TOP 15 Best Hiking Boots for Summer & Hot Weather Hikes + Safety Tips

Hot, sweaty feet can be the worst.

But you don’t need to suffer! Some hiking boots are better suited to hot weather than others!

I’m going to help you find the best hiking boots for summer so that you can enjoy hot weather adventures without hot feet.

Read on for the list and then check out the last section for tips on staying safe when hiking in hot weather.

15 Best Hiking Boots for Summer & Hot Weather 2019

Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Boots

Review: The Moab is literally meant the Mother of All Boots – so once you add in ventilation, they are hard to beat for summer hiking.

They have all of the support, traction, cushioning and comfort of the regular Moab but with excellent ventilation to keep your feet cool when things start to get hot and sweaty.

Pros

  • Good ventilation panels and breathable mesh lining.
  • Vibram sole and rugged 5mm lug depth.
  • Nylon arch shank and molded EVA foot bed.
  • Comfortable out of the box – no breaking in required.

Cons

  • The insole may feel a little hard but can be replaced.

Takeaway

These are hands down the best hiking boots for summer. You get all the points of the Moab but with ventilation, making them a winner on all counts.

Keen Men’s Targhee Vent Hiking Sneakers

Review: These are another excellent vented option for summer hiking, taking the Keen blueprint and adding in more ventilation to keep your feet cool and dry.

They are low rise shoes rather than boots so they won’t have any ankle support, but less material around your ankles could be a plus if you’re hiking in really hot weather.

Pros

  • EVA foot bed and midsole provides plenty of cushioning and support.
  • Rubber outsole has 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction.
  • Lightweight and breathable.
  • Spacious, wide toe box.

Cons

  • No ankle support.

Takeaway

These are some of the most comfortable, ventilated summer hiking shoes on the market.

Mishmi Takin Men’s Jampui Mid eVent Boots

Review: These boots are the new kid on the block but they’re taking the hiking world by storm.

They are extremely lightweight and very breathable making them a great choice for summer hiking.

They are waterproof, but their eVent lining maintains excellent breathability while keeping water out. Oh, and did I say they’re light?

Pros

  • eVent material is thought to provide even more breathability than Gore-tex.
  • The reasonably flexible sole is good for light and fast hikes.
  • Vibram mega grip outsole.
  • Very durable, well made and long-lasting.

Cons

  • Sizing may run small.

Takeaway

These are the best hiking boots for summer if you want a waterproof boot for the occasional shower or shallow stream.

Merrell Men’s Accentor 2 Ventilator Hiking Shoes

Review: This is another vented option from Merrell that makes an excellent summer hiking choice.

They are shoes rather than boots, but they provide reliable tread and traction while being ventilated and breathable.

Merrell shoes are known for being very comfortable and long-lasting and the Accentors are no exception. They also have wide sizing available for people with wide feet.

Pros

  • Excellent traction with 5mm lugs.
  • Stable support.
  • Plenty of mesh for ventilation.
  • Great shock absorbance with air cushions in the heels.

Cons

  • No ankle support.

Takeaway

These are the best hot weather backpacking boots or shoes for their breathability and comfort.

Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 GTX Boots

Review: These boots are waterproof which isn’t ideal for hot weather, but they are very lightweight for such a stable and durable boot, and the Gore-Tex ensures that things stay breathable as well.

They are well suited to rough, technical trails with a heel stabilizing chassis and sensifit technology that keeps your foot stable and supported inside the boot.

Pros

  • Impressively lightweight with mesh panels for ventilation.
  • ContraGrip rubber sole provides excellent traction.
  • Excellent stability and cushioning.
  • Durable and long-lasting.

Cons

  • You may want to upgrade to more cushioned footbed.

Takeaway

These are some more of the best hiking boots for warm weather and technical terrain due to their lightweight, breathable design and excellent traction.

Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Boots

Review: These boots are a good option for summer hiking in rugged places like Iceland where conditions can quickly become like winter. If you are in fact going to Iceland, be sure to check out my article on the best hiking boots for Iceland – it’s a unique place with some specific requirements!

These boots could get a little warm, but they’re not as warm as many other full leather, waterproof boots.

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking, climate control footbed is designed to keep your feet cool and dry.
  • The gore-tex lining is designed to reduce hot spots and help keep your feet comfortable.
  • Stabilizing shanks make for a secure and supportive boot ideal for rough terrain.

Cons

  • Not lightweight.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a versatile 3 season option that will handle warm weather well, these could be the boots for you.

Colombia Men’s Redmond Low Hiking Shoes

Review: One last shoe style option to round out the package is the Colombia Redmond.

It’s guaranteed to be cooler than any mid or high-rise boots simply by being a shoe, but this shoe also has a good amount of mesh for breathability.

Pros

  • Lightweight with breathable mesh panels.
  • Responsive cushioning with good energy return.
  • Omni-grip traction.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Less durable than more expensive brands.

Takeaway

This is an affordable, entry-level shoe, ideal for summer hiking due to its lightweight and breathable mesh panels.

Merrell Women’s Outmost Mid Vent Boots

Review: These are a great pair of boots for summer hiking due to their lightweight and great ventilation.

But they also come with reliable Merrell comfort, durability and traction.

They are better suited to pronators than people with neutral feet as they do have pretty solid arch support, but this could be remedied a little by replacing the insole.

Pros

  • Excellent arch support.
  • Very lightweight but with durable soles.
  • Good ventilation with mesh panels.
  • Very comfortable.

Cons

  • Sizing runs small.
  • The insole is pretty hard so you may want to replace it for a softer one.

Takeaway

These are the best women’s hiking boots for summer as they are designed to be lightweight and well ventilated to keep your feet cool and comfortable.

Vasque Women’s Breeze III GTX Boots

Review: This is another pair of boots with excellent ventilation and breathability. The Gore-tex provides waterproofing without trapping moisture inside, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

They are also very supportive with plenty of plush cushioning around the collar and tongue.

Pros

  • Gore-tex provides breathable waterproofing.
  • Molded TPU shank and dual-density EVA midsole provide plenty of support.
  • Wide width available.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Sizing runs small.

Takeaway

These are some of the best hiking boots for hot weather if you’re going to be tackling a range of conditions.

They are versatile enough to cope with rugged trails and stream crossings while being lightweight and ventilated for summer hiking.

Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Boots

Review: Paired with thin, moisture-wicking socks, these boots are an ideal option for more rugged summer hikes. They are sturdy, strong and supportive while also being very comfortable. They are waterproof, but they are designed to be breathable.

So, while they might be a little on the warm side, they are such a good boot that it’s hard to leave them off this list!

Pros

  • Well-cushioned with an air cushion in the heel.
  • Nylon shank and blended EVA midsole provides plenty of support.
  • Vibram outsole with excellent traction.
  • Waterproof but breathable.

Cons

  • Could be a little warm.

Takeaway

These are good hiking boots for summer provided you’re not prone to getting really hot feet. For most people, they’re a versatile option that will do well all year round.

Vasque Women’s Inhaler II GTX Boots

Review: Made of 70% mesh and 30% waterproof leather uppers, these boots are designed to find the perfect balance between ventilation and waterproofing.

They have a Gore-Tex membrane that will keep the rain out while also letting your feet breath. They’re not going to be as a cool as a non-waterproof boot, but they’re pretty close!

Pros

  • Lots of mesh for ventilation.
  • Dual-density EVA foot bed.
  • Sticky rubber sole.
  • Ventilation ports in the heel and toe to promote air flow.

Cons

  • Insole could be better.

Takeaway

These boots offer an impressive amount of ventilation for a waterproof boot making them ideal for summer hiking with the occasional rainy day.

Clorts Women’s Lightweight Suede Hiking Boots

Review: There’s quite a lot of leather in these boots, and they are waterproof, so they’re not going to be the coolest option on the list.

But, in saying that, they are lightweight and mid-rise so when worn with thin, moisture-wicking socks, they could be a versatile choice for summer.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Gusseted tongue prevents stones and debris from entering the boots.
  • Well-cushioned with a supportive EVA midsole.
  • Well-padded collar and tongue.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Likely to be a little on the warm side.

Takeaway

These are a good option for entry-level hikers on a budget. They’re lightweight enough that they can comfortably be worn in the summer with thin socks.

Keen Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoes

Review: If you don’t need the ankle support of boots, walking in hiking shoes is an excellent choice for summer hiking.

These Voyageur shoes from Keen are very comfortable with breathable mesh ventilation panels, rugged tread, and a protective toe cap.

Keen shoes are also known for being a good fit for wide feet with a spacious toe box for natural toe splay and no black toenails on the trail.

Pros

  • Grippy rubber sole.
  • Durable leather and mesh upper.
  • Mesh panels for ventilation.
  • Very comfortable and a good fit for wide feet.

Cons

  • Waterproof so not quite as breathable as non-waterproof shoes.

Takeaway

These are the best hot weather hiking shoes if you appreciate the waterproofing and might jump across the occasional stream.

Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker Shoes

Review: These shoes provide an even lower profile shoe option for summer, being about as lightweight as you can get while still having excellent traction, support and cushioning.

They have a breathable mesh lining, a shock-absorbing heel and a grippy rubber outsole, combining to provide a pretty ideal summer hiking shoe.

Pros

  • Low profile and lightweight design.
  • Well-cushioned with air pocket in heel.<
  • Vibram outsole with aggressive 4mm lugs.
  • Breathable mesh upper.

Cons

  • Not suitable for really rugged hikes.

Takeaway

If light and fast along well-formed trails is your thing, these shoes are ideal. They will keep your feet cool while you smash the miles.

Keen Women’s Whisper Sandals

Review: Hiking in sandals is becoming a really popular alternative to boots or even shoes for summer hiking.

They give you more flexibility with river crossings and you literally can’t get more ventilation than in sandals.

Keen’s Whisper sandals are some of the most comfortable, durable and popular available right now.

f you’re interested in checking out more options for hiking in sandals, I’ve got a list of the best women’s hiking sandals right here that you should definitely check out.

Pros

  • The best ventilation you can get.
  • Quick-drying if you walk through a stream.
  • Metatomical foot bed is comfortable, supportive and cushioned.
  • Great traction.

Cons

  • There’s always the chance of small stones or debris getting caught.

Takeaway

If you’re interested in giving sandal hiking a go, Keen sandals are the best place to start.

They’re widely considered to be the most comfortable hiking sandals.

What Makes a Great Summer Hiking Boot?

Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation!

Hot temperatures mean sweaty feet, so a boot with as much mesh as possible that isn’t going to trap heat or moisture is your best bet.

But, yes, I know, they’re actually not that easy to come by. Most hiking boots these days are waterproof.

And even if they say they’re breathable, it’s rare that a truly waterproof boot is still breathable enough to be cool and breezy in hot temperatures.

So, what do we do?

Well, there are some different options. Merrell and Keen both do great summer boots that prioritize ventilation over waterproofing.

Boots are necessary if you need ankle support or you’re going to be hiking over more rugged and steep terrain where the extra stability and stiffness is important.

people hiking in sunset

But, provided you don’t have really weak ankles if you’re going to be hiking on well-formed trails, low cut hiking shoes, trail running shoes or even sandals are a great way of staying cool.

I’ve prioritized boots on the list above, but lightweight shoes can be a great choice for summer hiking as they are likely to be much cooler.

In general, things to look for are:

  • Lightweight – heavy boots will be hotter
  • Ideally not waterproof – they won’t be as breathable
  • Plenty of mesh – avoid too much leather
  • Low or mid-height – avoid high rise boots

There are of course all of the usual criteria to consider as well – durability, traction, cushioning, stability/support…

All boots are made to fit slightly different foot shapes. You’ll need to try a bunch of models and brands before you find what works for you.

My list of the best hiking boots for flat, wide and narrow feet goes into this in more detail. It really is amazing how many people leave a bad review for a pair of boots simply because they didn’t fit properly.

There should be something for everyone on the list above.

But if you want to check out even more options, I have lists of the best hiking boots for men and the best hiking boots for women too which are definitely worth checking out.

hikers on trekking trail

Tips for Hiking in Hot Weather

Hiking in hot weather can be great fun and has many advantages over cold or wet weather, but it also comes with its own challenges and risks.

You don’t have to carry as much clothing with you, but you still need to keep yourself protected from the sun, and you’ll likely need to carry more water.

The biggest risks of hot weather hiking are:

  • Heatstroke
  • Dehydration
  • Sunburn

They sound pretty obvious, but they can sneak up on you slowly and catch you out when you think you’re doing alright.

Follow these tips for safe hiking in hot weather:

  • Drinking water alone may not be enough to avoid dehydration in hot weather as you’ll be sweating out a lot of salts. Take a powdered sports drink that contains electrolytes (but not too much sugar as sugar actually dehydrates you further!), and sip it regularly. Don’t walk for more than an hour with drinking 250ml of water. Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
  • Keep yourself protected from the sun. Believe it or not, wearing sunscreen doesn’t protect you from sunstroke. You’re far better off keeping your head covered with a wide-brimmed hat or a lightweight scarf.
  • Stop and rest in the shade in the hottest part of the day – don’t try and walk through it. In really extreme cases, you can even choose to sleep during the hottest part of the day and walk only in the early morning and night.
  • Dunking your t-shirt (or your whole body) in any rivers or streams that you pass by can be a great way of keeping your core body temperature down. A wet t-shirt will keep you cool while it dries out through the evaporation process.
  • Always, always, always carry more water than you think you’ll need!

Summary

As you can see, summer hiking boots aren’t really a thing as there aren’t many options that provide ankle support at the same time as great ventilation.

But there are a few!

If you want boots as opposed to shoes, the vented Merrell and Keen options are the best hiking boots for summer.

Don’t forget to comment or download my e-book about solo travel safety so you can prepare for your next adventure!

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