A lovely and very trail-capable option if you’re plumping for your first pair of leather boots and want comfort and quality straight out of the box.
- Great lacing and high neck
- No need to break in the leather
- One of the heavier boots on test
There’s a lot to like about the Ariat Skyline Summit GTX hiking boot. The Skyline Summit has all the benefits of warm, naturally waterproof full-grain leather without requiring any breaking in, and is reassuringly comfortable straight out of the box. A Gore-Tex membrane keeps the leather and nylon panels dry even in heavy rain, but still offers enough breathability to make these boots work from autumn right through until late spring – keeping feet cosy even on frosty winter walks.
- The best hiking boots to buy right now
- The best women's walking boots recommended
- Those hiking essentials for any length of walk
A great lacing system and high, narrow neck makes the boots feel very stable and snug underfoot – ideal if you find most hiking boots don’t support your ankles properly. Supportive, cushiony insoles add to that feeling of stability, and stop the boots feeling too heavy when you’re covering long distances.
They may be one of the pricier boots in the category, but you get what you pay for – if you’re investing in your first proper pair of hiking boots, these are an easy choice.
• RRP: $160 (US) / £170 (UK)
• Weight (per boot): 538g/1lb 3oz
• Materials used: Full-grain leather upper with rugged nylon panels, Gore-Tex lining; Dual-density Duratread outsole
• Colours: Acorn brown
• Compatibility: The Skyline Summit is happy in grim winter weather on the hillside but is breathable enough to work for casual warm-weather walks
In the field
We found the Skyline Summits warm enough to keep feet comfortable even on bitterly cold walks when we tested them out in autumn and winter on hikes and wild camping trips on Dartmoor.
A great lacing system and high, narrow neck makes the boots feel very stable and snug underfoot – this is ideal if you find most hiking boots don’t support your ankles properly. Gore-Tex waterproofing reliably stops wet weather in its tracks, even when it’s bucketing it down.
Two widths are available – we tested out the ‘EE’ wider version and reckon they’d be perfect if you suffer from bunions or find most female boots too snug around the ball of your foot.
If you do pick leather, make sure you look after it with regular cleaning and conditioning to stop it cracking – with care, your Skylines should last you for decades of hiking trips, which makes their price point seem a lot more sensible.
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