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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 School 09 Boot illo 445x260Gear School 09 Boot illo 445x260


Since the tops of these boots fall below the ankle joint, they offer great freedom of movement for comfort and fast striding. But, because they lack support and protection, they’re not the best for carrying heavier loads or venturing off-trail into unstable terrain.

This cut wraps your ankle to provide support and padding against rocks, roots and rolling. The higher cut means that they provide better water-proofing and keep debris out better than a low-cut boot, but they lack the buttressing required to carry big loads in big terrain.

Though they will require a longer break-in period, high cut boots provide the stability and support you’ll need for serious mountain travel, as well as better protection from the weather.

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