There’s a lot of subtly to a good hiking boot. If you’re really hitting the trails, you already know you want the right boot for you. Otherwise, why would you be reading this article?
We’ll start with a few things to consider when you’re hunting for a hiking bootn that’s good for hiking, boating, and just about everything else. . Then we’ll talk about a few of my favorites.
Things to Consider in a Hiking Boot
What kind of ground will you be hiking on most frequently? Gravel? More rugged rocks? Dirt and mud? Tromping through puddles and streams?
A good, thick sole will help keep your foot nice and unbruised as you clamber along on rocky trails, while waterproofing will keep your feet dry when you’re ankle deep in mud and water. Plus, a tread can keep you upright in slippery conditions.
Hiking around roots and uneven terrain—which is exactly what hiking is—can be dangerous for your ankles. Without proper ankle support, you can be looking at a serious injury. And ankle injuries don’t go away.
Every foot is unique. High arches, flat footed…every foot needs something a little different for support. A good cushion is a good start.
Now that you have feet on the mind, let’s look at some boots.
Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot
Of course, Merrell knows hiking and they know boots. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Moab 2 is one of the better options available. It’s all around a versatile boot for many different terrains. Waterproof yet breathable, you can go from the lower wetlands to arid dry lands in one (albeit probably pretty long) hike.
It features a FIT.ECO contoured footbed for comfort, plus heel and arch support—all with an air cushion in the heel for added bounce. On the outside, a Vibram outsole keeps you from slipping and sliding around. Hiking in a variety of terrain? The Moab 2 is your boot.
Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot
If you’re after a little more vigorous hiking—especially in cold weather, where you need to stay warm—the Fairbanks Omni-Heat does the trick. It’s more athletic than a standard boot. Lightweight and with good bounce, it’s built for a vigorous day of hiking.
Beyond that, it’s both 100% waterproof while maintaining breathability. Plus it’s rated at -25 degrees Fahrenheit for warmth. Hiking in the snow? These are the boots you want.
KEEN Targhee II Hiking Boot
Another great versatile boot, the KEEN Targhee II performs on the trail the way you would expect a KEEN boot to do. Waterproof, yet breathable. Midfoot arch support. And a midcut height to support your sore ankles.
Not seeing the boots for you? Shop our full selection of hiking boots.