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

La Sportiva Thunder III GTX Super stiff, strong boots with a big mountaineering influence, these are not “trail boots” in my mind — they will be overkill for many backpackers with their beefy build and steel shank for support in the midsole.

You can add crampons and kick steps on steep snow in the Thunders, or the low but aggressive tread digs in fine on mud.

They have thick uppers with a Gore-Tex liner and are among the heaviest in this review. Look at the La Sportivas if you’re a mountain hiker who needs serious support.

Weight: 27 oz. (per boot, men’s size 12); MSRP: $185; 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.