A key component of any hiker or backpacker’s gear is footwear. With ill-fitting boots, you won’t get far. On the other hand (or foot may we dare say), a well-fitting boot will enable you to tackle even the most intimidating challenges. Well built boots, like a fine wine, will get better with age. Furthermore, they will keep your feet safe, and protect them from the worst of the pains and aches that come from a long day of hiking.
You should never compromise on quality when buying hiking boots. The best hiking boots are what you should be searching for. Many different brands of hiking boots are available in the market nowadays. You may even have some brand in mind for your next pair of hiking shoes or boots. But remember, it does not matter which brand you are buying but quality should be given extreme importance. Each brand has some models that are winners and each brand has some well.. concepts that didn’t turn out so well.
Without further ado, here are the best hiking boots for men and women currently available. We start with the top 5 hiking boots for women and follow with the top 5 hiking boots for men.
- 1 5 Best Hiking Boots for Women
- 2 5 Best Hiking Boots for Men
- 3 Important Features to Look for When Buying Hiking Boots
- 4 Most Popular Brands for Men’s Hiking Boots
- 5 Most Popular Brands for Women’s Hiking Boots & Outdoor Shoes
- 6 Choosing the Best Hiking Boots for You
- 7 The Best Hiking Boots: Don’t Consider Brand, But Quality
5 Best Hiking Boots for Women
5 Best Hiking Boots for Men
Important Features to Look for When Buying Hiking Boots
Think of the expectations you will have from your hiking boots, in which way they should be best to suit your requirements? Whether they should be durable, or comfortable or good looking, or all of these. And which company do you thing will offer you all this? Do bit of research online. Your hiking boots need to be able to withstand rough terrain, slippery surfaces, rocks and also the mud.
Definitely you would want your boots to be able to go through all this and not be damaged. Also your hiking boots should be comfortable enough for you to move easily, therefore they should not be too heavy. The hiking boots should also give stability while you are moving. The combination of all these important features should be present in a hiking boot, so keep these factors in mind when buying the best hiking boots you can find.
The most important feature you should always look for in a hiking boot is how well it fits your feet. To get the best hiking boots for your foot size, you do not have to go to a professional to get the measurements of your feet. You can do all this yourself by trying on a few before you make up your mind to purchase it. The hiking boots with the right fit are your best option. These hiking boots should support your hips and back to help you to go up and down the trail without any problems, and without causing any aches in your body.
A good quality hiking boot will last for years in all types of conditions. Check the boot by flipping it over to see its make. Bend the hiking boots back and forth a bit to find out whether they have a hard or soft sole. After you try them on your feet, see if they are heavy or light on you. The hiking boots should be comfortable and well designed, and there should be no chaffing whatsoever.
If you are planning to find the best hiking boots for you, and also taking price and brand into consideration, you may have to do lot of research to land a great deal. You may consider looking for discounted sales in sports shops to get your top quality hiking boots. These types of sales are usually on during off season. From a discounted sale you may get your desired brand at a reasonable price.
You can also get your hiking boots customized from the manufacturer. View Sierra Post’s selecting hiking boots guide for more information about choosing the right boots.
Most Popular Brands for Men’s Hiking Boots
Men’s hiking boots and outdoor footwear are grouped together because what people are actually looking for is not necessarily the same as the keywords they use in their search. Hiking boots and trail runners have a very different intent than boots for scaling mountains, crossing glaciers, or surviving in the rugged outdoors, and a person should plan accordingly. Discussed in this article are the major brands of men’s hiking boots for the casual hiker.
Merrell – Merrell is a large footwear maker designing numerous different styles of footwear, but one of their largest collections is in hiking and outdoor boots, and they are known for making only the very best trekking boots. Since their original hiking boot, Merrell footwear has also expanded into trail runners as well as outdoor sport sandals similar to KEEN and Teva. They are a one stop shopping for outdoor footwear, including the traditional hiking boot for the casual hiker. Expect to pay between $70 and $135 for a pair of the best lightweight hiking boots.
New Balance – You are probably wondering why New Balance is included on a list of outdoor brands when New Balance primarily makes Athletic Shoes and Sneakers. While they are best known for other footwear, New Balance is a very large and diverse company that makes most footwear styles. They make this list because they are actually one of the largest contributors to the outdoor footwear category, and make some of the best hiking shoes on the market.
The bulk of their contributions are in trail runners as this is their forte, and you tend to have to sort through a lot of other athletic styles to find them, but New Balance has a large and appealing selection of trail runners, and New Balance’s dedication to the latest innovations make them an ideal, and by comparison, an economical choice for trail runners, as you can expect to pay between $60 and $130 for a fine pair of trail runners or hiking boots.
Hi-Tec – Hi-Tec footwear is an almost exclusively Outdoor brand. Nearly all of their styles are outdoor in look and design. Hi-Tec has made a name for itself in designing lightweight footwear. Their goal is to keep your footwear from dragging you down. Their collection of trail runners costs between $45 and $60 a pair wile their hiking boots cost between $60 and $95 a pair, though the more lightweight breathable hikers are all below $80 a pair. For the casual hiker Hi-Tec is a great choice because of the low cost and the lighter designs, but for the price you are still getting one of the best lightweight walking boots you can buy.
Montrail – Montrail footwear is a lesser known brand, but their collection is entirely focused on trail running and hiking, and makes a great choice for the more avid hiker and trail runner. You can tell immediately by the tread that their footwear is specifically designed for trail running rather than most hiking boots that are really designed for the urban jungle but have an outdoor look. If you really are planning to be on the trails a lot, seriously consider Montrail footwear as they make some of the best leather hiking boots.
Nevados – Nevados footwear is the least expensive brand on the list of hiking boots. All of their footwear is styled for hiking and all of their footwear prices at or below $50 a pair. For the casual hiker this is perfect. Despite the price, they are still considered one of the best mens walking boots.
Most Popular Brands for Women’s Hiking Boots & Outdoor Shoes
Women’s hiking and outdoor boots is a relatively large category of shoes, with at least 50 different major brands making outdoor boots. Each brand has its advantages and disadvantages. Discussed in this article are the top brands in the outdoor and hiking category and the price range for each brand.
Vasque – Vasque’s entire product line is focused on outdoor, hiking, and camping boots and shoes. Of all major brands, Vasque contributes the most styles to the outdoor and hiking cateogry. Prices range from between $80 and $170 with most boots pricing around $125 retail. Definitely some of the best backpacking boots around.
New Balance – New Balance is a major footwear retailer that makes all kinds of apparel, including outdoor footwear for men and women. Most of their outdoor footwear is trail running shoe styles rather than rugged boots. Prices range from $65 to $112 with most pricing around $70 a pair.
Lowa – Women’s Lowa outdoor boots are less focused on hiking and more oriented for rugged outdoor wear. Boot and shoes have deep tread with strong soles and are mostly waterproof. In fact, if you are looking for the best waterproof hiking boots around, you can’t do much better than Lowa. Prices range from $160 to $320 with most styles falling around $200 a pair.
Merrell – Like New Balance, Merrell footwear makes many different styles of shoes, and contributes many new models to each style every single year. Merrell is the second biggest contributor to the outdoor hiking category. Most styles have tread similar to a running shoe but with an outdoor look. Prices range from $65 to $135 with most pricing around $90 a pair.
The North Face – Having one of the most diverse offerings of outdoor footwear for women, The North Face footwear include closed toe sandals with a slip resistant sole to hiking shoes with deep claw like tread. Plus, The North Face has the advantage of being some of the least expensive options with shoe prices ranging from $65 to $105 with most falling around $80 a pair.
Keen – Keen helped pioneer a new type of footwear, the outdoor sport sandal. They are best known for their closed toe sandals, though they compliment their selection with other outdoor footwear including hiking shoes and boots. Prices range from $70 to $120 a pair depending on the style you are looking for.
Brooks – Brooks is footwear for runners and their outdoor selection is no different. All of their styles for women are trail running shoes designed to be lightweight and have good traction to minimize slipping. Prices range from $50 to $120 with most styles around $75 a pair.
Teva – Like Keen, Teva is best known for their outdoor sandals, but this company does so much more. Women’s Footwear styles include sandals, sneakers, running shoes, and hiking boots. Enjoy a wider selection of styles with the same outdoor look and a tread to match the style. Prices range widely depending on whether it is a sandal, shoe, or boot, but most outdoor styles price around $90 a pair.
This is the top selection of 8 largest outdoor footwear brands, other large brands in the outdoor category include Ecco, garmot, Asolo, Reebok, Montrail, Muck Boots, GoLite, Danner, Ariat, Icebut, and Wolverine.
When deciding between brands, first decide whether you are just going for an outdoor look, casual hiking, or serious hiking. Then choose a brand based on what you intend to be doing in that footwear. The ideal type of footwear really does depend on what environment you realistically plan to be wearing your footwear in the most.
Choosing the Best Hiking Boots for You
For people who enjoy hiking, one of the most important pieces of equipment is their hiking boots. They are designed for the express purpose of hiking in them. Out of necessity, they offer the optimum in comfort when it comes to walking long distances over rugged terrain. Really good hiking boots will also protect your feet in water, mud, or while walking on rocks.
An important aspect of hiking boots is the support they provide for the ankles as well as a stiff support that helps the entire foot. While it does restrict ankle movement, the hiking boots will protect against such things as blisters that can crop up while walking for long distances. This is one of many reasons that hiking boots are considered a vital part of any backpacking equipment. Hiking boots can make or break a hiking trip, so it’s smart not to skimp on them.
When choosing the best hiking boots for your trip consider what sort of hiking you’ll be doing. If you’re just a weekend hiker, you’ll probably be fine with a decent pair of shoes that don’t come with extra frills. These give you the kind of traction you need but without the heaviness of boots. However, if you have weak ankles or will be travelling over particularly rugged areas, boots will be best. They will prevent you from hurting your ankles by offering maximum support.
The correct hiking boots will feel stiff and give a little on the outer sole as well as around the ankle. In spite of the stiffness of the boots, they also need to be comfortable. This means that they need to feel right the first time you try them on.
Features on some of the latest hiking boots are such things as cushioning air units that are optimized to balance out the rocky and stony terrains against the feet, as well as to offer protection to the sides of the feet. Ankle supports are stiffer so they can offer better protection against ankle injuries. The soles are rubber and anti-skid, offering both waterproofing and breathability of the feet.
Keep in mind that the best hiking boots will give your ankles and feet both stiffness and springiness that will be needed when hiking across rugged terrain. It is vital to find the very best hiking boots for you that have all of the most desirable qualities while also fitting you as comfortably as possible.
The Best Hiking Boots: Don’t Consider Brand, But Quality
The best hiking boots should be what you are looking for. A popular brand can be an indicator of high quality boots, but not always. Even the best brands have some models that are bad apples, while other models turn out near perfect. That’s why it makes sense to shop for the best model of boots and not get overly focused on the brand name.
There are many different brands on the market today. Some are not meant to be taken on the trail, though. The brand names that you know and love as quality boots should be what you are focusing on. Yet, brand names are nothing in regards to the best hiking boots. You need to consider the use you have for those boots as well as the quality that they can provide for you. The good news is that there are a number of different options available to you that provide top quality footwear.
Key Factors In Boot Selection:
Consider what you need in the best hiking boots. You need a boot that will carry you over rough terrain, rocks, slippery surfaces and even through the mud. You want all of this to happen without much damage to the boot itself and definitely no damage to your foot. In addition, you need a boot that will allow you to easily move in it, one that’s not too heavy and one that provides you with stability. The combination of these factors will deliver the best boot for the job.
One of the key factors of the boot should be how well it fits your foot. Support is not just so that your feet don’t ache, but also to give your hips and your back strength to take you up and down the trail comfortably.
Look at the quality of the boot, too. Consider how well the best hiking boots that your friends or family members have lasted them. A good quality boot will last years, over all types of terrain. Flip the boot over and look at how well it is made. Bend it back and forth a bit, does it give easily or is there tension there? How much do they weigh? Do they feel heavy when you slip them on? The lining inside them should also be comfortable. You’ll find the best results from a boot that is designed well because all of these features are found.