🤑 The Best Hiking Boots of • Gear Patrol

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Built for hiking and built to last, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is the real deal. The Quest 4D is not a lightweight boot, so it is best suited for those.


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Asolo Falcon GV.


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Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP.


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After trekking nearly miles and taking 2 million steps across all types of terrain in 36 pairs of hiking boots, we chose the Salomon Quest 4D 3.


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Treat your feet with these trail runners, mid-cuts, and a favorite hiking sandal.


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We found the best hiking boots for men, according to Amazon reviewers, including waterproof hiking boots, leather hiking boots, wide hiking.


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Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX.


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QUICK RECOMMENDATIONS. Check out this quick list of our favorites if you're in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full top 10 list with in.


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They schlepped through mud, splashed in water, scampered up steep inclines, slid on snow, and even wore the boots into town and around the block. Construction: We compared models to determine which boots had been designed with the most care. A good boot will also have a well-thought-out lacing system that supports your foot, too. Worn-out seams and soles, broken eyelets, and torn or frayed laces are all warning signs of a nondurable boot, so we watched for those signs during testing. For our really wide-footed friends, the Merrell Moab 2s are the best bet. This is also our only pick that comes in both wide and medium-width sizes, a feature that our testers with wider feet appreciated. It takes them about a year to grow back! And like most hiking boots but unlike our top pick , the Saber boots have Vibram rubber toe caps, which keep your feet protected from rocks and roots. Like the Salomon Quests, the Sabers were trail-ready right out of the box, requiring almost no break-in time. Although we noticed the different pattern, we found this version to be just as grippy on wet and dry surfaces as its former iteration. After we walked through a creek, the boots barely looked wet, and our feet remained dry. You should do the following things at home or in a store to test whether your new boots fit you well:. Three people tested these boots in the Pacific Northwest mountains and in the mountains of Southern California, tackling late-spring snow banks, boulder fields, muddy marshes, sandy beaches, and wet rocks. The Moab 2 boots are a lightweight 2 pounds 4 ounces per pair; they offer relatively good grip on varied terrains; and they have a quick break-in distance. And if you do experience a problem with your boots, Merrell allows free returns on unused items for up to 30 days. One long-term tester complained, however, that the top lace hook on one of the boots had twice caught on the other boot mid-stride. We thought they felt broken in after just a mile of walking on a well-groomed path. If you do find an issue early on, Salomon offers a day return policy for clean gear and a two-year warranty for manufacturing defects. Because if [a boot is] not deep enough for your foot, you are going to put your foot to sleep. We also have options for a variety of different foot shapes. While perusing hiking stores, we also looked at the tongue of each boot, paying close attention to tongues that might prevent dirt, water, and sand from getting into the boot. We looked for reviews that mentioned good traction, given that at some point most hikers will traverse over tree roots, loose rocks, slippery boulders, and other obstacles. That said, the Sabers still fit true to size we recommend trying both your street-shoe size and a half-size up and were comfortable right out of the box especially for our testers who found the Salomons a bit bulky , requiring basically no break-in time. You should try a few different lacing techniques before heading out into the field with a new pair of boots.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} They offer trustworthy traction, the best underfoot cushion and stability of any boots we tried, and a fit that works for almost all foot shapes. But most hikers who want to tackle intermediate trails should choose a pair of hiking boots, because they provide over-the-ankle support, whereas hiking shoes generally stop before your ankle bone. We also tested a few other trail shoe—inspired options, like the Vasque Breeze LT , but the Sabers edged out the competition by giving us all the best qualities of a hiking boot, without the added heft. Lightweight and grippy, these trail running—inspired hiking boots are meant for hikers who want to move fast. We read reviews with a focus on comfort, looking for boots with wide toe boxes and ample cushioning. Traction: A good pair of hiking boots will provide solid traction on the slopes. After looking at nearly pairs of boots, speaking to our experts about the most important qualities to look for in a great hiking boot, and reading through hundreds of boot reviews on Amazon and REI, and in other publications like Outside and Gear Lab, we narrowed our list down to 36 boots for testing 26 pairs in and an additional 10 in using these criteria:. We doubt that in rainy, wet climates these boots will be able to hold the water out for long. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}These versatile boots are comfortable for both hiking and backpacking. One tester who had plantar fasciitis even found that he could comfortably wear the Quests without having to insert his usual insoles and without experiencing pain. The right lacing technique can relieve hot spots, prevent blisters, and tailor your boots to your feet. In the end, during both and , our testers hiked for a total of nearly miles, taking more than 2 million steps. They hiked during the summer, spring, fall and winter months. One tester even wore the boots in Iceland and another in New Zealand! Protection: Toe, ankle, and underfoot reinforcements are essential for good hiking boots, because they protect your feet from obstacles on the trail. In , we tested 26 pairs of boots. To get multiple opinions, we handed them out to 26 testers, both male and female, plus the guide authors. After a long, challenging hike, these boots left our feet feeling far less sore than most of the other boots we tested. They also recorded information about the hike and the weight of their packs. Breathability: A good all-around boot will offer crucial features such as foot protection and water resistance, but it should also remain breathable during summer hiking, allowing feet to stay cool. And they went for it, hiking in 13 states and three provinces. And they took notes about terrain and climate, as well as recorded their thoughts on the boots and the break-in time required for each pair. If you buy your boots online, we recommend that you order several different boots or several sizes of one boot from a retailer such as REI or Zappos that provides free shipping on returns. Support: Next to comfort, ankle and foot support is crucial in a hiking boot. But when we took them out on the trail, we found them to be the rare versatile boot option that worked for most terrains. But despite their light weight, the Sabers are still armed with all of the qualities we look for in a good hiking boot. Good hiking boots should be able to withstand a moderate amount of water. Hiking boots fall into a few categories: hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering. These boots are a much-loved standby among both backpackers and hikers, who appreciate the Moab 2s for their versatility, low price, and decent grip. The Moab 2s are also waterproof; however, although our feet stayed fairly dry through multiple creek crossings, the suede leather sections on the boots themselves got soaked. In , we tested 10 more. A final word: When it comes to making sure your boots fit just right, lacing can make a big difference. A good hiking boot will keep your foot locked down and secured in the heel area; again, this cradling effect is dependent upon fit. That said, we found the comfort and traction lacking on steep, wet, and rocky treks of more than five miles. For many hikers, that mileage will take between three and five years to achieve. We tested boots that had a reputation for being solidly long-lasting, with good warranty programs and good customer-service ratings. When ordering online, always order your boots true to size or a half-size up—but never a half-size down. Foot shape and gait are unique to each person, so a shoe that fits one person might not fit another. Although the Quest boots checked the boxes on most of our important metrics, they really excelled at breathability. Even when we double-knotted the laces, they still came untied or loosened as we walked; we opted to replace them with another pair of laces we had at home, to get a more secure fit. The Sabers are also narrower than many of the other boots we tested. For the first iteration of this guide, which was written in , then Wirecutter staff writer Ebony Roberts spent 25 hours researching popular boots and working to understand how your foot shape and hiking style might affect your boot choice. We also appreciate that these Salomon boots are equally breathable and waterproof, a combination that can be tough to find. Lightweight and grippy, these trail running—inspired hiking boots are intended for hikers who want to move fast. If you have wide feet, you may appreciate that, unlike our other picks, the Moab 2s come in both regular and wide widths. They tackled loose gravel, groomed trails, and brush. We found them to be passably comfortable, too. We could wiggle our toes, but our feet still felt nice and snug. They also passed our water tests with ease: Water beaded right off the boots, instead of soaking in. Across all of these settings, and for both male and female feet, the Sabers excelled. Our picks will likely work for you whether you pronate walk on the insides of your feet or supinate walk on the outsides of your feet , and all should accommodate high or fallen arches. The boots fit true to size we recommend ordering them in the same size as a street shoe, rather than a half-size up. You can tromp through the woods in many different shoe options, including hiking boots, hiking shoes, or trail-running shoes. These low-priced boots are a reliable choice for people who plan to hike short distances and for those with wide feet. We chose boots that would accommodate a range of different gaits. Some hiked with kids, while pregnant, and with dogs and friends. For the most recent iteration of this guide, freelance journalist and Wirecutter contributor Jenni Gritters scanned the scene for new boots. Better yet, go to an outdoor-gear store, ideally at the end of the day. We waded through several creeks and streams—and even walked into the ocean—and our socks stayed completely dry. Our picks in this guide offer certain features that will be comfortable for you whether your foot is wide or narrow; these features include expertly designed lacing systems which let you customize your boot for your foot and wider toe boxes. And during an unseasonably warm day hike in the spring, we also appreciated the nice breeze that the leather-and-mesh upper allowed in. If you have a very wide foot, though, we recommend our budget pick, the Merrell Moab 2 boots. During our research, we watched for comments about ventilation. Like the Salomon Quests, the Sabers offer that just-right balance of breathability and waterproofing, thanks to Gore-Tex breathable membranes. And while they hiked, they tracked their steps and distance using fitness trackers. Our testers crossed glaciers, braved tough trails, and climbed rocky terrain; they waded through streams, navigated late-spring snow, and slopped through knee-deep mud. We asked each of our testers to hike at least 30 miles total. The Sabers are also breathable and waterproof, so they are great for wet hikes on hot days, and they have a fully gusseted tongue and solid underfoot protection. We looked at the rands the rubber parts on the toe, side, and heel , the type and makeup of the soles, how well the collars the part of the boot up top that wraps around the back of the foot were padded and shaped to fit the foot, and how the liners were constructed. At first glance, we thought these boots might be too overbuilt for a day hike. If you have a wide foot, you can choose from medium and wide sizing options. We also looked at boot weight, keeping in mind that a lightweight but clunky boot might not be as comfortable to wear as a slightly heavier but more streamlined one. If a pair of boots is meant for rocky terrain, the design should have a rock shield in the sole, too. However, most of our testers found that the slight increase in weight felt negligible. Like the Salomon Quests, the Sabers have an EVA foam midsole, which is a top-of-the-line choice, even in a minimalist shoe.