Top 9 Hiking Boots: Expert Recommendations

Key Points

  • Invest in a pair of high-quality hiking boots to keep your feet in top shape.

  • Consider your budget first before buying a pair of hiking boots.

  • Hiking boots must be comfortable, sturdy, durable, and breathable.

  • There's nothing worse than an ill-fitted hiking boot; it leads to all sorts of problems with your feet.

Ready to hit the trails and blaze a path through the untamed wilderness? Well, hold on there, partner! You need to get the right footwear first. Failure to do so is a surefire path to blisters galore. When it comes to hiking boots, the fit is everything. Unless you're at a clown convention, you don't want to be stumbling around in oversized boots. Too-tight boots are equally awful. Nothing is worse than suffocating your feet.

You need comfortable, sturdy, durable, and breathable boots. Your feet are your best friends on the trail; keep them happy. With so many hiking boots out there, it's hard to know where to begin. Here are some of the best hiking boots on the market.

Note: The prices listed below are accurate at the time of writing in May 2023 but are subject to change.

Quest 4D 3 Gore-TEX Backpacking Boots

by Salomon 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking Boots are excellent all-terrain boots with great foot and ankle protection and a sturdy ankle collar and chassis. The chassis provides a stable base that reduces fatigue on long hikes while retaining the feel of a trail running shoe.

At around three pounds, they're pretty light for mountaineering boots but may be too heavy for extended periods. The cushion is comfortable enough, but the toe box is a bit narrow for folks with wider feet.

These boots boast exceptional Contagrip, ensuring the endurance and adaptability needed for traversing up and down trails across various terrains.

At $230, the Salomon Quest 4D is a good-value hiking footwear offering superior support and resistance against all types of weather.

MOAB 2 WTPF Hiking Shoe

by Merrell 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2023 12:38 am GMT

2. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

For hikers who prioritize comfort and support over heavy-duty terrain and weather protection, a pair of Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes fits the bill. They're waterproof shoes perfect for easy to moderate day hikes.

The Vibram soles provide excellent grip on most surfaces and can endure several years of hiking. They're not the best choice for rocky terrain and for carrying heavy loads, given they're heavier than other outdoor shoes.

If you relish the experience of embarking on day hikes across well-maintained trails, these shoes are an excellent choice. They clock in at around $100.

Breeze Iii GTX Hiking Boot

by Vasque 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

3. Vasque Breeze III GTX

Vasque Breeze III GTX Hiking Boots are breathable boots due to the mesh lining, which creates more airflow. Some users report that the mesh wears out quickly, so they're not the most durable boots.

What they might lack in durability, they make up for in comfort. The Breeze III is lightweight, making them comfortable though heel rubbing and blisters are a potential issue. Fight this problem by wearing thick socks to protect your feet.

The gusseted tongue keeps debris out, and the Vibram sole keeps you firmly planted on the ground. The break-in period is next to no time at all, meaning you're able to get out there and start hiking in a jiffy.

It's a breathable, comfortable option designed for high-mileage hikers.

Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots

by KEEN 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/05/2023 11:56 pm GMT

4. Keen Targhee III Waterproof

Keen Targhee III Waterproof Hiking Boots are trail boots offering a comfortable fit right out of the box with no need for an extended break-in time. The material is high-quality, and it's easy to tell they're durable boots. For $85 to $130, they provide excellent value for casual hikers with tight purse strings.

They're also great for hikers needing arch support. Targhees have a metatomical footbed that cradles the natural contours of your feet and provides exceptional arch support.

The boots' stability over rough terrain is, at best, sketchy. Stay on designated trails while wearing these boots. They don't provide sufficient stability on uneven terrain.

Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots

by La Sportiva 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/05/2023 11:46 pm GMT

5. La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX Hiking Boots are breathable boots with all the qualities of lightweight hiking shoes.

These waterproof boots offer complete protection from rain, mud, snow, and sleek. The toe box also has lots of insulation, enabling you to confidently explore the roughest terrains without fear of stubbing your toes.

The well-protected toe box and deep lugs on the bottom of the shoe provide top-notch traction across various surfaces. While gripping on surfaces, they're not the sturdiest of boots, so if you need lots of ankle support, look elsewhere. If you are seeking a comfortable midsole with bar-none waterproof technology, these are the right choice since the La Sportiva has a Gore-Tex membrane that keeps your feet dry and cozy while splashing rough terrain.

The construction of the boots makes them last a while. Durable leather with a water-resistant coating adds toughness to the boot, and a Vibram sole provides excellent traction.

Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot

by Danner 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2023 12:06 am GMT

6. Danner Mountain 600

Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots are quality hiking footwear with a fashionable look. They're constructed with leather and provide that rugged boots look and feel that only comes with leather.

They tend to run a little big and are best suited for folks with wider feet. If that's you, then you're going to be happy with a pair of Danner Mountain 600.

In addition to being rugged as well as fashionable, these boots have a water-resistant coating on the leather upper, which keeps your feet dry in damp conditions. Their well-constructed build and quality material ensure their longevity.

These aren't boots for long hikes. They're not as breathable as other boots and are on the heavier side. Opt for light outdoor activities or casual hikes with a pair of Mountain 600 from Danner.

Redmond Waterproof

by Columbia 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2023 12:11 am GMT

7. Columbia Redmond Waterproof

Columbia Redmond Waterproof Hiking Shoes are among the cheaper pair of lightweight hiking shoes. If you're looking for breathable, lightweight outdoor shoes, these are it. If you're looking for trail boots capable of taking you up Mount Everest and back, these are decidedly not it.

Such lightness comes at a price. The material in the shoes is of lower quality and thus less durable. They will also lead to sore feet if you use them for extended stretches.

If you avoid rugged terrain and don't do any crazy hiking, these are the outdoor shoes for you. They're a cheap option perfect for light hikes or daily activities in the yard.

Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

by Lowa 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/05/2023 08:26 am GMT

8. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are mountaineering boots that harken back to the classic hiking boots of days gone by. Thanks to the all-leather upper, they feature a tall ankle cuff, great underfoot stability, and a gritty toughness. These are solid boots with little going against them.

However, it ain't all sunshine and rainbows for these boots, as they come with a steep price tag of $250. That's out of the price range for most casual hikers, though they're an excellent investment for tree-huggers who live in the forest. They're also heavy, so build up your calf muscles before donning a pair of Renegades.

A standout feature is a comfortable collar that provides ankle support. On uneven, rocky terrain, the last thing you want is to roll an ankle — even worse, break one.

The lacing system might be a bit of a hassle for some hikers, but cinch these boots up tight, and you've got a snug fit capable of taking you through miles of trails.

Although pricier, these boots are comfortable, durable, and capable of taking on all terrain. If you're a hardcore hiker looking for reliable, long-lasting boots, then look no further.

Kaha GTX Leather


Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

9. Hoka One One Sky Kaha GTX

Hoka One One Sky Kaha GTX Boots sport a rubberized foam sole design and waterproof leather. The rocker design of the sole gives ample arch support and makes walking from heel to toe effortless. If you struggle with plantar fasciitis, then this is your hiking boot.

There's little to talk about in terms of downsides. For $330, it's a highly comfortable hiking boot with plenty of arch support.

Move Your Legs

The author of Walden, Henry David Thoreau, said, "Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

Yeah, thoughts sure flow once you get your legs moving. Keep them moving long enough; down the pipeline eventually comes blisters, sore feet, ringworm, trench foot, and corns so thick you can shuck them. Investing in a solid pair of hiking boots is the surefire way to avoid such foot-oriented atrocities.

Get yourself a good pair of hiking boots. Consider the type of hiking you will do most often; look for boots with good support, traction, and a proper fit; choose waterproof, breathable, and insulated materials.

You got it? Good.

Now lace up. It's time to hit the trail!

Check out MyOutdoorGear for more information on how to survive and thrive in Mother Nature. There's info on all sorts of things, like starting a campfire.

Was this article helpful?

My Outdoor Gear is the go-to source for in-depth outdoor gear reviews. Join us as we review some of the best outdoor gear items on the market.