Hiking, trailing, and backpacking are a few of the activities in which you might need the best hiking boot for comfort and performance. In this article, we have our best picks for hiking boots and the best advice, all wrapped in a neat package. From heavyweight shoes to lightweights, we explore the best hiking boots.

1. Salomon X Ultra 3 mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot

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Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes, Black/Magnet/Quiet Shade, 7
  • Waterproof Hiking Shoes: Whether you are hitting...
  • A Better Way Down: Designed with Descent Control...
  • Adventure Awaits: Whether you love a local day...
  • Time To Play: Whether you are into trail running,...
  • Since 1947 Salomon has created innovative outdoor...

With a modernized design, this mid gtx shoe has evolved to tackle rough terrains and tough descents. It would be best if you had rugged and durable shoes to tackle any terrain that comes along your way. For agility and quick reaction during trails or backpacking, you need a pair of versatile shoes.

These lightweight and versatile boots are made for agility in any outdoor activities. The tread pattern offers strong traction while two different types of rubber result in better grip. A lug pattern area on the heel grabs terrain more aggressively, giving you more control, especially on descents. In addition an insole with a gore-tex liner higher arch for good arch support

These hiking boots will give you added ankle support. The Advanced Chassis, surrounded by foam cushioning for comfort, connects directly to the sole to stabilize your heel. A refined last works with the reinforced top arm of the sensitive, holding your foot comfortably in place, especially moving down hill.

Anti-debris mesh upper prevents debris (roots, pebbles, and dust) from trapped between your foot and the footbed. The high-performance EVA foam in the midsole, which provides shock absorption and reduction. This hiking boot has a waterproof membrane for added durability and endurance on any terrain. Has an accommodating medium-width fit in the toe box at the front of the shoe for wide feet.

Stands up to more abuse on rough terrain than any other Salomon x ultra hiking boots.

  • Pros
  • Waterproof and mudproof.
  • Rubber sole for grip.
  • Shock-absorption technology.
  • Provides arch support.
  • Cons
  • Has a thinner underfoot than other hiking boots.


2. Scarpa Zodiac Plus Gtx Hiking Boot

SCARPA Men's Zodiac Plus GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Boots for Backpacking and Hiking - Shark/Orange -...
  • For Mountain Travel | A blend between a hiking...
  • GORE-TEX Performance Comfort | Enjoy waterproof...
  • Abrasion Resistant | The rubber rand around the...
  • Sock-Fit DV System | SCARPA added water-resistant,...
  • Vibram Mont Outsole | Designed to perform at low...

Scarpa zodiac plus technology has made this shoe design into a low-profile performance fit. This pair of hiking boots excels most on moderate mountain terrain and will serve you well in all weather conditions. Its gore-tex technology will keep your feet super dry and comfortable on your hike.

Enhanced with a rubber toe rand at the front for maximum abrasion resistance and protection. The tongue and flex point are fixed with breathable and waterproof material. Elastic overlay all around the boot to enhance the fit and provide ankle support Suitable for backpacking trips, especially with a reinforced midsole for even weight distribution and performance

The asymmetric lace-up system is made for a snug fit and to offer foot protection by holding your feet in place. The suede leather upper covering provides added warmth in cold terrain. The gore-tex technology eliminates bunching and hot spots. Scarpa offers a modern interpretation of a backpacking boot that can deliver ample support in a lightweight and athletic package with this design.

This boot is 15% lighter than most backpacking and hiking boots, suitable for rugged and rocky terrain The sole is grounded by a Vibram outsole that balances the need for support and stability in mountainous terrain under a heavy pack.

  • Pros
  • Made for comfort.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Provides arch support.
  • Provides ankle support.
  • Rubber sole for grip.
  • Cons
  • The fit might be too tight for people with wide feet.
  • Needs break-in period.


3. KEEN Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot

KEEN Men's Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot, Chestnut/Mulch, 7 D (Medium) US
  • WATERPROOF: The KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable...
  • TRACTION: KEEN ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole provides...
  • SUPPORT: The Torsion stability External Support...
  • FIT & COMFORT: Low-profile upper for comfort and...
  • CARE TIPS: We've carefully selected leather uppers...

With an all-around improved look, the Keen Targhee iii may be the best hiking boots. Not only is this a great hiking boot, but it is also made from quality materials. Lightweight leather boots like these come in handy for day hikes or trail running while carrying a heavy backpack. However, these pair of keen Targhee hiking shoes need to be cleaned after every wear.

The waterproof full-grain leather and performance mesh upper lets vapor out without letting water in. Built with an all-Terrain rubber outsole and lug pattern for high traction grip in muddy terrain. The same applies to rocky mountain-like climates. In addition it has a leather mud shield for extended durability.

It has a metatomical dual-density EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) footbed which provides arch support for your feet. Infused TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) heel-capture system for stability and support on uneven surfaces. The environmentally friendly premium leather on the shoe is from LWG (Leather Working Group), which is a certified tannery.

This boot is unique with 4mm, multi-directional lugs for added traction and grip. The reinforced lacing system and padded tongue and collar make for easy adjustment. Non-marking rubber outsoles that leave no trace or imprints when walking indoors. It's dual-density footbed conforms to the natural contours of each foot.

  • Pros
  • Made for comfort.
  • Provides balance and traction.
  • Added stability and support.
  • Lightweight.
  • Cons
  • Have to be cleaned with a leather cleaner.


4. La Sportiva Trango TECH GTX Hiking Boots

La Sportiva Trango TECH GTX Hiking Shoe, Black/Yellow, 39
  • Upper Material: QB3 waterproof fabric, Thermo-Tech...
  • Insulation: none
  • Lining: GORE-TEX Performance Comfort
  • Closure: lace
  • Last: Trango

La Sportiva mid hiking boots are best suited for mountaineering, hiking, and backpacking. However, they also come in handy for technical routes, tour guides, and firefighters. They offer great traction to break in time during tough descents, slippery slopes, and muddy terrain. They are also heavy-duty with added weight to offer better protection against slips and falls.

The anti-shock midsole in low-density polyurethane acts to reduce impact with the ground during walking. La Sportiva gtx inculcates the gore-tex technology in the shoe lining to offer maximum dryness and comfort. In addition, the thermoplastic covering on the abrasion-resistant uppers minimize seams and evenly distribute weight across the shoe.

Fitted with an ergonomic shape to conform to the foot shape, with very compact external mesh uppers for an enveloping fit. This prevents the feet from moving around in the boot. The 3D Flex System facilitates the mobility of the ankle to provide precise support on any rough trail. Hence, the lace closure system on these hiking boots starts at the toe area up to the ankle, enables each individual to fit into it comfortably.

The Vibram sole is specifically designed to give maximum support on all terrain. If you are into mountaineering, it will conform well with any climbing gear such as crampons and microspikes for climbing. You will get at least one good year from regular use of these shoes

  • Pros
  • Great traction and grip.
  • Provides ankle support.
  • Perfect and comfortable fit.
  • Good for rough trail.
  • Reduced foot-to-ground impact.
  • Cons
  • Sizes vary across Europe, Asia, and United Kingdom.


5. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Merrell mens MOAB 2 WTPF Hiking Shoe, Bark Brown, 7 US
  • Waterproof membrane seals out water and lets...
  • Pigskin leather and mesh upper
  • Traditional lace closure
  • Bellows tongue keeps out debris
  • Protective toe cap

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator is perhaps one of the best hiking boots of all time. What makes this shoe an all-time hiking footwear for trail runners and adventure addicts is the comfort and ventilation. Since its inception, there have been designed upgrades that make this lightweight shoe worth the buy.

Performance nubuck leather that is resistant to wear covers the mesh upper of the boot. A protective rubber toe cap for added protection will keep your feet from contacting rocks and stones. In addition, breathable mesh lining will keep moisture out. While the waterproof boots are perfect for wet and muddy terrain, the blended shock-absorption material in the midsole for arch foundation and stability.

The contoured footbed will help to mold your foot to the shoe. 5mm lug depth in the tread are for added traction and weight distribution. This is a budget-friendly option and great for a trail runner or industrial worker There is no break-in time required for these shoes. To add on to that, they have rugged soles which do not wear out. With the right care, you will get a few years per pair out of these shoes

  • Pros
  • Budget friendly.
  • Provides arch support.
  • Blended shock absorption.
  • Provides arch support.
  • Tread for maximum traction.
  • Cons
  • The sizes are narrow.


How to Select Hiking Shoes

There are multiple criteria to use when selecting the hiking boots that work for you.

a) Size

It doesn't matter how much your boots cost. If they don't fit, you aren't going anywhere. If you are purchasing shoes online, ensure you are conversant with the conversion systems. Otherwise, you could end up with painful bunions and blisters at the start of your journey. For example, if your Salomon 3 gtx shoes don't fit at the time of purchase, they will not fit after a week.

b) Ankle bolster

You are better off with the mid-height boots for long hikes with heavy packs for equal weight distribution. The rigidity of the sole of your boot also matters. A sturdy sole equals an upright and protected ankle.

c) Waterproof

Waterproof boots are a staple if you intend to be in the great outdoors. Technologies such as gore-tex have gone above and beyond to ensure the lining of your Salamon 3 gtx shoes keeps your feet as comfortable as possible. Not to mention, they have waterproof upper mesh as well.

d) Terrain

Your choice of boots depends on where you are headed to. For example, very lightweight boots may not be suitable if you intend to go mountaineering. On the other hand, lightweight boots are perfect for moving quickly through moderate terrain. For harsh terrain, you will need mid-boot shoes with weight to ground you and provide protection.

e) Hiking socks

Yes, we said it. If you plan to go on a hike or backpacking, you need the right socks. The wrong socks will cause sweaty feet, which will, in turn, cause odor and moisture retention. You will be very uncomfortable. No one wants that. A good pair of socks should fit well, provide more cushioning, and absorbs moisture.

Why Hiking Boots are Better Than Other Shoes

The terrain where you intend to go hiking will greatly affect your choice of hiking footwear. For example, if your trips are longer, you will require hiking boots. On the other hand, if your trips are on moderate terrain, you will be fine with any pair of hiking boots.

For instance, boots are a great option for rough terrain and backpacking through the wilderness. In addition, they offer maximum comfort in all weather, including snow, because they are waterproof. They are also great boots incase you have to do your best budget hiking.

On the other hand, boots are a great option for hiking and trail running on moderate terrain. It is fair to say that they will leave your feet in better shape after a hike on moderate terrain.

If you plan on trekking through a rough trail with loose rocks for whatever purpose, then we can recommend lightweight hiking boots. It can generally be considered lightweight, especially with the ankle cushioning you get. In addition, hiking boots serve you an all-terrain grip with Vibram soles mega grip and waterproof upper.

Most hiking boots comes in every pair size and can also be a great shoe for running and trail walking. They mostly use gore-tex technology to keep your feet dry and distribute your weight. Hiking boots are designed for multiple outdoor activities and are great at conquering most activities.

Don't Forget:

At the end of it all, the determinant for the best boots lies with how much protection they can accord your feet. There are numerous types of all-terrain shoes, but how well do they cushion your feet? The weight of your backpack and gear like crampons will also influence your choice of shoes. Finally, the conditions of your destination are also a factor to consider.

If you are an avid backpacker or trail runner, you should consider having a wide selection of your best-hiking boots, out of which you can make the best choice for your feet. As long as you have been wearing your boots to keep them flexible and pliable, or even walking your dog in them, you can rest assured your boots will feel comfortable.

Treat your leather boots at least twice a year and waterproof the membranes at least four times a year to get the best out of your boots. 

About the Author Brian

Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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