Looking for the best hiking boots for 2019?
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We’ve selected and reviewed our top picks of the best hiking boots for 2019, and provided you with a comprehensive buying guide to help you the best hiking boots for your needs.
Today’s best hiking boots are designed for a wide consumer base. You can have your pick of lighter models for casual use and old school heavy-duty boots designed for hiking in rocky environments, on steep trails, and for wading through water without giving it a second thought.
There's also many choices when it comes to design, features, and performance levels - so we've picked out 5 of the best hiking boots on the market to fit different needs and budgets.
Note: Every selection has both a men’s and women’s option.
Getting kitted out for the summer? Check out our other gear guides:
Although hiking shoes are very popular these days because they are so comfortable, these shoes don’t compare to a decent pair of hiking boots. What’s certain is that you won’t find experienced climbers using hiking sandals or trail running shoes. So why should you settle for less quality even if you are a casual hiker?
The honest answer is that you shouldn’t. A good pair of hiking boots can still offer a good level of comfort across all seasons while also providing a lot more traction across rugged terrain, mud and of course, protection against water. Hiking shoes have limited use and are not suitable for medium to difficult hikes. This is particularly true if you are hiking on varying terrain.
All boots in this category are best suited for the casual climber or ultralight enthusiasts. They are sturdy enough in design to endure a couple of miles of hiking at a time and are also flexible enough to provide the desired level of comfort. Lightweight boots, however, will not last you long if you decide to carry a heavy backpack or go on a 2 to 3-day nonstop climb in harsh conditions. They last longer when you alternate between casual use and occasional hiking.
Midweight hiking boots offer a medley of weight, durability, and comfort. They almost always feature waterproof materials and can be a good choice if you are at an intermediate hiking level. Midweight boots are considerably more durable than a pair of lightweights but they are a bit heavy for everyday use and casual walking.
These boots are designed for the most experienced hikers and the most rugged terrains. They are incredibly durable and will help you to carry a lot of weight even on the steepest of trails. Heavyweight boots are nearly always waterproof and will keep your feet warm during the winter but will be comfortable during the hot seasons. They also require a longer breaking in period so if you’re looking to head straight to the nearest trail, you should look for a more flexible design.
Whether you want to walk for a couple of hours or three days straight, to avoid blisters, fatigue or even ankle injuries, you need to find a pair of hiking boots that offer a good balance between comfort and performance.
For amateur and professional climbers alike, midweight boots will often be the preferred choice for both durability and comfort. The lightweight hiking boots lean more toward comfort and can be more suitable for beginners and casual climbers. In contrast, a sturdy pair of midweight boots is great for all types of weather conditions and flexible enough to traverse rocky areas or muddy patches without too much strain.
Avoiding accidents is crucial for all climbers. As a casual hiker, you need just as much stability and traction on your hiking boots as an experienced climber does. Even if you don’t tackle very rocky terrain or slippery areas, chances are you are not always as careful when you plant your feet.
Having a pair of boots that does half the job for you, is therefore crucial, and this is why this feature is so important when buying hiking boots. You will always get better traction from hiking boots than you would from hiking shoes. What’s more, the easier it is to walk or climb on harsh terrain, the more energy you save. Mentally, you will also feel safer if you know the chances of you slipping on something are close to zero.
Let’s say you always check the weather channel and never leave if you know it’s going to rain. You would still benefit from a pair of hiking boots with waterproof features. First of all, you’ll be protected if you step or fall into the water. Waterproof materials also help to provide an extra layer of insulation and will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If you end up crossing very muddy areas, just imagine how easy it will be to hose off all the junk from your boots at home without ruining the materials. Even boot models that don’t use leather and just apply a waterproof coating can still be easily cleaned without damaging the inside.
This is a feature you need to pay close attention to when shopping for hiking boots. It can make the difference between purchasing one pair of boots for all-year use and buying multiple pairs for different seasons. As a general rule, heavyweight boots will almost never keep you cool during the summer and lightweight boots will not provide enough warmth during the winter.
A good pair of midweight hiking boots, however, will provide a good balance during all weather conditions and across multiple temperature levels. Always keep in mind that to get the most out of your boots, you need to use appropriate seasonal socks and make sure your feet can breathe comfortably.
Weighing just 640g, this lightweight pair of hiking boots is perfect if you’re an amateur hiker. The nubuck leather and textile combo paired with GORE-Tex waterproof protection will allow you to tackle dry and somewhat wet environments with ease. The 4D 2 GTX uses the 4D chassis technology to provide you with three layers of comfort, stability, and all-terrain control.
While comfortable to a certain degree, the boot size might not always match specifications. The 4D 2 GTX model is a durable product and extensive testing has shown that if you’re thinking about buying them for everyday use or want to take them out on rugged mountain trails they they will go the distance. The waterproofing feature is great if you happen to get caught up in a storm once in a while but you should try to keep them as dry as possible afterwards because they can wear down if you don’t.
In terms of durability, the Hoka One Hiking Boots are a great choice. You can use them if you work outdoors a lot, as they are quite comfortable for most people. They provide great stability so you will have no issues going through mud, water, gravel or plain old cement roads. If you have no balance issues, these boots won’t give you any either. The waterproofing is also more durable than that featured on the Quest 4D 2 GTX from Salomon, so you don’t have to worry about spending time in the rain.
Although people share shoe sizes, they don’t necessarily share the foot shape too. If there’s one thing to be wary about if you’re looking at the Hoka One model, it is their tip design. While comfortable as a pair of hiking boots for most people, this pair can sometimes cause discomfort as the toe area is a bit narrow on the inside.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Timberland has a pair of hiking boots featured on this list, given their decades of experience with products like these. This lightweight model will suit you well in pretty much any environment you want. The B.S.F.P system for support and traction as well as the breathable foot bed will make you feel as comfortable and stable as if you were wearing sneakers on a smooth road.
The boots are designed to provide maximum traction and control while hiking, working, and walking; so that you can use a single pair of hiking boots for more than one activity. The full leather exterior creates a great waterproof layer and ensures nothing gets in during autumn showers or hard winters.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and tests have shown that, although these hiking boots are breathable, your feet can catch fire during the summer unless you use the right socks. We’ve also had some issues with the top brackets for the laces coming off after extensive use. That of course, is nothing that can’t be replaced, but it is still an inconvenience.
Related Post: Timberland White Ledge vs Chocorua
St. Elias by Vasque is another lightweight model that is great if you’re an amateur backpacker. The boots are equipped to offer the stability and traction of a heavyweight pair of hiking boots as long as you don’t commit to the very longest trails. They are very durable but will begin to tear if you use them constantly.
They can handle heavier loads, and at the same time allow you to move with great agility on steep trails. The GORE-TEX waterproofing system is superior to the cheapest boots on the market, but nothing to make you say, WOW!
The laces don’t match the quality of the boots. After about 100 miles, you might start to notice tearing. It’s a good idea to always carry some spares in your backpack to avoid these problems. We have to point out that these boots won’t suit everyone. You will have to try them on and see if they feel comfortable.
If you’re a casual weekend hiker but also want to enjoy a good pair of boots for everyday use, the Bridger BDRY from Oboz is a good choice. This midweight category hiking boot provides stability and comfort for smooth and rugged terrain. This product can last you a very long time if you look after them and alternate their use between normal walking and trailblazing, seeing as the weather makes no difference at all.
Unlike the other hiking boots models on our list, the minor design flaw we found here was a tighter heel area. This is not a major game changer by any means, because if you just avoid the truly rocky areas, which you should as an amateur climber, you will have no discomfort whatsoever. The insulation and leather are, in combination, perfect for both winter and summer use but extensive use can cause some separation between the outside layer and the rubber sole protection.
All the boots we’ve tested have their own merits but only two of them rose above all else, the Oboz Bridger BDRY Hiking Boot and the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot. Both pairs offer versatility and levels of comfort that are worth your money. However, only one product can earn the title of the best hiking boot, and we have decided to award it to the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot.
While the BDRY has similarly good features, we feel that the ultimate hiking boot for casual climbers was made by Salomon. They provide better insulation during the winter, and more traction and stability for all terrain purposes, because they are way less slippery than other models. You can wear them in harsh conditions for a longer period of time without having to worry about them falling apart. =ZIP=
There were two excellent hiking boots from Italian manufacturer Asolo that didn't quite make our best hiking boots for 2019 list - but in the end they were too good not to mention.
So here's 2 special bonus reviews for you to sink your teeth into. Let's do it!
Now, buckle-up gentleman, because this first pair of Asolo hiking boots pack quite a punch. In our Asolo Fugitive GTX review, we discover some seriously high-end footwear designed to meet the requirements of a diverse range of outdoor enthusiasts.
But to help you decide whether the Asolo Fugitive is right for you, we’ve taken a thorough look at what these boots have to offer, highlighting the good, the bad...and the awesome.
Clearly the Italian designers at Asolo had versatility as their main goal when they designed these boots. If you’re looking for hiking boots that offer a good fit around the ankles, these might just be the ones to get. They’re not too narrow or too wide and seem to offer a better fit overall.
The Fugitive GTX is highly durable. The variety of weather conditions and harsh terrain that they can cover is impressive to say the least. You can take these boots with you anywhere, from snowy trails to the hot desert.
Sure, there are many companies that advertise the same features, so why are we so excited about these in particular? Well, besides our great testing feedback, these boots are also used a lot by the military. They’re quite popular amongst troops deployed in the Middle East and that should speak volumes about the level of comfort and well put-together design.
When it comes to looks, the Fugitive GTX has everything a hiking boot needs to catch the eye of those around you. Regardless of which color scheme you go for, every part of the boot, from the tip to the sole, is accentuated just enough. It’s probably one of the best looking hiking boots you’re going to find.
While it may not be a full leather design, you do get a lot more comfort than you would otherwise. The laces are wrapped around six rings each, but are long enough to use the 7th pair if you wish to have a tighter fit above the ankle.
Depending on the size, these boots can weigh up to three pounds. In our opinion, this makes them quite light, especially when you consider how many different types of terrain they can traverse.
Decent waterproofing ensures that wet or snowy environments won’t add extra weight to your feet. And since they barely soak up anything, you won’t feel like your feet ever get tired.
To be completely honest, at first, they might feel a bit slippery. Although the inside doesn’t need breaking in, you might need to walk around in them for a few hours before stepping on gravel or rocky road.
Because they are built for all environments, as long as you are confident in what you’re doing, there should be no problem with climbing a steep path. You can cross a frozen lake in them and just as easily climb down sandy dunes. They really help keep you on your feet.
Stability & Comfort
With a totally flat footbed, we initially expected quite a bit of discomfort, at least on longer hikes. However, while this is clearly not the most modern design on the market, it is one of the smartest. The flatness contributes to the durability of the boots and it also accommodates different feet shapes.
Seeing as they have enough room to add insoles, sliding in your favorite ones can drastically decrease the chances of getting foot sores. Because no specific shape is pre-made from the factory, using insoles will let your foot dictate how the shoe fits.
Waterproofing is a must have for every hiking boot. We realize that there are different categories, some for specific weather and others that cover multiple environments - but in our opinion, having waterproof boots should be mandatory regardless of where you plan on using them.
The materials used on the Fugitive GTX can handle snow and will keep your feet from getting wet. They also perform well during rainy seasons, just as long as you don’t plan on swimming with them or standing outside for hours during a monsoon!
Seeing as how these boots are made for both cold and hot weather, you can expect to have more than enough breathing room. As far as breathability is concerned, they will perform regardless of the season. With good insoles you will feel enough warmth to do a few good hours of snow shoveling.
Lacing, Insoles, and Toe Protection
The reinforced toe protection is always nice to have. It makes a huge difference on rocky terrain as it can protect you from unwanted accidents and injuries.
The laces are quite standard and they can be changed at your own convenience. They are very durable, though, and can resist harsh conditions, just like the boots. Usually, the pattern on the laces also matches or complements the boot design.
It’s clear that we have a very positive opinion about the Fugitive GTX. But since there are other similar boots out there, let’s take a quick look at some other popular pairs and see if they come close to this particular model.
Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot
The Salomon Quest is a bit cheaper and features the same GORE-TEX waterproofing as the Fugivite. They are lighter and have an interesting 4D chassis for foot comfort. Overall, they look decent enough, but fail to deliver in certain areas.
A big drawback for us is the rubber toe protection, which simply doesn’t cut it for the more experienced hikers. Also, the lightweight design doesn’t make them as versatile. In fact, it limits their use quite a lot.
Hoka One Ultra Hiking Boot
The Hoka One offers up a lot of wiggle room for the toes. This looks good on paper, but any average hiker knows that it can also cause you to lose balance in certain situations. They require a bit more breaking in and they don’t use the GORE-TEX waterproofing, which we find highly superior.
Combine this with the higher price tag, and this popular pair of hiking boots is not even close to the Fugitive GTX.
The Asolo Fugivite GTX are very special hiking boots indeed. If you are considering footwear that can deliver in any season and on any trail, you probably won’t appreciate anything else as much as these first-class boots.
If they’re good enough to keep soldiers comfortable overseas, you can bet they’re good enough for camping trips and casual hiking.
Right then, our second Bonus Review takes a look at another great pair of boots from Asolo - the Power Matic.
Like its name suggests, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV hiking boots are big, bold and hard-hitting. Not for the faint-hearted, these boots are designed for men who mean business on the trail and don’t want to waste time on injured feet. These are heavy, highly durable boots – so if you’re the ultralight hiking type then maybe look elsewhere.
That’s not to say the Power Matic lacks comfort or is in anyway clumsy in its design. Quite the opposite, we found these boots to fit well – if a little on the small side for the stated size – and provided long-lasting comfort throughout many hours of hiking.
If you want a masculine looking, tough, durable, and comfortable boot for hiking and camping, you would be wise to take a closer look at the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot.
Between the high-density shock absorbing midsole, the durable leather build, the highly functional outsole, and the really sleek look, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot has a numerous features that we really like:
This boot is made out of 100% real and genuine full grain leather. Leather is tough, durable, waterproof, and it looks really cool.
BoardLite 2 Anatomic Footbed
The foot-bed in this shoe is designed to be lightweight, anatomically correct, very supportive for the arches, and impact absorbing, too.
Triple Density PU Midsole
The Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot comes with a fantastic midsole that provides a lot of stability, impact absorption, support, and overall long-lasting comfort.
Vibram Rubber Power Matic Outsole
This is probably one of our favourite features of the Power Matic. Asolo have teamed up with fellow Italian manufactuer Vibram, makers of the world-famous Five Fingers training shoes, to build the ultimate traction-designed outsole. It is very tough and durable, won’t let water in, reduces shock and impact, and definitely grips onto wet and uneven surfaces with ease.
The high collar on the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot helps keep your ankles well-supported, warm, and adds a general level of stability.
This specialized lining helps keep your feet from sweating too much and is pretty good for wicking away moisture. It also helps provide a certain level of warmth and moisture resistance from the outside too.
Here's more from Asolo on the design and manufacture of the Power Matic:
Overall, we really like the rugged design of this boot. First and foremost, you just cannot go wrong with real leather. It’s durable, waterproof, and it looks badass too. The leather is also very good in terms of being resistant to water and wind erosion.
Moreover, the collar or cuffs on the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boots are made fairly high, which stops sand and dirt from getting inside of them. All in all, this boot has a nice design that you might really like, maybe as much as we like it.
While the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot is built to be fairly lightweight compared to other boots of the same size, it is not the lightest boot out there. We would say that these are about in the middle when it comes to weight. They are not the lightest or the heaviest out there, but at least they have lots of room on the inside for extra insoles or thick socks.
Now, when it comes to traction, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boots are some of the best out there, as far as we are concerned. The Vibram Rubber Power Matic Outsole is one of the best in the business. First, the tread is fairly deep and designed to grip well on wet and uneven surfaces.
The deep tread really lets you lock your feet to the ground. Second, the Vibram tread is designed to absorb a whole lot of impact so your feet don’t hurt and so you bounce around. Finally, this outsole is also built for durability so it can withstand all kinds of rough terrain that you might be walking over.
Stability and Comfort
The upper high collar really helps to keep your ankles stable. It is a good option if you're covering rough terrain and at risk from slipping and rolling your ankle.
Next, the Asolo Power Matic features a really nice foot bed. It is anatomically designed to be stable, snug, and secure. It also does a really nice job at providing your feet with good arch support. Other than that, the triple density midsole is also fantastic in terms of absorbing impact, reducing shock, and providing you with a soft walking surface.
This is one area we found the boots to be somewhat lacking. While they are not the thickest or most airtight shoes out there, their leather design does render them fairly hot and sweaty. This will not be a problem for some, however, and the breathability issue will really depend on the environment and weather you plan to wear the boots in.
Lacing, Soles, and Toe Protection
We really do not have a problem with the lacing on these boots. As you'd expect, it features standard lacing with solid metal lace hoops that should in all reality stay in one piece for a long time to come.
As we mentioned before, both the insoles and outer soles of these boots are made for comfort, support, and durability. All of that being said, this boot does not have the best toe protection around. It does have a hard front, but it's not the best on the market in terms of hardcore toe proteciton.
Another popular pair of men's hiking boots is the XIANG GUAN Men’s Outdoor High-Top Waterproof Trekking Hiking Boots.
While popularity doesn't always equal quality, these are definitely great boots. The key difference is the fit is actually larger than the Power Matic, so if you're a Big Feet-Big Socks kinda guy, then definitely consider the XING GUAN.
Also, these boots are made of suede, instead of leather, so that's another important feature to consider. The suede is certainly silky and flexible - good for faster movements perhaps - but the leather on the Power Matic is more versatile, we'd say.
Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot Review – All in all, the Power Matic 200 GV is in our opinion one of the best options out there for serious hikers. It didn't quite make the list of best hiking boots for 2019, but if you want some serious protection for your feet, and are less concerned with having really lightweight boots, then definitely add these to your short list. They should be on there just for their looks, anyway, in our most humble – but accurate – opinion. =ZIP=