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11 Best Hiking Boots of 2023 (Tested, Reviewed & Compared)

a pair of salomon quest 4, considered the best hiking boots in 2023

As the weather begins to warm up, my team and I have had the opportunity to try out 11 different pairs of hiking boots, which we think are the best set of footwear for tackling this year’s hiking season.

As experienced hikers, our tests have taken us through cold, wet, hot, dry, and rocky conditions. So, the products on this list all come with their own strengths and weaknesses but showed the highest overall performance on various trails.  

That said, let’s review how each of these boots fared during testing and what is the best hiking boot in 2023.

Our Top 11 Best Hiking Boots in 2023

1. Salomon Quest 4 GTX

Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Best Overall Hiking Boots

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 14.4 oz. (men’s 9), 2 lbs. 6.4 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex waterproof membrane)

  • Upper Material: Nubuck leather

The Salomon Quest 4 GTX is a light-midweight waterproof boot designed with a modernized, well-cushioned build, and increased weight savings. The Salomon Quest 4 GTX is durable and very comfortable.

The chassis and Ortholite insoles provide much-added stability and are further complemented by the sturdy and roomy toe box.

These boots are designed with a high-quality Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and Contragrip TD outsole, making them ideal for wet weather and most all-terrain hikes.

My team and I have found from using this product that the Salomon Quest 4 GTX is a very rugged and versatile hiking boot.

I experienced no slippage or sole inconsistencies regardless of the terrain I was on, I could hike for long distances without stressing my pressure points, and overall, I was confident in the safety of my feet.

All in all, they’re solid both off and on-trail, and since they’re made to feel like a trail running shoe, they can even be used as trail running shoes for day hikes.


  • The Contagrip TD outsole has a consistent grip across various technical terrain
  • The Salomon Quest 4 is designed to be as comfortable as trail shoe due to its trim design
  • Nubuck leather upper and textile lining makes the hiking boot resistant to abrasions and tearing
  • ADV-C 4D chassis takes stress off the heels and ankles to make carrying a heavy pack load easier
  • Firm underfoot protection makes the Quest 4 ideal for managing trail debris


  • Standard-only option may be awkward for people with narrower or wider feet

2. Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof

Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof
Most Affordable Hiking Boots

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 2 oz. (men’s 9), 1 lb. 11 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (M-Select Dry or Gore-Tex option)

  • Upper Material: Pigskin leather/Mesh

The Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof hiking shoes are a popular choice for beginner and intermediate-level hikers.

The lowcut and light design of these shoes makes them ideal for people looking for increased flexibility and agility, but without the feel of a classic hiking boot.

The Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof shoes are designed with the brand’s in-house membrane to keep the feet dry, but can also be selected with a Gore-Tex lining instead.

Additionally, the shoes are made with a Vibram TC5+ outsole, giving them deep lugs and excellent traction on challenging terrain.

After putting these to the test, we discovered that like previous Merrell hiking shoes, the Moab 3 builds on the strengths of its predecessor with not only a surprisingly eco-friendly design, but also improved padding and protection.

While these aren’t hiking shoes I would use for heavy backpacking trips since the air cushions can only support so much weight, they’re budget-friendly, great for the average hiker, and even have a wide sizing option.


  • Leather and mesh uppers are ventilated enough to make these hiking shoes reliable in hot weather
  • Above-average build quality gives the same performance as some more expensive hiking shoes
  • The lacing system is easy to use and customizable, allowing for a personalized and unique fit
  • The use of sustainable materials makes the Moab 3 environmentally sustainable without decreasing its performance


  • Despite improving the cushioning and traction, the Moab 3 isn’t suited for hauling heavy loads on or off-trail

3. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
Best Lightweight Hiking Boots

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 1 lb. 14 oz. (men’s 9), 1 lb. 11.2 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)

  • Upper Material: PU-coated leather

The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is a premium lightweight hiking boot designed to be just as flexible and comfortable as a trail running shoe.

As such, it has great performance on well-kept and maintained trails. The PU-coated leather uppers are very durable, and the Contagrip MA outsole is one of the best in the market.

Combined with the top-notch weatherproofing, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is adaptable to almost all climates, making it versatile throughout the hiking season.

My team and I have had opportunities to try these out in the Grand Canyon and on our routine hiking paths. Based on our experiences, X Ultra 4 Mid GTX’s lightweight construction makes it incredibly comfortable.

It’s also really flexible, having a leather upper that conforms to the shape of your foot, which reduces the break-in period. However, we did notice that the underfoot was a bit thinner, meaning we felt a lot more of the trail underneath our feet.


  • Not fully committed to the design of a hiking boot or hiking shoe, making it more versatile than most hiking footwear
  • Active Support bands and SensiFit technologies provide stability and comfort where the previous model couldn’t
  • Manages to give adequate protection to the toes and ankles despite its lightweight design and collar height
  • Has proven to have some practical use even on less intensive thru-hiking trails


  • Only comes in a waterproof version, making it difficult to use in hotter weather

4. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
Best Waterproof Hiking Boots

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 7 oz. (men’s 9), 2 lbs. 2 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex membrane)

  • Upper Material: Nubuck leather

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is made with the feel of a traditional hiking boot. As good waterproof lightweight hiking boots, they’re impressively protective and insulated from the trail. The mid-height collar sits comfortably on the ankle and has a soft padding.

Additionally, the ATC insoles and DuraPU monowrap frames give a lot of stability and support to the arches and heels of your feet. One of the strong points of these boots is that the midsole is firm, but not stiff enough to limit your movements.

Smooth motions can be made over technical terrain without sacrificing your flexibility or grip on tricky surfaces.

After trying out these boots, my team and I can say that the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid has many qualities that make it a reliable boot for more advanced hikes.

The features may be overkill for simpler trails, but the ample cushioning, durable scuff-resistant leather, and sturdy design makes this product perfect for long hikes.

However, while the quality of these boots is high, they’re more expensive compared to some other products of the same build.


  • Manages to be breathable despite having a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane
  • Comes in narrow, wide, and medium fits to accommodate hikers with all foot types
  • Has enough padding, shock absorption, and lateral support to encourage carrying heavy pack loads
  • Wide toe box prevents forefoot compression without leaving too much open space


  • Compared to similar products, the price tag may make these needlessly expensive

5. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 1 oz. (men’s 9), 1 lb. 7 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex membrane)

  • Upper Material: High-weave AirMesh/Microfiber TPU

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a mid-height waterproof boot designed for agility and swift movements.

This footwear has many features that make it comparable to a trail runner, such as the FriXion XF outsole, which excels on slippery and uneven surfaces, and the Impact Brake System, which prevents fatigue by absorbing shock to your vulnerable muscle groups.

For simple trips or hikes where you may have to scale steep inclines, they hold up very well. The fact that they can be thrown on for almost any casual adventure is also a notable benefit.

Based on our tests, we really enjoyed the protective build and its trail runner design. It’s not often you find a boot that you can make snappy movements with, but my feet were safe without feeling like they were being weighed down by the cushioning.

If off-path travels or technical trails are your thing, these are some of the best hiking boots for the job. Our only gripe was that the lugs on the outsoles were too shallow to withstand muddy conditions.


  • Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining does well at sealing out water and keeping out debris without excess heat
  • Injection-molded MEMlex midsole and TPU shank allow the foot to freely conform to the terrain
  • Resembles a trail runner and hiking boot, protecting the foot from rough terrain while allowing nimbleness  
  • Can handle some off-trail runs despite its lightweight build and seemingly thin design


  • Lug depth isn’t deep enough to grip firmly into muddy trails, which could cause slippage

6. KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid

KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid
Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 2.8 oz. (men’s 9), 1 lb. 12.4 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane)

  • Upper Material: Nubuck leather

The KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid is a popular lightweight option for day hiking and our best-performer boot for wide feet.

These boots are designed with an in-house KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane and nubuck leather upper with mesh linings. As a result, it has decent breathability and good water protection.

The Targhee III’s mid height collar has really cushy ankle support, and when paired with the dual-density EVA footbed and TPU shank, the increased support and stability reduces your unsteadiness on tricky paths to nearly zero.

This is another hiking boot that prioritizes comfort and great overall value, so it can also compare to a hiking shoe.

After conducting some experiments with these boots, we discovered that at a price of around $150, the design quality is good enough to handle moderate backpacking trips.

However, while the Targhee III scores well in durability and comfort, the KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole isn’t as grippy as we would’ve liked it to be, notably off-trail. Despite that, as long as the boundaries aren’t pushed, they remain a solid choice.


  • A well-priced boot that provides quality and utility for both entry and intermediate hikers
  • Seam-heavy design makes the boot more flexible without causing areas of tightness around the foot
  • Fits more like a hiking shoe due to the decreased heel elevation, but still has the protection of a classic boot


  • Inconsistency of the KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole limits effectiveness in certain conditions

7. La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX

La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX
Best Waterproof Hiking Boot


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 1 oz. (men’s 9), 1 lb. 6 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)

  • Upper Material: Nubuck leather

The La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX is a lightweight product made with nearly perfect utility for hiking, trekking, and other outdoor activities. These boots, like most others, are designed with a Gore-Tex liner.

However, what sets them apart from most other hiking boots is that the sides and footbed are lined with a unique Nano-Cell technology. The Nano-Cell is a web-like mesh that gives breathability around the foot and underneath it.

It also gives more exit points for moisture to exit the boot.

This footwear is very light, but can take a rough beating on the trail. As a high-cut boot, we were pleased to see that the Nucleo High II had decent flexibility and a minimal break in period.

Also, due to how well-ventilated this product is, it’s one of the best hiking choices for summer trips. For strictly on-trail activities, the features could be a little overwhelming, but for off-trail trips, they perform well.

However, keep in mind that these boots may run a bit narrow in normal sizes, even though wide sizing options are available. 


  • Gore-Tex Surround layer provides waterproofing and breathability to areas where other boots don’t
  • Vibram Nano outsole has great traction and an Impact Brake System to control descents on uneven or awkward surfaces
  • Compression-molded EVA midsoles give a lot of cushioning and remain comfortable throughout an entire hike


  • Normal sizes may run narrow, requiring the wearer to size up

8. Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 11 oz. (men’s 9), 2 lbs. 4 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)

  • Upper Material: Nubuck leather

The Vasque Breeze AT-Mid is a light-midweight boot that holds up well both off and on-trail. What makes these so unique is that they have similar utility to some mountaineering boots, and even have the features to back them up.

The ATC midsole and TPU shank give much needed stability and padding on tough terrain. They’re also designed with a Vasque-exclusive Vibram Contact Grip outsole, which has consistent performance in mud, snow, wet rock, and dry conditions.

From wearing this product, we really enjoyed the familiarity to a mountaineering boot.

The Vasque Breeze AT Mid is capable of standing up to more demanding hikes, and the ankle support from the padded collar and cushy footbed do well to provide all-day comfort on the trail.

Unfortunately, these hiking boots aren’t as light as some other products in the lightweight tier. It’s not a real disadvantage, but if you’re used to wearing something lighter, you may notice the increased weight. However, they’re still incredibly reliable overall.


  • Does well at protecting the feet from the stress of heavy backpacking trips
  • Has a secure grip around the ankle and cradles the foot without feeling too restrictive
  • Gives the wearer access to many high-quality features with only a $190 price tag


  • Not as lightweight as some other products that accomplish the same feats

9. Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 4 oz. (men’s 9), 1 lbs. 4 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Waterproof leather)

  • Upper Material: Leather

The Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof hiking boots are a lightweight product that excels at general outdoor activities.

As a boot designed with a waterproof and fully leather upper, this product ends up being a very inexpensive option for someone who wants versatility.

While not designed with a Vibram or Contagrip outsole, which is popular features, the in-house design has a sticky rubber outsole with omni-directional lugs that have great depth for locking into soft surfaces.

After a few test hikes with these boots, my team and I were very impressed by the traction and grip of the outsole. Not many brands are able to compete with the more popular outsoles on the market.

While we were excited to test out the water-resistance, we were a little disappointed that the uppers couldn’t withstand exposure to streams for more than a few minutes.

Also, since there’s no lining on the inside, the wet leather could potentially allow some moisture inside the boot. As a hiking boot, these are good for very limited use, but they’re designed more so for general outdoor work.


  • Lack of break-in period makes these convenient to wear on a moment’s notice
  • A leather boot priced around $80, making it one of the cheapest pair on the market
  • Perfect boots for trade work or any other general outdoor activities


  • Not really designed to withstand anything more than casual day hikes
  • Aren’t made with a water-resistant lining sewn into the boot

10. Asolo Falcon GV


Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lb. 2.6 oz. (men’s 9), 2 lbs. 3 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)

  • Upper Material: Suede leather

The Asolo Falcon GV is a midweight hiking boot that gives excellent support and protection on the trail. These are designed with a tear-resistant suede leather upper and feature a traditional lacing system for ease-of-use.

Along with durability, the Falcon GV is also made to be comfortable. The boots have removable insoles and an extra layer of foam cushioning. Combined with the superior ankle protection, these feel very good to walk on, even on long trails.

During their testing period, we discovered that these boots gave us the most utility on day hikes and some moderate overnight trips.

A major drawback is that the lugs on the outsole are very shallow, and this becomes noticeable on terrain with wet and loose rocks.

These boots also come at a cost of $260, which is even higher compared to something like the Salomon Quest 4 GTX, which already offers more utility than the Falcon GV at only $230.


  • Comfortable and highly durable against most trail elements, despite being light and less padded
  • Heel counters are designed to contour and hold their shape, allowing full control over your movements
  • Vibram outsole is self-cleaning, preventing mud and dirt buildup from wearing down the boot


  • Resoling is an option, which may be necessary due to the shallow lug depth
  • $260 price tag may not be worth it compared to a more affordable, stable, and grippier hiking boot

11. Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry

Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry
Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Men’s | Women’s


  • Weight (Pair): 2 lbs. 6 oz. (men’s 9), 2 lbs. 0.4 oz. (women’s 7)

  • Waterproof: Yes (B-Dry)

  • Upper Material: Nubuck leather

The Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry is a bulkier option for lightweight footwear. It has a firm grip around the ankles along with a bit of weightiness, and the ratio of leather to mesh gives the boot a lot more padding and protection from the outside.

We have voted these boots as being the best hiking boots for ankle support in 2023.

The carbon rubber outsole is adhesive enough to stick to surfaces, and the underfoot is well constructed. Additionally, thanks to its bulky build, the Oboz Bridger mid hiking boot is good for taking on moderate and advanced hikes.

After trying out this hiking boot, my team agreed that the Oboz Bridger would be better suited for seasoned hikers who regularly travel along more demanding routes.

Since these are so cushioned and thick, wearing them for activities where you’re not expecting to encounter jagged surfaces, fallen branches, or other harsh elements, could make your hike a little overbearing.

However, if you’re looking for something that has a long lifespan and can take a beating, the Oboz Bridger exceeds expectations on that front.


  • Ortholite footbed molds to the shape of your feet, protecting both flat and high arches from stress
  • B-Dry membrane seals out water with the same efficiency as a Gore-Tex, but with added breathability
  • Lacing system makes use of metal hooks to allow tighter fits around the ankle


  • The sensation of heaviness around the ankles could be hindering for hikers who want a true lightweight boot
  • Bulky design is overbearing for casual and beginner hikers who travel simple paths

Hiking Boots Buyer’s Guide

a closeup of salomon quest 4 hiking boots

When considering the best hiking boots for 2023, my team and I measure the effectiveness of each piece of footwear on various terrain against the ten factors below.

The eleven products on this list were chosen over other hiking boots based on how well they performed in these categories.

1. Material

salomon quest 4d hiking boots
Salomon Quest 4

Hiking boot uppers need to be made with premium materials to encourage a long lifespan and durability on a hike.

Leather construction is a good option because of how resistant it is to damage, but it can also be more expensive and heavier than synthetic materials.

Common designs are suede leather, full grain leather, and nubuck leather. Alternatively, nylon and polyester are cheaper and have lighter synthetic designs.

In terms of construction, the Quest 4 GTX is the most durable for hiking on rocky terrain. Its thick padding and burly design manage well against elements that would damage most boots.

2. Performance

When testing the performance of a hiking boot, we assess how well a product feels throughout an entire hike. Everything from its traction, comfort, durability, and weight are considered.

In order to accurately gauge a product, we test the selected boots on various hiking paths in several conditions. A good product will allow you to manage a hike, trek, or trail run with minimal complaints, whereas a poor product might result in premature discomfort.

Overall, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX has the highest performance, due to combining the strengths of a hiking shoe and hiking boot.

3. Cost

KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid
KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid

When choosing a solid hiking boot, cost is an important factor to consider. You don’t want something too cheap, because it might not be made with the best material and more prone to wear and tear.

However, you also don’t want something too expensive, because there may be more affordable options.

The cost of hiking footwear should be measured against features such as support, design material, waterproof lining, and the type of activities you’ll be doing.

From this selection, the KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid is the most affordable product for the features it has.

4. Comfort

Lowa Renegade GTX mid
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

A comfortable set of hiking boots can be the difference between a successful trip and one filled with pain and fatigue.

Proper ventilation, heel and ankle support, and sufficient padding are all signs of a good hiking boot.

However, the level of comfort you need will change depending on what you want.

Some footwear is better for people with certain arches or conditions, and others for certain types of hikes.

In this category, the Lowa Renegade GTX proved to be the cushiest.

5. Fit

Good fitting footwear should be easy to slip on and off, while still allowing your feet and ankles to be locked in. Additionally, your hiking boot should have enough space for your forefoot and toes to breathe.

You should never feel like your hiking boot is constricting your foot, but you also don’t want it to feel like it could fall off at any moment. A secure boot is necessary for proper support and stability during a hike.

That said, the most comfortably fitting product on this list would also be the Lowa Renegade GTX, due to its wider toe box and snug ankle cuff.

6. Weight

Asolo Falcon GV
Asolo Falcon GV

When choosing between a lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight hiking boot, you’re also choosing between flexibility and comfort, or support and durability.

The weight of a hiking boot is determined by the material it’s made with and how much padding it has.

Naturally, as the boot is equipped with more features and cushioning, its weight increases to compensate.

However, this also means that heavier boots have more protection and are suited for advanced hikes.

Between lightness and heaviness, a midweight product is your best bet, and the Asolo Falcon GV boots displayed the best balance.

7. Tread

The major terrain types you’ll encounter throughout the hiking seasons include mud, snow, wet rock, and dry concrete.

If you don’t have a hiking boot made to handle these specific conditions, or a product with an all-terrain outsole and sufficiently designed lugs, you could experience a lot of slippages.

The type of outsole you use will be dependent on the conditions you’re hiking in, and the Vibram and Contagrip outsoles are the top two in the market for their reliability and versatility.

As a result, the Quest 4 Gore-Tex hiking boots have the best tread due to the Contagrip TD outsole’s adaptability to all surfaces.

8. Ventilation

La Sportiva Nucleo High II
La Sportiva Nucleo High II

A hiking boot that’s well-ventilated can prevent your footwear from trapping heat and causing sweat to form. In most cases, breathability is determined by the material the uppers are designed with.

Water-resistant barriers usually decrease airflow significantly to seal off all moisture, so some footwear is designed with mesh linings to compensate for this.

On this list, the La Sportiva Nucleo High II Gore-Tex hiking boots surpassed our expectations.

The Gore-Tex Surround membrane is a unique design, and it’s probably the first time we’ve seen such good underfoot ventilation.

9. Insoles

A hiking boot’s insoles come with many options and can be removable or sewn in. Additionally, they can also be made from materials such as foam or gel, each with their own level of utility, cushioning, and support.

When deciding on your footwear, you want to take your shape, arches, and any conditions into account, such as plantar fasciitis, for example. Different insoles are made to support different people, so find something that works well for yourself.

That said, for overall support and quality, the Asolo Falcon GV’s contouring heel counter and foam cushioning were amazing.

10. Toe Protection

Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry

On a trail, it’s natural for the end of your boot to impact something hard before it’s over.

If this happens without a protective covering, like a reinforced rubber toe cap, you could be in for a lot of pain.

Aside from rubber, though, a toe cap can also be made from leather. A toe covering protects the toes from rocks, downed trees, and other debris.

However, the level of durability and protection you’ll need is dependent on the roughness of the trail you’re hiking.

Rugged trails will require something sturdier, while well-maintained trails may not require anything. In terms of protection, the Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry is probably the most reinforced boot on this list.

Are There Any Other Important Things to Have in Mind When Choosing Your Hiking Boots?

salomon quest 4 hiking footwear

1. Foot Insertion & Removal

A hiking boot should be easy to put on and take off. If you find that your boot is difficult in either case, it could be because it’s too narrow around the foot or too tight around the ankle.

Usually, this happens because the boot is sized too small, meaning you may need something a bit larger. Alternatively, it shouldn’t be loose enough to feel like it could slip off at any moment.

2. Lacing System

hiking boots lacing system

Lacing systems allow hikers to add more stability and security to their boots.

Some lacing systems are quick-laced, meaning that it only takes one pull to get a tight fit, while others are traditional, allowing for more customizable fits.

It typically comes down to personal preference, but certain lacing systems are better suited for specific situations than others.

3. Purpose

Most hiking boots are designed with specific purposes in mind. One product may be heavily reinforced for heavy-duty backpacking, another made with insulation against snow, and another made to do some construction.

When buying a hiking boot, you need to know what you intend on using it for to get maximum utility from it.

4. Break-In Period

The break-in time of a hiking boot depends on the type of environment you’ll be traveling. If you plan on hiking on rocky trails and in rough conditions, your boot may be stiffer to accommodate for the level of protection it’s giving you.

On the other hand, if you’re hiking on simple trails, there may be little to no break-in period, since the boots won’t need much time to contour to the shape of your feet due to less padding.

5. Compatibility with Traction Devices

A hiking boot that has crampon compatibility should be considered if you plan on hiking on slippery surfaces. Since crampons add more traction to a boot’s outsole, they’re really only necessary for snowy and icy terrain.

If you’re someone that rarely hikes in those conditions, then crampons may not be needed.

Types of Hiking Boots

a close-up of 3 people wearing different types of hiking boots


Lightweight boots are usually low or mid-cut products weighing two pounds or less per pair. These types of boots tend to be flexible and have qualities resembling hiking shoes for increased comfort.

While they can be made from durable materials, such as leather, most times they’re made with synthetic uppers to shave down weight.

While not as cushioned and protective as boots in the upper tiers, they’re made to be nimbler and assist on ultralight backpacking trips. A boot that would fit this category would be the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX.


Vasque Breeze at Mid
Vasque Breeze at Mid

Midweight hiking boots are mid-cut boots, or a little higher, and weigh between 2 and 2.5 pounds per pair. Hiking boots in this weight class tend to have a lot of versatility and increased durability.

Due to their collar height and increased padding, they also tend to have more stability in terms of heel and ankle support.

As a result, this makes them ideal for beginner and intermediate-level hiking paths, where you’d encounter uneven, jagged, or hazardous obstacles. Some boots that fit this category would be the Vasque Breeze AT Mid and the Asolo Falcon GV.


Heavyweight hiking boots are usually high-cut boots that weight more than 2.5 pounds. Products in this weight class are designed to manage rough trail conditions, making them popular choices for experienced hikers like mountaineers and thru-hikers.

Unlike the previous two weight classes, these boots are stiffer and made from highly durable leather. Additionally, they usually come with weatherproof features such as insulation again snow, waterproof protection, and even compatibility with crampons.

Normally, these boots aren’t used for anything other than intense hikes, due to how bulky and heavy they would be for other activities.

What Else Do We Consider When Choosing the Best Hiking Boots?


We take the experiences and feedback of other buyers into account when making our lists. Testimonies from other hikers, good or bad, help us measure our performance and quality checks against theirs.

This helps us ensure that the information we collect is accurate as possible, despite verifying the tested hiking boots ourselves.


The shipping cost for hiking boots should always be affordable and have reasonable delivery times.

Some brands offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, and may even have promotional offers to reduce shipping costs if you purchase from their site directly.

You always want to choose a shipping option with a credible courier to guarantee your products arrive in good condition.


shoe warranty badge

We like to consider warranty deals when buying hiking boots from certain brands. Warranty policies compensate you for the purchase of your product if quality issues occur, such as tearing at the sole.

Typically, manufacturers offer replacement boots or even money-back guarantees up to a certain timeframe after your purchase.

Even if your boots are made with high quality, it’s always better to have a backup plan.

Brand Popularity

Brand popularity is also important to consider because manufacturers with a large consumer base tend to produce the best products.

This means they’re less likely to have quality issues, better consumer-centric practices, and a wider range of reviews from people who’ve tried their products.

We apply even stricter research to smaller and less popular brands since they’re not as well-known and won’t have many reviews.

The Verdict

Salomon Quest 4 GTX

Men’s | Women’s

Out of all the hiking boots on this list, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX is the best overall hiking boot. This hiking boot displayed the most consistent performance among all 11 products and didn’t have any deal-breaking disadvantages.

With its ADV-C 4D chassis, versatility on light and heavy backpacking trails, and a Contagrip TD outsole, this product manages to pack a lot of features into its light frame.

This hiking boot can also serve as a reliable day hiking option, even though it has features not needed for a typical day hike.


What Are the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots?

To find the most comfortable hiking boots, try on different brands and styles as comfort is subjective. Salomon, Merrell, and Hoka One One are popular brands known for their comfortable options.

What Are the Best Hiking Boots for Backpacking?

Some recommended hiking boots for backpacking include the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX, Lowa Renegade GTX Mid, and La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX. The best hiking boots for backpacking should provide ample support, stability, and durability.

Which Company Makes the Best Hiking Boots?

The company that makes the best hiking boots comes down to personal preference. However, some of the best-selling manufacturers on the market are Salomon, Merrell, KEEN, and LOWA.

What Is the Difference Between Trekking and Hiking Boots?

The difference between trekking and hiking boots is that trekking boots are used on longer, demanding, and more advanced trips, whereas hiking boots are better suited for trips on moderate and pre-established trails.

Should Hiking Boots Be Heavy or Light?

Hiking boots should be heavy or light depending on where you plan on going. A heavier hiking boot will give you more protection against rugged terrain and support heavier loads. A lighter boot will give you more flexibility and comfort. 

Are Hiking Boots a Must?

Hiking boots are a must if you plan on doing anything more than what trail runners are built for. If you try to travel a path without the appropriate protection, you won’t end up making it far and could possibly injure yourself.

What Does GTX Mean in Hiking Boots?

GTX in hiking boots stands for Gore-Tex. This means that the boot is designed with a water-resistant lining. A water-resistant lining seals out water and wicks sweat away from the feet to maintain dryness and encourage breathability.

Are Walking Boots and Hiking Boots the Same?

Walking boots and hiking boots are not the same. While walking boots are good for traveling long distances and traversing uneven paths, they’re not as protective or sturdy. Hiking boots have better cushioning, more ankle support, and better build quality.

Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API