The 14 Best Hiking Boots and Shoes of 2017

The best boots and shoes of the year can rip their way up steep trail runs, traverse long trails, and tackle the roughest mountain routes. Pick your favorite and get out there.
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The best boots and shoes of the year can rip their way up steep trail runs, traverse long trails, and tackle the roughest mountain routes. Pick your favorite and get out there.

Not all hiking boots are created equal. So make the most of your trail time by picking the right shoes for the job: fleet trail runners for training sessions, light hikers for dayhikes, and supportive boots for multi-day trips with big packs. You'll find all those, and more, on our list of the best hiking boots and shoes of 2017.

Test Data


Testers:
22
Hikes: 450
Miles hiked: 4,731
Longest day: 18 hours (Phillistine-Rolleston Traverse, New Zealand)
Biggest elevation change: 6,000 ft. (Section of Mountains-to-Sea Trail, NC)
Coldest temp: -15°F (Indian Peaks, CO)
Highest Trip: 14,270 ft. (Grays Peak, CO)

How to Buy Hiking Boots


Shop late: Try on boots at the end of the day when your feet are swollen—like they’ll be after a day of hiking.

Try different brands: Manufacturers use different shaped lasts for various reasons. Your feet will feel better in some than others; pay attention to how the contours of the footbed work with the contours of your feet.

Find a slope: Dial in fit, then see how it changes when you stand on an incline. (Good stores have a sloped board for this purpose.) If your toes slide forward when you’re facing downhill, then chances are you’ll be losing some toenails.

Use your insoles: If you use aftermarket orthotics, bring ’em.

Spend time: Walk up and down the aisles, no shame.

Lighten up: In general, get the lightest shoes that are appropriate for the terrain and load. Excess weight on your feet leads to fatigue and soreness.