Be Comfortable When Hiking with The Best Backpacking Boots!

Be Comfortable When Hiking with The Best Backpacking Boots!

Hiking and backpacking is a great way to get in touch with nature, there’s no denying that! However, it’s important that you have the necessary gear so that your hiking trip is an enjoyable one – and that includes having the best backpacking boots you can find.

Here are six backpacking boot reviews (three for men and three for women) that you may be interested in!

Best Backpacking Boots For Men

In our opinion the best boots for men:

Winner: Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot

The Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot was created to be a versatile boot that will allow the backpacker to traverse all types of terrain in comfort, without sacrificing stability. These boots feature a 4D chassis that gives you a 4.5 inch wide forefoot that has enhances stability over the competition.

When you combine that with the 6.5 inch tall ankle collar of the boots, you’ll feel confident that you can hike through any terrain that you may encounter.

Salomon Mens Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Side Review

Should you come across any puddles along the way, you don’t have to avoid the puddle, but you can hike right through the puddle (a typical puddle measuring 2 to 3 inches in depth) without worrying about your foot getting soaked.

The lacing system of these boots enables you to get a tight fit that keeps your foot snug and dry in the boot, as it can also help keep water from seeping into the boot itself.

Notable features of the Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot include:

  • Leather and Textile
  • Synthetic sole
  • Shaft measures approximately 6" from arch
  • Weight : 640g ; MIDSOLE HEIGHT : 10 MM / 22 MM
  • High hiker featuring rugged lacing hardware and protective rubber toe cap
  • GORE-TEX waterproof protection
  • Salomon 4D Chassis for stability/protection
  • Molded EVA Ortholite removable footbed
  • Updated Salomon Contagrip Outsole

When looking at what people had to say about the Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot, they had great things to say. Many men who have purchased these boots report that they’ve been able to hike for long distances wearing these boots and they never felt any discomfort or experienced blistering.

Other customers raved about how well these boots are able to keep your feet dry when hiking through puddles and light rain. Customers also enjoy the unique lacing system, stating that they can get a really good, secure fit with these boots, which they had a hard time trying to do with other boots.

Of those who left critical reviews, the most common complaint people had was that their boots were not as durable as they had hoped. These people reported that their boots began to fall apart in some way in less than a year – whether the stitching would begin to unravel in some areas, or the rubber on the toes would begin to separate.

Other customers felt that the boots were too narrow for them to tie the boots tightly. This caused them to have to be more careful while hiking because the boots weren’t snug on their feet.


Runner Up: Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot

The Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot are designed to be high performing boots that are lightweight so you can hike for longer distances without feeling fatigued. The nubuck leather uppers of the boots will mold to the shape of your foot, ensuring that you’ll have a great fit.

The durable leather will be able to keep your feet safe from natural hazards you may encounter while hiking, but the GORE-TEX technology and the breathable air mesh panels will keep your foot dry.

The boots also feature Arc Tempo. This feature is an asymmetric curve that gives hikers with high arches the support they need while hiking. The toe box is tapered, providing you with ample vertical toe room.

Vasque Mens Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Backpacking Boot

The molded toe bumper protects your toes should you accidentally kick something hard. In terms of comfort, the foot bed of the boots feature molded EVA foam, while the midsole also includes a molded TPU plate to give you that extra support.

Notable features of the Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot include:

  • Shaft measures approximately 6" from arch
  • Heel measures approximately 1.25"
  • Platform measures approximately 0.75"
  • Boot opening measures approximately 12" around
  • Vasque's most breathable hiking boot with abrasion-resistant air mesh panels
  • GORE-TEX with Extended Comfort Technology for breathable waterproof protection
  • Molded rubber toe cap
  • Reflective piping
  • Dual Density EVA footbed
  • Vasque Exclusive Vibram Contact outsole with XSTrek Compound

When looking at what people had to say about the Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot, they had great things to say. Customers who purchased these boots appreciated that there was ample support in the boots, which enabled them to be able to hike for long distances.

Customers also appreciated that the Arc Tempo system pushes their feet forward when they take a step, giving them the momentum to go forward.

Customers who had critical reviews were not satisfied with these boots because the leather upper stretched too far and they ended up being too loose. Others reported that the boots had poor circulation and their feet were hot and clammy mid-hike.

Several people were disappointed in the waterproof claims, stating the boots were susceptible to get wet with prolonged exposure – especially near the top of the toe box.


Alternative: Merrell Men's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

The Merrell Men's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are hiking boots that are designed with comfort in mind. They are a lightweight hiking boot that are going to be great for hiking, light backpacking, and other outdoor activities where you may want more support than what your sneakers can provide.

The uppers on these boots are made from a waterproof dura-leather and mesh, which helps to keep your feet dry and the breathable mesh lining is treated with Aegis Antimicrobial solution that will maintain foot comfort.

Merrell Mens Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot Review

The midsole of these shoes feature a molded nylon arch and a compression molded EVA foot frame to give you the comfort you need while hiking. These boots also feature the proprietary Merrell Air Cushion system in the heels of the boots, which are designed to add stability to the boot, but also absorbs shock while hiking.

The Vibram Lugs pattern of the boots ensures overall stability, but since there aren’t any lugs placed under the arch, your foot will be able to flex naturally with better comfort.

Notable features of the Merrell Men's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot include:

  • Sturdy hiking boot featuring breathable mesh and ghillie lacing with speed-lace hardware at top
  • Bellows tongue to keep debris out
  • M Select DRY seals out water
  • M Select FRESH prevents odor
  • Ortholite anatomical footbed
  • Air cushion heel absorbs shock and adds stability

When looking at what people had to say about the Merrell Men's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, they had great things to say. Customers reported that they have used these boots for many years and they have yet to disappoint. 

They go on to report that these boots are incredibly comfortable on the feet, and they appreciate the stability that these boots provide. They also like that these boots are lightweight and they can hike for longer periods of time as a result. Of the traction, several people commented that they can walk through mud or slippery rock without slipping or sliding on the surface.

There were some people who were not as impressed with their boots and left critical reviews. The most common complaint customers had was that these boots didn’t last as long as they would have liked. Some have said the soles of their boots had separated.

Others also commented that the boots are not waterproof. One customer even stated they just walked through the grass with the morning’s dew still apparent, and their socks ended up completely soaked.


Best Backpacking Boots For Women

In our opinion the best boots for women:

Winner: Salomon Women's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot

The Salomon Women's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot are boots that are going to be comfortable enough to wear on a hike that extends of miles and miles. These boots are designed to be as stable as they are as comfortable.

They are made with 4D Advanced Chassis that features wide forefoot that measures 4.5 inches in width. The tall ankle collar on the boots provides stability to your ankle, giving you more confidence when trekking.

Salomon Womens Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot Review

These boots are also made with GORE-TEX weather protection technology. This tech provides greater flex, better cushioning, while making the boot lightweight. The weather protection technology is going to allow you to go through puddles, trek through the rain and snow, while keeping your feet nice and dry.

The ContraGrip technology in the boots will also help you keep your footing while going through rain, snow, mud, and other hazards with ease.

Notable features of the Salomon Women's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot include:

  • Lace-up hiking boot with diagonal logo at side heel 
  • Toe guard and GORE-TEX Performance Comfort membrane for waterproof protection
  • OrthoLite sockliner for comfort
  • Molded EVA midsole for comfort
  • An abrasion resistant lining that allows for excellent breathability and quick drying
  • Protective mud guard at base
  • Non-marking griping outsole

When looking at what people had to say about the Salomon Women's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot, they had great things to say. Customers liked that these boots are so lightweight that they can go for longer distances without being tired. 

They also liked that these boots have a large toe box so that you have plenty of wiggle room, but also that the boots can be worn by people with foot problems like bunions and the like.

Other customers were upset that these shoes were more flexible than they had anticipated. Some have likened these boots to running shoes, rather than hiking boots because the soles were so flexible.

Other customers reported the complete opposite, citing the soles were too stiff. There were a few people who had problems with the tongues of the boots, stating they felt like they needed three hands to lace up the boots because the tongue wouldn’t stay in place.


Runner Up: Vasque Women's Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoe

The Vasque Women's Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoes are designed with Vibram sole technology to give you extreme comfort and traction while you’re hiking through a variety of terrains.

These soles are made in Italy and they can support a variety of different types of feet. The footbed is made from Dual Density EVA material that will enable you to walk on all sorts of surfaces confidently and securely, without sacrificing comfort.

Vasque Womens Talus Waterproof Review

These boots are made with an all-leather construction that gives you the support you need while making your way through the trails. There are abrasion resistant mesh sections on the tongue and ankle of the boot that promotes flexibility, comfort, and ventilation.

Your feet won’t get wet with these boots (even with the mesh) because there is an UltraDry membrane that keeps away any wetness you may encounter while hiking away from your foot.

Notable features of the Vasque Women's Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoe include:

  • Shaft measures approximately 4.5" from arch
  • UltraDry waterproof membrane
  • Women's-specific last
  • Abrasion Resistant Mesh Footbed
  • Dual-density EVA footbed
  • Exclusive Vibram Nuasi outsole

When looking at what people had to say about the Vasque Women's Talus Waterproof Hiking Shoe, they had great things to say. Customers like that these boots are made with Vibram soles because they fit comfortably on the foot, but also because they are able to walk on a variety of surfaces without worrying about losing their footing. 

Customers also appreciate that these boots are lightweight and that putting them on (and taking them off) is relatively easy.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were a small handful of people who had some issues with the boots. Of these critical reviews, customers felt the soles were too stiff and even after a few weeks of hoping to break the shoe in, they were still stiff.

Customers also mentioned that the boots did not keep their feet dry and they felt very uncomfortable because they were hiking with wet feet.

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Customers also appreciate that these boots are lightweight and that putting them on (and taking them off) is relatively easy.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were a small handful of people who had some issues with the boots. Of these critical reviews, customers felt the soles were too stiff and even after a few weeks of hoping to break the shoe in, they were still stiff.

Customers also mentioned that the boots did not keep their feet dry and they felt very uncomfortable because they were hiking with wet feet.


Alternative: Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot

The Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking area tribute to the Danner iconic hiking boot that was popular in the 70s. These boots are made from a rich, full grain leather upper and a rugged Vibram Kletterlift outsole.

Although these boots may look old, they are a true statement piece of excellence and craftsmanship. These boots are lightweight that are good for those who are serious about backpacking, but they are stylish enough to wear casually.

Danner Womens Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot Review

The boots feature Dri-Lex technology that absorbs moisture to help keep your feet nice and dry. These leather boots are easy to clean and once they’ve molded to your feet, you can bet that these boots will be around for a long time.

What’s unique about the Danner company is that they offer recraftable service, which means your boots can be re-stitched if there are any problems, but the company will also partially replace components of your boots to extend the life of the boots. Pretty awesome, right?

Notable features of the Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot include:

  • Shaft measures approximately 5" from arch
  • Stitchdown construction offers increased stability
  • Sienna Cache leather has subtle color variations for an antiqued effect
  • Dri-Lex lining provides increased breathability and comfort.
  • Retro One Piece Leather Upper.
  • Outsole is specifically designed for comfort and durability on both wet and dry surfaces
  • Danner’s 650 EE last offers a roomier fit without sacrificing support and stability.
  • We recommend sizing down a half size for the best fit.

When looking at what people had to say about the Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot, they had great things to say. People who have bought these boots raved about how functional the boots are, but also they were very impressed by the look of the boot as well. 

Customers appreciate how durable the boots are, and how well they keep their feet warm. Several people also commented that these boots have good arch support, which can be difficult to find in some hiking boots.

Although there were many customers who raved about these boots, there was a small handful of customers who were disappointed by their purchase. Of the critical reviews, customers were most disappointed in the sizing.

Many of these complaints recommended that you go down a half size for a proper fit. A small group of people felt that these boots were too heavy and others remarked that the boot was very narrow around their toes.


What To Look For When Choosing the Best Backpacking Boots?

There are many different options when it comes to both men’s backpacking boots and women’s backpacking boots. The right pair of boots should be comfortable to wear, but also give you the stability necessary to take you from walking on flat land to traversing through whatever comes your way.

When you ask yourself, “What are the best backpacking boots?” look at these key features before making your purchase:

Weight

The weight of your shoe is going to have a big role to play in how long you are going to be hiking. The lighter the shoe, the better because you’ll be able to go longer and your back won’t hurt as much. However, heavier shoes will give you more stability and tend to be more durable.

Waterproof Membrane

Think about where you are going to be hiking and think about whether or not you will be hiking through puddles, streams, or even bad weather. If not, then a waterproof membrane may not be important to you. If you do go hiking in the cold, you may want the waterproof membrane because it will help keep your feet warm.

Waterproof Membrane Review

Uppers

The type of upper your boot has will determine the weight, the breathability, durability, and how water resistant it is going to be. The most common type of uppers include:

  • Full grain leather
  • Split grain leather
  • Nubuck leather
  • play
    Synthetics
  • play
    Waterproof membranes
  • play
    Vegan
  • play
    Insulation

Midsoles

The midsole material is going to provide you with the comfort, but also determines the stiffness of the boot. EVA midsoles are going to be less expensive, lightweight, and give you more cushion. Polyurethane is going to be firmer and more durable.

Inner Support

The inner support may consist shanks and/or plates. The shank inserts are sandwiched between the midsole and the outsole. These shanks will provide load-bearing stiffness to the boot. Boots with plates are going to be placed under the shanks (if included). They will protect your feet from feeling roots, rocks, and other debris under your feet while you hike.

Outsole

The outsole on your boots are going to be made of rubber, but they could be reinforced with carbon and other materials. Boots with a lug pattern are going to provide you with better traction and wider set lugs will make it easier to shed mud.

Outsole Review

A heel break describes the heel zone that is different from the forefoot and arch. The heel break is going to reduce any chances of slipping when going downhill.

Our Recommendation

There are many different types of backpacking boots currently on the market and when it comes to choosing which is the best, we believe the Salomon backpacking boots (both for men and women) are your best bet. However, the Vasque backpacking boots are equally impressive. It really depends on your budget and what kind of hiking you plan on doing as to which boot will work best for you.

We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment below and tell us where are your favorite places to hike!

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