Keen Glarus
Credit: Gary Davidson

Keen Glarus

($210; 1.3 lb/575 g)

A full-length sheet of foam embedded in the midsole makes these long-distance hikers as comfortable as a pair of runners. When the track got rough, an external heel stabilizer and underfoot shank kept us walking in confidence, and we couldn’t get the puddles past the waterproof-breathable liner. Built for big hikes, we also found these boots were light and flexible enough for off-trail day trips.
Merrell Outbound Mid Gore-Tex
Credit: Gary Davidson

Merrell Outbound Mid Gore-Tex

($270; 1.7 lb/757 g)

Though cut just above the ankles, there’s nothing half-assed about these boots. A strip of hard plastic around the entire boot adds durability to an already tough Gore-Tex-lined synthetic upper. The grip pattern on the soles is canyon-deep, while the midsole is stout and supportive. It all adds up to a boot that can handle multi-day trekking, yet feels surprisingly light even on a logging-road death march.
Oboz Beartooth
Credit: Gary Davidson

Oboz Beartooth

($230; 2 lb/896 g)

No shortcuts here: stainless steel lace-up hardware, thick nubuck leather backed by a waterproof barrier, plus an insole that’s actually worth keeping. And the fit is dialled. The laces cinch webbing across your ankle to lock down your heel and keep toes from crushing forward on descents. The Beartooths felt a little beefy on day hikes, but when we hoisted a multi-day load, we knew our feet were in good hands.
The North Face Verbera Backpacker GTX
Credit: Gary Davidson

The North Face Verbera Backpacker GTX

($290; 1.5 lb, 673 g)

The Verbera is built for the mountains. Full-grain Italian leather is backed by a Gore-Tex waterproof liner and surrounded by a scuff-resistant mudguard. With a full shank and midsole designed to cradle the foot and prevent ankle rolls, these still felt good even on long days. Get as rough as you like with the Verbera: The stiff sole is crampon compatible, and the Vibram outsole deeply lugged for snow and mud.
Zamberlan Cristallo GT
Credit: Gary Davidson

Zamberlan Cristallo GT

($225; 1.5 lb/693 g)

Our testers raved about the all-day comfort of this boot designed for women. Zamberlan sculpted sections of the nubuck leather exterior to allow easy forward flexing of the ankle without sacrificing side-to-side stability. Underfoot cushioning absorbed long days, while the Gore-Tex lining turned away even full soakers. These boots look good too: a subdued ocean blue.
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