backpacking boots reviews

Backpackers on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon.

The Best Backpacking Gear of 2021

By Michael Lanza

The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. The Wonderland Trail. The Teton Crest Trail. Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. Glacier National Park. The Ruby Crest Trail. Yellowstone. The Wind River Range. The North Cascades. Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The High Uintas Wilderness. The Tour du Mont Blanc. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear you see reviewed at The Big Outside. I treat gear roughly in places that are hard on outdoor gear and apparel so that I can give you brutally honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you make the best gear choices for your adventures.

And that’s exactly how I came up with these picks for today’s best backpacking gear.

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A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park.

5 Things to Know Before Buying Backpacking Gear

By Michael Lanza Are you in the market for a new backpack, boots, tent, sleeping bag or other backpacking gear or apparel? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the …

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A backpacker on the John Muir Trail in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Expert Tips For Buying the Right Hiking Boots

By Michael Lanza

Boots are the most important piece of hiking or backpacking gear you will buy. You can live with a mediocre pack or a cheap tent (as many of us have), but poorly fitting boots are often a trip killer. Trouble is, boots are also the most difficult piece of gear to get right. (First tip: Don’t settle for a mediocre fit—if they don’t feel good, they aren’t good.) This article will go beyond the usual boots-buying tips you’ll find at countless sources to help you figure out how to find the right hiking footwear for you.

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Scarpa Mescalito hiking shoes.

Review: Scarpa Mescalito Hiking Shoes

Hiking/Approach Shoes Scarpa Mescalito $169, 1 lb. 13 oz. (men’s US 9/Euro 42) Sizes: men’s US 7-14/Euro 40-48, women’s US 5-10/Euro 36-42 moosejaw.com Sometimes a piece of gear seems better every time you use it. That’s what happened to me with these low-cut hiking shoes. From dayhikes on the slickrock and sandy trails of Zion to the packed dirt and …

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Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof boots

Review: Oboz Bridger Mid and Low Waterproof Boots and Shoes

Hiking and Backpacking Boots Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof $180, 2 lbs. 6 oz. (men’s size 9) Sizes: men’s 7-15, women’s 6-11 backcountry.com Hiking and Backpacking Shoes Oboz Bridger Low Waterproof $140, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s size 9) Sizes: men’s 8-14, women’s 6-11 backcountry.com As someone who makes his living walking on- and off-trail a lot, I’m very selective about …

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