If you want to enjoy your times outdoors, you’ll need one of the best hiking boots.
There’s a few things you must consider before purchasing, though, and I’ll show you what’s most important – after you’ll see my top picks for both men and women.
By the time you’re done I’m sure you’ll see a product that you’ll want on your feet.
How To Choose Hiking Boots
Here’s a video that goes over everything in depth:
Pretty simple, right?
Personally, I think the following is the most important:
- Figure out which type you need (hiking shoes, day hiking boots and backpacking boots).
- Look at the materials of the boot and midsole
- Get the proper fit
First and foremost, you have to figure out which type of product you’ll need and it comes down to your needs and where you’ll be hiking. The three major kinds are:
- Hiking shoes: Hiking shoes are extremely lightweight and are usually low cut. These shoes are made for day hikes and there aren’t any included on this list.
- Day hiking boots: These products are popular and range from mid to high cut. They’re usually lightweight and perfect for day hikes and other hikes with light loads.
- Backpacking boots: Backpacking boots are extremely sturdy and they’re made for multi-day hikes and for larger loads. Most tend to be high cut too.
Next, you need to look at the materials used in the upper and midsole. There’s a million different kinds of leathers and other materials like full grain leather, split grain leather, synthetics, etc. I’ll go more in depth about the pros and cons of each type in the product descriptions coming up.
The midsole is the cushioning in the boot and you’ll have to decide between EVA and polyurethane. The first is a little softer and made for shorter hikes (it’s also cheaper) and the latter is firmer and made for longer treks.
Lastly, you’ll have to make sure you get a good fit. This video will help you out in this department:
If you want to learn more about the selection process, click here.
Now that you know exactly what to look for, let’s take a look at my top picks for men now. My top picks for women will be directly after.
Best Hiking Boots For Men
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
The Lowa Renegade is one of the most popular hiking boots on the market and is a product that works for a lot of different people. The only group I would say should look elsewhere are serious backpackers that expect to carry a lot of equipment and expect to be out for long periods of time.
If you’re someone that likes to take day hikes and maybe light backpacking, you’ll really love what the Renegade can do for you. One of my favorite aspects of this boot is the high quality nubuck leather upper. Nubuck leather is very durable and does a good job keeping water out.
Some other awesome features include:
- Vibram outsole traction gives you a no slip grip and is perfect for when it’s a little damp out.
- Monowrap midsole is ultra comfortable and does a good job reducing the overall weight of this boot.
- Climate control footbed and this prevents moisture from building up inside. You won’t have to worry about blisters and soaking wet feet because of this.
- GORE-TEX lining is another reason the Renegade’s keep moisture out and it keeps temperature down so your feet don’t overheat.
- Stabalzing shanks provide an extra level of stability and the derby style lacing makes this product work for many different foot sizes.
- 23 different colors and designs so you get the exact look you want and desire.
This boot isn’t cheap but I wouldn’t say it’s overly expensive – you’ll certainly get you money’s worth if you decide on the Renegade’s. Plus, this product has over 600 reviews and basically all are overwhelmingly positive. If you want to see what other customers are saying, click below:
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
Salomon is a company that I trust a lot and I’ve owned their ski boots and I have a pair of their skis too. Their Quest 4D 2 GTX live up to the high standards of Salomon and is a boot that you’ll love to have on your feet.
I’ve known people that have hiked quite a bit of the Appalachian Trail with the Quest’s as their primary boot and were satisfied with their performance – they’re extremely durable and they can handle pretty rough terrain without breaking down.
You’ll really appreciate that these boots come with:
- Nubuck leather is very flexible and is tear resistant. This comes in handy if you’re hiking through areas with a lot of rocks.
- 4D chassis provide you with a ton of support and comfortable cushioning.
- Contragrip ensures you won’t slip all over the place and provides a ton of traction.
- GORE-TEX materials keep all moisture out and your feet bone dry. This is great for blister control and overall hiking experience.
- Ergonomic tongue makes wearing the Quest all day long enjoyable and these boots won’t cause any annoying discomforts.
- 8 different colors give you plenty of options in terms of appearance.
This is another product that isn’t inexpensive but won’t cost an arm and a leg either. Every person who wants a top of the line hiking boot should consider this one. It delivers in basically all aspects.
Oboz Bridger BDry
Here we have another well received boot and the Oboz Bridger BDry is a product that everyone will love. The BDry’s, like their name suggests, is a boot that’ll keep your feet bone dry – they’re perfect if you expect to hike over creeks, puddles and in the rain.
There’s many reasons for this and one reason is all the seems of these boots are sealed. This makes it hard for water to penetrate but allows sweat to escape. Also, the BDry’s upper is made from hydrophobic materials and this means it won’t soak up water. Wet, soggy feet are the worst and you won’t have to worry about that here.
Some other features that you’ll like includes:
- Carbon bottom thread ensures you won’t be slipping all over the place and gives you ultimate traction.
- TPU Chassis provides a ton of support and prevents rocks from poking you from underneath.
- Dual density foam midsole is ultra comfortable and you won’t mind walking around all day with this cushion.
- Structure heel cup and arch is another reason these boots are such a delight to wear.
This product is fairly affordable too without being cheap. You know what makes this even better? They come with a 1 year warranty too. That’s a good deal for what you’re getting and one you’ll appreciate if any part of this boot tears or wears out.
Lowa Tibet GTX
The Lowa Tibet GTX is a boot that you can go for miles and days on and be completely happy with their performance. You can also wear them when you’re carrying heavy loads as well. This boot is built to withstand punishment and is perfect for hardcore hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
One aspect of this product that I really like is the Handy I-Lock lacing system. What this lacing system does is lets you have two different tensions – one between the ankles and one on top. This allows you to get a comfortable and customizable fit. There’s nothing better than that on a multi day hike.
Some other cool features includes:
- High wall rubber around this boot ensures that it resists abrasions and tears.
- Gore-Tex lining keeps all water of the boot and you won’t have to worry about blistering because of this.
- Vibram rubber outsole makes sure that you won’t fall over and slip on slick surfaces.
- Padded tongue and collar means you’ll get even more comfort. This is a boot that you’ll love having on your feet.
The Tibet’s truly are a high performing boot and one of the most well made hiking boots on the market. I know you’ll love them if you decide to purchase them. The people who don’t like the Tibet’s are few and far between.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid
Merrell is a company that all outdoor enthusiasts have heard of and their Moab 2 is one of their more popular products. There’s thousands of happy customers wearing this boot right now and loving every minute of it.
The Moab 2 is another product that is essentially all weather proof. It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking in an area with a ton of water or if it’s raining out. With these boots on your feet you’ll be left nice and dry.
Some other aspects that you’ll like includes:
- Suede leather materials though out the Moab 2 and that adds a ton of durability.
- M Select FRESH fights off bad odors/bacterias and helps make these boots smell fresh.
- Breathable mesh lining ensures there’s not a ton of sweat build up and won’t let your feet overheat.
- Shock absorbing air cushion is something you’ll like if you’re hiking on tough terrain with lots of rocks and roots.
- Eva midsole adds a bunch of support and cushioning for maxmium comfort.
- Rubber toe cap gives you even more protection against pointy rocks and branches.
- Vibram outsole is top of the line and allows for a lot of traction.
Believe it or not this is one of the more cost effective boots on this list and is one of the best values on this list.
Zamberlan Trail Lite EVO GTX
The Zamberlan Trail Lite EVO GTX’s are one of the most high quality boots on this list and every person I know that wears them absolutely loves them. I’ve actually never really heard anyone say anything bad about this product.
These boots are pretty lightweight and is one that you can take on multiple day backpacking trips. They have the durability and stability that allow for this.
Some additional features that you’ll like includes:
- Zamberlan Backpacking Last locks your heel in place and ensures the footbox is nice and roomy.
- Gore Tex materials in the upper is good in both the waterproofing and breathability departments. This means water won’t be let in but moisture can get out.’
- Vibram outsole is excellent in terms of traction and you won’t have to worry about slipping while wearing these.
- Eva midsole provides a ton of comfort and doesn’t add too much weight.
These Zamberlain boots are really stylish too and are one of the better looking products on this list. That’s probably because their hand crafted in Italy.
So how much are they going to cost? A little extra but that’s only because they’re so well made. I personally think they’re worth every penny and I’m sure you’ll come to the same conclusion if you decide on these boots.
KEEN Targhee II Mid
The Keen Targhee II is a nice boot and one that scores well in the waterproofing department – that’s mainly because it comes with a KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane. You’ll appreciate this if you run into any puddles.
This boot is perfect for anyone that needs extra support or cushioning and there’s two reasons for this. The first is the Dual density EVA footbed. The second is this footbed can be removed and you can put in a custom footbed.
If that’s not enough you’ll like that the Targhee II’s have:
- Nubuck leather is very durable and you won’t have to worry about these boots wearing out quickly.
- S3 heel support soaks up shocks, ensuring you can hike over rough terrain.
- High quality toe bumper protects your feet from impacts.
- Rugged outsole keeps you from slipping on slick surfaces and keeps you upright.
- The outsole is also non marking so you can wear them inside without scuffing up your floors.
The best part is this product doesn’t really cost too much either and they’re one of the more affordable boots you’ve seen so far. That doesn’t mean they’re low quality either. The Targhee’s stack up with some of the better boots listed here.
Asolo Drifter GV
If you’re a day hiker or someone that likes to do over night trips with light loads, the Asolo Drifter GV is a boot that you should consider. This product is extremely lightweight and excels in these types of situations.
One thing I like about the Drifter is it’s made from suede leather. Suede leather makes these boots extremely water resistant and durable. You won’t have to worry about your socks getting drenched or worry about them tearing.
Some other features that you’ll like includes:
- Very breathable and your feet won’t over heat – sweat won’t build up either.
- Gore-Tex materials is why this product is so waterproof and breathable.
- Urethane plates give you a ton of stability and it protects you from getting injured by rocks.
- Vibram outsoles ensure you stay on your feet and don’t tip over.
- Padded ankle cuffs add a bunch of comfort and you’ll like wearing these boots all day long.
- 5 different colors so you get to choose the one you want.
These aren’t cheap, however. I think they’re worth their price, though, and especially if your needs match what the Drifters can do. If you’re expecting to take multiple day hikes with heavy loads you may want to look elsewhere but everyone else will like what they get here.
Asolo TPS 520 GV
Here we have another boot from Asolo and the TPS 520 GV is a product that’s a little more heavy duty than the one you just saw. The TPS 520 is a boot you can wear with heavy loads and take into the woods on multiple day hikes.
Just because this product is durable doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable either. It has a tongue and ankle cuff that makes this boot very comfortable. Anyone that’s ever worn painful hiking boots knows how valuable this is.
Other things you’ll like about this Asolo product is:
- Full grain leather and Gore-Tex materials ensure this boot performs and is high quality. You won’t have water seeping in either.
- Deep channeled outsoles provide a superior level of traction so you’re not slipping all over the place. This outsole limits the amount of debris that gets on it and it’s self cleaning too.
- Thermoplastic supports add a bunch of stability and protects against rock bruising.
- Boots can be resoled which means you’ll get more use out of these boots and more bang for your buck.
Speaking of bucks, you’ll have to spend a few to purchase the TPS 520. Are these boots worth being one of the most expensive? I think so and I know you’ll appreciate them once you start racking up the miles with them on your feet.
Vasque Breeze III GTX
The last boot on this list is the Vasque Breeze III GTX and this product is a nice option for people that expect to do some light hiking – day trips with loads that aren’t overly heavy. If that’s what you plan on doing you’ll like what you get here.
The Vasque’s are ultra lightweight and you’ll feel pretty mobile while wearing them. This is good if you’re facing steep inclines and don’t want to exhaust yourself.
Some other top features include:
- Leather uppers that are extremely breathable and won’t allow your feet to over heat. Also, these uppers are abrasion proof and won’t tear.
- Gore-Tex inserts keep all water out and your feet bone dry. The Gore-Tex is another reason these boots are breathable too.
- Dual density midsoles with EVA cushion makes this product extremely comfortable.
- Thermoplastic plates ensure you get good lateral stability and helps these boots hold their shape.
- Vibram outsoles provide a high level of traction and prevents you from slipping when it’s wet out.
The great thing about the Vasque’s is they’re budget friendly and one of the most affordable products on this list. Even though they’re fairly cheap they get excellent reviews and almost get a perfect 5/5 rating. If you want to see what all these customers are saying about this boot, click below:
Best Hiking Boots For Women
Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid
Earlier in this post I talked about the Lowa Renegade for men and now it’s time to look at the Renegade for women. The two have a lot in common and most importantly they’re both high quality and high performing.
One of my favorite features of this boot is the climate control footbed. This footbed helps circulate air so that your feet don’t overheat or over sweat – this product also wicks away moisture so it doesn’t build up in your boot. This means your feet will remain dry and you won’t have to worry about blisters.
Some other features that I like includes:
- Gore-Tex materials is another reason this boot keeps your feet dry. These materials prevent water from penetrating.
- Pretty lightweight and you won’t exhaust yourself with these on your feet.
- Full length nylon shank and this adds a bit of stability and structure to this boot.
- Rugged outsole and this ensures you won’t slip on wet surfaces and you’ll stay on your feet.
- Leather lining that’s ultra comfortable and helps you stay out there longer than ever.
- 20 different colors so you get the exact look you want and desire.
All Lowa boots are handcrafted and every detail is meticulously paid attention to. You really sense this when you purchase from them. The price isn’t completely horrible either.
If you aren’t sure about the price you can always check out the reviews to see what other customers are saying – there’s over 500 of them and almost all are overwhelmingly positive. To check them out you can click below:
KEEN Women’s Voyager Mid
If you’re looking for a budget friendly boot, the Keen Voyager Mid’s might be the product that you’re looking. Any person that really loves hiking and goes on multiple trips with heavy loads should try a different boot. The Voyagers are made for day trips with lighter loads.
These boots are pretty comfortable, though. The reason for this is they come with a padded tongue and collar. You won’t get any unnecessary pains while wearing this product.
If that’s not enough you’ll like that they come with:
- Breathable upper mesh that keeps air moving and prevents the build up of sweat. This means you won’t suffer from blisters.
- Cleansport NXT minimizes foul odors and allows these boots to smell fresh long after you purchase them.
- Dual density EVA midsole is another reason the Voyager’s are so comfortable.
- Rubber outsoles are non-marking so you can wear them inside without scuffing floors.
- No break in time and you’ll be able to take them hiking right out of the box.
Like I said up top the Voyager’s are very cost effective. As long as your needs match what these boots can do, you’ll really like wearing them on your favorite trails.
Scarpa Women’s Hunza GTX
The last product you saw was made specifically for people that like to take day trips and more casual hikers – that’s not the case with the Scarpa Hunza’s. These boots are dependable on long backpacking trips and can handle various and tough terrain.
One reason for this is the Hunza’s are made from nubuck leather. This type of leather is very durable and resistant to any kind of tearing and weather.
Some other cool features include:
- Dual density midsole is ultra comfortable and you’ll love the way these feel after a long hike.
- Gore-Tex materials are both waterproof and breathable. It keeps water from getting in and makes sure moisture doesn’t build up on the inside.
- Designed specifically for maximum ankle flex without giving up anything in structure.
- Vibram outsole provides a ton of traction and you’ll appreciate that when you’re walking over slick surfaces.
This is another boot that costs a little extra and for good reason – it’s high quality. You get what you pay for in life and in this case you’re paying for performance and protection.
Arc’teryx Women’s Bora Mid GTX
Ac’teryx is a brand that I really, really like and they make a ton of high quality outdoor gear – I know plenty of people that love their ski gloves, jackets and snow pants. You’ll be happy to know they make excellent hiking boots too and that shows in their Bora Mid’s.
What’s cool about the Bora’s is they can handle really rough terrain and they still remain lightweight. It won’t feel like two cement blocks on your feet while you’re wearing them.
Some other aspects that make these boots worth it includes:
- Adaptive fit ensures you get the most comfortable and custom fit possible.
- Gore-Tex materials are both breathable and waterproof. This ensures that you’ll never have to deal with blisters or soggy socks.
- Seamless upper is extremely durable and provides a ton of support.
- EVA midsole is another reason this product is so comfortable.
- Laces with speed hooks allow you to quickly lace these boots up.
The Bora’s can truly be worn any where and can tackle ice, snow and rocks. Because they’re so versatile and performing they’re going to cost a little extra. If you have any reservations about paying extra you shouldn’t. You will absolutely love these boots.
Danner Women’s Mountain 600
The Danner Mountain 600 was born in the dreary Pacific Northwest and is made for hikers in that region or anyone who expects to venture into areas with similar terrains – wet and rugged.
Everything about this boot is made to last and to handle all kinds of paths and trails. One of the reasons for this is the Danner Mountain 600 comes with a superior Vibram Fuga outsoles.
Some other features includes:
- Lightweight design means you’ll be able to go further with less effort.
- Suede upper is ultra waterproof and keeps your feet dry.
- Dry liner keeps your feet dry and prevents the build up of blisters.
- Removable Ortholite insole means you can get a custom fit if you want a different insole.
- TRP heel frame provides a bunch of support and stabiltiy.
The best part? This product is affordable and you won’t have to break the bank to purchase and that’s a really good deal in my book.
Asolo Women’s Tacoma GV
The Asolo Tacoma GV is another boot that’s made for the more casual hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you like to get out every once in a while and maybe just have some favorite trails you like to explore, the Tacoma’s can work for you. Anyone more serious than that may want to look elsewhere.
Like many of the boots on this list, these ones are made from both leather (suede) and Gore-Tex materials. This ensures this product is durable and will keep water from penetrating – it’s also good in the breathability department.
If that’s not enough you’ll like that these come with:
- Ergonomic tongue and padded ankles make these boots pretty comfortable. There’s also Achilles notches to prevent the collar from digging into your tendons.
- Asoflex thermoplastics provide a bunch of stability and keep you from getting injured from rocks.
- Comfortable midsole is another reason the Tacoma’s are so comfortable.
- Self cleaning outsole keeps debris off and gives you a ton of traction.
Because these aren’t the highest quality boots on this list they’re going to cost a little less. I wouldn’t consider them cheap but they’re about half of some of the more top of the line products mentioned here.
Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX
It’s pretty rare that you find a hiking boot that’s lightweight, extremely comfortable and made for longer treks but that’s the case with the Salomon Quest 4D’s – these boots are for sure one of my favorites for women.
One thing that really separates this product from others is the 4D chassis design. This is a very advanced chassis system and is a godsend in rugged terrain and reduces strain. You’ll be able to go longer with out getting tired because of this.
Some other nice features includes:
- Contragrip technology make these one of the grippier boots on this list and ensures you have excellent traction.
- Gore-Tex materials that you’ve seen in most products on this list. Gore-Tex prevents water from getting in and keeps air flowing so sweat doesn’t build up. You’ll have less chance of getting blisters because of this.
- Ortholite footbed is extra comfortable and this is another reason you’ll be able to go extra miles while wearing them.
- Protective rubber toe and heel cap prevents this product from ripping or tearing.
- Extra stability and you’ll feel very confident hiking around with the Quest’s on.
The Salomon Quest’s are going to cost a little more than the average boot but they’re worth every penny. If you decide on this product you’ll be very happy you did.
Still not sure? Check out the reviews – there’s over 200 and almost all are positive. To read them click below:
Asolo Women’s Stynger GTX
Here we have another Asolo boot and this one, the Stynger, is made for the same class as the one you already saw – people that like to hike more casually and are less serious about it. If you’res someone that lives and breathes the outdoors you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
If you’re in that first class of hikers you’ll appreciate what you get here. One thing I know you’ll like is how lightweight these boots are. They’re made from materials that aren’t heavy and this means you’ll be able to go for longer hikes with less effort.
You’ll also like that the Stynger’s come with:
- Gore-Tex liners that leave your foot bone dry – it doesn’t let water in and wicks away sweat.
- Reinforcements in all the vulnerable parts of the boot adds a good amount of protection and durability.
- DuoAsoflex midsoles absorb shock and are very comfortable.
- High performing outsole keeps you from slipping and ensures you stay on your feet.
These boots aren’t cheap but I certainly wouldn’t consider them too expensive – they’re right in the sweet spot in terms of price. That’s right where they should be priced, too.
The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX
Company: The North Face
The North Face is a brand that I’m sure you’re familiar with and you probably own or have own some of their gear or clothing at one point or another. They really aren’t known for their hiking boots but they offer a pretty decent one with the Ultra Fastpack II.
Do I think this boot is a must have and one every person should consider? Not really and this is especially true if you plan on getting out there a lot this year. The Ultra Fastpack II is made more for people that take short trips and hike for fun.
If that’s you, you’ll like the top features like:
- Embedded cables in the upper provide a good amount of support and makes this product lightweight.
- Gore-Tex materials that you’ve seen a bunch of times already. These materials do a great job ensuring your feet remain dry.
- Rubber toe and heel cap adds some protection and durability.
- CRADLE technology gives you the perfect amount of heel support.
- Vibram outsole offers a ton of traction and you’ll appreciate this if it’s a little wet out.
- Very comfortable midsole means you’ll be able to hike all day long without any pains.
The Ultra Fastpack’s are one of the cheaper products on this list and are good for people on a budget. As long as your needs match what these boots can do you’ll like them.
Hiking Boots FAQ’S
1) Question: How Do I Break In Hiking Boots?
Answer: It depends on the hiking boots you get. Lightweight shoes and products made for day hikes might be able to go right out of the box.
Sturdier products that are made for week long trips may take longer to break in. A good idea is to wear these boots around the house, go for a walk or maybe even a short hike to break them in. You don’t want to just take them on a multi day hike right out of the box. That can lead to discomfort and may ruin your day.
You’ll know when they’re ready.
2) Question: How Do I Clean My Boots?
Answer: There’s a few reasons why you’ll want to keep you boots nice and clean. First off, dirt and other particles, when left on your boots, can wear the traction and other parts of your boots down – it kind of acts like sandpaper.
Also, mud tends to take the moisture out of your boots and this can make them dry. Once leather dries it ages the boots and makes them look old.
In order to get a proper cleaning, you’ll need a few supplies including a boot brush (or any bristle brush that won’t ruin the materials) and specialty made boot cleaners. You can use a mix of dish soap and water too. To clean mold, use a 80/20 mix of water and apple vinegar.
Don’t just put your boots in the washing machine either – this can damage your boots. You’ll want to avoid detergents and regular bar soap as it can case damage too. Also, make sure to take off your laces before doing anything.
Always let your footwear dry naturally in the open air.
3) Question: How To Prevent Bad Smells
Answer: The most important thing you can do to prevent bad smells from developing is to keep your feet dry and let your boots dry whenever they get wet. Always make sure to bring along extra socks and to take off your boots when you rest (you can take the insoles out too) – place them in the sun and let them heat up. Plus this gives you time to air dry your feet.
Also, items like corn starch and baking powder can keep your feet dry. There are sprays that can mask the smell but the best thing you can do is take preventative measures.
4) Question: How Much Should I Spend?
Answer: This mainly depends on the type of hiker you are and where/when you’re going to be hiking. If you’re someone that really only likes to hike a few hours, you’ll spend less just because day hiking boots are less expensive. These product have less materials and less technology in them. For this class of hikers I would say pay at least $80.
People that hike as their main hobby and can spend weeks and months in the outdoors will want to pay more. Backpacking boots are much more sturdy and use more materials when made. Plus, you’re facing different terrains so the craftsmanship is better. I would spend at least $120+ here.
You don’t have to purchase the most expensive pair on the market but you definitely don’t want to cheap out. Footwear is important in every activity and this is true for hiking.
If you get a poorly made shoe you can develop blisters and different pains. It’s honestly enough to ruin your day. Whatever you do, just get a quality pair.
4) Question: How Do I Lace My Boots?
Answer: There’s different lacing styles you can use to achieve different results. For instance, there’s lacing styles that can prevent your heel from slipping.
There’s three popular lacing styles with different pros and cons. They are:
- Surgeons Knot: This is for when you have too much space near the top of your foot and your heel is slipping. To pull off this maneuver pull your laces as tight as possible so there’s no slack left. Where the top of your foot flexes forward, wrap the laces around each other and pull tight. Repeat this step for the next laces up.
- Window Lacing: Window lacing is to prevent pressure points on the top of your foot. To do this, you unlace everything to right under the pain. Instead of crossing the laces go straight up. Tie your laces the regular way after this.
- Toe Relief Lacing: By the name of this lacing technique you can probably guess what it does – it relieves the pressure in your toe box. In order to do this, completely unlace your boots. When you go to re-lace them, skip the button lace and lace them like normal.
It’s easier to see this done and here’s a video that explains everything:
It’s that easy!
5) Do Hiking Boots Run True To Size?
Answer: It really depends on the makers of the boots. Some boots run small while others run large. Generally speaking, you’ll want to go half a size or a full size larger than your regular shoes. This is because hiking socks tend to be much thicker than everyday socks.
Make sure to read the users reviews of the boot you’re considering. The sizing is always talked about in the reviews. Amazon is a great resource for this.
6) Can I Buy Hiking Boots Online?
Answer: If you have a really well known or reliable store near you that sells hiking boots, it’s best to try them on yourself. This way you can see if you like the way they feel and if the sizing works. Plus, you can consult the workers (if they’re competent) and ask them questions.
But, you can definitely buy hiking boots online. There’s so many great retailers that carry every imaginable option. If you have a wide foot, narrow foot, plan on spending a day hiking, weeks, months, want a certain brand, or specialty type, you’ll be able to find it online.
Also, every major online retailer has a good return policy. If you get a pair of boots and find out they don’t feel right or run too small, you’ll be able to return them and get your money back.
7) Question: How Important Is The Outsole?
Answer: This is an overlooked aspect but is really important. The outsole is what prevents you from slipping when it’s slick out. If you have low quality traction you might end up toppling over and injuring yourself – you can even break a bone that way.
There’s two popular outsole patterns and they are:
- Lug pattern: Lug pattern means the traction comes with bumps on the outside. Backpacking boots tend to have deeper lugs, this way you get even more traction.
- Heel Brake: Heel brakes give you a little extra traction on the heel. This extra traction ensures you won’t slip when you’re going downhill. If you expect to hike where there’s plenty of declines, you’ll want a boot with heel brakes.
8) What Are The Different Materials Used?
Answer: There’s many different materials used in hiking boots – some are more high quality than others and each has their own pros and cons.
Some of the most popular are:
- Full Grain Leather: This is the kind of material you’ll find in more expensive and well made hiking boots. It’s primarily found in backpacking boots. Full grain leather is very durable and makes any boot made with them long lasting and durable. This leather is waterproof and it’ll keep your feet drier than other materials. This reduces blisters and helps you prevent bad odors from developing. On the downside, full grain leather isn’t the most breathable and your feet can overheat because of this. Also, It takes a little to break in and isn’t particularly lightweight. Very sturdy, though.
- Split-grain Leather: Split grain leather excels where full grain doesn’t but also falls short where full grain excels. Split grain is very lightweight and tends to be more affordable. These boots aren’t the most durable or water resistant, though. Many come with a waterproof liner and this helps in the waterproof department.
- Nubuck Leather: Nubuck leather is actually full grain leather that’s been worn down so it’s closer to suede. Like full grain leather, it’s long lasting, resists water and won’t tear easily. These products aren’t good to go out of the box, though. You need to break them in by either taking a few shorter hikes with them or wearing them around your house.
- Synthetics: You can find synthetic materials in all kinds of gear and they are definitely growing in popularity. They pretty much excel in all facets – they’re waterproof, lightweight and affordable. These products aren’t as rugged and long lasting as leather boots, however. They’ll show wear and tear quicker.
9) What are The Most Popular Hiking Boot Brands?
Answer: There’s plenty of brands that do a great job making boots. Here’s a list of some of my favorites (this certainly isn’t the end all be all of choices):
- Keen: Keen is a fairly new shoe company (founded in 2003) and their headquarter’s is based out of Portland, Oregon. Keen is also an ethical company and does a lot of fundraising and is associated with many different non-profits. They donated millions to Asia after a deadly tsunami. It’s estimated this company brings in around $230 million in revenue every year.
- Asolo: Asolo was born in post World War II Italy. Italy is known for their shoe makers and you’ll find the greatest shoemakers in the world there. This company is run by fourth generation footwear specialists and it really shows if you decide on their products.
- Lowa: Lowa’s home is in the engineering capital of the world – Germany. There’s something about buying German products, be it a car or a hiking boot, you just know you’re going to get quality. This is especially true with Lowa. This company has been around for nearly 100 years and they’ve learned a thing or two about craftsmanship in that time period. Lowa brings in an estimated $189 million a year.
- Merrell: Merrell is a very well known company and they may be the most recognizable brand on this list. They got their start 37 years ago and their headquarters is located in the manufacturing capital of America (Michigan). Merrell brings in a staggering $500 million in revenue each year.
- Salomon: Salomon is another well known company and they make more than just gear for hikers – you can find their products on the slopes too. Salomon, which got its start in France, brings in over $750 million in revenue each year and was purchased by Adidas for over a billion in 1997 and is now owned by Amer Sports.
- Vasque: Vasque is another brand you’ll come across if you hike enough. This company got their start in the Alps where you need high quality hiking gear – your life depends on it. If you’re looking for high quality boots, look no further. Vasque has you covered.
10) Question: How Long Do Hiking Boots Last And When Should I Replace Them?
Answer: There isn’t one set rule to this and there’s a lot of factors that come into play. For instance, if you’re a heavier hiker you can expect to replace your boots more often. Also, if you hike on really rough terrain you’ll have to replace your footwear quicker. Most boots, however, will last between 500 to 1000 miles.
The best way to determine if you need new boots is to just examine them for yourself. Some common spots that wear down are the laces, the midsole is cracked, worn thread, rips and the traction is worn down. When you see this stuff it’s time to invest in new boots.
Hike With The Best This Year!
Hiking is one the most relaxing and invigorating things you can do. It’s a time to let go of life’s stresses and to be in nature for a bit. If you have a low quality pair of boots, though, your whole day can be ruined. Your feet can get hurt, wet and you can develop painful blisters.
Get the right pair and that won’t happen. No matter your needs or budget there’s something on this list that’ll work perfectly for you.
If you have any questions you can comment below and I’ll make sure to respond as quickly as possible. You can search around the outdoor section for more tips and gear reviews too. You’ll really like my post on the best hiking backpacks or wide hiking boots.
Are you excited to try on your new boots?