Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.
When it comes to hiking boots, we don’t go by looks alone (as much as we
really, really want to). These performance-grade kicks need to hold up to a host of elements — rain, snow, sleet, mud, and more than a little sweat — while supporting our feet and ankles over oftentimes unpredictable terrain. So, when shopping for a pair, there are lots of boxes to check off: are they waterproof? Lightweight? Deeply treaded? Equipped with enough cushioning for a day’s worth of comfy hoofing? And, finally, are they cute?!
Given the sky-high standards required of this workhorse outdoor footwear, there are enough reviews to fill an encyclopedia of online feedback — and we combed them all in order to hunt down the hiking boots with enough bells and whistles to satisfy five-star requirements. In perusing the wares of brands like Merrell, Columbia, Keen, Hoka, and Teva, we looked out for the highest praise
and enough R29-approved style points to help them stand out from the pack.
Ahead, 16 such boots that are supportive AND stylish enough to satisfy the internet’s most exacting shoppers (and hikers).
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.ang
Oboz Sapphire Mid B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Most Waterproof The yuckiest thing about waterproof hiking boots is that they can also keep water in, making your feet awfully clammy as you navigate all of those switchbacks. Luckily, Oboz’s proprietary waterproofing system, B-DRY, lets sweat escape while still keeping moisture out, making these boots waterproof both inside and out.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 114 reviews on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “Not only are these great boots, but Oboz has fabulous customer service. We put a couple of hundred miles on a pair of these; including some boot-challenging time in the Tetons and Zion. They were fantastic – comfortable, supportive, breathable, and solid – they even stayed dry after 1/2 hr climbing an active creek bed when other brands soaked their owners.” — TD Cook, Amazon.com reviewer
Oboz Sapphire Mid B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Boot, $, available at Amazon
Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot
The Most Untouched By Time Talk about a time-tested style — Eddie Bauer made this exact boot in 1964, and its popularity is unchecked in the present day. We can see why — behind the quaint leather exterior hides a workhorse shoe, with a stabilizing heel cup and superior forefoot support, and a Vibram outsole.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 36 reviews on Amazon.com
What They’re Saying: “I wasn’t sure about the white soles at first but I LOVE these. They have a really retro feel to them, are fully lined, have a comfortable sole, and are waterproof. They are roomy enough for thick socks, so are good for hikes in cold or wet weather. They are a bit on the heavy side, but not to the point of being unpleasant.” — Cookie Munster, Amazon.com reviewer
Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot, $, available at Amazon
Keen Terradora Mid Hiking Boot
The Best Bang For Your Buck Reviewers found Keen’s Terradora boot to be a satisfying mid-priced option, boasting the bells, whistles, and overall quality of a much more expensive boot.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 4 stars, 731 reviews on Amazon.com
What They’re Saying: “I have had a hard time finding hiking boots that A) wasn’t hideous and B) were wide across my knuckles and toes. I was so happy to find that these were roomy and comfortable while being pretty cute. They are wide so my toes don’t rub together, don’t rub against the outside of the boot, and the bed of my foot can splay out in comfort. I’m usually a 7 or 7.5, but I loved these in an 8. The bit of extra length saves your toes from bumping the front of the boot while descending and keeps your heel from rubbing tightly against the back. Just used these to hike near Mt. Baker through lots of mud and some snow. The water stayed out and my feet stayed comfy- despite the extreme ascending and descending slopes to and from the summit of the trail. Boots can be outrageously expensive. These felt better than the $300 pairs for me. The suede is soft, so there’s no time needed to ‘break them in’. Two thumbs up! Love them!” — Anonymous, Amazon.com reviewer
KEEN Terradora Mid Hiking Boot, $, available at Amazon
On Cloudrock Waterproof Boot
The Most Miraculous There are more proprietary names on this super-engineered speed-hiking shoe than we can count, from MissionGrip (a super-traction-y rubber used for the outsole) to FlexLock (easy-tying laces) to Zero-Gravity CloudTec (cushy, comfy insoles). The mesh upper is waterproof and simultaneously breathable, and the whole shebang is up to 35% lighter than comparable styles — meaning that it can traverse almost any terrain with comfort and ease. Essentially, Cloudrock is a miracle. If you don’t believe us, read what the reviewers have to say.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars; 33 reviews on OnRunning
What They’re Saying: “On deserves much reverence and notoriety. Only can imagine the engineering and knowledge of human biomechanics that had to go in this…to have such an end result. I honestly feel lucky to have stumbled upon such an amazing hiking boot. Side note I’m from Florida. Afraid of injury I knew I really needed something next level, especially because I was not used to the kind of rough terrain in Tetons. I feel for an ‘amateur hiker’ these boots alone are going to add miles to my trip for me. I can go on and on but I’ll save you on that. Read the literature. Watch the ads. Everything they say about this boot and their products is absolutely true. The technology is really something you have to feel to believe. The most progressive I’ve seen in awhile truly groundbreaking and innovative. I not only have been completely sold and will only use the Cloudrocks for hiking trips I am completely sold and cannot wait to order my first pair of On Running shoes. I honestly won’t use any other brand from here on out that requires shoes for rigorous activity. OR is my official brand for my feet from here on out. I can’t believe I’ve lived life this long without any of their products. Unreal. I’m beyond impressed.” — Rachel, OnRunning.com reviewer
On Running Cloudrock Waterproof Boot, $, available at On Running
Teva Grandview GTX Boot
The Roomiest We came for the becoming cobalt blue hue and stayed for the accolades of Teva’s lightweight and accommodating hiking boot. Many reviewers praised the boot’s comfort, wide toebox, waterproof construction, and buoyant design.
The Hype: 4 out 5 stars; 33 reviews on Zappos
What They’re Saying: “Just wore these boots straight out of the box on a moderate trail hike in a Michigan state park. They were great, lightweight but supportive. Plenty of grip, nice wide toe box, no slippage, flexible and my foot did not get too hot when worn with a thin wool sock. I will see how they hold up in rain and hotter/colder conditions (about 60 degrees today). A little bit of dirt came over the ankle collar but not distractingly bad. I am 7.5 in sandals/dress shoes and 8 in athletic shoes/boots, wide across my foot and I have a bunion on the left big toe. Got these in 8. These shoes did not rub anywhere and I had only the usual bunion soreness from long walks but no aggravation. They make a little noise hopefully that goes away with wear. I got the blue color and they are really cute, much more attractive than most hiking/walking shoes. Looks like Nike ACG. My husband got the men’s version in black and loves them.” — Anonymous, Zappos.com reviewer
Teva Grandview GTX Boot, $, available at Zappos
L.L. Bean Waterproof Katahdin Hiking Boots
Best Vintage Style (With Modern Engineering) Looking for a throwback-styled boot with all of the advantages of modern footwear technology? Look no further than L.L. Bean’s nostalgic Katahdin boot. It boasts a waterproof construction and cushy EVA midsole for a supportive fit, while a suede upper gives it that vintage-inspired je ne sais quois.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 47 reviews on L.L. Bean
What They’re Saying: “Overall, I found them super comfortable with good traction, plus they’re real cute. (I’ll mention this a few times more.) These boots are truly waterproof, too. I misjudged the depth of one portion of lake I walked through and ended up in ankle-deep water and my feet got very minimally wet, likely from water coming over the top of the ankle, but still dried fast. I wore these to dinner on a patio one evening in about 35 degrees F (plus snow!) and they kept my feet warm and dry with medium weight socks, plus looked cute! On the flip side, on our longer hikes, the temperatures were about 65 degrees F and sunny and my feet weren’t overly warm either but was wearing light-weight socks. Love the color contrast of the cognac with the bright blue and yellow accents. They work well with hiking apparel or just a casual fall or winter outfit. I found myself wearing them all the time on the trip regardless of the hikes we were doing because they look great and are comfortable.” — Linebackerbarbie, LLBean.com reviewer
L.L. Bean Waterproof Katahdin Hiking Boots, $, available at L.L. Bean
La Sportiva Makalu Boot
The Longest-Lasting Our jaws dropped reading about the lifespans of these super-premium Italian hiking boots — multiple reviewers testified to their pairs remaining intact after 10, 12, and 15 years of regular wear and tear. The results seem unanimous — while these shoes are pricey, they are worth every penny. (The shoes are unisex, but listed in men’s sizes on Zappos, so ladies: calculate 1.5 sizes less than what you’d normally wear to find the correct fit.)
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars; 24 reviews on Zappos
What They’re Saying: “I bought my first pair of La Sportiva Makalus in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1994. I wore them every day for 12 years until last year when the sole came apart from the boot. I recently bought a new pair and have been breaking them in daily. These are by far the best all-around boots ever. They’re built to last for years. They do take some time to break in, but are worth the time and the money.” — Brian L, Zappos.com reviewer
La Sportiva Makalu Boot, $, available at Zappos
Merrell MQM Mid Ace Waterproof
The Most Colorful Merrell makes a host of fanatically rated-hiking boots, but their Ace waterproof style offered the best combination of customer satisfaction and style, in our humble opinions. With a waterproof composition, sleek profile, and eye-catching color scheme, they’re the perfect pair to brighten up your fall.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 5 reviews on Merrell
What They’re Saying: “I was in need of new hiking boots, and while comfort is definitely important to me, looks are as well. These caught my eye because they were not brown and did not look clunky. I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried them on how lightweight they were! I did not feel like I had concrete blocks on my feet, and they offered a ton of support. The ankle is not too high and laces hit in the perfect spots. While the shoes are waterproof (tested in wet grass, puddles, under hose) I did find that they took a long time to dry. The water didn’t roll off as I expected. I ended up purchasing the Rain and Stain spray to see if that would help with repelling the water better. Overall, happy though!” — Michelle, Merrell.com reviewer
Merrell MQM Ace Mid Waterproof, $, available at Merrell
Hoka One One Sky Toa Shoe
The Most Boosted Not only will the turquoise tones of Hoka’s top-reviewed hiking boots give you an endorphin boost — they’ll also put some pep in your step thanks to a comfort-driven construction that supports your skeleton, even if it’s been subject to some wear and tear over the years (like the reviewer below).
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars; 20 reviews on Moosejaw
What They’re Saying: “I can’t even express how much I love these boots. They’re the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn on my feet. I have had back surgery as well as knee surgery and often hike 10+ miles over very rocky mountains. Needless to say, my joints always hurt. I went hiking in these last weekend and they were instantly comfortable and required no breaking in – no hot spots. Also NO JOINT PAIN! I felt like I was a kid again, jumping around and feeling nothing but fluffy cushioning. The only pain was muscle pain! These boots will allow me to add years to my hiking!” — Kalamity, Moosejaw.com reviewer
Hoka One One Sky Toa Shoe, $, available at Moosejaw
Kamik RogueHiker Waterproof Boot
The Warmest Reviewers find these waterproof leather boots to be super-toasty, thanks to a wool ankle cuff, insulated lining, and sealed seams. Satisfied customers hailing from North America’s coldest climes — Canada, Minnesota, Chicago, Boston — found the boots to chic enough for the office but sturdy enough for light hikes in extreme temperatures.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 47 reviews on DSW.com
What They’re Saying: “I purchased these boots for a trip to Iceland to replace my current hiking shoes. I wanted something that would cover my ankles and also was waterproof. These were great shoes — comfy, stylish, and held up well for all the walking I did.” — Moonlily, DSW.com reviewer
Kamik RogueHiker Waterproof Hiking Boot, $, available at DSW
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
The Undisputed Champion Amazon is overflowing with lengthy, glowing reviews for this classic Columbia hiker, replete with more than a few photos of the chic boot tromping through a host of far-flung mountainous locales. One of them was posted by an actual Sherpa. (Seriously — they provided a link to their website.) If that doesn’t count as the most ringing endorsement of all time, we don’t know what does.
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars; 4,304 reviews on Amazon.com
What They’re Saying: “I hike quite a bit because I am a SHERPA and I lead treks to Everest Base Camp, Nepal. I go through a lot of hiking shoes. This by far is the best hiking shoes I have owned. Very light and comfortable, also stylish. This summer I wore this shoe straight for 11 days (a 93-mile trek to Everest Base camp and back). I highly recommend this shoe!” — Anonymous Amazon.com reviewer
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot, $, available at Amazon
Forsake Patch Waterproof Light Hiking Boots
Best City-to-Country Boot If your hike takes you on terrain that ranges from city to countryside, Forsake’s light hiking boots make for a stylish and practical choice.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 198 reviews on MEC.com
What They’re Saying: “Last year before COVID, I planned a trip to Iceland, Ireland, the UK, and France; and I needed a shoe that was going to be waterproof, comfortable and was also appealing. I had originally bought Keens and a couple of others, and I hated them. Someone on Instagram had these and they caught my eye. I found the website and took the plunge to order them, not having actually tried them in person. I have high-arched, wide, and flexible feet that tend to have a hard time finding appropriate shoes that support well enough. The very first try on and they felt perfect immediately. I was so surprised! I ended up wearing them on my month-long trek around Europe, hiking and walking in the cities and my feet were SO HAPPY. I had tracked that I walked 10 – 15 miles and 50 flights of stairs a day on my trip. I had other shoes that I took which were intended to be ‘comfort’ shoes and my Forsake boots were honestly better than the ones I intended to wear more. I am very very grateful to have found these! They were one of the best purchases I’ve made. I just say if you have any doubts, try them and see if they work! They were well worth the money and saved me so many blisters right out of the box and had fantastic support. I definitely plan on purchasing more.” — SeaPetra, MEC.com reviewer
Forsake Patch Waterproof Light Hiking Boots, $, available at MEC
Sorel Emelie 1964 Boot
The Best For Extreme Destinations Has your footwear braved the Alaskan wilderness? One reviewer trusted Sorel’s Emelie boot on a camping trip in the Last Frontier, and the sturdy leather shoes didn’t disappoint.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 10 reviews on Moosejaw.com
What They’re Saying: “I bought these to camp with my husband in the woods of Alaska and they were perfect! Super comfortable and kept my feet dry in the rain! Easy to lace up and fit well with my warm thick socks! Would definitely buy another pair!” — AndyShadow, Moosejaw.com reviewer
SOREL Emelie 1964 Boot, $, available at Moosejaw
Danner Jag Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Best Compromise Even if you’re not climbing Mt. Everest, it’s still nice to have a sturdy, waterproof option for spending your days outdoors. Enter Danner’s Jag boot: a low-impact, rugged shoe that offers a little bit of everything: protection from the elements, comfort after miles of walking, and enough style points for everyday wear.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars, 92 ratings on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I am an avid hiker on my downtime and also am a natural resource specialist for work, so I have been in desperate need of a good hiking boot without breaking the bank (and I was hoping for a more versatile look with the Danner Jag).
I was nervous to go with this boot as there were not many reviews from those who purchased them for extensive hiking, so I will break down what found:
The break-in of these boots was incredible. No matter what the quality I almost always get blisters when breaking in new boots, but not so with the Danner Jag. I wore them around town for a couple of days, then wore them for work (I hike/bushwack for work around 7 miles a day, so no small thing) for a week and they worked great. No blisters or sore feet at the end of the day.
I haven’t fully tested the capability of the waterproofness of these boots, but they stood up to muck pretty well. Based on the fabric and when crossing a couple of streams they don’t appear to have the same waterproofness of other boots I’ve had in the past. However, they breathe well so there’s a tradeoff there.
The grip of the tread works wonderfully on dry, rocky trails, fall leaves, and mucky surfaces. However be cautious on slick, wet surfaces such as stream rocks — the tread does not seem to grip well on wet uneven surfaces.
Overall I am satisfied with my purchase considering what I was looking for. May not be the 100% best hardcore hiking boot but the ease of the break-in, the comfort, and the stylish appearance was worth some of the other drawbacks. Hoping they stand up to the test of time!”
— Madison Ball, Amazon.com reviewer
Danner Jag Waterproof Hiking Boot, $, available at Amazon
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Backpacking Boot
The Most Structured Boot We’d normally never recommend a shoe that reviewers find to be rigid, but when traversing mountainous terrain, a slightly stiff exterior can be a welcome layer of protection against unpredictable, rugged surfaces. More than one Backcountry reviewer went into rapturous detail about the boots’ tough, summit-ready properties.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 5 reviews on Backcountry.com
What They’re Saying: “I needed a solid mid hiker for high-mountain backpacking and off-trail hiking in general. I prefer leather uppers for longevity and maintenance. The Zodiac fits absolutely perfectly and is so comfortable right out of the box. The stiffness is also perfect for what I need it, rough terrain, but I don’t feel they are overly stiff like mountaineering boots. I have a slightly wider foot (not enough for a wide, though) and the slightly wider toe-box is great. I have worn it on some varied, muddy, rough terrain and absolutely love my purchase! This is BY FAR the best and most comfortable hiking boot I have ever owned, and I’ve owned a few. The traction and stability are amazing! I truly love this boot!” — Liv, Backcountry.com reviewer
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Backpacking Boot, $, available at Backcountry
Kuru Quest Boots
Best For Foot Issues This Utah-based footwear imprint is beloved for a proprietary sole technology that cups the footbed and creates superior support. The label’s Quest boot offers a high cuff for ankle protection and a roomy toe box to accommodate foot issues like hammertoes and bunions. Reviewers that spend long days on their feet found them to be nothing short of miraculous.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars; 364 reviews on KuruFootwear.com
What They’re Saying: “I am on my feet all day, walking all day on concrete flooring. I’ve tried a few different shoes/boots to help keep my feet, ankles, knees, and hips from feeling broken at the end of my day without any success. Decided to give these a try. I’ll be honest. I didn’t really have much faith in these doing any better than the rest. These boots are amazing!!!! The change in how everything from my feet up are feeling is incredible and it seems as if, the longer I wear them, the better things get! I have found my shoe needs company and the pricing is reasonable. Perfect! Thank you Kuru!!” — Mieke49, KuruFootwear.com reviewer
Kuru Quest Hiking Boot, $, available at Kuru
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