Hiking boots and shoes must have specific features depending on the weather and type of terrain. First, they have to be water-resistant, in order to protect the foot from water, and they must also protect you from low temperatures.
On the other hand, those for summer hiking must be breathable enough to allow your feet to breathe so you can continue your hikes on those hot summer days.
Each design must also have quality materials and a particular structure to ensure good stability and good grip on the ground, so as to avoid slips or falls. In addition to being robust, they have to be lightweight so they don’t hinder performance (learn more: What to Look For in Hiking Boots?).
In today’s article, to help you choose the best hiking shoes and boots, we have selected 9 European brands that design footwear with all the above qualities.
Let us get right into it!
people wearing Lowa boots
Lowa is a German company that specializes in the production of shoes for every type of mountain activity. Born in 1923, the brand’s name derives from the name of its founder, Lorenz Wagner.
The company has had great success since the first years of its foundation because from the very beginning it has created products of the highest quality, which at the same time also have a good structure capable of satisfying every possible customer need.
Additional details and colors can change, but it is also true that each shoe always has fundamental characteristics: strength, stability, and protection from bad weather, as well as from possible risks, such as falling and slipping.
In fact, thanks to the sturdy soles or the increasingly innovative designs, each Lowa model always manages to have a good grip on the ground, guaranteeing the needed traction for the next step. Perfect to be used even for a long time, the shoes of this brand also allow for a good level of breathability.
At the same time, many Lowa boots are also waterproof, thanks to the Gore-Tex technology.
When it comes to specific designs from this brand, we can mention the women’s Renegade GTX Mid WS, which not only supports the ankle but also has the right sole so you can hike even in the most difficult and muddy terrain, offering stability and comfort.
woman wearing Salomon hiking boots
Salomon is a French company that had its origins in 1947 and today is very famous for the different lines of shoes and boots, and for other outdoor gear. It is internationally known for its running shoes, trail running shoes, and hiking footwear.
The purpose of the brand is to satisfy every need that may arise during a sports performance.
A model that perfectly represents all these characteristics of the brand is the X Ultra 4, which has a soft sole but at the same time is able to offer good stability on the ground. The upper has been specifically designed to allow the foot to breathe, but the shoe does not lack a good level of protection.
Simple and with an elegant design, it is a perfect model to guarantee safety to those who wear it and offer the possibility to go on long hikes, experiencing maximum comfort and reducing the feeling of fatigue.
Don’t miss: Salomon vs La Sportiva Shoes: A Comparison
3. La Sportiva
La Sportiva was only a small workshop when it was founded, but in a few years, starting from that of its foundation, which dates back to 1928 in Northern Italy, it became very well known.
In the early years, it mainly dealt with the creation of leather shoes for those who worked in the forest, but over the years the brand has increasingly specialized in the production of shoes for different mountain activities until its success has become international.
An example of their numerous designs is the Tx5 Low Gtx, which in addition to being very robust, is perfectly stable and able to protect the feet from all kinds of bad weather and from cold temperatures.
Its design is very elegant, demonstrating the fact that the company not only aims at the high quality of the product but also at a refined structure to satisfy the customer also from an aesthetic point of view.
Read also: 9 Italian Hiking Boots Brands: Our Top Picks
Hanwag Omega boot
Hanwag is a German brand with a wide range of footwear and all its trekking shoes have a high level of quality, starting with the chosen materials with which they are produced, up to all the other details.
Attention to safety is also high, but there is also good design. Created in 1921, the company has always had an interest in craftsmanship, which over time has been combined with the search for innovation.
A pair of hiking shoes that perfectly represents Hanwag’s company philosophy is the men’s Tatra Light Bunion GTX, which in addition to appearing perfectly equipped to face every possible risk and even a long hike, are also lightweight enough and have a sole able to help the movement of the foot.
Must read: Hanwag vs Lowa Hiking Shoes: A Comparison
Mammut official website: hiking boots
The origins of the Mammut brand date back to 1862, when Kaspar Tanner founded it in Dintikon, Switzerland. Although in the beginning, the brand did not produce footwear, but only climbing ropes, over time Mammut expanded its production by making sports and outdoor clothing, up to the different types of shoes for trekking and climbing that it offers today.
A model of hiking boots from this brand is the men’s Mercury Tour II High GTX, which in addition to the very elegant design, also offers protection against the cold, rain, and snow.
A peculiarity of these boots is that they have been made to support a person who carries heavy loads, such as a backpack, even for several hours. This adds to their comfortability and helps reduce fatigue while hiking.
Haglöfs is a Swedish brand that was born in 1914 thanks to Victor Haglöf and over the years its production has specialized more and more until it has become a popular brand in the outdoor gear market.
Today they produce and sell a wide range of outdoor equipment and clothing such as jackets, trousers, footwear, backpacks, sleeping bags, etc.
An example of trekking shoes by this brand is the women’s Duality AT1 GT which is perfect for long hikes even in rough terrain. This model allows you to better understand the company’s philosophy, which is mainly focused on the products’ durability and high-quality materials to ensure the creation of a shoe capable of guaranteeing the right level of protection.
Asolo official website
Asolo was born in 1975 in Northern Italy, thanks to the founder Giancarlo Tanzi. One of its main features is the need to constantly find new solutions to meet the needs of customers and the key word that characterizes the company’s philosophy is “innovation”.
A model of hiking boots from this company is the NUPTSE GV, which in addition to being very robust, also uses the Gore-Tex technology making it waterproof and also guaranteeing the right level of breathability.
hiker wearing Meindl shoes
Meindl is a German brand, one of the oldest artisan shoe manufacturing companies, as its creator, Petrus Meindl, was already active in 1683. The company as we know it today was founded in 1928.
Its philosophy is based on craftsmanship, which, although the production process may be accompanied by modern tools, still follows its tradition for different phases of the realization of the shoes. Attention to detail is a fundamental component of Meindl.
Must read: Meindl vs Lowa Boots: Which Brand is Better?
An example of a hiking shoe that has all the features of Meindl is the design Caracas Lady GTX, which guarantees the possibility of walking for a long time but also stability thanks to its outsole, which offers a good grip on the ground.
Don’t miss: The 5 Types of Hiking Boots that You Should Know
It was 1938 when the Italian company Scarpa was born, which over the years has focused on the production of equipment for mountain activities and sports.
The main purpose of this brand is to create a perfect product, which not only pleases the customer from an aesthetic point of view but above all manages to satisfy all the needs for comfort.
Another feature of this brand is its focus on being careful and attentive to environmental sustainability. This is done by trying to use materials that have a low impact on the environment. The company is also famous for its wide variety of shoes and boots for various outdoor activities such as hiking, trail running, climbing, ski touring, etc.
As for hiking shoes, we can mention the Zodiac Plus GTX, which is resistant and suitable for different types of hikes. In addition to this, it’s also quite lightweight, despite being equipped with different coatings that serve to protect the foot from the elements.