Looking for hiking boot recommendations

Are beefy hiking boots worth the extra weight or are trail running shoes good enough? Which do you prefer?

  • Keene "Voyager" is a great boot particularly if you have a wider foot and/or need to insert a custom full-length orthotic. I wear both the mid-level boot as well as the "low-cut" hiking shoe of the same name.
  • Depends on what you will be hiking. if gentle paths with a light pack, lightweight hiking boots or study trail running shoes are fine. For mountains, rocky or wet trails- boots. I prefer ankle high boots.
  • I prefer hiking boots that cover my ankle for support. I own a pair of Vasque and a pair of Anhu. Both are lightweight and provide adequate support. Think about investing in good hiking socks. I prefer Smartwool or Field and Stream, but there are many other choices.
  • In reply to bud.beck021802:

    I second the Keen "Voyager". I'm on my third pair of mid-height, and also get the low ones for daily walks since our crumbling streets are as rough as trails. I have a wide forefoot, but a women's narrower heel, and use green Superfeet orthotics. Am a day-hiker.
  • Another vote for the Merrell Gore-Tex boots. Comfortable, dry and great grip for uncertain surfaces -- and they don't cost an arm and a leg, especially if you have an outlet nearby or know your size and find a sale online.
  • My Salomons work great for me because they have a big toe box, BUT your your boots must work for YOU! Try them on at REI or wherever you are shopping and keep them on for an hour or so while shopping. If your hike will have hills, make sure the place you are buying the boots has some device where you can put your foot on an incline and decline (most important). Whatever socks you use (I love Thorlo), have them on when you try on your boots. Wear them daily for 2 - 6 weeks before your trip. Starting a trip with blisters on day one will ruin the entire trip. Then, HAVE FUN!!!

  • I have used both. I prefer ankle support & good tread for most RS hikes--particularly if there are rocks and uneven terrain. Hiking boots nowadays are lighter and waterproof. The folks at REI helped me to find a good fit and I learned a lot in the process. Having the right socks is also important. I've never had an issue with blisters or break in.