Hiking shoes online shopping right now: La Sportiva’s Ultra Raptor trail runner has earned legendary status amongst the mountain running community, beloved for its high levels of protection, durability, and stability alongside a lightweight, trail-runner-esque build. The Mid GTX here simply raises the design, adding an over-the-ankle collar and waterproof membrane. The result is a piece of footwear that lands somewhere in between mid-height trail runner and hiking boot, taking with it the best features from both worlds. For fast-and-light mountain-goers, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a nimble and quick alternative to boots like the Quest 4 above and Zodiac Plus below. On the flip side, it helps to compare this boot to a design like the Altra Lone Peak Hiker 2 below. Checking in just a few ounces heavier, the Ultra Raptor offers noticeably more protection around the foot with a generous toe cap and TPU heel, and the rigid shank goes a long way to improve stability. What’s more, the FriXion XF 2.0 sole is stiff and designed to grip well to rock (unfortunately traction falls short in mud). It’s true that the Altra will offer a more cushioned and sprightly feel on well-established trails, and its wide toe box provides relief on high-mileage days. But if you’re looking for a similarly lightweight boot for tackling more technical terrain, the Ultra Raptor Mid GTX is a standout choice. See extra info on mountain boots.
Standing out as a wide, minimalist hiking boot, the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid is a top choice for those seeking a wider toe box for long days in the backcountry. The foot box shape, unique to the Altra shoe brand, is wide enough to allow your toes to splay out with lots of room to wiggle around. Its high ankle cuff offers stability so you can move with confidence over technical terrain. If you’re looking for a lightweight hiking boot suited for a wide foot that’s an excellent pick for fast and light backpacking, this is our top recommendation. While this boot is flexible and lightweight, it’s not the most durable or stable option we’ve tested. The lighter materials have proven to wear down more quickly than other boots with a leather construction. Another consideration is the zero-drop design, which takes some time to get used to. If you’re in search of a lightweight, flexible, and comfortable hiking boot suited for wide feet, this is our favorite choice.
The Vibram® Megagrip outsole is wider than the upper, creating a sturdy base that allowed one tester to easily sidehill during a three-day hunting trip in Utah’s Uinta Mountains. Plus, all that extra width tacks on extra traction. Trade-off: HOKA keeps the weight down by placing the Vibram® rubber in strategic areas of the sole, but the exposed midsole sections take a beating during off-trail journeys. The leather and recycled synthetic upper breathes as well as you could expect for a waterproof boot, and the added ankle height was a boon during bog crossings. But our team struggled to understand the pronounced dip on the back of the ankle cuff: “It makes it easier to slide the boot on and off, but errant foxtails kept sticking to my socks,” gripes one tester.
La Sportiva’s Nucleo High II GTX is a quintessential modern boot: light and nimble but with enough support for day hiking and most backpacking trips. Its most notable features are the Gore-Tex Surround liner and Nano-Cell technology. In short, Gore-Tex Surround breathes not only out of the top of the foot like a traditional waterproof design, but also through the bottom of the footbed and out the sides. La Sportiva’s Nano-Cell tech is the web-like mesh you see along the sides of the foot. While they give the boot a distinctive look, these cutouts only seem to have a modest impact on breathability.
Not only does the bouncy midsole feel supremely comfortable, but it also offers enough support for hefty weekend loads. Our testers carried up to 50 pounds of pack weight without stressing about their feet. A snug heel cup and spacious toe box make most hikers happy, especially on longer backpacking trips when feet can change size due to swelling. Traction isn’t shabby, either. Lowa uses a Vibram® outsole that combines softer (read: stickier) rubber with a multidirectional lug pattern, which makes the Renegade at home on rocky and dusty trails. A waterproof membrane seals out water, but—paired with a burly leather upper—comes with a trade-off: breathability. Leather doesn’t vent as well as synthetic materials, so keep these kicks to adventures where pruny feet won’t cause too many issues.
Whenever we can, we try and keep the weight of our boots to a minimum, providing enough comfort and support for the weight of our pack and the conditions, but without having to lug around anything extra. Depending on the trip, this can mean a lightweight trail-runner style for fastpacking all the way up to a burly boot like the Salewa MTN Trainer 2 Mid GTX for trekking through Nepal. If you’re going to choose one boot to do it all, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX does a great job balancing weight and performance. Discover extra details at https://www.trekkit.in/.
If you live in a wet climate or prefer a precipitous hike to dry conditions, consider the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX. This waterproof boot beats out the competition when it comes to performance in wet conditions. We tested it by hiking in the rain and trudging through rivers. The gusseted tongue and Nubuck leather construction do well to keep water out, keeping your socks dry. Not only that, but it offers a superior level of comfort and support. The deep lugs are sticky, holding well on sloppy and dry surfaces. Even with these heavyweight features, it is a relatively light boot, making it a great option for all types of adventures in wet (or dry) conditions. That said, we wish this boot offered a bit more stability. The upper cuff around the ankle is not very rigid, which translates to less stability on uneven surfaces. Additionally, it is difficult to insert the lace into the eyelets of the boot, meaning it takes more time to lace up and release. If you’re seeking a bombproof boot for water or snow, this is the one you should check out.