11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (2023)

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or completely new to the trails, any hiker knows that the type of footwear you lace up before a hike is key to enjoying the journey it takes to see the end result, which is often a gorgeous overlook that's totally worth the trek. Take it from someone who hiked Mount Washington — New England's tallest peak — in one day. I was a beginner, and if I didn't wear the proper hiking boots, I could have severely injured myself during the nine-hour hike through various slick terrains (which included climbing over huge boulders).

With hundreds of different brands to browse through with each promising a new level of comfort, it can be hard to shop for the most comfortable hiking boots when you need to upgrade your hiking gear for an upcoming trip. And while you could opt for hiking shoes instead, hiking boots offer extra support around the ankle, a more durable construction, and often have more stable soles, making them the ideal choice for long hikes or multi-day trips.

camping and hiking gear

It's best to consult a thorough hiking shoe guide before embarking on any new trail (especially if you're a beginner), but if you don't want to worry about buying more than one pair for different uses or trail types, the smartest choice is to invest in hiking boots first. While you may assume that hiking boots will feel heavier on your feet than typical trail running or hiking shoes, well-made pairs are actually more lightweight than you would imagine, weighing in at just two to three pounds. And if you know you'll be carrying a heavy pack with supplies during your hike (a pack that exceeds 30 pounds), you'll definitely want to wear hiking boots so your feet have more support as they compensate for the extra weight.

Don't underestimate your shoes — they're one of the most essential pieces of hiking gear, and having the right pair is essential for your safety and comfort throughout a hike. To help you make the best choice, we've browsed thousands of reviews from real hikers and rounded up the 11 most comfortable hiking boots to wear on the trail this year. From insulated and waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry in the harshest conditions to breathable and slip-resistant options, there's a perfect pair for every type of hiker on this list — for experts and beginners alike.

1. Most Comfortable Hiking Boots Overall: Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (1)

Merrell's Moab hiking boot collection has been nicknamed the "Mother of All Boots" since it's gained a cult-following in the hiking community (and for good reason). Avid hikers swear by Moabs not only because they don't take long to break in, but once you do, you'll love their ability to keep your feet dry and well-ventilated through any conditions. And thanks to the contoured footbeds with extra arch and heel support, these are go-to boots for hikes any longer than a few miles. The Vibram sole with 5mm lugs is an added bonus as it helps cling to rough and rocky surfaces for extra traction. Loyal Moab-wears are so obsessed with these boots that many say they'll wear them until they have to replace them.

To buy: amazon.com, from $135

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2. Most Comfortable Waterproof Hiking Boots: Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

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When you're planning a long hike that may have rain in the forecast, grab this trusty pair of Columbia waterproof hiking boots. Not only do these boots have a ton of positive reviews (many of which rave over how comfortable they are), but they're also our go-to option for a waterproof boot because of the waterproof leather material and advanced rubber sole that guarantees a slip-free step on slick, rough ground.

To buy: zappos.com, $80

3. Most Comfortable Option With Shock Absorption: Timberland Mt. Maddsen Mid Leather Waterproof Hiking Boots

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (3)

For a more rugged look, this hiking boot is a great mid-ankle option that you can trust to stand up to any trail conditions. With a full leather construction, you'll likely have to spend some time breaking in this pair — but once you do, they'll comfortably conform to your feet and you can take advantage of their shock-absorbing cushioning and lug outsoles for extra traction.

To buy: amazon.com, from $100

4. Most Comfortable Hiking Boots With Extra Breathability: Keen Voyageur Mid Hiking Boots

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (4)

(Video) Top 5 Best Hiking Boots Review (and a hiking shoe) 2021

These rugged hiking boots are made from water-resistant leather and mesh inserts, which provide plenty of comfortable ventilation. Given the mesh details, we vote this pair as the most breathable among hiking boots. You can hike for miles, and your feet will still stay cool and comfortable.

To buy: amazon.com, $130

5. Most Comfortable Stylish Option: Forsake Patch Hiking Boots

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (5)

If hiking boots can be chic, we're declaring this Forsake hiking boot as the most fashionable. These boots are available in six colors, including this stylish black and tan combination. But apart from style, these boots also provide plenty of durability, comfort, and traction. Plus, the HydroGuard seam-sealed internal membrane will be sure to keep your feet dry in any weather conditions.

To buy: zappos.com, amazon.com, from $60

6. Most Comfortable Hiking Boots for Wet Conditions: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (6)

When you run into rain or wet conditions on a hike, the right boots won't slow you down. These boots from Salomon are made from water-resistant mesh and coated leather, providing a breathable yet waterproof construction that will be sure to keep your feet comfortable and dry. There's also a mud guard and the tongue is designed to keep debris out.

To buy: zappos.com, $165

(Video) Top 5 Best Hiking Boots Review Must Check In 2022

7. Most Comfortable Hiking Boots With Rock Plates: L.L. Bean Alpine Hiking Boots

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (7)

In my opinion, there's nothing better than a pair of hiking shoes or boots with an added rock plate, and this pair is no different. These L.L. Bean boots boast additional rock plates that help protect your feet from jagged rocks or roots during each step you take, and after trying them, chances are you'll never want to wear hiking boots without them again. Made to be 25 percent lighter than L.L. Bean's classic Cresta hiking boot, this pair is guaranteed to be trail-ready straight from the box — no break-in time required.

To buy: llbean.com, $139

8. Most Comfortable Leather Hiking Boots: Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots

11 of the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots to Buy in 2022 (8)

While this pair of hiking boots might require a brief break-in period because of the leather material, once they've conformed to your feet, you'll never want to take them off. These boots are favorites of many experienced hikers because of their multi-directional lug soles that Keen has dubbed the "four-wheel drive for your feet." With a flexible EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate, a porous material similar to rubber) midsole and footbed, they're made for comfort yet still provide plenty of support.

To buy: amazon.com, from $109

9. Most Comfortable Slip-Resistant Hiking Boots: Uuflyme Non-Slip Hiking Boots

Forget worrying about fair-weather hikes. With this pair of hiking boots, you'll be ready to face any weather thanks to its slip-resistant lugs that provide the ultimate support in rainy conditions. Not only do the boots offer excellent traction, but they are padded inside and lined with a super soft material to keep your feet comfortable, too. "Let me say that I love these boots," said one shopper. "They are well made and super comfy and a great value."

To buy: amazon.com, from $37

10. Most Comfortable Hiking Boots With Insulation: XPETI Women's Thermator Mid High-top Waterproof Hiking Boots

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For cold weather hikes where you might run into snow and ice, a pair of boots with insulation is a must. These hiking boots have a waterproof mesh upper that will keep your feet dry, while Thinsulate insulation keeps feet warm.

To buy: amazon.com, from $66

11. Most Comfortable Lightweight Pair: Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM Waterproof Trail Running Shoe

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Looking for a lightweight pair of hiking boots that won't feel hot or heavy as you hike? Check out this pair from Altra. The popular boots boast a wider toe bed than most other options, allowing your toes to spread out naturally for extra comfort and stability. The strategically positioned lugs and the energy-return compound in the footbeds also less impact on your feet.

To buy: amazon.com, from $128

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How comfortable should hiking boots be? ›

Hiking boots should fit snug everywhere, tight nowhere and offer room to wiggle your toes. Try them on at the end of the day (after feet swell) and with the socks you plan to wear. Know your size. It's best to have your foot's length, width and arch length measured on a specially calibrated fit device at REI.

Are Merrell hiking boots any good? ›

Still, the Merrell Moab gets plenty of votes for “best value” or “best budget hiking boot” from outdoor magazines and websites. It offers a little foot and ankle support and features Vibram outsoles, which is a plus. They're an economical choice for hikers on a budget and may be a good fit for hikers with wide feet.

Is it better for hiking boots to be bigger or smaller? ›

Many hikers suggest that a pair of right hiking boots should be a half or full size larger than their normal shoe size or even the hiking boots that fit you perfectly.

How long should a pair of hiking boots last? ›

Mileage Considerations

Some shoe manufacturers recommend consumers replace their hiking boots every three to six months or every 350 to 500 miles depending on usage. This milestone may be accurate, depending on the type of hiking a person enjoys and the conditions in which the boots were used.

Should toes touch end of hiking boots? ›

You should have at least an inch of space between your big toe and the tip of your boots. More room for your toes will be more comfortable on longer hikes as your feet swell. And, if your toes can splay out as you step you'll have better stability.

Should you buy hiking shoes a size bigger? ›

Feet tend to swell a bit during hiking, so erring on the side of larger hiking shoes or boots is advisable. In general, aim to buy your hiking boots a half size larger than you think you need.

What does Merrell Moab stand for? ›

Of all the great Merrell shoes we sell, the classic Moab has always been a favorite. There's a reason 'Moab' is an acronym for 'Mother of All Boots. ' Many websites and magazines for outdoor enthusiasts have praised the Moab line, holding up these boots as exemplars of support, versatility, and total performance.

What is the difference between Merrell Moab and siren? ›

For $5 more than the Siren Edge, the Moab gets the edge in durability with suede leather along the upper, wins out in grip with a similar Vibram outsole and deeper (5mm) lugs, and is more comfortable and well cushioned with a thicker and softer EVA midsole.

What boots do seals wear? ›

Salomon Jungle Boots Ultra - Burro (SJB)

Lightweight and designed as a jungle boot with high ankles, they're perfectly designed for use in the Mexican heat, allowing feet to drain of fluid and heat quickly. Identified by the Salomon toecap 'lift', the rubber heel back and strap and the contagrip (3 wide) sole.

Where should your toe be in hiking boots? ›

You should have at least an inch for your toes. This is especially important for hiking boots. Your toes should also have room to wiggle around a tad. If you're ever feeling the “pins-and-needles” sensation, your boots are too tight.

How do you measure your feet for hiking boots? ›

How to Size Your Foot and Find Hiking Boots Online || REI - YouTube

How do you know if your hiking boots are too small? ›

Stand upright and have them check how much room you have behind your heel. In a properly fitting boot, they should be able to get roughly one finger between your heel and the back of the boot. If they get significantly more or less than that, the boot is too large or small.

How do you tell when boots are worn out? ›

Sometimes even a seemingly perfect-looking pair of boots may need to be replaced. Whether it is sore feet, cramps or blisters, these are all signs your boots may be worn.

Can you wear hiking boots everyday? ›

Hiking boots can be worn for everyday use. They provide great ankle support, breathability, traction, and many other great features which allow you to tackle any walking surface from tile, carpet, asphalt, and concrete as the areas you walk on change throughout your day.

How many miles should you put on hiking boots? ›

From average use (hiking 10 miles/week), you should replace your hiking boots every 500-1,000 miles, depending on the quality of the boots. By the thousand-mile mark, there should be clear indicators it's time to upgrade.

How much room should you have in a boot? ›

You should be able to wiggle your toes inside the toe box (the front of the shoe). To see if you have enough room, slide your foot forward so your toes are just touching the end of the unlaced boot. In this position, you should have a finger's width (about ½") between the base of your heel and the boot.

How long does it take for boots to break in? ›

New boots can take around 80 to 100 hours to break in. That being said, don't subject yourself to wearing your boots for 4 days straight and expect your feet to be happy with you. Instead, space this time out to about 2 to 3 hours a day and keep a second pair of boots to change into.

How do you know if your hiking boots are too big? ›

If you wonder how to tell if hiking boots are too big, check the amount of room behind your heel. Ideally, one finger should be able to slip between the heel and the back of the boot and if they get significantly more or less than that, the boot is too large or small.

Does Merrell run small? ›

They run large. I normally wear a size 7. With my Merrell shoes I wear a size 6. I have two pairs that are size 6 and they fit very well, they are not narrow.

Whats the difference between Moab 2 and 3? ›

However, despite sharing a similar name, the two Moabs have notably different intentions. While the Moab 3 is a classic hiking shoe with a clear emphasis on comfort and durability, the Speed is lighter (1 lb. 7 oz.) and nimbler but noticeably less protective.

Are Merrell shoes good for standing all day? ›

Available in a moccasin, boot, and sneaker style, all of Merrell's all day wear shoes are low-maintenance, breathable, and above all supportive and comfortable; the perfect shoes for standing on your feet all day. Also check out their new Cloud Knit collection for more casual vibes. They're like walking on air.

What is the difference between walking and hiking shoes? ›

When it comes down to it, the main difference between hiking shoes and walking shoes is the level of protection and weight of the shoe. Typically, hiking shoes are meant for rough terrain. That means these types of shoes have thicker material, thicker soles, and more protection than walking shoes.

Do Merrell shoes have good arch support? ›

Merrell's design philosophy is built on four pillars: comfort, durability, design, and versatility. That's why their boots are all made with an anatomical footbed with built-in heel counter and arch support.

Are Merrell boots true to size? ›

Product Sizing

We do find that our shoes and boots fit true to size. Our reviews on our merrell.com product detail pages will provide you with specific customer feedback on sizing.

Where is Merrell boots made? ›

Merrell Shoes are made both in the United States and in Asian countries like Vietnam. Since they are owned by Wolverine Worldwide there are some lines in the Merrell shoe selection that are made in the US.

What boots does the US Army Issue? ›

The standard-issue boot is the Bates Waterproof USMC combat boot. Commercial versions of this boot are authorized without limitation other than they must be at least eight inches in height and bear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on the outer heel of each boot.

What boots do the British SAS wear? ›

The two approved British Forces issue boots are the Bates Ultra Light and the YDS Kestrel. Both boots have a leather and fabric upper and are fabric lined.

Why do Navy SEALs wear Chuck Taylors? ›

What the SEALs really love about Chucks -- and all other branches of the military, take note -- is that Chucks are lightweight and minimalist. They crush down and are easy to carry, provide stability to the wearer, and if they get wet, they dry off in a hurry.

What should hiking boots feel like? ›

The shoe or boot should feel snug, but not tight, at the widest part of your forefoot. You shouldn't feel any pinching at the heel or discomfort on your ankle bones.

Why do my hiking boots hurt? ›

Your hiking boots likely hurt your feet due to either being an improper fit, too worn down, or not-broken in enough. These things will cause unwanted friction and hot spots that lead to foot pain and possibly even blisters.

How much room should you have in hiking boots? ›

A good rule of thumb is to allow a full thumb's width of space or one-to-two fingers. Depending on the size of a finger, there is a little bit of wiggle room between them but think as average as possible. If the fingers or thumb, move too easily between the space, then they are most likely too big.

Is it OK to wear hiking boots for walking? ›

Although hiking shoes and boots are for walking over rough terrain, they can be used to walk on the street or in casual circumstances. Walking in hiking shoes can even provide more support. However, hiking shoes are heavier and bulkier than regular shoes and can wear out faster with casual use.

Should my heel move in hiking boots? ›

Your heel should be locked in position inside the boot and not slide up or down as you walk (the number one cause of blisters). When lacing your boots, leave the area over the top of your foot loose but cinch down tightly across your ankles to secure your heel in place.

Should walking boots be tight or loose? ›

Walking boots should be snug and comfortable, with no space for the feet to move around in, but not too tight in order to allow them to remain breathable. When trying on boots, perhaps wear thicker socks than usual to keep in mind that you'll need additional space for hiking socks.

How do you tell if your hiking boots are too big? ›

If you wonder how to tell if hiking boots are too big, check the amount of room behind your heel. Ideally, one finger should be able to slip between the heel and the back of the boot and if they get significantly more or less than that, the boot is too large or small.

How do I stop my feet from hurting when I hike? ›

Photo by Liz Thomas.
  1. REMOVE ANYTHING YOU FEEL IN YOUR SHOE. Start with prevention. ...
23 Jun 2021

How do I protect my toenails when hiking? ›

Using Hiking Poles to Prevent Toe Pain

Using hiking poles on the trail keeps you sturdy while hiking, and can partially prevent your toes from hitting the front of the boot. Hiking poles also take the brunt of the force while hiking downhill, thus reducing the force put on your foot and toes.

Do you buy boots a size bigger or smaller? ›

Most boot companies recommend sizing down a half size from sneakers, so most boots are a half size larger than your sneaker size. A size 12 in sneakers will likely be 115 or even 11 in boots, as sneakers are often a little big.

What is the difference between hiking boots and hiking shoes? ›

Hiking shoes are softer and more flexible than hiking boots, aren't as tricky to fit, and don't need breaking in. They are a good choice for dry weather and gentler terrain, though some proponents argue they're also better in wet conditions than hiking boots.

What is the difference between a walking boot and a hiking boot? ›

Hiking boots are usually much sturdier and more durable than walking shoes. These boots have reinforced extra padding and may even have metal bars in the soles. This gives plenty of foot support and also reduces the chances of strain or bruising when hiking over rocky, rough or uneven terrain.

What is the difference between a trail shoe and a hiking shoe? ›

Compared to trail runners, hiking shoes will hold up far better under a heavy load and are designed to withstand rugged, abrasive terrain. On the other hand, the lightweight fabric that makes trail runners so nimble sacrifices a good amount of durability, reducing their lifespan significantly.


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