Too often do people spend money on horribly designed hiking boots, resulting in ankle sprains, sore feet, or any other foot-related injuries. Hiking boots are critical when taking your comfort, and performance on the trail into consideration. As time has gone on, the best hiking boots have become less stiff and burly, but more lightweight and comfortable in light of the new materials we have discovered. More specifically, waterproof hiking boots. We’ve all been there, where your feet become wet, and you instantly become uncomfortable. Every hiking boot on our list, is waterproof, as it should be. Unless, of course, you’re hiking in a very dry area, where it isn’t needed. Generally speaking, though, when hiking, you are going to experience some sort of water mass that you’ll sink your hiking boots into. Below, we’ve broken down the best lightweight, durable, and comfortable hiking boots on the market. Indulge yourself, and step up your hiking game!
|Hiking Boots||Comfort Level||Waterproofing||Material||Pricing and Availability|
|Timberland White Ledge Hiking Boots||High||Fully Waterproof||Leather and Textile|
|Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Hiking Boots||High||Fully Waterproof||Leather and Synthetic|
|Timberland Chocorua Trail Gore-Tex Hiking Boots||High||Fully Waterproof||Leather and Textile|
|Skechers Verdict Hiking Boots||High||Fully Waterproof||Leather|
|Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boots||High||Mid Waterproof||Leather and Textile|
|Danner Mountain 600 4.5" Hiking Boots||High||Fully Waterproof||Suede|
|KEEN Targhee II Hiking Boots||High||Fully Waterproof||Leather and Textile|
|Fila F-13 Weather Tech Hiking Boots||High||Mid Waterproof||Leather|
|Hi-Tec Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots||Medium||Mid Waterproof||Leather and Textile|
|Ariat Terrain H20 Hiking Boots||Medium||Fully Waterproof||Leather|
Ideal for day hiking, and weekend adventures, the Timerbland White Ledge hiking boots are our number one go to. Fashionable, yet durable, they make for a great boot. These hiking boots are equipped with waterproof, and seam-sealed leather for total protection from water, raindrops, and water-crossings. The collar, and tongue are padded for maximum comfort, and offer another level of protection from shrub, and potential ankle rolls. The hiking boot has a removable, dual density footbed allowing for air circulation keeping your feet cool, and dry.
The Timberland White Ledge hiking boots come with the B.S.F.P. system for support and traction. If you’re unfamiliar, this stands for Brake, Support, Flex, and Propel. This system will allow for excellent traction. The durable rubber outsole of the hiking boots offer maximum braking, acceleration, and climbing performance. The primary flex grooves located behind the ball of the foot, and the secondary grooves located on the toe area, react to the natural motion of your gate. While these hiking boots may be on the lighter end of the spectrum, they are extremely durable, and reliable. We highly recommend the Timberland White Ledge.
Columbia is an extremely popular brand in the hiking industry, with good reason. The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II hiking boots won’t ever fail you whether it be durability, or comfort. To be honest, the only dilemma we had with these, was deciding which color to purchase. From our past experience with their hiking boots, we’ve always ranked them as some of the best hiking boots in the industry. The Columbias are waterproof, have EVA midsoles allowing for a super soft step, and rubber soles allowing for maximum durability.
The construction of these boots is both durable, and lightweight. When adding in the traditional hiking design, you have a great pair of hiking boots. There is no need to get super complex with hiking boots, as long as they are comfortable, and durable. Add in the waterproof, you can expect your feet to never become cold with the industry-leading air circulation within the boots.
Inside the hiking boots, is a thick EVA foam. This foam is often used in other hiking boots with good reason. It is approximately 1” thick, which allows for a comfortable, and super soft step. The shaft measures 5” from the arch of the boot, the heel measures 1.5”, and the platform measures 0.5”. Don’t let these measurements fool you, as they are important in maintaining a healthy body when hiking.
Our second pair of Timberland hiking boots, are the Timberland Chocorua. I personally have quite a few different products from Timberland. I have a few pairs of their regular boots, and i must admit, they are incredibly comfortable, and of the highest quality. When we went into this review, I expected the same out of their hiking boots, and boy was I not disappointed.
With a shaft that measures 5” from the arch, and a heel that measures approximately 1”, you are in good hands in terms of orthopaedics. This was important to me when considering these hiking boots, as i have bad feet, and a bad back, so I don’t want to skip any steps when purchasing a good pair of hiking boots.
The Timberland Chocorua is equipped with waterproof, and seam-sealed leather/construction giving you peace of mind when crossing waterbeds, or hiking in the rain. I have too many times been out with a cheap pair of hiking boots, and experienced water in my boots. This leads to an incredibly uncomfortable feel, and ends up pruning your feet, which can be very unhealthy.
The incredible grip, and traction of these hiking boots is seen below. Offering both a primary, and secondary flex, that react perfectly to your natural gate, you will be able to maintain balance when climbing the toughest trails. The soles are made of solid rubber, and are overall super sturdy. We did notice in rigorous testing, however, that these became worn down. We recommend these hiking boots to be used when hiking on clean, and already developed trails.
The Skechers hiking boots, are a bit more casual than the other hiking boots in this review. If you enjoy wearing boots, and hiking, then we highly recommend these as you may already be well equipped if you decide on a spur of the moment hiking trip. While not as effective on longer hiking trips, after these are broken, you will certainly be comfortable. We recommend a short hike to get these boots worn in.
The biggest feature with these boots, is that they are waterproof, and are generally cheaper than the other options in this review. Equipped with a durable rubber sole, you can expect them to cover any terrain. The biggest qualm we have with these hiking boots, is that they are not very comfortable when hiking for a long period of time. You’re going to want to wear these boots when hiking through a small trail, that is relatively clean. A lot of elevation changes, will cause your ankles to become sore. For a more fully equipped boot, we recommend the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II hiking boots.
Perhaps one of the most incredible pair of hiking boots ever created, the original moab, Merrell has given us their latest adaptation of the hiking boot, the Moab 2. We decided to take these on a weekend hike through various, highly elevated, and difficult terrain locally in Ohio. They are light, but durable and strong. Their traction, and grip is like nothing we’ve ever seen outside of the original Moab hiking boot.
The most recognized area of improvement in the hiking boot, is the redesigned insole. In comparison to the original Moab, you are now experiencing decent arch support in these hiking boots. The molded heel cup will ensure that you’re fitted into these boots perfectly allowing for better traction, and grip when scaling the trail. The extra padding in the heel gives you an incredible amount of isolation, and underfoot protection. This initially is a weird feeling, but as putting on any new shoe, or hiking boot, it’s slightly uncomfortable until you pass the break-in period.
The traction the Merrell Moab 2 hiking boots is among the best. Similar to that of the original Moab, little-to-no change in the tread pattern, or the vibram rubber compound, these hiking boots still provide incredible grip, and traction. The read design is kinda all over the place, but it allows for a very versatile traction that most other hiking boots aren’t capable of offering. Overall, the Merrell Moab 2 hiking boots are competitive, and highly capable for every-day trails, and hiking. If you are looking for a great hiking boot, we recommend starting here.
Don’t let the stylishness of the Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots fool you. Danner has been producing high-quality hiking boots since 1932. They have super strict quality standards that allow them to maintain a spot among the best hiking boots in the industry. They take a different approach, however, and aim for lighter boots, creating less fatigue but maintain their durability, and comfortness.
Created with the new Vibram SPE Midsole (specialized performance elastomer), the compound introduces natural rubber, and EVA to add extra cushion while introducing less weight. When wearing these hiking boots, you will immediately notice this. While you may think it is a more cheap alternative, don’t fret, these hiking boots feel ridiculously well-designed, and put together.
In terms of traction, these hiking boots offer a unique blend in diamond-shaped tread on the bottom allowing for an immense amount of grip across all different elevations, and terrain. Snow, grass, hills, mountains, sticks and stones? Doesn’t matter, the Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots will explore it all in style.
These hiking boots also offer a few alternative uses. Generally speaking, most people want to wear their newly bought sneakers because they are fashionable, but sometimes the weather defies it. They decide to go the route of wearing said sneakers, and end up ruining them. Well, the Danner Mountain 600s will allow you to remain stylish, while not ruining anything as they are totally waterproof, and sealed. Save your sneakers for a later date.
KEEN hiking boots have always been one of our favorite boots to test, and take out on the trails. Combining incredible performance, with a good price value, it remains one of our favorite hiking boots available today. The Keen Targhee II is on the lightweight end of the spectrum, and is a mid-cut boot as opposed to a higher-cut boot, that may add more versatility to your hiking ability.
The hiking boot feels burly while only weighing an incredibly low 2.4 lbs. Feel confident, and comfortable while conquering all terrain as your opportunities are endless. Complemented by the waterproof nubuck leather that works in tandem with a newer technology in the hydrophobic mesh lining that will add incredible durability, and breathability for your feet. Never experience water in your hiking boots when crossing a river, or avoiding rain droplets.
The KEEN Targhee II hiking boots performed very well in our traction tests. While it doesn’t outperform in any particular set of terrain, it remains consistent across all of them. The proprietary non-marking rubber sole was capable of sticking well to dry and wet granite, as well as handling muddy slopes better than a handful of hiking boots. Overall, if you are looking for a well-rounded hiking boot, we recommend a pair of the KEEN Targhee II.
We’ll be honest, when we first saw the Fila F-13 Weather Tech hiking boots, we thought of a basketball shoe. However, when taking a second glance, you notice the features that would allow for mud-slinging, trampling, rock-climbing, and water-repelling. We do recommend, though, getting the brown color as the blue is, well, uh, ugly in our humble opinion. The Fila F-13 will allow for casual hiking, and can double as a work boot.
Equipped with a hi-top collar, and an extra padded tongue, these hiking boots will provide amazing ankle support, and extra comfortness. Don’t let the ankle support go un-appreciated. Scaling all of the different terrain when hiking, you have a high chance of causing an ankle sprain. Why not let a hiking boot lower the chance of that happening?
The tire-like tread that the Fila F-13 Weather Tech hiking boots are built with, allow for movability through any terrain. The outsole is created with high-traction rubber that will remain durable even through the most rugged, and wild trails. Overall, these hiking boots are one of the best budget options available today. Keep in mind, though, what we said about the colors!
Hi-Tec is a reputable brand that has been around for quite awhile. Consistently producing high-quality hiking boots, they don’t intend on going anywhere, and with the results that the Hi-Tec Bandera Mid hiking boots are capable of producing, you will quickly learn why. As a good budget option, these boots offer an immense amount of cushioning for comfortability, amazing traction, and durability.
As these are indeed a budget hiking boot, we highly recommend them for a beginner. You will certainly not get the longest-lasting product here, but they will last until you are ready for an upgrade. The boot is constructed with a waterproof suede leather, as well as a mesh that allows for breathability, and comfortness for your feet. Providing comfort means for a longer, and more enjoyable hike. The Hi-Tec bandera hiking boots offer a removable contoured insole created with foam. Expect to have to replace these with a lot of use, as they are not very durable, and the foam may acquire an odor. The hi-top collar allows for ankle stability, and the tongue will provide additional comfort on the front of your ankle.
The shaft of these hikings boots measures 5” from the arch which is typical for a mid-sized hiking boot providing you with extra posture allowing you to maintain your balance, and comfortness while on the trail. The mid-sole is created with EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), which is a polymer that allows for extra impact, and resistance. EVA is standard among hiking boots. New to trailing, or hiking? Pick up a pair of Hi-Tec Bandera Mid hiking boots, and explore areas you’d never imagine!
Ariat Terrain H20 hiking boots are the last pair on our list for of best hiking boots of 2018. They are crafted with a high-quality leather that offers an industry-leading waterproof shoe. These hiking boots are crafted for endurance, and covering a wide variety of clean terrain. Among the more expensive hiking boots, they provide the utmost durability when comparing them to other options.
However well built they are, they do have a major downfall: the traction. Generally speaking, you are going to want to use these hiking boots for already cleared trails, or hiking routes. They offer very little traction, and grip from the outsole due to the lack of tread pattern on the bottom. In our testing, we experienced a very hard time scaling through muddy hills. But, as soon as we got to grass, or gravel/rocks, they performed amazingly well. They are a mid-size hiking boot, with very little ankle stability which is another factor in our reasoning.
Overall, if you are not a hardcore hiker, these are going to be the perfect option for you. The durability alone makes these worth the price point. Personally, i actually wear these hiking boots while doing yard work. They have a self-cleaning duratread outsole allowing me to save my sneakers.