The 10 Best Hiking Boots of 2023 That Are Both Functional and Fashionable

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Best Hiking Boots

Byrdie / Kristin Kempa

Whether you’re gearing up for an intense backpacking trip or prefer casual strolls in the woods, a pair of hiking boots is a must. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start shopping though. That’s where we come in. 

We’ve narrowed down the 10 best hiking boots that can accompany you on excursions of all kinds, no matter the terrain or weather. They’re all sturdy, grippy, waterproof (or at least water-resistant), and comfortable—the perfect companion for however many miles you’re putting in. They vary in style, colorways, and price point, but each would keep you feeling and looking good hike after hike.

Best Overall

Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Merrell Women's Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot


There’s a reason Merrell nicknamed their Moab design the “mother of all boots.” It’s the same reason they’ve earned our title of Best Overall hiking boots. The Moabs check all the boxes: they’re comfortable, versatile, grippy, waterproof, and stylish, and they don’t require a break-in period. You could wear these for a casual stroll while leaf peeping in the fall, on day-long hikes on treacherous trails, or even just to take the dog out. 

The Moab boots are available in various color combinations (we particularly love the aluminum colorway with dusty pink accents) at an affordable price point too—at least in terms of hiking boots standards. That way you can justify occasionally refreshing your boots collection with a new pair of Moabs. Not like you’ll have to, since they’re built to last.

Price at time of publish: $145

Size Range: 5–11 | Weight: 1 lb.13 oz. | Waterproof: Yes

Best Budget

HI-TEC Apex Lite Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

HI-TEC Apex Lite Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots


Chances are you’ve never said “hiking boots” and “budget-friendly” in the same breath—unless you’re talking about these waterproof HI-TEC boots. For a reasonable $60 you can add these to your Amazon cart today and be hitting the trails by next week. With a slightly lower ankle, they’re more hiking shoe-like than a full boot, but that makes them especially useful for trail running or camping. They’re flexible, breathable, and not too bulky either. That checks all of our boxes.  

Price at time of publish: $60

Size Range: 6.5–11 | Weight: Not listed | Waterproof: Yes

Best Value

Danner Trail 2650 GTX Hiking Shoes

Danner Trail 2650 GTX Hiking Shoes


You could hit the trails and the city streets in these hiking shoes from Danner. Compared to an intense hiking boot, their features are toned down, but they’re just as high-performance and supportive. (Just without the ankle protection, so wear a thick sock and beware of sticks and anything else that could scratch you.) Take it from Fullerton: “[These shoes] provide fantastic durability and support while still being light enough to excel on longer hikes,” she says. “This is a true trail-ready shoe with an internal shank to stiffen the sole, a knobby tread pattern for loose and uneven terrain, a reinforced heel and toe box, and a breathable liner to keep cool on hot afternoons.” 

Price at time of publish: $190

Size Range: 5–11 | Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz. | Waterproof: Yes

Best Lightweight

Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots


If just the thought of heavy hiking boots makes your ankles ache, snag a pair of these ultra-lightweight boots from Salomon. (Each boot weighs about 12.5 ounces.) The barely-there feel allows for agile hiking on all kinds of terrain, ranging from simple walks in the woods to more intense mountain hikes. That’s thanks in part to their multidirectional lugs that are designed for serious adhesion so you can feel stable on muddy, loose, or uneven ground. Best yet, they’re comfortable right out of the box—no break-in period or blister suffering here. 

Price at time of publish: $190

Size Range: 6–10 | Weight: 1 lb. 9.4 oz. | Waterproof: Yes

Best Wide-Fit

KEEN Voyageur Hiking Boots

KEEN Voyageur Hiking Boots

Duluth Trading

Reviewers agree: KEEN Voyageur Boots are ideal if you need a little extra room, whether you have wider feet or if your feet tend to swell up on long hike days. Emily Fullerton, a Senior Designer and Product Developer at Duluth Trading Co., is a fan. KEEN Voyager is lighter and more nimble, but still provides a rugged knobby tread and internal shank for improved traction and support on rocky terrain,” she explains. “The shoe also balances breathability with a water-resistant leather upper so you’re ready for hot temperatures or rainy mornings.” 

Price at time of publish: $155

Size Range: 6.5–11 | Weight: 1 lb. 11.5 oz. | Waterproof: Water-resistant but not entirely waterproof

Best Cushioned

Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot

Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot

Eddie Bauer

The timeless K-6 Boot first appeared in the Eddie Bauer catalog in 1964, yet 59 years later still looks fresh and contemporary. Its structure is just as long-lasting, thanks to its classic construction and waterproof leather. Perhaps our favorite feature, though, is the ultra-cushy EVA midsole. When paired with the ergonomic footbed with a stabilizing heel cup and superior support, you have a pair of hiking boots you can (and will) wear for a lifetime. 

Price at time of publish: $165 (originally $220)

Size Range: 6–11 | Weight: 2 lb. 4.3 oz | Waterproof: Yes

Best Waterproof

L.L. Bean Alpine Hiking Boots in Nubuck

L.L. Bean Alpine Hiking Boots in Nubuck

L.L. Bean 

As you’re shopping for hiking boots, waterproof should be at the top of your requirements. (No one likes cold, wet feet, especially while miles away from fresh socks.) Many pairs are waterproof or water-resistant, but these hiking boots from L.L. Bean are our favorites because they not only fend off outside moisture, but they allow your feet’s natural moisture to escape too. Add to that their ability to last years, cushion your soles, and grip onto any surface, and you have the makings of a great hiking boot. Plus, they’re pretty sleek for a hiking boot, apropos of the polished silhouette. 

Price at time of publish: $129 (originally $149)

Size Range: 6–11 | Weight: 1 lb. 15 oz. | Waterproof: Yes

Most Stylish

Diemme Civetta

Diemme Civetta Multicolor


The price tag of these Diemme hiking boots means serious business, but the style screams serious fun. You’ll be sure to turn heads wherever you wear these vibrant boots, from strolling the city streets to hiking in high altitudes (they're named after a mountain in Veneto, Italy, where Diemme shoes are produced, after all). Outfitted with a Vibram trek sole, they promise to provide a firm grip, whether you’re battling an icy sidewalk or rocky terrain—that is, if you can get anywhere without being stopped every other step with “I love your boots!” compliments. The street-to-trail versatility is truly unmatched. 

Price at time of publish: €245 from €489

Size Range: EU35–EU42 | Weight: Not listed | Waterproof: Yes

Best for Narrow Feet

Hoka Women's Anacapa Mid GTX

Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX Hiking Boot


“The Anacapa Mid GTX is for those wanting a lighter hiker for those shorter day hikes,” says Hy Rosario, Product Director of HOKA. They’re featherweight, waterproof, grippy, and versatile, making the sneaker-reminiscent style ideal to throw on whenever an excursion arises. Many reviewers note the slim fit, making them especially great if you have narrow feet, but not so much if your feet veer on the wide side. Adding these to your online cart? Good luck choosing a color. They’re available in five stylish hues, from elderberry pink to sandy brown. (We vote for the Hot Sauce red color.)

Price at time of publish: $185

Size Range: 6–11 | Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz. | Waterproof: Yes

Best All-Weather

Sorel Lennox Waterproof Hiking Boot

Sorel Lennox Waterproof Hiking Boot


Leave it to Sorel to design a hiking boot that perfectly blends fashion and function. The waterproof leather and suede upper will keep your feet dry from whatever Mother Nature brings your way. Whether you’re heading off on a hike or simply trying to stay upright on icy sidewalks in the city, the sturdy heeled rubber sole grips in wet or icy conditions, while the cushioned footbed makes for soft steps. Plus, the goes-with-anything style serves as a classic winter boot. No matter the weather and no matter the environment, these hiking boots will keep you looking oh-so-cool and feeling extra comfy while wearing them. 

Price at time of publish: $120 (originally $200)

Size Range: 5–12 | Weight: 1 lb 2 oz | Waterproof: Yes

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots, which are waterproof, versatile, and have ample traction– the perfect recipe for any hiking shoe. Plus, they come in four different colorways and boast an extensive size range. This durable boot is sure to have your feet covered for any type of adventure, thanks to the high ankle support, protective toe caps, and cushioned soles. For something you could hit the trails and the city streets with, there’s Danner Trail’s 2650 GTX Hiking Shoes, which double as sturdy sneakers.

What to Look for in Hiking Boots

Flexibility and Support

“Flexibility underfoot is important so that you can be nimble and have control in uneven terrain,” says Rosario. Support throughout, from the ankle to the midsole to your toes, is equally as important. (Because who has time for a sprained ankle?) A boot that’s both—keeping in mind that they may require a brief break-in period—is ideal for hikes of all lengths and difficulty. 


No matter how close of an eye you keep on the radar, weather can be unpredictable. To ensure your feet stay warm and dry on your hikes, waterproof hiking footwear is ideal. There is a downside to waterproof shoes though: in hot weather, your feet can become warm and sweaty. The key is to shop for hiking boots that are simultaneously waterproof and breathable—like Gore-Tex waterproofing technology—which keeps your feet dry and ventilated.  


Whether you’re adventuring on uneven terrain or a smooth trail, traction is a must-have feature for any pair of hiking boots. The trick is to match your traction to the terrain you hike. In general, deeper lugs dig into rocky, muddy trails, while smoother rubber soles are better for slick rock. 

Fit and Comfort

Since you’ll spend many hours at a time in your hiking boots, a proper fit—no slipping heels, no cramped toes—is essential. “Take note of the fit across the top of your foot to ensure there isn’t any pinching from the laces, and that the shoe is wide enough around the ball of your foot,” says Fullerton. To avoid blisters, ensure the heel cup fits the shape of your foot and that your heel stays in place while walking at your normal trail pace. 


While hiking boots are traditionally heavy duty, it’s important to note the weight of a hiking boot, so you’re not exerting extra energy during your hike because of a dense shoe. Most of the boots listed are no heavier than two pounds (that number is for the pair), making them simple to walk in so you can focus on your activity rather than a heavy shoe. 

  • What's the difference between a hiking boot and a hiking shoe?

    When comparing a hiking boot and a hiking shoe, the major difference is the cut around the ankle. Hiking shoes are low cut, like a pair of sneakers, while a boot laces up past your ankle. “A hiking shoe is lower on the ankle, less restricting, and typically lighter,” Fullerton says. Still, both hiking boots and shoes provide plenty of traction and support, so which you choose is purely a personal preference. 

  • What are the most comfortable women's hiking boots?

    “Nobody wants to get achy feet three miles into their hike,” says Rosario. To avoid sore feet, opt for a pair of hiking boots with cushioning technologies, like shock-absorbing footbeds, which provide a soft landing for each step. No matter which pairs you add to your cart though, ease into wearing them; many hiking boots require a break-in period, so wear them for shorter amounts of time before packing them for a week-long hiking trip. 

    Keep in mind that everyone’s foot shape is different—narrow, wide, you name it—so the most comfortable hiking boots are the designs that cater to your fit needs. Then you can be sure your feet will feel good during and after a hike.

  • Are shoes or boots better for hiking?

    Whether you choose to wear hiking boots or shoes is entirely up to you—one isn’t better than the other. Boots offer more ankle protection, shielding you from branches and rocks, and are helpful to those requiring additional ankle support on more rugged terrains. Both options can boast performance features though, so choose whichever you’re more comfortable wearing.

    "We see many backpackers who prefer low-cut shoes for their long journeys,” says Rosario. “This really comes down to personal preference and less about stability.”

  • Should I size up when buying hiking boots?

    “Generally, sizing up is a good idea, based on the thickness of your sock and the duration of your hike,” Rosario says. Extra room in the toe box prevents cramped toes, and if you plan to hike for miles (and miles) you should account for your feet slightly swelling too. But don’t go too big; if your heel slips in your boot, that’s a recipe for blisters. 

  • What material is best for hiking boots?

    “Hiking boots take a lot of abuse from protruding rocks and shrubs, so durable materials and designs are key,” says Rosario. Leather, abrasion-resistant textiles, and rubber toe bumpers are all indicators of extreme durability. 

    Whichever material you choose, ensure it fits your hiking style. Leather is notoriously long-lasting and water-resistant, but can be tough to break in. Synthetics, meanwhile, are lightweight and usually less expensive, but will likely need to be replaced sooner. Can’t decide? Opt for a hiking boot with elements of each material.

Why Trust Byrdie

Full-time freelance writer Megan McCarty has been writing about the best of the best of fashion and design for over 15 years, and her work can be seen in InStyle, Domino, Architectural Digest, Bustle, and more. When she’s not writing, you can likely find her walking or hiking—perhaps in a pair of these boots. For this piece, she also interviewed two shoe experts.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any hiking boots from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at, and we will evaluate the product ASAP. 

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