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Every adventurer knows the importance of a good, sturdy pair of hiking boots for mucky and cold winter hikes. But all that extra weight is only worth it when you really need it. The rest of the year swap your heavy duty boots for some comfy, lightweight hiking boots.
Take to the hills with a spring in your step in a pair of our favourite lightweight hiking boots. A lot of them are waterproof or water resistant and offer great support and stability. They’re great for travelling as they won’t weigh down your bag. The best part is, some of them don’t even need to be broken in so you can enjoy blister-free hiking from day one.
Price: From €170
These super light boots are both stylish and practical. They weigh just 297 g per boot thanks to the featherweight FloatLite technology and are made of waterproof leather with EVA soles. The soles offer secure grip, even in snow. These are less clunky and lighter than other hiking boots but still provides sturdiness and support. They are extremely durable apart from the waterproof leather which loses its waterproofing over time. Of course, you can waterproof them again with waxes and sprays. These boots are best used in late spring, summer and autumn. These would be a perfect boot for travelling given their light weight and high performance.
Price: From €60
These hiking boots are light, comfortable and the waterproofing is excellent. Weighing 447 g per boot they are a lot lighter than they look. The waterproof suede and mesh upper combined with Isotex waterproofing means that these boots will keep your feet dry even in the heaviest rain. The deep padded collar and toungue and EVA footbed make these boots comfortable and suitable for all day hiking. The soles offer decent grip but not as good as some of the other boots we’ve reviewed. These boots are best for spring, summer and autumn. They might not be warm enough for winter.
Price: From €100
These boots are perfect for demanding terrain. They have Omni-Grip rubber outsoles giving excellent grip and durability. They are comfortable from the get-go and don’t require a breaking in period. However, you should go up a half size from your regular size when buying these. The uppers are a combination of suede leather, mesh and rubber overlays with Omni-tech waterproofing. The ankle support offered by these boots is very good without being restrictive. Despite their sturdiness, they weigh just 400 g each. The high quality of waterproofing and the excellent grip mean these boots would be perfect all year round. However, given that they are quite lightweight they may not be warm enough to wear on very cold winter hikes.
Price: From €107
Stability and alignment are the main selling points of these boots. The Merrell M Select™ FIT.TRI blended EVA contoured footbed is gender specific offering comfort and stability. The soles are designed to be slip-resistant on wet and dry surfaces. They weigh 675 g each putting them on the heavier side of the lightweight hiking boots scale but the comfortable design and flexible soles add to the lightweight feel of the boot. The GORE-TEX waterproof membrane means you are protected from the elements but your feet can still breath. One thing to watch with these is that the sizes are quite small. Our recommendation is to go up half a size to a size.
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Price: From €234
For a lightweight boot the Salamon 4D 3 GTX boot is extremely sturdy and gives great stability. They weigh 575 g and have nubuck leather and textile uppers. They use GORE-TEX for waterproofing and have high traction Contagrip soles. The soles are designed in a particular way to offer great grip but not cake up in mud. They have EVA Ortholite removable insoles and toe protection too. As these boots are quite solid and sturdy they do need to be broken in. They are true to size. A great boot for all year round.
Price: From €220
This comfortable and sturdy boot will take you on whatever level of hike you like. Designed for summer use these boots are lightweight (570 g) but still robust, waterproof and solid on slippy surfaces. You don’t have to worry about blisters as these boots are designed with SALEWA’s 3F System which ensures flexibility, support and a blister-free fit from day one. The waterproofing is GORE-TEX with suede leather and fabric uppers. They have OrthoLite footbeds for comfort and to wick away moisture. If high performance and quality is what you want from your lightweight hiking boot, Salewa’s Mountain Trainers are what you want.
Price: From €190
Get the comfort of a running shoe with the support of a hiking boot. The breathable, vegan-friendly, mesh and fabric uppers are protected by GORE-TEX waterproofing and MICHELIN’s technical performance outsoles are developed exclusively with Salewa. These offer exceptional grip and stability and weigh just 357 g. The lightweight and mid cut uppers protect natural foot movement and agility. These shoes are designed for speed hiking in warm weather, although the grip and waterproof technology won’t let you down if the weather turns.
Price: From €89.99
At just 393 g each, these sturdy and comfortable boots have textile uppers waterproofed with OutDry. These are also vegan. The Omni-Grip™ soles offer stability and grip. They’re comfortable from day one and don’t require any break in time. The waterproofing will withstand a lot but despite this, the boots are still very breathable. Great value for a great price.
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Price: From €140
Agility, support and comfort are some of the selling points of these hiking boots. They fit like running shoes, again require no break in time and weigh just 449 g. Feel secure on steep slopes or uneven surfaces with the High Traction Contagrip soles and on the inside the EVA shaped footbed and OrthoLite insoles will keep your feet comfortable and supported. They offer toe and heel protection. These boots are not waterproof but this means that they dry quickly after complete submersion in water and are more breathable than waterproof boots would be. They are very well wearing too so you’ll have that first-wear-spring in your step wear after wear.
Price: From €130
For a boot weighing 460 g these offer the high performance of a much heavier boot with the bonus of being light and comfortable. The seam-sealed waterproof/breathable ISOTEX membrane and HYDROPEL upper treatment deliver breathable, weatherproof performance. Expect protection against heavy rain and stiff winds. The uppers are nylon woven Endurance Mesh and PU with a Neoprene collar for ankle comfort. These boots will surprise you with both their comfort and sturdiness. The only negative is that the lugs could be deeper for better grip on slippy surfaces.
Price: From €213
The barefoot running trend has been growing in popularity with evidence pointing to benefits such as reduced injuries and impact on the ground. Well, now barefoot running fans can go barefoot hiking. These Vivo boots are made from high-quality leather to protect you from the elements. While the high-quality ground sole protects you from rough terrain Vivo hasn’t forgotten about the barefoot feel. They are waterproof and have thermal protection to keep your feet at the right temperature while you embark on your hike. Weighing 450 g you’ll barely notice these boots on your feet, which is kind of the point. The sizes run small so we’d recommend going up one size.
Weighing 640 g each, these boots are the heaviest boots we’ve reviewed but the innovative 4D Chassis design helps reduce fatigue during long days and certainly compensates for the slight extra weight. It guides the foot on even the roughest terrain to ensure stability and once broken in after a few short hikes these boots will fit like a glove. The nubuck leather and textile upper along with the GORE-TEX performance lining will keep your feet protected and dry. The waterproofing will withstand its fair share of splashes and streams but is still somehow breathable. These boots are durable and should last you hike after hike.
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By Heather Snelgar
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