The 13 Best Waterproof Hiking Boots of 2023

For value, comfort, and accessibility, we love the Merrell Moab 2 boot for novices and experts.

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13 Best Waterproof Hiking Boots of 2022


Whether you’re a casual hiker or already have hundreds of miles under your belt, a great pair of waterproof hiking boots is a splurge that’s well worth it.  A hike is just more enjoyable when you don’t “feel it” the next day, and having great gear can be that extra push you need to take that morning hike or incorporate a trekking day into your beach vacation. Plus, many stylish hiking boots toe the line between city-wear and nature-ready gear, making you truly ready for it all.

After heading on one too many trips where my wet sneakers that were “just fine” for an easy hike didn’t dry the next day, I knew I had to upgrade to a real pair of waterproof hiking boots. After getting a great pair, I feel steady, confident, and like I’m walking on air — and, of course, dry. “If they can handle a rainy hike and an unexpected puddle and my feet are dry, then they are waterproof enough for me,” says travel and outdoor recreation expert and award-winning host Lauren Gay, also known as Outdoorsy Diva.

With the help of Gay's recommendations, we’ve rounded up the best waterproof hiking boots based on comfort, durability, and style. Our top choice are the Merrell’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots, which come in both men’s and women’s styles. Merrell’s price point, availability, and reliability make it a standout in the hiking market.

These are the best waterproof hiking boots to shop right now:

Best Overall

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Merrell Moab 2


Why We Love It: The cushiony inside of this style means you need minimum or even no time to break them in.

What to Consider: They aren’t the latest model in Merrell’s Moab line. 

The popularity of the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots is well-deserved. Coming in at 2 pounds, these hiking boots are a midweight style fit for most seasons, and with a contoured footbed and zonal arch, comfort reigns supreme. The cushiony inside of this style lends to minimum or no time needed to break them in. And if you prefer a more directly-on-the-ground feel, the contoured footbed can even be removed. With most sizes coming in both medium and wide widths, there seemingly is a fit for everyone. It’s made of some recycled materials, and it provides ample protection from the elements without making your feet overheat. The Moab 2 has also been widely lauded for its substantial ankle support. 

The brand is favored among beginners and expert hikers alike. Merrell’s Moab 2 has carried hikers all over the world from Iceland – check out Lauren Gay with her Merrells in Reynisfjara. Although we chose the Moab 2 for its longterm, tried-and-true performance verified by our outdoor experts like Gay, Merrell did release the Moab 3 in spring 2022. Merrell also offers a men’s version of the Moab 2

Price at time of publish: $145

Sizes: 5-11 (medium and wide widths) | Material: Suede and mesh upper, rubber sole | Weight per pair: 2 pounds

Best Budget

Mishansha Unisex Warm Hiking Boots

Mishansha Unisex Warm Hiking Boots


Why We Love It: These cozy boots are the perfect starters for winter hikes and won't break the bank.

What to Consider: Though the soft lining is cozy, there is limited cushioning, so you may want to add an insole.

Lightweight and warm for a budget-friendly price, Mishansha’s boots are a great starter hiker for chillier temperatures. A non-slip, abrasion-proof tread lends to stability in snowier weather and is perfect for those weekend hikes with your rowdy dog. With a wider front, there is enough room in the boot to insert an orthopedic insole for comfort, though they might rival the cozy feel of the boot’s soft, fleece-like lining that retains your heat.

The classic faux-leather, lace-up style of the Mishansha boots also make them easy to style for city trekking. Try these out to see if they make a difference in how your feet feel on those shorter hikes — they’re a good starting point before committing to more specialized styles.

Price at time of publish: $44

Sizes: 5.5-15 | Material: Artificial leather, rubber sole | Weight per pair: 1.52 pounds

Best Lightweight

The North Face Vectiv Exploris Mid Futurelight

The North Face Vectiv Exploris Mid Futurelight

The North Face

Why We Love It: These lightweight but sturdy boots feature FutureLight, The North Face’s lightweight, breathable answer to Gore-Tex.

What to Consider: These sneaker boots can run a bit narrow in the toe box, so it’s recommended to get them at least a half size above what you normally wear.

With the style of a cool basketball sneaker, The North Face’s Vectiv Exploris Mid FutureLight Leather Boot features tons of the brand’s proprietary technology. The lightweight sneaker boot is breathable and isn’t bulky, making it a great buy for summer hikers. Designed with trail runners in mind, the shoe has wonderful shock absorption and the cradle shape of the sole propels you onward. Meanwhile, the high cushioning internal and OrthoLite footbed feels like walking on air, and the boots' 4-millimeter soles and super grippy traction will give you stability on a variety of terrain. Men’s sizes are also available. 

Price at time of publish: $169

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Nubuck leather, rubber sole | Weight per pair: 1.5 pounds

Best Leather

Ariat Moresby Waterproof Boot

Ariat Moresby Waterproof Boot


Why We Love It: The height and durable material provide assurance — if being snake-bitten is a concern on your hike, this 6-inch-high style is worth considering. 

What to Consider: As is the case with most leather boots, these are going to run heavier than synthetic styles. 

Leather is often touted as the backpacker’s hiking boot material of choice due to full-grain leather’s durability, low risk of abrasion, and water resistance. Leather hiking boots also prove to be steady enough for heaving loads, and the Moresby (also available in men’s) is likely to last a hiker many years and miles. This alpine-style’s height offers cushioned ankle support as well as protection from snake bites on your trail. The waterproof PRO construction is great for keeping your feet dry on rainy hikes and through wet grasslands, and the all-day cushion insole is highly shock absorbent. Though not insulated, these make great winter boots along with a heavy sock since the grippy traction can navigate snowy paths.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: 5.5-11 | Material: 100 percent leather upper, 30 percent recycled rubber outsole | Weight per pair: 2 pounds

Best Cushioning

Hoka Anacapa Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots


Why We Love It: That signature Hoka cushioning will make you feel like you have an unfair advantage floating through trails, and they have a great look.

What to Consider: Lightweight, the Anacapa is most ideal for short day hikes. 

In the past few years, Hoka has taken the athletic world by storm with its ultra cushioned shoes that are both lightweight and breathable. The Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX Hiking Boot brings the brand's signature Meta-rocker technology — that cradle effect that feels like it’s propelling you forwards — to the trails. In further consideration of comfort and convenience, the Anacapa’s achilles-cradling pull tabs offer easy on/off. 

If you’re anything like Gay — and maybe a “diva” — you still want your boots to be “somewhat cute with fun colors and some pizazz.” Hoka’s are known for their bright, fun colors, and the Anacapa is no exception.

Price at time of publish: $185

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Nubuck leather/Gore-Tex upper, molded PU (50 percent soybean oil), Vibram Megagrip rubber | Weight per pair: 1.7 pounds

Best for Rough Terrain

Scarpa Zodiac Tech GTX Women's Mountaineering Boot

Scarpa Zodiac Tech GTX Women's Mountaineering Boot


Why We Love It: These versatile boots are compatible with semi-automatic crampons and offer hefty toe protection.

What to Consider: These boots are expensive, but with a lifelong guarantee and the ability to seemingly traverse anything, we think they’re worth the price.

If you’re looking to gear up for a true trek (think long approach and snowy summit), then the Scarpa Zodiac Tech GTX is the mountaineering boot for you. At the most basic level, your feet will definitely be dry with the Scarpa Zodiac Tech’s Gore-Tex membrane. Built for technicality and comfort while you’re facing adverse conditions, these boots absorb impacts with every footfall, making them comfortable for your joints on rough terrain. Not only are the Vibram soles durable and super grippy with excellent traction, but they are compatible with semi-automatic crampons for icy and snowy conditions, truly making these mountaineering boots up for anything. The Vibram soles also have a toe area optimized for rock climbing.

At over 2.5 pounds, the Scarpa Zodiacs are indeed weightier than many hiking boots, but that adds to your stability on testy terrain, and they’re ideally designed for summer alpine ascents. These serious boots also work hard, play hard, with fun colors like neon turquoise and orange.

Price at time of publish: $349

Sizes: 6-10 | Material: Suede/Gore-Tex upper, Vibram Mulaz S/Mont rubber sole | Weight per pair: 2.5 pounds

Best for Winter

Salomon Women's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot

Salomon Women's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot


Why We Love It: They have a superb balance of style and functionality. 

What to Consider: This boot is for extremely cold temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Our favorite winter hiking boot is the Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP Boot due to its balance of style and functionality. The winter Contragrip lends to excellent traction on ice and snow, making it ideal for winter hikes and snowshoeing. Made to keep your feet warm in below zero temperatures, the ​​faux-fur lining and Aerotherm Aerogel provide superb cold-weather comfort. Hiking this winter in some cold and slushy conditions? The Toundra Pro CSWP, which is also available for men, has a high shaft to keep you toasty and dry.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Leather, textile, Aerogel insulation, rubber sole | Weight per pair: 1.7 pounds

Best for Summer

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Gore-tex Hiking Shoe

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Gore-tex Hiking Shoe


Why We Love It: Stylish and eco-friendly, this lightweight hiker is a part of Adidas’ “Nothing Left Behind” program.

What to Consider: Because they're lightweight with no insulation, be sure to pair them with thick socks to give warmth and avoid blisters.

A Travel + Leisure editor favorite, the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 is a cool, lightweight, and cushioned hiking shoe that’s perfect for the summer. Take on streams and rivers while keeping your feet dry with top-tier waterproofing that comes courtesy of Gore-Tex lining. The upper uses Primeknit fabric for a glove-like fit, and an EVA stabilization frame and Boost midsole give you both flexibility and an uptick of energy return with every stride. The Continental outsole sports a strong tread for great traction on strenuous day hikes.

To be frank, the stylish design that Adidas is known for makes the boot look really cool, which might just force you to up your hiking style to match. 

Price at time of publish: $230

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Mesh upper, Gore-Tex lining, Continental rubber outsole | Weight per pair: 1.7 pounds

Best Traction

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots


Why We Love It: These durable boots have multi-directional lugs providing steady traction whichever way your foot lands and come with a sustainable bonus.

What to Consider: These boots are heavy and a bit stiff, requiring a longer breaking in period.

The Oboz Bridger is a sturdy and durable hiking boot providing great traction and ankle protection, making it optimal for challenging hikes and if you’re getting back to the trails after a long hiatus. The Oboz Bridger’s premium insoles make it amongst the most supportive hikers on the market, and it ranges from size 6 to 11 in both medium and wide-width and comes in men’s sizes. This style is sure to leave you feeling secure: The deluxe footbeds feature a well-defined arch for support; the midsole has the standard supportive EVA, which also adds comfort; and nylon shanks and thermoplastic urethane forefoot plates offer torsional stability, increasing sure-footedness on varied terrain. The rubber outersoles also have deep multidirectional lugs that extend over the sides, providing grip no matter what angle your foot hits the ground. And here's another cool touch: Oboz plants a tree for every pair sold.

Price at time of publish: $190

Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Nubuck leather, nylon mesh, rubber sole | Weight per pair: 2.2 pounds

Best for Wide Feet

Teva Grandview GTX Waterproof Hiking Boots

Teva Grandview GTX Waterproof Hiking Boots


Why We Love It: The roomy toe-box and mesh upper of these hiking boots provide airy comfort.

What to Consider: Lightweight and closer to a sneaker than a boot, this is more suitable for day hikes.

Okay, so these Gore-tex-lined Teva Grandviews are so fashionable they’re sold along with styling suggestions at Madewell, but coming from trusted adventurer outfitter Teva, they can definitely be relied on. Men’s sizes are just as stylish. The Vibram soles of these shoes provide excellent traction, and the mesh upper gets rid of a lot of bulk, thus you get a comfortable mix between a sneaker and a boot. The ability to tighten them down for a narrower heel and ankle while maintaining the roomy toe-box makes these boots a crowd favorite, especially for daily trail walking and light hiking. 

Price at time of publish: $175

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Leather, synthetic, textile upper, Vibram Megagrip sole | Weight per pair: 1.7 pounds

Best Style

Danner Women’s Mountain Light Boot

Danner Women’s Mountain Light Boot


Why We Love It: We love the classic alpine style of the aging patina leather, which should last through years of hikes.

What to Consider: At 3 pounds, they come with a hefty weight and price tag. 

These Danner Mountain Light Boots are truly a step into (rugged) luxury. With full-grain leather, Vibram Kletterlift outsoles, and a handmade origin in Portland, the Danner Mountain Light boots are an industry standard and a statement piece. Beautifully made with eye-catching bright red laces, these boots are just as likely to be seen on a trekker in the Yukon as they are on a fashion editor, and they’re considered one of the greatest backpacking boots of all time. You may remember seeing them in the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, “Wild.” 

Here’s why the author chose the Danner Mountain Light boots for a 1,100-mile solo hike: The durability of the full-grain leather and the Vibram Kletterlift  heel provide super shock absorption, and the outsole has unbeatable traction. Danner recommends sizing down for the best fit as this style, while roomy in the toe box, is slightly long. 

Price at time of publish: $430 in cascade

Sizes: 5.5-10 | Material: Full grain leather upper, Gore-tex liner, Vibram Kletterlift outsole | Weight per pair: 3 pounds

Best Vegan

On Cloudrock 2 Waterproof Hiking Boots

On Cloudrock 2 Waterproof Hiking Boots


Why We Love It: They’re ultralight yet stable and are a grippy sneaker-boot hybrid.

What to Consider: They’re pricier than many hybrids.

Now, there are a lot of hiking boots made of vegan, synthetic, or eco-friendly materials, giving us a great deal of options in the market. On Cloudrock 2 has a 20 percent recycled waterproof membrane sure to keep your feet dry during those downpours. The upper is made of 95 percent recycled polyester, which ups the eco-friendly factor. At less than 2 pounds, these boots are lightweight yet provide great ankle protection and Missiongrip for optimal traction. The footbed is extremely soft and needs minimal breaking in. Find the men’s style here.

Price at time of publish: $220

Sizes: 6-11 | Material: Nylon vamp mesh, TPU overlays, polyester | Weight per pair: 1.8 pounds

Best Ankle Support

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker Mid Gore-tex Shoes

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker Mid Gore-tex Shoes


Why We Love It: Extra ankle support helps you maneuver roots, rocks, and muddy downhills. 

What to Consider: The extra ankle support is solid but maybe a bit stiff at first and can take some getting used to.

High in design, Adidas can be sure to give us a style that looks just as good in the mountains as it does out in the city, and the rip-stop upper of the Terrex Trailmaker Mid offers excellent ankle support with a high-top feel. Lightweight and with high grip traction, this is a perfect travel hiking boot as it doubles as a sneaker for urban trekking. Many people make the switch from hiking shoes or grippy sneakers to hiking boots because they want more ankle protection. These give you the best of both worlds with a high ankle cushion and lace-up design that provides maximum support.

Price at time of publish: $150

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Gore-Tex upper, rubber outsole | Weight per pair: 1.7 pounds

Tips for Buying Waterproof Hiking Boots

Look for truly waterproof materials

There’s a big difference between hiking boots that are truly waterproof and those that are actually more water-resistant. Something that is sufficient for walking through muddy grasslands may not perform well during a downpour hike. Make sure your boots’ make-up consists of materials that have proven to be breathable yet waterproof, such as Gore-Tex or The North Face’s Futurelight.

Consider your foot shape and gait

The right boot for you may not be the best for someone else, and comfort is key. Do you have wide feet? Look for hiking boots with the option of a wide fit or at least with a roomier toe-box. The most comfortable boots are going to give you some room for your toes to spread, leading to a more pleasant hike. Outdoor expert Gay suffers from plantar fasciitis and looks for styles with good arch support and extra cushioning. Like her, you may want to look out for an EVA midsole, as this foam provides great shock absorption when running or walking and can be easier on your joints upon impact. 

Try them on with the socks you'll hike in

Gay gave a reminder to always test out your boots with the socks you plan on wearing for the actual hike before hitting the trail. “Always try your boots on with the socks you would hike in so it has the right room for thickness. You don’t want it too loose with a thinner sock. I tend to use different shoes for hiking in colder weather versus warm,” she says.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How long does waterproofing last on hiking boots?

    Ideally, especially if they’re being used consistently, you should treat your boots with durable water-repellent finish yearly. You’ll know when it’s time to waterproof when water no longer beads up and rolls off of your boot’s surface, or when moisture consistently absorbs into the outer layer of your boot. 

  • Can waterproof hiking boots be submerged?

    This depends. You’ll need to make sure the ankle is fully sealed before submersion, and for truly wet terrains, we recommend you use hiking gaiters. Any inner Gore-Tex membrane must also be sealed or you can risk water seeping into your foot hours after submersion.

  • How should hiking boots fit?

    Hiking boots should be snug enough to provide stability without your feet moving too much inside but allow for flexibility and comfort. “When you try it on, place your foot up on a step when you lace it up so that your toes will be fully forward as they would be as you are walking,” Gay recommends. 

  • How much should hiking boots weigh?

    Most of the styles we looked at were around two pounds with winter and backpacking boots weighing more. Look for that perfect balance of durability and lightness. Lighter boots lend to less dragging of the feet and therefore cause less fatigue. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Multi-hyphenate Nneya Richards (pronounced en-NYE-ah) is a fashion and travel creative, blogger, and public speaker. She is best known for her blog, ’N A Perfect World, a curated intersection of travel, food, style, and geopolitics, inspired by the millennial global citizen. Nneya is a twice-published author, most recently contributing a short story about a trip to Cuba for the dance and travel anthology “Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad.” To curate this list of the best waterproof hiking boots, she researched dozens of products and spoke to outdoor expert Lauren Gay.

Up Next: The 8 Best Hiking Shoes and Boots for Women

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