The Best Men's Light Hiking Boots

Light hiking boots are a step up from hiking or trekking shoes and provide a little more ankle support. Some hikers need this sort of support for casual day hikes while some users only need that extra support when donning an overnight backpack. These boots are ideal for well-maintained hiking trails or for venturing into some light scrambling or mild off-trail route finding. These boots also provide a little extra protection from scrapes or abrasions of the ankle that can be encountered while on or off trail. And, since they are lighter than a standard hiking boot, often referred to as a backpacking boot, they don’t take the toll of fatigue as heavier boots can.

Wearing a hiking or backpacking boot that aligns perfectly to your individual hiking style is one of the most critical factors in determining your comfort level on, and enjoyment of, all the wonderful trails out there. A good hiking or backpacking boot, provides the support and protection your feet and ankles require and limits potential for foot or ankle discomfort or injury. Quality footwear protects your soles from inevitable fatigue caused by repeated pounding against earthen surfaces, safeguards your toes from bruising when connecting with rocks or boulders and provides needed traction on steep inclines and slick surfaces. Mid-rise hiking boots offer ankle support to reduce twisting on uneven trail sections. Backpacking boots are specifically engineered to help support heavy loads and protect feet from fatigue when hiking long distances. Dive into our reviews below comparing individual products. This way, you’ll be able to confidently choose the perfect footgear to match your specific needs.

Review Year
Best in Class
Overall Rating
Price
Name Overall Rating Ratings The Good The Bad Price
Lowa Focus GTX Mid
87
Best in Class
2017
Support & Stability 9
Quality & Construction 9
Comfort 8
Weight 8
Protection 8
Value 5

Very well constructed.

Supportive construction – a strong heel cup and firm upper hold the foot in place

Good protection—underfoot, sidewall, and toe

Handles well under medium pack loads

Versatile enough for rocky terrain

A thin, flimsy throwaway footbed that doesn’t provide support.

Expensive compared to comparable boots.

The fit may be too narrow for wider feet.

MSRP
$220.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Lowa Hudson GTX Mid
87
Support & Stability 5
Quality & Construction 9
Comfort 8
Weight 9
Protection 6

Excellent outsole traction in all terrain

Solid rigidity and support in the midsole and heel cup

Fairly lightweight relative to other leather boots

Great craftsmanship and quality

Roomier than usual toe box

Warm on summer days

Insole felt quite hard

Somewhat difficult to get lacing snug on the ankle

Longish break-in period required

Relatively expensive

MSRP
$270.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Keen Targhee II Mid
86
Support & Stability 8
Quality & Construction 8
Comfort 7
Weight 7
Protection 9
Value 7

Large toe rand for rocky terrain

Great ankle support

Lace locking system to keep laces snug

3/4-length shank to prevent foot fatigue

A bit on the roomy side - narrow feet, take caution

MSRP
N/A
BEST DEAL
$134.88
Vasque Inhaler GTX (Mid)
82
Support & Stability 8
Quality & Construction 8
Comfort 8
Weight 4
Protection 4

Excellent traction

No break-in

Lightweight

Breathable

Easy to lace

Not for heavy backpacking loads

No lacing right at the ankle

Poor protection

MSRP
N/A
BEST DEAL
$113.07
Hi Tec Sienna WP
77
Support & Stability 5
Quality & Construction 5
Comfort 8
Weight 6
Protection 5
Value 8

Fork shank reduces fatigue on the ball of the foot

Lightweight

Luxurious Ortholite insole

I was unable to lock in the instep due to a bulky upper

Lack of a full collar compromised ability to handle loose, rocky terrain

No toe cap means more wear & tear

MSRP
$95.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Chaco Holbuck Waterproof Hiking Boot
74
Support & Stability 7
Quality & Construction 4
Comfort 5
Weight 5
Protection 3

Roomy toe box

Comfortable cushioning

No break in period required

Hard to lace snugly

Poor ankle support

Traction below average

MSRP
$150.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Columbia Yama Mid OutDry
72
Support & Stability 4
Quality & Construction 5
Comfort 8
Weight 4
Protection 4
Value 7

Lightweight

Nice snug fit, particularly in heel cup and midfoot

Athletic-shoe-like comfort

Noticeably breathable waterproof liner (OutDry)

Not supportive enough for any off-trail hikes

Lack of shank or plate lead to foot fatigue

Collar caused some discomfort at first

I could feel rocks underfoot

MSRP
$135.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX
72
Support & Stability 6
Quality & Construction 4
Comfort 4
Weight 4
Protection 4

Very light weight

No break in

Flexible sole

Breathable

Poor traction

Heel loop tore off

Laces catch under the grommets

Poor ankle support

MSRP
$190.00
BEST DEAL
$135.99
Chaco Tedinho Waterproof Boot
68
Support & Stability 2
Quality & Construction 8
Comfort 6
Weight 2
Protection 8
Value 2

Attractive full-grain leather upper

Luxurious “Luvseat” footbed

25-percent recycled rubber sole

Stiff cuff irritated my ankle

Flexible sole left my feet achy

Lack of support relegates this boot to groomed paths

MSRP
$150.00
BEST DEAL
$69.99
Lowa Focus GTX Mid

The Lowa Focus GTX is a solid and stable boot that works well for ambitious day hikes and overnight backpacking on established trails with packs around 20-35 pounds. It is very well made, with good support and protection, and it shines in rugged terrain—an excellent choice for day hikes in rough, rocky country.

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