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Best Walking Boots: Comfort for Your Feet

Image showing the Best Walking Boots
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

Would you agree that hiking is an energy consuming activity, which can prove to be a lot more tiring and uncomfortable if you don’t have the right kind of boots?

You will also agree that buying a pair of the best walking shoes you can get your feet in, can be a bit difficult because of all the confusing options that are available in the market, right?

But, the fact is that we simply cannot go hiking without a pair of durable, comfortable, and supporting hiking boots. So, what is stopping us from finding that perfect model? Maybe the price, especially for those of good quality? But, don’t worry, a high price for high-quality is not always the case! It is possible to find good models under $200.

Now, it is important to mention that hiking boots provide your tendons and ligaments the support they require to walk on hard and tough tracks. Therefore, the choice of your shoes for long distance hiking should be made according to how and where you hike.

Image showing a man wearing the amazing Salomon X ALP MTN GTX

However, how can we be certain that we’ve made the right choice? To help you out and make sure the pair you buy is absolutely what you need, we have found the most wanted models on the market, reviewed them, so that you can pick the ones that are most suitable for your needs.

But, before we get to the reviews part, you should check the features that are important and should be kept in mind when looking for hiking boots. 

Product NameWeightMaterialSpecific FeaturesPrice
Danner Radical GTX3.5 poundsLeather and textileAbrasion proof, durable, importedCheck price on Amazon
Ahnu Hiking Boot3.4 poundsLeather fabricWaterproof, contrast stitching and padded tongue and collarCheck price on Amazon
Dunham Cloud1 poundLeather fabricLace up vamp, waterproof, adjustable circumferenceCheck price on Amazon
Salewa ALP GTX2.5 poundsLeather, syntheticVibram sole, imported, durable, extended comfort liningCheck price on Amazon
Vasque St. Elias3.2 poundsLeather, syntheticWaterproof, dual density foot bed, EVA cushioning pods, Vibram rubber outsoleCheck price on Amazon
Keen Targhee II1 poundWaterproof leatherMulti directional lugs, dual density midsole, contoured heel lock, waterproof leather upperCheck price on Amazon
Merrell Moab1 poundLeather, synthetic soleBreathable mesh, air cushion heel, Vibram multi-sport plusCheck price on Amazon
Salomon Quest1.25 poundsLeather, synthetic soleGORE TEX waterproof protection, removable footbedCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

If you’re looking for buying best shoes for long distance walking, then you really need to know what you’re looking for. You need to do a little research and prioritize your needs.

If you are going on a long trip, then you need to consider the options that you can rely on. These are a few things that you need to look for when buying walking boots hopefully they will help you.

Weight

Weight is an important factor because when you’re backpacking or hiking, you need lightweight boots that are comfortable and easy to walk in. This is important because the more weight you’ll be lifting with each step, the more tired you will be at the end of the day.

A man walking in a pair of hiking botts

When you’re buying walking boots, your aim should be to buy ones that are ultra-light and fulfill your requirements of support and stability. Luckily for you, on our list, most models are really lightweight.

Reliability

As you use the boot, it wears out at some point, and that is unavoidable. But, you don’t want your boots to fall apart after a month or two, right? Also, besides staying in one piece, they should also stay comfortable and not warp their shape and cause you more damage than comfort and protection.

A man hiking in Salomon X Ultra Ii Gtx

Therefore, when searching for boots that will last and keep your feet protected as well as rested, you should look how well they are constructed, do they seem like they will last long, and definitely check the user reviews as these reviews are like the fine print in contracts that no one reads, but contain the most important info.

Adhesion

Hiking trails and rocks can prove to be slippery or hard, so, to walk with comfort on these trails, you need boots that will not slip and stay put. The boots that you are buying should have strong adhesion to prevent the slipping.

Image showing two types-of-Walking-Boots

There are boots available on the market, that were manufactured with different designs and soles, exclusively for this purpose. If you plan on going somewhere where slopes or rivers can be expected, you need to check out the adhesion of the boot’s sole.

Comfort

One of the most important features on every ones list should be the comfort level, because when you are hiking, you need the boots to be comfortable or your trip will turn into a nightmare.

The things that you should notice for deciding the comfort level are: how the foot feels when laced up, how much support the ankle collar system provides and how well the boot keeps your feet dry and cool, and does it give you enough room to breathe.

A man hiking in Salomon hiking boots

Also, you should know if the lace system works well. All these factors will help you determine the comfort level of the boots you plan on buying.

Strength

The strength of the boots basically defines how much support and stability the boots provide. Walking boots that are mid weight have ankle collars that leaves the minimum chance of a slip or twist.

A pair of Hiking Boots and a moutain landscape

During the long days of backpacking, these boots give you support that makes the walk less tiring. The fitting of the boot is an important factor regarding the stability. If the boot fits perfectly and makes you feel stable and secure, then it will provide proper stability.

Types of Walking Boots

There are a lot of different kinds of walking boots can be found in the market. According to their weight and construction they are divided into 3 main categories. Here is the list of the types of walking boots that you can choose from.

Lightweight Boots

Lightweight walking boots are mostly cut lower on their ankle collar than other typical boots to make them lightweight. If you don’t have a lot of weight to carry around and you don’t need extra ankle support then these boots can be a good choice.

Image showing a person wearing a pair of Lightweight Boots

Lightweight boots are basically for comfort and are ultra-lightweight to keep the weight minimum.

Mid weight Boots

Mid weight Boots are extensively manufactured with stronger midsoles and shanks, higher ankle collars and heavier and durable uppers mostly of leather. Because of all these features these boots provide ankle support and enable you to hike through rough and hard trails. If you are used to going on long trips then this can be a great choice for you.

Heavyweight Boots

As you can guess by name these boots are heavier in weight and construction. Having the leather uppers and burly midsoles that provide support for the roughest kind of trails.

Image of heavyweight hiking boots

These boots are waterproof and durable. But in recent times with backpacking gear getting lighter in weight the utilization of these boots is fading.

Top Products on Today’s Market

There are plenty of options available in the market for you, but the important thing is to buy one that works for you in the long run.

When you are on a hiking and backpacking trip your footwear should be extremely comfortable for you to walk easily without getting tired. So in order to make sure that you can walk comfortably you should always take a comfortable pair of boots with you.

Danner Radical GTX Boots Danner Radical GTX Boots

Price: $127 – $190

Weight: 3.5 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 10 inches

Specific features: Leather and textile, synthetic sole, abrasion proof, durable, imported

Best use: Hiking, backpacking, camping

Description: The Danner Radical GTX Boots are available in three colors dark brown, olive and coffee. The price of this product is between $127 and $190, which is quite reasonable considering the quality and advanced features they come with.

These boots are made of full grain Nubuck leather and have abrasion proof toe caps and Danner BoulderTF’ lug outsoles. The product has breathable lining and is waterproof.

Their Terra Force platform, gives you the stability and light weight performance. The synthetic sole makes them durable, while the cushioning foot bed makes them feel extra comfortable, even after a whole day of hiking in them.

These boots are crafted to face the toughest terrains that come in your way, and they are great for outdoor activities and harsh conditions because of the durability and ability to withstand harsh weather. The boots are suitable for all the outdoor activities, so, they might be a good investment decision for you.

PROS:

  • Very comfy
  • Durable
  • Warm

CONS:

  • A bit pricey

Related: Make sure to use Danner Waterproofing Spray to make them resistant to moisture. It will protect the boots from the bad weather and keep your feet dry and warm.

Check the price on Amazon

Ahnu Coburn Hiking Boots Ahnu Coburn Hiking Boots

Price: $140 – $200

Weight: 3.4 pounds

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific features: Leather fabric, imported, rubber sole, waterproof, contrast stitching and padded tongue and collar

Best use: Hiking, trekking

Description: The Ahnu Coburn Hiking Boots are suitable for all weather conditions. These boots have the eVent technology that makes them breathable and waterproof, and it wicks away the sweat to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

The product is made of full grain waterproof leather and the product is designed to provide underfoot comfort on any kind of terrains.

Rubber sole and padded gusseted tongue and collar keeps the water debris out. The Numentum neutral positioning technology centers and guides the foot to keep balance high.

The shaft is 5.5 inches from the arch, heel is 1.75 inches, and the platform is almost 0.75 inches in measurement. This product is available in three colors which are Porter, dark olive and golden brown.

These boots are actually affordable and easy to find. They are lightweight and if you plan on hiking tough terrains then this is a good choice to keep you balanced, warm and stable for a long time.

PROS:

  • Breathable
  • Waterproof
  • Durable and comfortable

CONS:

  • Insoles have a higher than neutral arch

Related: Make sure to use Danner Leather Cleaner so your boots can always be shiny and clean. It is not expensive and it is easy to apply.

Check the price on Amazon

Dunham Cloud Boots Dunham Cloud Boots

Price: $110 – $150

Weight: 1 pound

Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 5 inches

Specific features: Leather fabric, rubber sole, imported, lace up vamp, waterproof, adjustable circumference

Best use: Backpacking, hiking

Description: The Dunham Cloud Boots come in all sizes, even big and wide and they fit perfectly. The producer claims that the product is a jack of all trades with durable working, aggressive traction and support that a hiker requires.

The leather uppers are waterproof and repel moisture. The premium foam provides the comfort from the sudden jerk or shock. The multi directional lug outsole gives you aggressive traction and the Tectonic tongue provides comfort and distributes pressure evenly. The shaft is 4.5 inches from the arch in measurement.

These boots are available in 4 attractive colors gray, brown, slate black and brown. The price is between $110 and $150 which is quite fair.

Considering everything, it’s a great product, if you’re looking for lightweight boots, then it’s a great choice for you, especially if you are really into outdoor activities such as backpacking, hiking, trekking, or even simple exercising. They will keep you stable and warm, which is the most important thing for boots.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Not for wide feet

Related: The Danner Men’s DXT Comfort Footbed will provide more support while hiking and trailing. They will also provide more comfort during longer hikes.

Check the price on Amazon

Salewa ALP GTX Technical ApproachSalewa ALP GTX Technical Approach Shoes

Price: $170 – $300

Weight: 2.5 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 12 x 5 inches

Specific features: Leather, synthetic, Vibram sole, imported, durable, extended comfort lining

Best use: Trekking, backpacking, hiking

Description: The Salewa ALP GTX Technical Approach are a little more expensive than the products mentioned above, but they will keep you walking. They are made for mountain terrains and rocky paths. They are made with leather and Vibram sole, which provides excellent traction as well as comfort so you can enjoy the views and hiking.

The upper has a trademark Salewa 3F system which connects the heel and the instep area of the boot which ensures the flexibility and the support and a snug fit. To provide you enough support and efficiency on the toughest terrains the climbing laces are there for precise adjustment.

To accommodate the various foot shapes and size, the multi fit foot bed enables you to customize the forefoot by using the interchangeable layers. Additionally, Gore Tex makes the boots water and wind proof to keep your feet dry and warm. The midsole has EVA, which has the ability to absorb sudden shock and jerk.

All these exceptional qualities make this model a really good choice. Available in two colors, carbon and treetop, and priced between $170 and $300, these boots are perfect for traveling and hiking on rough terrain.

PROS:

  • Good traction
  • Water and wind proof

CONS:

  • They are heavy

Related: To keep your feet even warmer, you can try the Darn Tough Men’s Merino Wool Socks. It is a good choice because of the quality and price, and they will keep your feet really warm and dry due to the natural Merino wool venting and wicking properties.

Check the price on Amazon

Vasque St. Elias Backpacking Boots Vasque St. Elias Backpacking Boots

Price: $115 – $200

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 6 inches

Specific features: Leather, synthetic sole, imported, waterproof, dual density foot bed, EVA cushioning pods, Vibram frontier rubber outsole

Best use: Hiking, climbing, camping

Description: The Vasque St. Elias Backpacking Boots are available in two different colors, slate brown and neutral gray. The price of these boots is between $115 and $200, which depends on the size you order and where you are getting them from.

They are made of leather and the sole is synthetic which provides the comfort and balance. 2.33 Nubuck leather upper is waterproof and Gore Tex waterproof construction gives them even better insulating and waterproofing abilities.

Furthermore, the midsoles have cushion pads to avoid the damage done by sudden shocks. This product is made for all kinds of adventures and performs well in hard conditions. The boots are lightweight and reliable for backpacking and hiking trips.

What makes these boots really fantastic, besides being lightweight and warm, is the fact that you will be able to perform better and walk more. Your feet won’t feel clammy or sweaty and you will easily cover miles and miles on your adventures.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Lace lugs can break if pulled to strong

Related: If you want to protect your boots and make them 100% waterproof even after long use when the factory waterproofing tends to fade, check out the Nikwax Waterproofing Wax.

Check the price on Amazon

Keen Targhee II Hiking Boot KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot

Price: $120 – $150

Weight: 1 pound

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific features: Multi directional lugs, dual density midsole, contoured heel lock, waterproof leather upper

Best use: Hiking, trekking, backpacking

Description: The Keen Targhee II Hiking Boot is designed to give you performance like a 4 wheel drive. These boots are waterproof and breathable and the aggressive outsole is made to stand against roughest terrains.

Midcut height gives protection and support to the ankles. You won’t have to worry about your feet hurting or moving too much inside the boots. With proper socks you will be warm and comfy as well.

The 4 mm multi directional lugs will keep you balanced when climbing the wet or muddy rocks, while the ESS shank gives you torsion stability for a steady walk. The dual density EVA foot bed is removable which gives you the option to add them or remove them according to your liking.

The collar height is 6 inches and the mesh lining is hydrophobic to keep you dry and comfortable. These boots are available in 5 different colors and are fairly priced between $100 and $150.

PROS:

  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable

CONS:

  • The build quality could be better

Related: The Danner Boot Dressing is a great product to break in your boots and make them durable. Your feet won’t hurt in your new boots after applying it.

Check the price on Amazon

Merrell Moab Hiking Boots Merrell Moab Hiking Boots

Price: $70 – $160

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific features: Synthetic sole, leather and textile, breathable mesh, air cushion heel, Vibram multi-sport plus

Best use: Backpacking, hiking

Description: The Merrell Moab Hiking Boots are a mid height backpacking model that is made of high quality dura leather. The mesh upper is for ankle support and the bellow tongue is for keeping stones and stones out.

The toe cap made of synthetic leather with the countered heel keeps your heel in the back of the boot. The product is also treated with antimicrobial solution to keep all the microbes away. Added air cushion is to protect you from sudden shock and to add stability.

The unique Vibram multi-sport which adds the braking power at the heel to stand against any kind of terrain.

These boots are great because they can provide you with stability and durability, no matter the weather conditions and terrain. They also provide you with traction on both dry and wet surfaces so you won’t have to worry about falling down. They are also waterproof and will protect your feet from moisture.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Good traction
  • Durable

CONS:

  • A bit heavy

Related: The DryCool Cushion Crew Socks go well with these boots and keep your feet warm. They are comfy, breathable, and quite affordable.

Check the price on Amazon

Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boots

Price: $120 -$300

Weight: 1.25 pounds

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 6 inches

Specific features: Leather, imported, synthetic sole, GORE TEX waterproof protection, removable footbed

Best use: Hiking, trail running, mountaineering

Description: Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX is available in seven different colors which gives you plenty of options to choose from. These boots are made of leather and designed for stability and comfort. They also feature rubber toe cap for protection and rugged lacing hardware.

The Salomon Conta-Grip outsole gives you a strong grip on any surface. The shaft is 6.75 inches from the arch in measurement. The price is a little expensive, and ranges from $120 and $300, but since these boots are designed for outdoor activities, adventures, and constant abuse, they are worth the price.

Furthermore, these walking boots are made of Gore-Tex waterproof material, which means that even if you walk during the rain your feet won’t get wet, yet, they will not sweat as this material has outstanding breathability properties. This model is a great choice for harsh conditions and those who love backpacking or hiking anywhere and anytime.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Good traction

CONS:

  • Expensive

Related: in order to protect your boots drying and make them even more durable, check out Danner Leather Conditioner. It is easy to use and will make your boots soft and prevent the leather from cracking.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

We have reached the end of the article. Now, we have covered eight really great walking boots that will keep your feet safe and comfortable during your outdoor adventures. Wherever you might plan on going, a comfortable pair of boots will always prove to be the best decision for you.

However, finding the right pair might be a difficult task as there are so many models on the market. So, remember the important features, see which ones are the most important for you, and try to find the model that suits your needs completely.

Also, remember to check the recommended products you saw here, as they will make your boots durable and protect them from the elements, thus make them last you for many seasons to come.

Image showing a group of hikers on a summer trip

Those who plan on checking out rough paths in the mountains, in order to avoid the tiredness and the ankle twisting, should get a pair that is made for tough terrains to provide your feet the comfort and protection from rocks.

We can recommend the Salewa ALP GTX Technical Approach Shoes as they are durable, light in weight, and provide exceptional feet and ankle support.

At the end, we can only say that your opinion is very important for us, so if you think that we left something out, feel free to let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Porter
John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

  • John C. Porter

    Can’t really blame you for being such a loyal Danner user. These boots are really radical – what an apt name! They are reasonably priced as well which makes it popular for the mainstream crowd. The leather is waterproof, so you don’t have to put any waterproofing sprays or gels on it. The breathable lining is pure genius – who wouldn’t love the Danner Men’s Radical boots?

  • Mark Grey

    I had two pairs of the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boots and I just got a third pair last months. They are strong , comfortable and the toe protection is firm enough for the purpose. I wore this new pair right out of the box and it right away felt comfortable.

    • John C. Porter

      Thanks for the the valuable input Mark and I’m glad you made a good choice in the Keen Hiking boots. Those shoes are durable and comfortable. Affordable, too, if I must say.

  • Mabel Anderson

    I am trying to surprise my husband with a package filled with items he can add to his gear for his upcoming backpacking trip. He already has a couple of really sturdy backpacking boots but I want to add him one more pair. I know he will appreciate it. That KEEN boot looks really nice but I hope it is strong and comfortable too as he going on really long hikes and needs his shoes to meet the challenge.

  • John C. Porter

    A man needs shoes so keep ’em coming Mabel! 🙂
    Isn’t your husband lucky to be getting a new pair of Keen boots? You won’t be surprised if he decides to get another pair since they are comfortable and affordable, too. Quality is topnotch!

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