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In this report

Hiking Boots: Ratings of Sources

Total of 31 Sources
Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Vasque Snow Junkie UD Hiking Boot
by Editors of Backpacker Magazine
Our AssessmentThe editors of Backpacker Magazine feature several winter recreation boots in their 2012 fall/winter gear guide. Of the hiking boots listed, the Vasque Snow Junkie UD receives an Editors' Choice award. All top models receive well-balanced reviews based on hands-on testing.
2. Backpacker Magazine
August 2012
Field Test: Do-It-All Boots
by Dan Larson
Our AssessmentAn undisclosed total number of hiking boots -- there are at least seven -- are subjected to Backpacker Magazine's trademark hands-on testing. Three models get the highest scores in the categories of fit, support, comfort and traction. Four other boots receive very brief evaluations, and it's not clear how thoroughly they were evaluated.
3. Backpacker Magazine
As of March 2013
Hiking Boots
by Editors of Backpacker Magazine
Our AssessmentThis backpacking magazine evaluates more hiking boots than any other publication we've found, putting dozens of models through rigorous field testing over thousands of miles with testers carrying packs as heavy as 70 pounds. Individual reports include occasional quotes from the tester and commentary about which features work and which don't. An Editors' Choice designation marks those models that perform best.
Feb. 12, 2012
The Best Hiking Boots Review
by Chris McNamara, Atherton Phleger
Our AssessmentThe editors of put 12 top-rated hiking boots through a "gauntlet" of hands-on tests and rate each one on comfort, traction, stability, weight and water-resistance. Text and video reviews accompany each model and offer some explanation of how tests are conducted. Five models receive either Editors' Choice awards, Best Buy or top pick designations.
5. Backpacker Magazine
November 2010
Time-Tested Gear: Boots
by Alex Geller, Kristin Hostetter
Our AssessmentThis review deserves a separate listing because it looks at a series of previously recommended boots in the context of time, highlighting those that still stand out even years later. There are only occasional details about how these boots are tested, but it's clearly explained why each pick stands out from the pack.
6. Backpacker Magazine
August 2011
Five All-Purpose Light Hikers
by Annette McGivney
Our AssessmentGrand Canyon rangers and guides test these light hiking shoes and boots on "the worst boot-chewing terrain." Short reviews include quotes from testers and comments about how well the boots perform. Although five standout models are cited for excellence in criteria such as support and scrambling, just one takes the best all-around prize.
7. Outside
April 2010
Buyer's Guide, Summer 2010: Trail Shoes
by Jason Stevenson
Our AssessmentBased on five months of testing 70 pairs of light hiking shoes and boots, Outside magazine recommends seven models with separate ratings for support and comfort. Some are also reviewed in videos. The Patagonia Drifter A/C low-cut hiking shoe ranks highest, excelling on both counts. Editors favor light, low hiking shoes for most day hikes, but recommend the now-discontinued Timberland Washington Summit F/L GTX Mid for backpacking loads of 25 to 45 pounds. Many of the recommended models are still in production.
8. Good Housekeeping
June 2009
GHRI-Tested Hiking Boots
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentEditors rank eight lightweight women's hiking boots based on tests by both seasoned hikers and beginners. Each boot also goes through objective lab tests for water and mud resistance, and linings are evaluated for breathability and wicking. Appearance and on-off ease are also considered. Although a few of the highest-rated models are discontinued, those still in production are familiar favorites from other reviews.
9. Outside
June 1, 2012
The 10 Best Hiking Shoes of Summer 2012
by Dave Cox
Our AssessmentOutside hasn't yet posted any hiking shoe or boot roundups for 2013, so this is the most recent collection of shoe reviews from this source. Each model receives a brief, mostly positive write-up; after all, this is a best-of collection. Comments about each shoe's performance make it clear that they were subjected to hands-on testing, and each is rated for comfort and support.
10. Outside
April 9, 2012
The Top 6 Adventure Shoes for 2012
by Devon O'Neil
Our AssessmentAlthough this best-of roundup is divided into specific adventure-style pursuits, it's also a collection of hiking shoes that stand up to extreme use. The brief reviews skew toward the positive, but it's clear that some hands-on testing was conducted. However, the out-of-5 ratings present on some other Outside reviews are absent here.
11. Outside
Nov. 1, 2011
The Top 6 Winter Boots of 2012
by Berne Broudy
Our AssessmentThese top-rated winter boots run the gamut from trail runners to double plastic boots designed for mountaineering, plus a couple of models suitable for year-round hiking. The write-up includes just a few short notes about how testing was conducted, and no direct comparison between models.
12. Outdoors with Dave
As of March 2013
Hiking Boot Reviews by Rating
by "John"
Our AssessmentIt's not clear how these boots are tested or by how many people, but reviewers assign each model a ranking of excellent, good, fair or poor in 12 categories including toe protection, lacing, waterproofing and ankle support. Boots also get an overall score from 1 to 10, making it relatively easy to compare models. The standouts are ranked at least 9, or "excellent."
13. Outdoors with Dave
As of March 2013`
Backpacking Boot Reviews by Rating
by "John"
Our AssessmentEach boot review features a short summary, list of pros and cons, and rankings assigned in each of 12 categories including toe protection, lacing, waterproofing and ankle support. Boots also get an overall score from 1 and 10; just two stand out with an "excellent" overall rating of at least 9.
14. The Seattle Times
Sept. 10, 2009
Kick the Heavyweight Habit with These Hiking Shoes
by Dan A. Nelson
Our AssessmentThe Seattle Times caters to Pacific Northwest trail enthusiasts with periodic reviews of hiking boots penned by a regular contributor to Backpacker Magazine, which we consider the best source for such write-ups. Several models are tested by male and female reviewers who hike a variety of trails while carrying 20- to 60-pound packs. Only the top picks are listed, and reviews include details on fit, comfort, breathability, support and grip on slick rocks.
15. The Seattle Times
Sept. 29, 2010
Mud Stompers: Boots Built for Autumn Hiking
by Dan A. Nelson
Our AssessmentNelson, a regular contributor to Backpacker Magazine, briefly reviews several boots suitable for muddy autumn hikes, including how each one handles various conditions. There's no mention of how many models are tested, although it's implied that at least a few didn't make the cut. In some cases, Nelson's wife tests women's versions of the boots.
16. The Seattle Times
April 20, 2011
Getting in Gear: Lightweight Boots for Muddy Spring Hikes
by Dan A. Nelson
Our AssessmentIn this write-up, both male and female reviewers test several boots while hiking on slippery terrain. Only the top picks are listed, so we don't know how many models were evaluated. Descriptions include details on fit, comfort, breathability, support and grip on slick rocks.
17. Fitness Magazine
The Fitness 2012 Sneaker Guide
by Lindsey Emery
Our AssessmentMore than 130 "sweat-testers" help Fitness editors test footwear for many types of outdoor activities, including hiking. A top hiking shoe and runner-up receive positive, but very brief, reviews that include a few tester comments.
As of March 2013
Top Rated Gear: Footwear
by Contributors to
Our is one of the best sources for user reviews of hiking footwear. Socks, ice grippers and sandals are mixed into this list of top-rated footwear, but it's still easy to pick out the best-rated hiking shoes and boots.
19. Mountain Equipment Co-Op
As of March 2013
Footwear: Day Hiking Boots and Shoes
by Contributors to Mountain Equipment Co-Op
Our AssessmentCustomers of this Canadian retailer post fairly lengthy evaluations; most offer at least a full paragraph or more. Comments include ratings for effectiveness and value, rudimentary information about the reviewers and an overall score. Standouts get at least 4.5 stars out of 5 from 15 or more reviews; a few models collect several dozen comments and most have at least one or two, making this a decent source for quick customer impressions.
20. Eastern Mountain Sports
As of March 2013
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentUser reviews from this online retailer include lists of pros and cons and how well the shoes or boots fit, along with star ratings out of 5. Comments range from brief to detailed. Standouts have at least 15 reviews and get 4.5 stars or more out of 5; in the case of the Asolo TPS 520 GV, more than 100 reviewers share their opinions and almost every one is positive.
As of March 2013
Hiking Boots, Rock Climbing Shoes, Trail Running Shoes
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentLike most online outdoor retailers, offers a good selection of hiking boots and shoes. Not all reviewers buy them for hiking, but they're generally used for some kind of active pursuit so the feedback is valuable. Top-rated footwear has 25 or more user posts and an average rating of at least 4.5 "moose" out of 5.
As of March 2013
Hiking & Trekking
by Contributors to
Our remains one of the best websites for reading customer reviews about hiking shoes and boots. Several models accumulate well over 100 posts. Top picks get an average rating of at least 4.5 stars out of 5 and 45 comments for men's shoes or 40 for women's footwear. However, users are the most likely to purchase hiking shoes or boots for in-town or work use, so it's worth examining the reviews closely.
As of March 2013
Shoes, Boots & Footwear
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentSeveral hiking shoes and boots attract user reviews at, but only a few also achieve ratings of 5 stars out of 5; we suspect they're often rounded up since the next step down is 4 stars. We select standout models that get feedback from about 20 owners.
As of March 2013
Shop Men's Hiking Boots & Shoes
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentAlthough doesn't post as many customer reviews for hiking boots as some other retail sites, there are still enough here to provide useful feedback. Most boots get at least one or two comments, but several get 20 or more and at least 4.5 stars out of 5. We include picks for women's hiking boots and shoes, which are listed separately.
As of March 2013
Shoes & Boots
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentVisitors to can rate and review hiking shoes and boots. Feedback is usually brief but includes a short list of pros and cons, plus the reviewer's thoughts on how the boot or shoe would be best used. Top-rated models get an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5 or better after at least 20 user reviews.
As of March 2013
Hiking Footwear
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentL.L.Bean's own models are some of the best-rated boots at this site, accumulating hundreds of owner reviews and high average scores. We select those that get at least 4.5 stars out of 5 from 50 or more user posts, with one exception. The Keen Targhee Waterproof Low is the only non-L.L.Bean hiking shoe or boot that enjoys a near-perfect rating from a substantial number of reviewers. Note: This website has known compatibility issues with the Chrome browser, so if you want to research owner feedback, it's best to use another browser.
As of March 2013
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentThis retail site can filter reviews of hiking boots by type, but if you're a man whose feet best fit women's boots or vice versa, you might struggle with the mandatory gender-sorted searching. A few boots accumulate hundreds of positive ratings, but those that get 4.5 stars out of 5 or better after 40 or more user posts are worthy of note.
28. Sports Authority
As of March 2013
Hiking & Trail Running
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentMost of the men's and some of the women's hiking boots here attract at least a handful of reviews, with women's footwear listed separately. Along with user comments, posts list how true-to-fit the boots run, lists of pros and cons, and how many owners would recommend the same product to a friend. Just one model stands out from the rest with more than 35 reviews, most of which are positive.
March 31, 2013
Top 9 Trail Shoes
by Wendy Bumgardner
Our AssessmentMost of the trail shoes recommended here are trail-running models, and there's no indication that they've undergone hands-on testing. However, the Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo hiker, Vasque Mantra GTX waterproof trail shoe and Kuru Chicane are recommended and reviewed by Bumgardner and one other individual.
As of March 2013
Men's Hiking Backpacking Boots
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentThis review site collects user feedback for a variety of outdoor gear. Although most brands attract only one or two comments, the standouts get at least 10 posts and an average rating of 4.5 stars or better out of 5. Women's boots get fewer reviews than the men's footwear, but two models get about 4.5 stars out of 5 or better based on more than 10 posts.
As of March 2013
by Contributors to
Our AssessmentOwners post feedback and ratings of various types of hiking shoes here, tending toward heavy-duty boots. You can filter the comments by brand, category, availability, rating and more. While most hiking boots and shoes attract only one or two reviews, a few get 10 or more posts and a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 or better.

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