In a head to head comparison of women’s mid-rise, light hiking shoes, the Garmont Sierra GTX hiking boot provided the highest level of ankle support and durability. It has a wide frame, stiff construction and is on the heavy side for day hiking.
Support and Stability The higher than average, 5″ tall, well-padded ankle shaft and rigid construction of the Garmont Sierra GTX hiking boots provided exceptional ankle support. While their FrameFlex Lite insole, dual density rubber midsole, interior heel grip and 3.5″ wide Vibram outsole offered excellent stability. The wide cut of the Garmont boots did allow for some internal foot movement during ascents and descents, requiring tight lacing to alleviate.
Protection With their 1.8 mm thick suede uppers and durable reinforced toe, the Garmont boots provided excellent protection against trail impact. Their gusseted tongue kept debris out.
Comfort The rigid construction of the Garmont boots did require some break in. Extra padding along the ankle cuff and on the tongue helped alleviate hot spots during initial wear. These boots are constructed with a wide toe box that makes going down a half size recommended, especially for those with narrow feet. The stiffness of these boots, along with their heavier weight, did result in some foot fatigue during longer hikes.
Traction A ring of 4 mm lugs, with a concave heel design, on the outsoles of the Garmont boots, provided excellent traction on a broad range of trail surfaces. This unique lug design proved to be especially grippy on steep descents.
Weight At 20.4 ounces, these boots were the heaviest tested. This weight was most apparent on longer hikes, with some foot fatigue resulting.