An amazing thing has happened to hiking boots over the last decade or so—they’ve become comfy right out of the box. No longer do you have to break in stiff leather boots every day for weeks before a trip.
That’s especially the case for light hikers, which combine formidable ruggedness in a lighter and more flexible package. Thanks to advanced materials—neoprene, waterproof membranes, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)—modern light hikers are featherweight trail-eaters that breathe and move with your foot while still protecting from rough terrain.
So whether you’re backpacking for a few days or logging a rainy day hike, the new crop of light hiking boots will help you forget they’re even on your feet, making your time in the backcountry that much more enjoyable.
Here’s a roundup of editor-tested light hiking boost from the best brands.