THE BOA ADVANTAGE. However, they are protected by a more robust Vibram outsole featuring multi-directional lugs for superior gripping on varied terrain. I tested the La Sportiva Nucleos through varied terrain. Free delivery on orders over $100! Founded in the aftermath of World War II, Salomon emerged out of a war torn France. Curious about outdoor footwear? In addition to our meta-review process of aggregating and analyzing both expert and everyday reviewers’ opinions, we also tested each of our Top 7 shoes over various terrains to get an accurate feel for how they would perform on day hikes that we felt were representative for most hikers. We also understand that some outdoors people do not like waterproof shoes or don’t want to pay extra for waterproofing. We interviewed experts, including a Canadian Mountain Guide, to determine when boots work best and when you can get away with shoes for our How to Choose Hiking Shoes story. The upper is comprised of a single-piece of tumbled Nubuck leather that achieves a soft yet durable texture thanks to an artisanal tanning process developed more than a hundred years ago. Then we personally tested the top picks. Ultimately, users seemed to think that it was worth it, though. Delivery options. We researched 64 day packs and tested 11 backpacks for hiking. The La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX (men’s and women’s) boots were awarded Outside Magazine Gear of the Year 2017 (see Sources). To re-iterate: Although Merrell makes many variations of this boot in many kinds of fabric and waterproofing, we recommend the original, non waterproof version (men’s and women’s). However, I do think it may be prudent to take them on a short hike before taking them on something longer/more technical to address any tongue/lacing concerns. Our own testing of the Hoka Sky Kaha confirms all of these experiences: they are comfortable right out of the box, provide excellent cushioning, and are an excellent option for hiking and backpacking. Despite the mid-height collar, it seemed like there wasn’t as much to keep my foot and ankle stable as on other boots. Although my ankle wiggles around a little, this has never caused me to lose my footing or roll my ankle. Don’t leave them out in the sun or in front of a heat source to dry as this can warp the shoe. Fit is paramount. At 10.5 ounces per shoe, they’re the lightest hiking boot we considered (almost 2/3rds the weight of the average light hiking boot). While these boots were promising, their big brothers, the Keen Targhee II or Keen Targhee III have more fabric and sole options and generally higher reviews. We look forward to reviewing that model when it hits the market. I also felt like my foot was flopping around in the boot. BEST FOR: LONG DAYS ON THE TRAIL; KEEN Venture Mid WP. These boots offer excellent traction in all the terrains I explored: wet rocks, river crossings, dirt, scree, rocks, and steep inclines/declines. Today, many boots are trail ready right out of the box. We talked to Vasque and they released an update to this boot for 2020. Merrell Moab 2 GTX Hiking Boot — Women's A$279.99 Sale A$223.99 Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX Boots — Women's A$449.95 Sale A$359.96 1 Review. Photo courtesy Nicole Snell. Reviews - Best Lightweight Hiking Boots. I have a narrow foot, so I found the Salomon to fit well. Whether this boot will work for you depends on your body and needs. But we think hikers who want a light hiking boot for stability or support will feel more comfortable going with a slightly heavier shoe. They are also very light. We test. Wearing lighter weight shoes can reduce foot or leg fatigue, so is a criteria valued by beginner and experienced hikers alike. Because of this lacing structure, I didn’t feel like I was able to get the boots as tight around my ankle as I’d like. We also suggest the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator (in their narrow sizing). Although far from a winter boot, they were comfortable and supportive enough for late spring/early summer snow travel. Here at The Adventure Junkies, it’s our goal to help you find the best gear for your next adventure. A lightweight hiking boot is the perfect in between when you want a tad bit more support than a hiking shoe has to offer, but don’t want to slip into some clunky backpacking boots. I felt that these boots could handle a substantially larger pack and still be comfortable. They have webbing eyelets until the last 2 with one a D ring and the top is a hook. The goal of a light hiking boot is to give you the support of a heavier boot in a lighter weight material and design. It’s possible that the foot-shaped toe box made them feel on the wide side for me and I need time to get accustomed to the different shape. Customer reviews aggregating findings from hundreds of users agree that these boots are wider than average. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may receive a small percentage of any purchase you make. Luckily, they do come in other colors. Outdoor Gear Lab (see Sources) says, “...overall, this shoe is an affordable option for light to moderate hiking needs.” After testing, we would trust these boots for short and long hikes in varied dry terrain and think they perform just as well for beginner or experienced hikers. I grew up just outside Joshua Tree National Park and spent my childhood exploring the desert and rocks nearby. Whether it be a lightweight mid-cut boot or full height heavy-duty trekker, a boot is going to provide more support and offer better protection than a regular shoe. This is especially true if you prefer a mesh trail shoe over a waterproof shoe. The Terradora I also has limited availability currently. The author crossing a log in the Hoka One One Sky Kaha. We were also pleased with the breathability of these shoes. Lightweight, Strong & Weatherproof. From an environmental standpoint, the tanning process utilizes natural elements for increased sustainability. However, in this way, the Targhees are more like a traditional pair of boots than most lightweight hiking boots we tested. Over months of hiking, they continued to feel sturdy through the various trail conditions including groomed dirt trail, rocks, loose dirt and incline/declines. A Yosemite mountain guide shares what to wear in Yosemite National Park including when hiking and camping. I taught a Runner’s World Online Virtual Workshop on self defense for the Runner’s Alliance (Women’s Health Magazine and Runner’s World). Even if you live in a dry part of the world, it is beneficial to have a waterproof boot so that a chance rainstorm doesn’t ruin your hike...or your shoes! The Altras have a mid-collar ankle with combination eyelets with webbing and D-rings. These boots felt true to size with extra room at the toe. There was no break-in period needed and I did not get any rub spots on my feet or ankles despite aggressive inclines and declines. For a bit more weight that is offset by more cushioning and durability, we recommend the Hoka One One Sky Kaha at 15.03 oz per boot or the Keen Targhee III Mid at 14.2 oz per boot. Hikers of all levels often add additional insoles like Superfeet or Sole Footbeds. We researched and tested 20 of the best hiking shoes for men and women. Blog About Us Contact Us My Cart 0 Total Items: 0. REI has a great article what to look for in a hiking boot. These pricier boots offer additional features and received higher ratings from outdoor media and customers. A specially designed Vibram sole provides outstanding grip on uneven terrain while the Gore-Tex membrane keeps the foot dry and comfortable. From dozens of shoes, we personally tested the Top 7 on dozens of dayhikes in Southern California. Several times during testing, I rolled my ankle to the side when I stepped on rocks to ascend. The LT stands for Litebase Technology. A good pair of hiking socks is as important as having a good pair of boots. It’s worth noting that other Treeline Review testers have used the Lone Peak Mid as backpacking boots on 100+ mile trips in the snow. When I scrambled over rocks and loose dirt, my ankles felt supported. * Fast Shipping Australia Wide! The KEEN Targhee Mid is a lot stronger and stiffer through the mid foot, but still really flexible in the front, making it super comfortable to walk in. The founder, Giuseppe Zamberlan, even has ties to the founder of Vibram creating a relationship that still exists with the brand  today. We liked design features that provide extra protection that beginner hikers would appreciate. We researched 20 down jackets to find the Best Down jackets for most outdoor uses, including picks from Patagonia, Arc’teryx, Mountain Hardwear, REI, Rab, Montbell, Feathered Friends, Black Diamond, Mountain Equipment, Uniqlo, and more. A few reviewers were unhappy with them being 1/2 to 1 full size big and thought that the extra room makes it feel like there is less support. The 10 best hiking boots to buy in Australia. My feet and ankles felt supported and stable. The Altras are made of synthetic material vs. leather and are the only vegan shoe we considered. High quality hiking boots often come with a premium price tag. The Keen Targhee II is a reliable choice for hikers that want a sturdy boot for hiking and backpacking at an affordable price. Over more than 150 years later, the Mammut Sports Group is a multinational mountaineering and trekking company based in Switzerland. First, we analyzed hundreds of expert and customer reviews to discover what features people prefer on their lightweight hiking boots (and what annoys them, too). Or exploring more rough terrain? The Altra Lone Peak 4s are winners for Best Long Distance Running Shoe in our Best Trail Running Shoes article. You decide. However, they are also available in a wide model (men’s and women’s). If color and style are a high priority for you, we suggest you try the Keen Targhee II Mid, which has 4 color options to choose from. In this guide, we’ve done the sole-searching for you across an array of manufacturers to find the best lightweight hiking boots for hitting the trails this season. We tested for durability, comfort, support, traction, and waterproofing. I also thought that I would catch my toes or feel less stable because the extra room would make me feel “floppy” on the trail. BEST FOR: TRAIL TO TOWN HIKING; … Finding out mid-hike that cutting corners to purchase a cheaper option boot wasn’t a good idea can definitely put a damper on your outing. The Keen Targhee II boots are lightweight, but also have features that make it feel solid and sturdy. Our research shows that people who purchase lightweight hiking boots tend to prefer those with waterproofing. We also recommend the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid because it is available in a wide option. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. The Keen Targhee II are a solid and sturdy lightweight boot. The majority of outdoor media outlets I consulted in compiling information gave the Hoka Sky Kaha great marks and highly recommended them. Every boot we recommend comes in a range of colors to fit a variety of style preferences. The Targhees were among the most breathable boots we tested as well as among the most affordable. One feature unique to the La Sportivas is the “impact brake system,” which is a section of hard rubber on the sole at the back of the heel. The Moab 2 Ventilator breathes better than the waterproof version. Read our story on How to Make a Hiking Footwear Decision. Synthetic uppers have become popular in recent years and many provide a vegan friendly option. They look bulky, though, and had that stereotypical “hiking boot look.” Still, there are multiple colors available to give you options that don’t necessarily scream out “look, I’m a hiking boot!” if you are wearing them through the city or traveling. Keens are famous for fitting wide feet, which I was initially concerned about because I have narrow feet. The main caveat is that those testers were already accustomed to wearing mostly trail runners and Zero Drop shoes. The Pyramid features a perforated Nubuck leather upper that provides superior protection for the foot while remaining extremely durable and abrasion resistant. The BOA Fit System sheds water, mud, and ice to maintain durability and security without ever weighing you down. At well under two pounds, the boots provide the support of a hiking boot with the weight of some running shoes all while still offering the protection of a Gore-Tex liner. Raised bumps on the bottom of the outsole that provide traction on a variety of terrain. I’m part of the Difference Makers Collaborative Partnership as well as a Women’s Self Defense Summit speaker. My one issue is that this trail shoe required a few small adjustments on my first hike with them. It wasn’t an issue for the rest of the hike. This new technology accounts for a 25% reduction in outsole weight over previous models. Rubber is used for all outsoles. All-Terrain Rubber and Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane. Despite these small adjustments, I can confirm that the Nucleos were comfortable out of the box and continue to be comfortable during subsequent hikes. We are 100% reader-supported and may make a small commission from some qualifying affiliate links. For more info, see How to Choose Hiking Boots Expert Advice from REI and How to Choose the Right Hiking Shoes and Backpacking Boots from My feet are also narrow, so I may have noticed the width more than others. This allowed my toes to spread out when they swelled during and after hiking. They offer less arch support than other boots we tested, but an aftermarket insole can fix that. A backpacking boot tends to have a stiff midsole (see our Best Hiking Boots story if a backpacking boot is more your jam). The heel and forefoot are at the same distance from the ground with no slope in between. We researched 58 lightweight and midweight men’s and women’s base layer tops and tested a dozen of the most promising models for six months. If your goal is to have the lightest weight boot possible, the Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM leads the pack at a low 10.7 oz per boot. Photo by Gina Danza @wildginaa. This guide will make this process less stressful and more fun so you can feel confident picking a pair that is going to serve your needs and help you get out and enjoy the outdoors! My toes felt like they had plenty of room to spread out. For people with narrow feet, these shoes became a favorite for their sturdiness and breathability. Zero drop shoes or boots allow the foot to sit level to the ground. Learn more. Right out of the box, the Ultra Mid 3 GTXs were among the most comfortable shoes we tested. It has webbing eyelets, with the exception of the last 2 hooks that are spaced far apart from each other and the webbing loops. The Sky Kaha draws its name from the Māori word for strength and support. Will you be hiking with a daypack or backpack, day hiking on designated trails, or spending multiple days back-to-back on trails? Outdoor Gear Lab (see Sources) found that “the fit is a bit imprecise for hiking more technical trails.”. First question is first. After the hike, they were very sweaty inside. There were no hooks at the top of the eyelets which made it difficult to get a tight fit around my ankle. Compare hiking shoe models side-by-side in the summary table. See our story on The Best Hiking Socks for our suggestions. Out of the box, the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator boots felt solid and were much lighter than they looked. The Targhee uses proprietary Keen. They stayed dry on the inside even on warm days. Photo courtesy Nicole Snell. The Lone Peak Mids 4 ultimately seems to be a specialized boot that appeals to a niche but fanatic audience. The most important thing you should know is that a good hiking boot must be comfortable and fit your foot well. Out of the box, these felt sturdy and I loved their styling and color; I tested the Taupe/Berry colorway. Light hiking boots are also a great option for experienced hikers who want versatility in their hiking gear for when they are doing less technical trails or carrying a lighter pack. Then our mountain guide and guidebook-writing testers spent months hiking in the most popular boots on from that list to find the 5 Best Hiking Boots of 2020 excelling in durability, comfort, stability, and breathability. As the company evolved and the market expanded, so did the brand’s offerings. Expert and everyday reviewers agree with me that these are comfortable right out of the box, stable, have excellent waterproofing and traction. In recent years, synthetic products have evolved to be strong contenders. The majority of reviewers agreed saying, “The second I put these on I could tell these were going to be good shoes. The Keens were not as right-out-of-the-box comfortable as some of the other hiking boots we tested. You can find my writing on Hiking Solo as a Woman in Adventurus Women and Self Defense for Hiking in the National Parks Experience. They have wide versions, the most sizes, vegan versions, and all kinds of waterproofing. See our How to Choose a (heavier) Hiking Boot story. Located in the French Alps, the company originally produced saw blades and ski edges. Gym clothes require a tough sports wash that can address tough stains and odors. All our picks in our Best Hiking Shoe story are available with waterproofing. My feet never felt hot hiking in these shoes, even on days that were in the mid-80s. For that reason, we note when our top shoe models are also available in non-waterproof options. We researched the most popular and highest rated hiking boots from 15 different websites. Whether you’re hiking a popular trail at a state or national park, or embarking on a longer backpacking excursion in a wilderness area, hiking boots may be one of the most underrated pieces of gear. What will the terrain be like where you plan to hike? A couple of decades ago, boots often required an extensive break-in period which involved wearing the shoes for weeks or months before hitting the trail. The Tower Hike GTX is the heaviest boot in this roundup but its unique features make it ideal for lightweight hiking. A trail runner usually has a very flexible midsole (see our Best Trail Running Shoes story). Our goal isn’t to find one winner, but to give you an in-depth analysis of each boot so you can find the boots that work for your needs. The birth of Mammut in 1862 began with rope making. After more than half a century, the brand continues to push the boundaries of innovation in both leather and synthetic technologies to create products that are dependable and durable. This vegan model features a mesh upper and Gore-Tex lining for maximum breathability and water resistance. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. A mountaineering boot has a very stiff and intentionally rigid. This is contrary to what Outdoor Gear Lab (see Sources) observed with the lacing system and said, “The flexibility of the upper and the lacing system design make it quite versatile; folks with wide feet and those with narrow feet both get a great fit.”  I felt like I didn’t have enough ankle support no matter how I tied the laces. Your favourite brands. Not sure whether you want a light hiking boot, heavier hiking boot, or hiking shoe? Any pair of boots under three pounds can be considered as lightweight, but that doesn’t mean all lightweight hiking boots are created equal. We found the internet’s consensus on the best family camping tents and the best 4-person camping tents. The men’s and women’s Hoka One One (pronounced Ho-kah O-nay O-nay) lightweight hiking boots are the #1 top sellers at REI nationwide and among the most popular lightweight boots available right now. The cuff is lower on the outside of the boot and taller on the inside for greater stability and comfort when traveling on uneven terrain. Best for: Ultralight Backpacker, Wilderness Backpacker, Day Hiker The HOKA ONE ONE Tor Ultra Hi WP hiking boot is a unique, lightweight hiker from a traditional running company. I do wish that the boot itself had a lower profile because even though they are comfortable, I still think they look clunky and they make my feet look much bigger than they are. One of the earliest Merrell styles, the Wilderness boot, along with its signature laces, still remains in the brand’s line today. The Sky Kahas have some of the highest 3rd party reviews and performed well for us in the field after more than 6 months of testing. When I first tried the Hokas on, I noticed they ran large, at least ½- ¾ of size (I wear a size 11). We’re looking forward to reviewing that model when it becomes available. We chose to review light hiking boots vs. a full mountaineering boot because they are a great introduction for beginner or day hikers who don’t want a lot of extra weight on their feet and want to start using them right out of the box with little or no break-in period. If you'd like something lighter, but still want waterproof footwear, consider a waterproof hiking shoe. I didn’t feel any rocks poking into my feet as I hiked. The Outback 500 is the evolution of more than 70 years of innovation born and tested in the mountains. Are you tackling more technical trails or rugged terrain? If style is your forte, customers seemed to like the look of the Vasque Breeze LT Mid GTX the most and it comes in 3 color options. Selecting the best lightweight hiking boots will provide ample support for navigating uneven terrain and protection from sharp rocks and roots as you amble down the trail. The Hoka’s lacing system allowed me to get a firm fit around my ankle. 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