If you are a hiker, you probably already know that good hiking boots can turn your hiking adventure into something completely different. Among all the equipment that a hiker should have, a high-quality boot is one of the most essential parts. With other, simple sneakers, you will notice various problems while on a trail.
However, choosing the right boots for hiking can be quite a difficult job. There are a few factors to consider which are of great importance. To make your research a bit easier, we have reviewed some of the best waterproof hiking boots for you.
Best Waterproof Hiking Boots Reviews
Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX
Although very expensive, these boots are one of the best on the market. They are available in six different color combinations and all popular sizes, so you can definitely find the one that suits you best. They are high-quality, and they also look pretty nice, having a beautiful, gentle contour.
These boots are entirely made of leather, which makes them robust and reliable. They are imported and are created ideally for cold, winter hiking, and they won’t make your feet overheat.
They also come with a Vibram sole, which makes them comfortable and ideal for rough terrains. These boots are completely waterproof and have a breathable, Gore-Tex membrane, which allows the air to enter but blocks the water. They also have a Climate Control footbed.
What's to like about the Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX
The boots are definitely high-quality and ideal for almost any kind of terrain. Besides being great for long winter hikes, they are also suitable for a bit warmer weather conditions and won’t make you overheat. As mentioned, they are available in six different color combinations, and all of them look great!
These boots are an ideal choice for hiking, but can also be used as an everyday boot. Since they are strong and solid, you won’t have to worry that the usual, daily use, will wear them out.
What's not to like about the Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX
Although they are excellent, the price can be too high for most people. Depending on the color and size you choose, they can cost up to $400 and even more, and is therefore recommended only for professional hikers. If you go hiking now and then, you might not want to spend that amount of money on a pair of boots, no matter how good they are.
Merell Men’s Moab 2 GTX
When it comes to men’s boots, these are definitely among the top choices. Their price is reasonable, and the quality they provide is above average, making them an excellent choice for both hiking experts and beginners.
These boots definitely offer some great features. Firstly, they are completely made out of synthetic leather and mesh, which also affects their design. They are sold in nine different color combinations, so there are plenty of choices to choose from. These boots also have a synthetic sole, for increased traction and comfortability.
Now, at first glance, these boots might seem like they are not waterproof and that they are only made for hot weather. However, the trick is in the Gore-Tex material. Although it looks like a simple mesh, it is completely waterproof and also breathable.
The boots are also created ideally for cold-weather hiking, and with a great sole, they are also perfect for rough terrains. However, they are pretty light and can also be great for hot, summer hiking.
What's to like about the Merell Men’s Moab 2 GTX
One of the good sides of these boots is that they are ideal for both winter and summer hiking, without the need to make any additional changes, like removing the inner material or anything similar. They also provide pretty good quality for the price and are therefore a perfect choice for any hiker. However, if you are a professional hiker and hike on extreme terrains, you might want to look for even better boots.
What's not to like about the Merell Men’s Moab 2 GTX
There are not many bad sides when it comes to these boots. However, some hikers have reported that soles came unglued after just two months of use. That means that it will require more money to repair the boots, therefore directly increasing the price. It seems that it doesn’t happen too often, but it is still a concern any potential customers should be aware of.
Merell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots
Another fabulous boot for female hikers. These boots offer both exceptional quality and beautiful design for a very reasonable price. Of course, you can find cheaper boots, but the ratio of price and quality is more than better when it comes to these boots. They are sold in six different variants.
At first, it should be mentioned that these boots are made of 100% suede leather and mesh. They are also imported and ideal for low temperatures, but thanks to the mesh they consist of, they are also great for very hot conditions.
The boots are completely waterproof and breathable, and yet very comfortable. Even after a few hours of heavy walking, you won’t feel pressure on your feet, as you would if you wore regular sneakers.
Although they are pretty strong and solid, they still have that gentle design that most of the women will love. They also have a removable insole and an air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock and increases comfort while walking or even running.
You will also notice a protective, rubber toe cap, for the increased protection of your toes while walking in harsh and rough terrains.
What's to like about the Merell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots
The first good thing to mention about these boots is definitely their lovely design. Also, they are very comfortable and high quality, making them an excellent investment for any hiker. Despite the high-quality that they provide, the price is fine, with an average of $180, depending on the color combination and size you choose.
What's not to like about the Merell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots
There is only one bad thing about these boots. The fact is that some hikers reported that they stopped being waterproof after some time. However, some hikers state that they used them for hiking for more than two years. It seems that depending on the terrain, they might slowly lose their waterproof ability.
The North Face Ballard Lace II Boots
These boots look a lot different than standard hiking boots and differ pretty much than the ones that we reviewed. They have a very elegant design, making them great for multiple occasions, besides hiking. The price is very reasonable, and they might be a great choice if you like this style of footwear.
This product doesn’t come with tons of great and useful features, but there are some that should definitely be mentioned. They are entirely made of leather and have a very leather-like design.
Also, as most of the hiking boots, they are imported and created ideally for cold, winter hikes. However, they are not suitable for hot weather, as you can see at just first glance. These are average boots with average quality and average price, with a very nice design.
What's to like about the North Face Ballard Lace II Boots
A good thing about these boots is definitely their design. It looks lovely and elegant, meaning that you can also wear them for other occasions, besides hiking. They also have a rubber sole for increased friction and comfort.
What's not to like about the North Face Ballard Lace II Boots
Some hikers who used to wear these boots state that the actual leather quality is not as good as it looks. When the leather cracks, they won’t be waterproof anymore, which means that you will have to pay even more in order to repair or even replace them.
Ahnu Women’s W Montara III Event Hiking Boots
The last on our list, but still pretty good boots. They are being sold in 4 different color combinations, and all of them have a very nice leather, which are reminiscent of Canadian boots. These boots have a charming design that most of the women will like.
These boots are made of synthetic leather which looks fantastic. High-quality leather is also completely waterproof, while the boots are still breathable, so your feet won’t overheat. Like most of the hiking boots, they have a rubber sole, however, a high-quality rubber sole.
In most boots, the sole will have an effect on the traction, but on these boots, the result will be more than noticeable. It also increases comfort, and the boots are breathable, which makes them great for almost any condition and terrain.
What's to like about the Ahnu Women’s W Montara III Event Hiking Boots
The first good thing to mention about these boots is their lovely design that every woman will like. No matter which color combination you choose, they all look fantastic. The quality of the boots is also pretty good according to their price, and you won’t be disappointed.
What's not to like about the Ahnu Women’s W Montara III Event Hiking Boots
It should be noted that, although the boots are very comfortable, they might also be painful to wear, depending on the shape of your feet. You should carefully measure your feet and check the boot’s dimensions before buying. If you are still not sure, it’s advised to contact the seller directly.
There are a few things that should be considered when buying hiking boots. Although they might look visually appealing, or even solid and strong, there are a few things that you shouldn’t miss.
This is one of the most important things to consider when buying hiking boots. If you plan to hike in the cold, winter weather, a good temperature rating is mandatory.
Although you will continuously be walking, your feet might still feel cold, especially when you stop to catch a breath. If the temperature rating is bad, you might even catch a cold after a single hike. However, it is not of significant importance if you are usually hiking in average weather conditions.
Amount of insulation
Another essential thing is the amount of insulation. Especially when hiking in bad weather, proper insulation is more than necessary. With the good hiking boots, you shouldn’t be able to feel the cold weather from the outside, but your feet should also be able to breathe properly.
However, if you are looking for a perfect insulation ideal for extreme conditions, you will usually have to pay more.
Reinforced toe cap
Most of the good, high-quality boots, will have a strong, reinforced toe cap. If walking on rough terrain, there is nothing worse than hitting a small rock on the road with our toes. Especially if it is cold outside and your feet are a bit cold.
However, you should note that on some boots, a reinforced toe cap will have a negative impact on comfort. Depending on the foot shape, with a strong, reinforced toe cap, you might feel a bit uncomfortable, or even end your hiking in pain.
Many boots have a gusseted tongue, not only the ones made for hiking. It is a great thing to have because it prevents dirt, water, sand, and similar stuff from entering the boots.
Most of the waterproof boots have a gusseted tongue but note that it doesn’t mean that the boots are necessarily waterproof if they have it. However, to ensure the best waterproof ability, you should definitely look for boots with a gusseted tongue.
Most of the beginner hikers are not sure what gaiters are used for, and if they are a part of the necessary equipment or not. Gaiters are garments worn over the boots and are mostly used as part of the personal protective equipment. They are usually made of polyester and are only necessary for specific types of trips. Therefore, they are not as important as the other standard equipment.
How accurate are warmth ratings for boots?
Warmth ratings for boots are usually very accurate. However, the feeling of warmth or coldness can be different due to a subjective feeling. Also, manufacturers can sometimes exaggerate, although pretty rare, and give you false info. The best way to check the warmth rating of a specific model is to go online and look for user reviews.
How much insulation should a winter boot have?
When it comes to winter boots, good insulation is more than essential. It seems that there can never be enough insulation. However, the amount of insulation should be high enough to keep you warm in specific weather conditions.
If the weather is not too cold, too much insulation can make your feet too warm, which might feel uncomfortable. Also, all the winter hiking boots, no matter the insulation, should be breathable and have decent airflow.
What is the most popular form of insulation for hiking boots?
There are various types of insulation in winter hiking boots. At first, there is Thinsulate. It provides plenty of warmth while still being light. One of the most popular companies that create boots with Thinsulate is Sorel. There is also a Primaloft, which consists of a microfiber polyester material, and is incredibly water-resistant.
It provides great warmth for the most extreme conditions, and a minimal amount of this material will keep you warm. That is usually the reason why most of the boots with Primaloft insulation are pretty light. Besides Primaloft, a heatseeker is good insulation developed by The North Face.
It consists of fiber and is very similar to Thinsulate. A gusseted tongue can also be considered as a part of boots insulation. It will not only prevent water and dirt from entering the boots but will also prevent the cold air.
How should winter hiking boots fit?
The fact is that most of the winter hiking boots will have layers of insulation, therefore making you feel uncomfortable sometimes. What most of the hikers do, is that they choose a half-size bigger boots, therefore getting the perfect insulation and pretty decent comfort.
Of course, it all depends on the shape of the boots. And some manufacturers also increase the size of the boot, while keeping the same size mark. Therefore, it is advised to contact the seller directly.
How can you avoid getting blisters in hiking boots?
Most of the people, especially the beginner hikers, are having problems with blisters after a few hours of wearing winter hiking boots. Or any other hiking boots. However, there are a few things to do to prevent blisters and enjoy your hiking to its fullest. At first, you should wear the right socks.
It is mandatory in order to avoid blisters while hiking. Good advice is to wear a pair of moisture-wicking socks in order to reduce friction between feet, socks, and boots. It is good because it will keep your feet dry, but the fact is also that wet fabric causes more friction than dry fabric. You can also buy socks specially made for hiking, for around $15. It is an excellent investment if you are a passionate hiker.
Besides, you also need to lace your shoes properly, since it will significantly reduce friction. However, you shouldn’t tie it as tight as possible, since it will reduce the blood flow and cause numbness in your feet.
You should tighten it just enough so that the boots are moving the same way as your feet do, with no too much free space around. In the end, you need to be sure that you have the best footwear for your type of feet. If the boots are too small, it will be a number one reason for your blisters, even after a short walk outside, not to mention the long hiking.
However, too large boots will move around, also causing blisters after some time of use. The boots need to match your feet shape and size perfectly. The fact is, every foot is unique, and manufacturers can’t make boots that are perfect for everyone. If you are not buying online but in a store, be sure to try out at least a few models and walk a few steps to see how it feels.
Note that if you buy robust boots, it will take some time until you break them in because the leather will need some time to soften up. On the other hand, that is usually not a problem with light boots.
As you have probably noticed by now, buying perfect hiking boots is not an incredibly simple job. There are a few things to consider, but if you stick to our buying guide, you should have no problems in choosing the perfect model for you.
Among all the boots that we reviewed, the first ones, Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX boot is a definite winner. The boots are beautiful and ideal for more occasions than just hiking. They also seem to be the best in terms of quality compared to the other boots that we reviewed.
The only catch is that, depending on the color combination and the size you choose, they can be pretty expensive. However, we strongly advise you to check out these boots if you are a passionate hiker.
On the other hand, if you hike now and then, you should consider Merell Women’s Moab 2 hiking boots. They are affordable and provide a pretty decent quality for their price. Besides, they look pretty good, and they are waterproof and fully breathable, making them ideal for both hot and cold weather conditions. Now, the final choice is up to you!