For anyone looking for comfortable and reliable hiking boots, Vibram sole hiking boots are going to be your best bet. When you purchase a pair of hiking boots with a Vibram sole you can expect an exceptional standard of quality regardless of brand.
But with so many manufacturer’s taking advantage of what Vibram has to offer, how do you tell which pair is right for you?
This is why we decided to do the research and search for the most reliable hiking boots that puts these soles to the best use. Here are our top picks for the best hiking boots with Vibram soles.
Top Picks At A Glance
Why Choose A Hiking Boot with Vibram Soles?
Vibram is a sole manufacturer that has been in business since the 1930’s. With over 75 years of innovative experience the company has made it a mission to manufacture speciality soles for shoe brands in outdoors, military and heavy industry.
Today Vibram soles are known for their amazing traction and attention to detail for the task at hand. Unlike some generic hiking soles, hiking boots with Vibram soles will yield longer lasting boots that hug terrain while providing great stability and a more comfortable wear.
Keep reading for an in-depth look at our top picks for the best Vibram sole hiking shoes on the market today.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid is the boot version of their popular Moab 2 Vibram hiking shoe. These hiking boots are made for those who would benefit from the extra support around the ankles. Packed with tons of features, the skinny is that they are lightweight enough for longer hikes and can certainly take a beating after repeated use. This durability is thanks to features such as a protective rubber toe cap, performance suede leather uppers and a sturdy molded nylon arch shank.
The uppers are made of suede and a lightweight breathable mesh. Because of the tactical placement of the mesh throughout the uppers, you’ll find yourself with a breathable boot that fares well during warm weather hikes.
Merrell uses a Vibram TC5+ Rubber Outsole on the MOAB 2 hiking boots. They feature a generous 5mm lug depth that allows for great grip on outdoor terrains. These outsoles are especially made for traction and their anti-slip properties. Those trekking up and down hills and damp trail conditions will appreciate their bite.
The TC5+ Vibram outsole also does well when hiking on rock and dirt. The circular lugs and open channels on the outsoles do well with providing grip and stability. When combined with the air cushion in the heel these hiking boots do amazing job at absorbing shock and while keeping you stable.
Vasque Breeze III Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
The Vasque Breeze III are meant for all season hikers who need a pair of reliable hiking boots that are durable, comfortable and waterproof. Weighing in at 2lbs 10oz, these Vibram soled hiking boots are lightweight enough for long hikes yet tough enough to protect from the elements.
What we especially like about these boot is how rugged they are. The uppers are made of a tough 2mm nubuck leather and with abrasion resistant air mesh pockets for breathability. Speaking of breathability, there are also ventilation ports built into the toe and heel for extra airflow. For those who hike in warm or arid climates, it’s small design elements like these that really make all of the difference. As for waterproof protection, Vasque has added a Gore-Tex membrane that protects against wet environments.
Vasque features an exclusive Vibram Contact Grip outsole that is made with Vibram’s Megagrip Compound. These soles have excellent grip on muddy and slippery surfaces and are especially made as an all-season hiking outsole. What makes these Vibram outsoles so special is the Megagrip compound that “sticks” to the terrain. This allows for superior traction on loose trails and rocky terrain.
As for comfort these hiking boots are comfortable right out of the box. This little break-in period needed is great for those who don’t have the time to babysit first-time wear blisters that is common with most hiking boots. When on the trail, you’ll notice Vasque’s use of an Arc Tempo last. Arc Tempo is made to slightly tilt your foot forward giving you a little momentum into your next step. Pair it’s robust Vibram sole with it’s dual density foot bed and cushioned midsole and you have a extremely comfortable hiking boot.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
The Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX is currently one of the best hiking boots on the market. This is thanks in part to the Renegade’s ultra grippy Vibram soles, superior waterproofing and and reliable stability.
The Lowa GTX line of hiking boots are all waterproof thanks to their use of Gore-Tex lining. When it comes to keeping your feet dry these boots do an excellent job. Not only does the Gore-Tex lining keep water out while still being breathable, the nubuck leather uppers also help with waterproofing the boot. Unlike other Vibram hiking boots of it’s class, there are no large patches of mesh webbing that may cause wet feet. And although the nubuck leather used in the uppers is tough, it’s still thing enough to allow for air circulation in the foot so that the boots don’t become sauna’s when hiking.
The Lowa Renegade GTX hiking boot features a Vibram Evo outsole. This type of Vibram sole concentrates on providing stability with non-slip performance. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a “grippy” sole that will do well with rock and dirt. We like that the soft rubber of these soles provides added cushioning for walking comfort. The lugs are deep and varied enough to use these hiking boots in a variety of different terrains with confidence.
One thing that the Lowa Renegade GTX does very well is cater very wide variety of sizing. Those with hard-to-fit feet will be glad to know that Lowa offers an excellent range of sizes and widths. Anyone that usually has trouble with hiking boot sizing will definitely benefit from the options.
Danner Mountain Light 600
The Danner Mountain Light 600 are the lightest hiking boots on our list at only 39oz per pair. The Danner Mountain Light 600 are not only surprisingly light but very high quality. Each pair is made in the USA and is made of high grade materials that are meant to last.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Danner Mountain Light 600 is it’s simple no-frills design. The uppers are completely made from a strong and durable full grain leather. Unlike most modern hiking boots you’ll notice a lack of mesh or nylon incorporated into the uppers. Combine the leather uppers with Danner Dry barrier technology and you get a fully waterproof boot. Danner Dry is their proprietary answer to Gore-Tex. Just like Gore-Tex, the Danner Dry lining allows moisture to escape while blocking water from getting into the boot.
Danner uses a Vibram Fuga outsole on their Mountain Light 600 hiking boots. These soles are especially made for comfort and natural traction. When looking at these Vibram soles you’ll notice a number of triangle shaped lugs that are designed to help with traction and braking. The outer lugs provide much needed stability. The Vibram Fuga outsole was originally intended for trail running but Danner puts them to good use on the Mountain Light 600. What you get is a high quality Vibram sole hiking boot that will do very well on day hikes and low-medium difficulty trails.
As for comfort, these boots break in beautifully and provide excellent support when worn. This is thanks to Danner’s removable ortholite footbed as well as the Vibram SPE Midsole that enhances rebound and comfort when hiking. Overall, the Danner Mountain Light 600 are for anyone who needs a pair of cool hiking boots that are guaranteed to be reliable on the trail.
Lowa Camino GTX Hiking Boots
Lowa has built a bombproof pair of hiking boots from the ground up with their Camino GTX hiking boots. These boots are originally made for those who need a protective pair of boots for backpacking or long trekking. It’s meant to handle hilly and rocky terrain like a boss while keeping you comfortable.
The overall quality of these boots cannot be understated. The uppers are made of a tough numbuck leather with reinforced rubber toe and heel areas. The lacing hardware is made of ball bearing lace loops that keep your boot firmly in place while reducing pressure against your foot. The construction is cemented but unlike most hiking boots the Lowa Camino GTX can be resoled over time. Although these boots are more on the pricier side, it may be well worth the overall lifetime saving when you factor in that they can be repaired.
Because of it’s focus on long hikes and backpacking, Lowa went with the Vibram Apptrail outsole on the Camino GTX. This outsole is great for tackling steep and loose rocky terrain. And thanks to it’s aggressive thread pattern it also does surprisingly well on snow and ice. The lugs on these Vibram soles are deep and the wide thread channels allow for excellent self-cleaning. A pronounced front heel allows for good traction downhill while the thicker lugs allow for great stability.
What to look for in hiking boots with Vibram soles
Still searching for the best pair of hiking boots for your specific outdoor needs? Here are some tips when shopping for Vibram sole hiking boots.
Research the sole
Some brands, like Merrell, team up with Vibram to manufacture a proprietary design especially made for their hiking boots. But most boot companies use the many Vibram stock options. When researching your boots take note of the type of Vibram sole used to make sure it fits your outdoor needs.
Some boots, such as those who use Vibram Contact Grip, are better for traction and help “stick” to steep rock and dirt. While other soles, such as the Vibram Fuga are great for hugging the ground when trail running. Knowing which soles are best for you will help you pick out the best pair of boots whether you are a trekking on wet forest ground or dry arid rock.
Pick a trusted hiking boot brand
While many brands use Vibram soles on their hiking boots it’s best to stick to trusted brands that are known for their boot quality and comfort. Brands like Merrell, Lowa and Vasque are trusted for their innovation and reliability.
Fit is everything
If you have a chance, try on a new pair of hiking boots before purchasing. Wearing the right fit is the difference between painful blisters and a smooth enjoyable trek. If you can’t get into a brick and mortar store to try on your desired hiking boots then take advantage of the many online retails who offer free returns and exchanges online.