8 Best Hiking Boots in 2021 – Top Picks & Buying Guide

Hiking is said, and most of us associate this word with long walks in nature. It does not matter if it is a soft turf or an impervious mountain path.

However, when it comes to hiking shoes, things get more complicated: we go from models suitable for a simple walk to boots equipped to mount ice crampons.

In this small selection, we have explored trekking and other more versatile footwear exclusively. For all types, we have sought solutions suitable for both a man and a woman. Here we will be listing the top 8 best hiking boots.

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Columbia mens Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: This Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof hiking boot features Techlite lightweight midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return as well as Omni-Grip advanced traction rubber sole for slip-free movement.
  • HANDY FEATURES: This men's hiking boot is crafted of a waterproof full-grain leather and suede lightweight construction as well as a durable mesh tongue for breathability and comfort during treacherous days out on the trail or on the mountain.
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof II hiking boot features a lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit.
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Columbia womens Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Features our lightweight, durable midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return as well as an advanced traction rubber sole for slip-free movement on rough ground.
  • HANDY FEATURES: Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free with this boot's waterproof full-grain leather and suede bootie construction and its durable mesh tongue for breathability.
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped hiking boot features a lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit.
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Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot,...
  • M Select DRY seals out water and lets moisture escape so you stay dry when you're on the move
  • Performance suede leather and mesh upper
  • Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out. Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability, 5mm lug depth
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Columbia womens Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot features our lightweight, durable midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return as well as an advanced traction rubber sole for slip-free movement on rough ground.
  • HANDY FEATURES: Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free with this boot's waterproof full-grain leather and mesh bootie construction and its durable mesh tongue for breathability.
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot features a lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit.
SaleRANK NO. 5
Timberland White Ledge Men's Waterproof Boot,Dark...
  • WHITE LEDGE MENS HIKING BOOTS feature premium full-grain waterproof leather uppers for comfort and durability, seam-sealed waterproof construction to keep feet dry in any weather, and rustproof, speed lace hardware with hooks at top for secure lacing.
  • LOOK NO FURTHER for trail-ready performance and style. Our selection of men’s hiking boots, waterproof hiking boots, casual boots, and casual shoes is designed to fit in with your outdoor-ready ensembles, whether you’re heading to the summit or downtown.
  • TIMBERLAND BOOTS are synonymous with quality workmanship. Whether you're looking for mens boots, womens boots, or kids boots, Timberland has you covered. For the best in hiking boots, rain boots, work boots, casual shoes & boots & more, choose Timberland.
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Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Suede...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: This Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof hiking boot features our signature lightweight midsole for long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return as well as our high-traction grip outsole.
  • QUALITY MATERIALS: Waterproof suede and leather make up the construction of this boot for a protective yet stylish silhouette and build.
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: A lace-up closure ensures an adjustable, secure fit.
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Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut,...
  • Removable Insole. Breathable mesh lining
  • 5mm lug depth ; Molded nylon arch shank ; Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out ;Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
  • Merrell M Select FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed with added zonal arch and heel support
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NORTIV 8 Men's 160448_M Olive Green Black Orange...
  • Waterproof & protection: Men hiking boots features waterproof synthetic leather and waterproof membrane construction that keeps your feet cool and dry.The rubber toe cap and the reinforced heel are designed for anti-collision,strenghthening the stability of the shoes which gives your ankle more protection.
  • Durable & slip resistant: The sick rubber outsole is more stable,slip & abrasion resistant,and flexible response to various outdoor terrain. Rugged rubber outsole with Multi-Directional Traction (MDT) improves grip and provides durability.
  • Flexible & comfortable: Removable flexible insole offers arch support and brings all-day comfort. Flexible MD midsole reduces foot fatigue and absorbs shock.

Buyer Guide to Choose the Best Hiking Boots

The sportswear industry produces increasingly sophisticated and specialized products, designed to provide the best performance in precise geographical and meteorological conditions.

Before deciding which trekking shoe to buy, it is necessary to be clear about what tasks it will be destined for: high mountains, simple walks, demanding excursions, long walks.

The second step is to establish a budget. You can spend 40 euros or exceed 300 euros, but you must be sure to meet some minimal needs in both cases.

So here is a brief introduction to the best trekking shoes of 2020, the result of our careful comparison.

Hiking, Trekking, or Mountain?

Shoes are increasingly technological products, but the right technology must be chosen. The outdoor activity requires some caution, especially with regards to stability, elasticity, and pace. These cautions change according to how intense and adventurous our business is.

The word Hike will remind those who made the scout of a feared and tiring mountain hike. The amphibians softened with seal fat are prehistory: hiking, today, means not too strenuous hiking, to which to combine quite light, relatively simple and practical shoes, but not less reliable.

It is a type of shoe that also adapts to country contexts or specific urban needs. For an average functional product, the price can drop below 60 euros, close to 200. Many models are married to both men and women.

The upper must be soft and possibly waterproof, even if perfect waterproofing is not essential.

The sole must be resistant and flexible, with a tread able to provide grip even on rough terrain, without reducing too much sensitivity.

High Mountain

Under the English definition “mountain,” which then means “mountain,” there are shoes made with a superior technique.

Prices go up, but also the needs of the wearer: ice, snow, rain, these models must be ready for anything. It is not a question of taking walks, but small businesses, in which the need to tackle some short stretch in which to climb is not excluded.

Not surprisingly, some of the shoes in this category are designed to hook crampons if necessary.

All models wrap around the ankle, and the more sophisticated have a multi-layer upper, to guarantee total waterproofing, made more impenetrable by a zip closure system. The material that relies most on keeping your feet dry is gore-Tex, often abbreviated as gtx.

The sole must be particularly resistant, without making the foot too heavy. The trekking shoes, rightly so, are characterized by a remarkable versatility. The wearer must be comfortable on different types of terrain, and possibly not be afraid of water.

It is essential that the midsole can cushion potentially traumatic impacts, which is why Eva is one of the most adopted materials. On the other hand, the sole cannot ignore an aggressive grip and a robust rubber.

In this field, there are many patents created by specialized companies or by the best-known shoe manufacturers.

An example is the Vibram, to which the classic “tank” is owed, or the Contagrip, created by Salomon by mixing different rubber types.

Then there is the CMP product, the FullOn grip, based on a mixture of tires that should reach the right compromise between traction capacity, robustness, and flexibility.

Lacing is also the subject of particular attention. Next to the traditional fastening system, there are often self-locking eyelets and hooks, which weld the shoe to the foot, to keep the ankle well bandaged.

The best-selling products are generally on the market with models for men and women, identical in technical quality, but different in fit and size.

Short excursus: don’t you know where to put all your shoes? Then you need a good shoe organizer!

Right “old” boot … but in this case of old, there is very little. The Salomon trekking shoe occupies the first position by its numerous technical qualities and a price which, although demanding in absolute terms (sold online for around 150 euros), is in line with the market and with the services offered.

The upper is in suede and water-repellent fabric, to which is added a Gore-Tex membrane to guarantee efficient waterproofing.

If you scroll through the buying tips, it’s hard to find any complaints. The opinion of users and professionals converge on one point: the shoe gives great comfort even after kilometers of walking.

A result obtained above all thanks to the quality of the midsole, made of Eva modeled with Advanced Chassis technology.

It is an advanced construction system, which in this version allows guaranteeing stability and protection on rough terrain, but also a reasonable degree of propulsion.

The midsole also benefits from the EnergyCell system, in polyurethane foam, which has the characteristic of cushioning the stride and restoring energy.

A Real Sole

The sole is always a fundamental element, and if you wonder how to choose a right trekking shoe, an efficient bottom is a good starting point.

The Salomon model can count on the exclusive Contagrip patent, a fierce competitor of the Vibram brand.

The advantage of this product lies in the so-called compound, i.e., the mixing of various types of rubber. It is distributed differently according to the different stresses to which the soles of the feet are subjected.

In the areas, most subject to wear, such as the edges of the soles, more resistant compounds are found. The whole central part, on the other hand, is made up of a more flexible quality.

Another characteristic element is geometry: with this term, we identify the shape and depth of the grooves and sculptures.

It is an essential element for trekking shoes that need sufficient grip on different terrain and must prove stable even on slippery paths.

There is no “universal” grip, perfect for all circumstances, but this model is reliable on gravel, stones, and even snow.

Some reviews recommend more caution on ice and, in general, on slippery paths.

Perfect Closure

Often underestimated, the lacing system also has some relevance to this type of shoe. In this case, it is a traditional eyelet lacing to which the laces are added.

The eyelet closure is placed between the forefoot and the eyelets on the ankle to lock the strings in the right position and allow precise and independent adjustment.

The possibility of varying the pressure of the laces on foot is useful for better adapting the shoe to its ends and loosening and tightening as needed, for example, when facing a long and demanding descent or an impervious ascent.

But perfect closure also means protection from residues, dust, stones, water, and ice.

This is the main task of the tongue, which in this case, is joined to the upper on both sides to remain centered and prevent any debris.

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