Summer, is coming to an end, which means you can hang up your beach flip-flops and finally reach for your boots. Oh, wait, your boots were destroyed by the daily salt assault of last winter’s sidewalks? No matter; now’s the best time to upgrade, replacing those that were already limping to the finish last season.
If there’s one singular trend for 2018, it’s old boots made new. They’re the type your dad wore (and may still wear) to hike around the Grand Canyon or through the Hundred Mile Wilderness. Leather silhouettes, whether they delicately taper or spread for wilderness stability, incorporate the latest tech hid under a heritage exterior. Whether you want a stylish pair to wear around the city or something more durable for your weekend hikes, you’ll find a pair here that suits you. Take a look.
The Luciano is all about versatility. This handmade, tapered boot dresses up with slacks or adds a touch of refinement to cuffed jeans. Either way you wear them, the Peruvian leather adds class. We love the inlayed Goodyear rubber in the forefoot, which, when paired with a textured pad of the same material on a stacked leather heal, camouflages their surefooted performance. While we won’t be hiking in these any time soon, for city-dwellers, these are an easy choice.
Timberland World Hiker Mid
Proving you don’t have to pay a fortune for classic style, the World Hiker Mid packs modern tech into a heritage package. Traditional hiker eyelets cinch up with a pull, while the gusseted tongue keeps out grit and all but the worst weather. And, man, how nice they feel thanks to a feather-soft EVA midsole, which makes them as comfy as your favorite running shoes and light enough for a jog.
Orvis x Danner Light II
The special-edition Light II takes one of Danner’s most popular men’s boots and adds the trademark Orvis green on its canvas sides. The waterproof leather is as rugged as it has been for generations of mountain men, while the Vibram Megagrip outsole, widened for stability, is sure-footed regardless of surface. A Gore-Tex waterproof-breathable lining lets these boots thrive in inclement weather.
Sorel Ankeny Mid
We think of Sorel as a winter staple, but its Ankeny Mid performs admirably in the shoulder seasons. The waterproof leather upper is seam-sealed for ultimate seepage protection, while the herringbone-patterned solid rubber outsole grips wet or dry. These aren’t the softest boots on the list, even with a removable EVA footbed, but they’re our pick for their blend of performance and light weight.
Wolverine 1000 Mile
A cult classic among men, the 1000 Mile has been going strong for over 100 years, making it a safe bet for an effortless bomber boot. Handmade in the U.S., Wolverine uses a Vibram heel for gripping performance, but the leather forefoot keeps it casual so that you don’t look like you’re headed into the Dolomites. With a myriad of leather uppers to choose from (including a DIY color-selector), you can match your boots’ hue to personal style.
Vasque Sundowner GTX
Admittedly, we have a soft spot for footwear our dad would have worn. That’s the Sundowner, a heritage style from Vasque’s legendary alpine pedigree. After their waterproof leather upper and one-piece mid- and outsole, the tech is out of the way, allowing them to break in like a dream. The previous generation knew that the most comfortable boot is the one in which you’ve spent the most miles.