Best Hiking Boots - Gear Lobo

Best Hiking Boots of 2018 (Reviews & Comparison)

Whether you spend as much time as you can outdoors, or you need to pick up some hiking boots for a first-time trip, good boots are crucial. Fortunately, manufacturers of hiking boots have made vast efforts to produce top-quality boots with many features, and you can use this guide to help with your purchase.

The Quick Answer

Getting a pair of the best hiking boots available is ideal for the outdoorsy type. We suggest looking into the Merrell Women’s Fluorecein Shell 6 Waterproof Winter Boots.

This pair of boots is decently priced and has excellent consumer reviews. They have M-Select technology that works on a variety of terrain, and you can find versions of this high-rated product that can fit the broader foot of a man.

Best Hiking Boots Comparison Chart

Hiking Shoe Upper Waterproof
KEEN Women’s Targhee II Leather Yes
HI-Tec Men’s Bandera Nylon Mesh Yes
Merrell Capra Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots Mesh Yes
Manfen Women’s Mid-Rise Synthetic Yes
RAX Men’s Backpacking Hiking Boots Oxford fabric Yes
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Boots Mesh Yes
Merrell Women’s Fluorecein Shell Oxford fabric Yes
Quicksilk Men’s Waterproof Snow Hiking Boots Leather Yes
Rocky Men’s 8-Inch Retraction Hunting Boots Gore-Tex Yes

1. Best Hiking Boots for Women: KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Overview

The KEEN Women’s Targhee II is proudly manufactured in the USA and made out of waterproof nubuck leather with a specialized membrane that helps feet to breathe. It has a rubber sole and a removable dual-density footbed, as well as a mid-range length that protects ankles from unpredictable grounds and debris.

Video

https://youtu.be/LE3d6sWW1Mw

Pros

These boots are arch friendly and don’t cause any blistering or foot problems. The Targhee II also keeps the soles relaxed while being lightweight and comfortable. They’re easy to clean and have a torsion stability ESS shank.

Cons

Some users have reported that the Targhee II is a little slippery when on wet terrain and that the soles are too soft to provide adequate support while hiking. Users have also noticed that it’s too wide for some foot sizes.

Who It’s Best For

The Keen Targhee II was designed to provide optimum comfort to women’s feet, so it’s recommended mainly for females. However, the design offers a wide toe box, so it’s best for those with wide feet.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E0GN8PO?th=1&psc=1

 

2. Best Hiking Boots for Men: HI-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overview

As a highly rated pair of hiking boots, there’s not much that you don’t get. The Hi-Tech Men’s Boots was designed with a shaft that measures five inches from the arch. The steel shank is there to provide optimum stability, while rubber cup soles, suede overlays, nylon straps, and waterproof leather give it a classic look.

Video

https://youtu.be/DD-AbQR8l5U

Pros

One of greatest pros is that there is a wide foot option available, and it’s great for new hikers. Also, the Bandera Mid Waterproof Boots is reasonably priced with good value. Likewise, it offers a minimal break-in period.

Cons

Some consumers of the Bandera have reported that the insole isn’t adequate and that the laces can be challenging to work with. They’ve also stated that these boots aren’t recommended for harder terrains such as off-trailing. The Hi-Tec Hiking Boots also runs small, which can be rectified by ordering half a size up.

Who It’s Best For

Wearing the Bandera Mid Boots on well-developed trails is recommended, so these would be best for new hikers. The friendly price tag and ability to wear them freely for daily use means a new hiker can get to wear it while building up their hiking experience on established trails.

Link to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H5H1GEU?th=1&psc=1

 

3. Best Hiking Boots for Kids: Merrell Capra Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Overview

Merrell is a well-known hiking boot brand and the Merrell Capra Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot performs excellently for toddlers. It’s imported, made of leather, and has a rubber sole.

The membrane is designed to keep your little one’s feet dry, preventing sweat and odors. It also has grips that provide a trusty and durable traction where it’s needed most.

Video

https://youtu.be/UJS-XxvlpV0

Pros

Like the adult line of the Merrell Capra, this pair of hiking boots has the fantastic traction that works on the terrain you bring your toddler. It also has an easy-to-clean, removable footbed and is made of durable materials that are designed to last.

Cons

The Merrell Capra for toddlers is an excellent choice for hiking boots, but they are on the narrow side. Additionally, some customers have said that the boots appear to be slightly tricky for kids to put on by themselves.

Who It’s Best For

This particular pair of Merrell hiker boots was designed with kids in mind, so it’s best used by toddlers who hike with their parents. The wide variety of features could entice you as an adult, and if that’s the case, be sure to check out the Merrell Capra for adults.

Link to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q687SYG?th=1&psc=1

 

4. Best Waterproof Hiking Boots: Manfen Women’s Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boots

Overview

Manfen did it right with the Women’s Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot. It has a lightweight design and sufficient weatherproofing system to ensure your feet remain dry. Along with that is a Thinsulate insulation system.

The boot also has a -30 degrees Celsius comfort range and an anti-slip rubber outsole. Additionally, the Manfen’s synthetic upper provides toecap protection, and the TPU Backstay has a snowshoe strap ridge.

Pros

One of the main pros that customers have reported is not just the Manfen’s Women’s comfortability, but the weatherproofing. Customers have raved about elements such as sleet and snow sliding off of the boot.

Cons

One issue that stands out amongst the majority of consumers is the Manfen Women’s Mid-Rise’s size. Consumers have reported that these boots run small and that purchasing a size up is a necessity, especially when you’d like to wear socks with them.

Who It’s Best For

We recommend the Manfen Women’s Mid-Rise for women hikers of all-terrain experience. Whether you’re new to hiking or have been doing it for years, you can get what you need.

If you aren’t looking to spend a fortune but want something durable, these hiker boots do the trick. They are best worn in colder and winter climates and temperatures.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP70446?th=1&psc=1

 

5. Best Lightweight Hiking Boots: RAX Men’s Backpacking Hiking Boots

Overview

The RAX company has been around for nearly a decade and have worked diligently to provide hikers with dependable boots that are fashionable, comfortable, and above all else, durable. These backpacking hiking boots have slip-resistant and shock absorption technology that help you with crossing a wide variety of terrain. Additionally, the anti-collision toe area helps provide extra protection, while the imported, breathable fabric wherein it is constructed makes it an excellent choice for warmer climates.

Pros

RAX put considerable effort into providing their customers with a stable pair of shoes, and the rugged grip and dependable sole are praised by their customers. The grips hold up on the majority of surfaces, and hikers are very comfortable.

You can wear them for hiking, backpacking, working, and everyday activities. The boots keep your feet dry in the process. What is more ideal is that these hiker boots are true to size and are affordable.

Cons

Unfortunately, these boots from RAX are not entirely waterproof. They do keep your feet dry, but if the boots are completely submerged under water, your feet get wet. Additionally, there have been some reports of the boots being challenging to break-in.

Who It’s Best For

Unless you are going to be wandering through the water with your feet submerged consistently, we recommend these hiker boots for you. They can be worn during various activities, and they do so while providing the right amount of comfort and ankle support. The friendly price tag is also a great incentive to those of you who are on a budget but still require a dependable pair of boots.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07474CNDK?th=1&psc=1


  1. Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet: Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Boots

Overview

When you purchase the Salomon GTX, you get the comfort of low-running shoes with the support of high runner’s shoes. These boots are becoming very popular, and have rubber that’s strategically placed to help with the grip.

On top of a two-year limited warranty from Salomon, these boots are designed to maximize stability. The GORE-TEX and Sensifit technology incorporated help to provide breathability and customized fit while water-resistant textiles help to keep your feet dry.

Pros

The Salomon GTX Hiking Boots provides the comfort that is typically found in a pair of trail running shoes but adds in support of a hiking boot. The boots provide fantastic, all-around performance, and have impressive breathability in hotter climates and temperatures to keep your feet dry.

Cons

We found that these boots were a little on the pricey side, and didn’t provide the best traction on super smooth, rocky surfaces. They also aren’t entirely waterproof but do provide dependable water resistance.

Who It’s Best For

Hikers who are used to wearing trail runners but are looking for something with more support are going to benefit significantly from these boots. The design lets you drop some weight from your feet without compromising your comfort. We also recommend these boots for casual and day hikers who climb and pass through a variety of terrain.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073K4L1G3?th=1&psc=1

 

7. Best Winter Hiking Boots: Merrell Women’s Fluorecein Shell 6 Winter Boots

Overview

The Merrell Women’s Fluorecein Shell 6 Boot is a lightweight and impressively warm footwear that is suited for the winter months or in colder climates. Its waterproof, seam-sealed leather and bellowed tongue help to ensure that snow, sleet, and water don’t enter the boots.

This pair of boots also has a faux-fur collar to provide additional comfort and warmth, while the trademarked M-Select WARM and M-Select GRIP provide extra warmth and grip on the wet, uneven, and rough terrain. It also has M-Select DRY to keep your feet dry.

Pros

The Fluorecein Winter Boot by Merell is perfect in cold temperatures and provides excellent support. It has a wider toe base and sleet, snow and water slide off easily. Customers love the lightweight, well-insulated design, and M-Select technologies that keep their feet dry and warm.

Cons

The Fluorecein boots do seem to run on the small side, so purchasing half a size to a full size bigger is recommended, even more so when wearing thick socks. Customers have also expressed a dislike of where the label was sewn on as it can itch against the skin if there are no socks.

Who It’s Best For

We recommend purchasing the Merrell Fluorecein Winter Boots if you’re in a colder climate or visiting a place with a lot of snow. The grip helps to keep you safe while on slippery terrain, and the overall design keeps your feet warm.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R4V0LB6

 

8. Best Budget Hiking Boots: Quicksilk Men’s Waterproof Snow Hiking Boots

Overview

Quicksilk brings style, fashion, and comfort to their Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boots, and is becoming increasingly popular. The boots are made of faux leather with a beautiful finish and have a rubber sole. There is a padded collar that provides additional comfort, a wide toe box fit, and a lace-up front that makes them easy to take on and off.

Pros

The main selling point of the Quicksilk Waterproof Snow Boots is the price tag. The boots also provide excellent comfort and are soft on the inside.

The boots are stylish enough to wear during casual and even fancier events, making them versatile for many customers. They also have an excellent stitch quality, and the finish on the fabric works with the faux leather.

Cons

While the company does state that the boots are waterproof, there are some reports that water has leaked into the boots after being submerged. Additionally, customers have stated that the boots run on the small side, so purchasing a size larger is recommended.

Who It’s Best For

We recommend the Quicksilk Men’s Waterproof Snow Boots for those who are in need of a decent pair of boots but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get it. With the money you save purchasing these boots, you could easily buy additional insoles to help with any water leaking, should it be something you notice.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Quicksilk-Mens-Waterproof-Boots-Hiking/dp/B075XJC2D9

 

9. Best Hunting Hiking Boots: Rocky Men’s 8-Inch Retraction Hunting Boots

Overview

The Rocky Men’s 8-Inch Retraction Boot is made of imported, synthetic materials. It has the 3M Thinsulate Ultra insulation that helps keep feet warm, and a waterproof and camouflage design that keeps feet hidden and dry.

Pros

This pair of boots is true to size and reportedly extremely comfortable for customers. Additionally, the high-rise boots offer great ankle support, and the sole is designed for a variety of ground surfaces.

Cons

Many customers who have purchased the boots have found that they aren’t waterproof and that socks would soak easily. There are also reports of the stitching falling apart after a few wears.

Who It’s Best For

We recommend purchasing the Rocky Men’s 8-Inch Retraction Boots if you are hiking through developed and moderately difficult trails.

Link to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Mens-Inch-Retraction-Hunting/dp/B0146U57CU

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Your Best Hiking Boots

Speaking with an associate at your local outdoor shoe store and doing the proper amount of research before investing your money in a pair of hiking boots could help to ensure you get everything that you need.

Nevertheless, understanding what to look for when purchasing a pair of hiker boots will help ensure that you get your money’s worth and end up with the right hiking boots for your needs. Here are some crucial elements you should consider.

Size

Whether or not your hikers run true to size is exceptionally important. If you wear something too constricting and tight, your feet won’t be comfortable. However, it’s important to remember that you are sacrificing needed support when wearing a pair that is too loose.

Waterproofing

Not all hiking boots are constructed with waterproof material, so it’s essential that you look at the specifications before blindly purchasing a pair. If you know that you will be consistently treading through streams, mud, and puddles, it’s beneficial to get a pair of boots that keep your feet dry.

Sole and Grip

Depending on the type of terrain where you will be hiking, you might not need a pair of boots that have a thick and rugged sole. If you need your boots for well-developed paths and daily activities, you should be safe with a typical sole. However, those of you who plan to climb on unpredictable terrain should look into purchasing boots that are equipped to handle all types of surfaces.

Best Hiking Boots FAQs

How to choose the best boots for hiking?

Purchasing a pair of hikers that suits your type of hiking activity and trying different brands is ideal. Additionally, you should also try using your potential hiking boots in the middle of the day when your feet are at their largest.

How to stretch hiking boots?

Wearing brand new shoes and boots can be uncomfortable until you stretch them. If you want to stretch your hikers out before using them on the trail, put on a thick pair of socks and lace them as tight as possible.

From there, wear them around your home for a couple of hours each day, and that should help stretch them. It’s also a good idea to purchase a shoe-stretching spray.

Can hiking boots be re-soled?

Yes. If you’ve found the hiking boots of your dreams and don’t want to get rid of them, look into local shoe, boot, and sole repair businesses.

 

The best hiking boots for you are the ones that most aptly fit the terrain and vegetation that you will be hiking in. Different boots offer different levels of ankle, sole, and incline support.

Types of Hiking Boots

Hiking boots fall into a few main categories:

Beginning at the lightest end, are hiking sandals. Hiking sandals are open-toed, and offer breathability and comfort. They are fantastic in warm weather, particularly where you may be in and out of water frequently (such as in hiking slot canyons, or along a river).

Then you have hiking shoes. These offer flexible midsoles and advanced traction, but like the name connotes, they are low cut. Hiking shoes are best suited for flat terrain that is non-technical.

Day hiking boots feature a mid to high upper, more ankle support, and greater flexibility. More lacing eyelets affords you the opportunity to get a better fit. Typically these types of boots will be a more easily broken in, “wear off the shelf” type boot.

A true backpacker’s boot is higher and more rigid. These are more difficult to initially break-in, but offer the greatest stability and ankle support. They also have soles designed for heavy loads and trips that are several days long.

Check out our side-by-side comparisons (along with our favorites) of the best hiking sandals and women’s hiking boots.

Want more hiking gear? Check out our other reviews on:

Hydration Packs

Headlamps

Hiking Sandals

Hiking Shoes

Hiking Pants

Hiking Backpacks

Hiking Socks

Liner Socks

Hiking Shirts