You’re ready for the weekend; the weather is great and you can’t wait to get outside and hit the trails, either on your own or with your friends. You go to the closet to search for some decent shoes that won’t leave your feet aching after an hour on the trail, but you’re left choosing between a pair of beat up old sneakers and your cross trainers with no grip. Before you start out on your hike, you need to research real hiking boot;, but to save you some time, we’ve reviewed 10 of the most supportive boots you can find.

FAQS

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1. What Are Hiking Boots, Hiking Shoes, and Trail Runners?

Hiking boots, hiking shoes, and trail runners are the ideal footwear for unpaved trails and uneven terrain. These are all shoes designed for hiking offer grip, traction, and stability on uneven, slippery, or rugged surfaces.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots typically offer the highest level of protection and stability. They’re often worn when hiking through rugged terrain, hiking for long periods of time, or in inclement weather. Boots usually feature an extended upper cuff that rests right below or above the ankle bone to provide extra support.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are like boots in that they offer greater protection and better grip than regular shoes. The upper cuff on hiking shoes rarely extends as far up the ankle as on hiking boots. Hiking shoes are usually lighter and many people prefer hiking shoes over bulkier, heavier boots depending on the situation.

Trail Runners

Trail runners are even more lightweight than hiking shoes while still offering a good amount of stability and control when running on uneven ground. Trail runners rarely offer as much protection as hiking boots and shoes, but are breathable, comfortable, and fit most like a sneaker. Some long-distance hikers swear by their trail runners and will hike for miles in them.

2. What Do Hiking Boots Provide That Other Shoes Do Not?

Many hiking boots and shoes are much more durable with a more rigid sole than the typical running or athletic shoes. Hiking footwear often offers more protection than running shoes, keeping your feet more comfortable on rocky trails. They also provide varying levels of ankle support and stability while on trail and allow for easier movement scrambling up or down hillsides, greater ease hiking through the backcountry, and offer more protection against the elements. If you’re planning on being out hiking in rough conditions often, you’ll find that your regular sneakers really aren’t up for the task.

3. What Are Unique Features Of Hiking Boots?

Most boots made for hiking offer waterproof upper membranes made from a combination of leather and/or synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Some have special linings inside the shoe that wick moisture away from your skin and socks, leaving your feet warm and dry throughout your hike. The soles are usually made of Vibram material or a rubber composite that features large grips, called lugs. The lugs are arguably one of the most important features of any hiking footwear because they generate the traction for the shoe.

Ankle support is also a critical feature for hiking boots and shoes, and they all offer ankle support to prevent rolling your ankles. Part of ankle stability comes from the heel cup – a snug heel prevents foot slippage inside the shoe and allows for great control. It also bolsters ankle support from an upper cuff on boots that rests either right below the ankle bone or above it buttressing the ankle and physically preventing it from rolling.

4. Where Can You Buy Hiking Boots?

You can buy high-quality boots at just about any major sporting goods retailer. Places like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Basement offer a good selection of day-hike quality hiking boots and shoes. If you’re looking for a shoe that’s more rugged or can sustain additional wear and tear, we’d suggest talking to the professionals at an outdoor retailer, like REI. After getting expert advice, you can purchase your footwear in a shoe store or an online retailer like Amazon.

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the following products based on the ranking reports of some of the most highly regarded hiking experts in the industry. We used several credible sources to compile this list and feel confident it’s accurate and informative.

Overall Price Range

The hiking boots, shoes, and trail runners in this list range in price from $100 – $200+. Trail runners and hiking shoes are typically less costly than hiking boots but often offer slightly less protection.

What We Reviewed

  • Adidas Terrex Fast Mid GTX
  • La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX
  • Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry
  • Under Armour Horizon RTT
  • Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP
  • Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
  • La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
  • Keen Targhee III Mid
  • HOKA Tor Ultra Hi Waterproof
  • Scarpa R-Evolution GTX

Adidas Terrex Fast Mid GTX

Features

Adidas may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of hiking shoes, but perhaps they should be. As the name implies, the Adidas Terrex Fast Mid GTX trail runners will get you to the summit – fast. This lightweight shoe provides a surprising amount of protection and stability out on the trail. It uses a unique lacing system to guarantee a secure, snug fit.

 

The rubber soles feature tough, durable lugs that provide traction and grip on technical hikes. The Gortex lining keeps moisture at bay and prevents blisters and hot spots. The heel cup prevents foot slippage and ankle rolls while the roomy toe box keeps your toes from jamming into the front of the shoe on descents.

Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Stylish and modern

Cons

  • Not as protective as a traditional hiking boot
  • Durability on rougher terrain isn’t as  good as other boots
  • Expensive

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Adidas-Outdoor-Terrex-Fast-Hiking/dp/B018WEIX36/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848244&sr=8-4&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09Adidas+Terrex+Fast+Mid+GTX

La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX

Features

The La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX hiking boots are the real deal for a finding a solid backpacking boot. These boots are made for rough terrain and scrambling up hillsides in the backcountry. They’re constructed with all synthetic material, which will make people looking for leather-alternatives happy. The uppers are made from abrasion-resistant polyester and are lined with waterproof Gortex material that helps wick moisture away from the skin. The outsoles feature rugged lugs made from Vibram, which guarantee robust traction on any trail in most types of weather.

Pros

  • Hardy, tough hiking boot
  • Good for technical day hikes or longer backpacking trips
  • Great ankle support and foot stability

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Feet get hot in warmer weather
  • Tight toe box

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Sportiva-Trango-TRK-GTX-Boot/dp/B01015P8Q4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848310&sr=8-1&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09La+Sportiva+Trango+TRK+GTX

Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry

Features

If you’re planning on hiking in inclement, rainy weather, purchasing the Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry hiking boot might be a good decision. Constructed for durable but adaptable leather, it’s one of the best waterproof boots around. Some hikers have even used them for mild-weather snowshoeing excursions. This boot is well-constructed and offers a snug, comfortable fit, especially for people with narrow feet. These boots will protect your feet even in the worst weather and ensure that you’ll finish your hike with dry, warm feet.

Pros

  • Excellent waterproof capabilities     
  • Highly durable
  • Snug fit

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Moderate ankle support
  • Too tight fitting for people with wide feet

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $150.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Vasque-Talus-Trek-UltraDry-Gargoyle/dp/B00TYJYYZU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848354&sr=8-2&keywords=%E2%80%A2+vasque+talus+trek+mid+ultradryThis boot can be purchased on Amazon and from most outdoor retailers, like REI.

Under Armour Horizon RTT

Features

The Under Armour Horizon RTT is technically a trail runner, but features comparable support and traction to hiking boots. Lightweight and flexible, the Horizon RTT is a very popular option among ultralight backpackers or hikers who just want to get to their destination faster than most. Although it fits comfortable like a sneaker, make no mistake that the Horizon RTT is up to the task on more technical hikes. This shoe is best for hikers that are comfortable with trail running or hiking and have strong, stable ankles. If you’re looking for a sportier, secure, and simple trail runner, the Horizon RTT is an excellent option.

Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible, but provides good stability      
  • Good traction
  • Comfortable and versatile

Cons

  • No ankle support
  • Not as durable as other hiking shoes and boots
  • Not waterproof

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $100.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Armour-Womens-Horizon-Running/dp/B01NBVS0EO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848440&sr=8-1&keywords=Under+Armour+Horizon+RTT

Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP

Features

The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP hiking boots are probably one of the more popular models on the market, and for good reason. These boots are great for day hikes and shorter backpacking trips and are waterproof and very breathable. This boot has a lightweight and comfortable feel at a great price. It also features tough Vibram soles. The Moabs are a tried and true hiking boot preferred by both casual hikers and professional mountaineers. Although they might not hold up on more rugged, longer hiking trips, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP is one of the best options for a casual hiking boot.

Pros

  • Good quality for a great price   
  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Won’t last as long as pricier models
  • Not recommended for rough terrain
  • Not recommended for carrying heavy loads

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $130.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Merrell-Mens-Waterproof-Hiking-Earth/dp/B01HFKL0KG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848485&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09Merrell+Moab+2+Mid+WP

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Features

The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX are easily the most popular of the Salomon hiking boots. These boots offer vast amounts of versatility at a reasonable price. Their shining feature is the high-traction Contragrip rubber sole that features a unique lug pattern and ensures stability and control on even the toughest of descents, while the rubber caps protect your toes from unseen debris.

These boots do best on day hikes and short backpacking trips, but plenty of hikers have worn them on longer hikes. The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX wears like a trail runner but with the support and security of a hiking boot. This boot features contoured heel cups and sculpted linings to keep foot slippage to a minimum and ensures a comfortable, enjoyable hike and the waterproof uppers keep your feet dry but cool thanks to the waterproof Gortex liners.

Pros

  • A tested and trusted hiking boot    
  • Highly durable and versatile
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not the best for high-mileage trips
  • Not as durable as more expensive models

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $165.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Salomon-Womens-Ultra-Hiking-Crown/dp/B071P4FGFF/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848508&sr=8-3&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09Salomon+X+Ultra+3+Mid+GTX

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

Features

Some hikers swear by their trail runners and La Sportiva Ultra Raptor trail runners are the cream of the crop for hiking shoes. The Ultra Raptor provides good stability regardless of terrain, and features breathable, nylon uppers that make this shoe even more competitive. With a rugged, durable sole, these trail runners will get you up that mountain in record time while keeping you safe with the patented Impact Brake System that improves traction on the trail. Their lightweight durability make these shoes a preferred option compared to hiking boots for day hikes and shorter backpacking trips.

Although the Ultra Raptors are technically a hiking shoe, they offer a reasonable amount of support and stability and features that allow for a snug, secure fit. For ultralight backpackers, these trail runners are a must-have due to their lightweight and durability. The Ultra Raptors are also a more affordable option if you’re not ready to drop $200 on a new pair of boots.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable     
  • Snug and secure fitting
  • Comes in fun colors

Cons

  • Not as much foot protection as a hiking boot
  • Limited ankle support
  • Limited cushioning

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $100.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Sportiva-Womens-Ultra-Raptor-Running/dp/B00QRPNDCO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848569&sr=8-4&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09La+Sportiva+Ultra+Raptor+hiking

Keen Targhee III Mid

Features

Keen hiking boots are best known for their affordability and quality and are an excellent choice for day hikes or shorter backpacking trips. The Keen Targhee III Mid is one of the most versatile boots on the market and while it might not hold up on thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail compared to more expensive boots, the Keens are most ideal for everyday hiking excursions.

In addition, Keen seems to make their boots with people with wide feet in mind. Famous for their wide toe box, this boot won’t pinch or squish your feet, even at the end of a long hike. Although the Keen Targhee II Mids seem to be a little more narrow than its predecessors, it still offers a lot of roomy comfort in the toe. The Targhee III provides surprising durability with a toe-cap to protect against unseen rocks and debris on the trail and decent ankle support from the upper cuff. The uppers are made from leather, which keep your feet nice and dry for the duration of your hike.

Pros

  • Good quality for the price      
  • Well constructed with a wide toe box
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Moderate ankle support
  • Less breathable than other models
  • Not the best choice for long backpacking trips

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $150.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/KEEN-Targhee-Waterproof-Shitake-Brindle/dp/B008J5F9OU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848619&sr=8-1&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09Keen+Targhee+III+Mid

HOKA Tor Ultra Hi Waterproof

Features

The HOKA Tor Ultra Hi Waterproof hiking boot is a favorite among hikers with “picky” feet or those who have medical conditions like plantar fasciitis. HOKA is known for the impressive amount of cushioning in their shoes and these hiking boots provide the support hikers need to reduce stress and impact on joints. Although they’re not your typical hiking boot, the HOKA Tor Ultra Hi Waterproof will keep your feet happy even on the longer, more grueling hikes.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable waterproof fabric
  • Come in fun colors

Cons

  • Bulky (but not heavy)
  • Ankle support could be better

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/HOKA-ONE-Waterproof-Full-Grain-Leather/dp/B010732OYE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848643&sr=8-2&keywords=%E2%80%A2%09HOKA+Tor+Ultra+Hi+Waterproof

Scarpa R-Evolution GTX

Features

Scarpa is an Italian company that focuses on creating products for backcountry, high-alpine mountaineering, but the Scarpa R-Evolution GTX combines serious trail performance and comfort seamlessly. This mid-weight leather boot will keep your feet comfortable regardless of the length or difficulty of the hike. The leather uppers protect your feet from the elements and the memory-foam tongue is sewn right into the upper, so it won’t bunch when laced up.

Pros

  • Durable 
  • Versatile use for quick day hikes or extended backpacking trips
  • High quality

Cons

  • Flimsy laces
  • Expensive

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/SCARPA-R-Evolution-GTX-Hiking-Boot-M/dp/B0126ITSJC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538848706&sr=8-1&keywords=Scarpa+R-Evolution+GTX

The Verdict

Choosing your preferred footwear for hiking is a highly personalized experience, however. So it’s best to go into a store and talk to the experts before making a final decision. The boot you’ll ultimately end up choosing depends on whether you’ll use it for day hikes, backpacking, or cross-country hiking. You also must understand your personal comfort needs: do you have joint pain, plantar fasciitis, or wobbly ankles? All of those personal comfort needs will factor into the boot you end up purchasing.

However, after conducting our research, we found that you really can’t go wrong buying boots like the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WPs or the Keen Targhee III Mids if you’re looking to buy a pair of go-to hiking boots. Boots like the Moab or the Targhee will take you across most terrains for reasonable distances, are durable, and affordable

Last update on 2021-07-28 at 12:56 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API