If you want to enjoy some spectacular summer hiking, you need a boot that’s built to handle warm weather. The best summer hiking boots are breathable, have great traction, and support your feet.
What To Consider When Shopping For Summer Hiking Boots
The first thing to know when buying hiking boots is that the ones that are very breathable tend to be less waterproof. After all, if air can flow in and out, so can water. Many boots have mesh panels combined with waterproof soles, so you can still trudge through shallow puddles without getting your feet soaked. Other boots are more waterproof, but have breathable tongues and moisture-wicking liners to help keep you cool.
If your feet aren’t prone to overheating, you’ll likely be fine with a traditional waterproof boot for summer as long as it doesn’t have a thick lining. Another way to keep your feet cool in hot weather is by choosing a boot in a lighter color. Darker colors
absorb more heat, which is why darker shoes have been shown to have higher temperatures inside. Finding The Right Boot Sole For You
You’ll also want to consider the sole of your boot. Many hiking boots have soles made from Vibram, which is a brand of rubber that is well-known for its traction and durability, while other boots have regular rubber soles that can also be designed with great traction. Soles also have a variety of traction types that work on different terrains. Soles with thicker lugs — the bumps that provide traction — are great for mountaineering, while wider lugs are good for more casual hiking and make it easier to remove mud.
Along with outer soles, boots also have different types of midsoles that impact support and cushioning. Midsoles made from EVA, which is a rubber-like polymer, are lightweight and soft to reduce the stress of impact, while midsoles made from polyurethane (PU) provide less cushioning — but are more durable.
Stay cool this summer with picks from this list of the best summer hiking boots. Shop The Best Summer Hiking Boots In a hurry? These are the best summer hiking boots: These Merrell Boots With Vented Panels: Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot A Budget-Friendly Mid Rise Hiking Boot: Northside Pioneer Mid Rise Leather Hiking Boot A Breathable Boot You Can Wear Year-Round: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot This Super Breathable Mid-Rise Hiking Boot: KEEN Targhee Vent Mid Hiking Boot These All-Weather Leather Hiking Boots: Forsake Patch Hiking Boot A Lightweight Hiking Shoe With A Moisture-Wicking Lining: Vasque Breeze Breathable Hiking Shoe The Editor’s Pick: SCARPA Kailash Lite Walking Shoe An All-Terrain, Waterproof Boot: Salomon Women's X Ultra 3 MID GTX W Some Chunky Waterproof Hiking Boots: Clorts Lightweight Hiking Boot Also Great: These Highly Rated Hiking Sandals: KEEN Women's Whisper Sandal 1 These Merrell Boots With Vented Panels
If you really want to keep your feet cool, these
Merrell hiking boots feature suede leather uppers with mesh panels that make them super breathable and the perfect choice for hot days. They have a Vibram sole that provides great traction on all terrains, and a foam closed-cell tongue that keeps dirt and moisture out. They also have an EVA-contoured footbed that provides optimal support, as well as an air cushion for added comfort on hard trails. A Glowing Review: “These are the most comfortable hiking boots I have owned. I use them mainly for walking on rough terrain and could wear them all day. Perfect fit. Good quality shoe.” Available Sizes: 5 — 11 (regular and wide) | Available Colors: 2 2 A Budget-Friendly Mid Rise Hiking Boot
cheap hiking boots cost less than $40, yet they still provide excellent support and protection for your feet. The upper is made from 100% suede with breathable mesh inserts, while the sole is made of rubber with deep, multi-directional grooves to give you traction on the trail. While these boots aren’t completely waterproof, they are water-resistant thanks to the gusseted tongue and the moisture-wicking lining. They also have a removable insole that provides cushioning to keep your feet comfortable for miles. A Glowing Review: “Absolutely LOVE these boots. Needed a quick replacement for a hiking vacation. Wore them everyday for 4 days hiking over flat ground, hills, rocky terrain, through a river and an ocean walk. Held up amazingly. No blisters and calluses. Awesome grip and traction.” Available Sizes: 7 — 10 | Available Colors: 5 3 A Breathable Boot You Can Wear Year-Round
Columbia hiking boot is a fan favorite on Amazon with over 8,000 five-star ratings. The rugged boot is made from waterproof full-grain leather and suede, but it still has a mesh tongue for breathability. The rubber sole has a dual-zone tread pattern that’s designed to work well on a wide variety of terrains including ice and snow, so you can wear these boots year-round. A Glowing Review: “These shoes are phenomenal. I bought my normal size and they're great. The lacing holds tight so if I wear light socks, my foot doesn't shift. However, there's plenty of room to wear wool or fluffier socks. For me they DID NOT NEED BREAKING IN. This is huge.” Available Sizes: 5 — 12 (regular and wide sizes) | Available Colors: 5 4 This Super Breathable Mid-Rise Hiking Boot
mid-rise hiking boot has breathable mesh panels and lining to help keep you cool even in hot, humid weather. Designed specially for warmer climates, it has an EVA footbed that cushions as you walk and an oiled nubuck leather upper that is water-resistant. For added stability, it also has an injected TPU heel-capture system that keeps your feet stable and a rubber sole with moderate tread that make it a solid all-terrain boot. The lace system has reinforced eyelets and is easy to tighten on the go, thanks to the upper speed hooks. A Glowing Review: “Bought these for hiking but find that I am using them for way more like outdoor projects around the house and even horse chores. Super comfortable. I forget I have them on which says a lot for my poor, tired feet!” Available Sizes: 5 — 11 | Available Colors: 1 5 These All-Weather Leather Hiking Boots
sneaker-soled hiking boots are a perfect year-round shoe because they’re waterproof with taped seams and a gusseted tongue, so they can withstand both summer showers and winter storms. Your feet also won’t overheat in them because they have an internal bootie that is breathable and sweat-wicking. The sneaker-boot design keeps them comfortable, while the two types of lugs on the sole can handle almost any terrain. I own these boots and have worn them all over, from trails in tropical environments to icy slopes to city streets, and I have always found them to be comfortable and supportive. A Glowing Review: “Absolutely love these boots. Have just hiked an entire week in these brand new shoes - in cold, very wet weather. My feet, which typically have shoe issues, were 100% happy. Not one pain, not one blister. My feet stayed warm and 100% dry.” Available Sizes: 5 — 11 | Available Colors: 6 6 A Lightweight Hiking Shoe With A Moisture-Wicking Lining
lightweight hiking shoes weigh just over a pound, in part because they have specially designed soles that weigh 25% less than the brand’s boots. But even though they’re lightweight, they’re still sturdy thanks to the Vibram outsole with compound lugs that will keep you steady on a variety of terrains. The upper is made from synthetic microfiber, which is enhanced with mesh panels that are abrasion-resistant, so you can trek through the trees without worry. These hiking shoes also have a GORE-TEX lining that prevents water from getting in to your feet. A Glowing Review: “These shoes are amazing! Light but very supportive. Waterproof and sand proof which makes hiking the dunes and beaches fun. They're also flexible enough that you don't feel like your foot is surrounded by stiff material for support.” Available Sizes: 6 — 11 | Available Colors: 5 7 The Editor’s Pick
Trek in comfort with these
lightweight hiking boots, which have an upper that is made from suede leather and breathable textile. These boots have a durable Vibram Biometric/XS Trek outsole with deep treads that’s designed for any kind of terrain, as well as a supportive midsole that is made from PU. These boots also have a reinforced lacing system, which makes them not only lightweight but low-profile and easy to adjust. A Glowing Review: “These are my favorite summer hiking boots! I go on a lot of climbing trips and intense hikes, and I love that these have solid treads and grippy rubber outsoles that make me feel secure on all kinds of terrain. They’re also super breathable, so I don’t overheat, and they’re waterproof enough to withstand a light rain. These boots also required zero break-in period, which is one of my favorite things about them.” — Carina Finn Available Sizes: 5 — 8.5 | Available Colors: 1 8 An All-Terrain, Waterproof Boot
durable hiking boot is a dependable choice for anyone who likes to try out new trails because it’s made for all styles of terrain. It has a mid-height design that provides ankle support, and it has chevron lugs on the rubber sole that provide traction on a variety of trail types. It also has a midsole made from high-performance EVA foam that helps cushion your foot on impact. Beyond support, these boots also have a mesh and textile lining for breathability combined with a GORE-TEX membrane to keep your feet dry. A Glowing Review: “These boots are wonderful. They are lightweight, comfortable and I hike on uneven slippery terrain every day (3-7 miles) with them. I have a high arch and a slightly wide foot. The arch is in the right place, and I love everything about these [...] I wear a slightly heavy sock with them because it is winter here, but in the summer I plan to wear them with a lighter sock. Additionally, they are easy to tie and get on quickly. I ordered a 7.5 Wide and I usually have to wear an 8 regular but since it was available in wide I went down a half size which was perfect. I tried another pair by Merrill first but the arch was closer to the heel which was not comfortable and I returned those. These boots are great, you won't be disappointed.” Available Sizes: 5-12 | Available Colors: 2 9 Some Chunky Waterproof Hiking Boots
If you want to bring an on-trend chunky style with you to the trails, this pair of
waterproof hiking boots is the pick for you. Built to handle muddy terrain, rocky terrain, and anything in between, these boots have a mid-height design with a padded collar and an EVA midsole for support and comfort. They also have a rubber outsole that is durable and has traction, as well as a protective toe guard. Great for the summers, these boots are made with a hardy suede upper that has mesh panels and a mesh lining for added breathability. A Glowing Review: “The shoes were great for the lava cave. The entrance was steep, icy and the cave was wet. These shoes held tight to the ground and I did not slip or fall as many of the rest of our group did. We hiked thru deep snow and wet hot spring areas. I was the only person with dry, warm feet.” Available Sizes: 6.5—9.5 | Available Colors: 5 10 Also Great: These Highly Rated Hiking Sandals
If you’re really worried about keeping your feet cool on summer hikes, you may want to skip boots altogether and instead choose this
KEEN hiking sandal, which is as breathable as a hiking shoe can be. The straps are made from 100% polyester with an easy-to-secure bungee lace system, and they have a hydrophobic lining to help your feet dry quickly after you step in a stream or puddle. The outsole is made from rubber and has a multi-directional lug pattern for better traction, and the midsole is made from EVA and provides essential arch support. One of the best parts of this shoe is once you get home for a long, muddy hike, you can throw them in the washing machine to easily clean them. A Glowing Review: “I was given a pair 2 years ago and wore them all the time. Still wear them but wanted a pair in black. Ordered same size and they fit perfectly. They are durable, waterproof... You can toss into the washing machine... And just fit so well. I am 72 and have arthritis but no problems walking all over or standing for a long time with these.” Available Sizes: 5 — 12 | Available Colors: 11
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This article was originally published on
July 3, 2021