What’s more thrilling than scaling the summit of a skyscraping mountain and catching picturesque scenery in front of your eyes?
That’s the beauty of hiking. However, whether it’s a simple, one-day hike or a complex multi-day hike, there are some requisites you mustn’t forget if you want to have a safe excursion. Besides a water bottle, some munchies, directions for navigation, , a first aid kit, a rain jacket, a fleece layer, sunscreen, and a headlamp, one of the most crucial hiking essentials is a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
This blog will discuss the top hiking shoes that will make it a breeze to crush the miles. So, let’s get started.
Here are the Best Hiking Boots for 2023 for both men and women
|1. Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX|
|2. Merrell Moab 3 Mid|
|3. HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5|
|4. Altra Lone Peak 6|
|5. TOPO ATHLETIC Ultraventure Pro|
Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX
USPs: Waterproof hiking boots best for technical terrains
Salomon X Ultra 4 GORE-TEX helps you stay nimble even on rough terrain as it is lighter and more agile. It is specially designed to provide extra ankle support, shock attenuation, and a snuggly fit around the foot. The Contagrip® MA Outsole gives you more control on descents as it grabs the terrain. It is suitable on wet or slippery surfaces too. Its Chevron lug design comes with deep penetration and multi-directional grip, thereby improving traction on mud or loose dirt. These shoes feel extremely comfortable because of the protective toe cap and soft, breathable mesh with textile lining.
They have designed the same shoes for women considering the morphology of female feet. Salomon Women’s Ultra 4 GTX have a softer cuff, lower density Advanced Chassis™ and cradling anatomical design to impart more stability. GORE-TEX protection and a grippy outsole make it a perfect women’s companion for uphills and descents.
Merrell Moab 3 Mid
USPs: All-purpose versatility and affordability
Hikers all over the world prefer Merrell Moab as it offers remarkable comfort and sturdiness. Its all-purpose versatility has allowed around 25 million people to indulge in outdoor hiking adventures without getting too worked up. Merrell Air Cushion in the heel works as a shock absorber and enhances stability. Vibram® TC5+ outsole equipped with a technical compound is perfect for mountain biking, snow sports, water sports, and hiking. Besides functionality, they also care for sustainability. They use 100% recycled laces, webbing, and breathable mesh lining. The protective toe cap makes it even safer for hiking by avoiding rubbing and absorbing pressure.
For women, these shoes are an amazing choice as they are the most functionally aesthetic. These shoes are suitable for senior citizens too with weak ankles. A female friend of mine suffered from mild heel pain and Merrell Moab 3 proved to be a great hiking product for her. You don’t need to break in these hiking boots, which makes them all the more desirable.
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5
USPs: Balanced cushion and vegan make
With a dynamic sandwich and double jacquard recycled content engineered mesh, HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 is great for technical trails. It is lightweight and offers more traction than its previous versions. The neutral stability, balanced cushion, and reasonable pricing make it one of the most coveted hiking boots for men. Vibram® Megagrip with Traction Lug warrants improved grip on loose soil. The lighter midsole compound coupled with the specialized mesh will make you feel confident while hiking through any kind of terrain.
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 for women are the lightest and most comfortable pair of hiking boots for women too. It laces easily and keeps their foot in place without slippage or pinch points. And you know the next part? You won’t have any pain in the hip or knees even if you walk a longer distance with these shoes on.
Altra Lone Peak 6
USPs: Lightweight and wide toe box
Altra Lone Peak 6 is the new version of the famed Lone Peak. Just like the previous makes, Lone Peak 6 imparts the same breathability and zero-drop feel. They have the most room in the toe box when compared to other hiking boots. Its foot-shaped last facilitates free movement of the toes. It helps in hiking long distances without putting pressure on the ankle and feet.
It has precise laser-cut square ventilation holes on the heel’s outer side and in the front of the shoe. A grippy MaxTrac™ outsole with TrailClaw™ canted lugs helps to walk through any terrain with ease. Lone Peak 6 hiking shoes are equipped with FootShape™ comfort, considering the biological differences in men’s and women’s feet.
If you are a woman looking forward to buying versatile hiking shoes to explore different hiking trails, go for Altra Lone Peak 6. It is an ideal option for women who are relatively new to hiking and running as it has FootShape™ comfort, mentioned earlier.
TOPO ATHLETIC Ultraventure Pro
USPs: Balanced Cushion, Light Stability Support, and Firm Pliability
TOPO ATHLETIC’s Ultraventure Pro hiking boots are ideal for thru-hiking as well as trail running. It has a 3-piece ZipFoam™ midsole coupled with an external TPU heel counter support light guidance through the gait cycle. The Vibram® Megagrip outsole offers impeccable traction and grip, particularly on wet, slippery conditions. They offer a forefoot ESS rock plate for extra protection on technical terrains. If you are looking for a natural hiking and running experience, TOPO ATHLETIC’s Ultraventure Pro shoes are the safest bet. You can also invest in a performance gaiter to keep out the dirt, debris, rocks, and twigs on the trails.
Most of the women like lightweight hiking shoes with sophisticated cushioning and that’s exactly what TOPO ATHLETIC’s Ultraventure Pro offers. For women who are a bit apprehensive about garnering dirt from the trails, these hiking boots will put an end to all their woes.
Comparing Different Hiking Boots
|Type of hiking boots||Price||Waterproof||Upper||Outsole||Weight||Drop||Terrain|
|Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX||USD 160||Yes (GORE-TEX)||Synthetic||Rubber||390 g||11 mm||Technical and mixed trails|
|Merrell Moab 3||USD 110||No||Leather/mesh||Vibram||462 g||11.5 mm||Rugged|
|Hoka Speedgoat 5||USD 155||No||Mesh||Vibram||292 g||4 mm||Hiking on loose soil, trail running|
|Altra Lone Peak 6||USD 139.95||No||Mesh||MaxTrac ™||300 g||0 mm||All types of terrain|
|Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro||USD 150||No||Mesh||Vibram||294 g||5 mm||Trail running|
Points to be Considered While Buying Hiking Boots
While evaluating hiking boots, you must keep in mind certain features discussed below:
How to choose the right hiking boots?
Choosing the right hiking boots is of paramount importance if you want your hike to be comfortable.
Here are the 4 aspects to bear in mind:
- Know your size
- Consider the terrain you will be hiking on
- The weight of your backpack will also influence the hiking boots you choose
- Think about the ankle stability and support your feet will need
How should hiking boots fit?
Hiking boots should have a snuggly fit but they should offer enough room to splay your toes. They should not feel tight anywhere. If you want to try them out, do so with your socks on and at the end of the day after your feet swell.
How to break in hiking boots?
The key to breaking in hiking boots is to give it time. Wear your boots inside the house along with the socks and insoles to be worn on the trail. Make sure you don’t tie the boots too tight. Keep the tongues and gussets straight and don’t worry if the boots feel somewhat stiff at the outset. Once you get accustomed to the new boots, it will all be fine.
How to clean hiking boots?
Use a special boot brush and the correct footwear cleaner or saddle soap or a mild solution of dishwashing soap and water. Remove laces before cleaning your boots. Bar soaps or detergents are not suitable for cleaning hiking boots. To clean mold, use 80% water with 20% vinegar. Subsequently, rinse your boots properly with clean water.
Remember that you must not put your hiking boots in a washing machine.
Summing it up
Choosing the right hiking shoes will help you reach your goal comfortably and climb that mountain safely without exhausting yourself. Through this article, we have shared the top 5 picks that will ensure happy hiking with happy feet. So, make the correct choice and get ready for your next outdoor adventure.