Hey, myself Jason. I’m a hiking/trekking extremist. I still remember the first hiking day that I experienced during my high-school days. It wasn’t the most glorious experience but wasn’t bad either, nonetheless.
After my first ever hiking, I got to realize the importance of having best hiking boots because MY FEET WERE HURT REAL BAD during and after the trekking. I was stupid enough to believe in everyday outing shoes.
I don’t want you to go through the same, for real! Therefore, I’m going to review my personal favorites hiking shoes that make it to my list of “best hiking shoes for men & women.”
10 Best Hiking Boots of 2020:
1. Salomon Quest 4D2 GTX
Weight Range: Midweight (2lbs)
Positives: Comfortable out of the box, quick and deft, high stability, and water resistance.
Negatives: Chances of foot fatigue, if carrying a heavier bag pack.
For serious hikers, this is one of the best hiking shoes available in the market, in terms of build quality. Salomon quest is my top pick for hiking shoes both for men and women (Don’t worry, both are linked below). It is comfortable, the toe box is roomy and keeps the feet warm which is necessary if you’re trekking.
Boots’ weight is just as fine as it could be, not too heavy, not too lightweight either. It’s water resistance and gives a good grip on traction on the wet or dry terrain. The rubber toe caps, inside the shoe, protect the toes from bumps and abrasions.
The shoes are light and supportive that you would feel the shoes like regular running shoes, but also sturdy enough for the long hiking under heavier bag pack. The shoes are built with Seam-sealed Gore-Tex membrane which gives water protection, and saves the feet from overheating (which generally happens with low quality hiking shoes)
Boots are not completely waterproof and take a while to dry up, so keep that thing in mind. Talking about grip, these boots grip rock like nobody’s business. 4D Advanced Chassis thermoplastic urethane midsole supports to help control flex that improves stability and preserves the feet from rugged terrain.
Overall, It’s my #1 pick for best hiking shoes under the budget.
Men’s Salomon Quest 4D2 GTX
Women’s Salomon Quest 4D2 GTX
2. KEEN Targhee II
Weight Range: (2.51 lbs)
Positives: Stable, comfortable, excellent ankle collar, available at a low price.
Negatives: Construct quality is poor.
Keen Targhee II is well known for the best hiking boots under budget. If your budget is around 100$, then this model wins for sure. The build quality is good if not the excellent, and an excellent choice for hiking.
It has nubuck leather which makes it super durable even in extreme trekking situations. The flexibility of the lacing system and the upper design of boot make it considerably versatile. The forefoot sole is wider that provides a stable base for walking over the rough terrain.
But, it is definitely not an excellent choice for best scrambling boots, because the blocky forefoot results in the wrong foot placement/weight transfer. Read here about Scrambling, in case you’re not aware of it.
The shoe is re-construed with the waterproof breathable membrane to keep the feet dry and comfortable during hiking.
Keen Targhee is the best option if you don’t hike often, but if you’re a hardcore hiker, then I wouldn’t really recommend it because the rubber sole rips apart after a couple of months (with heavy usage).
Overall, these are the best hiking boots for men and women that hikes once or twice in 6 months, but if you don’t belong to this category, then be careful. My rubber sole ripped apart, but their service was kind enough to make a good deal for me.
Men’s Keen Targhee II
Women’s Keen Targhee II
3. Lowa Renegade GTX
Weight Range: (2 lbs)
Positives: Lightweight, Comfortable collar, and excellent build quality.
Negatives: Need to work on sole and laces
Lowa Renegade GTX is an extremely lightweight hiking boot, in fact, it’s one of the best hiking boots for women. But it doesn’t mean it’s not suitable or comfortable for men. The boots are very ergonomics and provide good ankle support overall.
The laces are little elastic, so I had to replace them. But after replacing the laces, everything seemed fine to me. Unlike other hiking shoes, Lowa has worked on every part of the shoe which resulted in better isolation from the ground and feels more strong and established.
The insole feels soft which gives pleasant experience during hiking. The Lowa Renegade has a similar ankle collar height to Quest 4DGTX (the one reviewed at #1). The design of the ankle collar is very impressive, nicely cushioned for better stability.
Talking about traction, this hiking boot handles hard. smooth, moist, and dry tracks excellently. It’s not “The Best” choice for scrambling, but still, it does the job. It made good traction in sand and mud during my testing.
The leather is well used on each side for making a good fitting. Four pieces of leather build up the forefoot flex point and make it a good for walking on rough terrain. Overall, it provides good stability.
The water doesn’t easily get inside, because of the big ankle, and to forget because it’s water resistance. In my testing, the feet remained dry, but leather ranks seemed to absorb the water.
This is a good choice for short day hikes with moderate backpacking trips. It provides good ankle support in difficult terrain. However, this lightweight boot has one more negative part – high mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year because forefoot sole rips apart.
Men’s Lowa Renegade GTX
Women’s Lowa Renegade GTX
4. Merrell Moab MID WP
Weight Range: (1 lbs)
Positives: Comfortable for hiking and pretty lightweight for extended hiking.
Negatives: Waterproofing material is awful and durability issues for long hiking trips.
Merrell Moab gives competition to the Lowa Renegade GTX. It’s amazingly lightweight, weighing only about 1 lb, i.e., 1 lb lighter than Lowa Renegade GTX.
This is a good pair of hiking shoes for normal day hiking, on a dry day. I’m not really impressed with this model, but its definitely a good pick if you’re looking for super lightweight and comfortable shoes under budget.
The mid-height shoes are not durable, can’t be considered for rocky path/trails with heavy backpack loading. It will break if you prefer it for long hiking, so just forget about scrambling if you’re thinking about it in your head.
Its Waterproof membrane is fine, but not excellent. When I tested it, the water was getting inside the sole from the ankle’s side which made the shoes pretty wet. I think that’s the issue because of the medium height range.
Other than that, there is nothing much to talk about it, but these shoes do have good cushioning underfoot and I absolutely loved it. Wearing them felt like wearing regular shoes.
These shoes are good, if not excellent, for the average hiker. If you’re a serious hiker, then you’ve to ditch the idea about it, because you may fall for it for its weight, but you’re not going to have a great time mate, to be honest.
By the way, If you have don’t need the waterproof membrane, the Moab has a non-waterproof, an excellent alternative – Merrell Moab Mid Ventilators.
Men’s Merrell Moab MID WP
Women’s Merrell Moab MID WP
5. Hoka One One Tor Summit
Weight Range: (2 lbs)
Positives: Very comfortable, and lightweight, shock-absorbing, and cushioning.
Negatives: Might be a little bit too roomy for few people.
These shoes are our top pick for best lightweight hiking shoes. The moment when you wear them, you get to know how cushy the shoes feel. It literally feels like placing your feet on fluffy clouds.
Hoka One one is well known for producing extremely thick midsoles that help to provide stability, durability, and cushy ride, not to forget. And, they did the same with Tor Summit. It just feels like any other lightweight running shoe.
During my testing, I felt them stable and secure at the heel and ankle. Unlike Lowa Renegade GTX, the laces of Tor Summit are pretty responsive when tightening and stay in place for a longer period that helps to keep the shoes fit your feet.
The waterproof eVent® membrane is pretty amazing, It kept my feet dry even after hiking through muddy paths, and I had no breathing issues.
The shoes performed above average, in lightweight range models, by making good traction, stability, durability, water resistance. The nubuck exterior is dust resisted dirt, so they looked pretty good even after walking miles on the trail.
Overall, it’s a good choice for hikers looking for lightweight trailing shoes with extra joint support, cushy ride, and good durability and stability. Definitely, it won’t last long if used every day, but still durable enough to stay with you for a longer period of time.
For a few people. It might feel a little bit too cushy, but you’ll get to use it, like me. It performs pretty decently for multiday backpacking trips with decent traction, but if you want better traction and stability, then I would suggest you stick to the Keen Targhee II, reviewed at 2nd position.
Men’s Hoka One One Tor Summit
Women’s Hoka One One Tor Summit
6. Asolo Jumla Boot
Weight: (1 lb)
Positives: Makes awesome traction wet & dry rock, stable, durable & lightweight. Best hiking boot for scrambling.
Negatives: Less water resistance
If you’re specifically looking for best scrambling boots, then look no further, Asolo Jumla boot is all you need to make your scrambling experience memorable.
This mid-height boot is an ideal choice for mountain guides and rescue teams around the world, and also a handy shoe for day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, and sheer approaches on treacherous terrain.
The boot just weighs about 1 lb, surprisingly, but it isn’t cushy like Hoka One One Tor Summit, (Reviewed at #5 position). It’s not cushy because it doesn’t have cushy padding fitted inside the solve like other hiking boots.
It feels a little bit stiff and hard, but it doesn’t knock it out of the competition, because it still feels comfortable and you don’t get tired during scrambling, believe it or not. My first impressions were like any other hiking person “This sh*t going to hurt,” but to my surprise that wasn’t the case. The soft ankle collar makes the scrambling even more comfortable.
The lacing system is really impressive. It goes all the way down to toes with one middle, six lower, and two upper eyelets; it helps you to tighten the boot up for making it ready for extreme scrambling.
Asolo Jumla Boot has Gore-Tex waterproof that provides good breathability. There aren’t many drains in the upper side of the Asolo, although the thin layer of suede leather saves the feet from overheating. I hiked on a real dry, sunny day, and I had little to no sweat on my feet.
The microporous midsole and polyurethane anti-shock insert offer excellent stability and cushioned comfort. Since boots are narrow and have good lace system, therefore it always ensures high stability.
Talking about traction, it outperforms all the hiking/trailing shoes we listed above. That’s the only reason I said it’s the best scrambling boot one can have. Not only rocks, mountains, but I had a great experience with Asolo jumla boot climbing the tree.
The adhesive Vibram Friction outsole constructs of 125+ mini shallow lugs of varying shape, size, and depth. This construction helps the boot to make maximum contact with the surface and stick to the rocks.
However, these shallow lugs created problems walking through mud and scree (a mass of small loose stones that form or cover a slope on a mountain.) But due to a solid lace system, no dregs were able to enter the boot which is an important point to consider for scrambling shoes.
The shoes are really durable. I used them on rocky and rough terrain, scree fields, dirty footpath/trail, but it looked very solid and new end of the day which was quite impressive. Not surprisingly, it’s the most durable boot in our list of best hiking boots for men and women.
Overall, It’s one of the high-quality hiking/trailing/scrambling shoes. If your budget is around 250$, then I would highly recommend it, particularly if you’re a daily hiker or scrambler.
Men’s Asolo Jumla Boot
Women’s Asolo Jumla Boot
7. Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX
Weight: (3.09 lbs)
Positives: High-Quality construction and design, suitable for all classes of hiking and approaches.
Negatives: Overkill for casual, because it doesn’t fall in the lightweight category.
Salewa Mountain Trainer is a mid-weight hiking boot that delivers good performance in heel security, and impressive traction in mud and wet rocks. But, it’s not the nice feeling hiking boot you’ll ever own, because it feels heavy, and not comfortable.
Off the bat, I would not recommend this boot to women, but if you’re interested, then read about it (as personal choice always varies).
Talking about comfort, these boots are stiff. I could feel the difference right away when I adjusted my boot. These are not one of the comfortable boots I ever wore, but these were not bad either, they just work.
After walking a couple of miles, my heels were already sore, and I had to take breaks to continue my hiking. The ankle collar is surrounded by memory padding which is fine, does the work.
After using it for good 2 months, my feet kinda got used to it and it softens up, but it was not as comfortable as other models I’ve listed above.
Being rigid design below the upper, the stability of the Salewa Mountain Trainer is second-to-none. This boot has got a narrow outsole. Mountain Trainer seems to found a winning spot between width and performance in foot placement, and the Vibram “alpine approach” outsole just fixes your feet to the ground.
The lacing system, 3F system, and the bomber leather upper, just sum to this touch of stability.
Talking about traction, Mountain trainer blew me out with its amazing traction property. It’s one of the best midweight scrambling boots. It secures excellent traction in mud, and if you hike in rainy weather like Pacific Northwest, then this is a go-to hiking boot for you.
From rocky trails, loose rock, Class 4 climbing, scrambling, and walking with a pack, this shoe does it all and looks great doing it. The super thick bottom of this boot is too excellent for edging.
Salewa has the 5.875 inches ankle, average for a midweight boot. It didn’t leak during my testing in mud, brooks, and lake edges. It’s a really well-made hiking shoe for resisting water.
In my test, the Nubuk upper leather upper, the plush leather lining, the protective climbing rand encircling the shoe, the gluing and the stitching, is made to withstand practical use.
I would recommend purchasing this boot if you’re more engaged in alpine approaches because the rigid sole is excellent for scrambling and lateral stability.
Men’s Salewa Mountain Trainer
Women’s Salewa Moutain Trainer
8. La Sportiva Synthesis Surround GTX
Weight: (1 lb)
Positives: Lightweight, Got looks, a Waterproof shoe with excellent breathability.
Negatives: Lack of ankle support due to low ankle height.
La Sportiva synthesis surrounded GTX was the Winner of the Backpacker Magazine 2015 Editors’ Choice award. It is among my top 5 picks of best hiking shoes because this is the #1 boot when it comes to breathability.
It’s a lightweight hiking shoe, weighing only 1 lb. The Gore-tex 360 Surround technology keeps the feet dry throughout long day hikes or late backpacking trips without the added weight or blistering feet.
These shoes are all about moving fast on hot days without breathability issues. The well-vented fabrics wick sweat on hot days to constrain moisture and keep the feet comfortable while keeping the water out even on wet trails.
The Gore-Tex Surround footbeds provide 360° of breathable and waterproof shield to keep feet dry, both from inside and outside. Unlike traditional hiking boots, it further releases moisture and air through the base of the footbed (an insole in a boot or shoe, used for cushioning or to provide a better fit) and out the porous sides.
Overall, these shoes are really comfortable to walk in on dry hiking days, however, they are definitely not as effective as Salomon Quest 4D2 GTX for trailing (reviewed at#1), but for the breathability, these shoes are number one in the game.
Being a regular hiker, I’ve done hiking with a lot of people and I know some people are more into breathability property of hiking boot/show than anything else, so if you’re looking for the best breathable hiking boots, then La Sportive synthesis is the best choice you’ve got.
Talking about stability, La Sportiva Synthesis Surround GTX is pretty stable, however, I wasn’t really pleased by the short ankle. The lacing system is really good which provides extra stability on uneven trails.
One more thing, you can rock these shoes for casual wear as well, because I’ve done this and It pretty much felt like a regular shoe.
Overall, La Sportiva Synthesis Surround GTX is a nice hiking shoe. If breathability is the main concern for you, then I would recommend purchasing this pair of shoes before your next hiking/trailing trip.
Men’s La Sportiva Synthesis Surround GTX
Women’s La Sportiva Synthesis Surround GTX
9. Lowa Innox Goretex Mid
Weight: (2 lbs)
Positives: Lightweight boots, durable, suitable for extreme hiking.
Negatives: Minimum toe and all-around foot protection.
Lowa is essentially popular in the market for its Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boot (reviewed at #3 position), however, Lowa Innox Goretex also does a good job. It helps to walk quickly and fast on uneven terrain.
These lightweight boots don’t give up on traction. The Innox GTX have grippy soles that perform solidly on refined trails, slick rock, and muddy trails. This boot is definitely a go-to boot choice for plain trails.
These boots are waterproof and feature breathable Gore-Tex liner. Initially, In my testing, It felt amazing, the water beaded off, but later it started to soak the water, and then my feet got a little mushy. In my next testing, the water again beaded off in the beginning, but on my 5th try, the water began to absorb through. It wasn’t soggy, but I could feel that it was no longer dry.
The one more thing I would like to talk about is protection. Lowa Innox GTX lacks in the area of protection. This boot does not have a rubber toe cap, so the lack of a rubber toe guard upfront makes it less secure. You would be able to feel the stones and branches on the path which is pretty annoying.
Overall, these boots are pretty impressive and look good. You can use these boots for regular hiking and for walking on the flat trails, but I wouldn’t recommend using these boots for scrambling off-trail hiking in harsh conditions.
Men’s Lowa Innox Goretex Mid
Women’s Lowa Innox Goretex Mid
10. Keen Durand Mid WP
Weight: (2 lbs)
Positives: Comfortable & light hiking boots for wide toe people.
Negatives: Boot heats up on a hot day.
So, the last edition for the best hiking boot is Keen Durand Mid WP. These are lightweight shoes that are perfect for day hikes, and for weekend backpacking trips. I wouldn’t recommend these shoes for regular hikers.
The performance of the Keen Durand is excellent if you are carrying a light backpack. It has got soft underfoot and gives gained stability with some ankle support. As expected, even the collar was relatively flexible.
Keen Durand has PU midsole; I felt amazing with its shock-absorbing performance and robust feel. Unlike EVA midsoles, if you’re walking extra miles, then it’s a notable improvement overall.
These shoes are suitable for day hikes on rugged terrain, except on backpacking trips with a completely stacked backpacking pack that might lead you to the temporary soreness. Being said that, it’s a good option for day hikes with moderate backpack weight, however, these shoes are not a great option for a real backpacking model.
The boots are pretty comfortable right out of the box. There is adequate provision underfoot to save the feet from rocks on the trail. The light cushioning around the ankle is also comfortable and is a ½ inch in height, and provides good coverage for on-trail trekking.
There is a hook at the top of the collar that does an excellent job of keeping the laces into place which adds extra stability.
Like I have addressed in my “positive section,” these are good shoes for the people with toe because It fits to be high to mid-volume and a little wide around the ball of the foot, heel, and toes. However, it might become a problem to the hiker with narrower feet, because it will lack stability and fitting which will result in slippage.
These boots are waterproof and do a moderately good job resisting the water to soak on boots. The boots remained dry during my testing when I tested on mud, and spring areas. However, as mentioned in “negative point” these boots heat up on a dry day which makes it feel comfortable and unpleasant.
Overall, these are really nice hiking boots and if used properly, then you won’t need any other boot for years. The durability is absolutely killer as my Keen Durand still looks fresh even after abusing them in different-different weather seasons. So, I would definitely recommend this pair of midweight hiking boots to day hikers.
Men’s Keen Durand MID WP
Women’s Mid Durand MID WP
Hiking boots are the most critical gears for hiking. A good pair of hiking boots will help you cover some extra miles with a smile on your face whereas a wrong pair of shoes will make your feet sore end of the day and become an obstacle during hiking. Instead of looks, you should consider attributes like breathability, weight, lacing system, sole, and water resistance which will make your hiking experience stand out.
- Toe Protection
- Lacing System
- Stability & Stiffness
- Hiking Boot Material
The lightweight category is the most loved category in hiking shoes because such boots are excellent for short hiking and backpacking trips. Options range from the budget-friendly Keen Targhee II to the light and fast Salomon X Ultra Mid 2.
Lightweight boots are ordinarily low priced because of the fact that these shoes are constructed using nylon, mesh, and leather. Though you can find full leather lightweight hiking boots, they cost more. Since the material is not pure leather, these shoes are not as stiff as mid-weight and heavyweight boots. Until & unless you’re carrying a heavy backpack, it shouldn’t be a matter of concern.
The midweight category is my personal favorite category, and it should be your too if you’re a serious hiker and looking for moderate weight boots and good in the quality for the long run. These boots provide solid support and are stiff enough to carry a heavy backpack.
The Salomon Quest 4D has good stability and durability for its weight
Though these are not as comfortable as lightweight boots and you might feel some stiffness and foot fatigue end of the day, but it’s bearable (you’re not supposed to feel fresh after a long day hiking, right?)
For midweight hiking boots, the Salomon Quest 4D2 & Hoka One One Tor Summit Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe are a great choice.
The old legend hiking boots were and will always be heavyweight. They are stiff, stable, and amazingly reliable. These boots are constructed using pure leather which results in the heavy-weight hiking boots. These category boots are a must for people who are interested in or often themselves in tough, and rocky trails with heavy backpacks.
These boots are excellent for people with weak ankles. Their stiff upper material makes the boot survive in the extreme situation of snow and wet and keeps your feet warm on hot days. The soles prevent your heel from dropping and provides extra toe protection and stability during mountain climbing.
It’s clear that you’ve plenty of choices before you pick up your hiking boot. The decision is not always tough as it matters a lot on personal preferences and how serious you’re about hiking/backpacking/trailing, once you understand that, it’s easy!
The old saying, “a pound on foot is like five pounds on the back rings” is indeed valid, you would be able to notice it after a long day hike. Therefore, lightweight is pretty popular these days, but it actually compromises with stability, ankle support, and ankle protection which you and your body might not be ready for.
No wonder, I prefer mid-weight boots as it keeps the balance between both, but I have a collection of all of them. The one tip I would give for heavyweight hiking boot is, use these boots before you actually go on a hiking trip else you’ll feel little uncomfortable
The waterproof attribute is the most talked attribute in the hiking boots. You’ll notice terms like waterproof, water-repellent, and water-resistant when you start your search for hiking boots as the majority of the boots, in the market, are waterproof.
GORE-TEX® membrane is used outside and inside the shoe. The lines you see outside a hiking boot with the leather, the textile mesh, or the performance synthetics, these are provided by the brand to meet Gore’s durable water repellent standards.
Waterproof boots are certainly good, but these are not necessary as it also affects the breathability of the boots. If you hike in mountainous places where it often rains and the land is dry, or the land has stuff like mud and stream then waterproof boots actually help you, keeping your feet dry. But, water still manages to get inside the water, but it soaks the water quickly.
On the other hand, if you hike in the summer season or you often hike in hot places then it becomes a con. The waterproof boots make your feet sweaty and hot.
So, the take is, waterproof boots are great for the majority of people, but these are not a choice for everyone. If you hike in the rainy, snowy or cold season, then these shoes will not only keep your feet dry from water but will also provide heat. However, if that’s not the case, then we would suggest you to not pick up waterproof boots.
Breathability is just doesn’t matter if you hike in hot summer or extreme cold season. Like we said earlier, waterproof somehow impacts the breathability. The moisture gets quickly absorbed which makes the boots warm and it sucks in the summer season.
Rei also explained in their hiking boots’ buying guide: The reduced breathability created by a membrane (compared to the ventilating mesh used on some non-waterproof shoes) may encourage feet to sweat on summer days.
la sportive lightweight hiking boots
These boots very breathable on hot day hiking
If you’re hiking for a long time, then you might be knowing that heavy-weight hiking boots with a Gore-Tex lining & full leather material have the worst performance ever. During our testing and regular use, we realized that Salomon Quest 4D 2, and Lowa Renegade perform decently with their nylon and leather construction and Gore-Tex liners.
For our mid-weight category, we were impressed by La Sportiva synthesis was the best performer. All these shoes are best for summer hiking. If you completely want to ditch the waterproof liners, then we have heard a lot about non-water version of Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0 GTX (though we haven’t tried one personally so can’t provide you guys our opinion)
Knowing a little more regarding what goes into midsoles, outsoles, parts of a boot can help you improve your selection. Your insoles, outsoles have a significant impact on your hiking journey. A good midsole provides excellent stability and prone to damage and also plays a crucial role in making traction.
The midsoles are generally constructed of EVA & PU; it’s important to understand between these both foams if you want to get yourself a proper hiking boot that complements you.
EVA is majorly used in running shoes or lightweight shoes, in general. These are mostly cushy which provides comfort and prevents foot fatigue. It sounds like a fairy tale to have soft insoles, but soft insoles have less torsional stability and get broken in a short time. However, firmer midsole is more stable and durable. Though it might get you little out of your comfort zone but it’s totally worth it if you’re covering some tougher terrain.
PU soles are great and sturdy so that you can wear them for over two years, day by day. Polyurethane midsoles are less cushy as compared to the EVA but if you want a shock-absorbing midsole during trailing and mountain climbing, then PU midsoles work better as compared to the EVA foam. The PU rubber is tougher; it helps you to carry more weight in your backpack. PU rubber soles are also greatly durable and last for a longer time.
Hiking Boot Outsoles
Like Gore-Tex is popular and dominates the industry for providing material for waterproof boots, Vibram established itself the same way for outsoles. Though most of the brands outsource their outsole work from Vibran but some companies like Salomon don’t outsource their outsoles. They have in-house company congragrip for this job. You can find the contragrip logo on Salomon hiking boots. Being experienced in hiking and trailrunning, there is no reason to doubt the quality of their outsoles.
No doubt, the vibram is established, and a trustable brand but all vibram models shouldn’t be treated similarly as manufacturer seamstress their designs for the particular brand and footwear. Like mentioned earlier, some lugs are thick which is used for making serious grip in mud whereas deeper and thicker soles are used for scrambling over rocks. Therefore, it’s necessary to understand the outsole because a relevant pick will make your outing easy and better.
Protection is a must. Hiking boots come with rover rans or tow caps that protect your toe if you mistakenly hit a stone during climbing or kick the trail. Therefore, toe protection is an essential feature. However, lightweight shoes often sacrifice with toe protection to make the boots as light as possible. Thus, you’re actually sacrificing on the important feature, even excellent hiking boot like Lowa Innox GTX lacks in the toe protection (mentioned in the review section)
Having your lacing system on point is necessary. If you are a lacing system sucks, then you will find yourself in a big problem, tying up your laces which will consume your energy and enthusiasm. You can replace the laces easily if the problem is with your laces. However. Most of the time the problem is with the boot itself, so make sure you get yourself a right fit pair of shoes.
We don’t get a second thought about laces technique, but here are some three well-known lace techniques that will help you to relieve foot discomfort.
(We recommend you recommend you reading this article on REI for more information: Lacing Guide)
Toe-Relief Lacing: A temporary remedy to get you back to the trailhead.
Surgeon’s Knot: Easy and versatile, it can keep your heel from slipping.
Window Lacing: Alleviates pressure points on the top of your foot.
Stability and Stiffness
Hiking boot has to be stable, if a hiking boot is not stable, then everything mentioned above doesn’t even matter. If you’ll wear regular boots on multiple hiking days, then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy hiking at all.
Trails are not even; hiking boots help the heel to not drop on an ascent. Hiking boots have a piece of plastic, known as a shank, which is inserted in the outsoles and midsoles. It keeps your feet stable while climbing which results in minor foot and calf fatigue.
Though we still think that heel stability is the over-talked property of the hiking boots as it doesn’t do something out of the box but on real rough mountain track you would be able to feel the difference.
The stability of a boot is directly propositional to the stiffness of the boot. The more stable boot you’ll look for, the more still it will be, in the majority of cases. But, believe us, stiffness is a must otherwise your shoes will keep on twisting during climbing and mountaineering.
Our top 2 picks for stable midweight boots would be Lowa Renegade and Salomon Quest 4D 2 for maximum support during heavy backpacking while covering summit peaks.
It’s a no-brainer that boot’s material impacts the breathability, durability, water resistance, and weight. If you’ve read the hiking boots reviews thoroughly then, you must have noticed that the majority of the boots are constructed of mixed material like synthetic, leather, and mesh. However, you would be able to find the full leather upper layer in highly-priced and heavy-weight hiking shoes.
Synthetic – It is made from many synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, PU, and synthetic leather. Normally, it is lighter than leather and less expensive as well. However synthetic material tends to absorb water, so you will require relying on a waterproof membrane to preserve your feet from the water. And, these are usually vegan-friendly.
Full-Grain/Leather – It is remarkably durable leather and has excellent water resistance property, in contrary to synthetic. It is ordinarily used in rugged terrain and wetter climates, and it’s naturally waterproof and more breathable. Leather also comes in a variety of thicknesses, and this is a tradeoff, thicker the leather more assistance you will have however this also flexibility inhibits extra weight.
Nubuck – It is a buffed down full-grain leather that relates the fineness of suede. You’ll find nubuck in mid-range boots. It’s resistant to water and abrasion and has higher flexibility but relatively less durability than full-grain leather. Also, the weight of the nubuck leather boots is less as compared to full-grain/ leather boots.
Wrapping It Up – Don’t Forget to Read!
Now, I’m done with the list. It was a crazy time consuming, but I really enjoyed writing my hiking boots’ review, hopefully, it will help you guys choose the right hiking boot for yourselves.
In my research, I found out that women are searching for “best-hiking boots for women” & men are searching for “best-hiking boots for men.” I kinda freaked out as there was mostly no article covering an article on both the topics on a single web-page.
I’ve linked to both women and men’s models so that you guys don’t have to waste your time on the web. And, girls, the only thing different is size number and size type, nothing else.
If you guys liked my efforts, then make sure you share the article with your hiker buddies, and if you’ve any suggestion regarding the article or you’ve any specific model in your mind that you want me to review or mention in the list, then make sure to comment down below.