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A good pair of hiking boots can make your life a lot easier when tackling a variety of terrains on your adventures. Hiking boot technology has come a long way over the years, and even some of the most affordable boots on the market today offer excellent waterproofing, weatherproofing and durability for the day-to-day wearer.
For the more adventurous amongst you, newer versions of popular hiking boots have been refined over the years to provide excellent comfort and wearability in the toughest of conditions.
What to look for in a hiking boot
Inevitably this question turns to how you might use your boots – but it’s important to pay attention to the types of materials used and the boot’s weights to ascertain which option to go for. If you’re in scrubby, muddy woodland terrain, you might want a more durable, heavy-duty boot.
If you’re in wintery, snowy conditions, look for warmth and padding as a key priority. If you’re looking to cover rocky, stony ground with a lack of traction, look for something that can provide you with dynamic, flexible grip.
How much money do I have to spend?
We’ve included a range of options below, covering price-points from around £60 to £200+. Our advice would be to refer to the point above and spend based on your needs. If you’re buying boots to wear on your dog walks, the technology included in the most basic pairs of boots will probably be enough. If you’re on multi-day hikes or treks, look at spending a bit more for added comfort and protection. There’s nothing worse than uncomfortable, or more importantly, inappropriate boots for the conditions you’re in, and our advice would be to get to know the materials, weights and feels of different fabrics and styles to find what’s right for you.
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots
Key Specs – Material: Fabric membrane, Missiongrip rubber sole; Waterproof technology; GORE-TEX; Weight: 620g; Colour options: 2
Swiss running shoe specialists On are well-known as a company for creating versatile, high-performing running shoes for those looking to take their exercise to a new level.
This is a lightweight hiking boot option from the brand that performs well in the weight stakes – they’re some of the lightest men’s boots we’ve tested thanks to a durable membrane and a super light ‘MissionGrip’ outsole.
With the brand’s focus on combining a running shoe ethos and a hard-wearing hiking boot construction, we were impressed with the overall design of the boot.
Vivobarefoot Tracker FG
Key Specs – Fabric: Leather; Weight: 460g; Waterproof technology: recycling PET lining; Colour options: 1
Vivobarefoot are a brand with a mission – to spread the word of the benefits of barefoot running, walking and hiking.
Made to tackle any terrain, this is a lightweight boot which features a removable thermal insole and is created with the minimum amount of separation between your foot and the terrain as possible.
We liked how much grip it provided, whilst at the same time being lightweight, breathable, fully waterproof and importantly constructed using completely ethically sourced materials.
Tog24 Ingleborough Men’s Vibram Waterproof Boots
This is a vintage look leather boot, with a full-grain leather upper coated with a waterproof membrane and a quick-wicking lining to banish moisture accumulating when on long walks.
We liked the design of the Ingleborough, named after the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales. A no-nonsense, affordable boot that’ll take you where you need to go.
Dare2B Ridgeback Winter II Waterproof Snow Boots
Key Specs – Fabric: 85% Polyurathane, 10% Polyester, 5% Thermo Plastic Polyurethane; Weight 500g; Waterproof technology: ARED membrane; Colour options: 3
If you’re on a bit more of a budget but you’re still after something with excellent winter credentials, it’s worth considering the Dare2B Ridgeback range.
They’re all very affordable, but this version in particular offers winter technology and is focused on temperature control, breathability and Endo-Thermic Performance, essentially meaning your feet will stay warm no matter what you throw at this boot. The outsole and grip systems are also optimised for snowy and wintery conditions.
A good boot for the money.
Berghaus Hillmaster II GORE-TEX Boots
Key Specs – Fabric: Leather, GORE-TEX; Weight 708g; Waterproof technology: GORE-TEX; Colour options: 1
We thought this Berghaus boot sits at both an optimum price-point for serious walkers and at a technical level to provide all most people would need from their hikes.
Launched in 1994, the Hillmasters have become Britain’s bestselling walking boot, and this latest version offers up memory foam in the collar, to allow the boot to mould to the shape of your foot, as well as supple leather and a breathable GORE-TEX lining to keep your feet warm, dry and cushioned.
Jack Wolfskin Force Striker Texapore
Key Specs – Fabric: Reflex Foam, Vibram outsole, polyester upper; Weight 468g; Waterproof technology: Texapore; Colour options: 3
An innovative ‘force-plate’ improves stability in this Jack Wolfskin offering, meaning that less effort is required on uneven and unpredictable terrain.
It offers excellent grip on tougher hikes, whilst being comfortable and lightweight enough for more athletic day hikes.
A good all-rounder, and an excellent option for people looking for a light boot for day-to-day activity.
Regatta Men’s Kota II Waterproof Walking Boots
Key Specs – Material: 55% Polyester, 30% Polyurethane, 15% Thermoplastic Polyurethane; Waterproof technology; Hydropel; Weight: 500g; Colour options: 1
Regatta offer a good range of affordable boot options and the Kota II is no exception to this.
A high-performing boot for the price, they’re built specifically for lighter trails, everyday dog walks and weekend wear – which is more than enough for many people.
Sturdy, weatherproof and durable, they’re another great option for those whose demands of an outdoor hiking boot don’t need to stretch to some of the other more premium options on the list.
Scarpa Mistra II GTX
Key Specs – Fabric: Leather, Vibram outsole; Weight 600g; Waterproof technology: GORE-TEX; Colour options: 1
Another good mid-range option, this is a walking boot made with comfort in mind. Ideal for longer periods of wear due to the exemplary underfoot cushioning – also great if your foot shape needs something with a little extra padding.
Definitely a great option if all-day comfort is high on the priority list; great for travelling and causal walking in warmer conditions.
Salomon Cross Hike GORE-TEX
Key Specs – Fabric: Polyester, GORE-TEX membrane; Weight 396g; Waterproof technology: GORE-TEX; Colour options: 3
The Cross Hike offers a Contagrip on the outsole, which means it has multi-directional lugs offering exceptional grip on low-friction terrain.
Led by the brand’s experience of developing shoes for trail-running, we like the quick-lace system which provided an easy-on, easy-off experience and the well-developed GORE-TEX maintaining excellent water and weatherproofing credentials.
We’d recommend these boots for people who are used to the Salomon system, or perhaps are keen trail runners looking to take that concept to a more sturdy, heavy-duty shoe.
Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Boot
Key Specs – Fabric: GORE-TEX, Vibram Outsole; Weight 550g; Waterproof technology: GORE-TEX; Colour options: 1
A technical trekking boot at the higher end of the market, this offering from Arc’teryx is exactly what you’d expect from the brand – well considered, well-made and lightweight enough for packability, climbing and efficiency of movement across all terrains.
We’d definitely consider adding this to our packing list for multi-day treks and adventures where space is at a premium.