When exploring the great outdoors, the importance of wearing high-quality footwear cannot be overstated. The right hiking boots provide comfort, safety as well as protection from the elements. A good comfort level allows for extended endurance during your hike and a more pleasurable experience overall. Durable, intelligent design keeps you safe from dangerous wildlife, sharp sticks, rocks and injury-threatening slips. Quality materials and water-proofing keeps your feet free from excess dampness and irritating plants. To truly enjoy a long hike through the untamed wilderness, you must pick the correct footwear for the job.
So, as a hiker or backpacker, how do you choose the perfect pair? There are plenty of manufacturers and suppliers ready to take your money, so make sure you are prepared beforehand. This article will help narrow your decision down by profiling some of my personal favorites. These hiking boots are great options because they offer all the important features noted above. My choices also take into account style, quality, and options for personalization. Below I cover four great brands, with one pick for casual hikes and one for extreme adventures. Hopefully the information in this article will help you find the ideal boots for your next outdoor expedition.
Casual Hike – Mt. Maddsen MID Waterproof Hiking Boots
The Mt. Maddsen line of boots is available in several stylish color options. They provide a lot of important features at their affordable price starting with the water-proof Timber-Dry™ membrane (eco-friendly, being made of 50% recycled plastic bottles) to keep your feet dry. These boots are built for motion efficiency, which provides more comfort in your stride and ensures they will provide a long life. They are a great quality pick for the casual hiker.
Extreme Adventure – Chocorua Trail 8-Inch Waterproof Hiking Boots
Chocorua Trail boots provide durable, functional construction utilizing eco-friendly materials. For example, their soles are rubber lugs made with up to 34% recycled rubber. They also feature a Timber-Dry™ membrane, ensuring they are waterproof. To maintain warmth, they are lined with Primaloft® insulation which is made of 50% recycled plastic bottles as well. Other great features of these boots include rustproof hardware, a gusseted tongue, and removable footbeds. This excellent footwear is uniquely designed with anti-fatigue technology to provide maximum comfort on long excursions.
Casual Hike – Sawtooth MID BDRY Hiking Boots
The Sawtooth line of boots is available in two color schemes. They are a lightweight and mid-height option, therefore great for casual outings and completely waterproof, so no worries about getting your feet wet when you are wearing them. Their soles are designed for great grip in all directions on both wet and dry surfaces. The footbeds provide plenty of cushioning and offer an acceptable level of comfort even if you’re out for an extended hike. They are my pick for a great all-around boot, usable for short hikes or every day wear.
Extreme Adventure – Wind River III BDRY Hinking Boots
The Wind River III is a durable pair of boots, great for extended treks and backpacking trips. They are completely waterproof but also feature a breathable membrane that allows excess water vapor to escape, ensuring your feet stay dry and cool even when its hot and humid. They also offer strong support along the chassis to help prevent ankle rolling and are especially designed to provide a comfortable fit that still offers maximum protection and grip.
Casual Hike – Gypsum II MID WP Hiking Boots
The Gypsum II is an excellent casual hiking boot offered in two color choices. While available at an affordable price, they still offer all the necessities for a comfortable and safe trek. They feature waterproof mesh uppers with a breathable membrane. Their soles include large multidirectional lugs for solid grip and heel support so provide exceptional stability. These boots also feature removable footbeds with Cleansport NXT for odor control. They make a great footwear choice for low-intensity hikes or for beginners.
Extreme Adventure – Durand MID WP Hiking Boots
The Durand line of boots is a heavier duty option, built for taking on rugged trails. The soles offer a dual-compound grip rubber for traction and include polyurethane cushions on the heel and midsole for increased comfort on long hikes. Their footbeds are dual-density and removable for even more support and the body of the boot is reinforced with urethane shanks for ankle stability. These boots are also water-proof but include breathable mesh as well.
Casual Hike – X Ultra MID 3 Aero
The X Ultra Mid 3 Aero is a very stylish hiking boot and great value for the price. These boots include features that you ordinarily only find on higher priced pairs, such as their high traction grip and a molded shank chassis. They have a breathable mesh body, adjustable heel strap, and basic lace-up design. These are great boots for mid-level hiking, and they offer a design that provides for decent mobility. However, they do lack some of the weather and moisture resisting qualities you’ll find in high-end boots.
Extreme Adventure – X Ultra Trek GTX
The X Ultra Trek GTX are a killer pair of boots built for long hikes or extended backpacking trips, especially though extreme weather and muddy conditions. Their GORE-TEX® membrane provides the best water-proofing of all the pairs I have covered in this article. However, this feature also creates a lack of breathability as a consequence. They are very stable, comfortable boots due to their molded shank chassis and OrthoLite® EVA shaped footbed. They are highly recommended for anyone facing the challenge of wet and treacherous ground.