Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Hikers are a great, versatile style of boot if you find yourself wearing casual clothing much of the time. Whether your style is business casual, techwear, or more denim-centric, these boots are easy to fit into your wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean they can’t handle some weekend hiking, just make sure to know your footwear and the hike before you head out.
1) Danner: Mountain Light II in Brown
Danner is perhaps the most iconic maker of hiking boots, and their Mountain Light II one of their most popular styles. It’s about as classic as they come with 360° stitchdown construction, a fold-over tongue padding, and lace-to-toe D-rings. And with the addition of a grippy Vibram sole and Gore-Tex liner these shoes use the best, new materials to ensure traction and water resistance.
Available for $380 from Danner.
2) Fracap: M120 in Black
Fracap is another longtime maker of hikers with their M120 remaining one of the best entry-level options out there. They are made in Italy with leather for both the outer and lining, and feature a ripple sole. While this might not be something you’ve had on footwear in the past, it’s been use to great success for military footwear applications as it offers great traction in a wide range of terrains. It’s certainly a unique look, but if you like it then it’s a fantastic option and the price really is right for the quality you are getting.
Available for $265 from End.
3) Paraboot: Avoriaz in Grain Bison
Paraboot makes some fantastic, classically inspired hikers as well. Their made in France Avoriaz boot, shown here in Grain Bison leather, is just one of their most attractive offerings (at least in this writer’s eyes). They’re finished with a Norwegian welt, padded collar, fold over tongue, and D-ring eyelets, making for a great all-around hiker.
Available for $534 from Lost & Found.
4) Viberg: Hiker in Fog Waxed Veldt
While most well known for their Service Boots, Viberg is no stranger to quality Hikers, and the Fog Waxed Veldt leather used here makes their 1970s pattern even better. It’s constructed with a 360° storm welt, Vibram Moreflex sole, Thinsulate insulation, and leather lining, creating a fantastic overall hiker for a myriad of situations. While the wedge sole might not be the best choice for some serious hikes, it’s an all around sole, and the sole’s inherent flex will ensure your feet are comfortable even after a long day.
Available for $710 from Viberg.
5) Diemme: Roccia Cordura Hiking Boots
Diemme has made some great innovations in their hiking boots, such as these Roccia Cordura Hiking Boots with feature a classic hiker style with the benefits of new, synthetic materials. While intended for casual wear rather than actual hiking, the style is inherently that of a hiker and it’s great to see innovation in the footwear world. They’re made in Italy from Cordura nylon, rubber trim, and nubuck details, with lace-to-toe D-ring eyelets as expected.
Available for $430 from Mr. Porter.
Plus One – Feit: Gator Metal Hiker
While Feit’s Gator Metal Hiker is far from a traditional hiker, it’s a tough boot with ankle support, good traction, and lace-to-toe lacing for a secure fit, ensuring it fits comfortably in the hike category. It features a metal toe accent, which is a bit of an acquired taste, but what really sets this boot apart is the removable leather gator; intended to protect against the elements, this gator covers the laces for added water and dust resistance, and gives the boots one of the most unique looks out there. While not for everyone, this is certainly a head turning design.
Available for $1250 from Feit.