These boots are the perfect go-to for on-track day, weekend or longer trips where pack weights aren’t too great. They’re light, supportive and super comfortable.
Sticky rubber compounds with mud-shedding lugs offer grip on most track surfaces.
The midsole absorbs the shock and impact of walking over uneven ground. Most midsoles are EVA, a polymer designed to provide either firm or soft support depending on its density. Soft-flex boots are more comfortable on level ground and when moving fast. Some midsoles are PU (polyurethane) which is firmer and more durable than EVA and are better for when walking on rocky terrain and while carrying a heavy pack.
As a general rule of thumb, the heavier a boot the more durable it is likely to be and the more likely it can be used on rougher terrain and while carrying heavier loads. The weights shown in this feature are for a pair and are averaged for sizes.
Boots in this category will be leather or a combination of leather or suede with a synthetic material that offers abrasion resistance. The uppers will be soft and supple and the boots can usually be worn straight from the box without the need to wear them in.
This should be stiffened or protected with a rubber cap to protect toes. Allow a finger’s width of space between the end of the boot and your longest toe to ensure feet do not get cramped and bruised.
Lacing and hardware
Fabric or metal eyelets are used with metal lugs at the ankle to enable the boots to be pulled tight.
Boots in this range will have a waterproof and breathable membrane (or lining) to draw moisture (i.e. sweat) away from the foot while preventing water from getting in.
Boot height is to above-the-ankle, reducing the chance of trail debris entering the boot. Higher cuffs offer better ankle support and are softened for comfort. A bellows tongue also helps reduce trail debris ingress.
Lowa Renegade Mid GTX $499
Use Hiking Upper Nubuck leather Construction Gore-Tex lining, external Monowrap frame for stability and ankle protection, perforated lining to speed drying and cooling, articulated alloy lace loops and hooks, perforated Climate Control footbed, DynaPU midsole for lateral stability, full length/width nylon stabiliser, standard and wide fit. Outsole Vibram Evo Weight 1110g (m); 890g (w). www.lowa.co.nz
Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX $479.99
Use Hiking Upper 1.8mm Suede leather, nylon Construction Gore-Tex lining, TPU toe cap, heel tension support for lateral stability, lightweight PU midsole, Comfort Flex insole, to-the-toe lacing with steel hooks for precise fit, ergonomic padded collar. Outsole Vibram Biometric Trek Weight 1220g (m), 1070g (w). www.southernapproach.co.nz
Scarpa ZG Pro GTX $479.99
Use Lightweight alpine hikes, on/off trail Upper 1.8-2mm nubuck leather Construction Gore-Tex lining, leather collar, TPU toe cap, customisable fast-lacing system, 5mm fibreglass Comfort flex insole, dual-density midsole. Outsole Salix Trek Weight 1280g (m), 1120g (w). www.southernapproach.co.nz
Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid $429
Use Hiking Upper Split leather and Cordura Construction Gore-Tex lining, external Monowrap frame for stability and ankle protection, perforated Climate Control footbed, double injected DuraPU midsole for lateral stability, three-quarter length nylon stabiliser, closed hook lace hardware. Outsole LOWA Cross Weight 1120g (m), 1120g (w). www.lowa.co.nz
Hoka One One Anacapa Mid $399.95
Use Day hikes Upper Leather Working Group certified nubuck leather Construction Gore-Tex lining, PFC-free DWR, quick-lace hook hardware, gusseted tongue, Achilles pull tab, moulded PU sockliner derived from 50% soybean oil, compression-moulded EVA midsole, recycled material in collar, mesh, laces and lining. Outsole Vibram Megagrip Weight 906g (m), 768g (w). www.hoka.co.nz
Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX $399.90
Use Alpine and multi-day hiking Upper Synthetic fabric Construction Gore-Tex membrane, 3F heel hold system for stability, TPU film protects uppers, to-the-toe lacing for precise fit, heel stabiliser, rubber toe cup, EVA midsole, nylon shank Outsole Pomoca compound rubber Weight 1130g (m), 930g (w). www.bobo.co.nz
Salewa Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX $399.90
Use Multi-day hiking Upper Stretch fabric, Suede Construction Gore-Tex membrane, 3F heel hold system for stability, flex collar, multi-fit footbed, to-the-toe lacing for precise fit, rubber toe cup, EVA midsole, nylon shank Outsole Vibram Alpine hiking Weight 1104g (m), 932g (w). www.bobo.co.nz
Keen Ridge Flex $349.99
Use Hiking Upper Leather Working Group certified leather, nylon overlays Construction Bellows Flex for forefoot bend, stability shank, compression-moulded EVA midsole, removable PU insole, heel-capture system, speed-lace webbing, Keen.Dry waterproof/breathable membrane, natural odour control, PFC-free DWR, rubber tip. Outsole Keen.All-Terrain rubber Weight 1210g. www.keenfootwear.co.nz
Scarpa Terra GTX $379.99
Use Hiking Upper 2mm full-grain leather Construction Gore-Tex lining, heel tension support for lateral stability, injected PU-Direct Attach midsole, nylon insert insole, partial rand, metal lacing hardware. Outsole Vibram Energy II Weight 1230g. www.southernapproach.co.nz
Keen Women’s Ridge Flex $349.99
Use Hiking Upper Leather Working Group certified leather, nylon overlays Construction Bellows Flex for forefoot bend, stability shank, compression-moulded EVA midsole, removable PU insole, heel-capture system, speed-lace webbing, Keen.Dry waterproof/breathable membrane, natural odour control, PFC-free DWR, rubber tip. Outsole Keen.All-Terrain rubber Weight Unavailable. www.keenfootwear.co.nz
The North Face Vectiv Exploris Mid FUTURELIGHT $330
Use Hiking, fastpacking Upper Abrasion-resistant Cordura ripstop, mesh Construction Waterproof/breathable FutureLight membrane, high-rebound EVA midsole, rocker geometry for forward propulsion, ghillie lacing system, toe cap, rand and heel overlay, 5% recycled rubber content in footbed, single-density 3D TPU plate. Outsole Surface Control rubber Weight 832g (m), 714g (w). www.thenorthface.co.nz
Merrell Siren 3 Mid GTX Women’s $329
Use Hiking Upper Mesh with TPU overlays Construction Designed specifically for women, Gore-Tex membrane, dual-density midsole with heel-centering technology, hook and webbing loops for secure fit, Hyperlock heel counter, bellows tongue, antimicrobial treatment. Outsole Vibram Megagrip Weight 1200g. www.merrell.co.nz