From day hikes to long-distance excursions, our experts pick the hiking boots that go the distance.
Finding a hiking boot is easy. Finding the perfect hiking boot is much harder. We’ll make it a little easier for you to avoid blisters and enjoy the adventure. We polled our staff to find their favorite hiking boots for day hiking, overnighters and long-haul treks.
Types of Hiking Boots
- Day Hiking Boots: Look for low-cut models with more flex in the midsole—for comfort over shorter distances. Some ultralight backpackers even look to trail running shoes for long-distance treks.
- Mid Distance Hiking and Backpacking Boots: From longer day hikes to shorter backpacking trips, these boots can take you a little farther into the backcountry. These options are flexible and don’t require a long break-in time, making them best for covering mid distances with lighter packs.
- Long Distance Backpacking Boots: These shoes have the support you need for longer treks. Made with a high cut for excellent ankle support and stiffer midsoles than lighter footwear options, these are created for on- and off-trail travel.
- Trail Runners: Yes, we know trail runners aren’t boots, but they’re rad none the less. Day hikers are enjoying these shoes for easier trails and many ultralight backpackers are turning to lightweighter trail runners to cover long distances with only the essentials. What’s more, you can move faster in them and they dry more quickly than other shoes when wet.