Compiling a list of the best hiking boots for every adventure is hard work.
There are endless outdoor pursuits that require boots—and an even greater mix of conditions. You could be traversing wet, sloppy trails; scrambling over rocks; and carefully picking your way through technical terrain. So that’s precisely what we did to find the best options for fall/winter 2019.
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For our test, we took a dozen pairs of traditional hiking boots and boot-shoe hybrids, then trekked up Kebenkaise, Sweden’s highest peak, and hit wet trails. Stateside, we gauged traction on Utah’s Cedar Mesa and the San Rafael River’s Little Grand Canyon. To evaluate comfort, we backpacked Golden Gate Canyon State Park and the James Peak Wilderness.
After whittling down the list, we ended up with eight hiking boots that provide plenty of comfort with the guts to take on tough terrain.
No matter what kind of adventure you’re embarking on, you’ll need one of these to stabilize your ankles (they’ll also eat dirt and boulders with ease).
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Best for Rocky Terrain
Hoka One One Arkali
This hiker builds confidence with an ankle-and-heel strap that you adjust on the fly and grippy lugs that made it easier to scramble over slick rock. At just under a pound per shoe, the Arkali feels like a trail runner.