7 Best Lightweight Hiking Boots in 2022

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Lightweight Hiking Boots in 2022

Traditional hiking boots are clunky and heavy. Sure, they are made for more demanding conditions and terrains, but that doesn’t mean we need them all the time. Enters lightweight hiking boots. Something to go easier on our feet! This guide will showcase the best lightweight hiking boots and explain what makes them so special.

We have reviewed 80+ pairs of boots to help you get the right one for your needs. Whether it a more rugged one that you need for multi-day backpacking or a more urban-ready style, we’ve got a top pick for five different categories.

How we test hiking boots

We review lightweight hiking boots by using our CoreScore system. This means we: 

  • Read reviews from 293 experts and 32,143 users
  • Aggregate them, remove spam, weigh reviews from proven experts more 
  • Take into account if shoe has only a few reviews and which version is being reviewed
  • Thanks to the CoreScore, we rank all the shoes on the 0-100 scale 

Fruit of our work is our collection of more than 100 rated and ranked lightweight hiking boots.

Best lightweight hiking boots overall

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker

Corescore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 2,827 users
90 / 100 from 14 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Eclectic colorways
  • Groundbreaking grip
  • The plushest midsole in any hiking boot
  • Durable outsole
  • Perfect for urban hiking

Cons

  • Poor durability in the midsole
  • Terrible support throughout the shoe

Verdict

Out of the literal hundreds of hiking boots we’ve tested, we are so proud to crown the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker as the king of agility!

Lightness is coded in the construction of this shoe, and we have no complaints. Case in point, at roughly 760 g a pair, the Terrex Free Hiker gives its name justice. As for our time with it, we found ourselves zooming past obstacles left and right at break-neck speed!

Let’s turn our attention toward the prestigious Adidas Boost midsole. Yup, you read that right—the Terrex Free Hiker is built with Boost, which allowed us to negotiate tricky terrain as if we had cherubim wings on our ankles!

And dare we forget the Terrex Free Hiker’s level of comfort? Nope! This Adidas must-buy overflows with plushness. Right from the box, this lightweight boot made our tootsies sing in ridiculous comfort.

How about underfoot? Is it that sticky? Well absolutely! Don’t let its low-profile lugs fool you. They kept us surefooted on slick surfaces (e.g., wet grass, mossy logs, and slick rocks) quite effortlessly.

Do yourself a favor and get the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker now!

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight hiking boots for speed hiking

Salomon OUTline Mid GTX
Salomon OUTline Mid GTX

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 45,874 users
96 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Day-one comfort
  • Marvelous traction
  • Bracing collar
  • Featherweight
  • Moderately ventilated

Cons

  • Restrictive
  • Frail liner

Verdict

We have to hand it to the OUTline Mid GTX for being the nimblest of them all! Its light weight, which is roughly 420 g a boot for men, contributed greatly in this regard. That said, we dare not leave out its stunning sole unit, which allowed us to glide on well-maintained trails and rocky terrain alike.

Throughout our speedy escapades, our time in the Salomon OUTline Mid GTX was one marked with comfort. There was no need to break it in; we used it right away and got floored!

As for grip performance, the Salomon OUTline Mid GTX blew us away. We went practically everywhere—slopes, sidehills, near streams—and the boot didn’t give us a hard time. We didn’t lose our footing or slipped anywhere at all.

Let’s also talk about its support system. In our day’s journey, our feet remained in place and didn’t give in to the ruggedness of the trail. Both the OUTline Mid GTX’s collar and cushy midsole were amazingly supportive!

In terms of water protection, the OUTline Mid GTX was quite impressive, too. Moisture was kept at bay in it throughout our fast hikes.

If you want trail adventures at lightning speeds while wearing a boot, there’s no beating the OUTline Mid GTX from Salomon!

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight hiking boots for urban hiking

Columbia Firecamp Boot
Columbia Firecamp Boot

Corescore

82
Good!
4.5 / 5 from 4,276 users
N/A

Pros

  • Light
  • Mighty warm
  • Waterproof
  • Stylish
  • Comfy
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Narrow forefoot

Verdict

What we got in the Firecamp Boot from Columbia is a downright looker of a boot with remarkable versatility!

On the lightness front, the Firecamp Boot is wooing at 420 g per shoe. At first, it looked quite imposing, but when we slipped into it and tried it for a spin (about a mile hike), we were astounded by its weightlessness.

On the same initial hike, we encountered light rain and some puddles along the way. Not a droplet seeped into the Firecamp Boot’s confines. It was also rather chilly around the same time, which was perfect because we were able to test its insulation—it worked to our expectations!

Oh, but we haven’t told you yet about the compliments we’ve received while we got the Firecamp Boot on. Let’s just say that, whether on the trail or in the city, people were just smitten by its urban beauty.

We have no complaints about the Firecamp Boot’s adhesive performance. On trails, whether damp or dry, the boot didn’t slip. We took it to town soon after and traveled on some wet pavement, and it worked like a magnet. Amazing, right?

Anyway, what we’re saying is don’t hesitate. Get the Firecamp Boot now!

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight wide toe box hiking boots

Oboz Sawtooth II Mid
Oboz Sawtooth II Mid

Corescore

88
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 244 users
93 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Amazing arch support
  • Very durable
  • Wide toebox
  • Comfortable for long treks
  • Snug, secure fit

Cons

  • Break-in period
  • Not for wet, slippery surfaces
  • Heavy

Verdict

Oboz knows how to make great boots! The Sawtooth II Mid is a heavy-duty hiking boot and hasn’t shown any premature wear in the sole or the upper. I’ve worn them on numerous hikes and to work where I’m on my feet all day. The leather has broken in nicely and while the sole has roughed up a bit, it still slips pretty bad on wet surfaces.
See our full review and facts

Lightweight hiking boots with best comfort

KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid
KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid

Corescore

87
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 25,416 users
87 / 100 from 11 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Offers comfortable feel
  • Flexible
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Laudable warmth
  • Excellent grip on various terrain
  • Short to zero break-in period
  • Commendable toe cap

Cons

  • Unsatisfactory waterproofing
  • Lack of breathability
  • Restrictive fit
  • Poor quality

Verdict

The verdict is in: KEEN’s Targhee III Waterproof Mid is royally comfy, besting some 100+ lightweight hiking boots that we’ve tested!

Zooming in on comfort, the Targhee III Waterproof Mid pampered our precious feet without the customary break-in period. The suppleness of its interior (especially around the instep) and the cushiness of its footbed just spoiled our tootsies from the off!

At no more than 500 g per shoe, the Targhee III Waterproof Mid allowed us to pull off longer strides without weighing us down. Its tank-like appearance fooled us, indeed.

Speaking of tanks, you can say that the Targhee III Waterproof Mid was cut from the same cloth. We felt oh so secure in its solidly leather shell the whole time. Oh, but the star of the show in this regard was its rubber bumper. This toe cap, man—kicking unflinching roots and rocks with it was fun!

Its provision of support is something to write home about, too. Yes, the Targhee III Waterproof Mid’s collar kept our ankles safe, especially where twisting maneuvers were required.

And if you are worried about its price, don’t. The Targhee III Waterproof Mid is one affordable beast, selling for no more than $145 a pop. Get yours today!

See our full review and facts

Best value lightweight hiking boots

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 169,978 users
88 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable all-day wear
  • Short break-in time
  • Lightweight
  • Grips well
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not durable
  • Ineffective waterproofing
  • Insufficient ankle support

Verdict

Fact: The Newton Rudge Plus II Waterproof doesn’t mess around price-wise. Seriously, this bad boy from Columbia blew us away with its 80-dollar asking price!

Equally mesmerizing about this affordable wonder is its break-in-free comfort. We hiked for about a couple of hours in the Newton Rudge Plus II Waterproof straight from the box, and we experienced neither pinching nor hotspots. And our toes and heels? No blisters!

Did it ever weigh you down, you might ask? Not at all. At 450-ish grams a shoe, we found the Newton Rudge Plus II Waterproof quite freeing. We link this quality to the boot’s lightly seamed leather upper.

Sticking to both dry and wet surfaces is also business-as-usual for the Newton Rudge Plus II Waterproof. We traversed inclines, negotiated downhills, and balanced our way on some mossy logs, and we didn’t lose footing. On some wet grass, the Newton Rudge Plus II Waterproof gripped like a king, too!

But before we forget, the Newton Rudge Plus II Waterproof lives up to its name. Indeed, it is relentlessly waterproof. We found not a single drop of moisture on our pampered tootsies in it.

See our full review and facts

4 features of lightweight hiking boots 

We’ve covered hiking boots in great detail in our guide for buying the best hiking boots. Here, we’ll focus on what makes lightweight hiking boots different:

Features-of-lightweight-hiking-boots.png

  1. Lightweight: at RunRepeat, all lightweight hiking boots weigh less than 500g. 
  2. Breathable upper materials: synthetic materials, suede, mesh. 
  3. Soft: these shoes have a shorter break-in period because they aren’t as rigid as traditional hiking boots. Your feet have a greater degree of freedom in them. 
  4. Flexibility: you’ll notice you’re more agile in these shoes when covering uneven terrain. Less stiff rubber sole allows them to bend, which is impossible to do in traditional hiking boots.

Lightweight hiking boots can be found both in mid-cut and high-cut versions. 

Hiking boots weight comparison 

This average difference of 242g is what makes lightweight hiking shoes so special! 

lightweight-vs-heavyweight-hiking-boots-weight-comparison.png

Steps for finding your perfect fit 

There are a few important steps to follow when it comes to trying on and buying hiking boots.

These 6 steps will guide you through the process of trying out the hiking shoes. 

Finding-your-perfect-hiking-boot-fit.png

  1. Go shopping in the afternoon, so feet are swollen at least a bit. Swelling happens anyway when hiking, so it makes sense. 
  2. Try the boots with your hiking socks on. Bring the socks that you plan to wear with your hikers when shoe shopping. Avoid using cotton, but choose wool or synthetic socks.
  3. Try it on, lace it up, and check for pressure points. You don’t want any part of your shoe to feel loose! 
  4. There should be a thumb’s width space between your toes and the front of your boots.
  5. If you’re wearing special insoles or orthotics, take them with you and insert them into the boots when trying them on. 
  6. Use the ramp! All hiking/outdoor stores have it. Walk up and down. This tests the boot’s snugness. When you go up the board, observe for any heel lift. When you go down, check if your toes hit the front of the shoes. If your heel rises more than a quarter of an inch, try adjusting the laces. If your toes hit the front, try sizing up.

When you’ve made the purchase, make sure you break in your boots before your adventure. 

When you should (not) wear lightweight hiking boots 

To make them lightweight, some hiking boot features had to be omitted or reduced to a certain level. This is what defines when and where you should (not) wear the lightweight hiking boots: 

Lightweight hiking boots: when (not) to wear them

Yes

No

Short hikes, a day or a few days long

Mountaineering and heavy backpacking, especially at high altitudes

Lower-attitude adventures, as they don’t include severe weather conditions 

Difficult weather conditions - they are more breathable and, therefore, less able to endure great amounts of snow and rain

Warmer and dry weather, high breathability won’t keep your feet as warm

Cold weather - traditional hiking boots will keep your feet warmer than the lightweight ones

Easy hikes, on terrain that is not too demanding; for technical parts, it’s best to have stiff boots with rigid soles  

Hikes where you need to use spikes (crampons): for this, you need to check if your shoes are compatible with crampons and graded for that use. Most lightweight shoes would fall on both tests - their soles can’t have crampons attached to them and they are not rigid enough. 

If you insist on light hiking shoes, but know there will be some rain - check our lightweight waterproof hiking boot collection. This feature can be a day-saver! 

Author
Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.