3 Great Hiking Boots for 2016
We asked our readers what piece of gear they most needed. The most common response was “a new pair of hiking boots.” So, I stopped by REI to get an education on the best of this year’s hiking boots. The sales associate knew her stuff! I was able to narrow it down to three recommendations. 1) My favorite, a boot that doubles well for both hiking and backpacking, 2) An affordable and reliable standard, and 3) a boot for those of us who may not have the best feet and ankles, so we need some extra cushion and support.
La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX
- Why Buy?: This boot fits like a glove. I put it on, laced it up, and I was in love. The Trango is super light-weight for a backpacking boot. It’s light enough to be comparable with a good dayhiking boot. The sizing is surprisingly true to form. I wear a 10.5 to 11 and a 10.5+ fit perfectly, giving just a bit more room in the toebox. The Women’s version comes in a set of green tones (pictured at top of post) and the men’s in the red. Of the three, this was my favorite boot.
- Construction: You may be looking at it and wondering, “What the heck is it made of?” It’s a polyester mesh that’s coated with thermoplastic polyurethane. The boot is super breathable and the GoreTex inner keeps your feet dry. The Trango has got a pretty aggressive tread pattern on it’s Vibram sole.
- Weight: Women’s 2 lbs.; Men’s 2 lbs. 8.4 oz.
- Cost: $165 to $220
- Buying Them:
Keen Targhee II
- Why Buy?: The Keen Targhee has been around for while and improves every year. If you are looking for an affordable boot with great grip, it’s hard to beat. Review after review raves about how comfortable and supportive the the Targhee turns out to be. We love putting our kids in Keens when we go hiking because they perform great on slick rock and uneven terrain. Keen says that these tend to run a 1/2 size small and to order 1/2 size larger than your typical size.
- Construction: Waterproof and breathable with leather upper and a durable outsole. Keen soles–what more needs to be said!
- Weight: Women’s 1 lb. 14 oz.; Men’s 2 lb. 2oz.
- Tip: There is a waterproof version and a non-waterproof boot, the voyageur, that looks really similar. If you want waterproof, go with the Targhee.
- Cost: $135
- Buying Them: Purchase Keen Targhee II Mid Boots
HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit
- Why Buy?: I’ll admit, these are kinda funky looking. But wait, these boots get rave reviews from hikers who have bad knees, weak ankles, arthritis, and the list goes on. Why? The Tor Summit boot has support. It’s got a huge base, which gives you more surface and more cradle for your heel. If you have had a hard time finding a comfortable boot, this may be the one for you.
- Construction: The Hoka Tor Summit has a leather uppper, and an eVent waterproof-breathable bootie. Vibram Soles.
- Weight: Women’s 1 lb. 11 oz; Men’s 2 lbs.
- Cost: $180
- Buying Them: Purchase the HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit Boots
Dayhikes Near Denver is an affiliate of both REI and Backcountry.