Iceland is a pretty unique hiking destination.
The right pair of boots could make or break your trip.
This article will help you choose the right pair, so you can be sure you’re set up with the best hiking boots for Iceland.
- TOP 14 Best Hiking Boots for Iceland Reviewed 2019
- Asolo Men’s Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots
- Scarpa Men’s SL Active Hiking Boots
- Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots
- Salewa Men’s Mountain Trainer Mid GTX Boots
- Adidas Men’s Terrex GTX Hiking Boots
- Oboz Men’s Bridger BDRY Hiking Boots
- Timerbland Men’s Flume Waterproof Boots
- Scarpa Women’s Zen Pro Mid GTX Boots
- Asolo Women’s TPS 520 GV EVO Boots
- Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Hiking Boots
- KEEN Women’s Koven Mid Hiking Boots
- Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Boots
- Mishmi Takin Women’s Kameng Mid Boots
- Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Boots
- How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots for Iceland
- Winter vs. Summer?
- What Else Should I Wear?
TOP 14 Best Hiking Boots for Iceland Reviewed 2019
Asolo Men’s Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots
Review: Asolo are one of the most respected hiking boot brands. They make seriously rugged boots that provide top of the line traction, support, and durability.
Like all Asolo boots, the Fugitives are stiff and may feel uncomfortable at first, but they just need a little breaking in and then they will likely be the most stable boots you’ve owned.
- Gore-Tex lining provides waterproofing and breathability.
- Vibram outsole for traction.
- Rugged and durable.
- The metal eyelets may wear out your laces.
Scarpa Men’s SL Active Hiking Boots
Review: Along with Asolo, Scarpa makes the best hiking boots on the market. They will last a very long time and be worth every dollar you spend.
These boots are 100% leather with full rubber rand for protection against rocks and debris. They are completely waterproof, very supportive, and it doesn’t get much better than this.
- 100% leather, waterproof upper.
- Full rubber rand (like a climbing shoe).
- Cushioned insole and a dual-density midsole.
- Extremely durable and very supportive.
- They take a bit of breaking in and are stiff to start with.
- They need a bit of care to prolong their life – condition the leather with boot wax for best results.
Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots
Review: These high top Lowa boots utilize a water-resistant Nubuck leather upper with a breathable Gore-Tex lining making them ideal for Iceland’s wet conditions.
These mid-weight boots are designed with comfort in mind, with a moisture-wicking climate-control footbed and an open-lacing style making the boots versatile and customizable.
- Wide width options available.
- Gore-Tex waterproofing.
- Vibram outsole.
- Full-length stabilizing shanks.
- The leather-sole meeting point may be the weak spot in these boots, with the possibility of them starting to separate before the rest of the boot is worn out.
Salewa Men’s Mountain Trainer Mid GTX Boots
Review: These boots are designed to be durable and supportive with aggressive traction, making them an excellent match for Iceland’s rugged environment.
They have a water-resistant suede upper and a full rubber rand that wraps the entire boot like a climbing shoe.
- Gore-Tex lining for breathable waterproofing.
- Vibram Alpine Approach outsole provides superior traction.
- Full rubber rand provides extra durability and protection from rocks and scree.
- Climbing style lacing starts at the toe for extra stability and security.
- The waterproofing is not as fail-safe as you would hope, but paired with gaiters and without being submerged in deep puddles, they would likely cope well with rain.
Adidas Men’s Terrex GTX Hiking Boots
Review: These mid-height boots from Adidas are another boot designed with comfort in mind. They utilize Adidas’s running shoe technology in making a hiking boot that feels more like a running shoe, with a textile webbing upper, molded foam insole and adiPRENE midsole.
They won’t be quite as rugged as some of the more high-end boots but they’ll cope well with day hikes in Iceland.
- Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane.
- Adidas Traxion outsole.
- Lightweight and comfortable.
- Excellent cushioning.
- The textile upper won’t cope well with lots of exposure to Iceland’s lava fields.
Oboz Men’s Bridger BDRY Hiking Boots
Review: Oboz is a popular European brand of hiking boots. These boots are insulated with deep rubber tread and leather uppers.
They are an excellent option for Iceland as they’re waterproof, warm and durable enough to cope with rugged terrain.
- Oboz plant a tree for every pair sold!
- EVA foam sculpted insole.
- An excellent option for wide, flat feet or suffers of plantar fasciitis.
- Gnarly tread.
- Could be too warm for people who sweat a lot.
Timerbland Men’s Flume Waterproof Boots
Review: These are a comfortable and lightweight, affordable boot that will suit travelers on a budget provided they don’t expect too much from them.
Their completely leather upper is durable and waterproof and the rubber outsole has good traction, but there will likely be some durability issues over time.
- 100% leather, waterproof upper.
- EVA foam midsole is lightweight and well-cushioned.
- Rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs for traction.
- Leather is likely to get scuffed if you walk through rocky terrain.
Scarpa Women’s Zen Pro Mid GTX Boots
Review: You can’t really go wrong with these boots. They tick all of the boxes for hiking in Iceland but will last a lot longer than just one trip.
They are 100% synthetic with a Gore-Tex lining and durable rubber toe cap.
- Waterproof Gore-Tex Lining.
- Vibram Spyder II Outsole for Extra Grip.
- Sock-Fit XT technology for an extra comfortable fit.
- Eva foam cushioned midsole.
- Rubber toe and heel randing for protection against abrasion.
Asolo Women’s TPS 520 GV EVO Boots
Review: These top of line boots are extremely sturdy, supportive and suitably rugged for rocky terrain.
The leather uppers are lined with Gore-Tex for extra waterproofing and breathability and the rubber outsoles have formidable traction.
- Extremely supportive.
- Waterproof leather and Gore-tex upper.
- Rubber Vibram outsole with fantastic traction.
- They don’t like being stored for long periods unused. If you do have to store them, make sure it’s in a dark, dry place.
- May feel stiff until broken in.
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Hiking Boots
Review: Merrell make reliable hiking boots that are comfortable and durable. These boots have leather, suede and mesh uppers that use Merrell’s own M Select Dry waterproofing system.
They have deep, rugged tread and a good amount of shock absorbance for comfortable hiking.
- Air cushion in the heel for comfort and stability.
- Comfortable and lightweight.
- Available in wide widths.
- For their price, it’s hard to find fault with these boots.
KEEN Women’s Koven Mid Hiking Boots
Review: Keen boots are known for being really comfortable, lightweight and easy to hike in. They are well-made and well-designed and will support you for many miles.
The Kovens have a waterproof leather and mesh upper with multi-directional lugs in the outsole for extreme traction.
- Quicker to dry out than full leather boots.
- Excellent traction.
- Compression molded EVA foam.
- Not as waterproof as the boots above.
- The soles are known for wearing out pretty quickly on Keen boots.
Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Boots
Review: These women’s specific shoes are designed for stability and balance making technical hiking safer and more enjoyable.
The synthetic uppers have a waterproof Gore-Tex lining and the outsole uses 2 different kinds of rubber for extra traction.
- Excellent traction.
- Very stable and supportive.
- Well cushioned.
- It’s hard to find a con for these boots at their price!
Mishmi Takin Women’s Kameng Mid Boots
Review: This company started out as on a crowdfunding platform but has been so well received that it’s branching out.
The Kameng boots are made in Europe and designed by hikers, for hikers, with quality and functionality in mind.
They manage to be waterproof, quick drying and good for hot feet all at the same time.
- Vibram Megagrip outsole.
- Suede and Cordura upper is comfortable out of the box.
- Ortholite footbed.
- Waterproof and quick drying.
- May feel a little heavy.
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Boots
Review: These Columbia boots are a good mid-range option if you’re on a budget but want a pair of boots that will last longer than just your Iceland trip.
They have a leather waterproof upper with a thick rubber sole and well-cushioned midsole.
- Omni-Grip traction.
- Techlite cushioned lightweight midsole.
- Female specific fit.
- Not as durable as more expensive boots.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots for Iceland
More and more, people are starting to move away from high top hiking boots and instead opt for more shoe-style hiking boots.
This is all well and good as the majority of popular hiking trails are well formed and don’t pose major risks for your ankles.
However, Iceland is one place where proper hiking boots, at least mid-height, are highly recommended.
Well, for starters, many of Iceland’s hiking trails are through volcanic terrain, which aside from being hard on your ankles, will literally shred your shoes to pieces if you’re not wearing something rugged enough.
But more importantly, even in the middle of summer, Iceland is known for its extreme weather conditions.
The weather can change quickly and where you thought you were going for a sunny hike, you can easily end up in a snow storm.
This is essential. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that your boots are waterproof for hiking in Iceland.
Yes, if you walk through a knee-deep river with your boots on, you will get wet.
But, for the rest of the time, where rivers are avoidable, waterproof boots and a good pair of gaiters are essential for keeping you warm and comfortable.
Most hiking boots utilize Gore-Tex for waterproofing due to its ability to remain breathable.
Alternatively, some leather hiking boots are waterproof enough without using Gore-Tex.
The disadvantage here is that the leather will need to be conditioned with boot wax to stay supple and waterproof, and if your boots do get wet, they will take a long time to dry out.
Rugged tread is another deal-breaker for Iceland.
Some of the trails are remote and not well formed, and many trails are actually across lava fields.
Ironically, solidified lava is pretty easy to grip, but there will be many, many places where you will be grateful for as much traction as you can get.
Warmth and Insulation
Warmth and insulation is a fine balance because you don’t want to get too hot and sweat, but in a place like Iceland, some insulation can be much appreciated.
Iceland is a notoriously windy place so even beautiful sunny weather can end up being cold. Warm boots will keep you comfortable and safe.
As above, you will no doubt cross a lava field at some point. Lava fields literally shred your boots, unless they are durable and built to handle abrasive rocks.
Be prepared for your boots to come away scratched up and make durability a top priority.
Last but not least, make sure they fit you!
It won’t matter how awesome your boots are if they don’t fit you properly. If you have wide, narrow or flat feet, you’ll need to make sure that you choose boots that cater for this.
Similarly, women’s specific hiking boots are more than just pretty colors. They are designed for the female gait, are often lighter and may have more cushioning.
Winter vs. Summer?
It’s worth pointing out that you probably won’t be going to Iceland to hike in the winter…
Have you heard of the midnight sun? Yes, Iceland in the summer is light 24/7, just like it’s dark in the winter.
With such little daylight, only highly experienced hikers will be doing any hiking.
However, even summer conditions in Iceland can be like winter in a temperate county. The weather gets serious very quickly so it’s best to dress as if you’re going for a winter hike.
What Else Should I Wear?
That’s a good question, and an important one because your hiking boots are only going to be of use to you if the rest of you is dressed properly.
There’s no point in wearing the best hiking boots for Iceland if you’re wearing jeans and a hoody!
I am not exaggerating when I say that you need excellent quality, waterproof and windproof outer clothing. You also need thermal underwear, preferably merino, and some warm mid layers, most likely polar fleece.
You’ll also need a good pair of sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen, because even when the temperatures are down, in the summer, the Icelandic sun is very strong!
What about other gear?
Iceland is just one of those places where you really do need the best of everything to be safe and comfortable.
You might get lucky and have fantastic weather for the duration of your stay, and if you’re only doing low-level hikes and staying in campsites and sea level then you could get away with more basic gear.
But, one of the most popular hikes in Iceland, the Laugavegur, takes you up through an alpine environment that can expose you to pretty ruthless weather.
So that’s all for this article.
Hopefully, you’re excited about your upcoming trip to Iceland and feel well-prepared for choosing your hiking boots!
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, make it that the boots you choose are waterproof!
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