There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right hiking boot. A few hours on a footpath requires something very different than six months on the Appalachian Trail. You’ll also want to consider weight, ankle support, waterproofing, breathability, and so much more. Here are some we recommend based on these considerations.
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
A hiking shoe fit for walking. Amazon
These low-top hiking shoes are ideal for day trips. They’ll feel the most like walking shoes, so they’re versatile. The Merrell Moab shoes will be the most lightweight, and possibly the most comfortable option, since they don’t have ankle support. It has a suede leather and mesh exterior that is designed to keep moisture out.
Oboz Sapphire Mid B-Dry Hiking Shoe
A hiking shoe that won’t look out of place on the street. Amazon
The Oboz Sapphire Mid is a good fit if you’re looking for a versatile boot you can wear in the city and on the trail. For a hiking boot with ankle support, its lightweight (less than 2.5 pounds for both) and comfortable, with a grippy bottom to prevent slippage on misty mornings. The shoe is 100 percent waterproof.
Vasque Coldspark UltraDry Boot
The choice for winter. Amazon
If you know you’ll be hiking in near-freezing temperatures, the Vasque Coldspark UltraDry Boots are worth the price. These boots are heat-insulating without being heavy or sweaty. In fact, they’re surprisingly breathable and flexible.
Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX W Backpacking Boot
The outsole is designed for extreme traction. Amazon
A backpacking boot is often more rigid and supportive than a regular hiking boot, because a heavy pack in theory requires more support. (Plus a twisted ankle will completely derail your plans to through-hike the Pacific Crest Trail.) The Salomon Women’s Quest Prime boasts a rubber toe cap and outsole designed to grip all types of terrain.