6 Best Summer Hiking Boots, 30+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
6 Best Summer Hiking Boots, 30+ Shoes Tested in 2023

There is something quite appealing about venturing into the great outdoors as the sun is blessing the nature all around. Being in such a bright and breezy environment, of course, calls for the best summer hiking boots.

This sun-kissed hiking lineup is a result of having gone through over 20 pairs of summer boots. Indeed, the top picks that await you here will exceed your expectations—from the most endearing summer all-rounder to the mightiest backpacking boot.

How we test hiking boots

Rounded up in this space are the finest summer hiking boots known to man. Detailed below is our no-frills-yet-meticulous process.

  • Using our own funds, we purchase summer hiking boots (be they cheap or expensive).
  • To find out the strengths and weaknesses of these breathable hikers, we hike in every pair under the heat of the sun for days.
  • We collect reviews from experts and summer trail-goers and reflect them on our own.

A CoreScore is assigned to every reviewed summer hiking boot. This score enables us to pick out the bests of the bunch.

Best summer hiking boots overall

KEEN NXIS Speed Mid
KEEN NXIS Speed Mid

CoreScore

87
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 605 users
90 / 100 from 1 expert

Pros

  • Transcendent comfort
  • Barely-there lightness
  • 10/10 support
  • Through-the-roof grip level
  • Fantastic softness
  • Awe-inspiring breathability
  • Roomy toe box
  • Attractive

Cons

  • Frail heel loop
  • Needs more poke protection

Verdict

While far from being a teleportation device, the NXIS Speed Mid will hurl you from point A to point B in a flash, minus the slipping and sliding along the way. This ultra-comfy hiker from KEEN also has fantastic ventilation to match its speedy nature, giving you a fresh hiking experience each time you venture out. And with its fair asking price, the mighty supportive NXIS Speed Mid has great investment written all over it.
KEEN NXIS Speed Mid full review

Best wide toe box summer hiking boots

Inov-8 Rocfly G 390
Inov-8 Rocfly G 390

CoreScore

85
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 29 users
90 / 100 from 12 experts

Pros

  • Unparalleled bounciness
  • Slipper-like lightness
  • Immensely comfy
  • Sticky on dry ground
  • Surprisingly tough
  • Super-flexible
  • Quite breathable
  • Dries quickly
  • Gives fantastic transitions
  • Glove-like fit

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Tongue that shifts
  • Not-so-clingy on mud

Verdict

If there is one shoe that can give you the closest thing to flight on the trail, it would have to be the Rocfly G 390 from Inov-8. In it, you'll be striding apace in maximal comfort minus the fatigued feet from point A to point B. Highly approved by fast-hiker-slash-author James Forrest, this premium-priced speedy kick can make you forget you're wearing a heavy-duty hiking boot.
Inov-8 Rocfly G 390 full review

Best day hiking summer hiking boots

Merrell Moab 3 Mid
Merrell Moab 3 Mid

CoreScore

84
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 1,112 users
N/A

Pros

  • Incredibly supportive
  • Cloud-like plushness
  • Minimal break-in
  • Superb grip
  • Heavy-duty
  • Flushes out stuffiness
  • Prevents odor buildup
  • Easy on and off
  • Uberly low-priced

Cons

  • A tad heavy (women's version)
  • Squishy toe zone

Verdict

A mid-top kick laden with superlatives—this is a befitting description for the Moab 3 Mid. Seriously, this 3rd-gen Moab boot from Merrell has got to be the fluffiest summer kick, ready to impress you with its no-wobble construction as you pull off one surefooted step after another. And the best part is, this long-lasting boot has a list price that's a hit among the masses.
Merrell Moab 3 Mid full review

Best Merrell summer hiking boots

Merrell Ontario Suede Mid
Merrell Ontario Suede Mid

CoreScore

79
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 726 users
N/A

Pros

  • Amazing comfort
  • Snug fit
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Versatile look

Cons

  • Too narrowLack of padding

Verdict

The Merrell Ontario Suede Mid is a great-looking boot that boasts quality comfort and protection. Those who have used it on the trail can attest to its sturdy construction, versatility, and top-notch performance. Also, it stands between being warm and breathable, which makes it a perfect shoe for the spring and during moderate weather conditions.
Merrell Ontario Suede Mid full review

Best value summer hiking boots

Salewa Dropline Mid
Salewa Dropline Mid

CoreScore

87
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 121 users
87 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Instant comfort
  • No break-in period
  • Featherweight
  • Protective underfoot
  • Superior shock absorption
  • Secure collar
  • Remarkable ankle support
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Underwhelming grip
  • Lackluster responsiveness

Verdict

Bolder strides are yours in the comfy-from-the-box Dropline Mid. This Salewa piece is also the tool you need if you wish to have more creativity in your step. While not a flawless hiker, the Dropline Mid will give you an overwhelming boost, especially on dry, well-maintained trails. Overall, testers lauded the well-built shock absorbency this Salewa boot while delivering support and protection on speed hiking trips in alpine terrain.
Salewa Dropline Mid full review
Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.