Finding your ideal walking boot can be tough, so we've tested and reviewed the best options for 3-season hikes.
Promising all-day comfort and sure-footed traction in wet or dry weather, as well as support and stability on broken or uneven ground, they offer both versatility and value for a range of different conditions and seasons.
Naturally, some hillwalkers prioritise certain boot attributes over others. Those who like to go ‘fast and light’ might consider low weight the most important quality. Others might want cushioning, stability or long-term durability above all else. But really, the ideal 3-season boot should be a consummate all-rounder. That’s why we’ve tried to pick out those that strike the best balance overall.
Scarpa Rush Trk Pro GTX – Best in Test
Vasque Breeze – Best Value
Keen Circadia Waterproof Boot – Best beginner walking boot
Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Waterproof – Best 3-season mid boot
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid – Best 3-season boot for hillwalking
AKU Trekker Lite III GTX – Best 3-season boot for technical terrain
Altberg Tethera – Best 'classic' 3-season boot
The best 3-season hiking boots in detail:
1. Scarpa Rush Trk Pro GTX
Best in Test
Ellie loved the new women’s Rush Trk Pro straight out of the box. Men’s and women’s versions are
- Impressive performance for a relatively lightweight boot
- Can be re-soled
- Good cushioning
- Excellent grip
- Boot last won't suit everyone
2. <br>Vasque Breeze
The Vasque Breeze is a well proven design that’s been part of this US bootmaker’s range for the
- Good value
- Uses recycled material
- Versatile outsole
- Midsole too flexy for technical terrain
3. Keen Circadia Waterproof Boot
Best beginner walking boot
Being one of the most durable picks on this list, Keen's Circadia Waterproof boot makes up for its
- Accommodating fit
- Wide fit not for everyone
- Relatively heavy
4. Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Waterproof
Best 3-season mid boot
Oboz is another US footwear brand, and the Sawtooth Mid is one of its most popular models. It’s a
- Excellent insole
- Good midsole cushioning
- Dependable lugs
- Require some breaking in
5. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid 25th Anniversary Edition
Best 3-season boot for hillwalking
This a perennially popular model from the German bootmaker that has serious hiking heritage. It’s
- Very good outsole
- Time tested design
- 3 widths available
- Others have better midsole cushioning
- Stitching around flex points a possible issue
6. AKU Trekker Lite III GTX Wide
This is a well made hillwalking boot that is better equipped to tackle tougher and more technical
- Stiffer midsole great for mountains
- Still relatively lightweight
- Versatile lug pattern
- Good breathability
- No rand or toe bumper
- Not much midsole cushioning
7. Altberg Tethera
Best 'classic' 3-season boot
A classic 3-season boot with sturdy uppers and a firm midsole, the Tethera seems custom-built for
- Can be re-soled
- Available in 5 widths
- Fully gusseted tongue
- Outsole not great on wet rock
- Heaviest boots on test
What to look for in 3-season walking boots:
Fit: Everyone’s feet are shaped differently. Your best bet is to try for size in a shop. Aim for a secure, comfy fit at the heel and space in the toe box for your toes to splay.
Upper: Traditional leather uppers have minimal stitching and are renowned for being long-lasting and bombproof. Synthetic uppers have no break-in time, are lighter with enhanced flex and breathability, and can be vegan-friendly.
Waterproofing: A waterproof-breathable membrane liner will help keep your feet dry. This is often Gore-Tex, or a brand’s proprietary technology.
Tongue: A padded tongue provides improved comfort. And a gusseted tongue fully attached to the uppers offers better protection from water and debris.
Lacing: A good lacing system runs smoothly and enables precise, bespoke adjustment to your foot shape.
Ankle cuff: A higher cuff helps fend off water and debris from entering the boot and provides ankle support. But it may feel heavy and restrictive. Lower cuffs make boots lighter with a more flexible feel.
Toe bumper and rand: A strong toe bumper will protect your toes from rocky ground, while a rand offers additional protection and durability.
Heel counter: This stiffened cup at the heel helps lock the foot in place and offers additional stability and support.
Insole: Bootmakers usually skimp on insoles. Getting a specialist insole is a great way to enhance comfort and stability.
Midsole: The midsole provides cushioning and stability. How much of each a boot has varies. Winter boots are stiffer for climbing. Lighter boots are more cushioned and have more flex for speed.
Outsole: The outsole provides traction via a tread pattern of rubber cleats and lugs. Deep and widely spaced lugs provide won’t get clogged with mud. A deep heel breast aids braking power in descents.
3-season boot care
If you expect your boots to take care of you, you have to take care of them in return. This is vital to boot performance and longevity. Some of our favourite gear care products come from Granger's. Its products are both effective and Bluesign approved.
For cleaning any fabric, including leather and suede, use Granger's Footwear + Gear Cleaner; for maintaining water repellency use Granger's Footwear Repel Plus- it works on all fabrics but for full-grain leather, its G-Wax is best for conditioning and waterproofing. An alternative is Nikwax's footwear cleaner and all-fabric proofer (also PFC-free).