Last updated on March 28th, 2022
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Looking for the best hiking boots? We did the heavy lifting for you, researching almost 30 different trekking boots before narrowing it down to the top 9 walking boots available on the market. They come in a variety of styles, with the best walking boots putting emphasis on waterproofness, breathability and support.
With the British weather averaging 133 days of rain and snow per year, it’s a no-brainer that your walking boots must be waterproof. And this is just one of the considerations you need to make when shopping because you also need to pay attention to weight, traction, comfort and durability, all of which we’ve covered in a comprehensive buyer’s guide.
That being said, below we present the best men’s hiking boots and the best women’s walking boots.
The Berghaus Men’s Hillwalker 2 GTX Boots wins it in the men’s category. Featuring some amazing technical features such as Gore-tex membrane, EVA midsole, OrthoLite footbed and OPTI-STUD outsole, these boots offer all-round protection and comfort in almost any trail and weather conditions. Moreover, the brand is trusted in the outdoor gear department and they are reasonably priced.
On the other hand, the Berghaus Women’s Hillmaster II Gore-Tex Walking Boots is our best pick for the ladies. These ones are waterproof guaranteed thanks to a Gore-tex performance comfort lining, which also lets sweat escape with ease. Their uppers are built from full-grain leather for durability and they have a tongue and collar that’s perfectly designed to adapt to your feet for a bespoke fit. Although these boots are quite expensive, customer reviews online suggest they are of the highest quality, meaning there’s true value for money here.
BEST PICK FOR MEN
Hiking Boots Buyer’s Guide
There are thousands of walking and hiking boots available on the market, but not all live up to expectations. Nothing holds up on rough terrain and in the mud like a tough pair of boots. Ideally, your hiking boot should get you through trails in the countryside and serve you for more demanding climbs in the mountains. Choosing the best boots for walking is a matchmaking process. The boots need to be suitable for the environment where you hike.
Tips and factors to consider when choosing the best hiking boots
Types of hiking boots
Day hiking boots
These are suitable for day hikes or short trips. They are much more flexible and require little break-in time. The construction usually involves a blend of leather and synthetic reinforcements, with the proportion of leather to other fabrics being low for basic support and protection against the elements.
Underfoot protection is a priority of these kinds of boots which have light plates to prevent bruising. They are typically mid to high-cut models. Many day hiking boots are also waterproof for the fact that the weather may turn when you’re outdoors.
Heavy-duty backpacking boots
These are perfect for extended, multi-day adventures into the backcountry. They feature high cuts that wrap above the ankles for increased support and are taller, tougher and more protective than day hiking versions. Supportive and durable, with characteristically stiff midsoles, these boots are ideal for on or off-trail trips. However, they are quite heavier than day hiking boots.
Hiking boots are made of different materials on the uppers, midsoles and outsoles. The materials have an impact on a boot’s durability, weight, waterproofness and breathability.
Most boots have full-grain leather uppers. Full-grain leather forms the most durable boot material. It also offers superior abrasion resistance and excellent water-resistance properties. This material is often found in heavy-duty hiking boots. Probably the only downside of this material is that it needs a significant break in time before taking a long hike. Most boots in this guide feature full-grain leather uppers, with the Berghaus models being good examples.
Some cheaper walking boots are made out of synthetic leather. This is lighter than full-grain leather, yet durable, water and abrasion-resistant. It can flex with ease but it also requires plenty of time to break in. It is also quick drying if it gets wet. However, they may show wear and tear quickly because they have more exterior stitching.
Waterproof membranes such as the Gore-Tex membranes are common with boot uppers these days. This type of material is also breathable to keep your feet cool whilst they work hard on trails.
These sections provide cushioning for your feet. They safeguard feet from shock and determine a boot’s tightness. Tight boots are not a good deal. But, they can mean excellent stability and comfort for extended hikes on rocky and rugged terrain.
The most popular material for midsoles is EVA. EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) is somehow light and comfortable. Midsoles come in varying thicknesses to offer extra support around the forefoot. The midsoles can combine with inserts to protect feet from bruises caused by tree roots or loose rocks. Inserts are materials that you can position in between midsole and outsole. They also support the midsole in load-bearing.
Most outsoles are made from rubber. Carbon may be used as a supplement to increase the hardness of hiking boots. Outsoles contain lugs that improve grip on the material. Lugs also help to release mud off your boots. Some as well feature heel brakes that prevent you from sliding while on a steep gradient.
BEST PICK FOR WOMEN
There are three outdoor factors to consider when seeking a hiking boot.
Some boots are light and suitable for long hikes on rolling terrain. Others have more stability and are better suited for rocky ground. Rolling dirt trails need less techy shoes than scrambles in muddy terrains.
Weather and climate
Dry weather requires a more breathable upper as opposed to a waterproof laminate material. During the wet days, however, a solid pair of waterproof boots will suffice.
Long trips call for a sturdier boot than short-distance hiking. A longer trip normally involves carrying a moderately heavy load which requires plenty of boot support.
Size and fit
The fit may sometimes be tricky because some boots aren’t true to size. Below are some tips to help you nail the perfect fit.
Stick to your guns when shopping online
If you are shopping for new boots online, consider a brand you have worn before if they felt great. The fit is likely to be similar because most brands tend to keep a consistent foot model over time.
Know your size
Assess your foot size when you visit a shoe shop such as Clarks or Schuh. You can seek assistance from the store specialist to get accurate measurements. Once you have had your feet measured you can at least buy boots online but still, remember they don’t always come true to size, and this is where reading other customer reviews come in. The boots should not be too tight nor should they be too loose.
A loose boot is likely to slip off on rough terrain and can also cause blisters. It should not squeeze on the sides of your forefoot either.
Try them on in the evening hours
Your feet usually swell through the afternoon. You should try your boots at the end of the day as your feet will be at their largest. Otherwise, boots that you might think are your ideal size might disappoint you later while hiking.
Try them on with the socks you intend to wear
Familiarise the boots with your choice of socks to assess the feel of your new footwear. Stroll around in them; find an inclined or declined surface to walk on for the perfect feel.
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT PICK
General qualities of the hiking boots
Hiking boots are typically made lightweight but they do vary to a certain degree depending on the thickness of the uppers and outsoles, amongst other elements. Weighing under 1kg per pair, the Berghaus Women’s Supalite 2 GTX Boot scores high marks in this department.
A good pair of boots should perform well in different scenarios. They should allow you to hike, run, jump, and scramble and feel comfortable to wear in town.
This is where ankle and arch support and stability come into play. Shanks located between a boot’s midsole and outsole add some level of load-bearing stiffness, as well as plates below the shanks to protect feet from getting bruised by rocks are a good sign of a high-performance hiking boot.
This is measured by the amount of tear the boot shows after a few treks. Does it tear after the first, fifth or tenth trek? It also reflects the outer resistance to wear and tear.
Top 9 Detailed Hiking Boots Reviews
1. Berghaus Men’s Hillwalker 2 GTX Boots
This Berghaus Men’s Hillwalker 2 GTX Boots is our top pick for men and there are many reasons why they stand out from the crowd. First of all, the boot features robust, streamlined construction that combines a surprisingly soft oiled suede shell with Gore-Tex lining for unparalleled durability with reliable waterproofing and breathability. This means wet weather will never touch your feet and on the other hand, sweat makes a clean getaway. Then there’s the memory foam at the heel and tongue for exceptional, custom-fitting comfort.
What’s more? Its OrthoLite footbed offers an outstanding, cushioned fit while Berghaus patented OPTI-STUD outsole construction provides top-notch grip on uneven terrain. Because of that, the boot will enable you to power through all sorts of the landscape due to its lightweight construction. The midsole is made out of EVA material, designed to protect your ankles and knees from jolts and jars while offering excellent shock absorption.
When it comes to outdoor appeal, this one has a classic look with minimal design features; just a simple branding on its chocolate brown full-grain leather. If you didn’t know, full-grain leather is the highest quality of leather, which gives the impression that these boots are built to last. In addition, there is extra support in the shape of the boot, the torsional support and the sturdy lace-up closure.
We also like the fit offered, which many agreed to be spot on. Other previous buyers on online reviews have noted that there was little breaking in period required, and that’s a plus. You may also want to use waterproofing wax to keep them in top condition, especially if you do long mileage more often. We recommend Berghaus “Conditioning Cream” for application after cleaning the boots but any good leather cleaner would be fine.
- High-quality construction featuring full-grain leather outer and Gore-Tex inner lining for breathability and waterproofness.
- The OPTI-STUD outsole has an exceptional grip on uneven terrain.
- EVA midsole protects ankles and knees from jolts and jars.
- Classic, minimalist look that many people prefer.
- Strong lace-up closure ensures custom-fitting comfort.
- Little breaking in time required.
That being said, these boots tick all the boxes for general performance. You can go out on rough terrain and rely on them for comfort and protection. If you’re after a good quality pair of boots, these are well worth considering
2. Grisport Men’s Quatro Hiking Boots
The Grisport Men’s Quatro Hiking Boots is the best-selling backpacking boot from Grisport and it made on to this list because of its amazingly comfortable support system. For one, it has a padded toe-joint that makes the flex point of the shoe quite comfy. The boot itself is fairly good-looking with different shades of brown on the outer material, bits of branding and detailing across the uppers as well as metal hooks for the laces.
These hiking boots certainly look like the sort that should be able to withstand the elements pretty well. The Italian waxed leather uppers allow excellent waterproofing while the inner has a breathable lining for your feet to stay fresh. For greater coverage, these have been designed with some height around the ankles and you also get a proper fit thanks to the strong lace-up design. The sole is made out of gum rubber and is robust enough to handle slippery grounds.
Reviews from the buyer’s we researched online say they’ve experienced good grip on wet cobbles and others commend the boot for being easy to clean if the roads get somewhat too muddy. There are also reports of good cushioning on the insole that holds the foot well and great ankle support for those long walks. All things considered, these are quality boots that go hundreds of miles without notable damage.
- Supportive all around for maximum reliability.
- The breathable inner lining ensures your feet stay cool and fresh.
- Durable and waterproof Italian waxed leather uppers.
- Padded toe joint that makes them comfortable when walking on uneven terrain.
3. The North Face Men’s Back-to-Berkeley Hiking Boots
The North Face is a brand that many folks turn to for their outdoor gear needs because they are considered an industry leader, which is why we also shortlisted this Men’s Back-to-Berkeley Redux Leather High Rise Hiking Boots. This attractive hiking boot is available in a range of colours including black and various shades of brown, such as Dijon brown, chocolate brown and golden brown.
Combining a traditional silhouette with cutting-edge technology, this insulated, waterproof walking boot delivers superior performance on the local trails. Its full-grain leather uppers feature Gore-Tex membrane that’s extremely waterproof to keep your feet dry in wet weather while remaining breathable enough to let out sweat as your feet work hard on the trails. They also benefit from thermal insulation to lock in heat in chilly conditions. This blend of techy features makes these Back-to-Berkeley the best boots for walking in any weather.
You’ll also love how lightweight these boots are at just 500g per boot. These won’t slow you down a bit and largely because their sole is pretty thin and flexible, and still manages to offer enough support. The inside of the shoe features an OrthoLite Rebound footbed and a compression-moulded TPU heel clip, which offers superb ankle and arch support with every step. In addition, these hiking boots come with a compression-moulded EVA midsole that will keep you comfortable all day long.
When it comes to the fit, these are good to go out of the box without a long break-in period required, although it may take about two days for the boots to fully adapt to your feet. These boots are also true to size so you can order the size you usually wear, this is a huge plus if you are ordering them online. They are also wider on the inside, meaning you can wear thick socks with them and fasten them with shoelaces.
The boots additionally feature TNF Winter Grip rubber outsole with IcePick temperature-sensitive lugs that provide excellent traction on snowy grounds. The rubber lugs harden when it’s cold and soften in warmer conditions, which both offer good grip on wet or dry surfaces.
- Full-grain leather uppers that offer durable and long-lasting style.
- The waterproof Gore-Tex membrane keeps your feet dry in wet weather.
- Synthetic interior insulation provides warmth in cold weather.
- Cushioned footbed and midsole cradles your feet in so much comfort.
- Robust and grippy outsoles for walking on icy trails.
- With strong lace closure that offers a secure and adjustable fit.
- Good value for money.
Overall, these boots tick all the boxes and is a great recommendation if you’re looking for winter hiking boots. As you have seen, they are all about technical features and all geared towards comfort and support.
4. Skechers Men’s Relment – Pelmo High Rise Hiking Boots
Sketchers is a famous brand when it comes to providing stylish and comfortable shoes for outdoor activities but at more affordable prices. These men’s Relment Pelmo High Rise Hiking Boots continue the company’s idea of a relaxed fit and something a bit more easy-going than many other hiking boots. Sketcher’s ‘Relaxed Fit’ design typically offers a roomy, comfortable and supportive fit.
The boots come in four different colours for you to choose from; black, grey, blue and tan. They have a lace-up closure for adjusting the fit and it gets even more secure because of the metal clips that hold the laces.
The uppers are made out of waterproof leather to keep your feet dry in wet weather and they have stitching accents with embossed suede detailing, plus a mesh fabric collar to allow airflow for a cooling effect. Padding on the collar also provides comfort during your hike, while the boot’s gusset and padded tongue ensures no water will get into your boots.
A memory foam full-length insole coupled with its shock-absorbing midsole makes for a comfortable walk on uneven terrain, and a protective toe cap allows one to move around pain-free. These boots also have 1-1/2-inch heels that are pretty supportive and they come with flexible, rubber outsoles for increased traction and a strong grip on wet trails. For increased support and safety, Sketchers designed these boots to go high over your ankle, thus the name “High Rise”.
- Waterproof leather uppers with sealed seams for maximum protection against water.
- Great ankle and arch support thanks to their raised design.
- Mesh fabric collar and lace section allow for cooling effect.
- Padded collar and tongue for increased comfort and stability.
- The relaxed fit design offers a roomy and comfortable fit.
- A lot more affordable than many other hiking boots.
- Good traction on uneven terrain due to rubber outsoles.
Overall, these hiking boots will no doubt keep your feet safe and dry out there, providing you with a shock-absorbent heel and arch support for enhanced comfort. Moreover, they are reasonably priced, so a good buy after all.
5. Berghaus Women’s Hillmaster II Gore-Tex Walking Boots
The Berghaus Women’s Hillmaster II Gore-Tex Walking Boots are the perfect boots for long day hikes or country strolls. It takes a classic boot design and features a Gore-tex lining to add a waterproof and breathable performance with maximum comfort on your adventures. The boot also has a supportive footbed that combines with an anti-clogging outsole and shock-absorbing midsole to get the most out of your energy on all kinds of trails.
These boots have full-grain leather uppers that give the perfect combination of strength and suppleness. The tongue and collar have been designed to adapt to your feet and ankles for a truly bespoke fit. The Hillmaster II comes in a decent range of sizes from 3 – 8. They are quite spacious with a handy locking eyelet lower down the lacing so that tension at the arches can be controlled. We also noticed that the ankle cuff is lower than other heavier hiking boots, so ankle fit is not restrictive. Even the general fit is true to size.
The forefoot area and toe box are quite roomy, making the hiking boot comfortable for women with wider feet. Whether you’ll be walking on hill paths, moorland or even technical ground, you are sure to feel great in these boots.
- Fully waterproof leather hiking boot, ideal for the British weather.
- Features Gore-tex lining that stops water from leaking into the boot whilst allowing your feet to breathe and stay cool.
- Full-grain leather upper that is comfortable and durable.
- Memory foam tongue and cuffs that nicely adapt to your feet for a snug fit.
- Vibram outsole that has an excellent grip on wet and muddy terrain, so you can feel confident with every step you take.
- OPTI-STUD lug design shrugs off sticky mud for enhanced grip.
- Shock-absorbing midsole gives the support you need for extended walks or when walking quickly.
Overall, these classic leather boots are perfectly designed for British weather conditions, thanks to a host of advanced waterproof features. Expect them to last for years thanks to the high-quality Pittards WR100X 1.6-1.8mm full-grain British leather uppers. Only if you can match the price though. If you are serious about doing any walking and hiking, these are well worth considering and paying a little extra for. If you are looking for a slightly more affordable pair of boots and a pair that are perhaps a little lighter, our next pick by Berghaus might be more suitable.
6. Berghaus Women’s Supalite 2 GTX Boots
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT PICK
The name says it all – these Berghaus Women’s Supalite 2 GTX Boots are incredibly lightweight, weighing under a kilo per pair. The result is maximum performance on long hikes where comfort and durability cannot be compromised.
These boots are made of 1.6-1.8mm Pittards full grain abrasion resistant leather, so you can be sure they will withstand tough trail conditions for many years to come. The collar and tongue feature soft memory foam that feels nice on your feet while a Gore-tex lining makes the boots waterproof and breathable at the same time.
Everything in these women’s boots has been combined, down to the essentials with the goal of providing maximum comfort. The leather is pretty thin and has so much movement in it from the word go. This makes the Supalite boots lovely to wear and provides excellent freedom of movement. The EVA midsole is another eye-catching feature, managing shock absorption and offering something back when your forefoot rolls off. This lessens fatigue on extended hikes.
The Vibram Supalit outsole features anti-clogging characteristics with nicely spaced lugs shaped in a mud shredding pattern. These lugs are outstanding for wading through deep mud and grip is fantastic on mixed terrains and when climbing hills or descending slopes.
- Super lightweight boots that will have you dancing around the trails.
- Anti-clogging outsoles with well-spaced lugs for walking through mud.
- Shock-absorbing midsole that reduces fatigue on long hikes.
- Durable and waterproof leather uppers for maximum protection.
- Soft memory foam on tongue and collar for added comfort.
Berghaus has really put effort into striking a balance between comfort and weight in these women’s hiking boots, and they are an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best lightweight walking boots.
7. Bodmin Mid 5 Ladies Weathertite Boots
The Bodmin Mid 5 Ladies weathertite boots are a nice looking pair of boots that don’t have the tough appeal like some of the other heavy-duty hiking boots, however, they certainly suit a purpose. For those who like a lightweight, comfortable walking boot to use on a daily basis, this low-profile Bodmin Mid 5 boots possess that characteristic.
Featuring a leather and mesh construction, there is the sense that this shoe offers waterproofing, breathability and comfort for general use, although the mesh may not be suitable for long treks in wet weather. The lace-up system is pretty solid because the shoe strings pass through some metal hooks to offer a firm tension.
The grip is very good owing to the rubber sole with thick, well-spaced lugs that shred off mud effectively. These will help you tackle rough terrain on hill walks with ease. The boots come in a variety of colours including dark grey, grey and taupe green – mild colours that conceal the inevitable dirt on trails. You also get to choose from sizes 3 to 8.
- Lightweight and comfortable for daily use.
- Offers a good grip for walking on uneven terrain.
- Highly breathable thanks to a mesh lining.
- A good pair on a budget.
Though they are not such robust walking boots, there are enough who have been happy with this product, which has over 1700 reviews on Amazon UK. There is room for improvement but they are still a decent option if you don’t need anything heavy-duty. In short, you get what you pay for and they are perhaps not the best choice for wet weather.
8. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid GTX High Rise Hiking Boots
This Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid GTX High Rise Hiking Boots is one of the top-rated shoes on the market. It mostly shines in the comfort department because they are quite lightweight and with substantial padding on the inside, especially in the tongue and around the ankle. And if you have wide feet, the toe box shape is quite accommodating and allows your feet to flex more naturally.
When it comes to support, the Eco+ blended EVA footbed combined with a select fit and an air-cushioned heel provides it for the heels and arches even on extended hikes. Additionally, the heel height is relatively high to provide support whilst still allowing some lateral movement. This is useful on rugged grounds where underfoot support is more important than having a very rigid ankle.
At around 800g, these boots fall on the heavier side compared to many of the boots in this post, though many people say they feel lighter when worn, even if the numbers suggest otherwise. With vibram outsoles and 5mm lug depth, the boots offer more than enough traction to keep you upright on rugged terrain. However, the tread on these shoes tends to pick up small stones and rocks quite easily which can start weighing your feet down after some time.
The use of Gore-tex waterproof membrane spikes the price a little but is well worth it for a proper pair of multifunctional outdoor shoes. Due to their mesh uppers, these boots risk falling short regarding waterproofness, although they can hold their own in light showers. Just know that repeated exposure to water will cause the uppers to lose their waterproof coating quickly. Even the lace-up system is made of mesh and fabric, rather than leather, and that may cause them to depreciate quite quickly.
- Well-padded tongue and ankle for great comfort.
- Breathable mesh construction that allows your feet to stay cool.
- Offers good support on the heels and arches.
- Good for people with wide feet due to a roomy toe box.
Overall, the Moab 2 Mid GTX Boots are a well-designed pair for day-long summer walks or in winter in drier weather, but it’s not the shoe to take on the toughest trails or even wet conditions. They are also a good option for those newer to hiking or anyone who doesn’t need to overthink about buying a walking boot. If you want something that can last longer, however, then consider a leather boot.
9. Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boots
The Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Goretex Boots is a simple classic boot, but with some cutting-edge features. First and foremost, these boots are waterproof, comfortable and lightweight at 1.4kg per pair (women’s size 8). Customer reviews suggest that they feel mid-range when walking in them.
In terms of support, they are well above average. And so you know, support is determined by factors such as stiffness of the outsole, midsole construction, stability attained from the ankle shaft design as well as flexibility in the forefoot. These boots have robust rubber soles that provide enhanced stability but their flexibility on rugged terrain is not very good. A removable dual-density EVA footbed plus nylon shanks support the feet stiffness as these shoes don’t tend to flex downwards from toe to heel.
However, the full-grain leather uppers are unexpectedly flexible. The lacing system features rustproof metal hooks that allow for custom tightness and support. A unique aspect of these boots is the way they’re designed to assist your feet move more naturally with every step. The lugs underneath the heel are oriented forward for increased traction when climbing and descending slopes, whilst the lugs underneath the arches increase stiffness.
Thanks to strong rubber soles, these boots benefit from great traction in mud, sand and loose dirt, as well as grip on granite surfaces. For comfort, you will greatly appreciate the inner padding around the cuffs and ankle shafts.
Another major talking point is the Gore-tex membrane for waterproofness and breathability. The high ankle shaft also helps keep water out when trekking across shallow streams. The lacing metal eyelets are also rustproof so they can be rained on without future issues. For increased breathability, some sections of the uppers feature mesh panels but these may not be that reliable in the peak of summer. Ideally, spring and autumn present the most favourable hiking conditions for these Timberland women’s boots.
- Classic boot design with some neat modern touches such as mesh panels and Gore-tex membrane.
- Designed with comfort in mind with things like inner padding.
- They have sturdy outsoles that provide great traction on a range of surfaces.
- Durable boot due to full-grain leather uppers and solid soles.
- They offer good support thanks to nylon shanks and EVA footbed.
- Good value for money.
All in all, the brand is well known for high-quality boots and the Chocorua Trail Goretex Waterproof Ankle Boots are no different. They provide incredible value with a waterproof membrane, strong outsoles and technical features geared towards superior performance on trails.
The quality of your hiking boots will greatly impact your ability to travel miles in the countryside. However, with hundreds of models available, finding the best boots for hiking and which suit your level of activity can be difficult. We carefully selected each model in this post to give you an idea of what the best walking boots should look like. Feel free to order the pair you like. We hope our buyer’s guide will be helpful whenever you need to buy new walking boots.
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Last update on 2023-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API