12 Good Boots: Find Your Perfect Hiking Footwear For Spring 2014

Lowa Hudson LL Mid — The most comfortable cuff of all boots here, the tall ankle on the Hudson wraps the leg nicely with soft “glove leather.” It’s a sturdy but comfortable boot on a trail, including a higher ankle than normal, a good footbed, and more lateral and torsional flex than I’d predicted when taking them out of the box.

With deep brown leather uppers, the Hudsons are handsome enough to do double duty wearing around town. It has a medium tread for fast movement on dirt, but you could still kick steps in steep snow with gaiters attached.

A smooth lacing system cinches nicely for fit on the foot. To me, these boots — which are made in Germany and cost a premium at $260 — are most at home when you are wearing a large, loaded backpack and moving at a moderate pace through mountainous terrain.

Weight: 27 oz. (per boot, men’s size 12); MSRP: $260; More info/buy now

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.