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BEST HIKING BOOTS OF 2019

Climbing boots are basic to your solace and execution on the trail, yet this never again implies a hardened and husky model that will burden you. The pattern is toward lighter materials that still offer OK backing, and waterproof boots are the most prominent by a long shot (many are offered in a non-waterproof adaptation for climbing in hot or dry atmospheres). Our picks for the best climbing boots of 2019 underneath are separated into three classes: lightweight boots for day climbing and fastpacking, midweight choices that function admirably for most hiking excursions, and heavyweights for unpleasant landscape or pulling a huge burden. For more data on picking the correct boot, see our examination table and purchasing guidance beneath the picks. On the off chance that you want to go considerably lighter and quicker, see our article on the best lightweight climbing shoes.

Best Overall Hiking Boot
1. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX ($165)
Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Fast, light, flexible, and reasonably priced.
What we don’t: Thinner underfoot and less stable than the Salomon Quest 4D below.

Assembled like a trail-running shoe yet with included lower leg backing and security, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is our preferred all-around climbing boot for 2019. These boots offer an amazing blend of solace and low weight, all while holding strong toe security, a steady skeleton, and an improved drag plan that grasps outstandingly well. You additionally get Salomon fabricate quality, which will in general face more maltreatment on the trail than different boots in this weight and value go. For quick moving day climbers, lightweight hikers, and even through explorers, we generously suggest the X Ultra 3 Mid.

Normally, there are a couple of trade offs that accompany the X Ultra's lightweight development. The most huge is the absence of underneath insurance, which is more slender than the brawny Salomon Quest 4D beneath. Also, the X Ultra is genuinely adaptable and doesn't sit as high on the lower leg as the Quest, so it isn't as steady over specialized landscape or when conveying an overwhelming pack. Be that as it may, it prevails over other ultralight choices like the Altra and Adidas beneath in long-separation solace, toughness, and footing. Further, it's one of only a handful couple of lightweight structures that is made in wide sizes. For the individuals who need to cut significantly more weight, the X Ultra 3 likewise is offered in a low-top climbing shoe.

Best Budget Hiking Boot
2. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP ($130)
Weight: 2 lb. 4 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (M Select DRY)
What we like: Great price, fit, and comfort.
What we don’t: Not as supportive for rough trails or heavy loads.

For day hikers and lightweight backpackers who stick mostly to maintained trails, our top value pick is the Merrell Moab 2. What makes this boot so popular is its lightweight and comfortable feel at such a reasonable price. For $130, you get good cushioning underfoot, trusty Vibram outsoles, and a waterproof membrane (an upgraded Gore-Tex model is available for $150). The Moab was updated to the "2" a couple of years ago, but they didn't fuss much with the proven design. Notable changes included a new insole with a higher arch, improved cushioning under the heel, and a more waterproof and durable suede upper.

What are the downsides of the Moab 2 Mid WP? The boot is lacking in support compared to some of the pricier models on this list for carrying a heavy load or scrambling on rocky or rough trails. Second, it isn't quite as durable or long-lasting as some of the pricier models on this list. The Moab is a well-built hiking boot overall, but the lack of premium materials means that it may eventually need to be replaced a little sooner than we would prefer. But at a significant discount from other top boots on this list, the Moab offers the right mix of comfort and performance for many day hikers and weekend adventures. And those who hike in warm climates or prefer a non-waterproof boot should check out the Moab 2 Mid Vent... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Merrell Moab 2  See the Women's Merrell Moab 2


Best Backpacking Boot for Rough Terrain
3. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX ($230)
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX bootsCategory: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Tough and supportive yet comfortable.
What we don't: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hiking.

If you’re in the market for a tough boot for serious day hiking and backpacking, Salomon’s Quest 4D 3 GTX is the whole package. Updated last year, this boot adds an aggressive outsole that grips well in just about all conditions, along with a redesigned, more flexible platform for improved comfort. What stays consistent is the top-notch performance fit, aggressive stance, and durable construction that has made the Quest one of our favorite all-around hiking boots for years.

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is not, however, any lighter than the previous model and sits solidly in our midweight category. It was ideal for our trek on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, which involved steep climbs and descents and off-trail hiking while carrying a full pack. But the boot is a bit stiff and overkill for people that don’t need the extra protection or want to move fast and light on well-maintained trails. Those folks will be better off with a lighter and nimbler boot option like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX above... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Salomon Quest 4D 3  See the Women's Salomon Quest 4D 3


Best of the Rest
4. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid ($240)
Lowa Renegade Mid GTX hiking bootCategory: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Light and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
What we don’t: Not the toughest construction.

The Lowa Renegade has the look and feel of a traditional hiking boot at an impressively low weight. Unlike the nimble and more modern Quest above, the leather Renegade offers better isolation from the ground and feels more planted and sturdy. It does give up a little of the fun factor and performance fit of the Quest, but the trade-off is worth it for those carrying a heavy pack or wanting more underfoot protection from rocky trails.

Lowa kept the weight down in part by moving some of the stabilizing duties to a very effective external polyurethane frame. This makes the Renegade perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Further, its leather upper is relatively thin, which saves ounces and reduces break-in time. The sacrifice of all this lightening is a lack of long-term durability—high-mileage users have reported needing a new pair nearly every year. But they keep coming back for the comfortable feel and the right balance of weight and support. And it’s easy to find a good fit as the Renegade is made in narrow, regular, and wide widths... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Lowa Renegade  See the Women's Lowa Renegade


5. Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX ($269)
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX hiking bootsCategory: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 6.4 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Reasonably light but stiff enough for backpacking over rough terrain.
What we don’t: Overkill for maintained or moderate trails.

For a recent trek over the harsh terrain of Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash, we turned to Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus. This boot mixes approach shoe-like traction on rock and boulders with the toughness and stability of a lightweight mountaineering boot, which is quite a combination. Over a brutal 10 days of on and off-trail hiking while shouldering a heavy pack, the Zodiac impressed: the semi-stiff build, high quality construction, and solid protection provided a lot of confidence on steep climbs and sketchy descents.

Among tough and serious hiking boots, the Zodiac Plus and Salewa Mountain Trainer below are two of the best. The Zodiac is more comfortable out of the box, weighs 9 ounces less for the pair, and is a bit more flexible for covering ground quickly, but the Mountain Trainer’s stiffer build and 360-degree rubber rand offers even better protection in the alpine. Depending on your needs, both are mountain-ready waterproof designs that should get the job done... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Scarpa Zodiac Plus  See the Women's Scarpa Zodiac Plus



6. Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry ($150)
Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry hiking bootsCategory: Light/midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (UltraDry)
What we like: Good price for a tough and comfortable shoe.
What we don’t: Poor ventilation and the fit may be too snug for some people.

Vasque’s Talus Trek is a solid addition to their hiking boot line-up, designed to tackle wet and rocky trails. Right off the bat, we were very impressed with the build quality and feel of these boots. The leather upper is strong and handled muddy hiking and snow travel with ease (the Talus quickly became a favorite for mild weather snowshoeing). The Vasque also has excellent foot protection for the price with a rigid toe cap and heel piece. All in all, the boot doesn’t have the same performance feel of the Salomon Quest 4D 3, but is a solid partner on the trail and a great value at $150.

In price and performance, the Talus Trek UltraDy is a nice mix of the Merrell Moab 2 above and the popular Keen Durand. The leather upper is a step up in durability from the mesh-heavy Moab, but the Talus is a significant 5 ounces lighter in weight than the Durand while providing comparable ankle support. We did find that the toe box was quite a bit tighter than the competition, so those with wide feet may want to steer clear of the Vasque. But if you need a precise and snug fit, the Talus Trek is a capable boot at an attractive price.
See the Men's Vasque Talus Trek  See the Women's Vasque Talus Trek



7. Asolo Falcon GV ($235)
Asolo Falcon GV hiking bootsCategory: Light/midweight
Weight: 2 lb. 2.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Well built, extremely comfortable, and tough.
What we don't: Pricey and not quite as supportive as some of the heavier boots on this list.

When we think of Asolo, the classic Fugitive GTX below comes to mind, which weighs over 3 pounds and has looked the exact same for nearly a decade. The sleeker and more modern Falcon GV, however, represents where we think hiking footwear is headed: a little less weight and support than a traditional hiking boot, but with serious technical chops. We took the Falcon on and off trail over the course of the rugged Huemul Circuit in Patagonia and came away impressed. It's well built, extremely comfortable right out of the box, and can handle just about anything you can throw at it.

The biggest downside in choosing the Asolo Falcon GV is stability, which we would rate as moderate. If you're used to a high-cut boot with tons of support, the Falcon isn't it. But when laced up tight, we wore it backpacking with a relatively heavy load over all types of terrain from scree fields and glaciers to steep rocky passes with few issues. For those who don't need the ultimate levels of stability and want a lightweight and comfortable do-all boot for everything from day hiking to serious backpacking, we love the Falcon... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Asolo Falcon GV  See the Women's Asolo Falcon GV



8. Keen Targhee III Mid ($150)
Keen Targhee III Mid hiking bootsCategory: Lightweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 2.8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Keen.Dry)
What we like: Good budget option with a tough leather upper.
What we don’t: Not very secure on rough trails.

With an affordable price tag and great out-of-the-box comfort, the Keen Targhee line is an extremely popular boot for day hiking and easy to moderate backpacking trips. The Targhee III, released in fall of 2017, is $15 more than the older model but hones in comfort nicely (this boot is known for having a very wide fit, and the current version feels a little less wide in the toebox, which we like). Despite the reasonable price, the boot is surprisingly tough with a good-sized toe cap and leather upper, and it sits just high enough on the ankle to offer decent rollover protection. Keep in mind that the Targhee III still is a clear step down in stability and ankle support from a boot like the Lowa Renegade above, but it offers sufficient stability and grip for most subalpine adventures.

The Targhee’s main competitor is the Merrell Moab 2 above, and both models have undergone a remake in the past couple years. The Targhee is more durable overall with its leather construction, but the Moab matches it in trail comfort, keeps you cooler with its mesh design, and costs $20 less. That price difference gives the edge to the Moab on our list, but the Targhee remains a solid choice, and particularly for those with wide feet... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Keen Targhee III  See the Women's Keen Targhee III



9. Vasque St. Elias GTX ($200)
Vasque St. Elias FG hiking bootCategory: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 15 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Great mix of comfort, weight, and support.
What we don’t: Step down in performance compared with the Quest 4D 3 above.

Appearances can be deceiving with the Vasque St. Elias. What may look like a leather clunker from a distance actually is a fully modern boot that people love. Most impressive is the mix of support and comfort. With a heavy pack on, the EVA midsole and TPU shank offer enough stability and cushioning for putting on serious miles, but if you’re only heading out for a day hike, the boot is reasonably flexible and nimble. The St. Elias is also a good value, undercutting its primary competition above by $40 even with its tough, full-grain leather build.

After leaving the design untouched for a number of years, Vasque revamped the popular model for 2019. Most notably, they upgraded the lacing hardware, which was a common source of failure in the prior version. In addition, the boot weighs 2 ounces less per pair, has a revised, more stable midsole, and features a sleeker look. Even with the changes, it still can’t match the foot-hugging support and athletic feel of the Quest 4D 3 above, but we fully expect the new St. Elias to become a go-to option for all-around trail use.
See the Men's Vasque St. Elias  See the Women's Vasque St. Elias



10. Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid GTX ($330)
Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX hiking bootCategory: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 11.7 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Best-in-class protection and comfort.
What we don’t: Pricey and overkill for easy terrain.

Arc’teryx makes some of the best outerwear on the market, but is a relative newcomer to footwear. Our favorite from their hiking lineup is the Bora2 Mid GTX, which features a unique 2-piece construction with a removable stretch bootie (the $50 cheaper version without the "2" has sewn-in liners that cannot be removed). Over a multi-day backpacking trip in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, we were impressed with how well the design works in warm conditions and on rocky terrain. The liner was breathable and fit like a comfortable sock, and the tough outer shell offered great protection and gripped well on slickrock.

What are the downsides of the Bora2? The most obvious is cost—at $330 it’s by far the most expensive boot on this list. Moreover, the boot’s strengths on rocky and rough trails aren’t as apparent on a standard path, so it’s overkill for many hikers. For the right person, however, it’s totally worth it. The Bora2 offers the protection and grip of an approach shoe with the comfort of a lightweight trail boot... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Arc'teryx Bora2



11. La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX ($199)
La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX hiking bootsCategory: Light/midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 1.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex Surround)
What we like: Light, pretty tough, and comfortable.
What we don’t: A bit narrow and not a breakthrough in breathability.

La Sportiva’s Nucleo High GTX is a quintessential modern boot: light and nimble but with enough support for day hiking and most backpacking trips. Its most notable features are the Gore-Tex Surround liner and Nano-cell technology. In short, Gore-Tex Surround breathes not only out the top of the foot like a traditional waterproof design, but also through the bottom of the footbed and out the sides. La Sportiva’s Nano-cell technology is the web-like mesh you see along the sides of the foot. While they give the boot a distinctive look, these cutouts only seem to have a modest impact on breathability.

Where the Nucleo truly differentiates itself from other 2-pound models is durability: the boot has large swaths of leather rather than mesh for scrambling and hiking over rough terrain. You get moderate flexibility from its mid-height design, so it doesn’t require an extensive break-in, and traction is excellent over rock and mud. All told, the Nucleo a nice upgrade in performance and build quality from a boot like the Merrell Moab 2 above, albeit at a higher price. Keep in mind that this boot has a slightly narrow fit.
See the Men's La Sportiva Nucleo  See the Women's La Sportiva Nucleo



12. Hoka One One Sky Toa ($170)
Hoka One One Sky Toa hiking bootCategory: Light/ultralight
Weight: 1 lb. 14 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (eVent)
What we like: Extremely comfortable thanks to the thick cushioning and flexible construction.
What we don’t: Lacks the support, stiffness, and durability needed for challenging terrain.

Well oh well, hiking boots sure are getting more fun of late. Popular running shoe brand Hoka One One, which is known for its lightweight and cushioned designs, has made a serious push in the hiking footwear market in 2019. Our favorite of the bunch is the nimble Sky Toa, which features Hoka’s well-known springy midsole, a waterproof eVent upper that extends over the ankles, and a flexible construction for fast days on the trail. Backpackers hauling heavy loads over off-camber, rough terrain will likely be disappointed by the lack of support and protection, but there’s a lot to like with this speed-focused hiker on well-maintained paths.

In terms of other options in Hoka’s new hiking line, the Sky Kaha is the most traditional and heaviest of the collection and made for those carrying a loaded pack. The wild Sky Arkali aims to do it all—with only moderate success—by combining the lacing and protection of an approach shoe with the midsole of a trail runner and the collar height of a boot. And the Speedgoat Mid takes their best-selling trail runner and adds over-the-ankle support (it’s billed as a “trail shoe” as many people will run in it too). In the end, we think the Toa does the best job highlighting the brand’s max-cushioned, comfort-first ethos, but all are viable, trail-worthy options... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Hoka Sky Toa  See the Women's Hoka Sky Toa


13. Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX ($250)
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX (2017) hiking bootCategory: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 15.2 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Burly combination of an approach and alpine shoe.
What we don’t: Not everyone will like the stiff build and runs warm.

Resembling a mix between an approach shoe and an alpine boot, the Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX is designed for rough trails and harsh conditions (Salewa is a mountaineering and climbing company first). The boot features a protective rand that wraps around the entire lower section of the boot for total isolation from rocks, snow, and other trail debris. A further nod to the company’s climbing background is the lacing system, which extends all the way to the toes (most hiking boot laces end at the middle of the foot). This makes it easy to customize the fit, which is great for those with a wide forefoot and narrow heel or vice versa.

The Mountain Trainer is most at home in rough environments, such as hikes above treeline or scrambling over rocks off trail. On a regular path the boot can feel heavy and overly stiff (this can be a benefit for those in need of strong lateral stability). For most hikes and backpacking trips, we still prefer the Salomon Quest, and the Arc’teryx Bora2 gets you similar levels of toughness but with a nimbler feel and better breathability. But for all-out protection and 4-season usability, it’s hard to beat these Salewas.
See the Men's Salewa Mountain Trainer  See the Women's Salewa Mountain Trainer



14. Oboz Sawtooth II Mid Waterproof ($150)
Oboz Sawtooth II Mid hiking bootCategory: Light/midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (B-Dry)
What we like: Lots of support for the price.
What we don’t: Feels clunky and slow on the trail.

With its roots in Bozeman, Montana, Oboz has a reputation for making tough, comfort-first footwear. Our favorite over-the-ankle design from their line-up is the Sawtooth II Mid, which in many ways strikes us as a beefed-up version of the Merrell Moab 2. It’s plush and nicely cushioned underfoot, but lacks the lightness and flexibility of many modern options. The upside is that the boot is stable and tough—the upper can withstand a lot of abuse, and the thick outsole gives the shoe a planted feel. For anything from weekend backpacking trips to mild-weather snowshoeing in the winter, the Sawtooth II Mid is a solid choice.

What’s not to like with the Oboz Sawtooth? On the trail, the boot feels quite a bit slower and heavier than competitors like the Merrell Moab 2 Mid or Keen Targhee III Mid. Further, even with expanded use of mesh in the upper with this latest iteration, the in-house B-Dry waterproof membrane makes the boot run very warm even in moderate temperatures. Those that are looking for a supportive boot at a competitive price will likely enjoy the Sawtooth, but its downsides are significant enough to drop it towards the bottom of our list... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Oboz Sawtooth II  See the Women's Oboz Sawtooth II



15. Danner Mountain 600 Mid WP ($180)
Danner Mountain 600 hiking bootCategory: Lightweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 5 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Danner Dry)
What we like: Classic Danner looks in a lightweight package.
What we don’t: Not very durable or long-lasting.

Danner is best known for their throwback, full-leather boots, but their Mountain 600 has struck a chord with the day hiking crowd. The over-the-ankle design is lightweight at 2 pounds 5 ounces for the pair, surprisingly flexible underfoot, and has sharp looks with a full suede upper and quality lacing hardware. An in-house waterproof liner combined with the water-resistant suede helps keep your feet protected from mud and wet grass, while also providing a light boost in warmth for wearing around town in the cold (to the detriment of breathability).

As expected considering its casual slant, the Mountain 600 is not intended for high-mileage users. The materials aren’t known for holding up over the long haul, particularly if you subject them to rugged trails. Further, the boot is pretty expensive at $180 when stacked up to more capable, lighter-weight designs like the $165 Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid above. But if you prioritize out-of-the-box comfort, styling, and everyday versatility, the Mountain 600 is worth a look.
See the Men's Danner Mountain 600  See the Women's Danner Mountain 600



16. Asolo Fugitive GTX ($240)
Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking bootCategory: Heavyweight
Weight: 3 lbs. 0.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Durable upper material.
What we don’t: Stiff and heavy.

In sharp contrast to the light and flexy Altra above, the Asolo Fugitive GTX follows a much more traditional boot design. And for some of our most demanding trips—including trekking through Nepal and Patagonia–the Fugitives were absolutely bomber. Their stiff construction and thick mid and outsoles isolate you from rocks, and the boots work well in 4-season conditions for snowshoeing or even light mountaineering. As tough boots go, the Fugitive is highly recommended and even costs the same as the Salomon Quest and Lowa Renegade above.

With the burly construction comes more weight, and at over 3 pounds for the pair, they’re considered a heavyweight boot by today’s standards. Unless you need the ultra-tough build, the weight can be a downside over long distances (we prefer the Salomon and Lowa options for most of our backpacking needs). However, if you need a boot made for the alpine and like the stiffness and protection, the Fugitive remains a classic.
See the Men's Asolo Fugitive



17. Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Mid Mesh ($130)
Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid Mesh hiking bootCategory: Ultralight
Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
Waterproof: No (waterproof version available)
What we like: Essentially a trail-running shoe with more stability.
What we don’t: Limited protection and questionable durability.

Altra’s Lone Peak trail-running shoes have developed a serious following among thru-hikers, making the mid-height hiking boot version an intriguing concept. Most notable is the impressively low weight of 1 pound 9 ounces per pair, which is the lightest on this list. You also get a very roomy toe box, a zero-drop profile, and a decently cushioned ride. We’ve included the non-waterproof mesh version here, but Altra also makes an RSM model with eVent that costs $160 and weighs a touch more at 1 pound 10 ounces total.

In practice, we weren’t super impressed with the performance of the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Mid, and particularly over rocky terrain. Our testers described the boot as a, “slipper with a higher ankle,” and the toe box was so roomy that it was too much for our normal-sized feet. In addition, underfoot protection was subpar off-trail and durability was concerning—the toe rubber peeled away from the shoe after just one long day hike. However, it’s worth noting that we did take the Altras on a challenging trip through Washington’s granite-filled Enchantments, and they may be enough boot for putting in mileage on well-trodden trails like the PCT and AT. But in those types of scenarios when ankle support isn’t a huge concern, the shoe version makes more sense than the boot, which is why we have the Lone Peak 4.0 Mid ranked here... Read in-depth review
See the Men's Altra Lone Peak 4.0  See the Women's Altra Lone Peak 4.0



18. Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX ($170)
Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX hiking bootCategory: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Impressive traction and protection for the weight.
What we don’t: The floppy ankle support doesn’t match the stiff design underfoot.

Adidas may not yet be on the radar of the average outdoorsperson, but they have an impressive (and growing) line of hiking and trail-running gear. Their updated Swift R2 GTX boot is a great example. It offers approach shoe-like grip with a Continental outsole, Gore-Tex waterproofing, and plenty of toe and foot protection for under 2 pounds per pair. At $170, the Swift R2 is a formidable competitor to Salomon’s popular X Ultra 3 for fast and light adventures.

The low-top version of the Swift R2 is one of our favorite hiking shoes, but we have mixed feelings about the boot model. Our biggest complaint is that the stiff and solid feeling underfoot doesn’t match the ankle support, which is pretty soft and flexible. This makes the boot a bit unpredictable on uneven or rough sections of trail—an issue we’ve never had with the low-top Swift. All told, we prefer the more complete Salomon X Ultra 3 design, but the Terrex gets a spot on our list due to its grippy outsole and light weight.
See the Men's Adidas Terrex Swift R2  See the Women's Adidas Terrex Swift R2



19. Zamberlan Vioz GTX ($305)
Zamberlan Vioz GT hiking bootsCategory: Heavyweight
Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
What we like: Beautifully made and absolutely bomber on rough terrain.
What we don’t: Dated design that’s very heavy.

The hiking boot market has been trending away from traditional heavyweight leather designs for years, but there’s still a time and place for these classics. In this category, the Zamberlan Vioz GTX is among the all-time greats: the Italian-made leather construction is gorgeous and built to last, the interior is soft and isolates you amazingly well from a rough trail, and the stiff structure provides reliable support. For long slogs with a serious load or even light mountaineering, the Vioz GTX is a proven choice.

Unfortunately for the Vioz, there is good reason why you see fewer of them on the trail these days. A heavy boot makes it that much harder to cover ground, and at 3 pounds 8 ounces, the Vioz weighs nearly a half pound more than anything else on this list (and certainly feels like it as the miles add up). In the end, we think even serious backpackers will be better off with a boot like the Salomon Quest 4D 3 above in most cases. But the Vioz remains a favorite among traditionalists who want a truly bomber boot that will be your hiking partner for years (you can even resole its Vibram rubber).
See the Men's Zamberlan Vioz GTX  See the Women's Zamberlan Vioz GTX



20. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II WP ($90)
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II hiking bootsCategory: Lightweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 0 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (Omni-Tech)
What we like: Leather and waterproof hiking boot at a bargain price.
What we don’t: Not very breathable and limited support.

As bargain-priced hiking boots go, you would hard-press to find a better option than the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II. It’s consistently on sale for well under its $90 retail price, yet has a leather upper and a completely waterproof, seam-sealed design. Further, the padded collar and tongue offer good comfort right out of the box. Against the competition, however, trail performance falls short of even the budget-oriented Targhee and Moab, with only a light amount of ankle support and limited breathability through the leather upper.

What are the recommended uses for the Newton Ridge? It's not a boot we’d take on a 10-day backcountry trip, but performance should be completely adequate if you stick to moderate trails or are visiting the occasional national park. And the more casual styling makes it one of the better boots here to pull double-duty for daily wear (along with the Danner above).
See the Men's Columbia Newton Ridge  See the Women's Columbia Newton Ridge



Hiking Boot Comparison Table
BOOT PRICE CATEGORY WEIGHT WATERPROOF UPPER
Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX $165 Lightweight 1 lb. 15.7 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede leather / nylon
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP $130 Lightweight 2 lb. 4 oz. Yes (M-Select) Leather / mesh
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX $230 Midweight 2 lb. 13.8 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather / mesh
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid $240 Midweight 2 lb. 7 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX $269 Midweight 2 lb. 6.4 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede leather
Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry $150 Light/mid 2 lb. 8 oz. Yes (UltraDry) Nubuck leather / mesh
Asolo Falcon GV $235 Light/mid 2 lb. 2.6 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede / polyester
Keen Targhee III Mid $150 Lightweight 2 lb. 2.8 oz. Yes (Keen.Dry) Nubuck leather / textile
Vasque St. Elias GTX $200 Midweight 2 lb. 15 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather
Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX $330 Midweight 2 lb. 12 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) PU coated textile
La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX $199 Light/mid 2 lb. 2 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather
Hoka One One Sky Toa $170 Light/ultra 1 lb. 14 oz. Yes (eVent) Mesh
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid $250 Midweight 2 lb. 15 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede leather
Oboz Sawtooth II Mid WP $150 Light/mid 2 lb. 6 oz. Yes (B-Dry) Nubuck leather /mesh
Danner Mountain 600 Mid $180 Lightweight 2 lb. 5 oz. Yes (in-house) Suede leather
Asolo Fugitive GTX $240 Heavyweight 3 lb. 1 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede leather / nylon
Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Mid Mesh $130 Ultralight 1 lb. 9 oz. No Mesh
Adidas Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX $170 Lightweight 1 lb. 15.6 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Synthetic
Zamberlan Vioz GTX $305 Heavyweight 3 lb. 8 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Full grain leather
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II $90 Lightweight 2 lb. 0 oz. Yes (Omni-Tech) Leather / mesh


Hiking Boot Buying Advice
Hiking Boot Categories
Weight
Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes
Stiffness and Stability
Waterproofing
Breathability
Lacing Systems
Hiking Boot “Upper” Materials
Midsole Types
Outsoles and Traction
Toe Protection
Insoles

Hiking Boot Categories
Lightweight
Boots in this lightweight category are, not surprisingly, light and flexible but tough enough for a longer day hike or short overnight backpacking trip. Options range from the budget-friendly Keen Targhee II to the light and fast Salomon X Ultra Mid 3. Waterproof liners are the norm, but they’re typically the less expensive type (read: non Gore-Tex). Materials used in the construction trend toward a heavy use of mesh and nylon with leather mixed in. This keeps cost and weight down, but doesn’t make them as durable as some pricier full-leather options. You also won’t see as stiff of a structure, as the boot’s shank and support won’t be very substantial. As long as you’re not carrying a heavy pack, that shouldn’t be a deterrent. 
Lightweight hiking boot (Merrell Moab 2)
Merrell’s Moab 2 is a popular lightweight option

Midweight
Midweight boots are skilled compromisers, with enough support to carry a heavy load but without feeling like someone stuffed lead in your socks. It’s a rapidly growing category, reflecting demand from backpackers and serious day hikers for a light but capable option. It's also home to some of our favorite boots (the Salomon Quest 4D 3 and Lowa Renegade are both midweight). Solid support underfoot makes the boots a bit stiffer than your day hikers but not excessively so. Because of the quality of materials and construction techniques, prices in this category usually start at around $200. At that price point, the quality of the waterproof bootie improves and you’ll typically find GTX (Gore-Tex) in the name. 
Scarpa Zodiac Plus (hiking)
Backpacking with the midweight Scarpa Zodiac Plus in Peru

Heavyweight
Stiff, tough, and incredibly reliable, boot legends of the past were made in the heavyweight category. Classic models like the Asolo TPS 520 and Zamberlan Vioz GTX remain popular for those wanting a full-leather design, but the shift towards lighter weights in boot construction has expanded the category to include models like the Asolo Fugitive GTX.

In general, heavyweight boots are built for tough, rocky trail and long slogs with heavy backpacking packs (they are also a great choice hiking with a loaded down baby carrier pack). While the thick upper materials and Gore-Tex make for excellent performance in the wet and snow, they will run warm in hot conditions (some prefer a non-waterproof leather boot instead). Their solid structure also takes some of the strain out of long ascents by keeping the heel from dropping at each step, and makes them often friendly with strap-on crampons for light mountaineering. A final tip: don’t pick up one of these boots and head directly to the trailhead for a long trip. Spend the time to break them in and you’ll have a backpacking footwear partner for years to come.


Weight
From a quick look at our comparison table above, it’s clear that hiking boot weights vary a lot. You can choose an over-the-ankle design anywhere from over 3 pounds to half that in the case of the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Mid (essentially a trail runner with higher ankles and waterproofing). What’s equally obvious is how the various weights have an impact on a boot’s performance. To start, while the correlation isn’t perfect, a lighter boot generally will offer less support and lateral stability. If you’re carrying a heavy pack, this can present a problem, but for thru-hikers or minimalists, going lightweight can be a great idea.
Hiking Boots (Altra Lone Peak Mesh)
Testing the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Mid in Washington State's Enchantments

Whenever we can, we try and keep the weight of our boots to a minimum, providing enough comfort and support for the weight of our pack and the conditions, but without having to lug around anything extra. Depending on the trip, this can mean a lightweight trail-runner style for fastpacking all the way up to a burly boot like the Asolo Fugitive GTX for trekking through Nepal. If you’re going to choose one boot to do it all, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX does a great job balancing weight and performance.
Hiking Boots (X Ultra 3 Grand Canyon)
Navigating a challenging section in the lightweight Salomon X Ultra 3 Mids

Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes
One of the first decisions in choosing hiking footwear is selecting either an over-the-ankle boot or low-top shoe. Each style has its respective strengths, and we use them interchangeably for hiking and backpacking trips. We’ve found that hiking shoe models vary just as much as the boots listed above, so you can choose from stiff and supportive down to light and nimble.
Keen Targhee III (close-up)
Keen's Targhee III is made in both mid-height boot and low-top shoe variations

In the end, the differentiators are ankle protection and stability. For rocky terrain, water crossing, snow, and for carrying a backpacking pack, a boot is our preferred option. But the low-top style trims away material and weight, making it the clear choice for those focused on moving fast and light without a large pack. There isn’t a definite right answer in this debate, but the weight of your gear and the conditions you’ll be hiking in can make the decision a lot simpler.
Vasque Talus Trek UltraDry (BC Coastline)
On technical and difficult trails, we typically prefer a hiking boot

Stiffness and Stability
In general, a hiking boot is designed to be stable, which typically involves a piece of hard plastic inserted between the midsole and outsole, known as a shank. The length of the plastic can vary from just under the arch to the full-length of the boot, depending on intended use. The benefit of a stiff boot is that the heel will not drop on an ascent, which helps reduce calf fatigue. This is why the stiffness of a boot will increase along with its technical abilities, culminating in extremely unyielding mountaineering boots that can better handle long summit pushes. On the other end of the spectrum, some lightweight boots do not have this additional structure, instead resembling a tall, flexible hiking shoe.
Salomon 4D 3 GTX (Stability)
Backpacking in the Quest 4D 3 GTX in Patagonia

For day hikes on flatter or less technical terrain or if you're aiming to move fast and light, we can’t recommend a lightweight and flexible hiking boot enough. Shoes like the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 or Salomon X Ultra Mid are standouts for these uses. As your trips get longer and your pack gets heavier, a more substantial boot that increases ankle support is a better decision. Look to the Lowa Renegade or Salomon Quest 4D 3 for a great all-around option that is equally adept at conquering summit peaks and multi-day backpacking. On the extreme end, heavyweight boots like the Asolo TPS are excellent for hiking in areas that require maximum support: off-trail bushwhacking, traversing an exposed area or trekking over rough ground.
Lowa Renegade (sitting)
Sturdy boots are helpful over rocky terrain and when carrying a heavy pack

Waterproofing
The vast majority of hiking boots are waterproof, and the security from a surprise deluge on a backpacking trip is reason enough for most folks to choose a GTX (Gore-Tex) model. To make these boots waterproof, most designs have a waterproof and breathable bootie inserted inside the outer fabric. Gore-Tex liners are the most popular and have the brand cachet, but even in-house technologies like Keen’s Keen.Dry are similar in terms of waterproofing performance (it’s breathability and some inconsistency between models where they’ll differ). In addition, a water-repellent coating is added to the boot to help bead up and shed water droplets.
Hiking Boots (technical hiking)
Vasque's UltraDry lining performs well in the wet

Most hiking boots are waterproof, but does that necessarily mean they should be? It’s nice to have waterproofing so your feet don’t get wet walking through mud or crossing a stream, but all the waterproofing does on a spring or summer backpacking trip in Canyonlands is make your feet hot and sweaty (we cover breathability in greater detail below). And an argument can be made that your feet will eventually get soaked no matter the waterproof design in truly wet and miserable conditions. As an alternative, some backpackers turn to non-waterproof shoes with gaiters over the top for weather protection. While this won’t keep water from entering at the sides, the boots will dry much quicker. And the gaiters keep water, snow, or trail debris from entering over the top of the boot.

Our take on waterproofing is that it’s best for most folks, and particularly those that venture out in mountainous regions where water on the trail or a rainstorm always are possibilities. The designs aren’t perfect, but a quality waterproof lining will keep you reasonably dry in all but the worst weather. And if you hike in the shoulder seasons, the extra layer adds some insulation from the cold. But hikers in uniquely hot and dry places like Arizona and Utah may be best served with a non-waterproof model, no matter how few options there are on the market. Three that we like are the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator (a sibling of the Moab Mid WP on this list), Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Mesh, and Hoka One One Sky Arkali. For a deeper dive on the topic, see our article on waterproof hiking footwear.
Salomon 4D 3 GTX (Gore-Tex waterproof)
We've seen consistent performance out of boots with Gore-Tex liners

Breathability
No matter what marketers say, making a boot waterproof inherently impacts breathability. By keeping water from entering from the outside, less moisture (your sweat) can quickly and easily escape from the inside, which means all forms of waterproof footwear can run warm in the summer months. There are, however, big differences between boot models in their ability to ventilate.

We’ve found that heavyweight leather boots with a Gore-Tex lining are often the worst performers, while the Gore-Tex Surround in the mesh-heavy La Sportiva Nucleo and the two-piece design in the Arc’teryx Bora2 (see our in-depth review) are a step above. In between, the Lowa Renegade and Salomon Quest 4D 3 both perform decently with their nylon and leather construction and Gore-Tex liners, and are completely suitable for summer backpacking trips. The cheaper membrane in the Keen Durand Mid boot fell short of those pricier options in our testing. Alternatively, if you are willing and able to ditch the waterproof lining altogether, the Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid and Hoka One One Sky Arkali mentioned above are great options for hikers and backpackers.

Lacing Systems
Laces are an overlooked feature on hiking boots but play an important role in fit and comfort. If a shoe has a poor lacing system prone to loosening, you’ll find yourself having to readjust constantly on the trail or dealing with hot spots and blisters. If the culprit is just the laces themselves, it’s an easy fix: there are many quality replacement laces available (and can usually be found at a local outdoors shop). But if the system doesn’t hold your foot or fit very well, we recommend looking elsewhere. For this reason, we are hesitant to recommend the single-pull speed lace designs from Salomon and Adidas. Although convenient, it can be more difficult to customize fit, which can lead to discomfort over long miles and when wearing a heavy pack.

As you upgrade to more aggressive designs, the lacing systems also should advance. Notable upgrades for boots include locking hooks near the bend at the ankle, such as what you get on the Quest or Renegade boots. These hooks keep the laces in place extremely well, which increases comfort and on-trail performance.

Climbing Boot "Upper" Materials

The sort of material utilized in a shoe's upper, which is the texture that interfaces with the elastic outsole, connects straightforwardly with its solidness, water obstruction and capacity to relax. Frequently, a boot or shoe will be made with a blend of manufactured (commonly nylon), work, and calfskin. There are exemptions, especially at the top of the line with one-piece calfskin developments. As we referenced above, Arc'teryx is one brand that breaks from the form totally with a different unbending thermolaminated external that interfaces straightforwardly to the sole. Beneath we explain the advantages and disadvantages for the most widely recognized materials utilized for climbing footwear.

Manufactured Nylon and Mesh

Woven nylon just as open work nylon boards are normal on section and mid-level boots to help in breathability. They're not too known for their solidness yet work admirably of cutting weight. Also, the texture can assimilate dampness quicker than a calfskin boot. Special cases incorporate the Salomon Quest 4D, which is made of firmly woven nylon boards that have practically identical degrees of sturdiness to some Nubuck cowhides regardless of a ton of outside sewing.

Nubuck and Suede Leather

Made of full grain cowhide, however given a brushed completion that has a softened cowhide like feel, Nubuck calfskin is a typical site on mid-extend boots. The milder touch calfskin is lighter and more adaptable than conventional, gleaming full-cowhide choices, however the more slender development isn't as solid. It is, in any case, more solid than most nylon work embeds, and therefore, it's not unexpected to discover a blend of Nubuck calfskin and work, with the cowhide bits giving the boots some additional strength. Moreover, Nubuck cowhide will in general inhale superior to anything full-grain calfskin and isn't as inclined to indicating scuffmarks because of its brushed completion.

Full-Grain Leather

This sort of upper is regularly found on extreme, heavyweight boots. You'll see one-piece cowhide uppers on very good quality boots like the Asolo TPS 520 or in Danner's boot accumulation. These structures are not light or as breathable, however are extraordinarily intense and water safe. They do require some support to keep the calfskin fit as a fiddle, yet they'll compensate those cleaning endeavors with a development that is worked to outlive everything else available. If that wasn't already enough, a few boots like the Danner Mountain Light can be re-soled, so you don't have to supplant the entire boot once you wear out the carries.

Padded sole Types

While wearing climbing boots, it's entirely expected to convey a respectable measure of weight, which puts a great deal of weight on your feet. Joined with the elastic outsole, the padded sole assumes the basic job of safeguard from effects and gives an extra layer of insurance from sharp shakes. Contingent upon the plan, padded soles shift from extremely slight (fastpacking boot) to hardened and considerable (full calfskin climbing boot). Most incorporate EVA froth, PU, or a mix of both in their development.

EVA

Most of light and midweight climbing boots use EVA froth in the padded sole. The comfortable delicate material removes a portion of the sting from your impact point or midfoot impacts and is likewise amazingly lightweight. Not all EVA ought to be dealt with similarly, and the exclusive adaptations can shift from very delicate to somewhat solid. For logging genuine miles on harder territory, we lean toward a firm and steady padded sole rather than an excess of padding. Those excessively delicate padded soles additionally tend to stall after some time, much like a street running shoe. All in all, you pay more for an improved padded sole plan and a higher caliber EVA compound.

PU

For harder applications or when it's a need to disengage your feet from unpleasant effects, makes will utilize a PU or polyurethane padded sole. This solid froth is far less comfortable than padded soles with just EVA yet will last more and better handle a heavier burden. What's more, they'll keep their shape longer and won't be inclined to compacting like EVA. Boots like the Asolo TPS 520 Evo utilize a polyurethane insole, however the material's ubiquity is growing to mid-run alternatives—regardless of the additional expense—with the Scarpa Zodiac Plus being an ongoing model.

Outsoles and Traction

The inspiration driving overhauling from a shaky cross mentor to a genuine climbing boot or shoe frequently is for improved footing. Such that increasingly easygoing footwear can never coordinate, climbing footwear is a wide margin better when the going gets rough, elusive and soak. Furthermore, much similarly that Gore-Tex overwhelms the market for mid to very good quality waterproofing, Vibram possesses a comparative space for outsoles. Not all Vibram models ought to be treated as equivalents, in any case, as the elastic producer tailors their structures for the particular footwear and brand. Some have a lot bigger hauls underneath for genuine hold in mud (Vasque St. Elias), and others organize clingy elastic for scrambling over rocks (Arc'teryx Bora2). There are likewise more section level alternatives that simply well on simpler trails, similar to the hauls you'll discover on the base of the Merrell Moab boots and shoes. The exercise is it merits investigating the carry profundity and portrayal of the compound sort to discover where a particular outsole will perform best.

Salomon is one brand that doesn't re-appropriate their footing needs. Rather, they utilize their in-house ContraGrip brand for the majority of their boots and shoes models. What's more, with long periods of involvement in everything from trail rushing to climbing, they aren't lacking in mastery. The degree of value and execution is in-accordance with the Vibram contributions in all cases, from anything from their quick and-light X Ultra Mid climbing boots to the beefy Salomon Quest 4D 3 exploring boots.

Toe Protection

Toe tops or elastic rands spread the front of many climbing boots, and we think of them as a basic component of hiking boot structure. These thick bits of elastic are there to keep your toes in a single piece should you incidentally—and for our situation, in the long run—kick a stone on the trail. Some champions from our rundown above incorporate the Arc'teryx Bora2 and Salewa Mountain Trainer, which have assurance that wraps totally around the front of the foot. To cut weight, a few makers will periodically remove or decrease this component, including the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 boots. Talking as a matter of fact, we'd incline toward that Altra incorporated a progressively significant one subsequent to getting and wounding a toe on a stone climbing in Washington's Enchantments. In the event that you go lightweight, toe insurance is one region where you may forfeit.

Insoles

Getting an appropriate fit can be a genuine agony, and much of the time the fault is a conventional, level insole. Fortunately, evacuating your stock insoles is overly simple, and supplanting them with a post-retail model that is explicit to your foot size and shape can cure most shoe diseases. New insoles can give pretty much volume to round out the shoe, improve the fit under the curve, and increment or diminishing the pad and effect stun. We suggest looking at Superfeet insoles for their wide determination of choices and confided in notoriety in running shoes, ski boots, and climbing footwear.

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