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

The North Face Ultra FastPack Mid — As the name says, these are fast boots (indeed the fastest in the review) with a hybrid design built to trek quickly for miles or even run long distances on trails. They have running-shoe-like tread and a reasonably light weight at 17 ounces a boot. A thin tongue and lightly cushioned cuff make them fit nicely on the ankle.

The uppers are waterproof thanks to a Gore-Tex liner. The North Face markets these boots as having “element protection while eliminating excess weight for performance on any terrain,” and I found this to be true.

As a trail runner more than a hiker, the Ultra FastPack were among my favorite boots in the review.

Weight: 17 oz. (per boot, men’s size 12); MSRP: $150; 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.