17 Best Hiking Boots for Women, Men, and Kids Reviewed (2021)

hiking boots for men and women reviewed best

When it comes to choosing the best hiking boots for men and women, you often see a huge amount of diversity on the market. This can make it difficult to make your decision in the end.

People normally have a list of things they want to get from their walking and/or hiking boots (as they should, because these things come at a cost).

Maybe you want winter boots, summer boots, boots for rain or snow, lace-up boots, knee-high boots, ankle boots… Honestly, the list goes on and on. Either way, you need something that’s going to get you up and down a mountain with ease.

The purpose of this article is to create a space where we can compare all these different variations of hiking boots for men, women, and kids. Ultimately, we just want to share our knowledge and experience with you and help you make your decision.

Hiking Boots Buying Guide

Hiking boots are vastly different from, for example, skate shoes, and there are more things to consider. The two most important factors when choosing your hiking boots are: materials and performance.

The materials include just what the boots are made from; do they use GoreTex or some other kind of waterproofing agent? Are they synthetic or single leather? It’s important to check these things so you don’t buy something made from cheap or unreliable materials.

Performance is more about: what can these boots be used for? Some hiking or walking boots are only really designed for a leisurely hike, rather than a full-blown expedition trekking in Nepal.

Performance also included how these products have been reviewed and assessed by ourselves and other professional bodies.

If you’re still in doubt, REI made a great video about how to choose the right hiking boots, to avoid unnecessary discomfort.

Another very important factor to consider is how much breaking-in your hiking boots need. A breaking-in period is how long it takes the boots to mould to your feet.

Before this period completes, some hiking boots can be extremely painful, especially boots made for more technical hikes. The video below explains this well.

First, we will share the best hiking and walking boots for women. Then, we will explore the similar options for men, and then for kids. Then, we will explain to you the different between hiking ‘boots’ and ‘shoes’. Lastly, we will give you some tips on how best to care for your new boots.

Best Hiking Boots for Women

Jack Wolfskin Women's Vojo Hike 2 Texapore Mid W Boot, siltstone, 10.5
Columbia womens Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot, Quarry/Cool...
Timberland Women's Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, dark brown, 11
Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Granite, 8 M US
Salomon Women's X Ultra 3 MID GTX W Hiking, Shadow/Castor Gray/Beach...
The North Face Shellista II Mid Snow Boot, Dachshund Brown/Demitasse...
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Jack Wolfskin Women's Vojo Hike 2 Texapore Mid W Boot, siltstone, 10.5
Columbia womens Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot, Quarry/Cool...
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Timberland Women's Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, dark brown, 11
Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Granite, 8 M US
Salomon Women's X Ultra 3 MID GTX W Hiking, Shadow/Castor Gray/Beach...
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The North Face Shellista II Mid Snow Boot, Dachshund Brown/Demitasse...
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Women’s Hiking Boots Reviewed

Without further ado, let’s jump into our first section of in-depth reviews: women’s hiking boots!

Jack Wolfskin Vojo

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Material

The Jack Wolfskin Vojo is a relatively new candidate from a top selling, high performance brand. Made from their trademark waterproof Texapore membrane, this boot will keep your feet dry using excellent new technologies.

Other parts of the boot are made from robust textile fabric (also waterproof), suede leather and a breathable, circuliner active membrane with a fast drying polyester lining.

Performance

The traction on these boots make it excellent grip-wise, the base also has good cushioning, but the boots are overall designed for easy hikes of 1-3 days.

Customers have used these boots for: coastal hikes, trekking in the Colorado mountains, leisurely dog walks, and everything in between. Overall, a highly versatile and affordable pair of hiking boots.

Columbia Newton Ridge

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Material

These bad boys, made in the USA, are manufactured with a synthetic sole, a waterproof full-grain leather and mesh construction for breathability. They also feature a lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit.

Performance

This boot is ultimately designed for comfort. A durable mid-sole means long lasting support on lengthy hikes. An advanced traction rubber sole means slip-free movement on rough and uneven terrain. Advanced synthetic mesh technology means your feet can stay waterproof as the boots keep air circulating, allowing your feet to breathe.

Customers took these boots on leisurely walks, camping in Iceland, and even to the Grand Canyon. They’re great for hikes of 1-3 days.

Timberland Norwood

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Material

This stylish pair of ladies’ boots, Timberland’s attempt at creating functional footwear, are actually surprisingly good. They feature a rubber sole, premium waterproof leather from an LWG Silver-rated tannery, a waterproof membrane and compression-molded EVA mid-sole.

Performance

These boots are great because they take hardly any time to break-in at all, however, customers have also experienced traction and grip difficulties. because of this, if you plan to hike in the rain these might not be the best choice.

However, for travel and easy day hikes, these boots are perfect. They’re truly waterproof, durable and super lightweight.

Merrell Women’s Moab

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Material

These boots, coming from a top gear provider, Merrell, are made from 100% suede leather/mesh. They feature a rubber sole and removable insole, Merrell air cushioning in the heels for maximum shock absorption, and a protective rubber toe cap.

Merrell’s trademark technology, M Select DRY, also works hard to seal out water, but allow moisture to escape to keep your feet dry yet breathable.

You can also get the Merrell Moab via USOUTDOOR

Performance

Customers have reported almost no break-in period at all for these boots, so they’re comfortable right out of the box! We recommend them for hikes of 1-4 days.

Salomon Women’s X Ultra

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Material

The Salomon Ultra is a little bit more hardcore than some of these other boots. These foots are specifically designed for a woman’s anatomy, hoding your foot in place even during technical descents, and the rubber sole preventing slippage and increasing stability.

These boots feature an asymmetrical chassis, maximizing stability and cushioning whilst minimizing fatigue on complex terrain.

The sole is made from two different kinds of rubber, specifically chosen to create a good grip, especially on the heel, which is the area of your foot that controls your movement.

Performance

We can honestly recommend these boots for all terrains and weather conditions, and technical hikes of a week or more. If you are disappointed however, these boots come with a 2 year warranty.

The North Face Women’s Shellista

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Material

Now for something completely different! From the North Face and manufactured in the USA, these high boots feature a waterproof, premium leather upper, with premium wool and sued details.

200g PrimaLoft Insulation ECO means your feet will stay warm without compromising breathability. The Women-specific, injection moulded waterproof TPR shell also makes for excellent hiking in rain or snow!

Performance

These boots are mainly intended for easy, cold weather day hikes or walks. They’re great for keeping your feet dry and warm when walking about town, but we wouldn’t recommend them for anything technical. The main bonus is that they look amazing!

Best Hiking Boots for Men

NORTIV 8 Men's 160448_M Brown Black Tan Ankle High Waterproof Hiking...
Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Boot,Dark Brown,9 M US
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 11 M US
Columbia mens Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Boot,...
Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 MID GTX Hiking, Black/India Ink/Monument, 10.5
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut, 10.5 M US
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NORTIV 8 Men's 160448_M Brown Black Tan Ankle High Waterproof Hiking...
Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Boot,Dark Brown,9 M US
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 11 M US
Columbia mens Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Boot,...
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Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 MID GTX Hiking, Black/India Ink/Monument, 10.5
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut, 10.5 M US

Men’s Hiking Boots Reviewed

So, having had a look at the best women’s hiking boots of 2020 so far, we’ll move onto the men’s section. Just like for the ladies, we’ve tried to include something for everybody, from more technical mountaineering boots, to something a little bit stylish.

Nortiv Softshell Men’s

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Material

Our first contender for the guys, the Nortiv 8 Softshell, features waterproof protection and microfiber heat reflective lining. This is great tech for keeping them dry and comfortable on long day-hikes. They also feature a textbook rubber outsole which is great for rambling through the wilderness.

They come in a variety of models and styles, al of which feature a cushioned EVA footbed for easy movement.

Performance

This brings us to their performance. Customers have reported excellent grip in mud and loose dirt, as well as in extremely wet conditions. We recommend them for 1-3 day hikes. They’re super lightweight, easy to put on, waterproof and very durable. If you pick up a pair of these you should be sorted for at least a couple of years.

Timberland Men’s White Ledge

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Material

This classy hiking boot clocks in at 100% leather, full-grain waterproof upper, seam-sealed waterproof construction, with speed lace hardware for secure lacing. Timberland are also a fairly reputable company who seem to know what you need in the outdoors.

Performance

We recommend these boots for easy hikes, fields and roads. They are extremely comfortable, and some customers have reported them lasting up to 15 years! However we don’t recommend them in extreme conditions. If you want something for more technical hikes, however, keep reading.

Merrell Men’s Moab

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Material

These boots, coming from a top gear provider, Merrell, are made from 100% suede leather/mesh. They feature a rubber sole and removable insole, Merrell air cushioning in the heels for maximum shock absorption, and a protective rubber toe cap.

Merrell’s trademark technology, M Select DRY, also works hard to seal out water, but allow moisture to escape to keep your feet dry yet breathable.

You can also get the Merrell Moab via USOUTDOOR

Performance

We recommend these boots for dry hikes of 4-5 days, or wet day-hikes. We’d describe them more as water-resistant rather than waterproof. However, in dry weather they perform exceptionally well. They’re also extremely lightweight and breathable.

Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge

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Material

The men’s version of the popular Newton Ridge from Columbia is crafted from a mix of leather, suede and mesh. advanced technology from Columbia gives this boot a durable midsole for comfort, superior cushioning and high energy return, as well as an Omni-GRIP advanced traction rubber sole for grip.

Performance

Overall, these boots perform pretty well. We recommend them for 4-5 day hikes at most. Some people have reported issues with the integrity of the boots material, however we have not found this to be the case.

Salomon X Ultra GORE-TEX

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Material

These boots are 10% synthetic, but don’t let that put you off. Nowadays, with all the surges in the development of new waterproofing and insulating technologies, sometimes synthetic is the way to go.

This boot features a SensiFit foothold, comprised of two different types of rubber, in order to give you maximum grip. It also has GORE-TEX waterproofing membrane to keep your feet dry.

Performance

We don’t have the time to be candid, this is our best performing boot. We recommend it for all weather conditions. Its lightweight, breathable, protective, the traction is aggressive and they are genuinely waterproof.

If you’re looking for something to see you through a long trail, an expedition or an approach shoe for a climbing trip, this might be the one.

The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux Leather Boot

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Material

These hiking boots, made in the USA, are manufactured using premmium full grain leather. They are insulated and waterproof, with a full-grain leather upper, HydroSeal waterproof membrane, and 100g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation in the lining.

This makes them super comfortable whilst retaining some of their functionality.

Performance

These boots are well-loved by customers. However, they’re not really meant for technical hiking, as you would expect given that they’re so stylish! We love them, and recommend them for 1-3 day hikes at most.

Best Hiking Boots for Kids

Columbia Boys Youth Newton Ridge Leather Boot, Waterproof Hiking Shoe,...
Timberland Youth Mt. Maddsen TimberDry Waterproof Hiking Boot, Dk...
Northside Unisex-Kid's Rampart MID Hiking Boot, Medium Brown, 4 Medium...
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 6 US Unisex Big Kid
Jack Wolfskin Unisex MTN Attack 2 Texapore MID K Hiking Boot, burly...
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Columbia Boys Youth Newton Ridge Leather Boot, Waterproof Hiking Shoe,...
Timberland Youth Mt. Maddsen TimberDry Waterproof Hiking Boot, Dk...
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Northside Unisex-Kid's Rampart MID Hiking Boot, Medium Brown, 4 Medium...
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 6 US Unisex Big Kid
Jack Wolfskin Unisex MTN Attack 2 Texapore MID K Hiking Boot, burly...
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Hiking Boots for Kids Reviewed

There you have it, our 6 favorite hiking boots for men. We sincerely hope we’ve overed everything, and put out something for everyone. However, we still need to cover those miniature boots for kids.

We’ve noticed some brands who sacrifice their quality when designing hiking boots for kids. For us, that’s a bit of a taboo. When it comes to hiking, nothing, I repeat: nothing is more important than your boots!

That’s why we’ve complied a list of our 5 favorite hiking boots for kids. We hope this helps you choose the right footwear for your little ones!

Jack Wolfskin Mountain Attack

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Material

These boots are of extremely good quality, much like the adult versions from Jack Wolfskin. These are 100% synthetic, with water resistant upper material and a TEXAPORE breathable membrane.

Performance

We can’t really find a fault with these boots, other than that they are a bit on the pricey side, considering kids grow out of their shoes so fast! Other than that, customers find them to be robust, breathable and good value-for-money. We recommend them for 1-3 day hikes.

Merrell Moab Kids Edition

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Material

We’ve featured the Moab 3 times now in this article, but that’s just because we cant get enough of it. The upper is made from a combination of durable suede and mesh for maximum breathability. M Select GRIP outsoles give a durable, highly slip-resistant stability on wet and dry ground.

Performance

As far as we can tell, these shoes perform very well. One thing we would recommend it that you get 1/2 a size up so they fit your child and they can then grow into them/ We recommend these boots for 1-3 day hikes at most.

Northside Kids Rampart

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Material

These boots are made of a mix of leather and synthetic materials, with a rubber sole. They have an abrasion resistant toe guard and a heel stabilizer. They are good for all weather conditions and feature a removable/washable EVA insole for extra cushioning and breathability.

Performance

Customers are very happy with these boots for their kids. Overall, they are extremely breathable and lightweight, with a bonus comfort rating. We recommend them for 1-3 day hikes.

Timberland MT Maddsen

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Material

We included these in case you wanted to splash out on some stylish Timberland’s for your kids when they go hiking. These are made from a majority leather with a minority of synthetic material.

Performance

Overall, they actually perform pretty well. People rated them for their waterproof materials and their comfy, grippy design. We recommend them for day hikes.

Columbia Youth Newton Ridge

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Material

Columbia just so happened to have the Newton Ridge boot, a bestseller, in a kids model as well. These boots feature a waterproof PU leather upper construction, combines with Columbia’s TECHLITE lightweight midsole. These both make for super comfortable boots with excellent cushioning.

Performance

The Newton Ridge is a pretty reliable boot. Columbia’s signature Omni-GRIP non-marking traction outsole means that these bots have excellent grip across all terrains. Because of these qualities, combines with the waterproof upper, we recommend these boots for day-hikes.

Hiking Boots VS Hiking Shoes

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘hiking boots’ and ‘hiking shoes’ thrown around quite a lot. Sometimes the terms are pretty much interchangeable, but the difference is actually quite important.

Hiking boots/shoes basically come in 3 variations: low, mid and high. This is all about how high the ankle and heel support goes up your leg. Any hiking boot that comes in a ‘low’ variation will be more commonly referred to as a ‘hiking shoe’.

hiking shoes

Hiking shoes are really great because they are generally lighter, more breathable and give your ankle more mobility than their larger compadres.

Caring for your Hiking Boots

We feel obliged to remind you of the importance of caring for your hiking boots. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, and make those boots last, you need to start a care routine for you boots just like one might for their skin.

If your boots are made from either leather or suede, it’s really important to pick up some spray or lotion to apply to them very time you use them when you first buy. After that, you can wait a month or so between each application.

If your boots are 100% or mostly synthetic, then please consult the manufacturers, as these new technologies may require different care techniques.

Polish/Lotion for Leather

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Polish and lotions are especially good for leather boots. If you want something that you can rub into your hiking boots most days to give it a good, water repellent finish and protect the material, then a leather polish with some kind of waterproofing agent might be the way to go.

Apply once per use when you first buy, after two weeks leave a month or so between applications.

Spray for Suede

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However, if your boots are made from suede or some other kind of fabric material, a spray is much better. Spray these all over your boots in a mist to cover them with whatever water-repelling agent the spray contains. Apply before use about once a week.

Final Thoughts on Hiking Boots

So there you have it. We’ve shown you our favorite hiking boots for women, men and kids.

We hope it’s helped you make your decision of which to buy. When you choose, remember to buy some hiking boots that are really suited to your needs.

If you’re just going on easy countryside walks or day hikes, you could save a few bucks by simply opting for some less hi-tech boots. However, if you plan on doing some seriously technical hikes, its of vital importance that you get something that’s going to protect your feet and ankles.

In our experience of hiking all over the world, we’ve found that there’s nothing worse than getting halfway up a mountain, before getting turned around because someone forgot to bring the right footwear!

So remember, stay safe, and happy hiking!

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