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

Vasque St. Elias GTX Called the “lightest backpacking boot” in the Vasque line, the St. Elias GTX was actually among the heaviest in our review at 28 ounces a boot. But on the foot they don’t feel overbearing, with a wider toe box and medium-stiff sole good for long days with a heavy pack.

A Gore-Tex liner makes them waterproof, and a thick sole plus a clean but durable upper offers protection from anything you’ll see outside, from daylong mountain climbs to long backpacking treks.

Weight: 28 oz. (per boot, men’s size 12); MSRP: $189.99; 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.