Top trekking & hiking boots online store: Scarpa’s Rush series of hiking footwear seeks to find the sweet spot between performance and weight savings, running the gamut from trail runner-inspired hiking shoe (the Rush Low) to the TRK GTX here. We recently took the Rush TRK GTX on a trek through the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru, where the boot traveled with ease across tricky mountain terrain while still maintaining a light and agile feel underfoot. The suede leather upper and rubber toe rand offer top-notch durability and protection, and the sticky SuperGum outsole gets the job done over a wide variety of surfaces. Finally, moisture protection is excellent, with a waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex liner and tall collar to keep you covered during high water crossings. We used to rank Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX (below) high on this list, but the Rush TRK GTX wins out in most categories. The Rush is noticeably more supple than the Zodiac and features a roomy toe box (promoting great out-of-the-box and all-day comfort), offers softer cushioning underfoot, and is $90 cheaper to boot. For all but the most aggressive mountain terrain, it’s by far the more approachable design. That said, the Rush is still overbuilt for easy trails, especially compared to many of the lightweight designs here. But if you’re headed above treeline with a heavy pack, the Rush TRK GTX is well worth a look. For those sticking to more gentle terrain, check out Scarpa’s lighter and nimbler Rush Mid GTX. See more information on mountain boots.
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is our favorite hiking boot for women. It earns top marks in almost all categories, making it one of the most balanced hikers we’ve ever tested. It’s rugged, durable, lightweight, and incredibly comfortable. The 5-inch shaft offers a surprising level of stability for its design, fit to take on technical surfaces. It features a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane with a breathable design. The deep lugs do well on everything from rock slabs to sloppy steeps, making it a trustworthy and versatile option for most terrain. It’s an excellent option for any day trip or backpacking adventure. While we appreciate the lightweight design of this trail runner-like hiking boot, it’s not nearly as stable as other midweight boots. It also fits a little small, so we recommend sizing up. It truly shines as a protective and lightweight hiking boot that sacrifices a little bit of stability. It can take on all sorts of weather and is suited for long backpacking adventures as well as day trips.
If your favorite maximalist trail-running shoe had ankle support, it’d probably look a lot like the HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX. And that formula should be just about perfect for hikers looking to go far and fast. As one of the lightest midcut boots in our roundup, the fleet-footed Anacapas use the marshmallow stack height that HOKA is known for, with a gloriously thick EVA cushion under the heel and a 6 millimeter heel-to-toe drop. Taking a cue from the brand’s running shoes, HOKA put in a meta-rocker (a sole slightly curved upward like a smile) to help propel forward motion. “They just encourage you to go,” says our California crew. End result: a smooth and speedy gait with lots of cushioning for joint support.
What’s not to like with the Oboz Bridger? On the trail, the boot feels slower and heavier than competitors like the Merrell Moab 3 Mid or KEEN Targhee III Mid. Further, the in-house B-Dry waterproof membrane makes the boot run warm even in moderate temperatures. For a cheaper option from Oboz, the Sawtooth X is another mid-height boot that has more mesh in the build, but it’s less tough and supportive at a similar weight (although you do save $15 in the process). For those hiking in hot and dry conditions, both the Bridger and Sawtooth are made in non-waterproof versions.
Testers also lauded the Nucleo High II GTX for having best-in-test traction. Credit a sticky Vibram® outsole that’s peppered with cleatlike lugs and extends off the back of the shoe for easier braking. It kept us upright on descents through gravel, loose scree and dust, and one tester even called the outsole “so grabby” that he was able to jog down the notoriously mucky paths in the Seven Lakes Basin in Washington state’s Olympic National Park. The Nucleo High II GTX has a soft EVA foam midsole much like a running shoe, but it’s bolstered with TPU inserts. Those harder plastic components give the midsole a bit more life over the long haul than a typical running shoe and up-level the support; our testers were able to shoulder 50-pound loads without issue. The boot’s feature set is rounded out with GORE-TEX SURROUND®, a tried-and-true waterproof tech that lets sweat vapor escape through the sides and bottom of the boot when a spacer in the midsole is compressed. (It leaves you with dryer feet and, hopefully, fewer blisters.)
From a quick look at our comparison table above, it’s clear that hiking boot weights vary a lot. You can choose an over-the-ankle design anywhere from over 3 pounds to under 2 in the case of the trail runner-inspired Altra Lone Peak Hiker 2 (1 lb. 9.6 oz.) and Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX (1 lb. 14 oz.). What’s equally obvious is how the various weights have an impact on a boot’s performance. To start, while the correlation isn’t perfect, a lighter boot generally will offer less protection, support and stability, and durability over the long term. This can present a problem if you’re carrying a heavy pack and traveling over rough terrain, but for thru-hikers or minimalists, going lightweight can be a great idea. Read additional information on trekkit.in.
Hiking boots are best for adventurers seeking footwear that offers protection and stability on the trail. With such a wide variety of options on the market, searching for a pair that will best suit your needs might seem a little daunting. With our experience, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. To begin, there are various factors to consider when choosing the best boot for you, including how you will use the boot, the type of boot you need, its fit and design, and how long the break-in period may last. Taking these considerations to heart will help steer you in the right direction to finding your best boot for hiking. Backpacking all of your gear into a campsite for the night can be strenuous, but made easier by footwear that has a little more stability, especially around the ankle. For any moderate backpacking adventure, a midweight boot is recommended. This type of boot has stability on unstable surfaces without being too heavy. This is helpful when shouldering a heavy pack for a couple of days. A lightweight boot can also function for moderate backpacking adventures. However, with larger loads, you might find your feet getting a little more beat up than they would in a more rigid midweight boot.