The 20 Best Hiking Boots of 2024

Stay on the trail longer — and blister free — with these expert-recommended hiking boots.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Professional Training Badminton Shoes

The 20 Best Hiking Boots of 2024

The right pair of hiking boots can make your trail outing last longer and feel better. Likewise, the wrong pair will have you turning around and heading back to the car before the first creek crossing. Hiking boots run the gamut from trail-runner inspired designs with flexible uppers and bouncy midsoles, to classic leather stompers that will protect your feet (and ankles) on rugged off-trail explorations.

Knowing your primary style of hiking is the first step in picking the right pair of hiking boots. For non-technical trails and moderate outings, backcountry guide Arielle Todd usually wears trail runners or low-top hiking shoes, but when she does wear boots, she looks for a lightweight half-shank model with water-resistance She also recommends choosing a boot with some flexibility in the bottom, regardless of the type of trail you’re on.

We recommend trying boots on and breaking them in before a long hike. Heavier boots will take more of a break-in period, and podiatrist Dr. Alissa Kuizinas recommends taking boot weight into consideration, reminding us that “heavier boots put more strain on the foot and leg.”

Here are our top picks for both women’s and men’s hiking boots for 2024, whether you’re cruising a moderate trail after work or setting out on a peak-bagging adventure.

Why We Love It: The full-grain leather upper is durable but still supple and flexible.

What to Consider: The collars can hit against your ankles on steep descents.

These boots have a classic look with updated technology, including a waterproof, breathable Gore-tex membrane and energy-returning OrthoLite Eco footbeds. We wore these boots straight out of the box during four days in the Canadian Rockies, and the uppers were flexible while the midsole/outsole felt grippy and supportive. The Mountain 600 Leaf uses Vibram’s SPE midsole, which is like a more durable version of traditional EVA midsoles, providing the same rebound and cushion but without traditional EVA’s tendencies to flatten out over time.

The outsoles have impressive traction for both wet and dry terrain, and they come in a variety of retro-inspired colorways, including the classic red Danner laces. Plus, we love Danner’s emphasis on sustainability: the waterproofing is made with 45 percent post-consumer recycled materials and the boots are made to be resoled and repaired when they wear out.

The Details: 2 pounds | Full-grain leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: The lateral chassis helps stabilize while you carrying a pack on uneven terrain.

What to Consider: The uppers can feel stiff and require some breaking in.

These boots combine mesh, synthetic material and a polyurethane-coated leather to create a lighter-weight, modernized boot that still provides plenty of protection against rain and creek crossings. These boots are ideal for hikers looking for a nimble pair of boots that feel similar to trail running shoes, but still provide waterproofing and over-ankle support. Salomon has a slightly stiff midsole and an integrated lateral chassis that helps with stability on uneven terrain, though it might feel too firm for people used to a plush underfoot feel. These shoes got the top marks for waterproofing during our in-house hiking boot testing, with secure seals between the components to keep water out of potential failure points.

The Details: 1.6 pounds | PU-coated leather, synthetic | Waterproof

Why We Love It: The entire Bridger line comes in wide and standard width, accommodating a variety of foot sizes and shapes.

What to Consider: At 3 pounds, these can feel heavy after a long day on the trail.

Oboz’s winter boots are designed and put to the test in the snowy trails of Southwest Montana, and this pair, with their taller collar height, 400 grams of insulation, and brand’s b-Dry membrane are as protective, waterproof, and warm as it gets without feeling weighed down by a clunky pair of snow boots. The winter-specific tread is designed to provide secure grip on ice and snow, and the rubber won’t stiffen and freeze in frigid temperatures. These boots are also optimized for use with traction like crampons, snowshoes, and ice cleats, making them an excellent-all around boot for everything from shoveling snow to snowy mountain hikes.

The Details: 3 pounds | Nubuck leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: We love the feeling of a running shoe with added waterproofing and support.

What to Consider: These are light enough that we wouldn’t recommend them for gnarly off-trail scrambles.

These lightweight boots allow for maximum agility without sacrificing stability and are an excellent all-around boot for people who stick mostly to hiking but aren’t opposed to sections of running. This updated version has a new Vibram rubber composite that excels on steep, slick rocks. The uppers hug your foot with a secure-but-not-constricting, wrap-type feeling, and while they are a similar weight to other lightweight boots, the breathability, springy midsole, and minimal-feeling upper makes them act even more light and agile than similar models. These are fully waterproof with a Gore-tex membrane and a connected tongue to keep debris away from your feet.

The Details: 1.25 pounds | Mesh, TPU | Waterproof

Why We Love It: These come in a range of wide sizes, but even the standard sizes are wider than most models.

What to Consider: The seal between the upper and midsole can experience splitting after extended use.

Keen’s whole Targhee line has a reputation for running wide (people with narrow feet, take note) and these boots are no exception. With extra space in the toe box and the heel counter, these are comfortable for hikers with wider feet and don’t create the pinching and toe-crushing of more standard-shaped boots. These have a lot of options for wide-specific sizing, but even the standard sizes feel comfortable for women with D and E-width feet. This boot has the tapered toe box of most hiking boot models, however, the taper begins higher on the forefoot, almost at the arch. This leaves more space around the ball of your foot, typically one of the places that will experience the most rubbing with too-narrow shoes.

The Details: 1.77 pounds | Nubuck leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: You get the support and fit of a traditional boot in a lower cut with excellent breathability.

What to Consider: This shoe runs a bit narrow, so try it on before committing if you have wider feet.

Merrell is well known for its popular Moab line, but its lighter-weight shoes have impressed us time and time again. This was one of our top picks from our hiking shoe testing, thanks to the support and durability of the Moabs in a sleek low top. This shoe has excellent breathability, and while it doesn’t fall directly into the classic “hiking boot” category, Merrell took inspiration from their more traditional boots for support, structure, and midsole-outsole combo. We've been raving about this hiking shoe since broiling hot Arizona hikes, when we didn't experience any excessive foot sweat or moisture retention.

The Details: 1.25 pounds | Synthetic jacquard

Why We Love It: The deep lugs offer footfall patterning and excellent grip.

What to Consider: The sizing runs a little small, some people prefer going up a half-size.

While it’s true that most long-distance backpackers opt for trail runners these days, a solid pair of light-but-supportive hiking boots are still popular for many. La Sportiva’s modernized take on an ankle-height boot offers flexion through the forefoot, a generous heel upper that doesn’t bruise or rub, and a secure heel counter to prevent blisters. This is a surprisingly stable boot considering it has more space in the upper, and it’s our pick for multiple days out on the trail for that very reason. La Sportiva is known for its support in the more technical footwear, and this boot delivers with a solid combo of agility and structure.

The Details: 1.43 pounds | Mesh, synthetic | Waterproof

Why We Love It: The feel of a comfortable running shoe is combined with the support of a boot.

What to Consider: The midsole on Altra shoes can compress out faster than other hiking boots.

New to the Altra hiking boot family, the Timp Hikers have the same trail-comfortable grip and cushion as the classic Timp running shoe, with the added support of an over-the-ankle design. These shoes have a durable Vibram Megagrip rubber compound for flexible traction on everything from wet leaves to off-kilter rocks, and they come with a TPU overlay on the toes to keep everything together while protecting from stubbed toes. This is a super lightweight boot that offers the wide toe box and zero-drop design from Altra in a trail-ready hiker. We listed the non-waterproof version for this “most breathable” category, since shoes without a waterproof membrane will objectively be more breathable, but these boots do come in a GTX version.

The Details: 1.18 ounces | Synthetic, mesh

Why We Love It: Enjoy the same cushioning and flexion as the trail-runner version with added stability.

What to Consider: The Speedgoats run narrow.

Hoka takes a similar approach to its hiking boots that Altra does, adding height and reinforcement to fan-favorite models of trail running shoes. These waterproof boots have the same aggressive lug patterning and maximum-midsole cushioning as the iconic Speedgoat trail running shoes, with the addition of an over-the-ankle collar for reinforced stability. The deliberately soft heel tabs offer relief for your Achilles, which we appreciate as the stiffer boots can start to feel punishing after long days on the trail. These are ideal for wet, muddy, or slushy conditions, with full waterproofing and a taller height to keep the muck away from your feet.

The Details: 1.28 pounds | Synthetic jacquard | Waterproof

Why We Love It: A full-length nylon stabilizing shank helps keep you (and your ankles) upright.

What to Consider: These are stiff enough to not feel as comfortable on extended backpacking trips.

When you’re hitting those steep sidehills, root-ridden trails, boulder-hopping summit bids, or tricky shale sections, you need something rugged and protective, and these classic boots have you covered. The full-length stabilizers help with lateral steadiness, and they have a proprietary PU wrap for even more structural support. The Vibram outsoles help keep you from sliding, and the tongue is padded to relieve pressure around the laces. These boots are burly, but they do have wicking linings to help keep your feet cool, and paired with wicking socks they should feel comfortable for most conditions.

The Details: 2.12 pounds | Nubuck leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: Excellent outsole traction and torsional stability through the midsole makes for a secure ride.

What to Consider: At 2.25 pounds for the pair, these are a bit on the heavy side.

Take a look around any trailhead parking lot and you’re going to see at least one or two pairs of Merrell’s Moab line in some iteration. These boots are one of the most popular hiking boots for a reason, with the perfect balance of protection, support, and breathability for a range of hiking trails and conditions. This waterproof over-the-ankle version has a softer upper and grippier outsole than its predecessors, as well as an updated midsole for more ergonomic comfort on long trails.

Tongue bellows and reinforced toe caps keep debris from getting into the boots and splitting the upper from the midsole, and the waterproof membrane is quite breathable for how much weatherproofing it offers. We love Merrell’s special Air Cushion heel design, which reduces impact on long days with a heavy pack, and the boots have an added nylon shank along the arch for more stability.

The Details: 2.25 pounds | Leather, mesh | Waterproof

Why We Love It: The EnergyCell midsole reduces fatigue over long distances.

What to Consider: These take a little longer to break in and can feel pinched at the toe at first.

These boots feel lighter than they are thanks to the blend of synthetic uppers, strategically placed mesh, and PU-coated leather for complete waterproofing. They have a modern look for hikers who still want to wear boots but not look like they stepped out of a late ‘80s footwear catalog, and we’ve found these can reduce fatigue during long days thanks to the springy midsole and light-feeling uppers. The midsole and outsole combo does feel somewhat stiffer than more plush boots, so if you’re coming from a maximalist or super-cushioned shoe, these might take time to get used to. We tested these in our hiking boot test, and we loved them for creek crossings, puddles, slush, and rain protection.

The Details: 1.9 pounds | PU-coated leather, synthetic | Waterproof

Why We Love It: The 10-inch height can eliminate the need for gaiters in some circumstances.

What to Consider: The pair of boots weighs nearly 3.5 pounds, so expect some extra fatigue.

These winter boots provide warmth, protection, and traction on ice and slippery snow without the bulk of snow-shoveling boots. In fact, these boots can become a one-pair quiver for all of your winter needs. A rugged design through the bottom allows for traction of all types, including MicroSpikes and crampons as well as secure snowshoe stabilizers. The 400 grams of insulation is protected by Oboz’s B-dry membrane, and the tread is winter-specific, which means it adapts to frigid temperatures and won’t stiffen up on you. You will pay a weight penalty for these super protective boots though, at nearly 3.5 pounds for the pair, prepare for an additional leg workout on top of your hike.

The Details: 3.3 ounces | Nubuck leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: Designed like a more supportive running shoe, this model has the traction and protection perfect for lightweight fastpackers.

What to Consider: The toe box can feel snug, and a half-size up might work better for some hikers.

Another in our lineup of trail-running brands expanding into hiking boots, Saucony’s take on a hiking boot for extra stability in the fast-packing realm has been an excellent addition to the lightweight boot-style lineup. The middle-height style uses a Gore-tex membrane for breathable waterproofing, and it has a moderate 6-millimeter drop with a running-shoe inspiration that helps keep things flowing and flexible without added stiffness to the shoe. We’d call this a pretty middle-ground hybrid with the best of both hiking boots and running shoes, and it will serve fastpackers well on muddy or wet trails.

The Details: 1.6 pounds | Synthetic | Waterproof

Why We Love It: Though not specifically built for wide feet, this boot has a huge range of wide sizes.

What to Consider: The insole isn’t as supportive as other high-end boots, and you might want to replace it with an aftermarket insert.

A good variety of La Sportiva’s models come in a range of wide sizes, and the Nucleo is one of the best hiking boots for people with wider forefoot and arch areas. This is a highly durable shoe built with Gore-tex Surround, which lets the membrane adapt to the flexion and contours of the footwear. The nubuck leather uppers are also highly breathable, built with the “Nano Cell” tech that helps pull moisture away from your feet to prevent soggy socks, trench foot, and blisters. The outsole design through the heel of the boot helps keep you from sliding back on slippery, steep ascents, and multi-directional lugs provide additional climbing traction as well.

The Details: 2.06 pounds | Nubuck leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: These shoes still feel good in hot weather.

What to Consider: Some hikers might prefer a waterproofing membrane for rain and creek crossings.

While we love Merrell’s Moab line of boots and shoes for their enduring comfort and support, these lightweight trail shoes deserve a look for anyone who wants the structure of a hiking boot without the confines of the mid-height design. This is a highly breathable shoe that took inspiration from the support and textile wrapping of their traditional boots, and these were a top pick from our tests in Arizona’s hot climate, maintaining a cool, dry comfort even on the most sweltering days.

The Details: 1.4 pounds | Synthetic jacquard

Why We Love It: These are durable and protective without being too bulky for multiple days on the trail.

What to Consider: The lacing system is kind of finicky.

These slightly modernized boots have a sleek silhouette and durable suede uppers that can take a beating through thick underbrush and rugged trails. Danner uses their own waterproofing membrane to protect the inside of the boots as well as your feet, and they are quite breathable for how durable the materials are. Danner also makes some of the most comfortable long-haul boots out there, with a highly cushioned EVA midsole that protects from repetitive impact without sapping your energy. These have a minimal break in time and a long-lasting outsole that won’t wear down even after multiple seasons of lugging a pack around the backcountry.

The Details: 2.3 pounds | Suede, PU-coated leather | Waterproof

Why We Love It: Excellent traction and fatigue-reducing elements help during long days.

What to Consider: The upper isn’t as durable as other boots on this list.

It might seem odd to list a waterproof shoe as our most breathable pick, but out of all of the waterproof shoes we’ve tried, these hit high marks for breathability without sacrificing protection. Sure, you can have it all. These have fantastic energy return thanks to the purpose-built midsole, which offers plenty of cushion without losing springiness. The TPU plates throughout the front of the boots provide even more rebound, and they have a stride-smoothing feel that helps maintain a naturally fluid forward motion in the reverse camber base. All of this springiness and lightweight feel is compounded by such good moisture management from the interior we had to double check to make sure they were actually waterproof.

The Details: 1.67 pounds | Synthetic | Waterproof

Why We Love It: A cushioned, flexible heel tab helps keep pressure off your Achilles.

What to Consider: The taller stack height might take some getting used to, especially when carrying a heavy pack.

Proving once again that legacy trail-running brands can pivot to trail-runner-inspired versions of their most popular low-top shoes, Hoka’s Men’s Speedgoat 5 mid-height boots are a lesson in maximum cushioning with plenty of support. The Speedgoats have some of the most aggressive lug patterning on the market, with serrated, multi-direction deep lugs for maximum traction on pretty much anything you’re going to encounter on (or off) the trail. The ankle collar on the mid-height version secures snugly without pinching, helping with stability that doesn’t crush your Achilles. We love these boots for slushy, muddy trails where we really don’t want to slip and fall, and we also want to keep our socks dry.

The Details: 1.56 pounds | Synthetic jacquard | Waterproof

Why We Love It: Durable leather uppers and a reinforced midsole keep these boots in top shape.

What to Consider: If you’re looking for cool, modern style, look elsewhere.

For the most rugged trails where route-finding and off-trail sections are a possibility, look no further. Also ideal for guides or people carrying heavy packs and looking for more stability, these burly boots have full-length stabilizers for lateral support, and the PU wrap provides extra torsional stability and can prevent ankle rolling. Vibram outsoles, a cushioned midsole, and a thick, gusseted tongue complete the protective packages that don’t weigh as much as they look like they should, coming in at under 2.5 pounds for the pair.

The Details: 2.43 pounds | Nubuck leather | Waterproof

Hiking boots aren’t one-size-fits-all. Individual factors like high arches, foot width, and your stride will help determine which option is best for you.

“Those with high arches should make sure that the boots have a soft or adjustable upper material to prevent irritation to the top of the foot while hiking,” says Dr. Kuizinas. She also recommends keeping foot width in mind, and for hikers with wider feet to look for ample space in the toe box. Anyone with arthritis or unstable feet due to hypermobility should look for a more stiff-soled boot, while hikers without specific gait issues will do well with a flexible, responsive shoe that allows for more freedom of movement.

Before hitting the trail, make sure you’ve picked the right pair by trying them on at the end of the day. This helps mimic the long-trail-day feeling of swollen feet, and can help account for when you’re wearing thicker hiking socks. Since most trails have some element of elevation gain and loss, test footwear on ramps and steps to mimic going up or downhill. This will show you if your foot is moving around too much in the boot, if you’re getting hot spots or pinches areas, and can help highlight heel-rub areas.

For technical mountaineering, Todd recommends a full-shank boot with waterproofing and a back welt for crampons. If your terrain is less demanding, she says to “prioritize comfort and warmth,” based on the climate of your destinations and expected terrain. If you’re hitting technical, rocky peaks and carrying a full pack, you might want more support and a more rugged boot. If you’re traveling fast and light and in moderate conditions, something modeled after a more flexible trail-running shoe might work better.

“Hiking boots should fit comfortably with enough width, particularly in the ball of the foot and toes,” says Dr. Kuizinas. Make sure you have about 1 centimeter of space beyond your toes at the front of the boot, while still having a snug fit through the heel to prevent excess movement and blisters. Kuizinas generally recommends hiking boots with a wider toe box, which “help provide a more natural foot shape without being too wide throughout.” Her trick is to remove the sock liner from the boot, stand your foot on it, and check the length and width.

It’s never a bad idea to break in your hiking boots, especially heavier leather pairs with stiffer outsoles and midsoles. These are less flexible than trail-runner-inspired boots, making them more prone to hot spots and blisters before they’re broken in. Walk around town, wear them while watching TV, and start out wearing your stiffer boots on low-commitment hikes where you can turn around if they start to hurt. The lighter, more flexible boots will feel better out of the box, but it also doesn’t hurt to wear them on shorter hikes first.

Clean synthetic or leather hiking boots by rinsing them off with a hose after a muddy outing and using a soft brush to get out any caked dirt or mud from both the upper and between the outsole lugs. If your boots are waterproof, you can freshen up the waterproofing and DWR treatment at the end of the season with a special treatment like Nikwax’s footwear spray.

Most people tie their hiking boots like standard hiking shoes or trail running shoes, and most boots will come pre-laced. But if your heel is slipping (which is uncomfortable and can cause blisters), you can use a special lacing strategy called the “surgeon’s knot.” This is easier than it sounds, and simply entails double-wrapping the laces around each other at the two sets of lace hooks where your foot meets your ankle. Pull these double-wrapped sections tight and secure the tension by holding them in place as you continue to lace through the rest of the hooks.

Maggie Slepian is an avid hiker, backpacker, and trail runner with more than a decade of professional gear testing experience. She has backpacked thousands of miles, and her hiking and backpacking has taken her from winter peak bagging to coastal backpacking to extended trips in the desert and high alpine. Maggie is also a professional gear tester, testing hundreds of items on the trail each year, from hiking shoes to headphones to protein bars. For this article, she also interviewed backcountry guide Arielle Todd and podiatrist Dr. Alissa Kuizinas.

The 20 Best Hiking Boots of 2024

White Students Shoes Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.