Choosing among several companies and brands may be a hard challenge, especially when purchasing your hiking boots. In this cold period of the year, for example, you may need comfortable yet warm ones.
The brands we have selected today are not only our favorites but also some of the most popular manufacturers of hiking boots and mountain apparel in the world.
Some of them are European brands and some American: most of them are famous worldwide because they are synonymous with quality and long-lasting apparel and mountain equipment.
We hope that here you can find your next favorite brand, as most of them have several choice options that suit well throughout the year.
When choosing your hiking boots, you have to consider first the terrain you are going to go onto, and consequently choose the right footwear. Besides, several components matter, such as the height of the shoe, the sole, and the forepart.
For each situation, you also have to estimate if you are an expert or not, to better choose the shoes that suit you.
Among our selection, most of the brands consider the sustainability aspect of the fabrics, technology, and materials used, ensuring a real sustainability program for their production. We think that it’s a very important feature, especially in these times.
Here we have selected 10 brands, each with its peculiarity and particular features that make them unique. They make outdoor apparel and gear in general, or they are specialized in hiking boots.
So, are you ready to choose your next hiking boots? Let’s take a look!
- 1. Salomon
- 2. Merrell
- 3. Garmont
- 4. The North Face
- 5. La Sportiva
- 6. Salewa
- 7. Aku
- 8. Lowa
- 9. Hoka One One
- 10. Columbia
With a wide range of outdoor equipment, Salomon is a French brand renowned above all for ski and footwear products. Salomon first started producing skis: in 1957 they invented the first ski binding type. In this sense, they are pioneers in their field.
Then their range of products gradually expanded in order to cover equipment for many outdoor sports. Still, their focus remains on skiing gear and footwear.
You might also like: Salomon vs Merrell: Which Brand is Better for Hiking Shoes and Boots?
Using different kinds of technologies for their footwear, Salomon’s top products include hiking boots, using the Gore-Tex® technology to make outdoor passionates feel confident, dry and ensuring high quality for everyone to enjoy their hike in nature.
Their mission includes also the education of people in order to make them enjoy nature, in a responsible way. To do that they have adopted a sustainability program and constantly promote their commitment in this direction.
Founded in 1981, Merrell is an American company whose strength lies in the manufacture of hiking boots. Since its early years, Merrell was known as one of the best manufacturers of outdoor equipment. Their core values include comfort, design, versatility, and durability.
The most used technology, M-Select Dry, is similar to Gore-Tex and guarantees a waterproof membrane that insulates the feet and makes them breathe. Several technologies, like Vibram® make hiking boots grip well in all types of terrains.
They equally pursue a strong commitment in sustainability, by creating their products with natural and recycled materials.
Among the technologies used, Garmont relies on Vibram® to make the soles be highly performing, and Gore-Tex®, in order to insulate and make outdoor footwear waterproof. Their strength lies in the precision of details, and on the anatomy based designs of their shoes.
Read next: 9 Italian Hiking Boots Brands: Our Top Picks
4. The North Face
Born in San Francisco in 1966, The North Face has been ever since synonymous of outdoor life apparel and is a recurring brand in our articles (like here and here for example). In the latter part of the Nineties, The North Face started to become a point of reference for those who needed footwear and hiking boots.
The company offers a wide range of breathable outdoor footwear, most of them made with Gore-Tex®, for comfortable and long-lasting support in all weather conditions.
You might also like: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Norway: Our Top Picks
The North Face has a sustainability program too, in order to provide responsible use of down as well as electric energy (they only use renewable energy sources in their Swiss head office).
Both breathable and waterproof, their hiking boots are equally performing and comfortable on all types of terrain.
5. La Sportiva
La Sportiva is an Italian brand whose aim, since its early years, is to provide athletes and outdoor passionates the best products for hiking, and to enjoy the mountains at every latitude possible.
Founded in 1928, their principal and most known footwear include those for trekking, hiking, and mountain running. In particular, in 2014 the “Mountain Hiking” footwear line was launched, with the “Surround” technology by Gore-Tex.
Also, their hiking boots are realized with the “Nano-Cells™” technology, that makes these boots breathable. With a wide range of products, La Sportiva provides different types of options for every level of experience, and for all needs.
Born in 1935, Salewa boasts a strong collaboration, in the ’80s, with Reinhold Messner and Kurt Albert.
Among their hiking boots, we can mention “Mountain Trainer”: they are light and flexible, we think they are great for daily hikes.
One of the things to consider when choosing your hiking boots, is their height. For rough terrains, the best choice is footwear with a strong support to your ankle.
The point of strength of their footwear is their versatility: they provide boots for different sports, from speed hiking to trekking and mountain climbing.
Aku offers a range of products that go from urban wear to options for the wild outdoors. It is an Italian brand devoted to the production of trekking and outdoor footwear since the ’80s.
A union between the old Italian manufacturing and the new technologies has made the Aku’s quality famous all over the world. Its aim is to give all outdoor enthusiasts and those who live and work there, quality products.
Several technologies are used in their shoes such as Gore-Tex®, PrimaLoft® and Vibram®. They also pay attention to the sustainability of their production means and materials, as we can see in their use of the Zero Impact leather technology.
Passion for quality and tradition are the key words of this brand, based mostly in Europe. Founded in 1923 in Germany (here are some German outdoor brands), Lowa has a specialized equipe that manufactures all types of outdoor footwear. From trekking to travel, they prefer fit and comfort to design, though this is not neglected.
Don’t miss: Lowa vs Hanwag Hiking Shoes: A Comparison
Offering different shapes of the shoe for different people and needs, the soles are made in collaboration with Vibram®.
Their main models are: the Tibet model, to cover great distances; Zephyr model, which is a multifunctional model of shoe based on the Monowrap technology; and the Renegade model which is their most important model, made with Gore-Tex and Vibram, and winner of several awards.
9. Hoka One One
Hoka One One is a company whose main commitment in the production of shoes is for running purposes. They have developed different technologies in this direction. But they also have a selection of hiking boots which is worth considering.
Hoka was born in France while its founders were trying to invent a new shoe that gave the best endurance race times.
Its bestsellers include waterproof footwear that is suitable for hiking and mountain use. Outdoor lifestyle is their key word, providing performing, comfortable and stable shoes for different levels of experience and territory to explore.
Born in 1938 in Oregon, United States, their main feature is sustainable manufacturing combined with their original design. Most of their hiking boots are made with waterproof fabrics.
Their structures include lightweight elements in order to keep you safe while exploring the outdoors. With their sure-footed grip and smooth ride, Columbia’s hiking shoes are breathable, insulated, and with thermal-reflective technology.
Their footwear is available in different styles and colors, to provide also quality designs.
– – – –
Columbia concludes our selection of hiking boots brands that we think you should try this year. We hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any other brand suggestion, let us know in the comments below.