Summer is a time when the great outdoors calls us. We are looking to head out on adventures and enjoy the great beyond to the fullest. There are plenty of ways in which we can do this – through running, outdoor sports and adventure-filled activities. Hiking is one such activity, it is something that man has been doing since his inception.
Exploring the unknown and being a part of nature. Hiking is a stress reliever after an exhausting week in the office. It is a physically demanding activity that challenges the mind and body. It is known to have meditative qualities and feels like therapy for many that swear by it!
Hiking needs one to go to a specific location and either spend the night or many nights along the way and on the return leg of the journey. This requires one to be fully equipped and ready to face whatever challenges that nature will throw along the way. Hiking gear eliminates the possible stress that can be encountered on the journey. Hiking gear includes camping equipment, rain protected clothes, tools for survival, cooking material and most importantly hiking boots.
A journey of a thousand miles begins and is completed by each step and it is extremely important to have the right footwear for that journey. Hiking boots are specifically designed for protection of the feet in outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing and mountaineering. These boots are robust, tough and durable to provide maximum support to the ankles and feet. Let us take a look at some of the best ones in the market at the moment.
The Best Hiking Boots UK 2020-
1. Jack Wolfskin Men’s Vojo Hike 2
This is a classic boot that is created to withstand any type of terrain. Jack Wolfskin is a renowned brand that is known to produce quality products over the years. These shoes are one of the most comfortable ones in the market. The boots are waterproof that means that if you step into a puddle of water till the level of the laces, there is no worry about the water seeping in and wetting your feet.
The boots are created for rough terrain and can provide a comfortable journey without developing pain in your feet. The rubber soles of the boot have a good grip and can be used for easy climbing practices. The boot is light in weight, and the outer synthetic material layer gives the shoe durability. The lace-ups can be adjusted as per needs and make the boots comfortable and breathable.
2. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 GTX
The Moab 2 GTX is an excellent hiking shoe that offers multiple benefits like comfort and stability. For those who prefer single day hikes which are easy to moderate in nature, this is the shoe to go for. It provides ample comfort to the wearer. The sole provides tested durability on easy terrain.
The shoe has suede on the outer layer and offers decent comfort levels even in colder temperatures. The inner layer has a synthetic mesh with a waterproof membrane. The shoes are waterproof thanks to the suede outer layer and can provide an excellent grip to the user. The sole has enough traction irrespective of the surface. So if the surface is wet rock or mud, it manages to grip well.
The shoe has plenty of room in the toe area that makes it decent, rather comfortable however the level of protection on the toe area is not much. These shoes are rather heavy compared to others in this category. The heavy nature of the shoes provides better stability and support versus others in the category.
The versatility of the shoes is great. As it is much shorter, it can be used regularly for other activities as well. If one is looking to do intense hiking then these are not the shoes/boots for them.
3. 4D Salomon Quest 3 GTX
These boots are a contender for the best boots on this list. It is a mid-weight hiking model that provides top of the line support, ankle stability and comfort that hikers expect. The boot has a slightly raised heel that provides great stability. The front of the boot is roomy and the heel cup keeps the ankle in place.
The lacing system is top notch with locks that keep the lacing in place when walking. The upper mesh panel allows for breathability without sacrificing the waterproof abilities of the boots. These boots have the best water resistance abilities with high collars (probably some of the tallest in the industry). The stability level of the shoes is good and makes for easy management of rocky and muddy surfaces.
The traction on these boots is unparalleled, it is capable of performing in mud and snow equally well. It can tackle wet surfaces and loose granular surfaces too. The boots are definitely on the heavier side in the industry, but that’s a given owing to the abilities it possesses. The combination of nubuck leather and nylon provide decent durability. These are the boots for tackling and challenging every kind of terrain and weather!
4. Merrell Moab GTX Mid High Rise Hiking Shoes
These boots are meant for those who do not hike regularly as it is extremely cost-effective and does not skip on the features. The boots are fairly comfortable with a cushioned collar and tongue, refined insole, decent arch support and supportive footbed. The moulded heel cups keep the ankle in place and the extra padding available offers a surprising amount of protection.
The boots are moderately lightweight, this makes for excellent comfort for many. The boots offer modest support and stability. It is pretty flexible which is good for fast travelling but not for heavy load carrying. The silicon band running through the length of the boots provides structure and reduces the chances of the foot rolling. The underside traction is a funny mix of open channels, circles and lugs. It is capable of handling modest terrains and tackles the easy ones with no issues.
The breathability of the boot is superb but comes at the cost of waterproofing. There is the upper mesh on the tongue but it runs along the sides as well. These boots would be recommended for warm weather hiking as getting feet weight in those conditions aren’t too problematic. The liberal use of mesh reduces the waterproofing abilities of the boots greatly. The durability of these boots are pretty high and holds up fairly well after liberal use.
5. Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Walking Boots
The Ridge 2.0 is the perfect daily use as it is one of the most reliable boots on the market. The style of the boots is blended by borrowing from other places. The body and the shape of the sole are on the lines of the sneaker. The high top feature with the lightweight of the boots could make it a familiar experience for those unfamiliar with hiking. The style quotient is high on these boots.
The sole is lightweight and has a synthetic upper mesh that is pretty light and less constrictive compared to other boots in the market. There is plenty of padding in the around the ankle and tongue area that provides added stability without the risk of rolling over the ankle. It makes breaking into the shoes fairly quicker than other models.
The waterproofing is done through a membrane within the boots designed to be breathable in summer and high resistance to the rain. The snug feel of the high top should be adding to the effectiveness of keeping water out. The traction abilities are decent on these boots and they have added layering to ensure shock absorption easily.
6.Saloman X Ultra Mid 3GTX Women's Hiking Shoes
These are versatile boots that are an excellent option for day trips, backpacking and hiking. The overall combination of stability, durability and ultimate versatility make this an excellent first buy for those looking for a serious pair of hiking boots. These boots are extremely comfortable and can be worn for a long time without too much hassle. It is breathable and the weight does not prove to be a barrier as such. They are larger than the previous models, however, that makes them sturdier as well. This makes it perfect for long trips especially when burdened with heavy loads.
The midsole provides great arch support and the boots are fairly high which lends excellent ankle support and stabilization. The excess padding around the ankles provides added support. It is not as heavy as other boots in the market. The boots have contra grip rubber soles with an advanced chassis system that supports the heels and maintain traction, especially down steep, loose gravel slopes. The deep lugs and aggressive tread pattern keep it all together.
The mesh, leather and GORE-TEX liner combine to create one of the most breathable and waterproof shoes. Most gaps are sealed with a water-resistant membrane keeping water out. The PU coated leather along with the synthetic mesh provide adequate protection against wear and tear. The caps along the toe and the heel provides extra protection. The sole is thick and durable. The overall price tag is pretty reasonable for the features that are available for these boots
7. Regatta Samaris Mid li High Rise Hiking Boots
One of the most popular brands around, Regatta provides outdoor gear at affordable prices. The lightweight structure and streamlined build make these boots excellent. There is strong support around the ankle and the tongue area. The shape of the EVA sole provides added support. The moulding is secure and makes the boots durable. There is tough material around the toe area and the upper area that makes the boots sturdy.
This makes these boots one of the most durable in the market. Along with the durability, the comfort levels are pretty good as well. The inner part of the shoes is padded to provide comfort and the outer part has mesh and waterproof technology to improve the life of the boot. The weight of the boots are light, the underside has a good traction and the solid structure keeps it in place all the time.
The standout part is the design of the boot, it comes in a variety of colour combos and makes for an ideal choice for those looking to stand out. The boots can be used in a variety of terrains although for more serious hikers this may not be the first choice. For those looking to buy boots for the first time without wanting to invest an arm and a leg, this makes the perfect first hiking boots!
8. Salomon Men’s Quest Prime GTX High Rise Hiking Boots
This is the all in one option hiking boots for men. It has a lot of options and features and is crafted with great effort to ensure a comfortable and durable experience for the wearer. The comfort factor stands out for this boot, even though it is slightly larger and bulkier, it fits well enough to tackle any kind of terrain with ease. There is an EVA cushioning that adds support and flexibility. The boots are reasonably lightweight which makes the shoes less clunky than the others despite its width.
The traction is great thanks to deep lugs that are in a mixed pattern shape. The boots sport an advanced chassis system for solid ankle support. The running insole and the arch and heel support are good enough to prevent major injuries. However, this may not be the strongest point of the boots.
It is adequately waterproofed, however, that is dependent on the depth of the water. If it is higher than the collar then expect some water to seep in. The breathability of the boots is pretty good! The durability and build quality of the boots is robust. The upper synthetic layer combined strategically placed suede and rubber makes the boots prone to wear and tear easily.
What factors to look for when buying hiking boots?
This is the most important factor when choosing boots. They must be comfortable as you will be walking in them for a long time. If it does not feel comfortable, give it some time to break in. If it still feels the same, then it is wise to change your boots. Make sure you try the fit with socks on to know exactly real-world conditions. Be sure to leave some room for the toes as this is necessary when descending slopes. Breathability is not to be ignored as well.
The underside of the boot is the next most important factor. Be sure to pick one that gives your aggressive grip if the terrain is going to be difficult. If you’re more into casual day hikes then it is okay to go for less aggressive ones. This will change with the difficulty in terrain
Be sure to get waterproof boots. Even if it does not come handy in the present, it will be handy in the future.
Getting the right fit of hiking boots
There are a certain few steps to get the right fit for boots. Be sure to try them at the end of the day when your feet will be swollen maximum and at its largest. If you have inner soles for posture, be sure to try it with it. Be sure to have the right socks on when you’re trying on the boots.
Make sure you spend some time in the boots, walk up and down, climb stairs, jump around and try different inclines. The fitting should be just right, if it is too loose then the fitting is wrong. Consider purchasing after-market soles to enhance the comfort and support in the boots. Always break your boots before your first trip so that you can avoid the blisters.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Brush the boots regularly, use mild soap and warm water. Dry the boots at room temperature with insoles removed
Yes and No. If the footwear is looked after well, it does not matter if you don’t have it. GORE-TEX adds flexibility.
Depending on your requirements, it is wise to go for the boots of your choice. If budget is not a problem then the Salomon Quest 3 GTX shoes are perfect. If you’re looking for casual hiking shoes then the Merrell Moab 2 GTX is a good choice. If style and trend is a factor, then the Berghaus is for you!