Rugged Attire: Lightweight Backpacking Boots

‘Lightweight’ and ‘boots’ do not seem to go in the same sentence together. However, with the lightweight backpacking movement, lightweight backpacking boots have also been developed to keep up with the trend. When a lightweight backpacker is attempting to keep his/her pack under twenty pounds, it only makes sense that he/she would not want to be carrying three pounds each on his/her feet.

Not too long ago, the standard hiking boot weighed anywhere from three to five pounds and were made strictly of leather that had to be water-proofed correctly to stay dry no matter what the weather. You can still find this type of boot today, but there are so many other options to fit the specific needs of the backpacker, lightweight packers do not typically go with this style any longer.

The New Boot

The newer style of lightweight backpacking boot is typically made of Gortex so that the backpacker does not have to do additional treatment to the boot in order for it to be waterproofed. For hikers in less extreme conditions, there are also light cloth hiking boots that maintain the stability and feel of a traditional boot, but also provides breathability, allowing the hikers foot to stay cooler while on the go.

The main thing to consider when buying a lightweight backpacking boot is comfort. This boot is going to walk with the hiker miles and miles, and having an uncomfortable foot with a pack on his back is not the situation that any backpacker wants to be in. Ankle support is also important for hikers who know that they have weak ankles.

When choosing a lightweight hiking boot, the buyer also wants to consider the flexibility of the sole of the boot. The most comfortable hiking boots move with the foot’s natural motion, so the sole of the boot should be flexible. In addition, the boot should be the correct size so that the foot does not slide around inside of it. A great lightweight backpacking boot is an essential part of lightweight backpacking equipment. It should weigh less than forty ounces so that it is lightweight and easy on the legs, while still providing the support and comfort required for the hike.

Another Option

One other option to consider when buying lightweight backpacking boots is to opt out of boots altogether. If the hike is a day hike, or the terrain is not as rough, then a full hiking boot is not necessarily required. A lightweight hiking shoe not only reduces the weight further from a boot, but it is often more comfortable for the hike itself, with its additional flexibility.