Hiking boots are good, but waterproof hiking boots are better. Wet feet are never much fun, after all, and over a long enough time period, can lead to all kinds of foot problems that will leave your feet in a bad state. Wet feet when it's cold out can lead to a whole new host of problems, and the last thing you want in cold conditions is wet feet.
Waterproof Hiking BootsWhat to look for when reviewing waterproof hiking boots.
- Waterproofing - You have two main choices when it comes to waterproof boots, and that is Gore-Tex or leather. Gore-Tex waterproof hiking boots tend to be lighter, and more breathable, whereas leather tends to be heavier, but more durable and more waterproof over an entire day of hiking in wet conditions.
- Lightweight - Every pound on your feet is equal to about 5 pounds on your back, in terms of the energy you spend. And hiking boots can get heavy quickly. So you should, above all else, try to find waterproof hiking boots that don't feel like you're walking around with weights on your feet.
Best Waterproof Hiking BootsWaterproof hiking boots, broken down by gender.
Waterproof Hiking Boots for Men
- Asolo TPS 520 GV Boot - The TPS 520 is a perfect example of a full grained leather hiking boot. But just to keep you extra dry, it also comes with a Gore-Tex liner. A vibram sole helps round things out. Full grain leather and a Gore-Tex liner isn't lightweight, however, as these weigh a full 3 pounds 10 ounces, or 1644 grams, but if you absolutely must stay dry, these are the hiking boots for you.
- Scarpa Kailish GTX Boot - Winner of the 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, the Kailish hiking boots are a great example of waterproof and lightweight. First, you get a Gore-Tex liner, so you can count on staying dry even in wet conditions. But the pair of boots weighs just 22 ounces, or 630 grams, which is significantly less than the Asolo hiking boots above. You don't get the extra protection and durability of leather, but you will be a lot less tired at the end of your hike.
Waterproof Hiking Boots for Women
- Asolo TPS 520 Hiking Boots - These are the same boots as the men's TPS 520s above, just with a women's sizing and cut. They are a combination of full grain leather and a Gore-Tex liner, which introduces a bit of redundancy in to the waterproofing, and ensures that you will stay dry in even the worst conditions. The main drawback to this redundancy, however, is weight, which is a steep 3 pounds 5 ounces, or 1500 grams for the pair.
- Scarpa Kailish GTX Boot - This is the same hiking boot as the Scarpa in the men's section above. Like the men's boot, it won the 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, so you know it's a high quality boot. It uses a Gore-Tex liner to keep your feet dry, but what really stands out about the Kailish is the weight, which is just 19 ounces, or 538 grams for the pair. At just a fraction of the weight of the Asolos, you will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.