Best Backpacking Boots

 Backpacking BootsProduct DimensionsWeightPrice 
Best Nimble Backpacking Boots: Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX 14" L x 14" W x 5" H2 lbfrom $234.95View on Amazon
Best Backpacking Boots for Short Trips: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid12" L x 14" W x 5" H4 lbfrom $222.55View on Amazon
Best Backpacking Boots for Rough Terrain: Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX 14" L x 14" W x 5" H4.3 lbfrom $267.01View on Amazon
Best Backpacking Boots for Long Distances: Asolo Men’s Power Matic15" L x 14" W x 5" H4.3 lbfrom $256.04View on Amazon
Best Leather Backpacking Boots: Vasque Men’s Summit15" L x 12" W x 6" H4 lbfrom $185.38View on Amazon
Best Backpacking Boots for Beginners: adidas Terrex Fast R GTX Mid Boot11" L x 9" W x 9" H2.8 lbfrom $199.00View on Amazon
Best Backpacking Boots for the Woods: Danner Men’s 453 GTX12" L x 8" W x 4" H6 lbfrom $109.94View on Amazon
Best Value for Money Backpacking Boots: Keen Targhee II mid12" L x 8" W x 4" H3 lbfrom $109.93View on Amazon
Best Backing Boots for Lightweight Hikers: Hoka One One Men’s Tor Summit12" L x 8" W x 4" H1.1 lbfrom $169.99View on Amazon

Wearing the proper footwear during backpacking is essential in order to fully enjoy the experience. Being caught unprepared for the trek could mean an uncomfortable—or painful—time. The right backpacking boots will also ensure that feet and legs will be able to keep going for a longer time.

Backpacking boots are different from ordinary boots because they provide better traction, breathability, stability, insulation, and some support for carrying a backpack. Most footwear companies today are starting to adopt the use of sticky rubber, in order to provide backpackers with a better grip. Breathability is also important because backpacking will undoubtedly cause feet to sweat, so ventilation must be maintained in order to keep feet as dry as possible. Thanks to the invention of Gore-Tex, boots can be waterproof and breathable at the same time. Support is essential when carrying backpacks because the highest concentration of weight is bore by the ankle, the heel, and under the feet.

What to Look for in Backpacking Boots

Comfort is the priority when backpacking. It is disastrous to suddenly feel pain and discomfort in the middle of an adventure. The crucial areas for the boots are the ankle and arch supports. Of course, the kind of material will also have an effect on the comfort level so it is important to carefully weigh what the pros and cons of different materials are. The level of paddings on the insoles and around the ankles should give an idea on how comfortable the boots will be. Some boots will also require breaking in, so it is best to use them before a long hike.

The next factor to consider when choosing backpacking boots is the support. The arches of the feet and the entire ankle should always have adequate support, since backpacking entails carrying some weight and those areas are the ones most prone to injury. It is advisable to choose boots that would cover the entire ankle, and provide superior support in other areas.

There are various materials used to make the boots, and these will have an impact on how comfortable the boots will feel. Some more commonly found in backpacking boots are synthetics, full-grain or split-grain leather, Nubuck leather, and Gore-Tex. The best comfort is offered by Nubuck and full-grain leathers. Breathable materials are also desirable, so in this aspect it is ideal to go with split-grain leather, nylon, and Gore-Tex.

Lastly, durability will play a part in how well the boots will hold up during a few trips, or even just one. It would be tragic to suddenly have the boots give up in the middle of an adventure while far from civilization.

Here now are the best backpacking boots that excel in their respective categories.

Best Nimble Backpacking Boots – Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX

The Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX is the best companion for any backpacking adventure. Not only do the boots allow nimbleness while trekking, but they also provide stability on rough terrain. The Contragrip soles help maintain a good grip on different surfaces. Torsional stability is achieved thanks to the Salomon Quest GTX’s 4-D Advanced Chassis.

 

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These boots’ uppers are flexible yet supportive, and have a terrific lacing system that makes it easy and safe to go down steep slopes. The Salomon Quest GTX boots also made it a point to offer superb ankle support that will make any backpacker go for miles without wearing their feet out.

Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX

Pros:
– fast and nimble
– comfortable
– excellent support

Cons:
– might not be ideal for casual hikers
– may pinch around the ankles
– many seams to wear out

Best Backpacking Boots for Short Trips – Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

The Lowa Renegade backpacking boot is perfect for those who carry heavy packs and who desire more underfoot protection from rough trails. The boot may look the part of a standard hiking boot, but is significantly lighter. Feet will feel sturdy and planted, even though the Lowa Renegade weighs less than 2.5 lbs.

 

The boot’s upper is made of thin leather, and the external is made from polyurethane frame. These make the boot remarkably light and lessens break-in time. Although not as tough as its other competitors, the comfort and support the Lowa Renegade offers is unmatched and make backpackers stay loyal to these boots.

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Pros:
– lightweight
– comfortable
– great support and stability

Cons:
– many upper seams
– lacing system is not so good
– low durability

Best Backpacking Boots for Rough Terrain – Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX

For long trek and 4-season hikes, Zamberlan GTX is the best boot for the job. Comfort and protection are the specialties of this leather boot, thanks to its features that make it the best choice for the long haul.

 

 

The nylon Microtex collar lining wicks moisture and aids in regulating excess moisture, while the waterproof Gore-tex lining provides protection and breathability. Rough terrains will be no match for the Zamberlan GTX as it supports the ankle without restricting movement.

Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX

Pros:
– flexible
– soles have bounce
– little to no break-in

Cons:
– soles can wear out quickly
– narrow toe box
– leather has tendency to crack

Best Backpacking Boots for Long Distances – Asolo Men’s Power Matic

Long-distance hiking would require boots that will provide support and endurance, and the Asolo Men’s Power Matic does just that. With its fatigue-reducing technology and waterproof Gore-Tex lining, it also performs well during harsh winter hikes.

 

The boot’s heel density lessens fatigue and shock, while the front density offers maximum support. The outsole and midsole have cylinders that help absorb jolts from the trail, giving hikers more energy for the trip. Unlike most backpacking boots, the Asolo Matic has a wider fit that makes feet more comfortable.

Asolo Men's Power Matic

Pros:
– durable even on rough terrain
– excellent grip
– superb shock absorption and support

Cons:
– not for hot climates
– no rubber toe cap
– only one color

Best Leather Backpacking Boots – Vasque Men’s Summit

Although the Vasque Men’s Summit backpacking boot is made of leather, it is lined with waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex lining. The D-rings and effortless lacing system help tighten the boot for quicker movement and sure-footedness on uneven trails.

 

 

Collars are padded, allowing for tightening of the uppers and sealing of the boots without blocking circulation. The Summit also has inner nylon lining and padded insoles that contract inward to provide a snug fit, preventing slippage inside the boots and lessening the chances of developing blisters.

Vasque Men’s Summit

Pros:
– tough
– comfortable
– well-made

Cons:
– synthetic on to may come loose
– difficult to break in
– brackets seem rough on laces

Best Backpacking Boots for Beginners – adidas Terrex Fast R GTX Mid Boot

Affordable but stylish, the Adidas Terrex GTX mid boot comes in different color combinations.

 

The boot may be made from synthetic materials, but still has a Gore-Tex liner and a molded sockliner for additional comfort. Lightweight yet provides good traction, the Adidas Terrex GTX is ideal for those wanting to try their hand at backpacking.

adidas Terrex Fast R GTX Mid Boot

Pros:
– light on feet
– flexible
– good traction

Cons:
– narrow fit
– short shaft
– easily attracts dirt

Best Backpacking Boots for the Woods – Danner Men’s 453 GTX

Measuring 5.5” from the base of the arch to the ankle, the Danner Men’s GTX provides protection and support for the entire foot while backpackin or hiking.

 

 

The scuff-proof cap on the toe protects the boot when walking through the woods. Comfort is not compromised, as the boot has waterproof Gore-Tex lining and an EVA midsole. It also has Danner’s Terra Force support system that delivers traction and balance to keep feet comfortable during long hikes. Featuring Danner’s Approach TFX outsole, the backpacking boots provides traction and braking on slopes.

Danner Men’s 453 GTX

Pros:
– has toe box for added protection
– waterproof inside and out
– may be used with thin socks

Cons:
– heavy
– shoe size runs small
– laces may be difficult to tighten

Best Value for Money Backpacking Boots – Keen Targhee II mid

In addition to its affordability, the Keen Targhee II mid boot is a winner due to the superb comfort and adequate traction that it provides. Its signature toe lip prevents toe stubs, and lasts relatively longer than others’.

 

 

The ankle can also be tightened to limit toe slip, while the toe box enjoys a comfortable fit. The Keen Targhee is also lightweight, making it possible to hike for miles without experiencing hot spots.

Keen Targhee II mid

Pros:
– great value
– extra toe protection
– good traction

Cons:
– not very durable
– average stability
– not fully waterproof

Best Backing Boots for Lightweight Hikers – Hoka One One Men’s Tor Summit

Most backpackers would agree that the Hoka One One Tor Summit boots are the most comfortable pair they have ever worn.

 

 

The midsoles are thick enough to provide stability and a cozy walk. Hoka boots are also lightweight, and offer good traction on different surfaces. They are nevertheless not recommended for fully rugged terrains.

Hoka One One Men's Tor Summit

Pros:
– superb comfort
– extremely lightweight
– excellent shock absorbers

Cons:
– sizes tend to run small
– arch need additional support
– not very durable