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.
  • 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.
  • My go-to boot for warm weather is Merrell. Comfortable right out of the box and comes in Gore-Tex for waterproofing.
    For cold weather hiking, LL Bean Snow Sneakers are very warm and quite comfortable, also waterproof. They also come with the new Arctic Grip soles which reduces chances of slipping in icy conditions.
  • Try on boots to find the ones that best fit your feet. You don't want blisters or rubbing. Also, your feet swell so you want a little extra room to accommodate the swelling and thicker socks. Personally I like a little wiggle room for my toes.
  • I agree. Merrell hiking boots and their socks offer support and comfort. My wife and I used them in Ireland and Alaska. They will also be with us when we do the Canadian Rockies in September.
  • I previously posted re my fav boots. Regardless of how much I love my boots, how great my socks are, how much I paid or how comfortable they are I alway pack silicone or moleskin pads for blisters, bunions etc. They have been a lifesaver on many a trip and take up almost no space. Nothing worse than painful feet when traveling!
  • I like my Merrills. My feet never get tired in them. Unless you know, that you will be walking through lots of water, I'd recommend skipping the water-proof boots. Your feet don't breath in these.
  • I have gone on three RS hiking trips, and have never needed boots. I prefer Saucony trail shoes, with adequate socks and trekking poles. Every boot I have tried (in my dotage) has abraded the bunion, while the Sauconys don't.
  • For sturdy and beefy, I love these hiking boots from LLBean. If you purchase them definitely take some walks or a hike to make sure they work for you. If you purchase, ask about the return policy. If you don't like them, you can take them back. I would love to hear from some others who have these boots. They fit me perfectly from the get-go! No need to break in. Consider whether you will want hiking poles and a small / medium backpack with a water bladder and tube to drink from without stopping your hike. I don't do trail running. I do day hikes. These would be sturdy enough for backpacking trips as well.


    Do others like these boots? Also, what is your favorite brand or store?