The best hiking boots of 2019
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12 of the best hiking shoes to hit the trails with this winter

From urban cool to trekking tech, check out the best outdoors footwear to hit the trails with this autumn and winter.
Written by Will Gray
6 min readPublished on
Whether you’re walking to work or trekking to a summit, what you wear on your feet is one of the most crucial decisions you can make in the morning.
Hiking boots are not all made the same though: some are focused on looks, others on comfort, and the ones you’ll need to get you to the top of a mountain won’t be the same as those you’ll need for a long weekend in the hills.
To give you a step in the direction then, seasoned hiking and adventure writer Will Gray picks his top 12 for every eventuality:

1. Inov-8 ROCLITE 345 GTX

Roclite 345 GTX are light, dynamic and waterproof
Roclite 345 GTX are light, dynamic and waterproof
Great for: Wet conditions
These are the first boots to add ‘wonder-material’ graphene into the mix, creating outsoles 50 percent stronger, 50 percent more elastic and 50 percent harder wearing, so you get super-grippy rubber without the worry of it wearing down.
They weigh just 345g and come with Gore-Tex protection, so they’re light, dynamic and waterproof to help quick movement through the rain. Underneath, the sole is formed like a trail running shoe – for which the brand is most famous – so it keeps a good hold on all terrain.

2. La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX

Hiking in chillier climes? Meet the Trango Tower Extreme
Hiking in chillier climes? Meet the Trango Tower Extreme
Great for: The cold
These are fully crampon-compatible rugged boots designed for technical mountaineering on ice and mixed terrain, with thermal insulation to ensure you keep warm whatever the weather.
The honeycomb construction of the nylon upper makes them ultra resilient to sharp rocks while the foot shape also helps you squeeze into tight gaps. There’s enough flex to keep you comfortable on the trails and also gives better control on holds, while the lightweight Vibram sole provides great grip.

3. Hanwag Makra Combi GTX

From river wading to glacier trekking, this Hanwag boot means business
From river wading to glacier trekking, this Hanwag boot means business
Great for: Mixed terrain
These near-indestructible boots can handle all the rough stuff a multi-mix trail can throw at them – from river wading to glacier trekking; slippery scree slopes to foot-sucking mud.
The upper is a blend of Cordura, suede leather and reinforced seams, with bumpers at the toe and where the upper meets the sole. There’s a Gore-Tex membrane to cope with the weather, plenty of padding to make them super comfortable and a complex pyramid grip.

4. Columbia SH/FT OutDry Boot

Columbia's SH/FT OutDry is the hipster's hiking boot
Columbia's SH/FT OutDry is the hipster's hiking boot
Great for: Office to outdoors
You’ll feel just as at home in a Shoreditch coffee spot as you would bagging a Munro in these boots, which blend the brand’s hiking prowess with sneaker style to deliver street-cool with trail-handling functionality.
A stretch-knit upper with leather overlays keeps things watertight, unique midsole cushioning gives big energy return and rugged rubber outsoles provide durability. Oh, and they come in a variety of colours including, if you’re daring, a purple/teal combo. Retro.

5. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

A modern twist on an adventure classic: the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
A modern twist on an adventure classic: the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
Great for: Endurance hikes
Voted top endurance boots time and again, the latest incarnation of this popular design is made with fighting fatigue on tough trails in mind.
They’re lighter than ever yet still robust, with good rigidity and a grippy sole with aggressive lug patterns and durable compounds. The design includes a chassis that flexes for smooth foot placement and a cradling midsole to help handle steep ups and downs when heavily laden.

6. HOKA ONE ONE Sky Toa

Hike at warp speed with the stunning Hoka Sky Toa
Hike at warp speed with the stunning Hoka Sky Toa
Great for: Speed hiking
You might look a bit like you've turned up for an ultra run in these wedge soled speed hikers, but they’re lightweight, cushioned, flexible, nimble, springy and totally waterproof – making them perfect for a day out on the trails.
Drawing from the brand’s trail running experience and taking a ‘strip bare to save weight’ approach, they have a durable and breathable synthetic upper, an impact absorbing rubberised foam midsole and lightweight Vibram ‘Megagrip’ outsole lugs for good stability.
Word to the wise: if you're after a shoe that's slightly sturdier yet will still have you rocketing around tricky pathways at warp speed, HOKA also have the more serious Sky Kaha walking boot. But if you just want a sleek and speedy number to get you through a ramble in the countryside, the Sky Toa is the best bet.

7. La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

Multi-day hikes are a breeze with Sportiva Nucleo High GTX
Multi-day hikes are a breeze with Sportiva Nucleo High GTX
Great for: Multi-day trails
Trek for days without stinking out your hostel dorm or campsite in these innovative boots that claim to include a new approach to breathability.
They include 360-degree breathability, with a Gore-Tex surround designed to wrap around the foot, allowing air to circulate not only out the top of the foot but also through the side and the footbed.

8. Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Gore-Tex

Flexible and lightweight, the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
Flexible and lightweight, the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
Great for: The carry-on
These super light trainer-style hiking boots are great weekender shoes – because if you're off somewhere for a weekend you can just chuck them in a hold-all and away you go. That, or you can rock up to the office wearing them before heading to the airport or train station for that hurried last minute getaway.
The olive and Khaki colouring blends perfectly with trekking trousers or street gear and the high energy returning midsole keeps you comfortable on concrete or rough trails. The knit breathable upper provides support for medium hikes and also keeps your feet from sweating in the city heat. Your weekend won't know what hit it.

9. Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

If your hiking's a little on the extreme side, invest in the Scarpa Zodiac
If your hiking's a little on the extreme side, invest in the Scarpa Zodiac
Great for: The professional
Widely viewed among pros as the ultimate boot for extreme hiking, these are as tough as old boots. Or rather new ones. While not quite mountaineering boots, they’re very close, giving flexibility and comfort for both mountain trail and mountaintop.
They’ve got good flex for low-angle paths and non-technical walking but hit the rocky routes or even snow and they give good traction with stiffness levels you’d expect to find in a lightweight mountaineering boot. Win-win.

10. Danner Mountain 600 Enduroweave

Donning a pair of Danner Enduroweave is worth the hiking trip alone
Donning a pair of Danner Enduroweave is worth the hiking trip alone
Great for: The 'Gram
These photogenic boots will get you likes on Instagram before you’ve even taken them out of the box - but they’re not just eye candy, there’s some decent tech behind them to make them functional as well as flirty.
Under the surface, there’s a robust Vibram midsole and outsole for high grip while the carbon-washed textile upper is light and breathable. They’re not waterproof – but, then, with the way they look, you wouldn’t want to get them wet or muddy anyhow, would you.

11. Tecnica Forge

Tecnica will custom mould its Forge GTX hiking boots around your feet
Tecnica will custom mould its Forge GTX hiking boots around your feet
Great for: Perfection
Ski boot customization comes to the hiking world with these boots, which are so personal you can’t simply buy them online, you’ve got to visit one of the brand’s stores so they can be custom made for you.
You can handpick many different features as you build them to your own spec, but it’s the 30-minute, two-round moulding process to create the insoles and uppers that make them as close to perfection as you can get.

12. Merrell Moab 2 Gore-Tex

A hiking shoe for those who don't favour a traditional boot
A hiking shoe for those who don't favour a traditional boot
Great for: Trail shoe fans
If you want the grip and durability of a hiking boot and the manoeuvrability of a tail shoe, but don’t like things wrapped around your ankles, these could be the perfect piece of kit.
The ‘Moab’ stands for ‘Mother of All Boots’ – a big shout given they’re not boots...but we get it. The combo of durable synthetic leather and mesh uppers, Gore-Tex membrane, supportive footbed, Vibram soles and rubber toecap mean they’re comfortable, breathable, waterproof and super grippy.
You've got the gear, now click below for 7 UK hikes to use them on