When it comes to hiking in Colorado, a serious set of hiking boots is a necessity. On one hand, hiking boots are built to be tough, with rugged exteriors, rock-plated soles and aggressive treads. But they're also meant to be comfortable, light and breezy enough to keep a hiker going for miles of mixed terrain. The best light hiking boots are made of sturdy external material and rugged, supportive outsoles, yet are light and breathable enough to keep feet dry and comfortable.
Kayland Vertigo Light
Outside Magazine's Gear of the Year, Kayland's Vertigo Light hiker is a solid choice for hikers who want supportive, protective boots that won't weigh them down. Its 20-ounce weight belies the boot's mid cut, which provides ankle support and protection, as does its abrasion-resistant textile/suede upper. The Vertigo Light also performs on the comfort side, as Outside's testers noted, saying that "it was the most waterproof boot we tested." Testers cited it's breathable eVent membrane, its height, and it's ample tongue overlap, adding that "one tester's feet stayed bone-dry after plowing through wet, early-season snow."
Vasque Breeze Low
At under 2 pounds, Vasque's Breeze Low is a great choice for hiking in warmer weather. With copious amounts of mesh and a lightweight, yet grippy Vibram Contact Lite sole, the Breeze Low delivers in both comfort and performance. Outside Magazine noted its breathability, saying that "the Breeze Low keeps its cool in warm weather with ultrabreathable nylon mesh," while citing that the Breeze's protective features, which include "bands of leather [cradling] the scuff-prone mesh, shielding it from abrasion, and a plastic armor plate below the midsole [which] guards against bruising rocks" keep the feet safe from trail hazards.
Lowa Renegade II GTX Low
With a design that's low-profile yet high performance, Lowa's Renegade II GTX hiking boot will get you where you're going in style. With a waterproof Nubuck leather upper, GORE-TEX lining for moisture-free comfort, and a Vibram Vialta outsole, the Renegade is tough on the outside and soft on the inside. Calling them "sturdy mud lovers," Outside.com noted the Renegade's toughness, citing its "full-grain leather upper and a stiff, three-quarter shank planted beneath the polyurethane midsole" enable the boots to effectively handle "slick roots, scratchy underbrush, and heinous descents."
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.