The best hiking boots | Tom’s Guide

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How we test hiking boots

All of the boots on this list have been put to the test over a number of miles in different climates and on different terrains. When we were walking, we were looking for how well they gripped to different footpaths, how waterproof they were when the weather took a turn and how supportive and comfortable they were by the final miles of a hike. 

We also looked for the extras like toe protection — designed to stop you losing a toenail if you hit a rock on the trail, ankle protection, and Ortholite insoles.

The requirements for the best hiking boots are simple — to keep you comfy as you walk. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, will stay a serious hiker from enjoying their daily constitutional. (Well, we’re not too keen about the rain, actually.) But whether or not you enjoy that hike is going to first depend on what’s on your feet. If your boots chafe, slip, or leak, you’re not going to have a good time.

So, to find the best protective footwear for communing with nature, we tested a slew of models in the mud, slush, rain, and sun to find the best boots for specific hikes and hikers. Trudging and traipsing over hundreds of miles we assessed each pair for its comfort, grip, foot and ankle protection, and weatherproof qualities.