Three Design-Driven Knit Hiking Boots for Shoulder Season
Futuristic footwear made with sock-like knit uppers for superior support and comfort both on the trail and in the city
Gone are the days of hiking footwear exclusively being big leather boots that take weigh a ton and take days to break in. Take one look at the average thru-hiker’s feet and you’re more likely to see a pair of low profile Altra trail runners than old school Danner boots (Cheryl Strayd be damned).
With technology gleaned from performance running shoes and style from fashion sneakers, the modern hiking boot is anything but boring. The following three options represent one of the newest trends to hit the hiking world—knit uppers—making for a lighter weight, better fitting, more comfortable boot. Dig in.
Blending proprietary Primeknit uppers with a Boost midsole, the Free Hiker from Adidas’ Terrex outdoor line is the future of hiking footwear. The newest iteration, released late last month, now features a Gore-Tex membrane that makes the sneaker-like boot even more formidable. The latest colorways are damn handsome too. Ultra lightweight, extra flexible, and now waterproof. I’ve been wearing a pair around NYC as daily drivers in addition to trail hikers, and can confirm they look great and function well in all environments.
Also available in women's.
Price: $250 SHOP NOW
Best known for their iconic sandals and water shoes, Portland-based Keen has a loyal following for its hiking boots too. Many of the brand’s more popular designs fall into the so-ugly-they’re-cool category. The new Axis Evo Mid is actually attractive, without the beautiful ugly vibes. And it’s functional, thanks to an Evofit engineered knit upper with a formfitting stretch collar, multi-directional lugged sole for extra traction, and a lightweight EVA midsole with dual-density EVA footbed for support. An external shank ensures a long life and better stability while hiking.
Available in men's only.
The most aggressive of the group for sure, the Ducan Knit High from OG Swiss mountaineering brand Mammut is a badass boot fit for mountaineering and hiking alike. Packed with cutting edge technology like a new Gore-Tex, 3D knit upper, spring-steel sole for stability and support, an anatomical last, and a high shaft that ensures greater safety on uneven terrain—aka no more rolled ankles. Both all-black and olive colorways are really rad too. These suckers are serious, in all the right ways.
Also available in women's.
Price: $249 SHOP NOW
Looking for more design-driven footwear? Check out our recent roundup of fashion-foward trail runnners.