A good pair of hiking boots can be your best adventure buddy, ensuring you stay comfortable and protected on any terrain. They should be waterproof, provide excellent grip, and offer ample foot and ankle support. With a flood of options available in the market, choosing the right pair can be a daunting task. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve rounded up the top hiking boots for 2023, based on various factors like comfort, durability, traction, and more.
Hiking Boots Testing Criteria
Before we dive into the list, let’s understand the criteria used to test these boots. Comfort, grip, foot and ankle protection, and weatherproofing are the primary factors. Secondary factors include price, style, and weight. Each of these boots has been tested over miles of varied terrains and under different weather conditions. We’ve also considered user reviews and expert analysis to compile this comprehensive guide.
Top Hiking Boots to Buy in 2023
From lightweight boots for gentle trails to advanced boots for extreme hiking, here are the best hiking boots you can buy right now.
1. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is our top pick for the best all-around hiking boot. Offering a perfect balance between comfort and style, it is a great choice for both beginner and experienced hikers. The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is the perfect hiking boot for anyone who is serious about their adventures. Boasting of advanced features that set it apart from the rest, this shoe guarantees that your every step on any terrain is comfortable, supported, and protected. Its Gore-Tex waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry in all weather conditions, while the Contragrip sole maximizes your grip on rugged terrain. The OrthoLite insole offers comfort, freshness, and cushioning all day long.
This boot’s mid-cut design provides ankle support that enhances stability, balance, and grip, even on uneven ground. The Quicklace system ensures a secure fit with every step you take, no matter how long your journey. The 3D advanced chassis provides additional support around your heel, absorbing shock and promoting forward motion.
Made from eco-friendly materials, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is ideal for nature enthusiasts who care about the environment. Whether you’re planning a short hike or an extended backpacking trip, this hiking boot gives you the confidence to tackle any adventure on the trail.
2. Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof
For those on a budget, the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof offers excellent value for money. It is comfortable, waterproof, and comes in standard or wide width options. The Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof hiking boot is more than just your average hiking shoe. This top-of-the-line footwear option has been carefully crafted with an array of exceptional features that work together to provide you with a premium hiking experience. Let’s start with the robust waterproof leather and mesh upper that ensures that your feet stay dry and protected, no matter what Mother Nature has in store. In addition to this tough exterior, the shoe boasts a breathable mesh lining that helps to wick away moisture and keep your feet cool and comfortable, even during intense activity.
When it comes to support, the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof is truly unparalleled. Thanks to a contoured footbed that provides ample cushioning and support, your feet will stay relaxed and pain-free, even after hours of hiking. Additionally, the Merrell air cushion in the heel effectively absorbs shock and enhances stability for added comfort and confidence on any terrain.
Lastly, let’s not forget about the Vibram outsole. This high-traction, durable outsole is specifically designed to handle tough environments and provide you with the grip you need to tackle any trail. It all adds up to a hiking boot that is perfect whether you’re planning a quick day hike or a multi-day backpacking adventure. With the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof in your arsenal, your next outdoor excursion is sure to be a success.
3. SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX
If you want a hiking boot that offers excellent comfort and top-notch traction, the SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX is a worthy choice. It is lightweight, breathable, and features an aggressive lug pattern for superior grip. It is more than just a hiking boot – it’s an exceptional piece of footwear designed to cater to all your outdoor needs. The perfect companion for the adventurous souls who seek comfort, durability, and style while exploring the great outdoors.
Experience the ultimate protection and comfort with the Gore-Tex membrane that is integrated into the boots to provide breathable waterproof protection. You never have to worry about the weather conditions again, and you can take on any challenging trail with ease. Did you know that the mid-height design offers additional support and stability in rough terrain? You can trust the EVA midsole and TPU inserts for outstanding shock absorption and energy return for a smooth and comfortable trek.
The SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX is also built with Vibram Megagrip outsole that enhances your grip and traction on any surface, while the molded rubber toe cap provides extra protection against rocks and debris. That makes the Rush 2 Mid GTX ideal for technical terrain too. Look good while hiking without compromising performance, grab a pair of SCARPA Rush 2 Mid GTX for your next outdoor adventure.
4. Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex
The Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex is our top pick for the best hiking boots for backpacking. It is highly supportive, durable, and ideal for carrying heavy loads. This boots are an incredible investment for anyone who loves to explore the outdoors in the utmost comfort. These boots stand out in the market thanks to their superior craftsmanship and exceptional durability. The boots incorporate weather-resistant material that helps keep your feet dry and comfortable no matter how challenging the environment. Thanks to the Gore-Tex layer, you can confidently hike in wet and slippery conditions without worrying about your feet getting cold or damp. The brilliant traction and grip of the durable outsole make navigating through rough terrain easy and seamless. You can trust the optimal cushioning system for extra support as you blaze through your trek. With such a snug fit, the hiking boots provide the perfect adapted, snug fit that guarantees comfort. Whether trekking or adventuring, these boots are the ideal solution for people craving maximum performance, durability, and comfort. Look no further than Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex hiking boots for memorable and comfortable exploits!
5. La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX Boot
For those who frequently hike on rough terrains, the La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX Boot is a solid choice. It is compatible with crampons and offers good grip on various terrain including rock, trail, and steep snow. It is an exceptional and an all around versatile climber’s shoe that offers not only supreme comfort but astonishing performance. The lauded Gore-Tex membrane is incorporated into these boots for both waterproofing and unmatched breathability, while the addition of the Vibram sole adds an extra layer of durability and grip. With the Trango Tech GTX Boot’s advanced 3D Flex ankle system, climbers can confidently tackle steep terrain with ease and agility. Moreover, these boots also feature a shock-absorbing PU midsole, which shields and cushions the feet as well. Its unyielding leather upper and abrasion-resistant synthetic materials are remarkably strong, providing an extra layer of protection to keep your feet safe from harsh conditions. The boots have a precise fit making it perfect for avid climbers who demand optimal and technical performance.
6. KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid
The KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid is a comfortable and affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality. It’s supportive and stable without feeling clunky. It is a versatile and durable hiking boot designed for comfort and protection on all terrain. With a waterproof leather upper and KEEN.DRY membrane, feet will stay dry and comfortable in wet conditions. The mid-height design provides additional ankle support without sacrificing flexibility and freedom of movement. The footbed is designed to provide all-day comfort and support, with a removable insole for customization. The KEEN.PATENTED Toe Protection helps protect toes from rocks and other debris on the trail. The outsole features 4mm multi-directional lugs to provide superior traction on both wet and dry surfaces, making the KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid an excellent choice for any outdoor adventure.
7. The North Face VECTIV Exploris 2 Mid FUTURELIGHT
The North Face VECTIV Exploris 2 Mid FUTURELIGHT is a stable and tunable hiking boot that conserves energy. It’s lightweight and offers great traction and grip. It is a high-performance hiking shoe designed to help you conquer any trail. It features FUTURELIGHT technology, which makes it waterproof and breathable, so your feet stay dry and comfortable no matter the weather conditions. The shoe is constructed with a lightweight and durable upper material reinforced with Kevlar fibers, and a grippy Vibram outsole for increased traction on difficult terrain. The VECTIV technology improves energy return, reduces impact and maximizes stability for a more efficient and comfortable hike. Its mid-cut silhouette provides ample coverage and support, while the lace-up closure ensures a secure and adjustable fit. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a novice, The North Face VECTIV Exploris 2 Mid FUTURELIGHT is a top-of-the-line hiking shoe that is sure to elevate your outdoor experience.
8. Altra Lone Peak All-Weather Mid 2
The Altra Lone Peak All-Weather Mid 2 is a light, supportive, and mud-shedding boot. It has a wide, accommodating toe box, but it’s not as durable as more traditional hikers. It is the perfect shoe for dedicated trail runners and hikers who need a reliable and durable shoe that’s built to withstand any type of weather. This shoe features a waterproof and breathable eVent® upper, which will keep your feet dry and comfortable in wet conditions. The outsole is made from a sticky MaxTrac rubber, offering superior grip on all terrain types, and the midsole is constructed from Altra’s A-Bound™ foam for cushioning and responsiveness throughout your hike or trail run. The FootShape™ toe box provides ample space for your toes to splay, ensuring a natural foot position and reducing the risk of blisters and hot spots. Whether you’re hitting the trails in wet, muddy, or snowy conditions, the Altra Lone Peak All-Weather Mid 2 is sure to keep you comfortable and confident on every adventure.
9. HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX
The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX is a versatile, lightweight, and waterproof hiking boot. It offers great traction and grip, making it ideal for various terrains. It is a pair of versatile and reliable trail running shoes. Designed for comfort and performance, these shoes are perfect for taking on tough terrain. The shoes feature waterproof Gore-Tex® lining, with a breathable upper that ensures your feet stay comfortable and dry no matter the weather. The midsole is made of EVA foam, which offers excellent cushioning and support as you run. The Vibram sole provides excellent traction and grip, giving you confidence on any surface. The shoes have a roomy toe box, with a secure fit around the midfoot and heel. The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX is a durable and high-performing shoe that will take you on any adventure.
10. Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX
The Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX is a comfortable, supportive, and durable hiking boot. It’s slightly heavier than other options, but its durability makes it a great long-term investment. It is a versatile hiking boot designed for comfort and durability on any trail. It is equipped with Gore-Tex technology, making it waterproof and breathable, which prevents sweaty and uncomfortable feet. The boot features a mid-height rise, which provides ample support for ankles and cushions impacts when walking on uneven terrain. Its Vibram Megagrip outsole is non-slip and provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces. Additionally, the boot has a comfortable EVA foam insole, aiding in maintaining high-endurance while trekking. The Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX is made from a durable and lightweight material, making it perfect for longer hikes. Its excellent performance and impressive longevity make it the perfect investment for any outdoor lover looking to elevate their hiking game.
Choosing the Best Hiking Boots
When choosing the best hiking boots, prioritize comfort, weatherproofing, and the type of terrain you usually hike on. Also, consider the boot’s construction based on your hiking conditions. Whether you’re looking for lightweight boots for hot weather hiking or sturdy boots for cooler climates, there’s a perfect pair out there for every hiker.