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The Best Hiking Boots of 2017

Shoes to Help You Go the Distance
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Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new picks for 2017. Last year’s picks can still be found on page two.

Running shoes are great — just not for hiking. The trail calls for hardened footwear to combat loose gravel, jagged rocks and shallow streams. Low-cut hiking shoes are lightweight, flexible and provide the added ankle freedom necessary to conquer day hikes comfortably. When you’re backpacking, or you’re just taking on more black diamond terrain, hiking boots are there to lend more ankle support and reinforced protection. To help you get out on the trail quicker, we’ve picked out 20 of the best hiking shoes and hiking boots for you to choose from. And, it’s obvious, but remember: make sure the shoe fits. A calloused foot is no fun when you’re miles from home. So choose the type of shoe that fits your hiking needs and plan your next hiking trip now. The trail awaits.

Additional contribution by Tucker Bowe.

Hiking Shoes

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker GTX

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While technically a trail running shoe, the Terrex Trailmaker GTX is more than suitable for light hiking. Anything from day hikes to ultralight missions are right in the shoe’s wheelhouse. For grip, the Trailmaker utilizes Continental rubber, which is world famous for its car and bike tires.

Buy Now: $115

Asolo Nucleon GV

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The simple design of the Nucleon GV is what makes it so attractive. It features a lacing system, gleaned from rock climbing shoes, that extends all the way to the toes for an easily dialable fit. While not waterproof, the suede upper is water resistant and suitable for hikes in the southwest.

Buy Now: $190

Hanwag Makra Low GTX

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Hanwag, the German bootmaker known the world over for quality hiking boots, has absolutely nailed it with the Makra Low GTX. Waterproof, supportive, breathable and comfortable — what’s not to love? Much like the Asolo Nucleon, the Makra also features a climbing shoe–inspired lacing system.

Buy Now: ~$197

Keen Targhee II WP

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Keen’s Targhee II is a classic light hiking shoe. The Targhee is robust, featuring Keen’s waterproof, breathable membrane dubbed Keen.Dry. If you tend to need more room in the toe box, the Targhee II is an excellent choice.

Buy Now: $125

Five Ten Camp Four

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Five Ten, mostly touted for its bike and climbing shoes, also makes some stellar hiking and approach shoes. The Camp Four is the brand’s iconic silhouette. It utilizes Five Ten’s super-sticky S1 rubber compound for unmatched grip on a variety of surfaces.

Buy Now: $150

La Sportiva Primer Low GTX

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If your hikes verge on the precipice of trail runs, the Primer Low is the perfect fit. A Gore-Tex Surround liner, Nano-Cell rubberized upper and a Vibram sole combine to create a shoe that is sure to satisfy even the most aggressive of light hikers.

Buy Now: $175

Lowa Arco GTX Lo

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If handcrafted quality is what you’re after, but you don’t want to shell out for a fully custom boot, Lowas are a great option. The embossed split leather upper ensures durability while a Gore-Tex liner ensures that your foot will stay dry even in the most rain-soaked conditions.

Buy Now: $210

Synthetic Hiking Boots

Keen Aphlex Mid WP

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While not as supportive as other boots on this list, the Aphlex Mid makes up for it in comfort. The boot shapes and adapts to the contours of your foot extremely well. Perhaps its best feature, however, is the built-in “Cleansport NXT” odor protection that helps fight against stinky boots.

Buy Now: $160

Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX

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One of our favorite boots on this list. Salewa, above all else, has fit absolutely dialed. Even fresh out of the box, they are comfortable enough to take on a day hike. Of course with many miles and many hours spent on the trail, they get even better. What boot doesn’t?

Buy Now: $190

Asolo Fugitive GTX

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We’ve tested the Fugitive GTX on extended backpacking trips, including 30 days in the Norwegian backcountry, and have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. The boot is effectively perfect, balancing robust support and durability with a lightweight and comfortable design.

Buy Now: $250

The North Face Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX

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The Ultra Fastpack II is aimed squarely at hikers and backpackers that like to go fast and light. The flexible sole is super comfortable and suitable for carrying light loads. The lacing system is also notable for its cradling system that hugs the foot snugly to the sole.

Buy Now: $155

Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX

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Compared to its previous iteration, the Quest 4D 2 GTX has the same grip and stability provided by Salomon’s Contagrip outsole and 4D Advanced Chassis. But the boot is also updated with a new gusseted tongue, a fresh aesthetic and better laces.

Buy Now: $230

Under Armour Newell Ridge Mid GTX

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The Newell Ridge is designed to be an ultra-lightweight, comfortable boot that still provides ample support for your ankles. If you like to go fast and light, it’s a great option. The boot is breathable, and will still keep your feet nice and dry with its Gore-Tex liner.

Buy Now: $200

Leather Hiking Boots

Peter Limmer Custom Hiking Boots

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When it comes to hiking boots, Peter Limmers are the crème de la crème. Handmade in New Hampshire, there is simply no substitute for having your boots custom made for the shape of your foot.

Learn More: Here

Vasque Breeze III GTX

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The Breeze is one of the best-selling boots on the market, and this year, Vasque completely redesigned it. It’s everything you love about the Breeze II, with the addition of a Gore-Tex liner and Vibram Megagrip sole compound.

Buy Now: $180

Danner Mountain 600

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While most Danner boots offer support and durability with a classic silhouette, the Mountain 600 takes those things and mates them with a modern aesthetic and all the bells and whistles of the most technologically advanced boots on the market.

Buy Now: $200

Oboz Wind River II Mid WP

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While Oboz might not be quite as well known in the hiking boot space as other brands on this list, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve to be. The Wind River II WP is a simple, rugged, hard-wearing boot that fits great out of the box and only gets better with time.

Buy Now: $185

Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX

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Designed and made in Italy with careful attention to detail, the Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX is a burly backpacking boot that, with proper care, could last you the rest of your life. The full-grain leather upper and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane are equally suited to taking on the loamy trails of the Pacific Northwest and the rocky, rooty trails of the Northeast.

Buy Now: $295+

Hanwag Tatra GTX

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Produced in Europe, Hanwag boots are known for their integrity and high wear tolerance. The Tatra GTX features the typical Gore-Tex liner and Vibram outsole, but it also includes a ball-bearing lacing system that allows you to more easily set the desired tension in both the upper and lower of the boot.

Buy Now: $324+

Asolo TPS 520 GV Hiking Boots

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With lugged Vibram outsoles and Gore-Tex inserts, these Asolo backpacking boots are strong enough for long treks — yet, weighing in at less than two pounds, they won’t weigh you down.

Buy Now: $300+

Hiking Shoes

Adidas Terrex Solo

The Terrex Solo is an approach shoe by design, but it fights well above its weight class as a day hiker too. The super sticky Stealth rubber outsole provides ample traction on all types of terrain, but excels on dry trails like those found in the Southwest.

Buy Now: $60+

Merrell Capra

Designed to be fast and light, the Merrell Capra is tough to beat as a light hiker in regards to price point. It offers more support than your typical running shoe, but retains running-shoe-esque comfort and maneuverability.

Buy Now: $90+

Keen Targhee II

Keen’s Targhee II is a classic light hiking shoe. The Targhee is robust, featuring Keen’s waterproof, breathable membrane dubbed Keen.Dry. If you tend to need more room in the toe box of your shoes, the Targhee II is an excellent choice.

Buy Now: $92+

The Utltimate Portable Adventure Hammock

The Kammok Roo is a high-performance camping hammock that’s comfortable, ultra-durable and packs down to just 24 ounces. Learn more about it and find other amazing products in the Gear Patrol Store.

Scarpa Proton

The Scarpa Proton was designed to handle all of your trail-going needs. While it is first and foremost a hiking shoe, with plush cushioning and a 10mm drop, the Proton doubles as a trail runner — giving you the option to go on a leisurely day hike, or a summit-crushing trail run.

Buy Now: $128

Under Armour Verge Low GTX

How do you get unmatched off-road traction out of your trail shoe? Slap some Michelin rubber and tread on the sole. The UA Verge features Michelin’s Wild Gripper rubber compound, used most often in the brand’s mountain-bike tires.

Buy Now: $130+

Ahnu Coburn

For a shoe that looks as good off the mountain as it does out on the trail, look no further than the Coburn. Don’t be fooled by its classy style, though. The Coburn is a serious trail shoe that can handle light-to-medium trail duties in stride.

Buy Now: $145

Five Ten Camp 4

For grip, the Camp 4 relies on Stealth S1 rubber. Popularized on Five Ten’s mountain bike shoes, S1 is a proprietary compound that performs well in all conditions. An external heel counter keeps your heel locked in place, even on steep ascents.

Buy Now: $150

La Sportiva Primer Low GTX

This La Sportiva hiking shoe is loaded with technical features. Its upper utilizes Nano-Cell technology, which offers strong support and breathability, and its Gore-Tex Surround technology adds 360 degrees of ventilation; your feet won’t overheat, and you’ve got the green light to walk through puddles.

Buy Now: $175

Synthetic Hiking Boots

The North Face Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX

The North Face Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX (say that five times fast) occupies the space between a light hiker and a more dedicated trekking and backpacking boot. Its lightness and flexibility make it comfortable all day, while still providing enough support to protect your ankles while out on the trail.

Buy Now: $135+

Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX

Compared to its previous iteration, the Quest 4D 2 GTX has the same grip and stability provided by Salomon’s Contagrip outsole and 4D Advanced Chassis. But the boot is also updated with a new gusseted tongue, a fresh aesthetic and better laces.

Buy Now: $179+

Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX

The Salewa Mountain Trainer is the editor’s choice on this list. For comfort and performance in a trekking boot, the Mountain Trainer is tough to beat. A waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex liner keeps your feat dry and comfortable, and if your feet run on the narrow side, you’ll find solace in Salewa’s lacing system, which runs all the way down to the toes and adapts to take up any extra space.

Buy Now: $239

Asolo Fugitive GTX

We’ve tested the Fugitive GTX on extended backpacking trips, including 30 days in the Norwegian backcountry, and have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. The boot is effectively perfect, balancing robust support and durability with a lightweight and comfortable design.

Buy Now: $240

Arc’teryx Bora Mid GTX

These Arc’teryx hiking boots come with two different liners. The micromesh air permeable liner has superb ventilation abilities and is great for dry summer heat. If you know it’s going to get damp, switch to the stretchable Gore-Tex liner. Arc’teryx also sells another insulated liner separately.

Buy Now: $320

The Survival Kit You Can Take Anywhere

The Wasatch Outdoors Survival Kit includes an impressive amount of survival basics including in a pocketable reusable tin can. Best of all? It’s only $32. Learn more about it and find other amazing products in the Gear Patrol Store.

Leather Hiking Boots

Oboz Beartooth

Headquartered outside of Bozeman, Montana, Oboz is dedicated to making boots that perform well not only in their backyard trails, but on backpacking routes around the globe. The Beartooth is no exception, featuring Oboz’s proprietary B.Dry waterproof membrane and a hefty and durable leather construction.

Buy Now: $150+

Vasque St. Elias GTX

Available in two colors (slate brown or light brown and gray), the St. Elias GTX has Vibram rubber outsoles and Gore-Tex liners, and at just over three pounds, it’s the lightest backpacking boot that Vasque makes.

Buy Now: $151+

Danner Mountain Light

For the hiker that likes to stay true to the classics, the Danner Mountain Light will not disappoint. Though it more recently made its way into streetwear culture and onto the feet of hipster urbanites, the Mountain Light is first and foremost a dedicated backpacking boot that has stood the test of time.

Buy Now: $294+

Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX

Designed and made in Italy with careful attention to detail, the Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX is a burly backpacking boot that with proper care, could last you the rest of your life. The full-grain leather upper paired with the waterproof Gore-Tex membrane are equally suited to taking on the loamy trails of the Pacific Northwest and the rocky, rooty trails of the Northeast.

Buy Now: $295+

Asolo TPS 520 GV Hiking Boots

With lugged Vibram outsoles and Gore-Tex inserts these Asolo backpacking boots are strong enough for long treks — yet, weighing in at less than two pounds, they won’t weigh you down.

Buy Now: $300+

Lowa Tibet GTX

The Tibet GTX features a wrap-around rubber rand construction that minimizes exposed stitching and helps it stand up to the beatings that backpacking delivers. The Tibet also provides ample support, allowing you to carry heavy loads in larger packs around 80 liters in size.

Buy Now: $300+

Hanwag Tatra GTX

Produced in Europe, Hanwag boots are known for their integrity and high wear tolerance. The Tatra GTX features the typical Gore-Tex liner and Vibram outsole, but also includes a ball bearing lacing system that allows you to more easily set the desired tension in both the upper and lower of the boot.

Buy Now: $324+

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