The best hiking boots 2024: serious protection for all your outdoor adventures

The best hiking boots are perhaps your most important piece of kit when you're out on the trails, especially during cold and wet weather. For long hikes on technical terrain, nothing matches the ankle support, insulation and protection of a quality hiking boot.

If you're going to be hiking through the depths of winter then a boot with a waterproof membrane, such as Gore-Tex, is vital. The best hiking boots should come with waterproofing as standard, as well as grippy rubber outsoles that provide traction on boggy ground and wet rock. Meanwhile, the high cut of these kinds of boots will mean your ankles stay protected.

We rate the ever-popular Merrell Moab as the best hiking boot overall, while the Aku Trekker Lite III is a superb choice for mountainous hiking. For winter walks and mountaineering routes above the snowline, we recommend the La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX. Female hikers should see our guide to the best women's hiking boots.

The quick list

This is our quick list, a brief overview of the best hiking boots available today. To delve deeper into each pair, see our more detailed write ups further down the page in this guide.

best hiking pants: Pat in Montane pants
Pat Kinsella

Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here.

The best hiking boots we recommend in 2024

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

The best hiking boots overall

Man's feet wearing Merrell Moab 3 Mid GTX hiking boots

A well-priced everyday hiker that is deservedly popular, thanks to its instant out-of-the-box comfort, accommodating fit and solid all-round performance (Image credit: Matthew Jones)
The best hiking boots overall

Specifications

Gender availability: Male / female
Weight (per boot, size UK 12/US 13): 593g / 20.9oz
Materials: Pigskin leather and mesh upper; Gore-Tex membrane; 100% recycled mesh lining; Merrell Air Cushion heel; Vibram TC5+ outsole
Compatibility: 3 season use: sub-alpine hiking and trekking on hills, dales and trails

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable
+
Grippy
+
Accommodating fit
+
Robust build

Reasons to avoid

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Low ankle cuff even for a mid
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Run warm in hot weather
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Quite chunky
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Not the lightest

Merrell has kept the key features that make the Moab a classic, including its accommodating fit, wide toebox and plush padded ankle collar, but this third iteration has had a few upgrades too. In our tests, we noted that the redesigned uppers have smaller mesh panels and more robust pigskin suede leather for enhanced durability, backed with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner. 

In common with trends in the wider outdoor industry, Merrell has focused on making the Moab more sustainable too. The mesh, webbing and laces are all now made from recycled materials.

We found that the midsole delivers a good balance of stability and cushioning, with a bit more arch support than most mid boots. The Vibram outsole also has chunky 5mm lugs for dependable traction. All in all, it’s a solid and well-built boot, which is comfortable and reliable, with versatile all-round performance and an accommodating fit.

Read our full Merrell Moab 3 Mid GTX hiking boots review

The best hiking boots for mountain routes

Person's feet wearing Aku Trekker Lite III GTX hiking boots

The Aku Trekker Lite III GTX are stylish hill-ready hiking boots born in the mountains of Italy  (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)
The best hiking boots for mountain routes

Specifications

Weight (per boot): 570g / 20oz
Materials: Suede & welded PU full upper; Gore-Tex membrane; double-intensity die-cut EVA midsole; Vibram Curcuma outsole
Compatibility: 3- to 4-season day hiking on almost any trails, and a good boot for longer trips in decent conditions

Reasons to buy

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Secure and supportive fit
+
Waterproof and breathable
+
Available in wide-fit last

Reasons to avoid

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More expensive than La Sportiva
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Fairly weighty for day boots

These beautiful boots from a brand based in the Italian alps absolutely ooze style before you get them dirty, but we found they also perform impressively once we stopped posing and started tackling trails and peaks. The construction is robust, with precision stitching reinforcing each eyelet in the lacing system, which is where pressure is applied every time you pull the boots on. Having three pairs of quick-lace hooks at the top of each boot really enabled us to get them done up nice and tight, for a firm and secure ride when we started pounding the paths. 

The component parts are all top end, from the Vibram Curcuma outsole up to the Gore-Tex lined suede-and-fabric upper. There is an all-round rand that shields toes and heels and on test they were warm, comfortable, confidence-giving and classy, protecting our feet from the elements and supplying a really decent level of performance. They’re not as lightweight as some other daywalking boots out there, but the level of ankle support is far superior to the vast majority of other comparable boots.  The standard last is quite narrow in the toebox department, but the Trekker Lite IIIs are also available in a wide fit.

Read our full Aku Trekker Lite III GTX review

The best hiking boots for serious backpacking

Person's feet wearing La Sportiva TX5 GTX hiking boot

The La Sportiva TX5 GTX is a hardcore boot for hardcore backpackers (Image credit: La Sportiva)

3. La Sportiva TX5 GTX

The best hiking boots for serious backpacking

Specifications

Weight (per boot): 530g/18.7oz
Materials: Nubuck leather upper, Gore-Tex extended comfort liner, Ortholite Approach footbed, Vibram MegaGrip outsole
Compatibility: Big backpacking adventures

Reasons to buy

+
Vibram MegaGrip outsole
+
Capable of heavy backpack loads

Reasons to avoid

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Narrow fit for some
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Break-in required

When you throw a heavy backpack on your shoulders, you need a rugged hiking boot to carry the load. We found that the La Sportiva's TX5 is up to the challenge. A Gore-Tex Extended Comfort membrane supplies the breathable barrier against the in ingress of water, while an Ortholite Approach footbed supported our foot inside the boot. On the outside the Nubuck leather upper is mountain-fit, and a protective rubber rand, toecap and a combined to shield our feet from roots, rocks and trail debris. The high collar not only provides protection for ankles, its also supplies excellent support for when we were tackling technical trails with a heavy pack.

Deep in the forest and high in the hills, when the underfoot conditions are rocky, slippery and uneven, the boot’s Vibram MegaGrip sole and Impact Brake System offers shock protection and stability. LaSportiva’s 3D Flex System and an underfoot stabilizer provides freedom of movement yet further protects your lower legs from twists and turns on challenging and tricky terrain.

The best hiking boots for easy hiking

Man's feet wearing Keen NXIS EVO Mid hiking boots

Lightweight hiking boots for fast-paced footpath and trail trekking across nine months of the year (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
The best hiking boots for easy hiking

Specifications

Gender availability: Male / female
Weight (per boot): 429g / 15.13oz
Materials: Performance mesh upper with TPU overlays, KEEN.DRY waterproof & breathable membrane, speed-lace webbing system, breathable textile lining, removable PU insole, compression-molded EVA midsole, KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole
Compatibility: Three-season hiking and trekking with or without packs on peaks and trails; hut-to-hut hikes, weekend adventures and day walks in reasonably easy conditions

Reasons to buy

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Lightweight
+
Excellent heel lock
+
Waterproof and breathable

Reasons to avoid

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External mesh upper collects muck
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4mm lugs not very aggressive
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Not protective enough for winter hiking

This is one of the lighter and less protective and aggressive models in the Keen boot range, aimed at people who prioritise staying nimble and moving fast across landscapes such as long-distance trails, rather than attempting hard hikes in really tough terrain. However, with some ankle support and an excellent heel-lock system, they are capable of looking after you on reasonably technical trails and/or multiday escapades while wearing a pack. The 4mm multidirectional lugs on the outsole are also adequate for such escapades in most conditions, but they’re not aggressive enough for anything too epic. 

But, used in the right conditions and on the tracks they were designed to tackle, these boots are a joy to wear. Quick and easy to put on, they felt fantastically light and comfortable on our feet. Featuring the brand’s own KEEN.DRY membrane, the NXIS EVOs are waterproof and breathable. On test in wet and muddy conditions, we found that the external knit mesh did accumulate lots of dirt, however, which impacted their performance.

Read our full Keen NVIS EVO Mid review

The best hiking boots for winter

Person's foot wearing La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX hiking boot

A three-and-a-half season trekking boot, the La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX has superb scrambling capability (Image credit: Matthew Jones)
The best hiking boots for winter

Specifications

Weight (per boot): 720g/1lb 9.4oz
Materials: Idro-Perwanger Leather; Gore-Tex Performance Comfort; Vibram sole
Compatibility: 3-season-plus off-track trail blazing and alpine adventures with a heavy backpack

Reasons to buy

+
Terrific traction
+
Great flex around ankle 
+
Useful rock-edging feature on the sole

Reasons to avoid

-
Tight toe box
-
Potential durability concerns around lace loops

An instantly striking-looking boot, the Trango TRK GTX boasts a distinctive and durable waterproof upper constructed from top-quality 1.6mm-thick Idro-Perwanger leather. Beneath the bright and brazen outer, a breathable Gore-Tex performance comfort membrane works its magic to complete the breathable waterproofing system. 

La Sportiva’s excellent 3D flex system facilitates impressive bendiness both between the ankle and the foot, and across the toe region, while attempting to maintain a level of rigidity across the sole that’s crucial to confident rock work. We found the Vibram Mulaz rubber sole to be stickier than a good old pub floor, making this a great boot for scrambling. The rear lugs and the impact brake system help maintain control and traction on tricky terrain and steep slopes, and the sole also features a technical ‘climbing zone’ beneath the toe, ideal for rock edging and use on via ferratas.

Read our full La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX review

The best hiking boots for comfort

Man fastening Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots

Sturdy, well-built and comfortable, the tried and tested Lowa Renegade is a nubuck leather hiking boot made for multiple miles and mixed terrain (Image credit: Lowa)
The best hiking boots for comfort

Specifications

Gender availability: Male / female
Weight (per boot, size UK 12/US 13): 700g / 24.7oz
Materials: Nubuck upper, Gore-Tex lining, PU midsole, Vibram Evo sole
Compatibility: Sub-alpine hiking and trekking on hills, dales and trails

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable and well-padded tongue and ankle cuff
+
Gore-Tex waterproofing
+
Supportive and stable
+
Grippy Vibram sole

Reasons to avoid

-
Warmer and heavier than a fabric hiking boot
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Not the most cushioned underfoot
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No protective toe bumper or rubber rand
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Not cheap

First introduced 25 years ago, Lowa’s Renegade Mid has established itself as a great all-rounder, equally at home on well-trodden trails and in the hills. It’s durable and well built, with double-stitched nubuck leather uppers and a waterproof-breathable Gore-Tex lining for reliable wet-weather performance. It’s also cut higher than most mid boots, offering superior stability and support, plus even more protection if you splosh through bogs or streams, as we did on test. 

You also get a well-padded tongue and ankle cuff for comfort. Underfoot, the midsole consists of a full-length stabilising shank embedded in a PU ‘Monowrap’ frame. We found it gave the boot more stiffness than most comparable rivals, warding off impacts from rocks and tree roots whilst also providing a more stable platform on uneven or broken terrain. Traction comes from a Vibram Evo sole unit, which has deep, sharply angled lugs that give good grip across a range of different surfaces.

Read our full Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boot review

The best hiking boots for summer

Person's foot waring Hanwag Banks hiking boot

A beautiful nubuck-leather boot born in Bavaria, and conceived for lowland trekking, gentle hillwalking and hut-to-hut hiking (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
The best hiking boots for summer

Specifications

Weight (per boot): 625g/1lb 6oz
Materials: Nubuck leather / Suede / Cordura nylon upper; Gore-Tex membrane; Vibram Endurance Pro sole
Compatibility: 3-season walking on less technical lowland trails