If you want to enjoy some spectacular summer hiking, you need a boot that’s built to handle warm weather. The best summer hiking boots are breathable, have great traction, and support your feet.
The first thing to know when buying hiking boots is if that the ones that are
very breathable tend to be less waterproof. After all, if air can flow in and out, so can water. Many boots have mesh panels combined with waterproof soles, so you can still trudge through shallow puddles without getting your feet soaked. Other boots are more waterproof, but have breathable tongues and moisture-wicking liners to help keep you cool.
If your feet aren’t prone to overheating, you’ll likely be fine with a traditional waterproof boot for summer as long as it doesn’t have a thick lining. Another way to keep your feet cool in hot weather is by choosing a boot in a lighter color. Darker colors
absorb more heat, which is why darker shoes have been shown to have higher temperatures inside.
You’ll also want to consider the sole of your boot. Many hiking boots have soles made from Vibram, which is a brand of rubber that is well-known for its
traction and durability, while other boots have regular rubber soles that can also be designed with great traction. Soles also have a variety of different traction types that work on different terrains. Soles with thicker lugs, which are the bumps that provide traction, are great for mountaineering, while wider lugs are good for more casual hiking and make it easier to remove mud.
Along with outer soles, boots also have different types of midsoles, which impact support and cushioning. Midsoles made from EVA, which is a rubber-like polymer, are
lightweight and soft to reduce the stress of impact, while midsoles made from polyurethane (PU) provide less cushioning, but are more durable.
Stay cool this summer with picks from this list of the best summer hiking boots.
These Merrell Boots With Vented Panels
If you really want to keep your feet cool, these
Merrell hiking boots feature suede leather uppers with mesh panels that make them super breathable and the perfect choice for hot days. They have a Vibram sole that provides great traction on all terrains, and a foam closed-cell tongue that keeps dirt and moisture out. They also have an EVA contoured footbed that provides optimal support, as well as an air cushion for added comfort on hard trails.
One fan raved: “Most hiking boots are made to be waterproof, which can make them too hot for summer hiking. I seldom hike in the rain, so the waterproofing is helpful for wet trails, but as breathability is more important to me, I tried these. These ventilators live up to their name & are a sturdy, attractive boot. Larger toe box works for wider feet.”
Available sizes: 5 — 11 (regular and wide)
Available colors: 2
A Budget-Friendly Mid Rise Hiking Boot
cheap hiking boots cost just $40, yet they still provide excellent support and protection for your feet. The upper is made from 100% suede with breathable mesh inserts, while the sole is made of rubber with deep, multi-directional grooves to give you traction on the trail. While these boots aren’t completely waterproof, they are water-resistant thanks to the gusseted tongue and the moisture-wicking lining. They also have a removable and washable EVA insole that provides cushioning to keep your feet comfortable for miles.
One fan raved: “These hiking boots are true to size and are very comfortable. I hardly broke them in before I climbed Mt. Katahdin this summer and had no issues at all. I was very impressed with their comfort since I didn’t get any blisters at all!”
Available sizes: 6 — 10
Available colors: 5
These All-Weather Leather Hiking Boots
sneaker-soled hiking boots are a perfect year-round shoe because they are waterproof with taped seams and a gusseted tongue, so they can withstand both summer showers and winter storms. Your feet also won’t overheat in them because they have an internal bootie that is breathable and sweat-wicking. The sneaker-boot design keeps them comfortable, while the two types of lugs on the sole can handle almost any terrain. I own these boots and have worn them all over, from trails in tropical environments to icy slopes to city streets, and I have always found them to be comfortable and supportive.
One fan raved: “I love these boots! I was skeptical about buying hiking boots sight unseen online, but I tried on dozens of pairs are REI and couldn’t find anything that worked. These boots are a bit loose in the ankle, but with thick hiking socks on they work well. They are incredibly comfortable and have been great so far in Scotland, Iceland, and Shenandoah. They are also comfortable to wear everyday if you’re traveling and don’t want to pack a bunch of shoes. 10/10 would buy again, and, in fact, probably will.”
Available sizes: 6 — 11
Available colors: 7
A Breathable Boot You Can Wear Year-Round
Columbia hiking boot is a fan favorite on Amazon with over 13,000 five-star ratings. The rugged boot is made from waterproof full-grain leather and suede, but it still has a mesh tongue for breathability. The rubber sole has a dual-zone tread pattern that’s designed to work well on a wide variety of terrains including ice and snow, so you can wear these boots all year round.
One fan raved: “I love these! They keep my feet dry and aren’t too bulky compared to other shoes. I’m happy to have a pair of shoes I can wear in both summer and winter.”
Available sizes: 5 — 12 (regular and wide)
Available colors: 10
This Super Breathable Mid-Rise Hiking Boot
mid-rise hiking boot has breathable mesh panels to help keep you cool even in hot, humid weather. Designed specially for warmer climates, it has a perforated ankle panel and an oiled nubuck leather upper that is water-resistant. For added stability, it also has an injected TPU heel-capture system and a rubber sole with moderate tread that make it a solid all-terrain boot. The lace system has reinforced eyelets and is easy to tighten on the go too, thanks to the upper speed hooks.
One fan raved: “My first pair of Keens and I love them! I bought these to go hiking in parts of Arizona. We hiked Sedona, Grand Canyon and other areas around Colorado River. So comfortable. Got a great deal on mine when I ordered. Would highly recommend. Can’t wait for my next hiking trip.”
A Lightweight Hiking Shoe With A Moisture-Wicking Lining
lightweight hiking shoes weigh just over a pound, in part because they have specially designed soles that weigh 25% less than the brand’s boots. But even though they’re lightweight, they’re still sturdy thanks to the Vibram outsole with compound lugs that will keep you steady on a variety of terrains. The upper is made from synthetic microfiber, which is enhanced with mesh panels that are abrasion-resistant, so you can trek through the trees without worry. These hiking shoes also have a GORE-TEX lining that prevents water from getting in to your feet.
One fan raved: “I had an older version of the Breeze AT GTX boots that lasted me 9 years but needed to be replaced. I tried the newer version of those as well as these Breeze LT GTX boots. While both models are extremely well made, these are SO much lighter and more comfortable–easily the most comfy boots I’ve ever owned. My first hike in them was awesome! I walked right through mud, streams, wet rocks, sandy rocks, and dirt and the traction was incredible and my feet stayed completely dry. These were true to size for me. I do have rather narrow feet and these fit well–not too snug, not too wide.”
Available sizes: 6 — 11
Available colors: 3
Some Chunky Waterproof Hiking Boots
If you want to bring an on-trend chunky style with you to the trails, this pair of
waterproof hiking boots is the pick for you. Built to handle muddy terrain, rocky terrain, and anything in between, these boots have a mid-height design with a padded collar and an EVA midsole for support and comfort. They also have a rubber outsole that is durable and has traction, as well as a protective toe guard. Great for the summers, these boots are made with a hardy suede upper that has mesh panels and a mesh lining for added breathability.
One fan raved: “I ordered a half size up as recommended and They fit perfect. Are much lighter than my old hiking boots and provide support for my right ankle which I broke several years ago. They are going to be perfect for hiking this summer. High quality material and well made.”
Available sizes: 6.5 — 9
Available colors: 5
An All-Terrain, Waterproof Boot
durable hiking boot is a dependable choice for anyone who likes to try out new trails because it’s made for all styles of terrain. It has a mid-height design that provides ankle support, and it has chevron lugs on the rubber sole that provide traction on a variety of trail types. It also has an EnergyCell midsole, which is made from high-performance EVA foam that helps cushion your foot on impact. Beyond support, these boots also have a mesh and textile lining for breathability, which is combined with a GORE-TEX membrane to keep your feet dry.
One fan raved: “These boots are wonderful. They are lightweight, comfortable and I hike on uneven slippery terrain every day (3-7 miles) with them. I have a high arch and a slightly wide foot. The arch is in the right place, and I love everything about these […] I wear a slightly heavy sock with them because it is winter here, but in the summer I plan to wear them with a lighter sock. Additionally, they are easy to tie and get on quickly. I ordered a 7.5 Wide and I usually have to wear an 8 regular but since it was available in wide I went down a half size which was perfect. I tried another pair by Merrill first but the arch was closer to the heel which was not comfortable and I returned those. These boots are great, you won’t be disappointed.”
Available sizes: 5 — 12 (regular and wide)
Available colors: 4
The Editor’s Pick
Trek in comfort with these
lightweight hiking boots, which have an upper that is made from suede leather and breathable textile. These boots have a durable Vibram Biometric/XS Trek outsole with deep treads, as well as a supportive midsole that is made from PU. These boots also have a reinforced lacing system, which makes them not only lightweight but low-profile and easy to adjust.
Editor’s note: “These are my favorite summer hiking boots! I go on a lot of climbing trips and intense hikes, and I love that these have solid treads and grippy rubber outsoles that make me feel secure on all kinds of terrain. They’re also super breathable, so I don’t overheat, and they’re waterproof enough to withstand a light rain. These boots also required zero break-in period, which is one of my favorite things about them.” — Carina Finn
Available sizes: 5-5.5 wide — 8-8.5 wide
Also Great: These Highly Rated Hiking Sandals
If you’re really worried about keeping your feet cool on summer hikes, you may want to skip boots altogether and instead choose this
KEEN hiking sandal, which is as breathable as a hiking shoe can be. The straps are made from 100% polyester with an easy-to-secure bungee lace system, and they have a hydrophobic lining to help your feet dry quickly after you step in a stream or puddle. The outsole is made from rubber and has a multi-directional lug pattern for better traction, and the midsole is made from EVA and provides essential arch support. One of the best parts of this shoe is once you get home for a long, muddy hike, you can throw them in the washing machine to easily clean them.
One fan raved: “These Keen hiking sandals are super comfortable, cute, and perfect for hiking in the summer!! They fit as expected and are light weight which is a plus!!”
Available sizes: 5 — 12
1 Available colors: 3