Made of lightweight materials. They don't have much top-of-the-foot coverage so they're mostly suitable for well-maintained trails and summer hikes. Also useful for crossing rivers and streams. They come in open and closed-toe designs. See the best hiking sandals.
The low-cut equivalent of hiking boots. Comfort is paramount in the creation of these shoes so they often have flexible materials. Generally used for day hikes. See hiking shoes.
Mid to high-cut models designed for more aggressive hikes and backpacking. See hiking boots.
Specialized footwear. Often insulated and used in technical routes, ice climbing or expeditions. See mountaineering boots.
Good to know
For hikes that won't last for more than a day, go with hiking sandals or hiking shoes. Tackling trails with greater challenges will require hiking boots or mountaineering boots.
For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots
Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.
Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.
Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.
Good to know
Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.
Shoes with a cuff that goes below the ankle. See low-cut hiking shoes.
Good to know
Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.
WidthMen: Normal, Wide
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97 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
I can say a lot of people will be wearing these boots in the future.
These boots are performing really, really well.
I see many great miles ahead of me in this fantastic boot.
Updates to Lowa Ranger III GTX
- Compared with the Ranger II GTX, the third-generation Ranger GTX has a slightly slimmer profile, especially around the shaft. That said, this latest Lowa offering is heavier than the previous model.
- The boot provides stability and underfoot cushioning thanks to its DuraPU midsole with SBS System. It comes with a stabilizer at medium rigidity for additional balance support.
- This version is still equipped with a Vibram outsole. This time, however, it is one Vibram Natural instead of its older sibling’s Vibram AppTrail.
- Making a welcome return from the old model is the boot’s iconic tongue stud (called X-Lacing system in this version). Its function of securing the tongue in place remains the same as seen in the Ranger II GTX.
Lowa Ranger III GTX size and fit
A fairly true-to-size, mid-cut backpacking boot for men is the Lowa Ranger III GTX. It comes in widths D – standard and 2E – wide. Its sizing options are quite decent, having a range of whole and half sizes. Getting a secure lockdown is through the boot’s lacing system. It is designed to allow for two separate tension settings—one for the instep zone and another for the shaft.
The Lowa Ranger III GTX promises to help backpackers conquer virtually all sorts of terrain with its grippy Vibram Natural outsole. This trekking-specific, resolable component (meaning, the sole is replaceable), aside from its multi-directional lugs, features aggressively grooved heel and forefoot zones for extra ascent and descent control. In addition to traction, this proprietary outsole also doubles as the boot’s toe bumper.
Aimed at maintaining the user’s balance with as much cushioning as possible is the Ranger III GTX’s DuraPU midsole. It is engineered with the SPS System—a technology that sees TPU inserts installed at key points for supination and pronation support. Boosting comfort for the user is the Lowa-exclusive Climate Control footbed. It can be trimmed to better suit the user’s cushioning needs.
Lowa’s Ranger III GTX largely owes its tough looks and durability to its waxed nubuck leather upper. It has a 360-degree rubber rand at its base for scuff and abrasion protection. Its main liner features a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing. Its main defense against intrusive debris, on the other hand, is thanks to its gusseted (C4) tongue.
A fairly straightforward classic lacing system completes the boot’s upper. It consists of synthetic laces, open hooks, roller eyelets, and the X-Lacing system—the tongue’s stud.