What are the Most Comfortable, Lightweight and Waterproof Hiking Shoes?

Comfort in hiking shoes

Your feet can take quite a beating when you go walking up and down hills, and on rough terrain. You are on the go for hours at a time, potentially over some very uneven ground surfaces.

If you don’t make sure you have the most comfortable hiking boots you can find, then you could end up in trouble pretty fast. Not only can blisters make your journey very miserable in a short period of time,but you could end up damaging your feet with ill fitting footwear.

You can try to save money on other walking equipment, but make sure you get the most comfortable walking boots you can for your money. Fortunately we have done the research for you, so you can choose from our short lists without wasting too much time.

The best boots for comfort tend to be some of the lighter ones. The lightest boots however tend not to have very much support for the ankle, which makes them less comfortable and potentially dangerous if walking over uneven terrain.

So if comfort is your main priority then you are probably looking at the middle ground in terms of weight, with a leaning towards a lighter shoe. Look for a shoe that uses flexible material and is not overly rigid, like some of the heavier ones.

It is important to note however, that the most comfortable hiking boot for someone else might not be the best one for you. Your foot size and shape is unique to you, and this makes choosing comfortable hiking boots a very personal decision.

talk a walk...a long walkYou can find just about any model of shoe online at Amazon, CampSaver, REI, and a variety of other online retailers. You can also buy directly from the manufacturer in some cases, or at smaller individual online stores.

Your local outdoor center will probably have a more limited selection than what you can find online. The advantage of buying locally is that you can try them on – but online retailers usually offer a generous returns policy anyway. So if you order online and decide they aren’t for you, then you can usually just send them back – at your cost for postage though.

ModelTypeFeaturesComfort RatingAvailable FromPrice
Vasque St. Elias GTXMidweight HikerLeather Upper, Gore-Tex Waterproof Lining5/5Amazon, CampSaver, Zappos, REI$152 - $190
Keen Targee II MidLightweight HikerNuback leather and textile Upper, KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane5/5Amazon, MooseJaw, Zappos, REI$130 - $135
Saloman Quest 4D GTXMidweight HikerFull Grain Leather Upper, GORE-TEX waterproof lining4.5/5Amazon, CampSaver, REI, Zappos$160 - $230

Choosing a lightweight hiking shoe

The Columbia Newton Ridge is the lightest model on our top list. There are more comfortable boots in this weight range, but you have to be prepared to spend a little more. The Merrel Moab Ventilator Mid is another extremely light model, but is also the most comfortable one on our list.

This makes it our favorite of the three and is the one we would most recommend if you plan on doing some serious walking and/or hiking.

Lightweight shoes are best when carrying lighter loads. The main advantage of a lightweight shoe is that it will not tire you out on longer hikes. They usually do not require breaking in, so you can wear them straight out of the box. Note that some of these are not waterproof, favoring breathability instead. This will help your feet stay cool in warm weather.

Lightweight boots are not always the most durable hiking boots however, and can wear more quickly than other sturdier ones. A good lightweight shoe should be comfortable, and dry out quickly since most are not meant to be very waterproof.

The right shoes will last a long time

The best lightweight hiking boots are just this – the ones that fit well and dry out quickly. There should be some wiggle room for your toes, otherwise you will experience discomfort when going downhill (especially when carrying a load).

This list focuses on the best lightweight hiking boots for men, but female versions are available in some cases. This small selection has consistently received positive lightweight hiking boots reviews.

ModelTypeFeaturesWeight of Pair (lbs)Available FromPrice
Merrel Moab Ventilator MidLightweight HikerDura leather and mesh upper, not waterproof2.4Amazon, RockCreek, REI$90 - $100
Timberland White LedgeLightweight HikerFull leather body, sealed seams, not waterproof2.5Amazon, CampSaver, Zappos$80 - $100
Columbia Newton RidgeLightweight HikerMesh/leather upper, waterproof lining2.3Amazon, Zappos$59 - $90

What are the best waterproof hiking shoes

If you are going to be hiking through wet or snowy weather then you should look for the most waterproof boot you can find. Generally, if you are going to be exposing yourself to extreme conditions then you will require heavier boots that may not be as comfortable as the lighter ones.

The Lowa Renegage MTX Mid and Asolo Power Matic 20 are two of the best waterproof hiking shoes available. They are not the cheapest boots you will find, but the price is absolutely worth paying if you want to avoid wetness getting inside your shoe. Wet feet will make for a miserable walking experience.

Both of these shoes have Gore-Tex waterproof linings which is one of the best methods of waterproofing available. They also have high ankles which makes it more difficult for water to get inside the shoe. The Asolo Power Matic 200 in particular is excellent for use in the snow and over rough terrain. This is because it is a heavyweight boot and is not breathable in comparison to most others.

With the right walking boots you're ready to tackle the great outdoorsThere is no boot that is suitable for all conditions. The best boot for you depends entirely on what you are going to be using it for the most, and as such there is always a trade-off involved. If you absolutely need a high degree of waterproofing, then you must be willing to sacrifice some comfort and get something heavier.

Below is our short list of some of the best waterproof hiking shoes for men you will find on the market today.

ModelTypeFeaturesWaterproof RatingAvailable FromPrice
Lowa Renegage MTX MidMidweight HikerNubuck leather upper, Breathable Gore-Tex waterproof lining4.5/5Amazon, Campsaver, REI, Zappos$132 - $250
Asolo Power Matic 20Heavyweight HikerHigh quality leather, Gore-Tex Performance Comfort waterproof lining5/5Amazon, Oregon Mountain Community, REI, Zappos$275 - $305
Asolo Fugitive GTXMidweight HikerSuede/Cordura upper, Gore-Tex waterproof lining4.5/5Amazon, Backcountry, REI, RockCreek$225 - $230