Premium approach shoes online store: When we think of Asolo, the first thing that comes to mind is a classic, leather hiking boot like their TPS 520 GV Evo. The sleeker and more modern Falcon GV, however, represents where hiking footwear clearly is headed: a little less weight and support than a traditional hiking boot, but with serious technical chops. We took the Falcon on and off trail over the course of a rugged trek in Patagonia and came away impressed. It’s well built, extremely comfortable right out of the box, and can handle just about anything you can throw at it. The biggest downside in choosing the Asolo Falcon GV is stability, which we would rate as moderate. If you’re used to a high-cut boot with tons of support, the Falcon isn’t it. But when laced up tight, we wore it backpacking with a relatively heavy load over all types of terrain from scree fields and glaciers to steep rocky passes with few issues. For those who don’t need the ultimate levels of stability and want a lightweight and comfortable do-all boot for everything from day hiking to serious backpacking, we love the Falcon. Find more details on waterproof boots.
The Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof is a great deal that’ll get you out on the trails in most conditions. This water-resistant suede boot is incredibly comfortable, and the break-in period almost non-existent. It is as supportive as you’d expect a hiking boot to be with solid underfoot construction. It’s an excellent option for beginners and experts alike who are looking for a boot that’ll deliver great performance at a decent value. While we appreciate the comfort and performance this boot offers, it has a few limitations. First, while the Vibram sole sticks well to dry and technical surfaces, the lugs do not have the appropriate spacing between them to shed mud easily. As a result, they are not recommended for super muddy or sloppy conditions. Additionally, the design is a little heavier than other lightweight boots. Overall, it is a high-value option that’ll keep you comfortable and protected for most outdoor adventures.
The X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is designed like a much burlier boot—high ankle collar, waterproof membrane, mostly leather upper, bomber toe bumper—but it still slides in under the 2-pound mark. “I wore these boots from the Pacific Crest Trail to the top of a Sierra peak and back again, and I almost felt like I was wearing runners,” declared one tester after six days in the Eastern Sierra of California. The X Ultra 4 Mid GTX has a cushy EVA midsole that gives it that running-shoe feel and makes it comfy out of the box. (Added cushioning around the ankle helps too.) It’s augmented with a TPU plate, but though our test samples show no signs of breaking down, we’d be wary of the midsole’s long-term durability after 500 or so miles. As for the X Ultra 4 Mid’s other features, it has a GORE-TEX® membrane for awesome weatherproofing and a flexible proprietary rubber outsole with aggressive, chevron-shaped lugs. Our testers reported that it held fast on granite and mud but faltered a bit in loose gravel. Fit note: Salomon footwear tends to run narrow, but the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX bucks the trend, even pleasing one tester with self-described “Frodo feet.”
What’s not to like with the Oboz Bridger? On the trail, the boot feels slower and heavier than competitors like the Merrell Moab 3 Mid or KEEN Targhee III Mid. Further, the in-house B-Dry waterproof membrane makes the boot run warm even in moderate temperatures. For a cheaper option from Oboz, the Sawtooth X is another mid-height boot that has more mesh in the build, but it’s less tough and supportive at a similar weight (although you do save $15 in the process). For those hiking in hot and dry conditions, both the Bridger and Sawtooth are made in non-waterproof versions.
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.
From a quick look at our comparison table above, it’s clear that hiking boot weights vary a lot. You can choose an over-the-ankle design anywhere from over 3 pounds to under 2 in the case of the trail runner-inspired Altra Lone Peak Hiker 2 (1 lb. 9.6 oz.) and Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX (1 lb. 14 oz.). What’s equally obvious is how the various weights have an impact on a boot’s performance. To start, while the correlation isn’t perfect, a lighter boot generally will offer less protection, support and stability, and durability over the long term. This can present a problem if you’re carrying a heavy pack and traveling over rough terrain, but for thru-hikers or minimalists, going lightweight can be a great idea. See additional info at https://www.trekkit.in/.
What will you be using your hiking boot for? There are a variety of different options out there, but narrowing them down by identifying your intended use is the first step. Are you planning on just day hiking, or will you be backpacking as well? What types of terrain will you be hiking? How does your boot need to perform? Does it need to be breathable or waterproof? These are the types of questions to ask before your search begins, which will help to steer you in the right direction. When you’re heading out for a day hike, the type of footwear you choose depends on the intensity of the hike, how technical it is, and how much weight you are carrying. In some cases, a lightweight hiking boot with minimal ankle support may be all you need. The lighter materials used in lightweight boots make them more flexible and breathable. They also have enough comfort and support to carry substantial loads or just a day pack. Most offer more stability than a hiking shoe or trail runner, but they aren’t as heavy as a midweight hiking boot. If you prefer more stability, even for day hikes, you might want to consider a midweight boot.