You never know what you’re going to encounter on a hike, whether it’s muddy trails, water crossings, or unexpected rainstorms. Having a good pair of waterproof hiking boots can prepare you for anything.
However, you don’t want the waterproofing to weigh you down. Too-heavy boots can strain your feet and legs, tiring you out faster. Lightweight boots can help keep you nimble and are also ideal for hiking trips where you’re worried about a weight allowance while packing.
These five hiking boots combine the best of both worlds, offering waterproof protection in a lightweight package.
Merrell Antora 3 Mid Waterproof
Merrell’s Antora 3 Mid Waterproof feels like a sneaker but offers the support of a hiking boot, and for good reason—it’s designed off of the company’s best-selling women’s trail running shoe.
The shoe got upgraded to a boot with a more durable upper for added foot protection, trademarked FloatPro Foam pods under the heel and forefoot for extra cushioning, and an extra-grippy Vibram sole.
The waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry no matter how many puddles you slog through, and these boots are comfortable right out of the box.
Weight: 10.23 oz per shoe (women’s)
Saloman Cross Hike 2 Mid GTX
Stay light and nimble with Saloman’s Cross Hike 2 Mid GTX boots. Featuring a unique Quicklace system, these boots can be on an instant—and they won’t come untied at inopportune moments.
A higher cut adds additional ankle support and protection, which combined with the Gore-tex exterior and deep lugs on the sole, help keep you surefooted even on the muddiest of trails.
Available in a sleek all-black design, these boots can pull double duty for post-hike adventures in town.
Weight: 12.07 oz per shoe (women’s)
Lowa Innox Pro GTX Mid
Synthetic materials are generally better than leather when it comes to keeping things light. Lowa’s Innox Pro GTX Mid are 100 percent vegan, using man-made technology to provide an airy feel that’s sturdy enough for tough trails.
The built-in Gore-tex lining is breathable to keep your feet dry (and not sweaty) even on hot or rainy hikes.
Weight: 15.87 oz per shoe (men’s)
Hoka Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX
Made from recycled materials, Hoka’s Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX boots are kind to both the environment and your feet. Using the brand’s popular trail running shoe technology, the Speedgoat adds in Gore-tex waterproofing and a higher cut with a flexible collar for extra ankle support.
On the sole, Vibram’s Megagrip with Traction Lug keeps your footing stable even on loose soil or rocks.
Weight: 10.30 oz per shoe (women’s)
Keen NXIS Explorer Waterproof
Feel a little cramped in regular hiking boots? Keen’s NXIS Explorers feature extra room in the front, giving your toes plenty of space to spread out. The Explorers are protected with Keen.Dry technology, a waterproof (yet breathable) membrane that will keep you dry no matter what.
Not sure if these are the right boots for you? Keen has a great 30-day trial policy which lets you wear their shoes (even outside) for up to a month to see if you like them.
Weight: 16.30 oz per shoe (men’s)
All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.
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