It’s finally getting to the time of year when we can take a long walk outside without turning our clothes into soaking messes of human sweat. Let’s take advantage of that. Get your backpack out, pick a national park (domestic or international), find your tent, and get back out there. Well, don’t forget your boots. Can’t forget those boots.
Here are some great pairs of hiking boots built for adventure.
Propet Cliff Walker Boots
There’s no reason to overcomplicate your hiking boot purchase. Find something water resistant, durable, and affordable with a timeless look and you’ll be more than happy. Propet Cliff Walker Boots deliver exactly that. They’re boots that can stand up to a beating, won’t let water in as soon as you step in a puddle, and aren’t functionally limited to hiking. They’re as much gardening or landscaping boots as they are mountain climbers. $83
Vasque Talus Ultradry Hiking Boot
These boots take all the basic features from our last pick and upgrade them a bit. The waterproofing is a little better, the sole has a bit more life in it, and they grip the ground slightly more surely. Obviously neither pair is bad, these are just a better pick if you see yourself getting out on more serious trails more often. They’ll carry you farther for longer for not much more money. They’re also aesthetically pleasing, so you could walk right off the trail to a few household chores or some casual drinks with friends. $116
KEEN Targhee III Mid WP Hiking Boots
We’re starting to get away from general purpose boots and into footwear specifically designed for the trail. These Targhee III hiking boots are the first of those picks, with all the proprietary technology you’d expect. They have their own KEEN.DRY membrane to keep you dry outside and in, a special treatment to control odor, and their own KEEN rubber outsole that promises to keep you sure footed no matter the terrain. We’re partial to the Black Olive/Golden Brown color scheme, but the Big Ben/Golden Brown and Steel Grey/Captains Blue are both cool. It just depends on how color coordinated you want your hiking to be. $150
Lowa Renegade Gore-TEX Mid Brown Nubuck Boots
Sometimes it’s best to trust a product’s established sales record. Case in point, the Renegade is one of Lowa’s most prolific styles, selling pair after pair, year after year. Far be it for us to buck that long of a trend for a boot this reliable. They fit well, especially when you wear them with a nice thick pair of outdoor socks, they resist the wear and tear of harder activities than long hikes, and they do it all while looking good. $196
Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid TF Hiking Boots
When the US military outfits its troops, it does it right (yes, even cargo pants). Take a cue from them and pick up these boots from Lowa. These are the boots that keep our troops fit for duty. They’re dry, durable, sturdy, and extend support all the way up to your knees, especially if you’re lugging a full campsite and supplies all over creation. They’re on the expensive side, but with these, there’s a chance you’ll never buy another pair of hiking boots again. Unless you think your outdoor itinerary is going to be tougher than a tour of duty in the US Army, which, no offense, we seriously doubt. $210
Zamberlan Trackmaster GTX RR Hiking Boot
The Zamberlan Trackmasters look a bit like if someone combined stylish Italian sneakers with a hardy hiking boot, which is appropriate, because they’re made with a ton of Italian pride. Remember, this is a country that’s had to deal with the Alps for most of human history, particularly when any of its countrymen wanted to walk to the rest of Europe. If they didn’t know how to make a good mountain boot, everyone would start buying from the Swiss or Austria, and we know how those kinds of conflicts have resolved themselves in the past. $240
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Lightweight & Durable Leather/Canvas Hiking Boots
This is another one of those boots with a ton of proprietary technology packed into it, and not in the way we disparaged in our first pick. All of their fancy words and copywritten materials go into keeping your feet dry, your ankles from rolling, your arch from collapsing, and your drive from disappearing. These are beautifully comfortable boots (though they damn well better be for this kind of money), and they’ll support you through years of getting “lost” in the wilderness. Though we do have to say, Hummus is a weird word to pick when you’re trying to describe a shoe color. $267