Often outdoor activities require specialized tools for full enjoyment. For backpacking and hiking, nothing is more important than good boots that protect your feet and prevent injuries. Unfortunately, specialized tools often come with high price tag. While it may seem like the Internet is full of good dealings on shoes, it is absolutely essential that users try on boots before purchasing. Ultimately, it's all about fit, no matter how nice the shoe.
Tecnica Prima Mid GTX-XCR
With a soft leather upper, the Tecnica Prima Mid has virtually no break-in time, making it perfect for hikers ready to hit the trail as soon as possible. The boot has a medium height, making it light enough for quick hikes, but also capable of bearing a load. They even feature a Gore-Tex lining, making for exceptional breathability and waterproofness for the price. Make sure the Tecnica Prima Mid is right for you before purchasing, however, because the one year warranty covers only manufacturer defects.
Hi-Tec Multiterra Ultra 200
The Hi-Tec Multiterra Ultra 200 is perfect for hikers looking for winter-ready boots at an affordable price. Waterproof and lightweight, the Multiterra is ideal for snowshoeing or four-season hiking. These boots are also exceptionally durable, with Vibram soles that won't wear out until well after you do. Which is good, because the Hi-Tec warranty does not provide for wear-and-tear and even considers waterproofing to be a violation of the warranty.
Merrell Mesa Ventilator
The Merrell Mesa Ventilator is an exceptional value, with a medium height build suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities. The Mesa has chosen breathability over waterproofness, making the boot lightweight and quick-drying, but also quick to soak your feet. The Merrell comes with an excellent one year warranty plus a further promise of satisfaction from Gore-Tex.
Cabela's Active Trail Hiker
Thick materials make Cabela's Active Trail Hikers durable and waterproof. Perfect for midweight hiking, the Active Trail Hikers feature exceptional soles, padding and a rubber scuff guard guaranteed to shield vulnerable toes. However, don't expect to stay cool in these boots. Breathability is one the Active Trail Hiker's one weakness. Unlike other boots on this list, Cabela's Active Trail Hiker is likely only available at Cabela's stores, who also provide the limited warranty.