Minimalist Hiking Boots Our Top 5 Picks

Are you looking for the best minimalist hiking boots on the market? Hiking is an amazing all-round healthy activity that does so much for your entire being. It has a way of working on your physical fitness, but also it does a world of wonders for your mind. Going out into the fresh air has been proven to clear the mind and give you the freedom that running on a treadmill can not give you. 

Hiking will tone your entire body all in one activity. It is unlike going for a class to work on your calves, hiking will work on every muscle simultaneously. You can do this whilst taking in breathtaking views. The views and fresh air can help give you a whole new perspective on life. The fresh air is also good for your lungs. As a whole, hiking can have a profound impact on your health of mind and body. 

  1. Are you going on a hike and wondering which shoes work best?
  2. Or perhaps you feel like your current shoes are not the right ones and you need some guidance in buying them
  3. You may perhaps be looking for the perfect gift for an avid hiker. 

Minimalist Hiking Boots

Image Name What We Like URL
Vivobarefoot Men's Tracker FG Very stylish. Great ankle support.
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot Outstanding grip. Reliable material.
Vivobarefoot Women's Hiker Lightweight Boot Stylish. Easy to slip on.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot Lightweight. Natural Comfort.
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot Lightweight. Exceptional traction.

Going hiking is a great health decision. Doing it in the wrong gear or using the wrong equipment, can culminate in injuries. It is important to be adequately prepared for your hike. The shoes that you wear have a big impact on how well you enjoy your hike.

Minimalist shoes have been known to give you a great grasp of the ground beneath your feet. This is an ability that comes in handy when hiking because it means that you can navigate uneven terrain better. In this article, we take a look at the best minimalist hiking bots on the market.

In a Hurry

Are you looking for a quick comprehensive buying guide for the best minimalist hiking boots? There are a couple of things that you will need to consider. Firstly, make sure to check on the sole of the shoe and ensure that they are minimalist.

Then check on the durability of the soles. They need to be strong enough to take you through the rough terrain. Sure the sole is thinner regular boots but this does not mean that they should be made poorly. Also, check to see that they fasten securely. 

Our Top Pick

Vivobarefoot Men's Tracker FG

Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker FG

Product Reviews of Minimalist Hiking Boots

Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker FG


These boots have the most attractive look of all shoes in this article. They have an exceptional style for hiking and other outdoor activities. Their stylish appearance makes these boots versatile enough to be matched with outdoor wear as well as casual wear. What makes me a big fan of these boots is how the shape is similar to a pair of basketball sneakers. It makes you feel like a professional athlete, but instead of basketball, the sport is hiking.

This exciting design separates it from most hiking shoes that tend to look dull and unexciting. The hazel-colored leather has a beautiful texture and exciting tones that complement the outdoors well. The red and brown shoelaces complement the brown leather well.

The rubber sole is firm and flexible. It provides an excellent amount of traction ideal for climbing rocky paths. The leather also protects against rain and moisture. The inside of these boots is equally satisfying. The inside padding is cozy and supports your ankles. The only drawback is that the shoes are difficult to clean. The leather requires a bit of care and conditioning to keep it looking sublime.


  • Very stylish.
  • Great ankle support.
  • Provide firm grip.


  • Difficult to clean.


Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is the ultimate hiking boots. This is a highly specialized pair of shoes. You can tell that all aspects of the design and material were intentionally fashioned to making hiking effortless and safer. The materials used consist of leather, suede, and a neat mesh on the shoes’ tongue.

The vamp of the boots is substantially firm. You never need to worry about accidentally kicking a rock because the boot will absorb most of the shock. The shoe’s collar supplies significant support for your Achilles tendon, while the shoe’s diameter provides a fantastic amount of wiggle room to prevent your ankle from getting injured.

The mesh tongue provides significant breathability to prevent your feet from getting clammy or feeling congested. The boots allow you to lace-up the tongue closure for a customizable and more secure fit. The sole of the shoes is likely the most impressive. The boot has what they call Omni-grip. This is like a four-wheel-drive but for shoes.  You won’t find many boots that provide as much traction as these; they genuinely make hiking less strenuous. If you take hiking seriously, do not overlook these boots.


  • Outstanding grip.
  • Reliable material.
  • Exceptional comfort.


  • A bit heavy.


Vivobarefoot Women’s Hiker Lightweight Boot

Vivobarefoot Women's Hiker Lightweight Boot

I am a big fan of these boots because they are perfect for people who like to wear boots that aren’t overly conspicuous and heavy. Let’s face it; most hiking boots are easy to identify because they have a very specific overwhelming look and feel to them; these boots do not have that. That does not, however, take anything away from their functionality.

The first thing I like about these shoes is the color tones. The top half has two times black colors, one for the mesh fabric and the other for the leather detailing around the rim. The red shoelaces wonderfully contrast the black call. This shoe looks gorgeous. The sole is one of the outstanding features of their boot.

The grid design adds to your confidence in the shoe’s grip. It is also made from a very light rubber material that makes this shoe very lightweight and mesh material. Forget slowly hiking up the trail; you could quickly run in these. The only drawback of the mesh material is that it takes away from the shoe’s robustness and water resistance but not so much that you can’t expose the shoe to wet conditions at all. This is a perfect shoe for people who value lightweight, low-profile shoes.


  • Stylish.
  • Easy to slip on.
  • Cozy fit.


  • Don’t provide enough shock absorption.


Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot 

Merrell Moab 2

These shoes are professional-grade hiking boots; you can tell by their high price. These shoes do an exceptional job of guarding your feet from all kinds of harm and the elements. These hiking shoes look intimidating, and they look rugged and durable. They can assure you that you can and will conquer anything mother nature throws at you.

Unfortunately, these boots won’t win you any beauty awards, but that’s not the point. These boots were born with a purpose, and they focus on that only. The toes are fitted with a protective leather material that absorbs shock. The rubber soles of the shoes are thick and firm. The leather sole provides an extraordinary amount of traction, and another remarkable trait of the sole is how well it bends.

This flexibility plays an essential role in making hiking feel less strenuous and natural on your feet. You can’t slip on dry surfaces or wet surfaces because the sole has effective grooves to prevent this. The top half of the shoe is made from leather and an elastic mesh that provides adequate water resistance. The shoe is not fully waterproof because if they get wet, you will feel the water, primarily through the tongue. 


  • Lightweight.
  • Natural Comfort.
  • Robust


  • Far from stylish.


Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot 

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is a high-end hiking boot. This version of the ridge plus boots is designed to cater to customers with feminine preferences. This is reflected in the design. You can notice more refined attention to detail and a significant attempt to make the overall shape and design more trimmed and lightweight. Similar to the men’s version, this too is a highly specialized pair of shoes.

The shoes boost the hiker’s confidence and make the experience more effortless. The boots are designed in a blend of leather, suede, and mesh material on the shoes’ tongue.  The shoe feels very comfortable.

The inside wraps itself around your foot naturally and provides significant support for your heel and ankle. The mesh tongue provides significant breathability to prevent your feet from getting clammy or feeling congested. The boots have Omni-grip, which translates to excellent traction. These boots are perfect for serious hikers that prefer a more lightweight and sleek design.


  • Lightweight.
  • Exceptional traction.
  • Water-resistant.


  • Relatively expensive.


Buyer’s Guide

Boots are often chosen for the fact that they are for the feet and ankles as well, which means that they need to be securely fastened. Also, check on the boot’s ability to keep water and moisture out of them.

They should be tight and snug enough around your ankles that they do not allow anything in over the top. Also, check on the toe box and make sure that it is wide enough to allow your feet to move around freely.

Make sure that the shoes are lightweight and that they fit well. Ill-fitting shoes can be the cause of pain and discomfort. Make sure they are the right size and that they allow you to be comfortable and not worry about your feet hurting as you hike.

Depending on where you will be hiking, you may also want to make sure that your shoes are waterproof and avoid any surprises on the trail. Another thing to consider is how often you will be using them and what you will be putting the boots through this will help determine what sort of material the shoes need to made of.

How do I transition from regular hiking boots ti minimalist hiking boots?

Moving from regular hiking boots to minimalist hiking boots will take some getting used to. Give yourself some time to do this. Your feet muscles and your legs, may not know how to handle lightweight and also minimal material as you hike.

Remember that since minimalist boots do not have much material, this also means that they do not have much cushioning, and your feet need to be ready to feel the ground in every sense of the word. 

These boots also do not have much shock absorption. If you usually strike the ground with your heel then it is important to remember that the minimalist hiking boot will have less cushioning in the heel. Always keep in mind that minimalist shoes have zero drops which mean no difference in height on the heel and the forefoot. 

Do minimalist shoes help improve my balance?

As you walk in minimalist shoes, you will rely less on your shoe’s ability to absorb shock, and more on your legs muscles to offer shock absorption necessary. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to ease into walking in minimalist shoes.

As time goes on, your muscles and gait adjust and before you know it, your stability and natural balance will have improved greatly. It is important to note that this will not happen overnight. 

Do I need to wear socks with my minimalist hiking boots?

Most minimalist hiking boots are made in such a way that you do not have to wear socks with them. It is all in the spirit of keeping things minimalist. However, if you feel the need to wear a pair, you may consider a thin pair so that you do not lose the essence of wearing a minimalist shoe.


If you are just switching to minimalist hiking boots, make sure to give your feet and leg muscles some time to adjust to your new way of life, don’t just jump right in, despite how great you think it will be for you in the long run. Make sure that you are getting all the features that you need In your new minimalist hiking boots so that you are not disappointed or even injured because of the wrong shoes.

Hiking gear can be quite tricky to buy especially if you do not know what to look for. We certainly hope that the shoes we have reviewed in this article help you find your perfect fit. Happy shopping!

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
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