7 Best Gore-Tex Hiking Boots in 2023

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
7 Best Gore-Tex Hiking Boots in 2023
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Enjoy and conquer the great outdoors with these top-rated Gore-Tex hiking boots. A world-renowned and trusted technology in the outdoor footwear industry, Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane that ensures all-around protection and comfort for all outdoorsy adventurers.

When your next planned hiking trips involve traversing through rainforests, shallow streams, or snowy trails, wearing the ever-dependable Gore-Tex boots is a smart decision. They will keep your feet dry, well-protected, and comfortable from the moment you leave the base camp to the highest peaks.

To make our top recommendations, we’ve rounded up 100+ pairs of Gore-Tex hiking boots in the market right now. We then tested each one in all sorts of terrain where water, mud, or slush is a threat. Evaluation and conclusion come right after. Finally, we chose the best performers in different categories for your browsing pleasure.

Best Gore-Tex hiking boots overall

What makes it the best?

Many pairs of hiking boots have passed through our lab, but only one is worthy of the title of best overall Gore-Tex hiking boot. Our pick is lightweight, grippy, and flexible - a great combination for multi-day hiking. Give it up for the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX!

It is jaw-droppingly light for a Gore-Tex boot. Our scales showed an astounding 13.8 oz (390g). Given that the average of all the hiking boots we have tested in our lab is 18.3 oz (519g), this is an amazing achievement for the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX! The energy we saved over the course of a long day made our multi-day hikes far more enjoyable.

Grass, gravel, and wet rock are no match for the grippy Contragrip outsole. We measured the lugs at 5.1 mm deep, 0.7 mm deeper than average. The shoe scored 2/5 in our torsional flexibility tests, where 1 is the most flexible. This malleable midsole allows our feet to flex over uneven terrain, maximizing the surface area in contact with the ground and increasing the grip even further. We felt secure footholds on whatever we found ourselves hiking on.

We tested the waterproofing in a classic way - by standing in a stream for over a minute. The fully gusseted tongue and high collar kept the water out and our feet stayed bone dry. This is crucial for our multi-day hikes when damp boots can cause blisters quickly.

On cold winter days, these boots will stiffen up significantly, as we found when we left them in the freezer for 20 minutes. We then tested them for flexibility and found they were an unbelievable 126% stiffer than at room temperature. We, therefore, don’t recommend them to hikers looking for a boot for winter hiking unless they plan to keep them indoor and give them time to warm up if needed.


  • The boot of choice for multi-day hikes
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent grip
  • Supportive midsole
  • Detailed ground feel
  • Great ankle support
  • Protective
  • Perfect lacing system


  • Midsole may be thin for some
  • Very stiff in colder climates
Full review of Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX

Gore-Tex hiking boots with the best comfort

What makes it the best?

Did someone say a super plush, lightweight, waterproof hiking boot? We sure did. The Hoka Trail Code GTX came back from the lab and our test hikes with the lofty label of the most comfortable Gore-Tex hiking boot. It’s our go-to boot when we need something cushy that will protect our feet from the elements.

With a higher-than-average stack height, the Hoka Trail Code GTX has plenty of material underfoot to soften our steps and protect our feet from the trail. But it’s not just the amount of material that matters. The secret to the Trail Code GTX’s plush feel is in the midsole. We pressed a durometer to the midsole, registering a seriously comfy 23.4 HA. Since the average hiker measures 27.9 HA, the Trail Code GTX is like walking on marshmallows!

This boot takes waterproofing seriously, with a number of features coming together to keep our feet warm and dry, whatever the weather. We found the high collar and gusseted tongue keep water and dirt out of the boot, while the tightly-woven upper fabric works with the Gore-Tex to keep the rain at bay. Just to make sure, we tested the boot’s breathability in the lab by pumping smoke into the boot. Absolutely no smoke came out, so we awarded the boot the least breathable rating of 1/5.

The average weight of the waterproof boots that have passed through our lab is 18.9 oz (536g), so we were astounded by the extremely lightweight feel of the Hoka Trail Code GTX from the moment we put it on. The scales provided an explanation – this boot weighs an impressive 15.5 oz (440g) and is 18% lighter than average! We still have energy in our feet at the end of a long day of hiking in this boot.

The Hoka Trail Code GTX is advertised as having a 6 mm heel-to-toe drop, but we found evidence to the contrary during our lab tests. With a drop measuring 11.2 mm, it is still 1.2 mm lower than average, but may be a surprise to hikers who prefer a boot with a lower drop.


  • Mind-blowingly comfortable
  • Fantastic waterproofing
  • Lighter than average
  • Excellent impact protection
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Superb grip
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials
  • Head-turning looks


  • Awkward on descents
  • Not for tough hikes
Full review of Hoka Trail Code GTX

Gore-Tex hiking boots with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

There’s only one best cushioned Gore-Tex hiking boot and it’s undoubtedly the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX. Not only does it have a plush midsole to die for, but it’s also completely waterproof, lightweight, and stable, making it a worthy companion for our long day hikes.

We could rave about this comfy midsole for hours! We put it to the test in the lab, finding the midsole is way softer than average – 22.5 HA compared to the average of 27.9 HA. It’s noticeable from the moment we slip our feet into the boot and it keeps our feet comfortable and raring to go all day. We also tested the midsole in cold conditions by putting the boot in the freezer for 20 minutes before retesting with a durometer. Interestingly, it only stiffened up to 29.5 HA, making it just a little stiffer on cold days than most other boots at room temperature! Good news for winter hikers.

The Gore-Tex lining of the Anacapa Mid GTX is perfectly implemented, keeping our feet warm and dry in even the most torrential downpours. The gusseted tongue stops both water and debris from entering through the gaps. And while waterproof boots are usually a bit weightier, the Anacapa Mid GTX is remarkably light, weighing in 3.5 oz (99g) below average! By the end of our long hikes, our feet still felt fresh and with energy to spare.

We noticed the rigidity of the midsole on our hikes, and even landing unevenly on rocks and roots we didn’t twist an ankle. Back in the lab, we bent and twisted the shoe manually. We finally awarded it 5/5 for torsional rigidity, the stiffest rating possible. We felt surefooted and trusted our foot placements on uneven trails.

Our durability tests of the upper didn’t leave us feeling very confident in the shelf-life of this boot. After applying a Dremel at a force of 3.2 N and 10K RPM for 12 seconds, a large hole appeared in the upper. This doesn’t bode well for hiking or scrambling in rocky environments, so we don’t recommend this boot to hikers who predominantly trek on technical terrain.


  • Top-notch waterproofing
  • Very lightweight
  • Generous and soft cushioning
  • Reliable stability (with a light backpack)
  • Wide platform
  • Flexible forefoot
  • Excellent grip
  • Doesn't get too firm or stiff in cold
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Effective lacing system
  • Sustainable materials


  • Not supportive with heavy backpacks
  • Upper lacks wear resistance
  • Extended heel catches rocks and roots
  • Not for wide feet
  • Tricky to put on
Full review of Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX

Best Gore-Tex hiking boots for backpacking

What makes it the best?

The Salomon Quest 4 GTX is our best Gore-Tex hiking boot for backpacking. Not only is it completely watertight, but also impeccably supportive and durable, making it the perfect companion for long days carrying a heavy load.

This boot is a champion of support, keeping us feeling stable and confident while hiking on rough, rocky trails. Salomon’s integrated support system boasts unparalleled lockdown and stability, and we couldn’t roll our ankles if we tried! In the lab, we bent and twisted the shoe, finally rating it 5/5 - the stiffest rating possible for torsional flexibility. On the trail, we found that even with a heavy pack, the stiffness in the midsole prevented us from twisting and injuring our foot.

With its multiple overlays made from rubber, nubuck leather and a robust Cordura-like fabric, this boot means business. It looks as tough as nails, and it survived our test hike without damage too, so we put it to the test in the lab. We applied a Dremel at a force of 3.2N and 5K RPM for 12 seconds on the toe. It left only a small scratch on the upper. We tried a similar test on the outsole, only this time at 10K RPM for 22 seconds - the resulting damage to the lug was less than a millimeter deep. If we needed any proof of the Salomon Quest 4 GTX’s durability, this is it!

No backpacker wants wet feet during their thru-hike as we all know how uncomfortable wet boots are after several days. The Gore-Tex membrane resists rain for hours on end and river crossings are a piece of cake. The fully gusseted tongue prevents water and debris from sneaking into the boot, and the high collar makes it possible to cross deep puddles and streams without water flowing in. On rainy days, the 4.7 mm lugs gripped well in mud, and we found the wide spacing between the lugs made it easy to shed, increasing our grip.

Backpackers who spend a lot of time hiking in winter will want to know that this boot is very rigid in winter! We put it in the freezer for 20 minutes before testing it for flexibility with a force gauge. The force gauge recorded an unbelievable 85.3N! For reference, the average for hiking boots is 62.2N in winter conditions (which is in fact the room temperature flexibility of the Salomon Quest 4 GTX). There is no doubt that this is a rigid shoe in the cold, and it will need some breaking in on cold days. We don't recommend it to hikers looking for a flexible cold-weather boot.


  • Exceptional durability
  • Top-notch waterproofing
  • Excellent impact protection
  • Highly secure ankle support
  • Fantastic stability
  • Comfortable in-boot feel
  • Effective grip on various terrain
  • Fits as expected


  • A bit heavy
  • Gets very stiff in cold
Full review of Salomon Quest 4 GTX

Best Gore-Tex hiking boots for speed hiking

What makes it the best?

We evaluated GTX hiking boots in the lab and on actual adventures and found Outpulse Mid GTX the best for speed hiking. This mid-cut kick shines with its shoe-like features that all enhance speed — lightweight, flexible, and natural feel — while giving the protection of a solid boot.

Outpulse significantly reduces its weight and provides enough flex to boost our speed and agility. In our bend test, it emerged 32.7% more adaptive than average. It maintains a low stack that allows us to navigate tricky trails better. Upon checking our scale, this boot weighs like a heavy-duty shoe at 13.6 oz (386g). That’s astonishingly light vs. the average hiking boot (18.4 oz/521g)!

Outpulse proves its capacity to maintain a fast pace effortlessly in our hikes. Upon checking in the lab, it has a TPU Energy Blade integrated into the midsole that launches us forward. It uses our energy efficiently by springing back the power we give with every stride.

On wet encounters, the premium Gore-Tex membrane ensures our feet stay warm and dry. Under our microscope, we saw how tightly knit the material is.

Unfortunately, Outpulse can only handle streams and puddles below the heel collar level. The fit feels sloppy. Even if we tighten the laces, there’s still room for water to creep in. Best to avoid deep water levels with this pair.


  • Astonishingly light
  • Comfy like a sneaker
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Very durable build
  • Soft and springy cushioning
  • Low-to-the-ground platform
  • Remains soft and flexible in cold weather


  • Loose collar fit
  • Not for technical terrain
Full review of Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX

Best Gore-Tex hiking boots with a wide toebox

What makes it the best?

Backpacking in the wilds in the Asolo Fugitive GTX is a dream. With its wide toe box delivering superb comfort and stability, these fully waterproof boots keep our feet dry and blister-free - crucial for multi-day hikes. Its funky, patterned midsole is the champion of traction on a wide variety of terrain. There’s a lot to love in the Asolo Fugitive GTX, which we have chosen as the best Gore-Tex hiking boots with a wide toe box.

With its tall profile, it doesn’t look like an especially wide boot, but looks can be deceiving. We love how spacious the toe box feels on our feet – our toes have room to splay out, giving us extra stability and comfort during long days on the trail.

The Gore-Tex lining in this boot is second to none, and our feet stayed dry all day, even after multiple stream crossings. The Fugitive GTX includes a gusseted tongue and together with its high collar, it’s all but impossible for rain and stream water to get into the boot.

The outsole is a thing of beauty, with its variety of patterned lugs. The lugs adapt to all types of terrains and forces, and we experienced superb traction on loose ground, steep ascents and descents, mud, snow and wet rock. If the outsole wears out, the Asolo Fugitive GTX is designed to be resoled, so with proper care, we will be accompanied by this boot for many years to come.

A backpacking boot of this caliber is by no means a lightweight hiking boot. Weighing in at 24.3 oz (690g), it is 4.8 oz (136g) heavier than our lab-tested waterproof hiking boots. Hikers looking for a lighter option may want to look elsewhere.


  • Superb adhesion
  • Mighty plush
  • Worth the price
  • Waterproof
  • Reliably supportive
  • Light
  • Zero break-in
  • Balance preserver


  • Frail outsole
  • Not-so-cushy footbed
Full review of Asolo Fugitive GTX

Best lightweight Gore-Tex hiking boots

What makes it the best?

Merrell Moab Speed Mid GTX has got to be the most amazing lightweight GORE-TEX hiking boots we have ever brought to our escapades. This hiker registered an almost non-perceived weight of 10.58 oz (300g). On paper, it is 37.3% lighter than its peers, but on foot, it made us feel like floating.

There is no trouble in getting ourselves in drizzly and damp situations, as the Merrell Moab Speed Mid GTX got our backs (aka feet). It perfectly shielded our toes from moisture, so fresh and comfy feet all the time. 

Even when the terrain got more extreme, we were confident with the ankle-bolstering collar of the Moab Speed Mid GTX, which by the way, granted us steadiness. While the sticky outsole also ensured our surefootedness, we were not happy about its quality, which exhibited premature deterioration. If you require incredible durability, we propose getting other sturdy options.


  • Instant comfort
  • Extremely light
  • Unrelenting collar
  • Mighty ankle support
  • Grippy outsole
  • Propelling boot
  • Watertight


  • Frail outsole
  • Unruly laces
Full review of Merrell Moab Speed Mid GTX

Comparison of the 7 best Gore-Tex hiking boots

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Gore-Tex has become one of the most recognisable and sought-after technologies in the world of hiking in the past few years. Everyone from mountaineers on the top of Kilimanjaro to weekend warriors on the local trails seems to be wearing it.

Hoka Trail Code GTX collar

But what exactly is it all about? Here we take a deep dive into the world of advanced fabrics and how to find the best Gore-Tex hiking boots.

What is Gore-Tex?

Gore-Tex is a fabric that contains billions of microscopic pores with diameters 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, but 700 times larger than a molecule of moisture vapour. This structure allows the fabric to be completely waterproof while allowing sweat vapour to escape.

Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX Drop

What that actually means

Basically, this means that Gore-Tex is a really special fabric. It has tiny holes that are really small, but they're bigger than water droplets. These holes make the fabric waterproof, but also let sweat out.

Does Gore-Tex make hiking boots?

Gore-Tex was developed by W.L. Gore & Associates and is made of a patented material called expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). Gore-Tex themselves don't make hiking boots or equipment, instead, brands pay Gore-Tex to use their materials in their boots.

Advantages of using Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is best known as a waterproof material, but it's much more than that. Let's take a look at what the best Gore-Tex hiking boots can do for you. 

It's a durable material

Gore-Tex is highly durable and long-lasting due to the construction of its ePTFE membrane. This is packed with millions of microscopic pores which provide superior waterproofing, breathability, and durability. The membrane also makes Gore-Tex highly resistant to abrasion and weathering, both really useful things to have out on the trail.

Best known for its waterproofing

Gore-Tex is most well-known as a waterproof material and it's an excellent material for hiking boots because of its unique structure.

It is somewhat breathable

Gore-Tex is an incredibly breathable material due to its unique construction. The microscopic pores in the ePTFE membrane allow sweat vapour to escape while still keeping water droplets out. This makes it an ideal material for hikers who want to stay comfortable and dry throughout their journey.

Don't forget to stay warm

Gore-Tex can keep you warm, but probably not in the way you expect. The material itself does not have insulative properties, but it does prevent one of the main causes of getting cold - moisture. By blocking out rain and allowing moisture to escape, you can stay dry, allowing you to layer up underneath.

Disadvantages of using Gore-Tex

Unfortunately, it's not all positive when it comes to Gore-Tex, there are a few downsides too that are worth considering. 

It doesn't work as well in extremely cold conditions

Gore-Tex is not as effective in extremely cold temperatures because its membrane structure becomes stiffer, making it less breathable and less waterproof, this usually happens at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit). The pores start to close off, reducing the fabric's ability to keep air and moisture out while allowing sweat vapour to escape which results in you feeling uncomfortable.

Salomon-X-Ultra-4-Mid-GTX 1.jpg

Usually a higher price point

Gore-Tex is an expensive material due to the high level of technology and innovation it takes to produce. Unlike other fabrics, it’s also labour-intensive to make and the workers must be highly skilled, this all adds to the cost of the material. You've also probably noticed Gore-Tex making inroads into the world of fashion and all that extra attention has driven up the cost of Gore-Tex boots and jackets.

Average price
Gore-Tex hiking boots Non-GTX hiking boots
£240 £180

Easily damaged with regular wear and tear

We know by now that Gore-Tex is a highly technical material, and while it's incredibly durable, it can still be damaged with regular wear and tear. Its waterproof membrane can be punctured or torn by sharp objects like rocks and thorns, and using harsh soaps or detergents can also weaken the fabric.

It's important to always use non-detergent soap when cleaning Gore-Tex and follow the care instructions.

Alternative Gore-Tex hiking boots

There was a time when Gore-Tex was the only legitimate option on the market for hikers looking for a pair of synthetic waterproof hiking boots. In recent years, competitors have sprung up with some of the biggest players in the industry creating their own, in-house alternatives.

Futurelight from The North Face

Futurelight is a relatively new technology developed by The North Face. It is a waterproof and breathable fabric made from a nano-spinning process that creates nanoscale fibres, resulting in a material that is lighter, more flexible, and more breathable than traditional waterproof fabrics.

The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight cosy

Does Futurelight perform better than Gore-Tex?

When it comes to waterproof and breathable performance, Futurelight and Gore-Tex are both really great choices. That being said, what sets Futurelight apart is its breathability making it the ideal option for physically demanding activities like hiking. Gore-Tex is the winner when it comes to durability which makes it a go-to choice in tough conditions.

Is Futurelight cheaper than Gore-Tex?

In terms of price, Futurelight and Gore-Tex are both high-end materials, and apparel made with either can be expensive. However, Gore-Tex is more widely used and has been on the market longer, so there may be a wider range of prices available for Gore-Tex hiking boots.
























Very Expensive

Overall Performance



Leather hiking boots vs. Gore-Tex hiking boots

The decision of whether to go with Gore-Tex or leather hiking boots entirely depends on your individual preference and the hiker's particular requirements. Here's a look at how leather compares with Gore-Tex.

When Gore-Tex boots are better

Gore-Tex hiking boots are excellent at keeping water out while still allowing for breathability. They are lightweight, easy to maintain, and are a great option for hikers who want to stay dry in wet conditions. However, they can be quite expensive compared to leather boots.

Where leather hiking boots win out

Leather hiking boots, on the other hand, are more durable and have better breathability, which makes them a great choice for long hikes in rough terrain. You're also likely to find that leather hiking boots are generally cheaper than Gore-Tex ones, but that may not always be the case.


Gore-Tex Hiking Boots

Leather Hiking Boots

Water Resistance

















Requires Care

Hot to take care of Gore-Tex hiking boots

Gore-Tex is easy to care for and maintain. The material is designed to be washable and dryable, so you can keep your Gore-Tex hiking boots in top condition by simply washing them with a mild detergent. It’s really important to read the care label on your boots to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care and maintenance.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. First, read the care label on your boots for any instructions specific to that boot.
  2. To clean Gore-Tex products, start by brushing off any dirt or debris with a soft brush.
  3. Next, hand wash the fabric in cold water using a mild detergent and agitate it gently with your hands.
  4. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow the material to air dry away from direct sunlight.
  5. Once dry, spray the fabric with a waterproofing spray or an approved Gore-Tex product care solution to re-waterproof the material and add DWR protection.
  6. Finally, allow plenty of time for the product to dry before storing it away or using it again.

FAQs about Gore-Tex hiking boots

The world of Gore-Tex is complex and can get very scientific, so people often have lots of questions about it. Here are a few more queries cleared up that we haven't covered yet.

What are some common problems with Gore-tex hiking boots?

The most common problem with Gore-Tex hiking boots involves the fabric’s breathability. These issues can occur if the fabric has become clogged with dirt and grime, or if it hasn’t been cared for properly. To prevent this, make sure to clean and re-waterproof your boots regularly.

What should I do if my Gore-tex hiking boots get wet?

Drying your Gore-Tex boots is the exact same as drying out a pair of non-Gore-Tex boots. If your boots get wet, make sure to dry them out as soon as possible. To do this, remove the insoles and laces and stuff the boots with newspaper or other absorbent material. Place them in a warm area away from direct heat sources and allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Hoka Kaha 2 GTX in water

Are Gore-tex hiking boots worth the money?

This is a question that only you can answer. If you think you'll get enough use out of them to justify the cost, then they're worth it.

How we test hiking boots

Each Gore-Tex boot on this list gets a verdict based on strict criteria that involve the overall design, quality of materials, added commercial benefits, and real-life performance on the trails. All the models go through the exact process of lab analysis and comprehensive wear tests.

Our procedure involves the following:

  • We procure the Gore-Tex hikers from various brands using our own funds. We’re committed to providing independent reviews and rankings of the best outdoor footwear out there.
  • We use a tracking fitness device to measure the distance we cover for each Gore-Tex boot. We tackle technical terrains and brave the challenging backcountry routes in severely wet conditions. We take note along the way of the kick’s actual fit, comfort, versatility, traction, and many more. Additionally, we evaluate all aspects of the boots and give our final assessments of their true worth.
  • We also dissect the shoes and we collect more data from their weight, measurements, and lab test scores. This allows us to back our claims in the field with scientific facts and indisputable evidence.
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 analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.