Today we meet again for Part Two of our series on some of the best hiking boots you can find for varying levels of hiking. In Part One we explored some of the great options for brisk walks in the woods and day hikes. Keep reading for Part Two, in which we’ll take a look at some quality boots for overnight treks and longer backpacking day trips.
Merrell is a company known for its amazing footwear, as we touched upon in Part One, and like their low boots that excel on day hikes, the company also offers impressive heavy-duty boots for longer excursions. The Moab Mid and Ventilator models–$120 and $100, respectively—offer waterproof solutions for wet conditions. Furthermore, the Geomorph Blaze ($140) and Chameleon 5 Mid ($160) are higher cut models that offer excellent stability and cushion for balance while carrying a pack and comfort on longer hikes.
For those outdoorsmen who like to support their local companies, Danner is a company that crafts its boots right here in the United States. Danner favors a traditional, old-school nubuck leather design, but don’t let that fool you; the boots are hardcore. Vibram rubber rands provide protection, waterproof liners allow your feet to breathe while keeping them dry, EVA midsoles give you superb cushioning, and a fiberglass shank grants greater stability on the trail. The high price tag ($300 to $380) may steer some more casual hikers away, but experienced outdoorsmen know what you get for the cost here.
Keen’s Gypsum Mid and Ketchum boots are additional options when you’re in the market for quality mid-length boots. Both offer Keen’s famous rubber toe guard, waterproof leather uppers, EVA midsoles, and a breathable membrane. The two also fall within an easily affordable price range–$140 to $160—which will appeal to all budgets.
What all these models have in common is added rigidity in the shank, mid-level cut for ankle stability, and excellent cushioning for increased comfort on the trail. With the longer distances and potential for increased pack load, these are all traits that you’ll want in a boot. Be sure to return for Part Three, in which we’ll explore boots that are ideal for longer treks and even mountaineering.