I was in the market for a new summer hiking boot—for something that would offer some ankle support but still be nice and nimble. I am a former field biologist; it used to be my job to hike different wild places, collecting data for scientific institutions. I’ve therefore gotten through numerous hiking boots, and I’ve tried at least 12 different brands.
I usually opt for a pretty traditional boot. But I’ve recently started cutting the weight of my backpacking gear. This led me to realize how heavy my boots were. Did I really need a boot that weighs about 2 percent of my body weight? The Vaya answered: no.
I love trail and road running shoes from Salomon. When I heard that Salomon has applied its technology to hiking boots, I was intrigued. And I’m not disappointed!
The women’s Salomon Vaya Mid GTX is a lightweight hiking boot with a 9mm heel-to-toe drop. The Vaya is easy on your feet and your budget, priced at the same level as many higher-end trail running shoes (RRP at time of writing: $160).
I took this shoe on a few different summer hikes and backpacking trips over various terrains. I walked through streams and meadows, over rock slabs and clambered up and down mountainsides.