If you're looking to move quickly across terrain, a lightweight walking boot could be the way to go. Heavy walking boots do offer additional durability, strength, and peace of mind but, by their very nature, the fact they're so heavy means more effort is required to move in them. A lightweight walking shoe allows for faster transitions from A to B and, in the case of certain products, can be suitable for trail running as well as general outdoor strolling.
So, what should you look for in a lightweight hiking shoe? Well, obviously you want something that doesn't weigh too much (that's a given). You want something comfortable, something with additional breathability, something stream-lined, and something with more flexibility than your average yoga instructor. Needless to say, grip and waterproofness are other factors worth considering. To help you make the right choice, we've compiled together six of the best lightweight outdoors shoes for your viewing pleasure.
Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX
Contrary to what you might be thinking, this shoe isn't the result of some Frankenstein-style experiment to fuse together the bodies of a hiking boot and a running shoe. The Terrex Fast R Mid GTX, by Adidas, is an excellent lightweight shoe ready to take you wherever you want to go in the great outdoors.
The mesh and synthetic uppers will let your feet breathe when it's hot, or when you're doing strenuous exercise, while the Gore-Tex lining will keep the wet where it belongs (outside the shoe). The technology on this thing's sole has been designed to absorb shock, cushion the heel, and grip slick surfaces. All things considered, it's a cracking bit of versatile footwear.
Asolo Creek GV
Speaking of versatile footwear, the Asolo Creek GV is well suited to tackling a variety of terrains. Whether you're into warm summer hiking or cold winter walking, the Creek is more than capable of taking care of your feet as you adventure here, there, and everywhere.
Every inch of this thing has been designed with your feet very much in mind. The heel shape on the Creek, for example, has been designed to maximise comfort and minimise blisters. The suede leather upper is water resistant, with the breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex lining adding extra protection for you and your feet. Oh, and the rubber toe caps add significant durability to areas that often experience a lot of wear and tear during hikes. In conclusion: a decent little product, one that's hard to dislike.
KEEN Men's Marshall Mid WP
If you're hiking trails, and want to be quick about, KEEN's Men's Marshall Mid is where it's at. As we already mentioned in our group test for best lightweight walking boots, this boot is like some sort of "sports coupé cousin" compared to KEEN's full-weight hiking shoes.
It's light, flexible, comfortable from the off, and stylish. While the lacing system isn't perfect; this boot scores well in basically every other department. For those who want something with more of a trainer-ish vibe, KEEN also offer a low cut as opposed to the mid.
Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX Hiking Boot Men's
For those who want a lightweight hiking boot that doesn't play by the rules, and yet still finds a way to come out on top, the Arc'tery Bora2 Mid GTX is, as the brand's website puts it, a "radically different approach to hiking footwear." So if you were sitting there thinking you'd seen everything the world of lightweight walking shoes had to offer, think again. Make no mistake on this one, the Canadian outdoor clothing and gear brand have really shaken stuff up with the Bora2.
The Bora2 is a highly technical piece of adventuring footwear, that offers impressive levels of versatility. The boot is all about the interchangeable Arc'teryx Adaptive Fit liners, that can be combined with the seamless uppers. By giving users a chance to respond to changing conditions via liners that offer different features, the wearer of these lightweight boots can go out safe in the knowledge that their footwear can meet whatever challenges they come up against (providing, of course, that the weather has the right liner to hand). Not the cheapest option, but if you're a real nerd for this sort of thing you'll love the boot's almost unrivalled levels of adaptability.
Altberg - The Yan Tan Boot
Want a strong lightweight hiking boot, with three-season characteristics? The Yan Tan, which contrary to what you might have heard is not an American hip-hop clan from the early 1990s, has an extremely durable upper made from a combination of Nubuk and Kevlar fabric. The design of the boot provides excellent ankle support, no matter how rough the terrain gets, while the ergonomic A-Forme allows the foot to take up a naturalistic alignment that supports the arch and instep while exercising.
The midsole has superb torsional resistance, and will stand up to intense flexing when the ground starts biting back. The sole possesses a shock absorbing mid-layer to give your heel extra protection when you're really pounding the floor out on the trail. A waterproof and breathable lining rounds the Yan Tan off nicely. Definitely one to consider.
Hanwag Sendero Mid GTX Surround
Last, but by no means least, is the Sendero Mid GTX from Hanwag. This lightweight number is highly breathable and waterproof, thanks to its Gore-Tex Surround technology, while its cemented construction means it's 100% resoleable.
While we're talking up the positives on the Sendero, it'd be remiss not to mention how the flexible instep lacing with loops means a tight fit doesn't come at the expense of all-important mobility. For a boot that's suitable for everyday usage, leisure activities, and general hiking - this is a really good option. The Sendero stomps all over lowland terrain, and paths.