An Ultimate Guide To The Best Types Of Boots For Backpacking

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GORE-TEX Men's Wide Hiking Boots
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When it comes to hiking through the wilderness, you just can’t overlook a proper pair of boots. They are the most essential tool to make your backpacking and hiking trip comfortable and convenient. The best hiking boots ensure that your feet don’t give up in the middle of anywhere. They prevent sore toes, nail bed injuries, and joint issues that can occur along the bumpy walk. Don’t compromise your comfort and avoid the limp and get the best backpacking boots as soon as you plan the adventure. 

There was a time when the only backpacking boots available were heavy and bulky that would hold you down and make you feel like you are dragging bricks. The only reason they were preferred was that they offered the grip and the sturdiness required for the hiking trip. 

Well, fortunately, that time has passed, and the modern industry has moved towards lightweight boots that offer excellent grip along with being waterproof and comfortable. There are still heavier options available for tougher and more challenging terrains. But since the lightweight models reduce the weight so much, they have become the universal favorite for backpackers. Check out the top picks for the best backpacking boots, including hiking boots for both men and women:

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX – Waterproof Hiking Boots

Price: $165 (can vary)

Weight: 1 lb. or 0.45 kg.

Waterproofing: Yes

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GORE-TEX Men's Wide Backpacking Boots
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Starting with the universal favorite, Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX leads the list of the best backpacking boots because of its ultra lightweight design, its flexibility, and affordability. They are priced at a very reasonable rate of $165. 

Built as trail runners with extra ankle support and protection, they are one of the best hiking boots for men. They go one step ahead by providing the right amount of comfort and weight. On top of all that, Salomon is known to produce quality boots that are much tougher than they look. They will surely last you a lifetime.  

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX offers the perfect toe protection and lug pattern. They happen to be one of the most stable boots for steep treks with excellent grip.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to buying light boots for hiking. One of these compromises is the lack of underfoot protection while being very flexible. The flexibility is a double-edged sword. It causes the shoes to be low on the ankle which can lead to complications on challenging terrains.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is available in both men’s and women’s variants. They are the best option for single day hiking. 

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Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX – Hiking Boots For Men & Women

Price: $230 (can vary)

Weight: 2 lb. 13.8 oz. or 1.3 kg approx.

Waterproofing: Yes

Salomon Women's Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots
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The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is everything X Ultra 3 Mid GTX isn’t — sturdy, heavy, tough, extra supportive, and comfortable. These boots are the whole package offering pretty everything for the heavy backpacker and hiker. They were recently updated with new features such as the addition of a new outsole that increases the grip in all conditions and terrains. The whole platform of the boots was redesigned in order to make them much more flexible than before to increase the comfort level of the user.

The quality of the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is, without any doubt, top-notch, which is why they are considered one of the best backpacking boots. If you are looking for tough boots for the days to come, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is the best hiking boots, hands down. The construction is tough and reliable, making them ready to take all the abuse you can offer. The waterproofing is the uncompromising Gore-Tex waterproof lining that can stand a whole lot of muddy waters and whatever you can throw at it. 

The weight of these boots is relatively higher than other lightweight options. They are definitely an overkill for a single day’s hiking. They are rather suited to longer and rougher hikes spanning days, weeks, and even months of backpacking.

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Aku Alterra GTX – Men’s & Women’s Hiking Boots

Price: $250 (can vary)

Weight: 1 lb. 7.6 oz. (men); 1 lb. 4 oz. (women)

Waterproofing: Yes

AKU Alterra GTX Hiking Boot - Men's Backpacking Boots
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Aku Alterra GTX is one of the very rare offerings that are crazy cool, really comfortable, and being good companions on almost every type of terrain you’d go on. The innovating minds behind the design of Aku Alterra GTX have made these insanely good backpacking boots. They deserve a lot of praise for finding the perfect balance between comfort and toughness. Summing it up, these are excellent hiking boots for men and certainly one of the contenders for best hiking boots. They do come at a steep price, though—even more expensive than the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX, which are heavier and sturdier. 

Many people have laid praise to the lacing structure and the simplicity of it. People tend to ignore the common things such as the lacing structure but when you find the right fit, you learn how important it really is. That’s what Aku has managed to do here. There have been a lot of positive reviews labeling these boots as extremely comfortable, ready to take a lot of abuse without showing signs of wear and tear, and able to help you go on long hikes without getting exhausted. The construction is top quality, the comfort is unmatchable, the weight is light, and the grip is exceptional. They make one of the best women’s hiking boots as well as for men.

Coming onto the bad points, the Alterra GTX doesn’t have many. The first is the price. It’s expensive than others, although it doesn’t compromise a single bit on the quality. While it’s not heavyweight, it’s not light either. It falls somewhere in the middle of the two, which is still easily manageable.

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Zamberlan 1025 Tofane NW GT RR – Best Hiking Boots

Price: $420-470 (can vary)

Weight: 2.1 lb. or 1 kg

Waterproofing: Yes

Zamberlan Men's 1025 Tofane NW GT RR Hiking Boots
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Zamberlan is a company dedicated to producing high-end boots with durable, reliable, and strong designs that can handle the toughest treks while offering great comfort. They have managed to make just the right thing this time by introducing the Zamberlan 1025 Tofane NW GT RR, the waterproof hiking boots. Fair to say, they have not disappointed. They were met by utmost praise for their design, comfort, and durability.

Most of the customers have lauded the comfort, beautifully crafted design of the boots, and how well they hold up in snow and water. The fitting of the boots is particularly talked about as a lot of people say that they fit like a glove. The boots are tough and also heavy, weighing in at 1 kg. 

Coming onto the compromises, there were a few complaints such as hurting the heel area after going on for many miles in these boots. Apart from that, there’s the issue of a really high price but most of the customers felt that they are worth it. 

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Hanwag Tashi – Perfect Boots For A Backpacker

Price: $360 (can vary)

Weight: 1.7 lb. or 0.75 kg

Waterproofing: Yes

Hanwag Tashi Hiking and Backpacking Boots
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Hanwag introduced Tashi boots and they became an instant hit among the backpackers. They have received a lot of acclaim and positive feedback from critics as well as backpackers. Although they are somewhat on the pricier side, the premium built and materials used more than made up for their cost. The boots offer excellent quality, support, lightness, and comfort. These features make it one of the best backpacking boots money can buy, especially if you are willing to spend the big bucks on it. Coming onto the appearance, they are trendy and classy which is often the rare case for the best hiking boots. 

The only problem customers have encountered is the thin insole of Hanwag Tashi boots. Besides that, there are no complaints. It is safe to say, Hanwag has hit the right spot when it comes to the best backpacking boots. 

The majority of comments from the customers were about how light and good the Hanwag Tashi felt. They didn’t require any breaking in at all. Wearing for the first time, you’ll find them fitting you just perfectly. The soft, comfortable interior of the boots is a major factor counting in the praise. They could very well be the best backpacking boots if you don’t mind spending the bucks.  

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In conclusion, it is advised that you keep the weight of the boots to a minimum. Especially for hikes that don’t span for more than a couple of days. This is why people have preferred the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX over the others in the list of best backpacking boots. They are particularly great for shorter hikes.


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