Fear No Trail
5 Best Backpacking Boots of 2014
Merrell Moab Peak Ventilator
Best Desert Boot: The updated Moab Peak Ventilator is perfect for carrying a heavy load when the mercury starts rising. A Nubuck and mesh upper keeps your feet dry and blister-free while you grind out the miles, and the Vibram sole and TPU shank are designed for all terrain and stiff enough to support a weekend’s load of gear.
ECCO BIOM Hike 1.1
Best All-Terrain Boot: The soft yak leather upper of the all-new BIOM Hike 1.1 is complemented by a full rubber rand protecting your heel and toes. Like all of the BIOM line-up, the Hike 1.1 is designed around an anatomic midsole for a natural stride. The three-layer Cambrelle, foam and felt insole will hold up to over hundreds of miles of comfortable trekking, and with a Hydromax leather treatment, your feet will stay warm and dry.
Danner Nobo Mid GTX
Best Boot For Long-Distance Days: Danner’s proven Trailguard platform is the foundation of these supremely comfortable boots, designed for the 20-mile day-hiker. The outsole is built from Danner’s Appalachian rubber, with a co-molded TPU shank for stability. The nubuck leather upper is complemented by a full Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing and breathability. Anti-microbial liner provides a nice finishing touch, ensuring that you won’t knock your hiking partners out with stinky feet.
Lowa Hudson GTX
Best All-Leather Boot: These full-leather uppers have out-of-the-box comfort and classic, made-in-Germany styling. The Hudson has a high ankle cuff, providing support when carrying a heavy load or traversing steep terrain, while down below the Trac Lite outsole features a self-cleaning tread that offers traction in even the muddiest or rockiest terrain.
AKU SL Sintesi GTX
Editor’s Pick: Introduced as a cornerstone of Aku’s trekking line, the SL Sintesi boots shine for just about any mountain mission. Deep, well-spaced lugs are complemented by a softer, “climbing zone” rubber toe cap that allows for some serious traction and support on technical hikes and rock scrambles. The heel cup and toe box have almost zero break-in time, so we felt like we could hit the ground running in them. Even though these trekking boots weigh in at almost three pounds a pair, they hike like a much lighter, nimbler boot.