Outdoor enthusiasts who don’t want their feet too sweaty during an adventure might want to consider breathable hiking boots. As the name suggests, this type of footwear allows excessive heat and moisture to pass through for improved ventilation. Along with this benefit, they also offer adequate traction, support, and comfort to help you perform better on the trail. If you’re after a breezy feel for your upcoming trip, better take a look at what above-the-ankle hikers with breathable performance has to offer you.
Advantages and disadvantages of the best breathable hiking boots
Best breathable hiking boots - May 2019
Every kind of gear you bring outdoors has its own set of pros and cons. The same can be said about breathable hiking boots. Shown below are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of footwear.
Why you should wear breathable hiking boots
The main benefit of wearing breathable hiking boots is the comfort it brings to your feet during a warm hike. The gear’s upper construction allows your feet to breathe and prevents them from sweating profusely.
Most breathable hiking boots are lightweight. The use of mesh fabrics or synthetic materials helps reduce the gear’s overall weight. As a result, you can travel lighter and faster on the trail.
Why you shouldn’t wear breathable hiking boots
Going for a pair of breathable hiking boots can be detrimental if you’re going to face various wet trail conditions. Hiking through these challenges will expose your feet to the water. As a result, you might suffer from blisters.
Using breathable hiking boots during a rainstorm won’t be a good idea. It’s better to go for hikers that prevent water intrusionsso your feet can stay dry under this weather condition.
You can leave your breathable hiking boots if your trip won’t last an entire day and the trail is relatively easy. In this situation, you might enjoy your adventure more by wearing a pair of sturdy hiking sandalsor agile low-cut hiking shoes. These footwear products are considerably lighter and more comfortable than breathable hikers without compromising your performance. Light hikers are another option for easy trails.
How breathable hiking boots for men and women are constructed
The main characteristic of breathable hiking boots is the use of materials that allow interior moisture to be expelled with minimal hindrance. Most footwear models combine various leather variants with mesh panels to improve ventilation. Select boots use either synthetic materials or mesh fabric solely for the upper to achieve optimal airflow. This upper construction allows your feet to breathe well and prevents them from sweating too much.
Aside from the upper, certain breathable hiking boots use perforated footbeds to achieve better ventilation. This feature allows airflow to cool your soles. It works in conjunction with a breathable upper to combat high temperatures. Moreover, the use of breathable materials in this type of footwear reduces its overall weight, making your every stride lighter.
Are waterproof hiking boots truly breathable?
Most footwear companies advertise their waterproof hikers as breathable. These brands highlight the ability of these footgear products to optimize airflow to prevent sweaty feet. In reality, the presence of an additional layer within the upper affects the gear’s breathability. It blocks the airflow into the upper and slightly increases the warmth inside. A pair of reliable waterproof hiking boots are recommended if the terrain you’re going to explore contains water-related challenges or there’s a chance that you might encounter unfavorable weather. Otherwise, you should go with breathable hiking boots so you can be more comfortable on your adventure.
When and where you should use breathable hiking boots
Wearing the right kind of outdoor gear is essential to your safety and comfort while hiking. A breathable pair of hikers are designed mainly for environments with minimal wet trail conditions. Since these boots don’t have a waterproof liner, they won’t be effective against streams, muddy trails, or dew-soaked grass. As such, here are some environmental factors you should consider before wearing breathable hiking boots for your adventure:
A pair of breathable hikers works best in warm and humid environments. Since you won’t encounter rain or wet trail conditions in this terrain, you should prioritize the ventilation of your feet. Breathable hiking boots are engineered to deliver this benefit so your feet won’t suffer from excessive heat and perspiration.
You should consider breathable hiking boots if you’re going to carry a backpack on your trip. The additional weight may cause your ankles to twist while you’re traversing uneven ground conditions or various trail challenges. The gear’s mid or high-cut upper construction and its stiffer midsole provide ample support to help you become more stable on your hike. On the other hand, you can go with a dependable pair of low-cut hiking shoesif you want to light on your trip.
14 best breathable hiking boots
Danner South Rim 600
Keen Targhee Vent Mid
Danner Mountain 600 EnduroWeave
Keen Axis EVO Mid
Lowa Renegade LL Mid
Vasque Breeze III
Astral TR1 Merge
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Aero
Under Armour Speedfit 2.0
Keen Voyageur Mid
Merrell Ontario Mid
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid
Merrell Rove Mid Knit
The North Face Truxel Mid
Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.
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