minimalist hiking boots

7 Best Minimalist Hiking Boots for Backpacking in 2020

Hiking Outdoors Just Got Easier! In this informative piece, we are going to be exploring six of the best minimalist hiking boots on the market.

When you’re going to cross a new terrain, you don’t want to be weighed down by cheap, cumbersome footwear. This is why we’ve composed our top choices for hiking boots that incorporate a thoughtfully minimalist design.

After spending years hiking your favorite trails, you’ve likely come to expect a lot out of a new pair of hiking boots. A good pair of shoes provide traction and support; they should be made of durable materials.

7 Best Minimalist Hiking Boots for Bacpacking

In no particular order, the best minimalist hiking boots that we’re reviewing are the following:


We’re going to examine the advantages of each of the boots on this list, and we’ll answer some popular questions people have been asking about each product.

The Only Boots You’ll Need to Get Across Any Terrain

When you’re running around in rough terrain, you don’t want to trip over your own feet. This list is all about the hiking boots that minimalists crave. These boots are light and durable; they’ll get you where you need to go while providing maximum comfort.

Before we get into the details of our review, let’s take a quick look at the list we’ve assembled.

Best Minimalist Hiking Boots for Backpackers in 2020

1. Xcursion Minimalist Boot – 1.5 lb (0.7 kg) – Absolute n.1

Available for: Men & Women

About this product:

Xcursion is an excellent product! It’s an ultra-lightweight, fully waterproof hiking boot that’s built to let your feet do what’s natural. Letting your toes splay and spread and letting your feet bend, flex, move, and get feedback from the ground.

Xcursion boot comes from Xero Shoes, one of the leading manufacturers of barefoot-inspired shoes, boots, and sandals. 

Features of this hiking boot:

  • Fully Waterproof — Xcursion has a seam-sealed inner bootie, a gusseted tongue, and a water-resistant membrane in the upper.
  • Comfortable Anatomical Design — Wide toe box, non-elevated (“zero-drop”) heel for proper posture, low-to-the-ground for balance and agility, highly flexible sole for natural movement.
  • High Traction and Durability – 4mm lugs on the FeelTrue® rubber sole, which is backed with a 5,000-mile sole warranty. Tough-Tek toe guard for protection.
  • Adjustable Fit — the “inverted V” midfoot straps and huarache sandal-inspired heel strap let you adjust the Xcursion for a secure fit.
  • Lightweight — A men’s 9 weighs only 12 ounces each.

2. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vented – BEST rated – 2 lb (0.91 kg)

Best Minimalist Hiking Boots

Best Boot From a Sustainable Company 

Available: WorldWide

About This Product:

If you haven’t heard of Merrell Moab before, you should know that this company is dedicated to providing products that match the comfort, fit, and performance expectations of their customers. They’re also concerned with sustainability and community involvement efforts.

Features and Benefits:

Get ready to find out why hiking enthusiasts around the world are choosing Merrell Moab boots when they hit the trails.

  • Stability – This minimalist trail shoe incorporates phenomenal side to side traction and stability.
  • Tough Soles – The soles are made of a rubber that comes from Vibram. This company is dedicated to providing high-quality materials that last a long time.
  • Breathable Materials – Even though these shoes are made of durable materials, they are still breathable. The air cushion in the sole provides more comfort on long trails.
  • Specs: Moab 2 hiking boots weigh under 2 lb (.91 kg). These shoes come in 10 colorful styles, including walnut, gold, and dusty olive.

Question: Do these shoes have good traction?

Answer: Yes, the grips on Merrell’s Moab 2 provide phenomenal traction on all hard surfaces.

3. VivoBarefoot Men’s Tracker – 1 lb (0.45 kg)

vivo - minimalist hiking shoes

Best Durable Minimalist Boot

About This Product:

This company sells the perfect minimalist hiking boots. After all, the founder (Tim Brennan) started VivoBarefoot as a minimalist running shoe company. This company is part of a large British shoe conglomerate, known as Terra Plana.

Features and Benefits:

The unique features of these leather hiking shoes are worth a closer inspection.

  • Premium materials – are you looking for shoes that will last? You’re going to love these shoes from VivoBarefoot. They’re made of premium leather that will provide a long life on the trails. The soles are made of a durable rubber material that will cushion every step you take.
  • Warm Lining – These boots will be comfortable in most weather conditions. However, they’re specifically designed for cool weather; the heat regulator technology will keep your feet warm, and the hydro guard will keep them from getting too moist.
  • Comfortable – These boots can be broken in without much difficulty.
  • Specs: These boots weigh around 1 lb (.45 kg). They come in three colors: dark brown, cement, and brown.

Question: Which seasons are these boots designed for?

Answer: These boots are great for fall, spring, and winter. Your feet might get sweaty wearing these boots in the hot months of the summer.

4. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running – 0.7 lb (0.30 kg)

Best Synthetic Hiking Boots

About This Product:

This company has been around since 1947. They started as a French ski company. Over the years, Salomon has had plenty of time to test and develop new gear for backpacking enthusiasts throughout the world.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s take a close look at what makes Salomon’s Speedcross shoes outshine other synthetic footwear on the market.

  • Breathable Fibers – The materials that make up these impressive minimalist hiking shoes are 100 percent synthetic. Unlike thick leather, synthetic fibers are more breathable, so they’ll feel comfortable in the warm months when your feet tend to sweat.
  • Great Warranty – For products that come from Salomon, you should expect a two or three-year warranty. Check with the manufacturer about exact details, but this warranty should cover basic assembly defects.
  • Phenomenal Gripping Soles – The bottoms of these hiking shoes are lined with a high-quality rubber grip that will give you great traction on any terrain.
  • Specs: Speedcross 4 shoes weigh .70 lb (.30 kg). These shoes come in 10 exciting colors, including yonder blue, metallic black, and sulphur spring.

Question: Are these good running shoes?

Answer: Although these shoes are built for any terrain, the grips might wear out quickly if you run on asphalt.

5. New Balance Men’s 10v1 Minimus – 2 lb (0.91 kg)

Best Anti-Microbial Technology

About This Product:

This company is known for making supercharged athletic shoes. New Balance has been around since 1906, so they’ve had plenty of time to figure out the mechanics behind creating the perfect shoes for minimalist hiking enthusiasts.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s get to the main reasons why we’ve chosen these sleek New Balance Minimus 10v1 shoes.

  • Quality Construction – These shoes are made completely out of synthetic fibers, so you know they’ll be a lot easier to wear in the hot summer months. Synthetic material breaths better when you take long hikes.
  • Keep Away Foot Odor – If you’re looking for a way to reduce the odors that naturally occur from strenuous activities, these hiking shoes offer a practical solution. The manufacturers have treated their materials with an anti-microbial technology that’s designed to minimize odors.
  • Impressive Design – These shoes are designed for comfort and long-lasting performance. The flex grooves on the sides of each shoe will help with maintaining a healthy stride throughout your hike.
  • Specs: These New Balance shoes weigh under 2 lb (.91 kg). They also come in five exciting colors, including varsity yellow, and black.

Question: How are these shoes cut?

Answer: Some consumers recommend buying the next 1/2 size bigger than you normally wear.

6. Oranginer Men’s Barefoot Shoes – 0.23 lb (0.10 kg)

best minimalist boots for hiking

Best Low-Cost Hiking Shoe on the Market

About This Product:

This company makes impressive running shoes that look great, and they perform magnificently under tough conditions.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s take a look at why Oranginer shoes are great for minimalist backpacking enthusiasts.

  • Affordable Price – Do you want to go for a hike without breaking your bank? Oranginer offers high-quality footwear that is available at an affordable price.
  • Lightweight Design – If you’re worried about carrying too much weight in your backpack, Oranginer’s shoes are the lightest pair on the list.
  • Nice Size Toe Box – The wide area of the toe box is more comfortable than some of the more narrow footwear on this list.
  • Specs: These shoes weigh .23 lb (.10 kg). Oranginer’s hiking shoes also come in 12 fun colors, including beige, green, and blue.

Question: Will these shoes be comfortable throughout the year?

Answer: This footwear should be comfortable in most weather conditions, but you might need a thick pair of socks during the winter.

7. Teva Men’s Arrowood 2 – 3 lb (1.36 kg)

Best Thick Sole for a High-Quality Hiking Boots

About This Product:

Teva came from the “shores” of the southwest; this company has been striving to make their products from natural sources since 1984.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s take a close look at why hiking enthusiasts crave the minimalist design of Teva Arrowood sneakers.

  • Soft Fit – The interior of these shoes is soft, resembling a sock, yet they still have a tough, modern look.
  • Float-Lite Sole – The midsole of these shoes is made to withstand rocky trails without causing pain on your heels.
  • Outsole Gripping Technology – The manufacturers have placed pods along the outsole in order to assist with gathering traction on the toughest trails.
  • Specs: Teva Arrowood sneakers weigh under 3 lb (1.36 kg). These shoes come in two colors: walnut, and black.

Question: How are these shoes cut?

Answer: Some consumers have claimed that Teva’s shoes are cut larger than most, so you should buy a half size smaller than you normally purchase.