Getting the best boots for mountain hiking is essential, especially if you want maximum performance and comfort while out in the wild. Some of the most recommended boots come in a lighter material, allowing you to move faster and more freely. Apart from that, support is also one of the crucial factors to consider in choosing the best boots for long distance hiking. They should be able to give you a stable ride and above-average traction.
Today, we’ll take you on a look at our pick of the 13 best boots for mountain hiking. We’ve tried to include various products here, so you can expect light boots for everyday wear, mid-range options that are great for backpacking trips, and some tough alternatives for more demanding adventures. So, without further ado, let’s check them out!
Table of contents
- Salomon Men X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
- Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
- Salomon Quest 4 GTX
- Asolo Falcon GV
- Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
- La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
- Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
- Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
- Altra Lone Peak All-Wthr Mid
- Salomon Vaya Powder Boot
- Merrell Thermo Kiruna Boots
- Columbia Newton Ridge
- La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Boots
- How to Choose the Best Boots for Mountain Hiking
- What Boots to Wear for Hiking?
- What Is The Difference Between Hiking Boots and Backpacking Boots
- How Heavy Should Hiking Boots Be?
Salomon Men X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
At first glance, the Salomon Men X Ultra 3 Mid GTX boots look similar to trail running shoes. But if you look closer, you’ll notice that this footwear has plenty of extra support and protection. No wonder many people out there named this product one of the best boots for mountain hiking. The Ultra 3 offers both comfort and low weight. Apart from that, these boots also have an impressive construction and excellent grip.
With all the flexibility they offer, the Salomon Men X Ultra 3 Mid GTX boots will be ideal for backpackers and light hikers alike. However, please note that you must make some compromises when choosing these shoes. First of all, these boots lack underfoot protection. Other than that, they don’t offer as much support, especially when used over technical terrain.
- Easy to use
- Lack of underfoot protection
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Boots are great when up against well-maintained trails. They offer both lightweight construction and comfortable fitting. Even better, these boots are available at a reasonable price. As of this writing, an upgraded model with Gore-Tex only costs you less than $165. Apart from that, you get various advanced features such as Vibram outsoles and reliable underfoot cushioning.
Although often considered the best boots for long distance hiking, this does not mean that the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Boots don’t have their problems. First of all, Moab 2 doesn’t offer as much support compared to other boots in its class. Apart from that, these boots do not come with premium quality materials. While this won’t be a problem in the short term, you may be forced to replace them sooner than expected. But if you don’t have much to spend and need new hiking boots, the Moab 2 would be an excellent choice.
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- 100% leather
- Synthetic sole
- Waterproof membrane
- Metal hook
- Lack of support
Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Salomon Quest 4 GTX Boots is a complete package. That’s because this footwear is great for a casual backpacking trip and some serious adventures. We especially like their lacing system, which features eyelets at the base of the ankle. This feature does a remarkable job of keeping your heels in their proper position. The latest models also come with a tougher, upgraded upper. You should have no problem tackling tough trails or hiking long distances in these boots.
Being one of the best boots for mountain hiking, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX Boots offer solid construction and decent support. They would be ideal for steep trails and rocky terrain. However, please note that these boots are a little stiff. So if you want to move fast or want something lighter, you’re better off looking for other alternatives.
- Rubber sole
- They’re a little stiff
Asolo Falcon GV
Asolo is a brand that’s often associated with classic boots with 100 percent genuine leather. But lately, they seem to be trying to play with something more modern and fresh. The Asolo Falcon GV is an excellent pair of hiking boots with a sleeker and modern design. They try to jump on the trend by offering less weight and extra support. As a result, you get one of the best boots for mountain hiking available on the market!
We’ve spent almost a week with these boots, and everything seems to be working fine. They feel great straight out of the box. Other than that, these boots seem capable of tackling almost any type of track we throw at them. However, you need to understand that these boots have average stability. If you often wear high-cut hiking boots with tons of support, you’ll need a little time to get used to this one.
- Made in the USA
- Rubber sole
- Heel pull loop
- Average stability
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots will be great for those who prefer a classic look. They’re constructed of leather and feel more solid than most modern hiking boots. You won’t get as much freedom, but these boots will work great when carrying heavier loads or want more protection against rocky terrain.
Iowa utilizes a polyurethane frame to give you a stable ride to reduce overall weight. This allows the boots to work exactly like a decent pair of backpacking footwear but at a much lighter weight. Other than that, we also love the fact that these boots come with a relatively thin upper. This means they will not require long break-in periods. If you don’t mind the $441 price tag, these are the best long-distance hiking boots you’ve been looking for.
- 100% leather and synthetic
- Polyurethane sole
- Climate-control footbed
- Vibram Evo
- They’re expensive
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor has long been considered one of the best trail running shoes. But recently, the company has been trying to expand its target audience by offering an equal level of protection, durability, and comfort to mountain climbers. Therefore, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX was created. Compared to their older sibling, these boots come with a raised design, waterproof membrane, and over-the-ankle collar. If you like to move fast or consider yourself a light mountaineer, you’ll fall in love with these best boots for mountain hiking!
Another great thing about the Ultra Raptor is its extra protection. If you look at the front, you will notice that these boots have a generous toe cap. Apart from that, there’s a TPU heel and rigid shank that offers you extra stability. So if you’re looking for lightweight boots that can take on more technical surfaces, the Ultra Raptor definitely won’t let you down.
- Rubber sole
- Ankle support
- They don’t get many reviews on Amazon
Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
The Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid Boots have become a popular choice for most backpackers. This footwear is solidly built and available at a reasonable price. Apart from that, the collar comes at just the right height to protect your ankle from the elements. Compared to other boots, the Targhee III lacks stability and grip. But if you’re dealing with moderate trails, these are the best boots for mountain hiking you’re looking for.
Crafted from leather, the Targhee III should serve you well for years. And if you have wider feet, you’ll be glad to know that these boots have a good-sized toe cap and leather upper. Available at around $175, the Targhee III deserves to be on your wishlist this year.
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- 100% leather
- All-terrain rubber outsole
- Not recommended for challenging trails
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Boots are built to take on some of the roughest tracks. They offer quite a unique combination. This means you get shoe-like traction with the stability of a mid-level mountaineering boot. We spent a week with this footwear, and the experience was fantastic. The solid construction makes you feel more confident with every step. Meanwhile, the rubber soles feel great on rocky surfaces.
The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Boots are nine ounces lighter than most hiking boots. No wonder many people consider them one of the best boots for long distance hiking. This footwear offers greater comfort and feels much more flexible. If you’re ready to shell out $299, these boots will make a great addition to your gear collection.
- Rubber sole
- 100% suede
- Abrasion resistant
- They’re a little pricey
Altra Lone Peak All-Wthr Mid
Altra Lone Peak All-Wthr Mid has recently seen a serious rise in popularity. These boots offer many breakthroughs, including an extra wide toe box, zero-drop design, and generous cushioning. Once you put on these shoes, you’ll feel immediate comfort. And with a total weight of less than a pound and a half, the Lone Peak is one of the lightest hiking boots you can get right now.
These best boots for mountain hiking also have a waterproof eVent membrane for further protection against the elements. This means you should be able to ride the muddy track more confidently. However, that doesn’t mean you can take these boots on some serious backcountry trails. For that, you’ll need sturdier footwear with better toe protection. These are two things still lacking with the Altra Lone Peak All-Wthr Boots.
- Altra EGO foam
- Balanced cushioning
- Low impact
- Lacking toe protection
Salomon Vaya Powder Boot
By wearing Salomon Vaya Powder Boots, you’ll no longer have to worry about your feet getting frozen. This footwear comes with 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation to keep your big toes warm and toasty during the hike. Apart from that, these boots also carry extraordinary features such as a tough outsole, rubber toe, and heel caps. They should be more than enough to protect you from the various dangerous elements.
Most reviewers on Amazon say they love how lightweight these boots are. Apart from that, these tough footwear are comfortable to wear. We didn’t spend too much time with these hiking boots, but we feel that they provide all the comfort. They’re totally warm and feel great on your feet. Check out these best boots for mountain hiking if you can.
- Rubber sole
- Feel cozy
- Contragrip sole
- A bit pricy
Merrell Thermo Kiruna Boots
Merrell Thermo Kiruna Boots would be great for those extra slippery tracks. These boots come with thick rubber lugs to give you impressive traction, even on unusual surfaces. Merrell includes a heat-absorbing insole and soft fleece lining to keep your feet from freezing. These two features should be able to keep your toes toasty, even when there’s a storm out there!
Exploring bumpy terrain will feel easier with these best boots for long distance hiking. They are great at gripping rocks. If you plan to explore the cold mountains, Kiruna will be the right choice. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry all the time.
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- Rubber sole
- Dry membrane
- They fit a little bigger
Columbia Newton Ridge
Columbia Newton Ridge is everything you’d expect from the best boots for mountain hiking. These shoes are fully waterproof and come with extra strong stitching. These boots make long hikes more manageable, thanks to the layers and a breathable tongue. This way, your feet will stay dry and feel comfortable even when it’s wet and cold outside.
Another thing that makes Columbia Newton Ridge special is the Omni-Grip technology. This addition allows you to get a strong grip that you won’t get from other boots. Plus, the insulating layer is guaranteed to keep your feet warm during the fall and winter. Plus, the toe box comes in the perfect width. Newton Ridge won’t let you down if you need new hiking boots for your next adventure.
- Rubber sole
- Durable midsole
- Superior cushioning
- Adjustable lace
- The waterproof layer could be better
La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Boots
La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Boots are made for serious climbers. These boots have an above-average grip and generous foot protection. But don’t let the appearance fool you. Despite its bulky design, the Nucleo High II GTX is lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for hours. Apart from that, these best boots for mountain hiking have a cool design. You can wear them for a drinking session after the hike without feeling out of place!
However, we warn you that the upper and soles of these boots feel a little stiff. For a better experience, we recommend you get third-party insoles. Apart from this, the Nucleo High II GTX is a decent mountaineering boot. They offer a great balance between protection and support.
- Acetate sole
- Vibram sole
- They’re a little overpriced
How to Choose the Best Boots for Mountain Hiking
Long-distance hikes require you to spend more time in your boots. Therefore, getting the best boots for mountain hiking would be a good idea. The more quality the footwear you wear, the more protection you get.
However, choosing just one can be quite confusing, with so many hiking boots available. But don’t worry, because this is why we are here to help you. Without further ado, here are our three important tips for choosing the best boots for long distance hiking.
Hiking boots will feel different than regular shoes. They usually don’t leave too much room to breathe. Therefore, always try on your boots while wearing socks. This will give you a better idea of how they’ll feel when you wear them on a hike.
Materials are just as important. When looking for the best boots for mountain hiking, see if they are made of leather or fabric. Apart from that, check if the boots have a Gore-Tex coating or something similar. Both will be very important to protect your legs from the elements.
For the last step, check if the boots have good seams. See if anything is loose or unsealed. This will determine how long your hiking boots will last. The finer the stitches, the longer they’ll serve you well.
What Boots to Wear for Hiking?
Always wear hiking boots as they keep your feet warm. Apart from that, hiking boots usually have better protection features. So if you’re planning to go on a multi-day hike, hiking boots are the way to go.
What Is The Difference Between Hiking Boots and Backpacking Boots
Backpacking boots are made to tackle long distances. Meanwhile, hiking boots are designed for shorter adventures but on more demanding terrain. So wherever you go, make sure you wear proper footwear.
How Heavy Should Hiking Boots Be?
A pair of hiking boots should not weigh more than three pounds. Even if you buy lightweight hiking boots, they shouldn’t be lighter than a pound. Therefore, consider carefully when you get a new pair of hiking boots.