7 Best Lightweight Hiking Boots of 2023

The 7 best lightweight hiking shoes of 2023

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The best lightweight hiking shoes

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<h2 class=”body-h2″>What to Consider</h2><h3 class=”body-h3″>Height and Weight</h3><p>Hiking boots come in mid and high styles, protecting your feet from the elements just above or a few inches higher than the ankle bone. Low-cut hiking footwear provides the least protection from moist and grimy conditions and is generally meant for trail running, so avoid using them for technical or debris-laden hikes.</p><p>Lightweight hiking boots are between one and three pounds, with higher weights skewing toward heavier materials and extra padding. Most boots on this list are under two pounds, making them great for quick scrambles, fast-paced thru-hiking trips, and avoiding fatigue on challenging hikes.</p><h3 class=”body-h3″>Waterproofing</h3><p>A waterproof membrane is vital for most outdoor situations, so we recommend them here. There is a caveat, however: Waterproofing often makes hiking boots less breathable. If you want more breathability in your hiking boots, consider ditching the tech and consider <a href=””>waterproof socks</a> and water resistance.</p><p>Many shoe brands use their own waterproofing technology to cut costs, but Gore-Tex, often abbreviated as GTX, is the gold standard in waterproof textiles. Gore-Tex is the most popular, reliable, and expensive waterproofing membrane. Proprietary waterproofing methods often get a bad rap regarding longevity, so reach for Gore-Tex if you’d like your boot’s uppers to withstand water for years to come. Otherwise, those hiking in mild, dry conditions can use off-brand waterproofing. Still, Gore-Tex has an expiration before it fails. <em>Gear Assistant</em> says the branded tech can last up to 1,000 miles per shoe.</p><h3 class=”body-h3″>Material and Fabric <br></h3><p>The most lightweight materials for hiking boots are synthetics like nylon and polyester. These are cost-effective, fast-drying materials common in hiking boots because they wick away sweat and save on weight.</p><p>Leather is a slightly heavier fabric than synthetics and often requires break-in before use. In most cases, PU-coated leather is an excellent material for hiking, but it’s heavy. The leather lightweight hiking boots we recommend are partially leather for durability, but synthetics inside and on the tongue save on weight.</p><h2 class=”body-h2″>How We Evaluated</h2><p>We found the best lightweight hiking boots by consulting critical guides from publications like <em>BikeHikeSafari</em>, <em>Switchback Travel</em>,<em> Runner’s World</em>, <em>Gear Junkie</em>, and <em>Wirecutter</em>. We noted frequently recommended models from brands like Salomon and Hoka, then sifted through countless user reviews and ratings of every top performer. Our picks consist of lightweight hiking boots that weigh less than three pounds per pair with consideration for various budgets, terrains, and user preferences.<br></p>” />

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