Like the tyres of a car, the most important part of your outdoor gear is the bit that grips the road or trail, and a good quality pair of hiking boots are the critical tools you need to enjoy the outdoors. The very best hiking boots will not only be comfortable, grippy and supportive, but will also be adapted to the type of hiking you’re most keen on. That might be anything from speed walking on low-level, long-distance trails, casual countryside footpath rambles from a campsite, or more serious expeditions into the wilder parts of the world. Either way, there’s a boot at a budget point that will suit you down to the ground. Here we review four to help you find the best hiking boots for you.
Jack Wolfskin Force Striker Texapore
Price £140 Web jack-wolfskin.co.uk Rated 4/5 stars
Sometimes – usually when you’re standing in the middle of a muddy campsite – you want solid and slightly clumpy boots on, and these Jack Wolfskin beasts are indeed they. There’s plenty of tech packed in, and in spite of their scale, they’re not overly heavy – a major bonus.
A massively padded ankle provides plenty of support, a textile upper and waterproof membrane keep things breathable and a solid toe rand extends all the way back to the instep, adding protection.
Finally, a Vibram Megagrip sole provides traction on the worst of surfaces, and there’s a built-in strike plate to protect your forefoot from sharper stones, similar to the better class of trail shoe.
Columbia Facet 45 Outdry
Price £140 Web columbiasportswear.co.uk Rated 3/5 stars
There’s more than a little Back to the Future about the Facet 45, and those straps do indeed deliver hands-free lacing, or ‘kinetic’ lacing as Columbia would have it. Elsewhere, the sock-style fit adds comfort and stops small stones getting into the boot, too, merging into the ballistic upper. The ‘facet’ welded overlays on that upper add extra protection from sharp edges, the sole unit is stiff enough for long days, and there’s a waterproof membrane to protect from dampness.
With its futuristic looks and decent specs, the Facet is an ideal urban/hiker crossover, able to deal with light hiking duties over the warmer months with aplomb – just don’t mention hoverboards….
Hoka One One Tennine Hike GTX
Price £198.95 Web hokaoneone.eu Rated 4/5 stars
The Hoka guarantees attention, being ‘part hovercraft, part hiking boot’ according to Hoka One One. Weirdly, that gigantic heel unit overhanging the back of the boot might look enormous on the shelf, but actually on the foot it’s surprisingly minimised, due to the angle that your ankle sits in the boot. Another plus is the unusually vast Vibram Megagrip sole area, which adds to a sure-footed impression on flat terrain, and the Hoka One One ‘rocker’ sole combines with the Hubble heel to feel as if it is propelling you forwards. A great boot choice for more social low-level walks, Nordic walking, or going fast and light on well-built trails.
Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Boot
Price £220 Web arcteryx.com Rated 4/5 stars
Understand as ever, the Arc’teryx Acrux TR boots are super-lightweight thanks to a ‘SuperFabric’ upper that’s armoured with a micro-plating technology, which looks technical and feels very robust.
An aggressive sole geometry gives plenty of grip on loose ground or mud, while a section of solid tread on the toe makes short work of more technical rock moves. Reinforced rubber rand on the toes and heel adds to durability without adding weight, and inevitably there’s a waterproof Gore-Tex insert to see weather out. For hiking and trekking in all spring/summer terrain, the Acrux TR is a worthy partner in crime.
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