Here is my selection of the best hiking boots for 2018 which I would consider to wear on my next hiking or backpacking trip.

Hiking boots are important if you are planning to hike in the mountains or if you have to carry a heavy backpack. Moreover, they should provide a good grip as well

For day trips which are not that demanding lightweight hiking shoes (or hiking trainers) could be an alternative to traditional hiking boots. However, they are in most cases not waterproof but can be dried on a fire place.

However, after my trips in the Alps and in Swedish Lapland I am not such a fan of ultralight hiking shoes and would rather take a pair of proper hiking boots with me.

Best hiking boots for 2018

Weight comparison table

Hiking BootsWeight
Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX286 grams / 10.1 oz.
Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX435 grams / 15.3 oz.
Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX490 grams / 17.3 oz.
KEEN Targhee II Mid494 grams / 17.4 oz.
Asolo Drifter GV ML610 grams / 21.5 oz.
Hanwag Banks GTX610 grams / 21.5 oz.
Arc’teryx Men’s Bora2 Mid619 grams / 21.8 oz.
Salomon QUEST 4D 2 GTX640 grams / 22.6 oz.
Scarpa R-EVOLUTION GTX659 grams / 23.2 oz.
Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid879 grams / 31 oz.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid1100 grams / 38.8 oz.
Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX1140 grams / 40.2 oz.

Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX

Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX

Weight: 435 grams / 15.3 oz.

The Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX - despite it’s low weight - can also be worn in the mountain.

The shoes come with protective weldings and a grippy Continental™ Rubber outsole for a good grip on the trail.


Arc’teryx Men’s Bora2 Mid

Arc’teryx Men’s Bora2 Mid

Weight: 619 grams / 21.8 oz.

The Arc’teryx Men’s Bora2 Mid comes with the Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit technology - a removable inner liner which can be replaced with a insulated mid liner for hiking in colder conditions.

The Vibram Arc’teryx Hiking Outsole provides traction with grip.


Asolo Drifter GV ML

Weight: 610 grams / 21.5 oz.

The Asolo Drifter GV ML has been redesigned optically and comes with a Vibram Mega-Grip sole and a shock-absorber. The boot also comes with a new binding and soft synthetic fabric.


Hanwag Alaska GTX

The Alaska is a classic Hanwag hiking boot that is very popular in the summer version.

The Hanwag Alaska has an extra G-loft insulation in it, (Hanwags own insulation) which dries fast.

The boots come with an ice grip sole which provides a superior grip on ice, or slippery grounds in the winter.

The model is additionally insulated within the sole and is also suitable for snowshoeing.


Hanwag Banks GTX

Hanwag Banks GTX

Weight: 610 grams / 21.5 oz.

The Hanwag Banks upper comes with Cordura/Nubuk leather and the GORE-TEX lining makes the boots waterproof and breathable.

The rubber toe caps protect your toes and there is also a shock absorber in the heel.


Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX

Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX

Weight: 286 grams / 10.1 oz.

The Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX is waterproof and offers natural movement and is made for fast-packing. While the boot is flexible it also offers ankle stability.


KEEN Targhee II Mid

KEEN Targhee II Mid

Weight: 494 grams / 17.4 oz.

The Keen Targhee II Mid is made of Nubuk leather and a waterproof breathable membrane.

The EVA Footbed of the KEEN Targhee II Mid can be removed and the ESS shank offers torsion stability.


Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Weight: 1100 grams / 38.8 oz.

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is one of Lowa’s best selling hiking shoe which is waterproof and offers stability and comfort. The VIBRAM Evo sole offers good grip.


Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid

Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid

Weight: 879 grams / 31 oz.

The Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid comes with a breathable mesh lining and a Vibram Multi-Sport Sole/TC5+ Rubber and a contoured footbed with organic odor control.

The Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid are suitable for summer hikes. The Moab Ventilator also has a leather toe cap to protect your toes.


Salomon QUEST 4D 2 GTX

Salomon QUEST 4D 2 GTX

Weight: 640 grams / 22.6 oz.

The Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX has been developed through experience in trail running and offers a great fit and stability.

The Contagrip soles can handle dry, hard, loose and wet surfaces.


Scarpa R-EVOLUTION GTX

Scarpa R-EVOLUTION GTX

Weight: 659 grams / 23.2 oz.

The Scarpa R-EVOLUTION GTX is a supportive and light hiking boot for the mountains.

The Gore-Tex Performance Comfort liner keeps your foot dry.


Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX

Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX

Weight: 1140 grams / 40.2 oz.

The Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX comes with GORE-TEX with Extended Comfort Technology to keep your foot dry while the molded rubber toe cap will protect your toes.

The Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX is a boot which can be worn for multiple day hikes and will give you stability if you have to carry more load.


Advantages

  • They support your ankle and offer more stability while hiking on the trail.
  • Let you carry more load over a longer distance
  • More durable than ultralight hiking shoes.

Are hiking boot bags useful?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to pack your hiking boots into a hiking boot bag to keep the dirt away from your other gear.

For packrafting I use a waterproof stuff sack to keep my hiking boots dry while paddling and attach the bag to my backpack in front of my packraft.


Are hiking boots or trail runners better?

Some people prefer to wear trail runners rather than hiking boots. Trail runners are much lighter but do not offer the protection and stability offered by regular hiking boots.

Sometimes you also get wet feet and you need to dry your trail runners nearby the camp fire.


Are they waterproof?

Should your hiking boots be waterproof? In most cases this is a good feature but it also has an impact on the breathability of your hiking boots.

Try a pair of shell boots which are entirely made of leather. They offer good water protection and high breathability.

Disadvantages


How to choose them?

There are several factors on how you should choose your hiking boots. Some brands also categorize their boots into activities or the difficulty of your hike.

Heavier hiking boots with a high shaft are probably a good choice if you:

  • carry a heavy backpack
  • need ankle support
  • need waterproof shoes or protection to the ankle

Regular hiking boots vs. shell hiking boots

If you live in Europe then you could also have a look on shell boots like the Lundhags Jaure Light II but they are mainly sold in Europe.

Shell boots are a bit different from regular hiking boots and require you to wear 2 pair of socks.

However, they dry faster if they get wet since there is no thick liner in the boots which require to dry.

You just have to dry your socks and the shoe inserts. The leather of the shoe will be a bit moisture but with proper merino wool socks you probably won’t notice much of it.


Regular hiking boots vs. ultralight hiking boots

If you plan a hike in less demanding terrain or where you don’t need much of ankle support because you don’t have to carry a heavy backpack then you could also have a look on lightweight hiking shoes as an alternative to regular hiking boots.

You will probably enjoy your hike more with lighter hiking boots.

What is the average weight?

The average hiking boot weight is probably between 400 and 600 grams per shoe.

There are also lightweight hiking shoes available which weight below 300 grams per shoe.


What is the sole material?

Good hiking boots should have a stiff sole. However, if you are planning to hike mostly on proper trails or roads then you can also choose hiking boots which do not have a stiff sole.


What materials are they made of?

Hiking boots are made of different materials. Examples are Nubuk leather, Gore-Tex liners or Cordura.

If you are looking for a very breathable shoe then hiking boots which are entirely made of leather are probably a good option.


What to do against hurting toes?

If your toes are hurting in your hiking boots then you should consider getting a bigger pair of hiking boots.

Alternatively, you could also try to wear thinner socks but in most cases your hiking boots are just too small.

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