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Hike Smarter: 7 Ways to Fix and Maintain Gear

How to fix zippers, wash a sleeping bag correctly, waterproofing and make boots last.

Readers' Choice Award: Asolo Vertex GV Hiking Boots

Quintessential backpacking boots - high-cut, durable, and can handle rugged terrain.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Ski Boots

The right ski boots can make or break a day on the slopes or in the backcountry.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT6 Performance Ski Boot

A featherweight boot with impressive downhill performance.

Gear Review: Salomon Quest Max BC 120 Ski Boots

Ski boots featuring a flexible, 44-degree walk mode.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Factor MX/Shiva MX Ski Boots

Touring boots with downhill toughness built in.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury TF Ski Boots

Boots to steer you through tricky snow and slush situations.

Gear Review: Rossignol Alltrack 130 Pro Ski Boots

Performance boots built for the best backcountry excursions.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Scarpa Freedom SL Ski Boots

A ski boot with standout performance and style.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Footwear

Get the right footwear for every adventure.

Gear Review: Asolo Eiger GV Boot

The Eigers are so much more nimble and maneuverable than other mountaineering boots for big summits in snow and cold.

Gear Review: Vasque Arrowhead UD/Sakadia UD Boot

Featuring 200 grams of Thinsulate, a dimpled mylar reflective liner, and a fleece collar.

Gear Review: Chaco Hinterland Mid Boot

More concerned about comfort than cold? If you don nott need winter insulation, this is your boot.

Gear Review: Salomon Fellraiser Trail Runner

The 8mm deep lugs bit into the muddiest, steepest terrain.

Gear Review: Adidas Outdoor SlopeCruiser CP Boot

Supportive, street-looking, lightweight and waterproof kicks.

Gear Review: Treksta Alta GTX Boot

Wear the midweight Alta GTX, which provides unmatched grip on frozen terrain.

Gear Review: Oboz Traverse Low Hiking Shoes

Low-cut hiking boots that are grippy in all conditions.

Gear Review: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot

A new and improved version of a boot we've long loved.

Field Test: Big-Trip Boots

Tackle rugged peaks, haul mighty loads, and thrash through the backcountry. These seven boots will support and protect you through it all.

Gear Review: The North Face Verbera Hiker GTX Boot

Excellent cushioning in a long-trail hiker.

Gear Review: LOWA Focus GTX Mid/Focus GTX QC Boot

An ideal boot for technical terrain that requires precise footing.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX Boots

Hike confidently with these sticky-soled boots from La Sportiva.

Gear Guide 2013: Heavy Duty Boots

The toughest, burliest of boots.

Gear Guide 2013: Mid Duty Boots

Tough, ankle-protecting boots that can carry a load.

Gear Guide 2013: Light Duty Boots

Low profile shoes that can take a beating.

Gear Guide 2013: Trail Runners

Go light and fast with these trail running models.

Gear Guide 2013: Boots & Trail Runners

Find the perfect kicks for going fast and far.

Editors' Choice 2013: Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR

Get no-compromise lightweight boots that perform like heavyweights.

Editors' Choice 2013: Asolo Reston/Athena Boots

Enjoy goat-like agility with midweight support.

Gear Guide 2013 Table of Contents

412 trail-tested products

Gear Guide 2013: Charts

Hundreds of pieces of outdoor gear from all the major outdoor retailers - now in an easy-to-print digital format.

Gear Review: The North Face Verbera Backpacker GTX

A burly boot that doesn't beat up your feet.

Got Problem Feet?

An expert bootfitter can help. Here's how Phil Burgess of Ski Stop in Westwood, MA, a certified fit expert, helped one editor overcome a chronic and debilitating fit problem.

Gear Review: Oboz Arete Trail Shoes

High-performance trail shoes that look good on the street.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Vasque Snow Junkie UD Hiking Boot

The midcut Snow Junkies are for people who like their cold-weather adventures light and fast.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Footwear

Climb, hike, or run with snow-ready shoes.

Gear Review: Vasque Snowburban/Pow Pow UD Winter Boot

A high-cut winter hiking boot at home on steep slopes and deep snow.

Gear Review: Keen Bryce WP Hiking Boots

Low-cut hiking boots with plenty of support.

Gear Review: Scott eRide Icerunner Trail Running Shoe

Winter trail runners that stick

Gear Review: adidas Terrex Softshell Mid Hiking Boots

Ultralight, cold-weather speed hikers

Gear Review: Danner Roughhouse Mountain Boot

A Gore-Tex-lined boot that handles big loads and deep snow.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Omega GTX Hiking Boot

A shoulder-season boot that goes the distance in any terrain.

Gear Review: Scarpa Rebel GTX Carbon Mountaineering Boots

One of the world's lightest mountaineering boots designed by climbing phenom Ueli Steck.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2012 Recap Day 3

On the third day of the 2012 Summer Outdoor Retailer show, our reader reporter team found some great boots and essentials for under $20.

Gear Review: Scarpa Tech Ascent

The ultimate boot for the long approaches and class 3+ scrambles.

Field Test: Do-it-All Boots

Upgrade your footwear: We found seven models that can take you from dayhikes to thru-hikes, and from desert to rainforest to peaks.

Gear Review: Improve Fit, Boost Comfort

These after-market insoles control motion, fill excess volume, and more.

Gear Review: Keen Alamosa Mid GTX

Comfortable, sneaker-like feel with a roomy toebox.

Gear Review: LOWA Scorpio GTX Mid

Flexible support and instant comfort; great for trips with lighter loads.

Gear Review: Chaco Tedinho Waterproof

This supple leather boot has top-notch shock absorption and nearly an inch of arch support.

Gear Review: Scarpa Moraine Mid GTX

Running-shoe-like comfort, fit, and breathability.

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon4 Mid Ventilator GTX

For hikers in blazing climates who need well-ventilated, waterproof protection and all-terrain traction.

Gear Review: Vasque Talus UD

Testers prized these all-leather boots for their tenacious traction, superior comfort, and midsole support.

Gear Review: Salewa Mtn Trainer Mid GTX

Named the best all-around boot by testers because of its unusually strong combination of protection, support, and nimbleness.

2012 Father's Day Gift Guide

Skip the new wrench sets and the flowery ties. Give the man on your list something that he’ll really be stoked about. We’ve got a slew of great dad-tested gift ideas starting at $20

Gear Guide 2012: Rip & Equips

Don't go shopping until you've read these comprehensive guides to buying and fitting the right pack, boots, bag, and tent.

Rip & Equip: Boots

First: Buy the right boots. Second: Keep them in tip top shape with these tips.

Gear Review: Keen Ambler Mesh Lightweight Hiking Boots

A perfect lightweight hiker for people with a wide forefoot

Editors' Choice 2012

From a smart-and-light pack to a groundbreaking backcountry communicator, here are the 12 products that passed the ultimate gear challenge.

Gear Guide 2012: Women's Gear

From a pack that accommodates curves to two sports bras that go the distance, we've rounded up our favorite women's gear of the year.

Gear Guide 2012: Boots & Trail Runners

Go fast or go far–it all starts with your footwear.

Gear Guide 2012: Kids' Gear

Our littlest testers give a thumbs-up to these field-proven products.

Gear Guide 2012: Oboz Mystic Low B-Dry Hiking Boot

The shoe has less width in the heel and ball and more curve in the arch compared to men’s hikers.

Gear Guide 2012: Heavy Duty Boots/Shoes

These heavy duty boots provide great stability, support and solid weather protection, allowing you to tackle any terrain in any condition.

Gear Guide 2012: Mid Duty Boots/Shoes

These mid duty boots offer a great fit with comfort and stability to help you conquer any terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Light Duty Boots/Shoes

These light duty shoes and boots offer support and protection in one lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Trail Running Boots/Shoes

Comfort, support and durability is something all of these trail running favorites offer.

Gear Guide 2012: Scarpa Kinesis/Mythos Pro GTX Boot

With a tough exterior and gentle inside, these boots protect feet from rough terrain while offering comfort and support.

Gear Guide 2012: Asolo Khumbu GV Boot

The Khumbu is an all-terrain mountain boot with a design that promotes comfortable walking for any kind of adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Mammut Teton GTX Boot

This affordable, all-purpose boot provides a great fit and can handle all seasons and conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Crispi Nevada Legend HTG GTX Boot

Great support and stability for any cross-country exploration.

Gear Guide 2012: LOWA Khumbu II GTX Boot

A supportive and protective heavy-duty boot that keeps your feet cool with excellent breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: Danner Mt. Defiance GTX Boot

This boot offers serious protection and stability for a trustworthy support.

Gear Guide 2012: AKU SL Trek GTX Boot

This off-trail champ is both built tough and lightweight.

Gear Guide 2012: Ahnu Mendocino Boot

Waterproof, breathable, and protective, this boot has it all.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia P26 High Boot

A thick spongy sole gives the cushion and arch support you need on long hikes or climbs.

Gear Guide 2012: Five Ten Pursuit Boot

This mid duty boot provides maximum stability to prevent ankle rolling on the most dicey terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Havoc Mid GTX XCR Boot

With great lateral stability and all around protection, this boot can handle the rockiest terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Saucony ProGrid Outlaw Shoe

This shoe is built tough for the roughest paths, but offers a barefoot feel giving you comfort and breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: New Balance 110 Trail Shoe

This minimalist shoe offers great protection and stability.

Editors' Choice 2012: Salomon Synapse Mid Hiking Boots

Fast and light and luxe: Get running-shoe comfort and hiking-boot stability.

Gear Review: Esatto Custom Classic Hiker Boots

Is old world craftsmanship and custom fit worth the price?

Gear Guide 2012: Charts

All the great gear specs you're used to seeing in the Gear Guide - now in an easy-to-print digital format.

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Layering Systems

This reader's wardrobe was letting her down on the trail. We outfitted her in some comfy boots with a versatile clothing layering system.

Editors Picks' with Senior Editor Shannon Davis

This hard-charging editor needs gear that can stand up to long, hard days.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Footwear

From snowshoeing boots to winter trail runners and electric boots - we found the best cold-weather footwear for every activity.

Gear Review: Danner Mountain Light II

These boots offer classic style with modern-day comfort -- and they'll last a lifetime.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Adidas Terrex Conrax CP Boot

Warm winter boots that are also light and nimble.

Gear Review: Teva Forge Pro Winter Mid WP Hiking Boot

The trail-runner-like Forge Pro has the teeth to take on ice, slush, and shallow snow.

Gear Review: Garmont Momentum Icelock Insulated Boot

This boot is packed with 600 grams of Thinsulate, the most insulation in any non-mountaineering boot we tested.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Conrax CP

Warm enough for lifties but in a light and nimble package.

Gear Review: Crispi Super Granite Hiking Boot

A rigid, all-leather boot with an integrated heel crampon.

Gear Review: Koflach Degre Alpine Boots

Serious conditions require serious footwear, like these double-plastic alpine boots.

Gear Review: Korkers Snowjack Hiking Boot

A boot with interchangeable soles--one for ice and one for snow and mud.

Gear Review: Keen Revel Hiking Boot

A versatile deep-winter boot

Gear Review: Columbia Bugaboot Max Electric Boot

If the prospect of cold feet keeps you off the trail come winter, get these battery-charged boots.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Fast X FM

A low-cut hiker that fits and feels like a supportive sneaker.

Five All-Purpose Light Hikers

Get light yet supportive shoes that stand up to the worst boot-chewing terrain–and satisfied our crew of Grand Canyon rangers and guides.

Gear Review: Keen Alamosa Hiking Boot

These cushy dayhikers are perfect for hiking with light loads.

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon 3 Ventilator Hiking Boot

This light hiker is practically abrasion resistant thanks to the thick pig suede upper.

Gear Review: Lowa Tempest Lo Hiking Boot

This light hiker can carry up to 50 pounds!

Gear Review: Five Ten Insight Hiking Boot

A Five Ten shoe that excels at scrambling and smearing.

Gear Review: Patagonia Drifter A/C Hiking Boot

Bootlike support and traction with trail-runner shock absorption and weight.

Father's Day Gift Guide

What do dads really want? Hint: not more ties or car wash gift certificates. We polled our male staffers to find out what they hope to get (or give) this June 19th.

Gear Review: Mammut Teton GTX Hiking Boots

A Vibram sole adds a bit of burly sturdiness to the Mammut Teton GTX boot.

Gear Review: Vasque Jule Trail Shoe

A low-cut hiker for all your daily adventures.

Gear Guide 2011: Light Duty Boots/Trail Runners

If light and fast is your hiking/trail running motto, these are your kicks.

Gear Guide 2011: Mid Duty Boots

Two of BACKPACKER's 14 Editors' Choice Award winners fall into this all-purpose hiking boot category.

Gear Guide 2011: Heavy Duty Boots

For big mountain climbs, these are your boots

Gear Guide 2011: Boots

From fit to grip, this year's shoes do everything better.

Gear Review: Montrail Mountain Masochist MID GTX Hiking Boot

Bedroom-slipper light and instantly comfortable

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Women's Hiking Boot

Women love this comfortable, stable and affordable boot.

Gear Review: Garmont Zenith Hike GTX Hiking Boot

Lightweight book with a lightweight price.

Gear Review: SCARPA Terra GTX/Luna GTX Hiking Boot

The Terra's soft PU midsole, gives the boot a cushy, shock-absorbing feel.

Gear Review: AKU Suiterra Suede GTX Hiking Boot

One of the most versatile boots around.

Gear Review: Salewa ALP Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Voted Editors' Choice 2011 as the best all-around boot.

Gear Review: Vasque Bitterroot GTX Hiking Boot

A classic looking boot with above average support and stability.

Gear Review: Patagonia Scree Shield Hiking Boot

One shoe for everything from dayhikes to dog walks to peakbagging epics.

Gear Review: Kayland Vertigo Dual Hiking Boot

This boot offers maximum performance and durability.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Delta GTX Hiking Boot

A great lightweight boot for heavy duty hiking.

Gear Review: Mammut Mountain Cascade GTX Hiking Boot

The perfect boot for big, unpredictable mountain adventures.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: WEEKEND HIKER

Outfit your mama with the perfect overnight gear.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: PEAK BAGGER

If the lady on your gift list likes to go hard or go home, we have eight pieces of gear calling her name.

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2011

Whether you're shopping for your wife, mom, girlfriend, or BFF we've done the heavy lifting for you with 40 picks that are sure to make her Mother's Day.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Ahnu Montara Hiking Boot

All-terrain stability and all-day comfort in this women's only hiking boot.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Incredible traction, light weight, and zero break-in

Gear Review: Thermosoles Rechargeable Remote Controlled Heated Insoles

Say hello to my second-most guiltiest pleasure in the backcountry.

Editors' Choice 2011

From a bargain ultralight tent to perfect-fit boots, here are 14 products that passed the ultimate field test.

Gear Review: Montrail Sabino Trail Mid GTX Boots

Want boots with maximum support and protection for minimum weight?

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero Shoe

550-fill down booties that are perfect winter camp shoes.

Gear Review: Patagonia Advocate Shoes

A leather slipper with a rubber sole–the perfect camp shoe.

Editors' Choice 2011: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Get instant, all-day comfort and superb traction with this ultralight waterproof hiker.

Editors' Choice 2011: Salewa Alp Trainer Mid

Tackle any terrain in these midweights, and don't worry about blisters. We–er, they–guarantee it.

Gear Guide 2011 Table of Contents

Boot TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Buying, and Mending Your Hiking Boots

Your boots will last longer, fit better, and hike farther if you give them a little TLC.

Tent TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Buying, and Mending Your Tent

Keep your favorite shelter in tip-top shape with this advice.

Sleeping Bags TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Fitting, and Mending Your Sleeping Bag

Your sleeping bag is critical to backcountry enjoyment - keep it happy.

Backpack TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Fitting, and Mending Your Pack

Proper fit and care will keep your backpack comfortable and functioning.

Gear Guide 2011: Online Boot Reviews

Online gear reviews of boots featured in the 2011 Gear Guide charts.

Boot Buying Guide

More than any other category of gear, boots can make or break your trip. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right pair for any outing, any feet.

Gear Review: Teva Forge Pro Trail Runners

Comfortable low-cut trail runners that offer support and performance.

Reader Rated: Alpine Gear

For weeklong trips that range above treeline, you want gear that's light, protective, and built for abuse.

How-To Slideshow: Boot Lacing for Maximum Comfort

In this guide, we show you methods for lacing your boots to prevent blisters and maximize comfort.

Gear Review: LOWA Terek GTX Boots

Boots with solid support and stability without being too heavy or clunky

Gear Review: Scarpa Pursuit GTX Shoe

These trail runners have exceptional shock absorption and a Gore-Tex liner to keep feet dry

As Seen on The Martha Stewart Show

Our own gear diva met with Martha on December 20th to talk about cold-weather layering. Here's the gear Kristin suggested:

Gear Review: Salomon Nytro WP Cold-weather Hiking Boots

Just because they have fur doesn't mean they're not serious backcountry boots.

Best of BACKPACKER: Time-Tested Gear

Over the years we've tested a lot of gear, and learned a lot of lessons.

Time-Tested Gear: Boots

BACKPACKER testers have endured numerous blisters over the years finding the best boots on the shelves.

Time-Tested Gear: Backpacks

You can't be a backpacker...without a backpack.

Reader Rated

Extra gear reviews from our January 2011 Reader Test Team reports.

Gear Review: SofSole Airr Performance Insole

Air chambers embedded in the heel and arch and polymer gel in the forefoot put extra cushioning exactly where you need it most.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Boots

Warm up with 7 picks for every winter pursuit.

Gear Review: Muck Boot Arctic Sport Winter Boots

These are the warmest (and lightest) boots you will ever need for winter.

Gear Review: Sorel Alpha Pac Winter Boots

These will keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes.

Gear Review: Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid GTX Ultra Trail Runners

Your toes will stay warm while snowshoe running with these insulated runners.

Gear Review: Icebug Attla BUGrip Trail Runners

These runners have such good traction, you'll love running in the snow.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Crossover GTX Trail Runners

Have the best protection in any weather with these all-season runners.

Gear Review: Salewa Raven Combi GTX Mountaineering Boots

These heavy duty mountaineering boots are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable.

Gear Review: Lowa Baikal GTX Hiking Boot

This all-purpose boot provides great support and warmth.

Gear Review: Garmont momentum Snow GTX

The most versatile cold-weather boot for backpacking and snowshoeing.

Gear Review: TSL Trek Short Gaiter

These zippered gaiters keep out crusty debris.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Salamander Gaiter

These gaiters thrive in wet, wet conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond FrontPoint Gaiter

Made for ice climbers–perfect for anyone who needs tough, tall gaiters.

Gear Review: Point6 Ski Light Sun Sock

Ski socks that protect shins from boot bang.

Gear Review: tekoMERINO Evolution Midweight Sock

Multi-season socks with tons of cush.

Gear Review: Wigwam Weather Shield Sock

Bargain socks that are warm and resilient.

Gear Review: Lorpen Trekking/Expedition Polartec & Primaloft Sock

Perfect fit and great performance

Gear Review: The North Face Syncline GTX Boot

A waterproof boot that's comfortable for dayhikes and weekend outings.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

255 gear reviews and cold-weather tips!

Boot Testers Wanted

If you're a men's size 9 and plan to hike more than 100 miles by mid October we want you to help us test boots.

Gear Review: Columbia BugaTrek Omni-Heat

For casual winter adventures, a warm-and-cozy boot.

Gear Review: Patagonia Das Boot

Shockingly light, impressively warm, fabulously supportive...need we say more?

Gear Review: Asolo Moran GTX Hiking Boots

Lightweight boots that are comfortable enough to wear on dayhikes, yet burly enough to mount on to a pair of crampons for three-season summit efforts.

Gear Review: Tough Boots

Heading into rough terrain? Our crew of Grand Canyon rangers and guides abused nine pairs of boots for four months. Only five survived.

Gear Review: Salomon Quest 4D GTX Boot

For lightweight stability these boots can't be beat.

Gear Review: LOWA Baffin Pro/Baffin Pro Lady Boot

Rocks, cacti, and clay were no match for these boots.

Gear Review: Lafuma XMotion Mid Leather Boot

These boots are light and fast like a trail runner but offer the support and protection of a boot.

Gear Review: KEEN Pyrenees Boot

For less than $150 bucks you get a whole lot of boot.

Gear Review: Asolo TPS 520 GV Boot

Super tough boots that are also super comfortable.

Gear Review: Flip-Flops

These four flip flops are made with the outdoor enthusiast in mind–massaging footbeds, illuminating LED lights, sturdy straps, and rock-solid arch support are just some of their sporty features.

Gear Review: Microcrampons

When the conditions call for grip but not burly crampons, strap on one of these three microcrampon options and feel secure on ice and snow.

Gear Review: Brooks Cascadia 5 Trail Runners

Good trail feel, and protection, in these trail runners.

Gear Review: Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek

Barefoot running with shoes.

Gear Review: Spenco PolySorb Total Support Performance Sandal

The official report from our resident sandal junkie: "My feet are ecstatic!"

Gear Guide 2010: Heavy Duty Boots

Go the distance with these tried and true heavy duty boots.

Gear Guide 2010: Mid Duty Boots

From the most versatile to the best all around, these mid-duty boots pass the test.

Gear Guide 2010: Light Duty Boots

Go fast and furious with these light duty boots.

Editors' Choice Awards 2010

After 15-hour trail days with 50 pound packs on 100-miles of Switzerland's Via Alpina, we're proud to present the best gear of the year.

Gear Guide 2010: Boots & Footwear

Whether you need a trail runner or a burly mountaineering boot, here's the best of the year.

Toughest Gear: LOWA Trekker/Lady Sport Boot

Quite possibly, the last boots you'll buy.

BACKPACKER Editors' Toughest Gear

Thirty indestructible gear picks from two decades of hardcore field-testing.

Zero Impact Challenge: Patagonia P26

Solid on the trail, this entry sparks a philosophical debate.

Zero Impact Challenge: La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX

The test's best trail performer nets savings by cutting weight and waste.

Zero Impact Challenge: Wolverine Zeke

As we saw with packs and bags, weight savings equal carbon savings.

Zero Impact Challenge: Hi-Tec Altitude IV Enviro

Eco-friendly leather and recycled fabrics turn this bestseller green.

Zero Impact Challenge: Oboz Beartooth Boots

An upstart blows the doors off with recycled and natural materials.

Boots: Zero Impact Challenge

Five manufacturers answer our call to design greener trail shoes.

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Crew

These five-toes socks squelch blisters.

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Crew

Editors' Choice Green Award 2010: La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 Boot

These midweight boots tread lightly on the planet.

Gear Review: Stuffits Shoe Savers

Squash stinky feet.

Gear Review: 5.10 Stealth Paint

Revitalize the soles of your hiking boots and climbing shoes.

Editors' Choice 2010: Zamberlan 760 Steep GT Hiking Boot

Tackle the biggest terrain–under the heaviest loads–in this uncommonly comfortable boot.

Editors' Choice 2010: Salomon Wings Sky GTX

Hike far, fast.

Gear Review: Thinsulate Thermal Insoles

Boost your boots' warmth with these insoles.

Size and Buy the Right Hiking Boots

Buy the right boots for you–and get the right fit.

Gear Review: Kayland Contact Rev Hiking Boot

A boot with mega support without the extra weight

Gear Review: La Sportiva Karakorum Hiking Boot

A summer mountaineering boot that's armor-tough

Gear Review: Zamberlan 308 Trekker RR Hiking Boot

A luxurious leather-lined boot built for backpacking

Gear Review: Hi-Tec Renegade Trail WP Jr. Kids' Hiking Boot

A real backpacking boot for kids

Gear Review: SCARPA Bhutan GTX Hiking Boots

A versatile boot with impressive support for its weight

Gear Review: Mammut Cirrus GTX Hiking Boots

A superlight boot for high-mileage speedhikers

Gear Review: Merrell Col Mid WP Hiking Boot

Killer traction in all sorts of slippery terrain

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Trail Model Hiker II TEK2.5 Hiking Boot

An all-purpose hiker with a bargain pricetag.

Gear Review: Columbia Pole Creek Omni-Tech Hiking Boot

If you need boots for wet, soggy conditions, these winners are a bargain.

Gear Review: Kahtoola KTS Aluminum Crampons

Crampons that won't weigh you down

Editors' Choice Awards 2010/Gear Guide 2010 Table of Contents

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings GTX Trail Runner

A souped-up trail runner.

Gear Guide Gear Sweepstakes List of Winners

2014 Gear Guide Gear Sweepstakes Official Rules

Win Free Gear!

Every week we go into our gear closet and pull out a sweet prize.

Editors' Choice 2008: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot

This all-purpose midweight hits the hiking boot trifecta–great fit, support, and price.

Gear Lab: Boots in a Cement Mixer

To survive mixer-tough mountain trails, get Old World craftsmanship.

Gear Lab

We took durability testing to the extremes, so you would know which gear lasts–and why.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Boots

Whether you're mountaineering, snowshoeing, hiking, or trail running we've tested the winter boot/shoe models you'll want.

Gear Review: Ahnu Firetrail Winter Trail Shoe

Genuinely breathable winter running shoe, great for long slushy runs.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR Mountaineering Boot

Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.

Gear Review: Columbia Winter Trek XMT Omni-Tech Hiking Boot

Ideal for treks on packed snow, this boot is great for wintry day hikes.

Gear Review: Kamik Snowpass Snowshoe Boot

Ideal for snowshoeing, or wintry day hikes, this boot keeps your feet dry and warm.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Lynx Snowshoe Boot

Whether it's snowshoeing, light day hiking, or sloshing through town, this boot does it all.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 4041 Expert Pro GT RR

Sturdy yet light, this boot is great for the most extreme day hikes.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Baruntse Mountaineering Boot

Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow

Gear Review: Kayland 8001 Mountaineering Boot

Multiple layers and materials make this boot perfect for the summit.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2009 Table of Contents

Outfit Your Kids: Fall '09 Kids' Gear Reviews

Want to enjoy more time on the trail? It's simple: Bring the whole family, but make sure the kids stay comfortable with gear built for them.

Gear Review: Vasque Sundowner Kids' Boots

Solid, mid-weight support, waterproof, and grippy tread make this classic boot your kid's go to for all their hiking needs.

Hundred-Dollar Hikers

Can you really get high performance on a shoestring budget? Our testers found five pairs of light-duty synthetics that deliver huge returns.

Gear Review: The North Face Adversary Trail Runner

Traveling trail runners will be all over this The North Face shoe.

Gear Review: Columbia Firelane Mid Boot

This midcut hiker is great for wet conditions.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Exum Pro Boot

This boot earned our best all-around mark, and fits a wide range of foot shapes as well.

Gear Review: Brooks Adrenaline ASR 5 Trail Runners

This dual-purpose runner works well on everything from roads to rough trail.

Gear Guide 2009: Heavy-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Light-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Mid-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear School 2009

Tent leak like a sieve? Boots stink like a compost pile? Don't worry. Class is now in session. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, this in your one-stop, do-it-all user's guide.

Gear Guide 2009: Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Editors' Choice Awards 2009

The best new gear. That's what earns our seal of approval, and only after months of hardcore testing. This year, we subjected dozens of products to heinous trail conditions from Alaska to Wales. In the end, 18 survived to take our top honor.

Gear School 2009: Boots

Soaked, scuffed, and beat up? We'll show you how to get your trusty footwear back to trail-ready.

Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot Review

This Gore-Tex hiking boot has only improved since we named it Editors' Choice last year.

Gear Guide 2009: La Sportiva FC 3.0 Boot Review

Expect heavy-duty performance in this lightweight hiking boot by La Sportiva.

Gear Guide 2009: Lafuma X Light Mid OT Boot Review

The Outdry treatment and ultralight weight mean this hiking shoe will go wherever you do.

Gear Guide 2009: Five Ten Exum Guide Boot Review

Get a grip—the soles of these boots stick to any surface.

Gear Guide 2009: Zamberlan Lhasa GT RR Boot Review

These boots are tough on terrain but nice and comfortable on feet.

Gear Guide 2009: Vasque Radiator Boot Review

Heavy loads and dangerous terrain are no obstacle for these waterproof mountaineering boots.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Jannu GTX Boot Review

The North Face packs extreme waterproofing and long distance comfort into this bargain boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Barun GTX Boot Review

This boot is the perfect fit from the first lace-up to the top of the tallest, wettest mountain.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Tibet Pro GTX Boot Review

For tough hikes with heavy loads and varying terrain, choose this waterproof and super supportive boot.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Khumbu Ice GTX Boot Review

Brave cold, wet weather with LOWA's sturdy, Gore-Tex winter boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Contact Boot Review

Don't let the tough and sturdy exterior fool you—inside this boot is pure, luxurious comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec Cascadia XCm eVent Boot Review

Tackle the soggiest, wettest, and coldest terrain with this solid traction boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Asolo Lothar Gv Boot Review

For all-around performance, check out this ultralight and super comfortable boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Leather Mid WP Boot Review

Submerge these comfortable waterproof boots in snow and your toes will never know the difference.

Gear Guide 2009: Kamik Northfield Boot Review

For extreme waterproofing at a good price, you can't beat these insulated, high cut boots.

Gear Guide 2009: KEEN Oregon PCT Boot Review

Scramble, bushwhack, and ascend with this all-around solid boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Vertigo Light Boot Review

This updated Editors' Choice winner stays true to its roots—but now it's a lighter and more breathable boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec V-Lite Mach 2.0 eVent Boot Review

You won't find a boot more supportive or breathable with this low of a price tag.

Gear Guide 2009: Vasque Velocity VST GTX Boot Review

For lightweight versatility, lace up this low-cut and supportive shoe.

Gear Guide 2009: Teva Aniso eVent Boot Review

Hit the trail with this waterproof and ultralight boot from Teva.

Gear Guide 2009: Patagonia Karakoram Boot Review

Use and abuse this tough, low-cut, and lightweight boot by Patagonia.

Gear Guide 2009: Oboz Teton Suede Boot Review

The supportive midsole, tough build, and bargain price of the Teton proves looks can be deceiving.

Gear Guide 2009: Montrail Hardrock 09 Boot Review

Run and hike through any terrain thanks to the sticky outsole of this shoe.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Evo Mid Boot Review

This boot combines lightweight, sneaker-like comfort with solid support.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Arc Wind Boot Review

Testers loved everything about this women's specific shoe, especially the arch support and breathability.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Dragonfly eVent Boot Review

These trail runners are the perfect mix of waterproof and breathable.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra WPi Boot Review

New ion mask technology is great for breathability in this lightweight midcut boot.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Speed of Lite Boot Review

Take a bite out of dirt and snow with the tough soles on this midcut boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Asics Gel-Trabuco Boot 11 WR Review

If you want the perfect pair of trail runners, look no further than the Gel-Trabuco's.

Gear Guide 2009: Ahnu Lodi WB Boot Review

This low-cut, waterproof shoe is a bargain and perfect for dayhikes and light overnights.

Editors' Choice 2009: New Balance 1500 Rainier Boot

Bring us your narrow feet, your wide feet, or the freakishly long–these boots are the answer.

Editors' Choice 2009: Kayland Zephyr Boot Review

Can't decide which boots are right for the trip? Stop wondering and start hiking with this all-purpose midweight.

April 2009 Table of Contents - GEAR GUIDE

Field Test: Global Apparel for Men

Get technical layers that work everywhere from hotel bars to high-mountain trails. Our testers vetted more than 50 products from the Alps to the Andes to bring you these top systems.

Review: Patagonia Drifter GTX Boots

A great pair of versatile leather boots that handle most conditions well.

Review: Ahnu Mirage

The stylish Ahnu Mirage is tough enough for the backcountry or streets.

Trip Doctor: Rent Gear for Newbies?

I'm organizing my first group trip. Can I rent gear for newbies who may not be ready to buy?

Field Notes: Boots, Jackets, Tents, And More

The latest word from our testers. This month, we test the Marmot Cauldro jacket, Gregory Z65 pack, Exped Andromeda, tents, Danner Formation boots, and more.

The Specialist: How to Make Your Boots Last

4 sole-saving tips from a veteran boot doctor

The Fix: Deodorize Your Gear

Does your pack smell like last summer's cheddar? Here's how to clean up.

Field Notes: North Face Propel Sleeping Bag, Asolo Power Matic Boot, Lanterns, and Vargo Titanium Sierra Pot

The latest word from our testers

Big-Trip Boots: Trail Blazers

Get maximum support, traction, and protection without wafflestomper weight or break-in. Welcome to the new breed of all-terrain, any-load boots.

March 2008 Table of Contents

Backpacker Editors' Choice 2008

The year's best packs, boots, tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. Period. Plus, a never-die headlamp, a life-saving beacon, a back-saving ultralight chair, and more innovative, trail-tested gear.

Spring Cleaning Your Gear

We know. You meant to scrub and scour your gear last fall. But...[insert excuse here]. Now, set aside one weekend afternoon to get your gear back into action and promise to be better next year.

March 2008 Perfect System: East

March 2008 Perfect System: Southwest

March 2008 Perfect System: Rocky Mountains

March 2008 Perfect System: Northwest

Backpacker 2008 Gear Guide: Perfect System

The best gear in the world can be worthless in the wrong conditions. That's where Backpacker's Perfect System comes in.

March 2008 Boots Review: Start Smart Boot Tips

March 2008 Boots Review: Heavy Duty Boots

March 2008 Boots Review: Mid-Duty Boots

March 2008 Boots Review: Light Duty Boots

Backpacker Gear Guide: Boots

You won't go far with sore feet. So our testers went the distance–5,000 miles, to be exact–to bring you the best shoes for every foot and hike.

How to Lighten Your (Planetary) Load

We found 17 pioneering products that will cut your carbon cost without sacrificing performance.

Boot Shopping Guide

Backpack Shopping Guide

Gear: Tents 101

There's a bewildering array of tent options available, including hundreds of three-season tents and specialized models built for hot deserts, Arctic summits, and steamy rain forests.

Gear-Buying Tips

Before shopping for gear it's important to plan a budget, do your research, and prioritize.

Gear: Clothing

Clothing is gear that's just as important as a tent or sleeping bag. We'll help you choose wisely.

Gear: Choosing the Right Pair of Hiking Boots

Pick the boot that's right for you with this guide.

Vibram Expands Group of Trail Running Partners

Vibram continues to expand on its successful mission of reaching a younger, broader audience with work for innovators in the trail running field.

Gear Checklists and Shopping Guides

Make sure you don't forget a thing with our comprehensive gear checklists for pretty much any trip occasion. Plus, learn how to pick the perfect piece of gear.

Make Your Gear Last Forever

Backpacker's Ultimate Fix-It Guide

Keep Your Feet Dry With Gaiters

Choose the right type of gaiter for your trip.

How to Clean and Store Your Gear

By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.

Maritime Alps: Plan it

If the February '08 Backpacker article "Magnifique" inspired you to take a hut trip to France's Maritime Alps, here are ten lodging options.

Low-Cut Hiking Boots Review

Stay light on your feet with the Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR, Garmont Eclipse XCR, Merrell Chameleon II XCR, Montrail Mountain Mist XCR, and Vasque Breeze Low XCR.

Hiking Boots Review: Midweight and Lightweight

Go light on your feet with the Adidas Cloudcap XCR and Garmont Nasty.

Editors' Choice: Timberland Cadion Mid GTX XCR

Get killer ankle and underfoot support in an ultralight hiking boot.

Hiking Boots Review: Asolo Stynger GTX

Boots for women that are both sturdy and compact.

Hiking Boots Review: Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR

Light boots that are good for medium-sized feet.

Hiking Boots Review: Merrell Chameleon II GTX XCR

Breathable low-cut hikers for medium-volume feet.

Hiking Boots Review: Montrail Stratos XCR

Boots that are amazingly stable, delightfully lightweight, and surprisingly waterproof.

Winter Boots Review: Snowshoeing and Camping

Keep your feet warm and dry while snowshoeing, camping, and shoveling the driveway with the Columbia Ice Dragon, North Face Ice Storm GTX, and Kamik Patriot.

Boot Review: Zamberlan 180 Micron GT Women's

A hiking boot that provides outstanding protection against rocks, cactus, snow, and rain

The Fix: Repair Peeling Boots

What to do when your soles come undone.

Boot Review: Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR

Enough support and comfort to carry a big load for 56 miles in four days--that is, if you're up to it

The Cure: Beating Blisters

Catch the hot spot before it's too late

Foot Fixes: How to Deal with 4 Common Boot Problems

Prevent blisters, hike grit-free, and find arch support in a lightweight boot

Boot Review: Five Light Hikers

Introducing a new breed of synthetic boots: fast, nimble, and surprisingly supportive.

Boot Review: Salomon Pro Sticky Mid 2

Channel your nimble-footed inner child with these grippy, hikeable shoes.

Boot Review: L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Ridge Runner Hiker Mids

These nimble shoes are a steal for hikers with narrow feet.

Boot Review: Salomon Extend Mid

On hot summer days, these breathable shoes beat the heat.

The Fix: Boots That Cause Blisters

Don't throw big-ticket boots in the bin when a quick makeover will do the trick.

Boot Review: Hi-Tec Apex

A cushy sole makes these a good choice for long trail days.

Boot Review: Lafuma Cross Tour GTX

Excellent fit, support, and waterproofing set a high bar for low-priced boots.

Gear Reviews: Editors' Choice 2005

New Zealand is pretty to look at, but harsh on gear--making it just what we needed for our Kiwi challenge.

Accessory Review: New Balance Ultra Arch Support Inserts

Pamper your feet with the most supportive footbeds we've tested

Boot Review: Raichle Mt. Trail XT GTX

Slip into the most comfortable all-leather backpacking boot you've worn in years

Boot Review: Garmont Trail Sport Junior Boots

Young hikers deserve performance shoes

Trail Runner Review: Salomon GCS Pro

Be cool in fastpacking's finest footwear

Boot Review: Asolo Stynger GTX

When it was time for Ladies' Choice, they picked the boot that 'just plain fit.'

Boot Review: Adidas Yukora Mid ATS

Mesh-covered vents take these strong midcuts into the future of fastpacking shoes.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastryder-Mid

The Terrastryder-Mid triumphs in the "Best Fit" category for the hard-to-fit group -- just beware of its sogginess factor.

Boot Review: Tecnica Cyclone Mid GTX-XCR

If there's a rough and tough masochist in the ultralight category, it's the Cyclone.

Boot Review: AKU Stone XCR

This scrambler provides everything you need to go anywhere you want: support, grip, comfort, and waterproofing.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Exum Ridge

What kind of scrambler would pass up a shoe with soles described as Spider-Man-like? C'mon!

Boot Review: Garmont Flash XCR

Despite its name, Garmont's lighter boot provides excellent support, but a bit too much for fastpackers and trail runners.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Premier Leather

Give this boot a little time to really feel broken-in, and it will reward you with years of comfortable hiking.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Trango Trek

The Trek brings serious trail mileage capabilities to the original (and winning) Trango S.

Boot Review: AKU Croda GTX

If you wake up wanting to walk 1,000 miles, go out and purchase a pair of these first.

Boot Review: Nike ACG Air Tallac +

Don't underestimate the power of this model's plus sign -- the new and improved shoe almost offers too much to use the same name.

Boot Review: Teva Zakka Mid GTX

Check out the best lightweight boot for your heavyweight foot.

Time To Treat: When to Repair Gear

How do you know that your gear is crying out for help? Consult our handy list of signs and solutions.

Waterproof Your Wilderness Gear

A complete guide to buying gear that will keep you dry--no matter what

Save Your Feet: How to Prevent Foot Problems

You think thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is a long walk?

Boot Review: 6 Fast-Track Shoes

Ready, set, go. You'll literally run down the trail with these featherweight kicks.

Boot Review: Dunham Trail Mix

Even big guys with wide feet will feel agile with these supportive shoes.

Salomon XA Pro 2

One of the lightest shoes in the test scores big with trail runners.

Boot Review: Scarpa Alpha

No toes will be lost in these mountaineering boots.

Boot Review: Vasque Velocity

Pillows underfoot might be softer, but they won't last like these cushy shoes.

Boot Review: Montrail Masai

Let others wilt in the heat; your feet are air-cooled by these ventilated runners.

Boot Review: Merrell Torque

Not a speed demon? These traditionalists are great for light hiking.

Boot Review: Tecnica Tricon

Ventilation and traction are a nice combo, but stability doesn't match the best.

Boot Review: Montrail Java GTX

These shoes can handle any terrain.

Boot Review: Kayland Contact 1700

A boot that actually improves your agility

Boot Review: Lowa Biomex Vertex

New technologies make this pair of boots a standout.

Boot Review: Garmont Dakota Plus

Want a midweight that can tread in heavyweight terrain?

Boot Review: Teva Haze

Hike on the trail then run on the road with these versatile shoes.

Boot Review: Tecnica Vortex Mid TCY

Light and supportive all in the same package

Boot Review: Five Ten Via Ferrata

Snow-covered trails are no match for this shoe

Boot Review: Scarpa Light Ascent

These aren't Elvis' blue suede shoes.

Boot Review: L.L. Bean GTX Leather Cresta Hikers

They're not fancy, but they do the job.

Boot Review: Asolo Fugitive

A top all-purpose midweight boot

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Premier

A long lasting, hard working boot

Boot Review: La Sportiva Nuptse

A favorite among mountaineers

Boot Review: Crispi All-Over Running

While these shoes aren't for running they are great on the trail or on the town.

Boot Review: Cabela's Perfekt Hiker

The cork-bed of your sandals in a boot.

Boot Review: Montrail D7

Whether you're on rocks or a grassy trail, you're sure to love these boots.

Boot Review: Salomon Expert Low

Not the best for long days and heavy loads, but great for fastpacking.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Nimble

Boots ideal for summer fast-packing

Boot Review: Salomon Pro Trek 6 GTX

A well valued boot, great of every level of hiking.

Boot Review: Garmont Nagevi XCR

You won't find a better all-purpose lightweight boot.

Boot Review: Merrell Torque

If a short trip is your plan, grab these boots and go.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Monarch Crest

Become geckolike the minute you slide into these shoes.

Boot Review: Asolo FSN 95

Given an Editors' Choice Award in 2001, this boot continues to be a great value.

Boot Review: Boreal Tundra

Boreal gives us a boot that provides stability and waterproofing.

The Sock Fits: Trail Sock Buyer's Guide

Socks are as important as the footwear we buy. Follow our two-step buyer's guide.

Common Hiking Boot Lacing Techniques...

...From The Experts At Montrail

How To Waterproof Your Boots

Waterproof boots can make the difference between a sick hike and a miserable slog.

Stretching Your Hiking Boots' Life Span

Lengthen your boots' life span by following this simple maintenance plan.

Approach Shoes Instead Of Hiking Boots?

Consider these points when deciding if an approach shoe is right for you.

Save Your Hiking Sole

You can experience heavenly hiking even if you lose your boot sole.

Blister Prevention: Hiker, Heel Thyself

Think blisters are a sure thing when you hike? Think again: Here's your ticket to preventing and treating the dreaded sores.

Tundra Tip: Wear Your Rubber Boots

Rubber boots are essential gear in the tundra.

Boot Sizing Chart

Before you get a new boot, make sure the shoe fits with our sizing chart.

Buying Better Boots

There are different boots for different types of terrain. Follow these 10 essentials to match sole to trail.

Boots That Get You Charged Up

Inventor finds a way to harness all that energy you burn on switchbacks and long trails.

Gear Rx: Boots

Know what can and can't be repaired on your boots, and who to call.

A Long Life For Your Boots

Insiders' tips to keep your hikers on the trail longer.

How To: Boot Cleaning

Take care of your hiking boots and they'll take care of you.

Fixing A Blister

A simple blister remedy gets you back on the trail fast.

Break In Your Boots

Log some easy "city" miles in your new hiking boots before that epic trip.

Dry, Cool Feet = Happy Feet

For maximum comfort, keep your feet drier and cooler.

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