Last updated: May 31, 2018 at 11:21 am
Staying healthy and looking young is something everyone is striving for in their lives. That often includes some sports and other physical activities, but nothing can beat the beauty and thrill you get from hiking.
Not only is your entire body working, you also get to enjoy some breathtaking views and mother nature as well. Hiking is perhaps the best outdoor activity for many, but it also has its dangers and issues.
First of all, taking long walks in the wild is certainly not possible without the right gear. Hikers have to be prepared for the worst at all times, which is why they always carry the essentials like food, water, shelter, anything that could save their life in case something goes wrong. All of these elements are very important for hikers, but nothing is more important than hiking boots.
These boots can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort and stability. Boots that are specially made for hiking are reinforced and designed in a way to keep your feet stable and sturdy, lowering the chances of slipping or spraining an ankle. Many models are also waterproof, tear-proof, they even have small compartments you can use to store stuff. With that said, let’s take a look at the best hiking boots of today.
If you’re in a hurry, check out the Oboz Bridger BDRY; They’re made out of leather, extremely comfortable and durable.
|Product Image||Name||Main Feature||Price||Rating|
|Oboz Bridger BDRY||• Durable|
|$$||9.8/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX||• Flexible|
• Tight fit
|$$||9.4/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX||• Ankle support|
• High quality sole
|$$||9.3/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Timberland Chocorua Trail||• Slick design|
• Variety of colors
|$$||9.3/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX||• Lightweight|
• Mix of support, protection, and agility
• Great ankle support
|$$$||9.1/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Columbia Newton Ridge Plus||• Leather outsole|
• Quality leather material
• Variety of different colors
|$||9.0/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Zamberlan Vioz GTX||• Classy look|
• Great support & protection
• Durable toe box
|$$$$||8.8/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Adidas Terrex Swift R Mid GTX||• Lightweight|
• Modern design
• Breathable but waterproof
|$$||8.6/10||See Men's||See Women's|
|Danner Mountain 600||• Great lacing|
• Easy to wear
• Great design
|$$||8.6/10||See Men's||See Women's|
Why KEEN Men’s Targhee II Is Not On Our List?
All experienced hikers have heard of KEEN Targhee II hiking shoes, but not for reasons you might think. The shoe looks good, it has good stitching, the lugs are nice and deep, an amateur would easily make a mistake of thinking that these shoes cost quite a lot of money. The truth is, they don’t. They are cheap, but their performance is far below satisfying in some categories.
First of all, these are hiking shoes, not boots. They are not deep enough to provide steady ankle protection. You can easily sprain your ankle on a rocky descent. The lacing is a total nightmare as well. You have to unlace half of the shoe to get your foot inside every time. The stitches look good, and so does the leather, but the shoes failed on our waterproof test. The shoe is not a snug fit if you have narrow or even standard feet. These shoes don’t have what it takes to compare to the other models on our list.
Highest Rated Hiking Boots Reviewed
Oboz Bridger BDRY
The Oboz Bridger BDRY hiking boot is one of the first boots we had the pleasure to try out. The first impression already told us that the boots are sturdy and durable, and that turned out to be true.
This boot is made to be able to take anything mother nature has to throw at it. It also has plenty of support that keeps your feet in place while going up and down mountain roads, even with a heavy pack on your back. The leather upper is nice and sturdy and the boots offer more than average support. You will definitely feel safer going into the woods wearing these boots.
We had the pleasure of testing these boots in various unforgiving terrains. We tried them on a rocky mountain, a damp forest, and a boggy marsh filled with dense vegetation. After spending days in the boots and walking over a hundred miles in them, we have to say that they are worth every penny. Here’s why: The board-lasted EVA midsole provides all of the support flawlessly. The nylon shank and a strong internal frame made out of hard plastic that’s located just under the midfoot and arch provide even more stability. Once you tie the shoelaces, the boots will stay in place, protecting your feet from many different possible injuries.
All of the uppers are made out of strong leather and the toes are wrapped in a strong rubber band that protects your feet from any debris you might be walking over. The shoes are able to easily deflect thorns, stones, and branches. You won’t even feel them.
When talking about traction, the Oboz Bridger BDRY have 4 millimeters deep lugs that keep your feet firmly on the ground. The lugs will stay like that even after years of use, which is definitely a plus in our book. The boots drastically reduce the chances of you slipping downhill or losing traction while hiking.
Upon first use, our tester could barely get his foot into the boot. It was a very tight fit, maybe a little too tight even, but after a couple of days of use, the sturdy leather upper stretched a bit as the boots conformed to the wearer’s feet. That’s another reason why the boots offer so much stability.
The Fave feature of these boots is something you’ll learn to love in no time as it increases comfort drastically. The deluxe footbeds that come with these boots are better than most other stock footbeds. There is no doubt that these hiking boots were made by experienced hikers for others who share their passion. This is a model you’ll buy and keep on using for years to come. They are made out of high-quality materials that are really able to cope with the elements and keep their integrity for a long time.
- Very durable
- Extremely comfortable
- Provides excellent ankle support
- Deep lugs for increased traction
- Water and weatherproof
- A bit of a tight fit
- Not the cheapest
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
Anyone that’s into hiking has heard of the Salomon brand as they are known to be one of the most popular and trusted hiking boot manufacturers of today. The company has a long list of innovations that changed the rules of the production of these boots, and their latest Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX boots are the best model they’ve put out so far.
These hiking boots are very stable and durable against all elements, but they also look very cool. Their design is so attractive that they are widely used by many people, not just those who like to hike. The designers of the shoes claim that they are able to cope with any type of terrain and weather, so we did some very detailed testing on areas covered with sand, rocks, snow, and mud. The results were more than surprising.
The Contragrip that’s used on these shoes is the stickiest grip from Salomon. It offers amazing traction which is why so many hikers turn to these shoes. Descending is a big part of hiking and it’s responsible for most injuries because the ground often slips and moves. One wrong step can end up in disaster, but not with these boots. They are fitted with a mix of chevron and T-shaped lugs that make descending much easier and prevent slipping.
These boots have many unique features to show, one of them is the chassis found between the midsole and outsole. The chassis is the secret behind the control you get on technical downhill descends. We expected that the outsole has a short lifespan because it’s so sticky, but that wasn’t the case with these boots. They still provided sufficient traction even after some rigorous testing. The reason for that lies in the high-density gradient that is added to the parts of the sole that are most prone to wear and tear. The super-hard rubber can take anything you throw at it. Other less affected areas are softer, which also helps with weight distribution.
The heel cup on the X Ultra 3s holds your foot in place very tightly. That’s crucial in situations with loose ground and rocks. The OrthoLite sock liner made out of a substance that resembles memory foam, and it provides even more stability, but it also gives you the much-needed comfort. Furthermore, the Gore-Tex membrane prevents any water from getting in your boots. You can go out for a run through a small creek and your feet won’t get wet, but they will get sweaty. The biggest benefit you get with this model is the footbeds that make you think that you’re wearing running shoes rather than hiking boots.
- Great support and flexibility
- Tight fit for all foot types
- Super durable
- Amazing traction
- Could use a bit more rock protection
Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX
One quick look at Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX and you already get the feeling of safety with these boots. They are not the most rugged hiking footwear you can buy, but they do offer plenty of stability and comfort. The designers have sacrificed some super strong and resistant materials to come up with a shoe that performs well but doesn’t add too much extra weight.
The Breeze 2.0 soles and uppers installed in these boots provide medium support, which is more than enough for most backpackers. They can cope with the extra weight of a backpack without many issues. Mesh panels that are found on the uppers reduce the support a bit, but they also cut down on the weight. The midsole is very comfortable. the EVA midsole is known to perform well, but it gets a little mushy under heavier loads. The arch support is not ideal, but it’s good enough for most users.
Protection against stones, branches, and other debris is mandatory for any well-constructed hiking boot. The Vasque Breeze GTX is fitted with a TPU plate that deflects any debris. The tongue and ankles are also padded with light rubber, which gives the boot more resistance, but it also keeps it comfortable.
This model is a result of a long line of testing and perfecting workboots. They are designed to have all of the necessary features of a good hiking boot, but they also look good and you can wear them on other occasions as well. The lacing system is one of the more prominent features and it looks really good. The system is narrow and you can easily adjust the laces to fit your foot perfectly. The upper mesh panels provide support while keeping the weight of the shoe down. Hiking in heavy shoes can be a huge drag, especially if you are new to hiking. This model is ideal for beginner hikers as it won’t put such a high strain on their feet due to its lightweight.
As far as the performance goes, these are shoes you can trust. They perform exactly as you’d expect. One hike will be enough to reassure you that you can trust these boots, and there won’t be any nasty surprises on the way. They are made to be durable and if used correctly, they should hold up for years. These boots are a result of some careful planning as they offer a perfect mix of protection, support, and comfort. With that said, you should know that these boots are not the best pick if you are planning on tackling some steep rocky mountain. They are ideal for light and medium hikes through woods and down dirt roads. The boots will keep your feet in place, protect them from water and the elements, which are the most important things when you go hiking.
- Gore-tex keeps the water out
- Strong and comfortable sole
- Great ankle support
- Sufficient traction
- Needs a bit more ventilation
- Loses some traction in snowy conditions
Timberland Chocorua Trail
When it comes to hiking boots, Timberland is perhaps the most renown and recognized brand in the world. This brand is known for it’s high-quality, super-comfortable boots that are a bit pricey, but they last for years and years. The same thing goes for the Chocorua Trail boots are ideal for hikers and they provide a great performance on offroad tracks and tight mountain roads.
The first thing you’ll notice when you look at these boots is their amazing slick design. You can even wear them as an accessory, but they are meant for so much more. These boots are nice and tall, they hold your ankle in place, protecting your sensitive bones and joints from injury. The padded cushion found on the inside of the boots provides increased comfort and stops any type of friction. The uppers are made out of full-grain waterproof leather, making these shoes a great pick for all areas and weather conditions. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or if you find yourself in a dense jungle – these boots will keep your feet warm and dry.
Timberland is perhaps the most trusted brand when it comes to boots and this model only proves why. It’s made out of high-quality materials, after lots of testing and experimenting. The waterproof outsole is so tight, not a single drop of water will make its way to the inside of the boot. The Gore-Tex membrane is there to allow your feet to breathe while blocking any moisture from the outside. That is a winning combination which puts this model on the top of our list.
The lancing is fully adjustable and you can easily tighten the boots so they fit perfectly on your feet. This model has all of the features you could need in an outdoor adventure. The hard ending on the top of the toes and the toe bumper keep the toes secure and protect them from any debris. The rear of the boot is also padded with a protective heel. The extra padding and materials put in the boot may sound like a problem, but you won’t even know it’s there. The soft padding on the inside makes these boots one of the most comfortable models today. The outsole is made out of solid rubber that provides a firm grip on all types of terrain. These boots will keep you on your feet no matter the situation.
The EVA midsoles are a standard feature for professional hiking boots and the Timberland Chocorua Trail feature them as well. They allow the wearer to walk and move quickly. One of the unique features is the anti-fatigue comfort technology that keeps your feet comfortable during the entire day. You can even remove the sock liner to increase comfort even further. Every single part of this boot is designed to increase comfort and provide stability. They are a result of decades of hiking boot construction, and we really liked them.
- Durable and waterproof
- Slick design
- Comes in many colors
- Great protection
- Super comfortable
- The outsoles tend to get worn out fairly quickly
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX
The Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX is the best all-around hiking boot we have tested so far. It offers the ideal mix of support, protection, and agility, which are the reasons why this boot is so popular. They are also known for the traction they provide. You should definitely consider buying this model if you want to get the best of the best.
We think that these boots are just amazing because they held up after we put them through some very rigorous testing. We spent a month climbing up and down rocky mountains, hiking through thick forests, and taking walks through cold creeks, all that with a 60 pound pack on our backs. The boots held up fine, but that’s not what impressed us. We were completely blown away by the combination of support and protection they provide, without the extra weight. Most boots are much chunkier and bulkier than this model.
The performance of these boots is amazing and that’s because of the many small but important features they offer. First off, they have a low-profile design that keeps you stable in all conditions. The precise to-the-toe lacing helps to keep your feet in place no matter what happens. Traction is also amazing and that’s due to the climbing section found on the outsole. It keeps your feet firmly on the ground while you make your way up a rocky mountain.
The sole of the boot is stiff and it has a 3/4 length polypropylene lasting board that provides all of the protection. Your heel is held in place by a Y-shaped overlay that makes it impossible for your foot to move inside of the boot. This is a model that’s a very tight fit, which is very useful when you spend days walking offroad trails. The two-inch tall rubber outsole is able to prevent slippage and keep you on your feet even if you start sliding down a boulder during the pouring rain. Hiking is often a very dangerous sport and you can get hurt by taking one wrong step. These boots minimize the chances of injury as they have small but very important features designed to prevent that.
The waterproof feature is also on a high level, You can walk through a 5-inch deep stream without getting your feet wet. The designers of this model have thought about everything. These boots come with a no-blister guarantee, which says a lot about the support they provide. But that’s not all. Even though water can’t get into your boots, your feet are still able to breathe. The Cleansport NXT odor control sole eliminates any odors by neutralizing all microbes and bacteria.
Put in simple terms – these boots are a result of the best technologies and features available right now. They provide all of the necessary elements every hiker needs, which is why you can’t go wrong if you decide on purchasing them.
- Snug fit
- No-blister guarantee
- Waterproof and durable
- Compact and lightweight
- Great ankle support
- A little expensive
- The boots need adjustments with every change of terrain
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
Getting the right hiking boots for your needs can be a drag. The market is full of many different brands and models, and that can make the whole thing much harder. Well, if you are new to hiking and if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a pair of boots, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus hiking boots are a great place to start.
These boots have plenty of useful features to offer, even though they are considered as a mid-range model. The upper is made out of almost 2mm thick leather making this model one of the most durable you’ll ever find. The midsole could be a little more rugged, but they had to cut the costs on something, right? With that said, it’s still a boot that allows your feet to breathe and protects them from water getting in.
Like other high-quality hiking boots, this model also features EVA foam padding that increases comfort. Many users reported that the boots felt more like running shoes than anything else because of this feature. Comfort is very important if you plan on taking long hikes in the wild, and these boots definitely provide it. The cushiony feel and the ability to flex the forefoot easily puts this model right on top of our list. However, some durability and materials needed to be sacrificed, meaning that you shouldn’t wear them on uncharted rocky roads as you will probably experience some foot pain and fatigue.
Traction is one of the most important features for hiking footwear and the Newton Ridge Plus didn’t hold any nasty surprises. The knobby lugs and flat rubber strips found on the toe, heel, and the forefoot of the shoe will keep your feet firmly on the ground no matter what surfaces you walk over. That includes snow, rock, mud, gravel, and pretty much anything else you might encounter on your hiking trips. However, you should be extra careful when walking over slippery rocks and mud, because you could still slip and injure yourself.
Comfort is one of the first things you should look for when buying hiking footwear. The Newton Ridge are comfortable and easy to get into. You will feel great wearing them on wood paths, but they won’t work so well on rocky terrains. Your feet will be stable and strong, but keep in mind that these boots are not made for all types of terrain. This model comes in a variety of different colors and it looks slick enough so you can wear them even on the streets. That’s why we said that the boots are great for beginners and those who are looking to take a stroll through the woods every now and then. If you are a professional hiker, you should look for other more durable and resistant models.
- EVA midsole for increased comfort
- Resistant leather outsole
- Lightweight and breathable
- Could use more color options
- Stain resistance fades with time
Zamberlan Vioz GTX
While many footwear manufacturers use technology and innovation to improve their products, Zamberlan likes to keep things simple. Their factory and manufacturing is still largely done as it was 100 years ago. Instead of using machines to get the job done, the factory employes hundreds of skilled shoe technicians who know how to produce near-perfect hiking shoes. The Vioz GTX is their latest and most reliable model designed for hiking, One look at these boots and you’ll know that they are made to last.
The upper is made out of a hydrobloc full-grain single leather piece that was put through a number of processes to make it waterproof. The Gore-Tex lining makes sure that your feet stay dry in all conditions. Some users don’t like these boots as they have a simplistic look, but those who know how to recognize quality are blown away immediately. There are only a couple of seams and the boot feels strong and resilient – which it really is. We’ve done some rigid testing, wearing the boots for a couple of long hikes through all types of terrain. No matter what mother earth had to throw at us, and how deep the mud was, these boots came out victorious.
The high-quality Vibram sole gives the wearer extra grip, making otherwise dangerous and treacherous descends down steep rocky mountains much easier than ever before. The lugs are cut aggressively around the hill, and that provides a much better grip when going up and down hills. The midsole has a very comfortable forward flex, so you can walk without any issues.
It also keeps your feet firmly in place when working with the heel cup. The two also work well as protection against any loose rocks, tree roots, and other debris you might encounter. In fact, they provide plenty of lateral stability in all terrain types and that lowers the risk of injuries.
The toes are protected by a durable toe box. You could kick and stomp on rocks, branches, and other debris. Keep in mind that these boots are a bit stiff when you buy them, so you’ll have to walk in them for some time before taking any long offroad hike. Make sure they are a nice, snug fit before testing their limits out.
The Zamberlan Vioz GTs are the best shoes for hiking and nothing gets by them. They are able to protect you from the elements, they offer plenty of comfort and stability, and they are almost indestructible. With so many durable materials and manhours put into the production of every single pair, you should be ready to spend more cash than on other similar boots. The good thing is that they will serve you for years, no matter what you throw at them, They will keep their integrity even after they lose their shine.
- 100% waterproof
- Great classy look
- Flexible and comfortable
- Great support
- Superb protection
- A bit on the heavy side
- Leather outsole cracks with use
- The toe box is too narrow
Adidas Terrex Swift R Mid GTX
The Addidas Terrex Swift R Mid GTX hiking boots have established themselves on the top of the market back in 2009. Millions of pairs have been sold since then because of their impeccable design and lightweight. These “boots” are great for hiking, mountaineering, running, and pretty much any other outdoor activity. They can replace a couple of different shoes as they are good for almost anything.
What makes these boots different than others is the design. They look more like running shoes than boots, but they also share many other features with running shoes including weight and the materials they are made of. This is a pair of shoes you want to get if you want to be prepared for any type of outdoor activity. They will serve you well if you want to play sports, but you can also go hiking in them as they are waterproof, breathable, and very lightweight.
The design of these shoes is just amazing. They are fully waterproof, so you can walk through any type of weather without having to worry about getting your feet wet. The best thing about this model is the comfort. Since they weigh only a fraction of other boots, taking long walks in them is easy and comfortable. The collar cushioning makes things even better, and you can remove the footbed if needed for more comfort. This is a pair of hiking boots designed for those who like sports, but they work great when it comes to hiking.
The heel and the toes are protected by thick rubber caps. They will protect you from debris, rocks, and branches, but you’ll be able to feel them through the rubber. The lacing is just beautiful. It falls into the speed-type lacing category and once you fully lace them, your feet will stay in place. The boots offer great ankle protection and that is very important when you find yourself deep on a hiking trail. One wrong step and you might get injured somewhere far away from help. These boots will minimize the chances of you losing ground or twisting an ankle.
The Addidas Terrex Swift R Mid GTX are very flexible due to the AdiPrene midsole. It’s a unique Adidas feature that absorbs shock, impact forces, but it also reduces fatigue. The outsole is made out of rubber and it has deep lugs that provide traction. The Adidas TRAXION technology is responsible for the shape of the lugs that are designed to stick to most types of terrain. They are able to keep you firmly on the ground even in wet conditions. The features don’t stop there. Like other serious hiking boots, this model is fitted with a GORE-TEX that’s waterproof and comfortable. The upper is made out of mesh and synthetic but it works well.
- Lightweight and durable
- Very comfortable
- Great design
- Amazing grip
- Waterproof and breathable
- Can be used for many different activities
- The ankle protection could be a little better
Danner Mountain 600
Buying a pair of hiking boots can be a drag with so many to choose from. There are many brands and models, you probably heard about some of them, but Danner is a brand you might have missed. The company started making footwear back in 1932, after the great depression. Their focus was always on producing high-quality leather shoes that can take almost anything you throw at them.
Shoes made by this company all share the same features: they are made out of thick leather, they have high-ankle guards, and riveted D-ring eyelets. The Danner Mountain 600 is simply a boot that is the result of over 80 years of shoe production and it is made out of the best materials possible. One thing is for sure, they can cope with any weather, any type of terrain, as they are almost indestructible.
The boots are available in many different colors and styles, both for men and women. We have tested the full grain leather men’s boots and we have to say that we were completely blown away by them. They are very comfortable, they offer superb toe and heel protection, they also keep your ankles firmly in place, and the lugs are self-adapting, making hiking and rock climbing much easier. The lugs are designed to move as you do, which increases traction on all terrain types.
Wearing these boots is a lot of fun. They have that retro look and they also look very rugged – like a pair of work boots. In fact, they look like a pair of old trusty hikers you climbed mountains with, but they still have some class so you can wear them around town. If you are after looks, these boots will do fine, but if you are looking for functionality, keep on reading. During our testing we’ve put them through all the conditions, dirt trails, muddy fields, cold mountain creeks, and they held up perfectly.
They are 100% waterproof so your feet won’t get wet, but they will get a bit damp after spending a long time in wet conditions. They are also very flexible and you can quickly get used to them. What surprised us the most – we didn’t have that itching feeling to take them off after a full day of use, which is great. They can work well as work boots as they are very comfortable and soft.
So, when all things are considered, the Danner Mountain 600 are one of the best hikes we’ve seen so far. They have a slick design you can wear almost anywhere. They are made out of thick, durable leather that offers lots of protection and flexibility. The lugs on the outsole provide you with traction on all terrains. They are waterproof and very comfortable. It’s easy to see why they are among the best.
- The lacing is great
- Lightweight and durable
- Great lugs
- Comfortable and easy to wear
- Looks great
- A little narrow
- Not meant for super heavy-duty hikes
Hiking Boot In-Depth Buyers Guide
You can’t underestimate the power of a good pair of hiking boots. Whether you are mountain-climbing, hiking through woods or in some swampy areas, even if you’re traveling across snow and ice – good boots will definitely make a big difference. We wish to guide you through some basics when purchasing a pair of hiking boots and remind you of some of the key points to pay attention to.
First of all, you need to watch the weight of the boots. If they are too heavy it will make hiking harder for you, and possibly cause some damage to your feet. It can badly affect your back or hips and cause some serious pain. A bad pair of shoes can easily cause you discomfort, stiffness, and calluses.
Be careful to choose boots which are made of lighter materials. Don’t hesitate to be extra picky about this sort of thing. Keep in mind that they need to be sturdy enough to offer support for your feet and protect them from water or, for example, plants with thorns. They need to be thick enough to prevent puncturing and remain water resistant. Yet at the same time, they should remain light in weight.
If you are not set on challenging yourself with some strenuous hiking sessions you should consider some lightweight hiking shoes or trail runners.
Depending on the hiking trail you’ve decided upon, a pair of middleweight boots can also come in handy. Think about the sort of whether you will be exposed to and make a decision accordingly. These are usually defined as being supportive yet but really comfy. They are usually waterproof but cannot be used for long hiking routes. They are better for trails which are a bit more demanding yet shorter. The perfect way to use them is for some serious hiking expeditions which cover a number of days. They are ideal for a couple of hours of hiking on a difficult trail each day.
These are well-constructed for climbing steep trails especially if you are carrying some additional weight on your equipment. Though they are a bit heavier than the lightweight boots they are much nimbler. They usually have a platform which offers support for these kinds of ventures. They are comfortable, flexible, and cushioned.
If you have a pretty demanding rough trail, you should consider even getting some heavier boot. There is a category of heavyweights which are not exactly heavy but are made for more challenging trails. They are good if you need a good pair of shoes to weigh you down especially if you are carrying some heavy equipment. In cases like these, it is better to have a specific pair of boots to give you stability and support.
They are also good for backpacking since the soles are designed to give an extra supporting grip. These are mainly made for aggressive hiking which requires swift and energetic movement. Taking this into consideration, they are built to offer a large amount of flexibility so they can follow up on any possible movements. They are made to be comfortable and durable. Offering excellent protection these boots are made for the most difficult trails.
If you are a beginner, avoid buying heavyweight boots. These are mainly for pros and for a specific use. You will have no need for them, and they might even make your hiking trip harder. The extra weight might slow you down or demotivate you completely.
Shoes VS Boots
Hiking shoes serve the same purpose of giving support and helping you get accustomed to the terrain without the extra weight and stiffness. They are as durable as other shoes but serve a different purpose. They are made of durable material and are usually waterproof.
Be careful because some of them are low cut and don’t offer the same ankle support as a pair of hiking boots. Think about which trails you’ll want to go on and buy accordingly. If you opt only for light hiking then get the shoes. If you are on more demanding terrain get the boots. The boots will offer more traction and grip. As oppose to the shoe, they have a more stiff and rigid sole.
These are the least in the category of the proper hiking boot because they have a different purpose. They are like running shoes but for some rough terrain. They are lightweight and comfy, and a lot more flexible than other hiking shoes. These are mainly for athletic ventures and you can cover a decent mileage with them. Don’t be mistaken about their quality. They have the most breathability and are very durable.
On the other hand, they don’t have any ankle support because that would restrict movement. They don’t lack the feature of traction but their soles are the quickest to be worn out. They are not meant for any extra weight meaning you are not advised to be carrying any heavy loads with these shoes. They won’t offer support and are not fit for that purpose.
These shoes are mainly for athletic people who are already fit and ready for the challenge. They are also good for hiking beginners. They are not fit for really rough terrain.
Fit and Comfort
As with any other shoe, you have to try it on before you buy it. This is very important for this type of shoe because it will make or break your walk. If you don’t have a good pair of boots for hiking you might as well give up. Here are some pointers to consider when buying a pair of hiking boots.
Make sure they have a high set collar. This will ensure the safety of your feet from any possible injuries. For example, it will keep you safe from thorns, and poisonous plants and animals. At the same time, it will give your ankles stability. Injuries such as sprained ankles are less likely to happen if you have good support around your feet. Make sure that there is a lot of cushioning around your ankle and that the fit is nice and snug.
This feature is crucial. Your hiking boots need to be high-quality in order to serve your purposes. You can opt for more affordable materials but it is best to get a pair which is made of natural leather.
Consider the terrain they will be facing. If you get a cheaper version of hiking boots you will not only feel uncomfortable you will not be protected. Natural materials are far safer than synthetic ones. They will easily avoid any damage from rocks, water, mud, or branches.
On the other hand, some synthetic materials are a better option if you are not planning to hike on some difficult trails. They are lighter and are considered better shoes for these purposes. The only bad aspect would be that they are not as aired as natural materials can be. They are proven to be very water-resistant.
If you are choosing high-quality boots you are investing in protection. A good pair of boots will support your ankles and spine which are the most common injuries during hiking expeditions. They will lower the risk you take when hiking on demanding routes and offer some serious stability.
Look at the laces. This might seem redundant but it will be helpful in the long run. If you have an easy lacing system you will be more mobile and well prepared. Sometimes the laces are too tight and cannot be altered. If you loosen them they might not offer you the support you need for difficult hiking trails. Don’t hesitate to choose long and hard before you’ve taken a good long look at the laces.
Stretch Your Shoes
Take into consideration the fact that the boots will probably loosen up over time. It would be best to walk around in them beforehand. Try to get them to be softer and have a nicer fit before taking them on an actual hike. After some time they should feel like part of your own feet.
Remember that your feet will tend to swell while you’re walking. This means you will need extra space in order to keep them comfortable. When you try on the boots try wiggling your toes to determine how much room they have. Bring a pair of socks you intend to wear with the boots and try them on like that. This will help you get a better feeling of how what it’s going to look like on the real trail. Keep the actual trail in mind when you are trying on the boots. Don’t hesitate to walk up and down a flight of stairs to feel the grip and support of the boots.
Look at the soles of the boots. Pick the right sole according to your needs. Think about what sort of routes you are going on and choose the boots accordingly. If you are going on a flat and dry surface pick a thinner sole and a boot which is light in weight. If you are choosing a more demanding route, try finding a sole which is thicker and has a better grip. If you are carrying some heavy equipment choose the middleweight boot which offers good support to your ankles.
The soles have to be chosen according to their material. The material is important because it should cause the right traction when in contact with the terrain. For example, it will make a big difference if your trail is muddy and wet than if it is in a steep sandy area. You will have a choice between different kinds of rubber. Some will be softer and some stiffer. You should make a choice according to what your hiking areas require.
Some argue that the most important part of the sole is the midsole. It needs to be heavily cushioned and it determines the overall comfort the shoe will provide. It will give you a certain stability depending on its stiffness. The level of stiffness should be picked according to the terrain you’re hiking on. If it is a rocky surface choose a boot with a stiffer structure.
Another important factor is the plates in the shoes. They are thin, flexible parts between the midsole and the outsole. Their main purpose is to protect the feet from any possible injury. They are there mostly for safety reasons.
To improve the grip of the boots some models have a lug pattern. Lugs give better traction and can be found on the soles of the shoes. They provide a bumpy surface which offers stability and support on any terrain. They are perfect for challenging muddy trails.
To improve the grip of the boots some models have a lug pattern. Lugs give better traction and can be found on the soles of the shoes. They provide a bumpy surface which offers stability and support on any terrain. They are perfect for challenging muddy tThe heels of the boots are also crucial for your stability. They need to provide support if you are on a steep trail. If you’re on a flat trail they need to be light and comfortable to support your back and spine.
Stabilize Your Feet
One of the main purposes of having hiking boots is to give your feet the support they need on such expeditions. Apart from being a certain weight and fit, they need to offer a good grip and give your movements some real stability. They need to be sturdy yet flexible and thus give a solid support system to your feet and back. They should be stiff to a certain extent but they can’t be restrictive. Your feet should be free to make certain motions as you please.
Air and Water
These two elements should not be neglected. Your feet have to be able to breathe while you are hiking especially in hot and dry weather. Unfortunately, boots cannot prevent you perspiring or cool you down but they can help your feet get at least some air. Be sure to look for boots which have little airing vents or holes and thus keep your feet comfortable. An ideal combination would be to find a material which keeps your feet warm in the cold and allows airing in the heat.
Choose hiking boots which are waterproof. This will prevent discomfort and keep you protected. In some cases, getting your feet wet is a recipe for getting sick on the road. This is definitely something you want to avoid.
This is something to think about long and hard. Your hiking boots should meet requirements which depend on how much weight you will be carrying around with you. Among other requirements, this one is fairly important.
Be sure to have good support of ankles and comfortable cushioning for your feet. Think about how heavy your weight will be with the other hiking equipment. Choose a pair of boots accordingly. They need to give you a certain grip to keep you stable on the trail.
Think about the terrain you will on. If you are in some muddy areas make sure to have boots with excellent grip to keep you from falling or struggling.
Get boots which have durability. Make sure they are made of good materials which will last you a long time.
Types of Boots
If you are looking for some comfortable shoes for easy trails and a shorter route you should choose boots with a lower cut. The low-cut model will allow you to move freely. They can have a higher collar if you are on more demanding or steep trails.
Be sure to pick a boot which is lightweight for this venture. They can even resemble some running shoes in their weight and build. These are the best choice if you’re hiking lightly without any tactical backpacks or additional weight.
If your equipment is heavy you will need a high-cut model of hiking boots. These will offer you support and stability while you carry the heavyweight. These should support your ankles during the walk whether the terrain is flat or steep.
There is a number of different materials from which hiking boots are made of. They need to be closely examined to determine which ones are for you and your purposes. The main distinction we’ll make is between full-grain leather, split-grain leather, nubuck leather, and synthetic materials.
The full-grain leather is durable and resistant. It is waterproof and is usually used for challenging trails, with heavy loads, and rough terrain.
Split-grain is lighter in weight and allows a bigger flow of air than the full-grain ones. Though they cost less, they are less resilient and not as resistant to water as the others.
Nubuck leather resembles suede. It is both resilient and resists water. It is pretty flexible but it needs time to break in and make more comfortable. Don’t try to take them out for hiking before you’ve properly stretched them out.
Synthetics materials are light but lack breathability. They break in more easily than other materials but they are far less durable. They are affordable but are not recommended for challenging trails and long hiking expeditions.
Check out this video made by Aveen Ver Ploeg
Benefits of Owning Hiking Boots
People often think that a certain item is reserved exclusively for one activity, but this is of course not the case since a lot can be used for more than just one activity. The name, maybe, speaks of the origins of an item, or it’s simply just a name.
What about hiking boots? Are they just for hiking? Can they find a purpose in other activities? Can they be fashionable? We will try to answer some of these questions for you with five reasons for owning hiking boots.
1. The Construction of the Boot
The boot itself is constructed similarly to other shoes, the specific parts are the upper, this is the part that gives additional height to the shoe itself and this has the purpose to protect the hikers’ ankles. The shoe itself is designed to protect your feet. The shanks are extremely long and sturdy so they give extra strength to the shoe. Scree collars protect the ankle and foot from chafing, and the crampon connections ensure that you tie everything tightly together.
2. Durable Materials
The materials and techniques used to design these shoes make them extremely durable and suited for a lot of different weather and terrain situations. This does not mean that your foot will get sweaty and that there is no air flow inside. You can find them made out of leather, or if you are against the use of animal products there are hiking shoes made from plant textiles and specially designed synthetic materials.
The point of the boot is to protect the foot, heal, and ankle from the strains of hiking, and to give additional support to the leg. These shoes are waterproofed, they can withstand extrema heat, and low temperatures and they will protect you from snake bites (most snakes like to bite the ankle).
3. City Use
Obviously, you don’t have to go hiking to own a pair of shoes. Some celebrities are even wearing them as fashion accessories, and they are especially useful in atom and spring when the weather is unpredictable and it’s cold outside. Then there is almost nothing better to wear, especially if you get a pair that has some warm and soft material on the inside.
4. They are Useful in Demanding Work Situations
Besides the obvious benefits that come from the shoe in situations when you are outside and hiking, you can also use the shoe for many other similar situations. For instance, they are wary good when you are gardening they protect the ankle as well as keep you dry. If you are in the construction industry or you do hard labor they are a god sent, not only do they give you additional support but they also protect your back in the long run.
5. They Protect Your Health
These are just some of the many ways a good pair of hiking shoes can help you lead a more protected and healthy life. The booth has been designed and worked on by generations of shoe manufactures, this is why it is made with the intent purpose to protect your body from the influences of extreme situations and therefore to guard your stature and general health.
Hiking is a great activity that involves a lot of potential dangers and hazards. Sure, walking through the woods or over a mountain is beautiful because all of the scenery, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not wearing the right shoes.
Hiking boots will keep you safe in many different situations and you’ll learn to love them because of that. Your feet will stay dry, your ankles will be held in place and protected, and you’ll have a better grip during long walks over uncharted terrains. A good pair of hiking boots can literally save your life. It’s an investment you have to make if you’re planning on taking some serious hike.
We’ve tested all of the best models hoping to help others find their ideal pair. All of the models we listed work well and they deliver as promised. Pick your favorite and you will be ready to explore the mountains safely.