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Hiking boots are an essential piece of gear that can truly make or break your hiking experience. As nature enthusiasts and outdoor aficionados know, unpredictable weather and challenging terrains are part and parcel of the hiking experience. In this guide, we embark on a journey to discover the top waterproof hiking boots that will withstand the elements. Also, they provide comfort, support, and durability for the intrepid hiker. Whether you’re navigating muddy trails, crossing streams, or braving rain-soaked paths, our reviews will help you find the perfect pair of boots to keep you dry and comfortable on your next trip. Lace up and join us as we explore the top contenders in the realm of waterproof hiking footwear.

1. Salomon X Ultra 4

Salomon X Ultra 4
Waterproofness: Gore-Tex
Weight (pair): 1 lb. 14.4 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: PU leather/textile

The Salomon X Ultra 4 is a formidable choice for those seeking top-notch performance in various terrains and weather conditions. Designed for both uphill climbs and descents, these boots provide the stability and traction necessary for a confident hiking experience. The integration of GORE-TEX technology ensures reliable waterproofing and breathability, shielding your feet from the elements without compromising comfort. Salomon’s trail-running expertise is evident in the boots’ lightweight and agile design, allowing users to navigate uneven terrain with ease. The SensiFit™ technology offers a secure and personalized fit, cradling the feet from the midsoles to the lacing systems. The inclusion of Active Support “mobile wings” ensures that your feet are held in place and move with adaptability. It conforms to their unique shape and volume.

The Advanced Chassis™ further enhances stability, optimizing articulations on the outer sides of the feet while maintaining flexibility in the front. The All-Terrain Contagrip® outsoles excel in providing reliable grip on wet or slippery surfaces, instilling confidence during descents. With a durable construction capable of handling a variety of surfaces, these boots strike a balance between geometry and rubber compound to deliver unwavering performance on wet, dry, hard, or loose terrains. The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots boast a stack height of 31.5 mm at the heel and 20.5 mm at the forefoot, with an 11 mm heel-to-toe drop, making them a versatile and reliable choice for avid hikers.

What I like: Reliable waterproofing and breathability for all-weather performance.

What I don’t: Thin underfoot and average stability.

See the Salomon X Ultra 4 See the Women’s X Ultra 4

2. Timberland White Ledge

Timberland White Ledge
Waterproofness: TimberDry Eco
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 4 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Full-grain leather

The Timberland White Ledge Mid hiking boots effortlessly blend style with functionality, making them a reliable companion for outdoor enthusiasts. These boots not only boast a classic outdoor aesthetic but also deliver superior protection against the elements. The premium waterproof leather uppers, featuring full seam sealing and fully gusseted tongues, ensure that your feet stay dry and comfortable even during the most challenging hikes. The rustproof, speed lace hardware with hooks at the top not only enhances the boots’ secure lacing but also adds a touch of rugged charm to their design.

Beyond their robust construction, the Timberland White Ledge boots prioritize comfort through thoughtful design elements. The compression-molded EVA footbeds and midsoles provide ample cushioning, ensuring a supportive and fatigue-resistant experience on the trail. The solid rubber outsoles, equipped with multidirectional lugs, offer exceptional traction on varied terrain. This makes these boots a versatile choice for hiking at different elevations. Whether navigating through rain-soaked paths or crossing streams, these boots prove to be a reliable ally, combining style and performance seamlessly for an enjoyable outdoor experience.

What I like: A budget-friendly option that provides quality and performance without breaking the bank.

What I don’t: Not recommended for serious hiking.

See the Timberland White Ledge See the Women’s White Ledge

3. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
Waterproofness: Omni-Tech
Weight (pair): 2 lbs.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Suede/mesh

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a great option for those seeking a blend of durability, comfort, and style. Crafted with advanced technology, these boots feature a signature lightweight midsole that ensures long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and impressive energy return. This makes them ideal for extended hikes. The high-traction grip outsole, equipped with Columbia’s Omni-Grip technology, delivers reliable traction on various terrains, from rocky trails to slippery surfaces like ice and snow.

Constructed with quality materials, the waterproof suede and leather exterior not only protects from the elements but also adds a stylish touch to the rugged silhouette. The adjustable lace-up closure ensures a secure fit, while metal hardware and seam-sealed construction enhance the boot’s durability, making it resilient against rain, muck, and puddles. Whether navigating through challenging landscapes or braving different weather conditions, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof boot is a versatile choice that combines functionality with a fashion-forward design. For outdoor enthusiasts who demand high performance and enduring style, these boots stand out as a reliable and durable choice, ready for any adventure.

What I like: Suitable for a variety of outdoor activities.

What I don’t: Suede material requires special care to maintain its appearance and waterproof properties.

See the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II See the Women’s Newton Ridge Plus

4. HOKA Kaha 2

HOKA Kaha 2
Waterproofness: Gore-Tex
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 5.6 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Nubuck leather

The HOKA Kaha 2 GTX hiking boots redefine the hiking experience with an exceptional fusion of lightweight design and unparalleled cushioning. Crafted with waterproof nubuck leather uppers sourced from a Leather Working Group gold-rated tannery, these boots boast not only durability but also an environmentally conscious approach. The trailblazing silhouette incorporates GORE-TEX footwear fabric with recycled textiles, delivering top-tier waterproof and breathable protection. The inclusion of HUBBLE® heels with SwallowTail™ geometry, along with Vibram® Megagrip rubber outsoles featuring a Traction Lug design, ensures increased ground contact and steadfast grip on various terrains.

The thoughtfully designed features extend beyond the exterior, as the boots prioritize sustainability with mesh and polyester laces made from recycled content. The PFC-free water repellency treatment, quick-lace metal top hooks, and abrasion-resistant toe caps and heels enhance their performance in wet conditions. The boots also prioritize comfort with anatomic Achilles construction, heel pull tabs, and molded polyurethane sock liners made with 50% soybean oil. The late-stage Meta-Rocker with integrated flex grooves and 5 mm lugs on the Vibram Megagrip rubber outsoles contribute to a smooth and stable hiking experience. Overall, the HOKA Kaha 2 GTX hiking boots stand out as a pinnacle of innovation, seamlessly blending cutting-edge technology with eco-friendly materials for hikers seeking peak performance with peak plushness.

What I like: The boots offer a remarkable weight-to-cushion ratio.

What I don’t: Not as great in technical terrain.

See the HOKA Kaha 2 See the Women’s Kaha 2

5. Merrell Moab 3

Merrell Moab 3
Waterproofness: M Select DRY
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 4 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Pigskin leather/mesh

The Merrell Moab 3 Mid hiking boots are a commendable upgrade to the renowned Moab 2 series, earning their moniker as the “Mother Of All Boots.” Renowned for their comfort and versatility, the latest iteration takes these qualities to new heights. Constructed with partially recycled fabrics, these boots align with eco-conscious values without compromising performance. The pigskin leather and mesh uppers feature protective rubber toe caps and bellows tongues, effectively fending off moisture and debris during hikes. The addition of waterproof membranes ensures a reliable barrier against water while allowing moisture to escape, enhancing overall breathability. The improvements extend beyond the exterior, with the inclusion of more supportive insoles and cushioned midsoles.

The Removable Kinetic Fit™ Advanced contoured insoles, featuring reinforced heel cushioning, provide a medium level of support, making these boots ideal for a variety of terrains. The Super Rebound Compound in the heels absorbs shocks effectively, contributing to reduced torque and ensuring a smooth transition to the midfoot. Merrell’s Air Cushion technology in the heels further enhances shock absorption and stability. Molded nylon arch shanks add torsional rigidity, making these boots reliable companions on rough and challenging terrain. The Vibram TC5+ nonmarking outsoles strike a balance between grip, traction, durability, and flexibility, offering excellent performance across various outdoor activities. Notably, the use of 100% recycled materials in the mesh lining, laces, and webbing reflects Merrell’s commitment to sustainability, making the Moab 3 an excellent choice for environmentally conscious hikers seeking top-tier performance.

What I like: Features an upgraded design for even greater comfort, with softer materials and improved support.

What I don’t: Slightly narrow for wide feet, which could impact overall comfort for some users.

See the Merrell Moab 3 See the Women’s Moab 3

6. Lowa Renegade

Lowa Renegade
Waterproofness: Gore-Tex
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 7 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Nubuck leather

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots seamlessly blend comfort, durability, and functionality, making them a standout choice for outdoor enthusiasts. These boots excel in providing support during long day hikes and weekend backpacking trips without compromising on weight. The waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX linings ensure that your feet remain shielded from the elements, while the accommodating Derby-cut styling caters to a wide range of foot volumes, enhancing the overall fit and comfort. Crafted with sleek yet rugged nubuck leather uppers, the Renegade boots boast durability that stands up to the rigors of the trail.

The padded and gusseted tongues not only relieve lace pressure but also effectively keep out trail debris, contributing to a hassle-free hiking experience. The combination of double-injection DuraPU® midsoles and full-length nylon stabilizers offers excellent shock absorption and underfoot support. The DuraPU MONOWRAP® frame construction enhances stability, and the Vibram® Evo rubber outsoles deliver surefooted traction, providing confidence and reliability on varied terrains. Whether navigating challenging landscapes or simply enjoying a leisurely hike, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots prove to be a reliable companion with a perfect balance of comfort, support, and durability.

What I like: Provides exceptional comfort for long day hikes and weekend backpacking.

What I don’t: Geared more towards day hikes and weekend backpacking rather than extreme mountaineering.

See the Lowa Renegade See the Women’s Renegade

7. La Sportiva TX Hike

La Sportiva TX Hike
Waterproofness: Gore-Tex
Weight (pair): 1 lb. 15 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Nubuck leather

The La Sportiva TX Hike Mid Leather GTX hiking boots deliver a winning combination of durability, comfort, and eco-conscious design. The debossed nubuck leather uppers not only exude a rugged aesthetic but also feature a commendable 100% PFC-free leather treatment, aligning with the brand’s commitment to sustainability. The recycled collar linings, laces, and nylon webbing further underscore La Sportiva’s dedication to minimizing environmental impact. Beyond their eco-friendly credentials, these boots boast a range of performance-enhancing features.

The TPU Transkinetic EVO heel stabilizers and EVA midsoles with recycled content provide stability and cushioning on challenging terrains. The Comfort fit, inspired by the TXS last, ensures a comfortable and supportive fit, with additional metatarsal circumference and forefoot height. The Vibram® Ecostep EVO outsoles, crafted with 30% recycled content, deliver exceptional traction, aided by the Impact Brake System™ and Trail Bite™ heels. Whether tackling steep ascents or navigating varied terrain, the La Sportiva TX Hike boots prove to be a nimble and lightweight companion for extended hikes, making them a solid choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking both performance and sustainability in their footwear.

What I like: Debossed nubuck leather uppers provide stability and durability.

What I don’t: Like many hiking boots, they might require some breaking in for optimal comfort.

See the La Sportiva TX Hike See the Women’s TX Hike

8. Oboz Bridger

Oboz Bridger
Waterproofness: B-DRY
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 15 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Nubuck leather

The Oboz Bridger Hiking Boots seamlessly blend classic aesthetics with cutting-edge technology, making them a standout choice for the modern adventurer. The nod to traditional hikers is evident in the leather uppers, but the boots swiftly dispel any notions of outdated comfort. Notably, Oboz’s commitment to environmental responsibility is commendable—planting a tree for every pair sold in partnership with Trees for the Future adds an eco-friendly touch to the brand. The boots’ functionality matches their style, with waterproof nubuck leather uppers providing an ideal balance between breathability and protection, ensuring your feet remain dry on lengthy treks.

The B-DRY waterproof/breathable membranes and nylon mesh linings work in tandem. It creates a moisture-wicking and quick-drying environment that enhances overall breathability. The Deluxe footbeds, featuring a well-defined arch for support, seamlessly nestle within the boots. The dual-density EVA midsoles offer cushioning without compromising on agility, while the nylon shanks and thermoplastic urethane forefoot plates provide crucial torsional stability and underfoot protection. The rubber randing on the toes and heels, coupled with the high-friction, nonmarking rubber outsoles, deliver exceptional traction on both wet and dry surfaces, thanks to the strategic placement of toothy side lugs and 4mm directional lugs. In essence, the Oboz Bridger encapsulates the perfect marriage of style, sustainability, and high-performance functionality for the modern outdoor enthusiast.

What I like: Classic design with modern technology.

What I don’t: The level of breathability varies for individuals with specific foot conditions.

See the Oboz Bridger See the Women’s Bridger

9. Danner Panorama

Danner Panorama
Waterproofness: Danner Dry
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 5 oz.
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Suede/PU-coated leather

The Danner Panorama Hiking Boots live up to their promise of taking you farther with a perfect blend of comfort and functionality. Crafted with abrasion-resistant uppers made from rich, durable suede, these boots ensure longevity and protection on the trail. The Danner Dry waterproof technology adds a crucial layer of defense, keeping your feet dry even in muddy and wet conditions. The 100% waterproof barrier is complemented by a smart design that allows moisture to escape without compromising on water resistance. What sets these boots apart is the thoughtful combination of comfort and performance features.

The Cushioned EVA Danner Plyolite® midsoles offer a lightweight feel while providing excellent shock absorption. Remarkably, they require minimal break-in time, allowing you to hit the trails comfortably from the start. The rugged, high-traction outsoles with deep lugs provide a confident grip on various terrains, ensuring stability and secure footing. The DPDX strikes a balance between everyday wear and trail performance, offering enough room for comfort without sacrificing a sleek profile. With the added OrthoLite® footbeds, the Danner Panorama Hiking Boots provide an impressive hiking experience, making them a reliable companion for outdoor enthusiasts.

What I like: Danner Dry technology creates a 100% waterproof barrier, keeping feet dry in wet and muddy conditions.

What I don’t: The lacing lacks memory. When untying the boots, the laces loosen significantly, requiring readjustment with each wear.

See the Danner Panorama See the Women’s Panorama

10. Columbia Fairbanks

Columbia Fairbanks
Waterproofness: Omni-Tech
Weight (pair): Not specified
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Upper: Suede/textile

The Columbia Fairbanks Hiking Boots seamlessly blend functionality and style, making them a versatile choice for outdoor enthusiasts and urban explorers alike. Engineered for the transition from trail to town, these boots boast a winning combination of lightweight design and exceptional comfort. The waterproof textile uppers, complemented by suede collars and heels, ensure durability and weather resistance. The Omni-Tech™ waterproof, breathable construction adds an extra layer of protection against the elements, making these boots reliable companions in various conditions.

What sets the Fairbanks boots apart is the thoughtful incorporation of technology to enhance performance. The scratch rubber toe caps provide added durability, while the Techlite™ lightweight midsoles deliver long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and impressive energy return. Whether navigating rocky trails or strolling through city streets, the Omni-Grip™ nonmarking traction rubber outsoles offer a secure grip on a variety of surfaces. The Columbia Fairbanks Mid boots successfully balance form and function, making them an excellent choice for individuals seeking reliable, all-day comfort without compromising on style.

What I like: Waterproof textile uppers with suede collars and heels provide durability and weather resistance.

What I don’t: While waterproof, extended submersion in water still poses a challenge.

See the Columbia Fairbanks

Best Waterproof Hiking Boots: Comparison Table

Salomon X Ultra 4Gore-Tex1 lb. 14.4 oz.LACE-UPPU leather/textile
Timberland White LedgeTimberDry Eco2 lbs. 4 oz.LACE-UPFull-grain leather
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus IIOmni-Tech2 lbs.LACE-UPSuede/mesh
HOKA Kaha 2Gore-Tex2 lbs. 5.6 oz.LACE-UPNubuck leather
Merrell Moab 3M Select DRY2 lbs. 4 oz.LACE-UPPigskin leather/mesh
Lowa RenegadeGore-Tex2 lbs. 7 oz.LACE-UPNubuck leather
La Sportiva TX HikeGore-Tex1 lb. 15 oz.LACE-UPNubuck leather
Oboz BridgerB-DRY2 lbs. 15 oz.LACE-UPNubuck leather
Danner PanoramaDanner Dry2 lbs. 5 oz.LACE-UPSuede/PU-coated leather
Columbia FairbanksOmni-TechNot specifiedLACE-UPSuede/textile

How to Choose Hiking Boots?

How to Choose Hiking Boots?

When it comes to outdoor adventures, having the right gear can make all the difference. Among the essential equipment for hikers, a good pair of hiking boots stands out as a crucial investment. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, choosing the perfect hiking boots requires careful consideration. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key factors to keep in mind when selecting the ideal pair to ensure comfort, durability, and performance on the trails.

Understanding Your Needs

The first step in choosing the right hiking boots is to assess your specific needs and the type of terrain you’ll be tackling. Different hikes demand different features in boots, so consider factors such as the duration of your hikes, the type of terrain (rocky, muddy, flat, or steep), and the climate conditions you’re likely to encounter.

Boot Types

Hiking boots come in various styles, each designed for specific purposes. The three main types are hiking shoes, hiking boots, and backpacking boots. Hiking shoes are lightweight and ideal for day hikes on well-maintained trails. Hiking boots offer more ankle support, making them suitable for rougher terrains and longer hikes. Backpacking boots, the most robust option, are designed for carrying heavy loads over extended periods, making them suitable for multi-day treks.

Fit Matters

One of the most crucial aspects of choosing hiking boots is ensuring a proper fit. Ill-fitting boots can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even injury. When trying on boots, pay attention to the fit around your heel, the width of the toe box, and the overall snugness. Your heel should stay in place without lifting, and there should be enough room in the toe box to prevent squishing. Remember that your feet may swell during a hike, so it’s advisable to try on boots in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.

Materials and Construction

The materials used in hiking boots greatly influence their durability, weight, and performance. Leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of both are common choices. Full-grain leather provides excellent durability and water resistance but can be heavier. Split-grain leather is lighter but less durable. Synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, are lightweight and often more breathable but may sacrifice some durability. Additionally, consider the boot’s construction—whether it’s cemented, stitched, or a combination of both—affecting overall durability and repairability.


Weather conditions can be unpredictable during a hike, so having waterproof boots can be a game-changer. Many hiking boots come with waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex, which keeps water out while allowing moisture to escape. Keep in mind that waterproof boots may be warmer, so consider the climate and your personal preference. If you frequently hike in wet conditions, waterproofing is a feature worth investing in.

Sole and Traction

The sole of your hiking boots plays a vital role in providing stability, support, and traction on various terrains. Look for boots with a durable and supportive midsole, commonly made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) or polyurethane. The outsole, typically made of rubber, should feature a lug pattern that suits the type of terrain you’ll be navigating. Deeper lugs are ideal for muddy trails, while a more moderate lug pattern works well for general hiking.

Ankle Support

The level of ankle support you need depends on the type of hiking you plan to do. Low-cut shoes provide minimal ankle support and are suitable for well-maintained trails. Mid-cut boots offer a bit more support and are a good compromise for various terrains. High-cut or backpacking boots provide maximum ankle support and are recommended for challenging terrains, heavy loads, and extended trips. Consider your personal preference and the demands of your hikes when choosing the height of your boots.


The weight of your hiking boots directly impacts your comfort and energy expenditure on the trail. Lighter boots are generally more comfortable and suitable for shorter hikes, while heavier boots provide additional support for challenging terrain and longer excursions. Strike a balance between the weight of the boots and the demands of your hiking activities to ensure an enjoyable and fatigue-free experience.

Break-In Period

New hiking boots often require a break-in period to mold to the shape of your feet and prevent blisters. Plan ahead and allow time for this process before embarking on a long hike. Wear your boots around the house or during short walks to gradually break them in. Understanding the break-in period is crucial to avoid discomfort on the trail and ensure your boots are ready for extended use.

Brand Reputation and Reviews

When choosing hiking boots, it’s wise to consider the reputation of the brand and read reviews from other hikers. Established brands with a history of producing quality footwear are more likely to provide reliable products. Additionally, user reviews can offer valuable insights into the real-world performance of specific boot models, helping you make an informed decision.