There has never been a better time for hiking than now. The weather is right, for one. But also, hiking is one of the few activities that you can do without coming into much contact with others. And that’s a big bonus, given that right now, the U.S. has more cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world, and health officials continue to ask us to take social distancing seriously.
But before you hit the trails this summer, you’ll want to find the right hiking boots — which isn’t as easy a task as you might think. You’ve got to consider how much ankle support you want, what materials you’re looking for (if you’re vegan, leather won’t work), how much traction you need, and more.
We’ve rounded up a few reviewer-backed hiking boots that will make your treks safer and comfier. A word of advice from REI: Once you receive a new pair, try them on at the end of a long day, or after a walk or run. Your feet will have naturally swelled a bit, which will give you a more accurate idea of how they’ll fit when you’re halfway to your summit. (That’s the last place you want to realize that you should have sized up.)
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