MUST READ • The 12 Best Hiking Boots (2019)

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If you are looking at hiking 500 miles or even 5 miles, you need the best hiking boots for the job.

Trust me, hiking in inadequate footwear is not a good idea!

I’ve been lucky enough to hike in some truly incredible places – from the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and Jomalhari Basecamp in Bhutan to Mt. Roraima in Venezuela and Nanga Parbat in Pakistan.

Overall, I’ve spent hundreds of days hiking through the woods, rivers, and mountains of incredible landscapes. I pretty much live in my hiking shoes and have been buying the same make of hiking shoes, every year, for over a decade.

I wanted to put together the ultimate roundup of the top hiking boots so I spoke to not one hiking expert, not two hiking experts but THIRTY hikers who live, breathe and dream adventure. They gave me lots of insider tips on finding the best pairs of outdoor shoes and I am proud to share their thoughts with you.

Without further ado, let’s unleash the ultimate list of the best hiking boots to take trekking…

 

Quick Answer: These are the Best Hiking Boots of 2019

 

Talking to Hikers About Their Favorite Boots on the PCT

Every year hikers meander through the forests that surround the Pacific Crest Trail heading from Mexico to Canada.

This is just about the ultimate hiking experience you can have in the continental United States but you need the right hiking boots to make this 2,650-mile trek happen. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for the best budget hiking boots or you have extra cash to spend on cool hiking boots that may be a bit more expensive.

 

We interviewed thirty badass hikers from the Pacific Crest Trail as they trekked north to Canada from the southern terminus of the trail near sea level at the Mexico border.

I asked them which hiking boots gave them blisters, which hiking boots were really waterproof, which hiking boots they threw out halfway through Oregon and which hiking boots left them with massive smiles on their sunburnt, hardened hiker faces.

 

How to Find the Best Hiking Boots for you

If you are new to hiking, you might be thinking to yourself ‘what’s the big deal, they’re just shoes, right?’

Wrongo.

If you are thinking of hiking, you have to understand that your feet are your life. Injuries are prevalent in hikers, and the ones with poor quality boots are the first to suffer.

Best trekking boots

What is the meaning of life? I mean the best hiking boots?

The most important thing you can do is pick up a pair of our recommended hiking boots.

Trust me. I know this shit.

But what are the most important aspects of a hiking boot? What specs should you look at when considering which hiking boots you should buy?

 

Best hiking boots Columbia for an adventureComfort

  • Make sure the boot or shoe is a good fit
  • This means making sure it fits the shape of YOUR foot
  • Uncomfortable boots are the worst
  • Wear the boot around the house so you can return it if it doesn’t work out

 

best hiking boots for menBreathability

  • Feet sweat, especially when hiking in big bulky boots
  • Shoes that breathe mean you are less likely to develop blisters
  • Breathable shoes won’t smell as bad as quickly (but all shoes get smelly eventually)
  • But breathable shoes have a tendency to NOT be waterproof

 

what are the best boots for hiking

Weight

  • As a rule of thumb, 1 lb of shoe = 5 lbs of strain on your back
  • If you can, buy the most lightweight boots you can find
  • Remember: you still have to carry around boots when you’re not wearing them
  • Heavier boots are usually more specialized/durable

 

traction and hiking boots

Traction

  • Traction is produced by the outsoles, which are nearly always made of rubber
  • Good traction prevents slippage and injury
  • Traction will wear down over time
  • Mountaineers may need additional traction i.e. crampons, spikes, etc

 

best waterproof boots for men

Waterproof

  • Depending on where you go, this is either unnecessary or mandatory
  • Remember that the more waterproof, the less breathability the shoe has
  • Waterproof won’t keep your feet 100% dry…. but it does help
  • Waterproof shoes become incredibly heavy when they do get wet, and take forever to dry
  • We recommend going for a shoe that is somewhat waterproof

 

hiking boot ankle support

Ankle Support

  • If you have weak ankles, ankle support can be a lifesaver
  • But ankle support = more weight
  • If you are in decent shape, it’s worth considering ditching the boots and going with super-light trail shoes instead[/su_note]

 

The Best Hiking Boots for Men

As a dude, I’m going to start by reviewing the best boots for men.

LADIES, worry not! Click here to read the reviews for top hiking boots for women.

The six ultimate hiking boots and trail runners, as recommended by our thirty experts, for male hikers are…

 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
tbb-table__image Best Overall Hiking Shoes for MenBest Overall Hiking Shoes for MenNorthFace Hedgehog

  • – Lightweight
  • – Waterproof
  • – 1 year warranty
  • – Lightweight
  • – Waterproof
  • – 1 year warranty
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Overall Hiking Boots for MenBest Overall Hiking Boots for MenSalomon 4D Quest

  • – Ankle support
  • – Amazing grip
  • – Waterproof
  • – Ankle support
  • – Amazing grip
  • – Waterproof
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes for MenBest Lightweight Hiking Shoes for MenMerrell Moab Ventilator

  • – Comfortable
  • – Water resistant
  • – Lightweight
  • – Comfortable
  • – Water resistant
  • – Lightweight
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tbb-table__image Best Budget Hiking Shoes for MenBest Budget Hiking Shoes for MenHi-Tec Men’s Bandera

  • – Affordable
  • – Comfortable
  • – Affordable
  • – Comfortable
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tbb-table__image Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for MenBest Waterproof Hiking Shoes for MenVasque Men’s Breeze

  • – Amazing stability and grip
  • – Solid ankle support
  • – Fully waterproof
  • Amazing stability and grip
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet for MenBest Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet for MenKEEN Men’s Durand Mid Wide

  • – Solid ankle support
  • – Fully waterproof
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
Check Best Price

 

#1. NorthFace Hedgehog

Best Overall Hiking Shoes for Men

NorthFace Hedgehog

The NorthFace Hedgehog is one of the best options on the market, and our pick for the best hiking shoe of 2018! Super lightweight and fast, these bad boys have trademarked technology on their membranes and soles, making it one of the coolest, most durable, and comfortable hiking shoes on the market, which is why I rocked them personally for over a decade. If you are looking for the best, look no further. You can put these shoes through hell and they bounce back… They dry out quickly, they offer solid ankle support and they are fairly light. I wear these as my everyday shoes and will probably never buy a different type of hiking shoe.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • No ankle support
  • Reviews of long break-in time

 

#2. Salomon 4D Quest

Best Overall Hiking Boots for Men

Salomon 4D Quest

The Salomon 4D Quest are some of the most awesome hiking boots on the market. While I personally prefer hiking shoes to hiking boots as shoes weigh less and take up less space in my pack, there are distinct advantages to using hiking boots instead of hiking shoes. If you are in the market for lightweight boots, there is no better option. Completely waterproof, the Salomon 4D has technology created to eliminate fatigue and discomfort. The Solomon 4D Quests off fantastic back support and are our pick for the greatest hiking boots of 2018. They aren’t cheap but they are the best boots on the market…

Pros

  • Amazing stability and grip
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
  • Lightweight for being a boot

Cons

  • Heavier than hiking shoes
  • Mixed reviews on durability

 

#3. Merrell Moab Ventilator

Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes for Men

Merrell Moab Ventilator

Perfect for warm weather, the Merrell Moab Ventilator is a great choice for anyone looking for a durable lightweight hiking shoe. Merrell Moab has made a name for their amazing ventilation, and that their shoes are typically ready to hike directly out-of-the-box. Moab = mother of all boots, and whilst I personally prefer the Hedgehogs, the Merrell Moabs received continuous high praise from the hikers I interviewed for this review roundup.

Pros

  • Built for comfort
  • Water-resistant leather
  • Super lightweight

Cons

  • Lacks ankle support
  • Mixed reviews on durability

 

#4. Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera

Best Budget Hiking Shoes for Men

Hi-Tec Men's Bandera

If you are looking for the cheapest hiking boots out there or are just a complete newbie looking to take your first stab at hiking – Hi-Tec could be the brand for you. The shoes are reliable and the comfort is well reviewed, they are pretty decent boots for the price. Although I will say, if you can afford it, I recommend investing a bit more money and picking up a hiking boot that will be more comfortable and also last longer…

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • You can upgrade for only $20-$30
  • Durability and comfort are average

 

#5. Vasque Men’s Breeze

Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Men

Vasque Men's Breeze

If you are hiking in cold climates and keeping your feet dry is a life-or-death priority, then the Vasque Men’s Bandera is one of the best options out there.

This French brand is one of the most respected names in the industry, and won’t steer you wrong. Vasque Men’s boots are perfect for those who need waterproofing and also have a reputation for creating boots that have amazing comfort and traction.

Check out our epic review of the best men’s waterproof hiking boots.

Pros

  • Amazing stability and grip
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Mixed reviews on durability

 

#6. KEEN Men’s Durand Mid Wide

Best Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet for Men

KEEN Men's Durand Mid Wide

This is a wide fit boot for men with wide feet – simple as that! The reviews are through the roof, so if your feet are a bit wider than the average persons, you’ve found your boot-soul-mate. Made in America, KEEN boots are one of the best brands in the industry, and these boots are phenomenal for year-round hiking.

Pros

  • Designed to improve it’s fit to your foot
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof

Cons

  • Reviews say the shoe runs a little small

 

The Best Boots for Hiking for Women

Hey girl, like to take a walk through the mountains?

No, it’s not a pickup line you may hear in a dive bar.

For hundreds of women thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail each spring, it’s life on the trail, in the forest and under the stars of the wilderness at night. It’s also keeping your feet as happy as possible even when hiking twenty miles a day for five months straight.

The girls I spoke to this spring among the pines and boulders along the Pacific Crest Trail in Big Bear Lake, California all seemed to agree on one thing – running shoes are more comfortable than an actual hiking boot.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
tbb-table__image Best Hiking Shoes for WomenBest Hiking Shoes for WomenSalomon Women’s X Ultra 2

  • Waterproof/weather protected
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Cradles snug to the foot
  • Waterproof/weather protected
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Cradles snug to the foot
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Hiking Boots for WomenBest Hiking Boots for WomenKEEN Targhee II

  • Great for hiking
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
  • Great for hiking
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes for WomenBest Lightweight Hiking Shoes for WomenOboz Women’s Sawtooth

  • Super lightweight
  • Amazing stability and grip
  • Great for narrow feet
  • Super lightweight
  • Amazing stability and grip
  • Great for narrow feet
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Budget Women’s Hiking BootBest Budget Women’s Hiking BootHi-Tec

  • Water resistant
  • Affordable
  • Solid support for price
  • Water resistant
  • Affordable
  • Solid support for price
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Waterproof Hiking BootsBest Waterproof Hiking BootsKEEN Waterproof

  • Waterproof and lightweight
  • Great breathability
  • Waterproof and lightweight
  • Great breathability
Check Best Price
tbb-table__image Best Hiking Shoes for Wide FeetBest Hiking Shoes for Wide FeetMerrell Moab II

  • Every size made in wide
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
  • Every size made in wide
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof
Check Best Price

 

#1. Salomon Women’s X Ultra 2

Best Hiking Shoes for Women

Salomon Women's X Ultra 2

These Salomon Women’s are the cream of the crop when it comes to lightweight hiking shoes for ladies. These cool hiking boots have fantastic soles that keep your feet comfortable and blister free when hiking many miles through jagged terrain. Salomon hiking boots have a built in arch that keeps your feet feeling great on all kinds of trails and terrain. These are the best hiking shoes for women in 2018, period and were the most popular shoes amongst the hikers I spoke to.

Pros

  • Waterproof/weather protected
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Cradles snug to the foot

Cons

  • Little ankle support

 

#2. KEEN Targhee II

Top Hiking Boots for Women

KEEN Targhee II

Waterproof and offering great support, the KEEN Targhee II is our pick for the most awesome hiking boots for women in 2018. Made in the USA, KEEN is one of the most dependable boots-brands in the industry, and the Targhee II is their flagship model for the ladies. These boots are great for all terrain and are very versatile.

Pros

  • Great for hiking
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof

Cons

  • Heavy (but light for boots)

 

#.2 Oboz Women’s Sawtooth

Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes for Women

Oboz Women's Sawtooth

Simplicity is the key, and Oboz knocks this one out of the park. With patented soles and a great reputation, Oboz makes some of the lightest and best hiking shoes on the market. The shoes have an impressive grip and are renowned for their durability so you can be sure it’s an investment worth the money as these hiking shoes should last for many an adventure!

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Amazing stability and grip
  • Great for narrow feet

Cons

  • Narrow fit isn’t good for wide feet
  • Not ideal for someone who needs ankle support

 

#4. Hi-Tec

Best Budget Women’s Hiking Boot

Hi-Tec Women

While not as high tech as some of the other options on this list, Hi-Tec has come through with a pair of impressive budget hiking boots. With some water-resistance and decent reviews on durability, these are good boots if you need to spare a few dollars. If you can spend a bit more, I do really encourage you to do so, but these are a good backup plan for anyone on a budget or looking to try hiking for their first time.

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Solid support for price
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Mixed reviews on comfort

 

#5. KEEN Waterproof

Best Waterproof Hiking Boots

KEEN Waterproof

Trust me, ladies love their KEENs. KEEN shoes are some of the best waterproof hiking shoes you can find on the market. The women hikers I spoke to trailside raved about the arch support of this leather boot and also about what a lightweight walking boot they are while still giving higher ankle support. These are a phenomenal choice for anyone who needs waterproof hiking shoes.

Pros

  • Waterproof and lightweight
  • Great breathability for waterproof shoes
  • Stylin’!

Cons

  • Mixed reviews on durability

 

#6. Merrell Moab II

Best Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet

Merrell Moab II

The Merrell Mother of all Boots (Moab) hiking shoes are a fantastic pair of lightweight trail shoes for ladies who want style, comfort and durability all in one tasty package. If for some insane reason you are not going to have time to properly wear your shoes in before you hit the trail or start hiking up a mountain, go with Moab – these bad boys girls are ready to hike out of the box!

Pros

  • Every size made in wide
  • Solid ankle support
  • Fully waterproof

Cons

  • Can be heavy
  • Mixed reviews on durability

 

How to get happy feet!

Pro tip – buy your hiking boots a few months in advance to break them in on local trails in your neighborhood!

Remember when your new walking boots come in the mail, try them on at the end of the day. Your feet should be slightly swollen after a long day at work and your tired feet at this time of the day will be similar to your feet after hiking miles on the trail.

I love buying my trekking boots from Amazon because when you get them in the mail, even if you do a few practice hikes in them if you have hiker’s feet just can’t get used to your new lightweight walking boots, you can always send them back and try a different brand!

best hiking boots for women

One important thing to know about buying the best mountaineering boots on the market today is everyone has different feet, different arches, and different hot spots.

There is seriously no best outdoor boots brand for everyone because all of our feet are so different! Luckily there are so many great brands out there and some of them are really not too expensive!

When I am seriously searching for the best outdoor boots on the market I visit stores like REI to try on different brands and get a feel for how the different brands feel on my particular foot.

 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of whether you are hiking in the USA, Nepal, Venezuela, Pakistan or Thailand… you need decent footwear.

I wholeheartedly recommend trying out several types of hiking shoes and books until you find the one that works best for you – as I did with my beloved North Face Hedgehogs – once you find your soul-shoe, there’s no going back…

Take a look at our comparison table below for our top picks for the best hiking shoes and boots of 2018.

Top Pick Hiking Boots for Men
Salomon Men's Quest 4D
Top Pick Hiking Boots for Women
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX
Top Pick Hiking Shoes for Men
NorthFace Hedgehog
Top Pick Hiking Shoes for Women
Salomon Women's X-Mission
Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Lightweight & Durable Leather / Canvas Hiking Boots
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
The North Face Men's Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiking Shoe
Salomon X-Mission 3 Shoes Womens
2lbs 13oz
2lbs 2oz
1lb 14oz
1lb 2oz
$$$
$$$
$$
$
Top Pick Hiking Boots for Men
Salomon Men's Quest 4D
Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Lightweight & Durable Leather / Canvas Hiking Boots
2lbs 13oz
$$$
Top Pick Hiking Boots for Women
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
2lbs 2oz
$$$
Top Pick Hiking Shoes for Men
NorthFace Hedgehog
The North Face Men's Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiking Shoe
1lb 14oz
$$
Top Pick Hiking Shoes for Women
Salomon Women's X-Mission
Salomon X-Mission 3 Shoes Womens
1lb 2oz
$

If you don’t have the absolute best boots for hiking then you are going to have sore and bloody feet and be in utter misery. Investing in the right pair of hiking shoes is one of the smartest decisions you can make before starting out for a summer of hiking so do yourself a favor and go try on some boots…

Happy hiking friends! (PS, also check out our best travel shoes review!)

Is there a pair of boots that you absolutely adore? Did we forget to mention them? Leave a comment below and we’ll check them out!

 

Want to learn how to travel the world on $10 a day? Check out the Broke Backpacker’s Bible for FREE!

Yay for transparency! The links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you buy anything, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse crap. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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3 Comments

  • Avatar Niall Burke says:

    Would you recommend the North Face Hedgehog’s for hiking through Patagonia as well? Or would you suggest getting an actual boot for them kind of hikes?

    Thanks for all your tips and advice

  • Avatar Lou Storiale says:

    {This is an interesting article. Well-written. I usually research and then buy from sites that have knowledgeable experts. That is something that big box stores or general online marketplace can’t duplicate.|Thank you for writing this blog article. I appreciate the great info. Cheers!|A Lot of great information here. I appreciate the blog. Do you have a {newsletter|subscriber list|weekly email| I can submit my email to?

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