For hikers, hiking boots are like an off-road vehicle, always protecting us.
Hiking boots are essential for the comfort and performance experience of the trip, but that doesn’t mean that a stiff and sturdy model will disappoint you.
The trend now is towards lighter materials, hiking boots still provide good support, and waterproof models are currently the most popular.
10 Best Hiking Boots of 2021:
|Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX||45.8 ounce||Matte leather mesh|
|Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP||36 ounce||Leather mesh|
|Lowa Renegade GTX Mid||39 ounce||Matte leather|
|Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX||31.6 ounce||Suede leather nylon|
|Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||38.4 ounce||Suede leather|
|Asolo Falcon GV||34.6 ounce||Suede leather polyester|
|Keen Targhee III Mid||34.8 ounce||Matte leather textile|
|Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid GTX||44 ounce||PU coated textile|
|Scarpa R-Evolution GTX||46 ounce||Suede leather|
1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX – Best Hiking Boots Overall
In a recent update, the Quest 4D 3 GTX features a new outsole with some minor adjustments to provide more cushioning and flexibility.
When you wear it for the first time, you will feel that this is a well-designed boot. The high shoe opening and the reliable lacing system put the soles and ankles in place and are very comfortable.
At the beginning, we don’t recommend that you use the new shoes directly for a long journey, but only a few short hikes can make it soft and comfortable.
From the outside, Quest 4D 3 is very similar to the old one, but if you flip them over, you will find that Salomon completely redesigned the outsole.
The old wavy structure has been replaced by better pitch bumps, and the hard rubber mixture has also become a softer Contagrip rubber.
With its high quality Quest quick-drying upper material, it has good breathability and water resistance. In the winter, these boots provide excellent insulation.
For everyday hikers and lightweight backpackers, Merrell Moab 2 is probably the best choice.
The most popular reason for this boot is the light and comfortable feel, and the price is reasonable. You get good cushioning and an effective waterproofing membrane.
It has some nice upgrades, notable changes include a new insole with a higher arch, a heel with improved cushioning, and a rugged leather upper.
However, the soles of this hiking boots lack effective support, can not carry heavy items, and do not allow you to run on rugged roads. In addition, it is not very durable.
Overall, Moab is still a well-built hiking shoe that offers great comfort for most day-walking enthusiasts as well as good hiking.
The boot has a wide range of appeal: comfortable to wear, strong support, relatively light, and for those with larger feet, the size and width will be satisfactory.
It’s very comfortable, and the feeling at the foot is exactly what we want: strong enough for a long uphill trek and a soft shoelace for tightening the laces.
Lowa uses the Vibram sole, and the hybrid pattern allows you to easily advance in rock, soft soil and snow.
Its upper leather is very thin, breathable, and the internal absorption and moisture release of the shoes are not doing well. It is perfect for both summer and winter.
So far, these boots have shown good wear resistance in our long-term tests, and the soles do not have sliding problems on the rock like other rubber materials.
Salomon’s X Ultra series looks like a sophisticated running shoe, but adds extra ankle support and protection, and is one of our favorite ultra-light hiking boots.
A recent update has not changed this trend: the boots are still very flexible and lighter, and are lighter than previous versions, but retain good toe protection, a stable sole, and a new traction design.
Of course, the lightweight structure brings other compromises. The most important thing is the lack of foot protection. It is thinner than Quest 4D and can’t be close to your ankles.
Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX is a fully supported and lightweight boot that is ideal for high-load hiking trips.
In rugged terrain, when you carry a heavy backpack, these boots provide the stiffness you need to make your feet more stable.
Surprisingly, it is also soft enough to walk comfortably on steep trails. The upper extends over the ankle for extra support, and the Sock-Fit technology lets you feel like a shoe.
It is made of hard suede leather for the upper. It is not only waterproof and breathable, but also very durable. The closed heel helps prevent wear on the upper.
For long-distance and multi-scheduled backpacking, the comfort of the boots is a top priority, and Zodiac Plus is one of the best choices.
The comfort of this hiking boot is definitely a surprise, and the materials are also very good. After a difficult journey, we didn’t feel any discomfort.
It’s more like a combination of hiking boots and proximity shoes. The double-density EVA midsole is not as soft as some of the models we tested, but you won’t feel foot pain after a long trek.
The Vibram Megagrip sole works very well, and during our hikes, whether it’s over steep roads, glaciers or muddy waters, its performance is admirable.
Its water resistance and breathability are quite good, whether it is hot summer or cold winter.
In addition, Falcon GV provides ample toe protection for a variety of terrains, it is very sturdy and protects you from stones and roots.
Overall, this is a lightweight and comfortable hiking boot that would be a good fit if you are traveling for a long time.
With affordable prices and great comfort, the Keen Targhee collection is one of the most popular boots for day trekking and moderate backpacking.
This hiking boot is known for its looseness, and the new version is wider in the toe area, which we like very much.
Despite the reasonable price, the boots are fitted with a medium-sized shoe last and a leather upper, and the height of the ankle is sufficient to provide reliable protection.
Keep in mind that Targhee III is not as good as some competitors in the ankle support, but it provides enough stability and grip for most alpine adventures.
The new Targhee leather structure is more rugged, but the Moab is comparable to the drums and the mesh looks even more cool.
From the outside, it looks more like a pair of close-to-shoes with thick rubber around the bottom that provides excellent protection in rock and debris-filled terrain.
It has excellent traction, especially on rocks. The sole has a large bump and there is no problem in handling steep slopes.
The Gore-Tex lining is completely waterproof and minimizes seams, which further reduces water penetration into the boot.
In addition, its performance in breathability is surprising, even more breathable and cooler than some lighter travel shoes.
The boot is tough and provide medium level support, especially for the ankle area, which is great for rock and other difficult terrain.
At the bottom of the shoe, the square bumps are closely aligned between the toes and the soles of the feet. This design helps to provide excellent traction on the rock during climbing and reliable braking on downhill.
In addition, it can also get rid of the soil well when traveling in a particularly muddy environment, but the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX performs slightly better in this regard.
To further increase the water resistance, Scarpa also added a DWR coating. As for the breathability, the R-Evolution GTX performed quite well, only slightly worse than the Arc’teryx Bora2 mentioned above.
Its appearance is very similar to that of a close-to-shoe or lightweight travel shoe, but with a more rugged TPU case, the heel is also very protective and comfortable.
Although the weight of each pair of shoes is reasonable at only 2 pounds and 3 ounces, the upper is quite strong and can handle muddy hiking and snow travel.
The boot doesn’t have the same performance feel as Salomon Quest 4D 3, but it’s a solid partner on the go and it’s cheaper.
Although the toe box is a bit tight, Vasque does offer a variety of sizes of Talus AT, and we appreciate it.