12 Best Hiking Boots in 2020

Last updated: August 23, 2020
Published 3:47 am

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Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Black: Best Men’s Boot

La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX: Best Women’s Boot

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX: Best for Technical Trail

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Hiking means several things to different people. Some see it as a chance to bond with their friends and family, while others see it as an avenue to stay fit or take on an adventure. Regardless of what it is, you need to be prepared.

You don’t need much when packing to go hiking; however, there is something you should consider very much – hiking boots. The chances that you are going to walk/climb places you don’t on a regular day are high. For this reason, you need something to keep you supported and stabilized through the activity.

In this guide, there is a list of the 12 best hiking boots on the market. They are relatively affordable when you consider their features, pros, and cons. They are in various styles, sizes, as well as gender forms. These boots have been designed to make a difference, and here is what they would do to you.

A little further is a buying guide part where you weigh your options and decide on what to go for. The probability of having more than one option is high; thus, you need something to put you through. The ultimate objective is that you find a hiking boot worth your money and effort.

The 12 Best Hiking Boots Reviewed

1

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX: Best Men’s Boot

Salomon is the best brand to reckon with if you are a trekker or runner. They manufacture the best hiking boots, such as Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX. This pair of boots is strong, sturdy in design, and top-notch in performance. It is known for its speed and ability to fit into wide feet. Also, the boot provides all the necessary support and comfort needed by the legs to get through all kinds of hiking areas. Indeed, it is one of the best options for hiking men.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX has amplified breathability and remarkable waterproofing, all thanks to the synthetic material on the body. It has an Advanced Chassis, which is surrounded by foam for excellent cushioning and comfort. Protection is guaranteed with the help of the heel cap and EVA-shaped footbed. This hiking boot also has two types of rubber soles to enhance grip and stability. Overall, it has excellent arch support for mobility.

Key Features:

  • 100% Synthetic Material
  • Rubber Sole
  • Protective Heel Cap
  • EVA Footbed Liner
  • Advanced Chassis
  • Shaft is Mid-top from Arch

Specification:

  • Men’s Shoe
  • Black/India Ink/Monument Color
  • Brand name: Salomon
Pros
  • One of the best hiking shoes for men
  • Improved features for performance
  • Comfortable and Supportive
  • Waterproof Quality
  • Exclusive arch support
  • 2-year warranty to show durability
Cons
  • Fitting issues

2

La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX: Best Women’s Boot

In the business of making boots for outdoor adventures, La Sportiva has stood exceptional. La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX is one of the best hiking shoes for women when you consider the various kinds of features it has. This pair of boots combine reliability, durability, waterproof qualities, and comfort to make sure hiking experience is at maximum. Without a doubt, it is footwear built to last.

La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX is a fantastic choice of shoe as it has an abrasion-resistant polyester mesh upper for breathability. There is an additional feature – TPU Therma Tech for reinforced durability. Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Lining makes sure the foot is kept dry always. Also, this boot uses a rubber toe rand and heel rand for protection against rocks and debris. In the same vein, lightweight, cushioning, flexibility, and support are aided by the polypropylene insole and Dual-density MeMlex Midsole, respectively.

Key Features:

  • Dual-Density MeMlex Midsole
  • 2mm Propylene Footbed
  • Gore-Tex Waterproof
  • AirMesh Tongue
  • 6mm Polypropylene Insole
  • Rubber Toe Rand and Heel Rand
  • Polyester Mesh Upper
  • Rubber Sole

Specification:

  • Brand name: La Sportiva
  • Women’s Shoe
  • Blue/Carbon Color
Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Durable and efficient in quality
  • Suitable to use on various terrains
  • Top-notch breathability and Support
  • Complete Foot protection
Cons
  • No protection against sharp strikes

3

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX: Best for Technical Trail

Still, on Salomon, the tech used to make hiking boots are extraordinary. Take, for instance, Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX that has great arch support with its shaft being 6.5 inches from the arch. The boot bites soft and technical trails with its unique speedcross log pattern – the fourth generation; hence, it is an excellent choice for all hiking areas.

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX can overcome various kinds of technical trails with the help of its SensiFit technology. This works in hand with Quicklace for maximum closure and security. This provides as much protection to trail runners who are also hikers. Moreover, this pair of boots has an endoFit, which gives comfort and support to the foot. It is worth a good value of money, as it is one of the best long-distance backpacking boots.

Key Features:

  • SensiFit with Quicklace
  • Shaft is 6.5” from arch
  • Rubber Sole
  • 100% Synthetic Material
  • Speedcross Log Pattern

Specification:

  • Brand name: Salomon
  • Black Color
  • Men’s Shoe
Pros
  • 2-year warranty, as ideal from Salomon
  • Long-distance backpacking boots that promises ultimate protection and support
  • Comfortable and Breathable
  • Built for technical trail running
  • Provides maximum support for the arches
  • Secured Grip and Perfect Stability
Cons
  • Color fades slowly

4

Hi-Tec Men's New Skamania Mid Waterproof: Best Comfort

Generally, Hi-Tec has exceptional products that are highly regarded on the market; the Men’s New Skamania is one of them. This pair of boots are designed to provide comfort all day long without problems. It features some essential properties that make it the right choice for mid-distance hiking. Although its arch support is not as top-notch as expected, it still does a great deal of good in providing one as well as for the heel.

Hi-Tec Men’s New Skamania has a leather upper material that enhances durability and breathability. It is made of a water-resistant body that makes it suitable to use, even in wet conditions. This pair of boots has a toe bumper and heel guard for ultimate protection. The lace-up vamp, as well as easy-on loop at the back, both ensure the boot is entirely secure. Also, the molded insole is removable for maintenance, as well as the EVA midsole for shock absorption. Additionally, there is a steel shank that enhances stability and support to you.

Key Features:

  • Steel Shank
  • Rubber Sole
  • 100% Leather/Nylon
  • Cushioned EVA Midsole
  • Easy-On Loop
  • Thick Padded Collar
  • Secure Lace-Up Vamp
  • Removable Molded Insole

Specification:

  • Brand name: Hi-Tec
  • Brown/Gold Color
  • Men’s Shoe
Pros
  • Water-resistant properties
  • Flexible and versatile boot
  • Top-notch Stability and Support
  • Maximum security
  • One of the top mid-distance hiking and backpacking boots
Cons
  • Ankle support feels rigid to a few people

5

Adidas Men’s Terrex Free Hiker: Best Versatile Boot

Before this review, Adidas has always been one of the best brands to go to for shoes. They are highly regarded amongst athletes because of their superior quality products. Adidas Men’s Terrex Free Hiker is, without a doubt, a good option for hiking. This pair of boots is simple and stylish in design. It is best known for its versatility, as it can be used in various ways and for several purposes.

For anyone who loves sports and takes hiking as a hobby, Adidas Men’s Terrex Free Hiker can serve both purposes. It has a synthetic mesh upper that ensures it is durable and breathable enough to wear under different conditions. The rubber sole enhances excellent grip over specific trails. Also, this pair of boots provides optimum arch support to improve mobility. On the inside, the EVA insole and midsole are two supportive features to offer comfort and shock absorption, respectively. As long as you have this shoe for outdoor purposes, there is nothing to worry about.

Key Features:

  • Synthetic and Mesh Upper
  • Shaft is 3” from arch
  • Rubber Sole
  • Waterproof Material

Specification:

  • Brand name: Adidas
  • Black/Grey Color
  • Men’s Shoe
Pros
  • Great comfort and fit
  • Useful for sports and hiking; the most versatile shoe
  • Excellent Traction and Grip
  • Water-resistant quality
  • Provides an amount of shock absorption
  • Handy and lightweight
Cons
  • Sizing issues may occur

6

Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid: Best Stability Boot

Generally, Lowa is a brand known in Europe for handcrafted products. Their boots have been recommended for climbers, mountaineers, as well as hikers. Lowa Renegade GTX is one of their shoes you need for stability. It has been designed with premium features for executive performance. This pair of boots work on all terrain; hence, it is a good value for money. Due to its lightweight, it makes the best footwear for light backpacking.

Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid has a full-length nylon shank for stability; it uses its premium Vibram sole for extra stability. This pair of boots has a Derby lacing style for maximum grip and accessibility. It also has a customized fit, which makes it suitable for all kinds of feet. A unique feature this boot has its Climate-control footbed that enhances comfort and keeps the foot dry and blister-free. Most importantly, the waterproof GORE-Tex has a buttery-soft glove leather lining for absolute breathability.

Key Features:

  • 100% Leather
  • 5” heel measurement
  • Corded Lace-up Vamp
  • Full-Length Nylon Stabilizing Shank
  • Padded Tongue and Collar
  • Breathable Climate Control Footbed
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Membrane
  • Speed Lacing Gomets
  • Vibram Sole

Specification:

  • Women’s Shoe
  • Dark Grey/Navy Color
  • Brand name: LOWA Boots
Pros
  • Boot is stable and breathable
  • Works on all kinds of feet
  • Exceptional comfort and support
  • Ideal choice for hiking and light backpacking
  • Enhanced Traction and Grip
Cons
  • The midsole is not reliable

7

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof: Best Waterproof Boot

For almost a decade now, Merrell has been a choice of brand for hikers. Merrell Moab 2 gives an out-of-the-box comfort to its users, which is why it is one of the most preferred. Even the manufacturer considers it as the mother-of-all boots. This footwear uses outstanding upper material that enhances durability and breathability. As a versatile shoe, it is worth the money.

Merrell Moab 2 has a synthetic leather upper with mesh for ventilation. The footbed is supportive enough so that you can walk across various terrains with ease. It has a rubber toe cap, for top-notch foot protection. Another unique feature is the bellows, closed-cell foam tongue that keeps moisture and debris out of the shoe. Lastly, the GORE-Tex Waterproof membrane makes it suitable to use under wet conditions.

Key Features:

  • 100% Synthetic Leather and Mesh
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Rubber Toe Cap
  • Vibram TC5+ sole
  • Bellows Closed-Cell Foam Tongue
  • GORE-Tex Waterproof Membrane

Specification:

  • Brand name: Merrell
  • Walnut Color
  • Men’s/Women’s
Pros
  • Gives excellent water-resistance
  • Breathable and slip-resistant
  • Versatile and top-notch in performance
  • Perfect under cold and wet conditions
  • Good heel cushioning and toe protection
Cons
  • Sizing issues

8

Danner Men's Mountain Light GORE-Tex: Best Arch Support

Danner has a history of making boots for adventures, and it is no surprise that there is also one for hiking. Danner Men’s Mountain Light GORE-Tex is one of the best sturdy boots at the moment due to its appearance. It has a unique body, which makes it a top choice to use.

This pair of boots have a full-grain leather upper that it remains as durable as ever. With the help of the GORE-Tex lining, the boot is waterproof too. There is a fiberglass shank in the footwear that ensures stability and support. This works with the unique airthotic heel cradle and arch support for maximum performance. Out of all of these, none is as vital as the Vibram Kletterlift sole. This feature makes sure all kinds of terrains can be walked on with ease. It also enhances shock absorption.

Key Features:

  • Vibram Kletterlift Sole
  • Airthotic Heel Cradle and Arch Support
  • Full-grain Leather Upper
  • GORE-Tex Waterproof Lining
  • Fiberglass Shank
  • Stitchdown Construction

Specification:

  • Brand name: Danner
  • Brown Color
  • Men’s Shoe
Pros
  • Absolute Traction, Stability, and Shock absorption
  • Good heel and arch support
  • Reliable, Comfortable and Flexible
  • Breathable and Waterproof
Cons
  • A little issue with the design

9

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX: Best Flexibility

Scarpa has always been a mixture of innovation and tradition, which is why they have designed a fantastic hiking boot – Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX. It uses a low-profile design to perform exclusively well. This pair of boots is known for its flexibility; this attribute makes it highly irreplaceable for hikers who want to move on moderate terrains.

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX has a suede upper material that gives it a lovely appearance. This suede is also responsible for its durability, even though it doesn’t do well in extreme wet conditions. There are two main types of midsoles in this shoe – PU and 3-Density EVA. The foams ensure absolute comfort and shock absorption. Also, there is a Sock-Fit DV Construction that makes it a snug fit. Rubber Rand, on the other hand, protects the foot and improves performance.

Key Features:

  • Rubber Rand
  • 100% Suede Material
  • Rubber Sole
  • PU + 3 Densities of EVA in the Midsole
  • Asymmetric Lace System
  • Sock-Fit DV Construction
  • GORE-Tex Performance
  • Shaft is 6” from arch

Specification:

  • Brand name: SCARPA
  • Shark/Orange Color
  • Men’s Shoe
Pros
  • Performs well under moderate conditions
  • Good choice for light hikers
  • Impressive design and appearance
  • Snug fit and good for wide foot
Cons
  • Not a suitable choice for intense backpacking

10

Berghaus Supalite II GTX: Best for Hill Climbers

Are you fond of climbing hills? Berghaus Supalite II GTX is an ideal choice for you, as it has all the necessary features needed for stability. This pair of boots has a traditional style but makes use of modern technology – Gore-Tex Performance Comfort. All of these features work to ensure that a boot worth the money is available for buyers.

Berghaus Supalite II GTX has a Vibram outsole that prevents you from slipping off, and the shoe from clogging. There is a memory foam collar and tongue in this boot that provides comfort and support, so that movement is made easy. Most importantly, this footwear can stay well under wet conditions, without losing its durability.

Key Features:

  • Traditional Style
  • Memory Foam Collar and Tongue
  • Anti-clogging sole
  • Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Technology

Specification:

  • Brand name: Berghaus
  • Brown Color
  • Women’s Shoe
Pros
  • Comfortable, Stable and Flexible to wear
  • In-between traditional and modern appearance
  • Keeps you from falling on hills
Cons
  • Sizing issues may occur, if not paid attention to

11

KEEN Men's Targhee III Mid: Best Day Hiking Shoes

For your best day hiking shoes, KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid has you all settled. This pair of boots is usable on all kinds of terrains, and its superior quality is overwhelming. It is consciously constructed for excellence, which makes it a part of this list of best boots for hikers. Based on its design, men would find it more fitted to style.

KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid is an exquisite pair of boots that has a simple lacing system for convenience and security. It uses a Dual-density footbed as comfort for the underfoot and support for the arch. Also, there is a compression-molded EVA Midsole that allows for shock absorption. Overall, it is stable, lightweight, and has 4mm multi-directional lugs for excellent Grip and Traction.

Key Features:

  • 100% Leather and Synthetic
  • Compression-Molded EVA Midsole
  • Dual-density Footbed
  • Simple Lacing System
  • Rubber Sole

Specification:

  • Brand name: KEEN
  • Black Olive/Golden Brown Color
  • Men’s Shoe
Pros
  • Easy to take on and off
  • Comfortable, stable and flexible
  • Breathable and can penetrate deep into the soil
  • One of the best hiking shoes worth the money
  • Shock absorption and lightweight properties
Cons
  • Falls apart too soon

12

Vasque Women's St. Elias GTX: Best for Heavy-Duty Backpacking

Concluding on the list of best boots for hikers, Vasque Women’s St. Elias GTX is an ideal choice if you are planning a long-distance adventure. This pair of boots is fascinating in both quality and performance. It gives giant strides based on the kind of features it has. For instance, the EVA Footbed and Vibram Outsole ensure comfort and stability on various surfaces, respectively. It has a waterproof construction which is built to last when you consider its upper leather material. Additionally, it provides excellent arch support for mobility.

Key Features:

  • 100% Leather
  • EVA Footbed
  • Vibram Outsole
  • GORE-Tex Waterproof Construction
  • Shaft is 5” from arch

Specification:

  • Brand name: Vasque
  • Women’s Shoe
  • Bungee/Silver Color
Pros
  • Good design and fashionable style
  • Enhanced Grip and Traction
  • Breathable and Comfortable
  • One of the ideal long-distance backpacking boots
Cons
  • May need to break-in

Buying Guide Questions

By now, you should have understood why it is vital to own a hiking shoe, as well as seen the various best types available. What you now need to do is make the right choice from the list. It may be difficult because one or two may have caught your fancy. Also, if your budget could only go for one, you need this buying guide.

What is the anatomy of a hiking boot?

The word anatomy in this context means its various parts and components of a hiking boot. It is what it is due to these components; they differentiate this boot from a regular steel toe boot/shoe. Generally, there are two parts to a hiking boot – the Upper and the Sole.

The Upper of a hiking boot consists of everything above the sole that molds the foot into the shoe. The quality of an Upper material differs from one brand to another.

Most times, Leather/cow-hide, Nubuck, and Plastic Uppers are seen. Each of them offers water-resistant properties, durability, flexibility, and topnotch protection.

The Sole of a hiking boot is the bedding that makes it stable on a ground surface. There are three types of soles – Insole, Midsole, and Outsole.

The Insole is the interior liner part that the plantar fascia/underfoot is in contact with. It provides cushioning and insulation to the feet all the time. Comfort also depends on this feature. There are several types of insole, depending on the brand and technology used. Prefabricated, Customized, and Custom-made Insoles are the main types available.

The Midsole, on the other hand, is located between the insole and outsole. It mostly does the work of shock absorption and soft cushioning. There are two accessible materials used for midsoles – EVA and Polyurethane. The former makes a footwear light (related: see the lightest indoor soccer shoes here), while the latter is hard and responsive.

Finally, the Outsole is responsible for traction and stability. It is the exterior underfoot of the boot.  With a lousy outsole, it may be impossible to use a shoe at all. Synthetic/Rubber outsoles are popular because they are durable and waterproof.

With all the information of a hiking boot described, it should be convincing on why you need a hiking boot.

What is the difference between hiking shoes, hiking boots, and trail running shoes?

On so many occasions, people ask how a hiking shoe is different from a hiking boot and a trail running shoe. Well, the reason is not far-fetched – it is based on design and support. A hiking boot provides ultimate arch support and sturdy sole to overcome all kinds of terrains. It has thick lugs to stay deep into the soil.

Honestly, a hiking shoe will do what a hiking boot will do, but to boost confidence, it may be somewhat lacking. A trail running shoe, on the other hand, is just great for running and walking on specific terrains.

Can you use Trail running shoes as boots? No, not as long as the journey you are embarking on has no smooth terrain.

Thus, you need to know where you’d love to go hiking before you choose hiking footwear.

How can you ensure the proper fit for hiking boots?

Generally, every shoe you want to buy or own must fit properly. It is the attribute you first need to consider. A hiking boot should be snug fit, thus, providing room to wriggle toes.

  • Pick your size:

Ensuring you pick the proper fit involves knowing your size, either as a man or woman. The size comprises of your foot length, width, and arch length. Check the sizing chart of the shoe to pick what is appropriate and suitable.

  • Try with compressions:

For those of you who love to use compressions, they work well with boots. However, know the feasibility of the boot with a compression sock.

Altogether, you can ensure a proper fit and use for hiking.

How do you lace your hiking boots?


Most, if not all, hiking boots have lace-up closure just like tactical or military boots. The purpose of the lacing system is to ensure it holds the foot firmly in the shoe. However, you need to know how to lace your hiking boots so that you can have a great experience.

A hiking boot should be laced tight enough to prevent movement within the foot, but not too close to make you uncomfortable. You don’t want your boot falling off while climbing or walking along daring paths. If that happens, it could cause a severe accident. Therefore, you should learn how to lace your boot correctly if you can’t.

What criteria did we use to assess and evaluate these boots?

When choosing the boots described above, we used certain factors and features to judge. We came up with the top 12 based on these. They include:

Material

The material used in making these boots was an essential factor used in selection. Most of them are made of leather material, as it enhances durability and performance, not different from boxing or wrestling shoe designs.

Water-Resistance

The leather material makes the boot waterproof. This quality is present so that you can tug your foot into deep, shallow soil as well as swampy areas with ease.

Traction

Finally, the sole provides traction. This attribute is needed to help walk or climb rough and even surfaces without falling off.

Other criteria used to access and evaluate these boots are brand, style, performance, and ratings.

How can I avoid blisters while wearing these boots?

During hiking, if your skin is rubbed against your sock or shoe, you can get blisters. Also, heat, cold and chemical substances may cause blisters. However, there are 5 practical foot maintenance tips to avoid blisters while wearing these boots.

Wear fitted boots

Ensure your boot fits perfectly well. Pick the right size and a good style.

Put on good socks

If you are going to make use of compression socks, ensure it is from a reliable brand. Many socks cause itching and irritation that could result in blisters.

Break-in boots

Before you carry out any activity, make sure there is a break in the boot. If the footwear is stiff, it could cause blisters.

Insider Tip for hikers and trail runners: you can use at home stretchers to help accomplish that

Keep feet dry

Most importantly, get rid of moisture the best possible way you can. This reason is why most boots have internal linings and open mesh to enhance breathability. Peradventure your shoe is too tight with no ventilation, blisters could form and you would definitely need to control that bad odor!

Massage your feet

Finally, always massage your foot. You could try it out personally or hire the services of a masseuse. Constant taking care of your foot will prevent blisters from forming.

Conclusion

If you paid attention to the many boots reviewed above, as well as the buying guide, you should already have a choice. The purpose of this review guide is to bring you the best boots available for hiking so that you don’t have a tough time surfing the net. Choose according to your budget, and consider the vital factors above – you should be good.

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