THE BEST KIDS HIKING BOOTS of 2017

From toddlers and up to Teens - We have looked at the best hiking boots for your kids no matter what activity level they have.

THE BEST KIDS HIKING BOOTS of 2017

Hiking is a very enjoyable way to spend time and pass the holidays across the globe. Not only do families embark on hiking trips for the enjoyment, but they also do for the fact that it’s healthy and they can experience nature.

That being said, the comfort and quality of your boots can make or break your next hiking trip, and this will even more true for your children. Hiking boots that are poor quality or uncomfortable can lead to an overall unpleasant experiences, which is exactly the opposite of what you want you or your children to experience when you’re spending time in the great outdoors.

The good news is that children’s shoes exist for about any kind of sport or activity there are, including hiking. Even though adults are the ones who will usually hike in rough terrain, children will also hike in the exact same environment with them. Subsequently, numerous shoe manufacturers have released an abundance of separate models of hiking shoes for children of different ages.

When it comes to selecting a pair of hiking shoes for your kids, you want to focus on the quality, function, and the fit of the shoes over how much they cost or their appearance on the outside. To be more specific, you want to look for shoes that have a closed toe to protect your children’s feet from any rocks or tree roots, along with a firm sole that will decrease the number of times that they trip. In addition, you also want to look for a pair that will mold to your child’s feet better over other models.

In this guide, we’ll overview ten of the best children’s shoes that are currently available on the market, and then discuss some specific qualities that you need to look for in a pair of hiking shoes for your kids.

Kids Hiking Boot Comparison Table

BootCategoryWeightWaterproofUpper
Keen Youth Torino MidMidweight2 lbs. 6.4 oz.YesLeather/Synthetic
Hi-Tec Renegade Trail WPMidweight3 lbs.YesSynthetic, leather, and mesh
Rocky Boys Hunting Waterproof MOBUMidweight2 lbs. 1.6 oz.YesLeather
Keen Alamosa WPLightweight2 lbs.NoLeather
Hi-Tec Nepal Waterproof JuniorMidweight2 lbs.YesSuede/Synthetic
Timberland WhiteledgeMidweight2 lbs.YesLeather, Fabric
Merrell Capra MidMidweight3 lbs.YesLeather
Timberland 6" PremiumHeavyweight5 lbs.YesLeather
Columbia Youth Newton RidgeMidweight2 lbs.YesPolyurethane Coated Leather
Timberland PawtuckawayLightweight1 lbs.YesLeather

1. Keen Youth Torino Mid


Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 6.4 oz.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Waterproof material, padded colar, breathable membrane, extra padding for ankle
What we don’t:  The tide fit around the heel, price.

COMFORT – The Keen Torino is an overall very comfortable hiking shoe with extra padding around the collar, tongue, and the upper side of the shoe. This padding doesn’t just increase the overall comfort of the shoe, it also ensures that the feet are given extra protection. One thing that a few customer reviews of the Torino have noted, is that the shoe can be a little snug around the heel, though this can also go away once the shoe has been broken in following extended use.

TRACTION – True hiking boots are intended to be put through extreme environments, and children’s hiking boots need to be held to the exact same standards. These boots meet if not exceed these standards thanks to the lugs on these shoes that are designed to be used in everything from a snowy mountain peak to a muddy trail to slick rocks.

BREATHABILITY – The Torinos sell with a completely breathable membrane that ensures your child’s feet will receive proper ventilation when you go on your next hiking trip. Ventilation is important for hiking boots to reduce sweat accumulating in the feet, which can lead to an overall unpleasant experience. Although the majority of this boot is leather, the offered breathability remains good, especially for colder climates.

QUALITY – As is customary with Keen products, overall build quality of the Torino WP hiking boot is superb. The entire shoe is constructed out of a waterproof leather construction so the shoes can pass the test of time and be passed down to your younger children when your current child outgrows them. Another notable feature about the Torino is its dual climate rubber outsole that further reinforces how this shoe can withstand being put through multiple environments.

All in all, thses may not be the only high quality hiking boots out on the market, but they certainly are one of the best options there are and easily earns are number one spot on our list of the top ten kid’s hiking boots.

Check the Keen Youth Torino Mid

 

2. Hi-Tec Renegade Trail WP

Hi-Tec Renegade Trail WP Hiking Boot

Category: Midweight
Weight: 3 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Great Stability, Adjustable lacing, good ankle support, durable rubber outsole.
What we don’t:  Runs small, difficult to break in.

COMFORT – The overall quality of comfort on the Hi-Tec Renegade hiking boots is excellent. Hi-Tec invested much effort into making sure that these shoes had a superior ankle support in comparison to their closest competitors. The shoes also feature an EVA sock liner, a man-made sole, and superb stability as a whole. That being said, some customer reviews have noted that they do have a snug fit, and will require some time to break them in. Something that should be noted here is that the Hi-Tec Renegade does tend to run a half size too small, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when purchasing a pair for your child.

Hi-Tec has installed the Renegade with perfectly breathable mesh panels on the upper side of the boot to ensure proper ventilation. While comfort is absolutely critical in a hiking boot, so is good traction. In fact, without good traction a hiking boot isn’t even a hiking boot in the first place! The Hi-Tec Renegade has a multi-directional and traded outsole to ensure that these boots grip the surface of the ground firmly and without any slickness. These are boots that will be equally at home on a dirt trail as they are on a steep mountainside or swampy environment.

The Hi-Tec Renegade Hiking Boots would not have made this list if they weren’t high quality. These shoes are constructed out of a high quality suede leather and have an entirely waterproof construction to ensure they can resist water both from rainfall and in a muddy/swampy environment.

The Renegade boots from Hi-Tec are designed to provide the definitive combination of stability, comfort, and strength. Being built to the same standards as an adult’s hiking boot, they should be a perfect choice for any of your children so long as you anticipate having to put the boots through an initial break-in period.

Check the Hi-Tec Renegade Trail WP

 

3. Rocky Boys Hunting Waterproof MOBU

Rocky Boys Hunting Waterproof Insulated Boot

Category: Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 1.6 oz.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Durable leather and Nylon construction, lace up design, lightweight, yet insulated.
What we don’t:  Not as breathable as other models, not many color options.

The first thing you want to look for in a pair of children’s hiking boots is the overall quality of the boots. If the boots are uncomfortable in any way, your child is not going to enjoy wearing them. The interior of the boot is padded to ensure that your child’s foot will be in comfort while hiking. At the same time, you also want the boot to fit snugly over the foot or else it can rub against the skin and cause discomfort and rashes. These utilize a lace-up design on the upper part of the boot, which will fit securely over your child’s foot but is also fully adjustable so they can select their own personal preference.

The breathability is the main flaw of the Rocky Boys Hunting Boot. This is a hiking boot that is designed to be primarily used in cold environments during the fall and the winter. The Rocky Boys boot is designed to ensure maximum traction thanks to the TPR rubber outsole, which will allow your child to have stable footing even when they are walking over uneven terrain.

The Rocky Boys is a completely waterproof boot, so you will not need to worry about your child’s feet becoming soaked when they hike trough puddles, streams, or areas of wet grass. It utilizes eight hundred grams of a lightweight Thinsulate insulation material, which is designed to perform warmth without adding any serious weight to the boot. This is a boot that is designed primarily for the colder months, which is why it is well insulated.

All in all, this kid’s boot from Rocky will be one of the warmest and most well insulated boots that you can buy for your child.

Check The Rocky Boys Hunting Waterproof MOBU

 

4. Keen Alamosa WP

Keen Alamosa Mid WP Hiking Boot

Category: lightweight
Weight: 2 lbs.
Waterproof: no (water resistant leather & mesh)
What we like: Durable leather and Nylon construction, lace up design, lightweight, yet insulated.
What we don’t:  Not as breathable as other models, not many color options.

The first thing you want to look for in a pair of children’s hiking boots is the overall quality of the boots. If the boots are uncomfortable in any way, your child is not going to enjoy wearing them. The interior of the boot is padded to ensure that your child’s foot will be in comfort while hiking. At the same time, you also want the boot to fit snugly over the foot or else it can rub against the skin and cause discomfort and rashes. These utilize a lace-up design on the upper part of the boot, which will fit securely over your child’s foot but is also fully adjustable so they can select their own personal preference.

The breathability is the main flaw of the Rocky Boys Hunting Boot. This is a hiking boot that is designed to be primarily used in cold environments during the fall and the winter. The Rocky Boys boot is designed to ensure maximum traction thanks to the TPR rubber outsole, which will allow your child to have stable footing even when they are walking over uneven terrain.

The Rocky Boys is a completely waterproof boot, so you will not need to worry about your child’s feet becoming soaked when they hike trough puddles, streams, or areas of wet grass. It utilizes eight hundred grams of a lightweight Thinsulate insulation material, which is designed to perform warmth without adding any serious weight to the boot. This is a boot that is designed primarily for the colder months, which is why it is well insulated.

All in all, this kid’s boot from Rocky will be one of the warmest and most well insulated boots that you can buy for your child.

Check The Rocky Boys Hunting Waterproof MOBU

 

5. Hi-Tec Nepal Waterproof Junior

Hi-Tec Nepal Waterproof Junior Hiking Boot

Category: midweight
Weight: 2 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Fairly lightweight for a kid, padded tongue and excellent traction.
What we don’t:  some people have reported the sole started to peel off.

The fact that the Hi-Tec Nepal Hiking Boot has an extra pad liner in it greatly improves the comfort for most users (although you can also quickly remove it should the boots be too tight). Additional features that aid in overall comfort includes the padded collar and tongue. The boot is outfitted with a breathable mesh on the upper part of the boot that enhances the amount of ventilation the feet receive.

The Hi-Tec Nepal boot offers superb traction power thanks to the design of its durable and high grip rubber made outsole. In addition, this boot is also notable for its excellent shock absorption capabilities that will protect your child’s feet during running and jumping. It is constructed out of a suede leather/synthetic material that is completely waterproof. The lacing system in particular is incredibly versatile and ensures a secure fit.

Check the Hi-Tec Nepal Waterproof Junior

 

6. Timberland Whiteledge

Timberland Whiteledge Waterproof Hiking Boot

Category: midweight
Weight: 2 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Durable waterproof outsole,  sturdy lace system, indestructible
What we don’t:  very tight and small, you may want to go 1 size up

The Timberland Whiteledge will fit snugly over your child’s foot thanks to the lace up design that is fully adjustable. The Timberland also sports extra padding in the ankle area of the boot for further comfort, in addition to a dual density EVA sole that is removable. Some customer reviews of the Timberland have noted that the toe box is a little large in comparison to similar models, however, which is why it doesn’t rank a little higher in this list. That being said, many other customer reviews have also claimed that absolutely no break-in time is needed for this boot. It uses an internal breathable and waterproof membrane that ensures the user receives both proper ventilation to their feet while keeping water and moisture out.

The Whiteledge offers decent traction in comparison to other boots in its class. The sole is very durable but also a little softer in comparison to other models, which is suitable for most hiking purposes but won’t be the best option for hiking on cliffs or over jagged rocks.

Timberland has been continuously setting standards in the outdoor footwear industry, so quality is not something that you’ll have to worry about. The Timberland comes equipped with a completely watertight construction thanks to its watertight leather. All in all, these boots will be ready for almost any kind of environment that you can expect to put hiking boots through.

Check the Timberland Whiteledge

 

7. Merrell Capra Mid

Merrell Capra Mid kid boot

Category: midweight
Weight: 3 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Removable footbed, excellent traction, durable materials.
What we don’t:  Some customers said it was not wide enough & difficult for kids to put on

The Capra is a solid pick. In fact, most of Merrell’s offerings are solid picks. This particular model does just as well with adults, as it does with its kid sizes. Aside from the minor drawback of being a bit difficult for some kids to put on, the hiker performs really well in most environments that you would most likely venture through with your children in tow.

The reinforced yet breathable upper construction really holds up quite well to the hurt kids can often put on a pair of shoes. Especially for  a pair intended for more rugged use.

 

Check the Merrell Capri Mid

 

8. Timberland 6″ Premium

Timberland 6 Premium kids boot

Category: heavyweight
Weight: 5 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Durable lacing system, excellent traction and color variation.
What we don’t:  Outsole has been known to fall apart by some people. Beware of many fakes.

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Check the Timberland 6″ Premium

 

9. Columbia Youth Newton Ridge

Columbia Youth Newton Ridge Waterproof Hiking Boot

Category: midweight
Weight: 2 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Great cushioning, Membrane keeps it waterproof even behind laces.
What we don’t:  limited color options and leather can get stiff.

As a whole, the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boot is very lightweight, which many children who enjoy running are bound to enjoy. These boots also come equipped with a compression molded EVA insole for even added comfort. These boots are equally as breathable as they are waterproof thanks to the textile mesh material that Columbia has installed in them.

The Columbia Youth Newton Ridge Waterproof Hiking Boot will offer your child all the traction they need thanks to their durable and grippy rubber outsole. One of the selling points of these boots is their completely waterproof construction thanks to their PU coated leather. All in all, these are boots ready to tackle any kind of outdoor terrain.

Check the Columbia Youth Newton Ridge

 

10. Timberland Pawtuckaway

Timberland Pawtuckaway Hiking Boot

Category: Lightweight
Weight: 1 lbs.
Waterproof: Yes
What we like: Protective toe overlay, great traction & all day comfort
What we don’t:  tongue not attached to side, so not 100% waterproof

First of all, these boots are highly comfortable thanks to their internal cushioning and adjustable laces to ensure a proper fit. This cushioning is also lightweight and the boot is a very breathable boot thanks to its breathable mesh system.

This boot offers excellent traction and is easily one of its main selling points. These boots were tested in multiple different conditions and are even marketed as being for different environments.

The Timberland Pawtuckaway has an overall excellent build quality thanks to its full grain leather material and hardware that is rustproof. However, it does lack an internal liner, meaning these boots are not fully waterproof. Even though the full grain leather on the outside will likely resist most of the water or moisture your child encounters, it’s still something to think about.

Check the Timberland Pawtuckaway

 

What To Look For In A Pair Of Kid’s Hiking Boots

 

More important than choosing a specific brand of hiking boots for your child will be to choose a boot that offers the perfect combination of the primary qualities that you need. If you want to purchase a pair of hiking boots that will be the most ergonomic, resilient, and long lasting for your child, these will be the top qualities that you must look for:

COMFORT

As we have touched on several times in this article already, the first and foremost quality that your selected children’s boot must meet is comfort. If your child does not enjoy wearing their boots, then they are most likely not going to enjoy going out on hiking trips with you either. This is why the comfort of your boots of choice are so important.

It’s very crucial that you research the comfort qualities for the boots as much as possible, while also keeping in mind certain factors that your child may require, such as high arches, flat feet, for pronation. The best method to determine what the most quality pair are will be to have your child actually try them on physically to see what they like.

TRACTION

As we have also discussed throughout this guide already, the traction of your boots cannot be called into question. In fact, the primary point of difference between any normal shoes and hiking boots is specifically the traction. Hiking boots are designed to be worn in rough environments consisting of uneven terrain and natural elements such as rain and wind. If a pair of boots are unable to grip slippery surfaces properly, you should reject them.

BREATHABILITY

Breathability may not be a quality you want in a pair of winter hiking boots where warmth and insulation will be the primary factors you want to look for instead. That being said, for hiking boots intended for any other purpose, breathability should be a primary point of concern.

The breathability of the boot simpler refers to the amount of ventilation that they provide for the wearer, allowing the insides of the boots to air our properly and reduce the impact of sweating.

SOLE

The sole of the hiking boot is what provides it with its support, cushioning, and overall stability. You want to make sure that your boot appropriately fits your child for both their personal foot and for the role the boot is intended for.

WEIGHT

Some hiking boots are heavy, others are light, and most are somewhere in between. There is no definitive answer here as to how much your boot should weigh, though generally speaking hiking boots made for the summer should be lighter as they offer greater movement and breathability while those made for the winter should be heavier as they offer improved insulation. Think about what your child will be using the boot for and base your purchase off of that.

ARCH SUPPORT

One of the largest impacts on the overall comfort of the boot will be on how much arch support it offers. Poor arch support will not just make the boot be unpleasant to wear; it can also cause tenderness or soreness in the foot after it has been worn for an extended amount of time.

BUILD QUALITY

The build quality of any shoe or boot simply refers to the materials it is made out of and whether it is built to last. You will never want to invest in a pair of hiking boots for your child that are not made to stand up to the tasks that they are intended to perform.

Pay very close attention to the specific materials that the boot is made out of. Leather or nylon are two examples of high quality materials that are often used for making hiking boots. They have proved to withstand adverse conditions for extended periods of time and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of them.

PROTECTION

The protection of a boot refers to two things: how well it protects the feet against the ground and against moisture. The outsole of the shoe is what goes into direct contact with the group, and you don’t want to feel any kind of roughness from uneven or jagged surfaces whatsoever. This goes right along nicely with the build quality of the shoe, because poor quality shoes are not going to be very durable in rough environments.

In addition, making sure the boots are fully waterproof is also a quality that you do not want to overlook. If you’ve done enough hiking already, you no doubt know your boots can come into contact with rain, humidity, streams, or muddy places on the ground. If a pair of boots are unable to resist water to keep the feet dry, you will not want to consider them.

STYLE

While it has very little to do with the overall quality of the boot, the style of your boot is also something to think strongly about. Even if your selected boot meats all of the qualities above, if your child dislikes the looks of it in anyway than he or she is not going to want to wear it.

For this reason, make sure your child is pleased with the looks of the boot before making a purchase. You also want the overall aesthetic design of the boots to be relevant to other currently styles and for the colors to match.


Conclusion

In conclusion, when purchasing hiking boots for your children, you need to look for the exact same qualities that you would look for in boots for yourself or any adult. The days where children’s shoes in general used to not be made to the same level of standards as adult’s general footwear are long gone, as all ten of the boots that we have covered in this article should shoe you.

Remember that when on the market for a pair of children’s boots, if you want those boots to last your child for as long as possible you want to purchase ones that offer plenty of growing room, or else you may end up using the boots for only a single season (if not less).

Something else to look for is proper support that will allow your child’s foot to grow properly while also offering plenty of protection from moving, jumping, and running.

Finally, don’t skimp on the quality of the boots either. Hiking boots are intended to be put through rough environments and your children’s boots should be no exception. Waterproof qualities, durable materials such as leather or nylon mesh, proper comfort, and excellent traction over uneven terrain are all factors that must be taken into account when purchasing a pair of boots for your child.

Any one of the ten boots that we have gone over in this guide should serve your child well. The only left for you to do is to narrow your selection, or if possible, have your child physically try on a few different pairs in a store to see which one they like best.

 

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