boots that protect the bottoms of your feet from rocks, sticks, and any other hard and sharp objects that might injure your feet.

Choosing footwear for hiking, you should pay attention to the material each of the components is made of. The choice of material affects such essential qualities of the boots as weight, water-resistance, breathability, and durability.

Let’s find out what are the most common materials when it comes to hiking footwear.

Uppers

Full-grain leatherSplit-grain leatherNubuck leatherSynthetics
This is one of the most durable materials when it comes to footwear. At the same time, it is one of the oldest. Thanks to its high durability and excellent abrasion resistance, leather has been used to make boots for thousands of years. Apart from that, leather is great for keeping moisture outside of the boots. That is why hiking boots with full-grain leather uppers are the best choice for long hikes in a rugged terrain.
It is not pure leather, but leather blended with some synthetic material, such as nylon mesh. Nylon is added to decrease the weight of the shoes and add breathability. Boots with uppers made of split-grain leather cost considerably less than models made of pure leather. However, they are also not so durable and water-resistant.
This material looks stylish. It is also full-grain leather. However, it has been buffed to acquire a suede-like look. Just as non-buffed leather, Nubuck leather is a long-lasting and waterproof material. At the same time, it is rather flexible.
Synthetic materials are a great choice for those who want to find more affordable boots. They are also a great option for those who want to get hiking footwear that contains no animal products. There are a lot of synthetic materials. “Synthetic leather,” polyester, and nylon are the most often used in the production of footwear. Hiking boots made of synthetic materials are generally lighter than leather models. They also dry much faster and cost less; however, they also last less. Synthetic shoes are also much more flexible. And that means they are less likely to cause bad blisters.

Insoles

EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate)Polyurethane
EVA midsoles are cushy and lightweight, creating an excellent padding. They are very affordable. Midsoles can be made of EVA with a different density level, providing either more stiffness and support or more padding and comfort.
This material is used to make stiff and unyielding insoles for the utmost support on a long and difficult trail. Most backpacking and tactical hiking boots come with polyurethane insoles for firmness and durability.

Outsoles

Almost all hiking boot outsoles are made of rubber, either pure or with additives such as carbon. Different materials are added to make the outsoles stiffer and rougher for extra protection.

If the material of the outsoles is mostly the same, their design may be of two main types:

Lug patternHeel brake
Such outsoles have bumps that create good traction, ensuring safety and stability even on uneven surfaces. Those bumps are called lugs. The deeper and thicker the lugs are, the better is the grip. They can be placed wider or narrower. Narrowly placed lugs are not the best option, as they offer less traction. Besides, mud that gets stuck between them is not easy to get rid of.
This element of design is also added for extra safety. Outsoles with a heel brake have a much more pronounced heel part, compared to the forefoot and arch. Hiking shoes with a heel brake are great for those who prefer steep slopes and mountainous terrains, as they help you avoid slipping when descending.

When the Fit Means a Lot

When going on a hike, everyone dreams of finishing it with the feet that still feel great and have no blisters. However, most hikers soon find out that that is impossible due to the fact that their hiking boots do not fit them perfectly. They might be too loose in some places and too tight in others, creating a lot of discomfort.

Some people choose their hiking footwear based solely on the features of the shoes – their level of protection and durability – and forget that a perfect pair is the one that fits your feet comfortably. The perfect fit is the key part of selecting hiking boots.

If your boots do not fit you, your hike will turn into hell after a few hours of walking. Breaking the boots in also means a lot, especially if they are made of leather. So, wear your hiking boots before actually starting on a hike, to avoid lots of trouble on the trail.

To fit your feet perfectly, your shoes match the three dimensions of your foot – length, width, and volume:

  • When choosing footwear for hiking, always choose shoes that seem a little too long for your feet. Some wiggle room for your feet is essential, especially when you go downhill. Otherwise, your tows will bump into the toecaps, causing pain and bruised toenails.
  • When it comes to the width, the shoes should fit snugly. They should not be too loose so that your feet do not slide inside them. If your shoes are too tight, your feet will get compressed, and blood circulation will be hindered. And this may cause a lot of foot problems, minor ones like ingrown toenails and serious issues like bunion and hammer toe. Tight shoes are especially dangerous for people who have diabetes. If you want to avoid visiting a podiatrist, it is best to choose shoes that are not too tight.
  • The volume of the shoes also means a lot. Make sure that the shoes are high enough so that your feet fit inside them. If you have over-pronation or high arches, you should pay extra attention to this, as the anatomy of your feet requires some special attention. Each person has different foot volume – some feet are bony, others have a roundness to them. So, it is highly individual.

If you have chosen a pair of boots and find that they are too loose, there are a few steps that will help you modify the fit. You can try to lace them more tightly or wear socks that will add volume to your feet. If some extra space inside the boots can be fixed more or less easily, making too tight shoes fit well is impossible.

Here are a few tips that will help you understand that you have found a perfect pair of boots when you try them on:

  • There is about an inch of room between your big toe and the toecap.
  • Your heel does not lift when you make a step.
  • There is no pressure on the toes, heels, and the sides of your feet.
  • The boots are flexible and bend easily to offer the freedom of movement when you walk.

Hiking Footwear Buying Advice

Like many hikers, so many preferences of hiking footwear. Let’s have a look at the most frequent requests of those who are looking for hiking boots or shoes.

Style

Low hiking shoes. Many people search for hiking shoes with a low top. Their advantages are that they are lightweight and compact. They will add almost no weight to your hiking gear and will take up very little place if you decide to carry them in your backpack. There are many low top hiking shoes on the market.

Tennis shoes for hiking. Some people like tennis shoes so much that they choose this style for hiking shoes, as well. Thankfully, there are a lot of tennis hiking shoes. Tennis shoes are designed to be durable and offer support. They are also lightweight, although not as lightweight as running shoes.

Barefoot hiking shoes. How can shoes be barefoot, you might ask? You can either wear shoes or be barefoot; everyone knows that. However, there is such a thing as barefoot shoes. Of course, you will not be actually barefoot in them. However, they are designed to make you feel as if you were barefoot while wearing them.

Type

Thru-hiking shoes. People going on a hike that will last several months look for hiking shoes that will be lightweight, offer good protection, and last long. Experienced hikers prefer trail runners. They are lightweight and can protect your feet on your trail. They are not very durable. However, they are not too costly, either, especially compared to hiking boots. So, if your shoes tear after a few hundred miles, you can switch them for another pair.

Hiking running shoes. When going on a hike, some people, especially inexperienced hikers, think that running shoes will support them just as great as shoes designed specifically for hikers. And, to be honest, they are not mistaken in most cases. Of course, it depends on the trail you choose. Newby hikers rarely choose the most challenging trails to start their hiking experience, which is why a pair of runners is a great option for them.

Long distance hiking shoes. If you plan to go through Appalachian Trail or any other trail that is a thousand miles long or longer, you’ll need good and reliable hiking footwear. Actually, it is best to have a few pairs along, as you will encounter different conditions on your hike. You need a pair of lightweight trail runners, a pair of good tough hiking boots, and a pair of hiking sandals in case you have to cross a stream or river.

Tactical hiking boots. Tactical boots are military-style boots that offer great protection. They usually reach higher than your ankles for the utmost support and stability on the trail. Thanks to their premium quality, tactical boots are often used by military forces. Tactical boots will never let you down, even in the most unpredictable conditions. They are somewhat costlier than simple hiking boots; however, they are always worth extra money.

Dog boots for hiking. If you have a dog, you are probably thinking of taking your pet along for a hike. With all those great spaces to run about, it will be a real treat for your furry friend. However, some trails might be so severe that your dog is likely to injure his paws if they are unprotected. Thankfully, there are hiking boots for dogs, which will help your pet avoid painful cuts. Make sure to give your dog time to get used to the booties before going on a hike.

Special features

Hiking shoes for flat feet. Choosing footwear for flat feet might be rather a challenging task. If you choose hiking boots that are not designed for over-pronation, you will experience constant discomfort. Besides, your shoes will wear very quickly on the inside of the sole. Even if your feet are neutral, they will probably over-pronate if you carry a heavy backpack. To get the best hiking boots for over pronation, you need to look for the model with extra medial support.

They are lightweight and have extremely flexible soles to offer the highest level of comfort. Some of them are the so-called “toe shoes” with a separate pocket for each toe, just like socks. They might seem ridiculous to some. However, many hikers have tried them and are now hiking only in barefoot shoes. Their minimalistic design offers a lot of comfort and no restriction of movement.

Vegan hiking boots. More and more people around the world choose a cruelty-free lifestyle and become vegans. As a result, the demand for vegan products is becoming higher and higher. And hiking boots are not an exception. If you are not a vegan yet but understand that it is necessary to make some changes to save our planet, you should also choose hiking boots that contain no animal products.

Such boots are made of synthetic materials. However, even the fact that the shoes are not made of leather does not make them vegan. Some manufacturers use glues that are tested on animals. So, to be on the safe side, you need to check all the components of the boots. Almost every major brand of outdoor gear has a few animal-friendly hiking boots to offer, so you are sure to find a pair that will satisfy you.

Hiking boots for ankle support. Hiking boots, unlike other types of hiking footwear, provide excellent ankle support. It is very important if you are going on a hike in a rocky terrain. If your ankles are not supported, you can sprain them if you turn your ankle on unsteady footing. You can also cut them on a rock. That is why it is best to choose footwear with a high top. This kind offers the best ankle support.

Insulated hiking boots. If you are going for a winter hike, you need footwear that will help you keep your feet warm. Insulated boots are the best choice for hiking when the weather conditions get severe. In addition to protection from low temperature, perfect winter boots need to be waterproof to protect you from snow.

Hiking shoes brand. There are so many manufacturers of hiking boots on the market that it is quite easy to get lost in all those names. Some of them focus their attention on hiking boots only; others produce all kinds of gear for hiking and other outdoor activities. So, what are the best brand hiking boots? There cannot be one answer to this question. However, we can name several brands that have proven to be reliable over the years. REI, Salomon, The North Face, Lowa, Hi-Tec, and Merrel are among them.

Best Insoles for Hiking Boots

Hiking requires a lot of gear and accessories. And, if you are planning a serious hike, you’ll need not just a great pair of boots, but also insoles to match them. Best of all, take a few pairs of good insoles, you’ll need them on your hike. And here’s why.

Some hiking boots, no matter how great they are, have very thin insoles. After a few hours of walking in them, your soles will start to hurt badly because they will constantly bump into the hard surface. Good insoles will create a thick and soft padding that will prevent your feet from hurting.

There is no one perfect pair of insoles that will fit everyone. Every person’s feet are unique. That is why you should be very attentive to the anatomy of your foot when choosing hiking boot insoles. The shapes of human feet are as varied as they can get – wide and narrow, flat feet and feet with high arches, and countless versions in-between.

Basically, there are two types of insoles – rigid, designed to provide support for your feet, and soft, meant to act as shock-absorbers. Both types usually come with some extra features, such as anti-odor and anti-bacterial agents to help you maintain the health of your feet when on the hike.

“Comfort” insoles will prevent your feet from getting tired to soon. They will also help you keep the aches and pains that come from too much walking at bay. “Support” insoles improve the stability of your feet. They are a necessity for those who suffer from such health issues as structural misalignment, plantar fasciitis, supination, and over-pronation.

unisex insoles from TimberlandWe cannot choose the perfect insoles for you. But we can advise you a nice pair. These unisex insoles from Timberland will offer both support and comfort. They have an OrthoLite top layer that will offer a gentle massage to your feet as you walk. It will considerably decrease the feeling of tiredness in the feet. The footbed will contour your foot perfectly, thanks to its anatomical shape. Apart from the comfort and support, these insoles can offer antimicrobial odor control and temperature regulation, which is great in any conditions.

Best Socks for Hiking Boots

Nobody wears hiking boots without socks. It will mean blisters, blisters, and even more of those bloody and painful blisters. However, if you choose the wrong kind of socks, you will also experience a lot of discomfort. However, good socks are an important point in your hiking gear list.

Let’s try to find out what socks are perfect for hiking.

The choice of socks, like the choice of all the other gear, should depend on the peculiarities of your hike. If you hike in summer, you need light socks. If the weather conditions are harsh, your socks should offer some additional warmth, especially if your shoes are not insulated.

Lightweight hiking socks are perfect for hot weather. They are very comfortable, almost unnoticeable on your feet thanks to the thin threads. They can also offer the advantage of absorbing any moisture if your feet start perspiring in your hiking shoes.

Thick and heavy hiking socks are great not only for cold weather. They are also a necessity for those who go on a multi-day hike. Thanks to the thick fibers, they create an additional cushion between the soles of your feet and the boots.

When trying to choose, which material is the best for hiking socks, many people might think that cotton is the best option. However, that is not so. Cotton is a naturally breathable material that absorbs moisture pretty well. However, they cannot offer proper insulation, especially when wet.

Wool, especially merino wool, is the best material for hiking socks. It has a good absorbing capacity, good insulating qualities, and offer a nice padding underneath your soles. Synthetic materials, such as acrylic or polyester, are fine, too.unisex socks from People Socks

If you are looking for superior quality socks for hiking, have a look at this set of unisex socks from People Socks. The set contains four pairs of premium merino wool socks. They are neither too thick, nor too thin – the medium thickness makes these socks perfect for pairing with hiking boots or shoes. Their design includes reinforced toes and hill for extra durability. Besides, these socks are rather affordable. A perfect pick for hikers, both beginners and experienced adventurers.

Hiking Boots Care Tips

When starting a long-distance hike with brand new hiking boots, it is not easy to stop giving them the looks of adoration every now and then. All those sleek elements of design look especially great when you know that the look of your boots will soon be changed due to the harsh conditions on the trail.

After a few days of hiking, your boots will be covered in dirt and dust. By then, they will probably have a few scratches here and there, from rocks and sticks. The brand new look will disappear forever. That is the severe truth of hiking, and nothing can be done about that.

However, there are still some care tips that will help your hiking boots maintain their looks longer. Although, our main goal is not to save their looks, but to prolong their lifespan.

So, what can you do to help your hiking boots survive a thru-hike?

  • Clean your boots after each hiking day. Use a special brush with soft and harsh bristles. Soft bristles will help you brush the uppers without damaging them. Harsh bristles are great for cleaning the outsoles. It is essential for a good grip; if there is too much dirt stuck between the lugs, the traction will get inevitably worse. If you do not clean your boots regularly, they will get ruined pretty quickly. It is especially true for hiking boots made of leather. Dirt that dries on the surface of the uppers sucks moisture out of leather, making it crack and peel.
  • Let your boots dry naturally before cleaning them. Do not clean them if they are wet. Leaving the boots to dry in the sun or by the fire are not the best options, as the leather will get too dry.
  • If your boots are made of leather, use a leather conditioner after each cleaning. You ca use a product, designed specifically for that purpose. Alternatively, you can use grease. Mink oil will be a great option. It will prevent the leather from drying and peeling. At the same time, grease will protect the boots from excessive moisture, which is also bad for your footwear. Mud and dirt will also stuck to the boots less easily.
  • If the uppers of your boots are made of textile, you can wash them with water. After that, make sure that they dry properly. You can place your boots with synthetic uppers by the campfire. This way, they’ll get dry and toasty in no time. Although, do not put them too close, to be on the safe side.
  • After the hike is over, you need to give your boots a thorough clean. Provided, they have survived the hike, of course. You need to remove the laces and clean your boots inside and out. Use warm water and a mild detergent. Do not use hot water or harsh detergents, as they might ruin the glues and separate the uppers from the outsoles.

Author: Helen Davis

Helen Davis is a 26 years old athlete who leads a truly active life. She has been to the most remote corners of our planet with her husband Charlie, a devoted fisher and hunter. Yoga, hiking, and rock-climbing are her passions.

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