There’s nothing quite like breathing in crisp, fresh air from a mountain top while gazing down at the landscape below and reveling in that long hike you’ve just accomplished. However, one vital thing can stand in the way of that sweet, sweet hiker’s bliss: the wrong boots. Donne a pair of ill-fitting hiking boots and you’re bound for blisters, squeezing, sliding, and pain.
So before your next hike—long or short, mild or advanced—take some time to find the boots that are right for you. Things to consider include material (suede, leather, synthetic, to name a few), the type of grip you’re looking for, whether or not you plan on running or scrambling over rocks and boulders, and what type of weather you’ll be hiking in. Pro tip: it’s always good to opt for a waterproof boot.
A few best-sellers that we know and love, below.
These boots provide an unparalleled grip on both wet and dry terrains. Amazon
Consider the struggle to find a comfortable boot officially over. These ultra-cushioned, durable hiking boots from Danner—known for creating some of the best boots on the market—are literally made to withstand the elements of the Pacific Northwest. That means dry, hot, cold, wet, and just about everything in between. The combination of waterproof suede, Vibram SPE midsole, and Fuga outsole yields a sturdy, reliable boot with a classic style.
These boots are both ultra-light and waterproof. Amazon
An ideal boot from an iconic brand, the Vasque Breeze LT GTX are waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about spring’s unpredictable forecasts when on the trail. A sleek GORE-TEX waterproof membrane blocks moisture, and a synthetic microfiber and mesh upper keeps the boot lightweight. For those who prefer a lower-cut ankle, this model is available in both high and low-top styles.
Runners can expect premium push-off and braking grip capability. Amazon
For those who prefer speed when on the trail, the Salomon Speedcross 5 are, without question, one of the very best trail shoes available right now. The brand recently updated the sole’s geometry, resulting in unparalleled push-off grip and braking grip. The boot’s careful construction cradles the heel for extra support, and an expertly-welded upper yields natural movement.