Mid-cut hiking boots are the go-to shoes if you plan to spend days tackling rough terrain and with a heavy load on your back. These are generally versions of hiking shoes with a higher cut. They raise up to the ankles. The mid-top model gives ample protection from ground obstacles and animals while on the trail.
Mid-top hiking boots, as opposed to their hiking shoes counterparts, are more appropriate for day walks. The higher the boots, the more ankle support they can offer, and the rougher the terrains they can tackle.
As an outdoor footwear option, mid-cut hiking boots noticeably have ample heel support, aggressive lugs, and a more robust look. These are often regarded as a workhorse that can be taken to moderately technical hikes.
Low-cut, mid-cut and high-cut hiking footwear for men and women
Best mid cut hiking boots - December 2019
Low-top and mid-cut hiking footwear are often passed off to have very little difference. What can an additional inch or two in height do to create such a huge difference in the two boots? There are actually plenty of differences between mid-cut hiking boots and their low-cut counterparts.
The most noticeable difference between the two is the height. The extra coverage afforded by mid-top hiking boots do not just give added ankle protection, but also protects the feet from small rocks, dirt, and animals that could bite or sting.
On the other hand, full or high-cut hiking boots are different from mid-cut hiking boots not only for having a higher top but also for added features. The full top models have more rigid uppers, and often have more lacing rings. Because of the added materials, the high-cut models are also heavier.
Choosing the appropriate height for you depends largely on your needs and demands. You will have to consider the terrain that you will be tackling and the weight that you will be carrying before buying a pair.
Ankle support from mid-top hiking boots
Hiking in the wilderness increases the risk of dealing with injuries. One of the injuries that hikers are most likely to endure is an ankle sprain. A sprain is an injury that happens when an overuse injury causes more damage to a ligament.
Mid-cut hiking boots support the ankle starting from its firm foundation. The sole has an integrated shank that prevents lateral twisting. A mid-cut hiker that has a firm sole, upper that wraps up around the ankle, foam padding and tight laces keeps the ankle steady.
Mid-cut hiking boots for men and women on the market
More and more people love the world outdoors. With this, the number of outdoor gears available in the market has likewise increased. Hikers can visit different stores to choose from their wide selection of outdoor footwear. Whether hikers look for mid-cut hiking boots or low and high-cut versions, they are guaranteed to find a pair that they can use during their trips.
Most brands carry mid-cut hiking boots even on their online stores. Hikers can search the online offerings of brands they are familiar as they are likely to offer footwear of consistent size for years.
Benefits of wearing mid-cut hiking boots
Mid-cut hiking boots are very popular because of the snug fit and support allowed by different lacing tensions. Lacing is a major player when it comes to enhancing the fit and comfort of the boots. A mid-top boot can use different lacing techniques to improve the fit on the ankle and foot.
A trait that many hikers miss out on are the metal lacing hooks at the ankle of the boots. These allow hikers to tighten the laces efficiently and keep them securely in place even if the hike is rough. Little as they may seem, the metal lacing hooks help greatly in stabilizing the feet.
Mid-cut hiking boots cover the whole foot, and the laces can be tightened according to how snug or loose you want it. There are simple and easy lacing techniques that prevent heel slipping. A two-zone lacing technique could also be applied to secure the foot.
For a snug and secure ankle fit, you can use a lock lacing technique. This simple technique is done by simply threading the laces under the two lowest lace hooks and guiding these to the opposite end through the lace that connects the two lace hooks. The result is a snug heel placement.
Since mid-cut versions cover most of the foot, they can shield it against critters like snakes and scorpions. These also protect against rocks, screes, and even the weather if ever it rains or if hikers need to cross streams or creeks.
How to choose the best men's and women's mid-top hiking boots
Choosing the best footwear is a science that not a lot of people have mastered. Among the considerations when choosing a pair of hiking footwear are fit, size, materials, and technologies incorporated. If you are ready to get a new pair of mid-top hiking boots, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind:
Make sure that the mid-cut hiking boots fit well. The heel should not raise when stepping forward and there should be enough space for the toes to wiggle. Of course, there should be no tight space since the foot will swell during the hike.
Wear the right socks. The socks that you will wear when fitting the boots should ideally be the socks you will be wearing during their trip.
Go to a shoe store at the end of the day, when the feet have swollen enough. Experts see this as the ideal time of the day for shoe shopping as this represents the feel of the feet when hiking.
Break in the mid-cut hiking boots before the trip. Doing short walks with the boots days before the trip helps stretch the upper so it becomes accustomed to the shape of the feet.
Frequently asked questions about mid-top hiking boots
Are there reputable brands that produce mid-cut hiking boots?
Mid-cut hiking boots are available in many different sizes, styles, and colors. They are very popular that most, if not all, outdoor boot manufacturers carry them in their line. If hikers have a go-to brand for buying outdoor gear, they will surely find a couple of these boots in their offering. Popular ones include American brands Merrell and Timberland and French equipment company Salomon.
Are mid-top hiking boots expensive?
If compared with low-cut hiking shoes, mid-cut hiking boots may cost a bit more. The mid-top version is a great pick for shorter multi-day hikes when hikers are expected to carry the moderate load. Since they offer more support, they are also better equipped than shoes. More features will naturally have added costs.
What materials are used for these hiking boots?
There are two types of materials that you can choose from when buying hiking boots: leather and synthetic. Leather is often more expensive, but they are mostly durable. The synthetic and fabric materials, on the other hand, are lightweight but do not give as much protection against the elements.
Are leather mid-cut hiking boots better?
This depends greatly on what a hiker wants from the footwear. If hikers want their mid-top hiking boots to be durable and robust, they should get a pair made of full-grain leather. If they want something that is breathable, they can choose a pair made of different materials that are lighter, can dry faster, and cost less.
Leather materials are likely to cope when tackling more challenging areas. They cover and protect the feet and naturally repel water. But then, they are also heavier and are often more expensive. Leather is typically non-breathable which could pose a problem when hiking on hot days.
On the other hand, fabric and synthetic materials are lightweight and highly breathable. However, these do not give as much protection against the elements and are often hard to clean. Another downside, shoes made with this material need constant reproofing.
15 best mid cut hiking boots
Merrell Ontario Mid Waterproof
Merrell Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
Danner Mountain 600
Vasque Breeze III GTX
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof
Timberland Euro Hiker
Merrell Zion Mid Waterproof
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
Merrell Moab FST 2 Mid Waterproof
Timberland Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof
Keen Gypsum II Mid Waterproof
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof
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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