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The Best Hiking Boot

Last updated on August 14, 2020

We looked at the top 11 Hiking Boots and dug through the reviews from 85 of the most popular review sites including Switchback Travel, Outdoor Gear Lab, Gear Junkie, RunRepeat, Section Hiker, Runner's World and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hiking Boots.

Best Hiking Boot

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Our Picks For The Top Hiking Boots

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Waterproof Ankle Hiking Boot

Timberland

Men's White Ledge Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Take

Durable ShoesThis is a durable and waterproof option for those who explore the outdoors in any weather.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Outdoor Gear Lab, Expert World Travel, Mountains for Everybody, Adventure Digest, New York Mag and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Extremely tough and durable. Perfect for inclement weather."
Cons
"We found it comfy standing around, but our feet weren't happy after more than a few miles hiking. Four lower and two upper eyelets let you snug this boot up on the foot; however, none of these eyelets has a..."
  The Best Value

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

Columbia

Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Boot

Overall Take

Breathable Mesh Textile/Leather UppersThese boots provide comfort during both casual and strenuous hikes.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Backpacker Magazine, Cool Hiking Gear, Adventure Sacks, New York Mag, Verywell Fit and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This hiking boot stays solid on even footing with a rugged outsole that offers traction on just about any surface."
Cons
"Hikers venturing off-trail reported feeling metatarsal pain and foot fatigue."

KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

KEEN

Men's Targhee 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Take

Minimal Break-In PeriodThese nubuck leather waterproof boots are sturdy and comfortable without a long break-in time.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Outdoor Gear Lab, Cool Hiking Gear, Adventure Sacks, RunRepeat, New York Mag and 7 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Ultra-dry waterproof exterior. Comfortable lightweight construction. Minimal break-in period."
Cons
"Its one failing during our traction tests was when scrambling, as the blocky forefoot didn't allow for precise foot placement or weight transference. The rounded edges did not hold as securely when working through difficult talus as those boots with..."

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D Hiking Boot

Salomon

Men's Quest 4D Hiking Boot

Overall Take

Legendary Speedcross Lug PatternThis rubber sole and unique lug pattern eats up soft, technical trails with ease.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus The New York Times, BestReviews, Adventure Digest, Verywell Fit, Outdoor Gear Lab, Switchback Travel and 7 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Best of any we tested for both backpacking and day hiking on any terrain. They’re lighter than most of the other boots in our test group, but they still offer all of the essential features you’ll need, including ample toe..."
Cons
"The boot's stiff construction is more like a ski boot than a hiking boot."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
18

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hiking boots available to purchase.
11

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

85

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Switchback Travel, Outdoor Gear Lab, Gear Junkie, RunRepeat, Section Hiker.

64,904

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Boot Barn and 7 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 11 Hiking Boots and also dug through the reviews from 85 of the most popular review sites including Switchback Travel, Outdoor Gear Lab, Gear Junkie, RunRepeat, Section Hiker, Runner's World and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hiking Boots.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Waterproof Ankle Hiking Boot

Our Expert Score
7.5
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
15,140 user reviews
Our Take

These 100% leather boots offer excellent durability, while the rubber soles provide traction to ensure you don’t slip on wet trails. The seam-sealed waterproof construction means you don’t have to worry about wet feet. The rust-proof speed-lace hardware with hooks ensure your laces are secure.

What other experts liked
Extremely tough and durable. Perfect for inclement weather.
- BestReviews
Quite light for a full leather boot, it is the inexpensive footwear of choice for tradesmen and construction workers who work outdoors but don't require steel toes. The White Ledge is a great option for those who want a versatile...
- Outdoor Gear Lab
There is plenty of variety to choose from, both in terms of colors and size. And they are very true to size, and they should fit you perfectly in the size that you usually wear. These shoes are designed to...
- Expert World Travel
Breathability is yet another great feature of these boots and this is due to the technology used in the treatment of the leather for these boots. The padding around the ankle is very thick and comfortable, and the same holds...
- Mountains for Everybody
Boasting a 4.4 star customer rating with over 9,000 reviews, the 100% leather Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boots stand out as the best all-around hiking boot, offering the right mix of durability and comfort, and they look good, too! They...
- Adventure Digest
Over 2,000 reviewers describe these all-purpose hiking boots as “comfortable,” including one who calls them “the best I’ve ever worn.” Another reviewer calls these waterproof boots “a lifesaver” exclaiming, “Wow, my feet thank me.”
- New York Mag
They have a 100% leather upper that keeps water out. So you don’t have to worry much about stepping into puddles or light drizzles while you hike. A leather upper is better than other cheaper, synthetic waterproofing as it makes...
- Love Your Foot
This affordable White Ledge Boot from Timberland is built for both durability and stability. The leather upper is completely waterproof and keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Added padding on the collar and tongue will protect your ankles while he...
- The Boot Lover
Full-grained, abrasion resistant leather definitely helps towards durability, but the strong point here is the seam-sealed joints. Having moisture in your work boots is the fastest way to kill your boots, so the extra water protection here is vital for...
- Work Boot Critic
The rustproof eyelets are a nice touch, are smooth. The solid rubber sole is meaty enough to handle rugged terrain. Double stitching on the upper adds to the durability.
- The Last Survivalist
What other experts didn't like
May be too heavy for longer hikes.
- BestReviews
We found it comfy standing around, but our feet weren't happy after more than a few miles hiking. Four lower and two upper eyelets let you snug this boot up on the foot; however, none of these eyelets has a...
- Outdoor Gear Lab
They should be plenty comfortable – after you break them in a little bit. Leather boots are usually stiff right out of the box, so expect to spend some time breaking them in.
- Expert World Travel
The sole is comfortable and very flexible. But this can also be a problem on very long hikes on a rough terrain. You would not feel good with these boots if you are climbing Teide mountain, or Mount Fuji (these...
- Mountains for Everybody
Outside of cutting the boot apart, their proprietary support system does not appear to incorporate plates or shanks.
- The Last Survivalist

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

Our Expert Score
8.5
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
6,560 user reviews
Our Take

These waterproof boots provide breathability and comfort. The lightweight midsole offers superior cushioning and high-energy return. The hook-and-loop closure system makes it easy to get the perfect snug fit.

What other experts liked
This hiking boot stays solid on even footing with a rugged outsole that offers traction on just about any surface.
- BestReviews
Knobby lugs and flat rubber strips on the toe, heel, and under the forefoot gripped well on smooth surfaces, rock, and snowy spots.
- Backpacker Magazine
We were also impressed by the strong yet very stylish lace. Yes! Unlike many other trekking boots, the Newton Ridge come with a lace that is firmly placed at the top in a triangular D-shaped ring. This system is handy and helps when you’re looking to pull your laces tighter...
- Cool Hiking Gear
A stellar, affordable boot that will keep you light on your feet and your wallet. These boots are absolutely on point with their performance and Columbia’s craftsmanship. The “Plus” comes from the fact that the back comes up higher on your ankle and will provide plenty of ankle support.
- Adventure Sacks
Garnering more than 1,200 five-star reviews, these Columbia boots are lauded for their durability. “These boots held up against all different types of climates and weather and water on my road trip and they still look great,” a reviewer attests. “Wore them for five days straight in dust, on rock,...
- New York Mag
Features Techlite cushioning throughout the midsole for impact absorption (read: no sore knees). On top of that, the boots are made from waterproof leather and are stain resistant. One person who owns the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus hiking boots says that the plush cushioning feels like walking on clouds, and...
- Verywell Fit
Reviewers swear by them for both casual and strenuous hikes, as they have just the right amount of rigidity to keep your ankles supported, are roomy in the toe and provide great traction, even on muddy or icy terrain. Made from full-grain leather and suede with a rubber heel, these...
- USA Today
If you are looking for a great all-around waterproof hiking boot, look no further. The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot is durable, affordable and, most importantly, comfortable. The combination of a waterproof seam-sealed construction and breathable mesh means these boots offer ultimate water protection while allowing your...
- Modern Conservationist
Dubbed “the perfect introductory boot” by satisfied customers, this shoe offers you excellent basic hiking features, such as waterproof technology, great traction, and an impact-absorbing midsole, at a fraction of the price. If you are considering taking up hiking as a pastime but have not yet decided whether to invest...
- Great Outdoor Lab
For the hiker who loves being outdoors for extended periods – these boots provide support, durability, and comfort while keeping your feet protected and perfectly dry. The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking boot provides both maximum support and durability while providing excellent comfort and breathability.
- The Boot Lover
They offer everything that you could ask for in a high quality mid-range hiking boot – a comfortable lightweight design, waterproof and breathable finish, great rubber grip outsoles with a supportive midsole.
- Rugged Feet
What other experts didn't like
Sizing issues are a common complaint among some consumers.
- BestReviews
Hikers venturing off-trail reported feeling metatarsal pain and foot fatigue.
- Backpacker Magazine
The interiors could include more cushioning. Laces are pretty short. Doesn’t offer you the best traction during heavy duty trails in comparison to other models.
- Cool Hiking Gear
The insoles are kind of thin. Very narrow toebox.
- Adventure Sacks
Customers complain of a “toe crease” that occurs in the shoe’s tips; with each step, the leather creases where bent by your toes, digging into the foot and contributing to discomfort. Omni-Grip sole, while stable, has been reported as slippery when wet.
- Great Outdoor Lab
Odd sizing. Not suitable for warm climates.
- Rugged Feet

Overall Product Rankings

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Waterproof Ankle Hiking Boot

1. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Waterproof Ankle Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 12

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

2. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 13

KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

3. KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 14

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D Hiking Boot

4. Salomon Men’s Quest 4D Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 14

Oboz Men’s Bridger BDRY Waterproof Hiking Boot

5. Oboz Men’s Bridger BDRY Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 10

Skechers Men’s Segment-Garnet Ankle Hiking Boot

6. Skechers Men’s Segment-Garnet Ankle Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 8

Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

7. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boot

8. Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 10

Ariat Women’s Terrain Work Hiking Boot

9. Ariat Women’s Terrain Work Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 6

Hi-Tec Women’s Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot

10. Hi-Tec Women’s Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot

Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 5

Our Hiking Boot Findings

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Waterproof Ankle Hiking Boot

What We Liked: These 100% leather boots offer excellent durability, while the rubber soles provide traction to ensure you don’t slip on wet trails. The seam-sealed waterproof construction means you don’t have to worry about wet feet. The rust-proof speed-lace hardware with hooks ensure your laces are secure.

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

What We Liked: These waterproof boots provide breathability and comfort. The lightweight midsole offers superior cushioning and high-energy return. The hook-and-loop closure system makes it easy to get the perfect snug fit.

KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

What We Liked: This lightweight choice has a stiff shank, aggressive tread and excellent toe cap protection, but does not require much time to break in. Plus, they are highly breathable, so you can wear them in the warmer months. These work well for those with wide feet.

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D Hiking Boot

What We Liked: These lightweight boots have durable construction and are perfect for day hikes. The lug pattern on the soles ensures that you don’t slip. Plus, this boot also offers protection for technical trails.

Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

What We Liked: These comfortable boots can be worn right out of the box without much break-in time, and they have a cushioned collar and tongue, plus a highly supportive footbed. The air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability. There is also extra protection in the toe cap.

Our Hiking Boot Buying Guide

If you like exploring scenic terrain, wandering through forest trails or just going for long walks in the wilderness, it’s important to have a good pair of hiking books. This kind of footwear is designed to protect your feet and ankles during your hike, ensuring you don’t get injured. The construction of hiking boots makes it easy to walk over rough and uneven terrain. They are stiff around the ankles, which can help to prevent sprains.

There are three main types of hiking boots, each designed for a specific kind of hiking, with their own benefits and features. Hiking shoes are low cut and are perfect for day hiking. They have flexible midsoles and will work for long-distance journeys. Day hiking boots, on the other hand, are mid- to high-cut. They work for all-day hiking trips or multiple-day backpacking trips. They are flexible and easy to break in. Backpacking boots are the most durable of the three options and are designed for multi-day trips with a heavier backpack in the backcountry. They are cut high above the ankles so they provide added support. They have stuff midsoles so they work well for off-trail travel. Be sure to consider what kind of hiking you do most when selecting your hiking boots.

The fit of your hiking boots is important for your safety and comfort. If your boots are too big or too small, you’ll have trouble enjoying your hike, and blisters could even cause you to cut it short. Make sure you look at the sizing chart before you buy and measure your feet accordingly. Try your boots on at the end of the day, which is when they are their largest size due to normal swelling. Be sure to wear socks that prevent moisture build-up, which leads to blisters.  Break in your hiking boots long before your first trip on the trails to ensure your feet don’t get sore during your hike.

DWYM Fun Fact

It’s no secret that hiking boots get dirty. After you’ve traveled trails in the forest or climbed up muddy inclines, your boots are bound to need a good cleaning. Remove you laces and wash them in warm water. To clean the uppers, you’ll need an old toothbrush and a mild solution of dish soap and warm water. First use the brush to take off any dry dirt and dust. Then use the soap and water solution to wash the uppers. To clean the soles, use the brush to take off any caked on mud or dirt, and then use a hose to wash away the rest of the mud.

The Hiking Boot Tips and Advice

  • One of the most important elements to consider when buying hiking boots is durability. Hiking boots handle rough terrain and weather and need to be strong enough to last through it all. The uppers of the boots, which is the material the boot is made out of on the outside, impact their durability, water resistance, weight and other factors like breathability. The most durable material for uppers is full-grain leather, which is commonly used in hiking boots. It’s perfect for those who want to go on multi-day trips through rugged terrain. However, it’s not as light or breathable as nylon or split-grain leather. Keep in mind that with leather hiking boots, you need a long time to break them in, so don’t buy them right before your hiking trip.
  • Synthetic uppers, which can be made from nylon or polyester, are lighter than leather and don’t require as long to break in. However, they are not as durable, though they do dry faster than leather. Keep this in mind if you frequent wet trails.
  • When you’re walking on rough terrain, you want to ensure that your feet have the support you need to stay comfortable. The midsoles, or the cushioning, affect how stiff your boots are. Opt for stiffer boots for long hikes on uneven terrain. This way, you’ll get more stability.
  • Be sure to take a look at the outsoles. You want to make sure they have enough grip so you don’t slip on the trails when they are wet. The lug pattern is what provides traction on the soles; in general, the deeper the lugs, the better the grip. If you frequent muddy trails, then look for widely spaced lugs, which will shed the mud more quickly.

About The Author

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Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. She values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.