Light, comfortable, and suitable for the majority of trips where formed trails are walked and pack weight is not too heavy.
Lacing and hardware
Fabric or metal eyelets are used with metal lugs at the ankle to enable the boots to be pulled tight.
Above-the-ankle cuffs reduce the chance of trail debris entering the boot. Higher cuffs offer better ankle support and are softened for comfort. A bellows tongue will also reduce the ingress of trail debris.
The midsole absorbs the shock and impact of walking over uneven ground. Most midsoles are EVA, a polymer which provides either firm or soft support depending on its density. Soft-flex boots are more comfortable on soft even ground and when moving fast. Some midsoles are PU (polyurethane, which is firmer and more durable than EVA) and are better for rocky terrain and while carrying a heavy pack.
Boots in this category will be leather or a combination of leather or suede with a synthetic material providing abrasion resistance. They are soft and supple, and the boots can usually be worn straight from the box without the need to break them in.
Sticky rubber compounds with mud-shedding lugs offer grip on most track surfaces.
Generally, the heavier a boot the more durable it will be. It’s also more likely that 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.
This should have 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 toes do not get cramped and bruised.
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.
LOWA Renegade GTX MID $549
A boot for rocky and uneven terrain and a LOWA staple for 25 years. It has a 1.6–1.8mm full-grain nubuck leather upper, soft flex stabiliser and Monowrap frame for support and stability, Gore-Tex lining, PU midsole and Vibram Evo midsole. Wide fit available. 1100g (m), 950g (w). www.lowa.co.nz
Zamberlan Vioz Lux GTX Women’s $549.99
A full-grain waxed leather boot with a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining. It has a low-density, cushioning and shock-absorbing PU midsole, protective toe bumper, rockered shape for easy toe-off and Zamberlan’s Flex System for comfortable forward flex. 1440g. www.huntingandfishing.co.nz
Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX $499.99
This is Scarpa’s best-selling hiking boot offering flexibility, support and protection. It has a 1.8mm suede and nylon upper with padded collar and gusset, TPU toe cap, a light PU midsole and stabilising heel tension support, to-the-toe lacing and a Gore-Tex lining. 1220g (m), 1070g (w). www.southernapproach.co.nz
LOWA Innox Pro GTX Mid $499
A ‘fast and light’ hiker designed for overnighters, day walks or fastpacking. It has a synthetic upper with Gore-Tex lining and a Monowrap frame for lateral stability over uneven terrain. Single-injected PU midsole provides durable comfort and cushioning. LOWA Multi Trac Outsole. 920g (m), 790g (w). www.lowa.co.nz
Zamberlan Marie GTX Women’s $499.99
A boot inspired by Marie Paradis, the first woman to climb Mont Blanc, and made with soft Tuscan leather. There’s a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining, a nylon insole and double density PU midsole for support and stability, and protective rubber toe, heel and side patch. 1040g. www.huntingandfishing.co.nz
Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX $479.90
This boot comes with a blister-free guarantee. There’s a suede leather upper with protective rubber edging and Gore-Tex Extended Comfort membrane. It has a Multi Fit Footbed with removable layers, climbing lacing for precise fit and Salewa’s 3F heel hold system for ankle and heel support. 1080g (m), 940g (w). www.bobo.co.nz
Asolo Fugitive GTX Widefit $469
This boot offers greater width to suit broad feet. It has a water-resistant 1.6–1.9mm suede and high-tenacity nylon upper backed by a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining. There’s a rubber toe cap, tongue baffle, metal lacing hardware and a resoleable outsole. 1386g. www.oms.co.nz
Dolomite 54 High FG GTX $449.99
An oiled nubuck leather boot that blends retro urban styling with weekend hiking functionality. There’s a Gore-Tex lining, die-cut EVA midsole, recycled mesh footbed for foot comfort, toe bumper and long lace closure. 1000g (m), 870g (w). www.colorado-traders.co.nz
Scarpa Rush Trek GTX $449.99
This boot balances the light, agile feel of a trail runner with the support and protection of a hiking boot. It has a 1.6–1.8mm suede and fabric upper, rubber toe cap, durable EVA midsole and TPU frame for support and stability, and a Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining. 1110g (m), 930g (w). www.southernapproach.co.nz
Scarpa Terra GTX $399.99
This is an easy-wearing all-leather boot for travel and hiking. It has a 2mm full-grain leather upper with collar and gusset, a PU injected-moulded midsole for support and stability, Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining and a Vibram Energy II outsole. 1260g (m/w). www.southernapproach.co.nz
Anatom Q3 Braeriach $429.99
Comfort and stability are the claims of these boots. There’s a 2.6mm leather upper, a proprietary tri.aria membrane backed with a hydrophobic moisture-managing lining, a PU midsole, toe cap, an undercut heel for braking and a Vibram Sorapis outsole. 1280g (m/w). www.bivouac.co.nz
Asolo Eldo Mid LTH GV $379
An agile boot designed for technical approaches and day hikes. It has a suede upper, Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining, mono-density thermoformed Eva midsole for support, stability and cushioning, a full rand and a resoleable Asolo/Vibram AG Megagrip outsole. 824g (m), 717g (w). www.oms.co.nz
The North Face Vectiv Exploris 2 Mid FutureLight $360
A boot combining ankle-high support with TNF’s Vectiv 2.0 propulsion plate (a rockered midsole with a forked heel and forefoot for lateral displacement and stability). There are textile uppers, an EVA midsole, toe cap, a waterproof/breathable FutureLight membrane and SurfaceCTRL outsole. 838g (m), 768g (w). www.thenorthface.co.nz
The North Face Vectiv Exploris Mid FutureLight $360
A boot with a unique midsole rocker that helps toe-off, and is designed to optimise energy return. It has a durable ripstop mesh upper, and waterproof/breathable FutureLight membrane, high-rebound EVA midsole, TPU plate for stability, reinforced heel, toe cap and SurfaceCTRL outsole. 832g (m), 714g (w). www.thenorthface.co.nz
Anatom Men’s Q2 Classic $349.99
These boots are made with 2.5mm full-grain leather with a waterproof, breathable tri.aria membrane. They’re built on Anatom’s Comfort Last and have a cushioned PU midsole for lateral and torsional stability, a protective toe bumper, an undercut heel and Vibram Grivola outsole. 1550g. www.bivouac.co.nz