From North to South America, we hiked through deserts, down into canyons, through thick forests, and up volcanoes, both on well-traveled paths and way, way off trail. We tested them side-by-side in the mud, scree, wet and dry slabs, streams, boulders, and snow. We ranked each boot’s performance in comfort, traction, stability, weight, water resistance, and durability. Now, let’s have a look at below the best hiking boots of 2017.
Salomon Quest 4D II GTX
The midweight Salomon Quest 4D II GTX is the winner of our Editors’ Choice Award, conquering pretty much any trail or terrain we traveled. Great comfort, excellent traction on wet or dry terrain, and superior water resistance (while still breathable!) set it apart. When we had to pick one model for variable terrain and weather, we chose this one without a second thought. Its excellent support system kept our feet and ankles stable as we covered ground. We loved the combination of aggressive performance at a reasonable weight. The innovative technology and construction found in the Quest 4D II make this model comfortable for hours and hours, whether on a short day hike or pounding miles on an extended backpacking trip. What’s more, it’s even suitable for snowshoeing.
Keen Targhee II Mid
The Keen Targhee II Mid wins our Best Buy award. A top scorer in comfort and weight, and above-average in traction, it’s hands-down a great deal. Its comfort lends itself to being worn all day without hesitation, and the lacing system was our favorite in the field of lightweight hikers. Many of our thruhiker friends are Targhee II devotees.
HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit Mid WP
Despite being a recent arrival to the hiking boot party, HOKA ONE ONE has arrived as a top performer in this category. Due to its unsurpassed comfort and lightweightedness, this model is geared for many miles without you ever needing to stop and rest your feet. Employing their signature oversized midsole, this boot absorbs shock extremely well, and its rockered outsole design propels you forward each step of the way. While it lacked the durability and stability of heavier hiking boots, we felt that it fit the needs of a wide range of hikers who don’t need the extra weight, but do want happier feet.
Asolo Jumla GV
The Asolo Jumla GV wins our Top Pick for Scrambling. We were drawn to this model that lives for smearing, edging, and scrambling through any type of rock. If you enjoy backcountry bouldering on rocks you pass along the trail, this boot is happy to oblige. Besides its incredible traction on wet or dry rock, the Jumla GV is also lightweight and durable. Essentially a high cut, waterproof approach shoe, we love it. While not the best all-around hiker, this product excels in its preferred environment.