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The Best Leather Boots for Hiking and Travel

For everyday adventures and exploring the other side of the world, these boots get the job done.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

There's something special about breaking in a nice pair of leather boots. When done the right way (see here for some pro tips from a seasoned wildland firefighter) it's like the shoe becomes an extension of your foot; a tough, thick, more durable layer of skin ready to kick ass and take names. Or maybe they just make you feel that way because they look really cool. Either way, we love our boots. Here are some of our favorites:

Red Wing Heritage Men's Classic Moc Style No. 8883 - $289.99

"I love the Redwing Classic Moc style No. 8883 leather boot. It takes a while to break in the boots since they use steer hides and double welt construction, but they hold up exceptionally well on rough concrete, rocks, or pretty much anything. The Moc stands for moc-toe which was inspired by American Algonquin Indian moccasin construction. The white outsole doesn't leave marks on the floor and is replaceable if it wears out. These boots aren't cheap, but they can last a lifetime." - Chris Engelsman


Merrell Women's Encore Kassie Tall Waterproof - $179.95

"Nothing is worse to me than getting wet socks and having to deal with it all day. So when I decided to travel to Ireland and London in December, I knew I needed a boot that could withstand the rain and look great around town. These boots were fantastic, my feet stayed dry all day despite getting caught in several rainstorms. Since then I've worn them on many rainy day hikes and strolling city streets. These boots are comfortable, reliable, and look awesome." - Allison Foster 


Timberland Men's Premium Classic 6-inch Boots - $189.95

"When it comes to rugged, reliable, good-looking leather boots, I don't think anyone does it better than Timberland. I've worn these boots traveling around Europe in the winter, working construction jobs in all sorts of weather and conditions, hiking through the snow in Tahoe, and they're my go-to footwear for apres-ski beers and nachos at Porcupine Grill after skiing at Snowbird. Suffice it to say, they're tough enough for anything and good looking enough to wear out on the town." - Liam McNally 



"We took a couple pairs of FG Trackers (both men's and women's) for a week long road trip from Colorado to Arizona, marching up and almost-all-the-way-down into the Black Canyon of the Gunnisonday-hikes around Telluride, scrambling/bouldering in Bears Ears, and on longer hikes in the Grand Canyon: in all cases the FG Tracker stayed tough, grippy, and waterproof.

The laces are durable (and beautiful), the insole warm (but not too warm), and the high ankle support made it great for longer hikes. The unique VIVOBAREFOOT soles meant we could feel the contours of the rocks and ground beneath us, giving that great "grab" that off-road minimalist shoes provide. By the fourth day we were slipping them on without thought: they were just the boots we wanted to wear each morning." - Josiah Roe 


Frye Women's Veronica Slouch - $368

"Because not every trip involves scaling peaks, I love bringing my Veronica's traveling with me. They're warm and comfy and look great. Though too fashionable for hiking mountains in, they're great for your more cultural, city-oriented trips. Frye boots are not cheap, but they're well made and they last forever." - Kristi Teplitz 


Forsake Men's Phil Mid - $139.95

"First off, these aren't your top-of-the-mountain badass Everest boots, hence the mid-cut, but what these are are full grain leather, waterproof, breathable super-duper comfy hiking boots. They're great for the <10-mile hikes where you need the comfort and stability of a more rugged boot, but something not so heavy or cumbersome to complete the mission. Even better, they get MORE comfy as they age, so you're stoked for years of endless hikes." - Grant Nyquist 


Teva Women's De Le Vina Dos Chelsea Boot - $129.95

"These are the perfect everyday casual boot. I'm all about comfortable shoes and having put in over 13 miles some days in this boot, I can attest to their comfort. Additionally, they look stylish, are easy to slip on, and have the bonus of being waterproof so I never have to worry about the weather report. These will always be my go-to boots. They look great in the office and can easily transition to the outdoors for any fun activities at the end of the day." - Allison Foster 


Danner Men's Mountain 600 Hiking Boot - $179.95

"The Winterized Mountain 600 boots from Danner surpassed all my expectations. The day they came in the mail it was pouring and I had a 10 hour shoot. What a way to break them in. The boots were beyond comfortable, breathable, and water tight. By the end of the shoot my feet would usually be aching and ready to get out of my shoes. It was the opposite with the Mountain 600s. They are my new go to boot for everything from long days on the job to outdoor adventures with friends."  - Joseph Gulizia 


OluKai Men's Nalukai Kapa Boot

"I think of these as my "beach boots". They are the only pair of leather boots I'd wear barefoot without thinking twice and I actually do it all the time running errands in my neighborhood, checking the waves, or heading out for a beer after work. The Nalukai Kapas are crazy comfortable and stylish enough to wear out on the town, but actually have off-road capability. I'll take short hikes in these in variable terrain and weather (they're water-resistant), no problem." - Liam McNally 


Learn how to care for your new boots from Explorer Gregg Boydston.


Cover photo: Josiah Roe

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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