The 10 Best Hiking Boots For Iceland To Hit The Trails (2020)

Watch the Moss in Iceland - Travel Water Bottle

What are the best hiking boots for Iceland? We share our top picks to help you out on the trail. When spending time in the great outdoors, your first line of defense is a great pair of hiking boots. Since the real beauty and draw of Iceland are its natural wonders you’re going to want a good pair of boots.

It makes sense because a nice day out exploring can easily be ruined with the wrong pair of boots. These days, the heavy-duty hiking boots of the past are being phased out for lighter options. This is due to the growing understanding that the lighter your boots, the faster and longer you will be able to walk.

In our opinion, if you plan to hike in Iceland you rarely have a need for heavy insulated boots. It’s better to get your insulation through a pair of quality wool socks.

When it comes to hiking boots for Iceland, the key element is waterproofing. Weather in Iceland is unpredictable and with all the precipitation you’ll want a pair of waterproof boots like many of the Goretex models we recommend. In addition to the unpredictable weather, you have tons of waterfalls in the summer and snow in the winter.

There are two other elements to look for in a good pair of boots for Iceland. A high ankle for protection and to keep your feet dry in rain or snow and then a durable sole that protects the feet from the sharp volcanic rock all around Iceland. Don’t feel the need for some big winter boots they’re not necessary for most visitors unless you have plans for some real snow adventuring like snowshoeing, dogsledding, or winter hiking.


The Best Hiking Boots For Iceland



1.) Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX


Best Hiking Boot Salomon GTX III
  • Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
  • Material: Leather, Goretex,
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Lightweight, Feel Like Running Shoes, Good Value, Waterproof
  • Cons: Lightweight Nature Sacrifices Stability, Not Super Warm For Snowy Hikes

Salomon has been at the top of the hiking boot game for a long time. With exceptional quality, outstanding durability, and solid overall construction, it’s easy to see why. Now they have entered their contender in the lightweight hiking boots fight, and we couldn’t be happier.

Weighing in at just under 1lb, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid hiking boots will have you walking longer and faster without even noticing. The mid-ankle design gives you great support, the improved lugs provide excellent grip, and the toe protection is robust. Overall, these hiking boots for both men and women are a fantastic option for hikers of all levels. 

It’s a good boot for anyone looking to have a boot without sacrificing performance. If you’re seeking a boot to move fast and run down hill with some ankle protection this is a great hiking boot. We love these hikinng boots for Iceand because they’re lightweight, comfortable, and waterproof. As an added bonus they have a lot of versatility after the trip is over.

Men’s Salomon on REIWomen’s Salomon on REI

Men’s Salomon on Backcountry Women’s Salomon on Backcountry


2.) Merrell Moab II


Best Hiking Boots - Merrel Moabs
  • Weight: 2 lb. 4 oz.
  • Material: Leather, Goretex,
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Fit, Comfortable, Waterproof, Great Value
  • Cons: Durability and Support

Merrel is one of our favorite boot brands and they deliver some of the best value on the market. They make entry-level boots that are super comfortable for long distances and with weight on your back. Merrell has managed to keep these boots affordable as they haven’t updated the design in years and it’s proven to be a reliable boot. It’s not broken don’t fix it.

The boots are a blend of leather, textile, and synthetic. They are waterproof, comfortable, rubber soles, and high ankles. On the outsole is tough Vibram soles that provide good cushion and traction on slick surfaces. The major downside of the boot is its lack of support.

The Moab 2 operates more as an easy trail boot that something designed for scrambling or traversing craggy trails. If you spend a lot of time in the Rocky Mountains with lots of scree and rough rocks you may want a more robust hiking boot. However, if you spend more time out in warm environments these boots are great. As a bonus, they come in a non-waterproof vented version to keep your feet cool.

Men’s Merrell Moab 2 on REIWomen’s Merrell Moab 2 on REI

Men’s Merrell Moab 2 on Amazon Women’s Merrell Moab 2 on Amazon


3.) Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry – Men’s

3.) Vasque Laplander UltraDry – Women’s


  • Weight: 3 lb. 6 oz.
  • Material: Waterproof Leather
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Super Warm, Robust, High and Tight Ankle, Snow Traction
  • Cons: Overkill For Most Hikes, Very Tight, Difficult To Put On

These are hiking boots for Iceland if you’re really going to be tackling the winter. They have leather implemented throughout that creates a tough and waterproof boot. Most importantly for a hiking boot in Iceland in winter is the Thinsulate insulation and terry loop wool lining. The boots are toasty warm so we wouldn’t recommend them in mild weather.

It also comes with several winter-specific features that are nice to see in winter hiking boots. With the use of gaiters, they have a high arch for the under strap and D ring to attach the gaiter for secure placement. The outsole is designed for winter traction and protection underfoot from sharp rocks.

Men’s Snowburban II UltraDry on REIWomen’s Laplander UltraDry on REI

Men’s Snowburban II UltraDry on REIWomen’s Laplander UltraDry on REI


4.) La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX


La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX Best Hiking Boots
  • Weight: 2 lb. 1.6 oz.
  • Material: Nubuck Leather, Goretex,
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Fit, Comfortable, Waterproof, Great Value, Durability, Light,
  • Cons: Ventilation, Fit

La Sportiva’s Nucleo High GTX hiking boots were designed to increase breathability throughout. A Gor-Tex Surround liner allows airflow through the top of the boot, as well as the sides and bottom of the footbed. It also boasts Nano-Cell Technology, which is a web-like mesh found on the sides of the boot.

Weighing in at 2lbs 1.6oz, it is hard to believe they were able to get away with the large swathes of leather throughout that gives these hiking boots notable foot protection against some of the most rugged terrain. The only downside would be the narrowness of the footbed. These boots will not work well for men or women that generally wear wider styles. Never the less they make an awesome pair of hiking boots for Iceland.

Men’s La Sportiva Nucleo on REIWomen’s La Sportiva Nucleo on REI

Men’s La Sportiva Nucleo on Backcountry Women’s La Sportiva Nucleo on Backcountry


5.) Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Best Hiking Boot
  • Weight: 2 lb. 6.4 oz.
  • Material: Leather
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Lightweight, Great Support, Comfort, Stiff
  • Cons: Overkill For Easy Trails

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX brings heavyweight hiking boot quality to the lightweight category. These supportive, durable, hiking boots for Iceland are made to handle heavy loads for multiple days of backpacking, without the added strain of bulky boots wearing you down. The mid-ankle height gives you excellent stability, while the PU and EVA midsole blend combines the phenomenal shock absorption of the PU with the cushy quality of EVA.

There are not many other hiking boots that offer this blended option. Also, their choice of a suede upper rather than leather gives these boots a boost in the breathability department – surprisingly, without sacrificing the waterproof abilities. It’s a great boot for those more skewed towards mountaineering and scrambling.

Men’s Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX on REIWomen’s Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX on REI

Men’s Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX on Backcountry Women’s Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX on Backcountry


6.) Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry

Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry Best Hiking Boot
  • Weight: 2 lb. 8 oz.
  • Material: Nubuck Leather
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Comfortable, Good Value, Style
  • Cons: Lightweight Nature Sacrifices A Little Stability and Underfoot Protection

If you are planning on setting out on exceptionally rocky and wet terrain, look no further than the Vasque Talus Trek Mid UltraDry hiking boots. Designed specifically for long-distance thru-hikes, these boots hold up through mud, rain, rocks, and snow — A great hiking boot for Iceland!

They are slightly heavier than the Salomon X Ultra’s, weighing in at 2lbs 8oz, but still haven’t fully tipped into the midweight category. The added weight comes from the comfortable leather exterior, and rugged foot protection, which we think are definitely worth the trade. These boots come in both men’s and women’s sizes, and a variety of colors depending on your style preference. 

Men’s Vasque Talus on REIWomen’s Vasque Breeze on REI

Men’s Vasque Talus on Backcountry Women’s Vasque Talus on Backcountry


7.) Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
  • Weight: 2 lb. 13.2 oz.
  • Material: Leather, Textile, Goretex
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Durable, Comfortable, Supportive
  • Cons: Heavy, Overkill For Easy Trails

While the Salomon Quest 4D hiking boots toe the line between midweight and lightweight at 2lbs 13.8oz, they make up for it in aggressive quality. These boots are the whole package, with an extremely rugged outsole that can help you glide through any environment, a flexible platform for improved comfort, and top of the line performance fit.

Salomon Quest 4d boots can take you from your day-hike to your next big backwoods adventure with ease, making them great for every style and experience level.

Men’s Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX on REIWomen’s Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX on REI

Men’s Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX on Backcountry Women’s Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX on Backcountry


8.) Hoka One One Kaha

Best Hiking Boots Hoka One One Kaha
  • Weight: 2 lb. 3.8 oz.
  • Material: Leather
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Comfort, Stability, Traction
  • Cons: Rockered Sole, Feels Unreliable in Scrambles or Off-Trail

If you love to hike but your body and feet are sensitive to rough terrain, the Hoka One One Kaha hiking boots have your back. With extra plush soles and rocker bottoms, these boots will make you feel like you are walking on clouds as you glide along the trail.

While this maximalist approach may not be perfect for every hiker (the added padding can feel a little strange at first), they can give those with injuries or sensitivities the ability to get back out doing what they love most. However, that doesn’t mean that they skimp on the features. These hiking boots for Iceland feature the Vibram MegaGrip sole, eVent waterproof sock liner, and leather uppers that will keep you stylish, comfortable, and upright. The barely-there 1b 2oz overall weight doesn’t hurt either. 

Men’s Hoka One One Kaha on REIWomen’s Hoka One One Kaha on REI

Men’s Hoka One One Kaha on Backcountry Women’s Hoka One One Kaha on Backcountry


9.) Lowa Renegade GTX 

  • Weight: 2 lb. 7 oz.
  • Material: Nubuck Leather / Cordura nylon
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Light, Comfortable, Stability
  • Cons: Durability

Similar to the Vasque Breeze, the Lowa Renegade hiking boots are extremely comfortable straight out of the box, with no break-in period needed. The Lowas also has one of the highest ankle collars of any of the boots on this list, giving you exceptional ankle support for uneven terrain.

They have a solid construction that can stand up against the best brands, and a full leather upper that only adds to their overall durability. Lowa Renegade hiking boots have more stability, durability, and waterproofing than many lightweight brands, but fall slightly behind the endurance of many midweight boots. 

Men’s Lowa Renegade GTX on REIWomen’s Lowa Renegade GTX on REI

Men’s Lowa Renegade GTX on Backcountry Women’s Lowa Renegade GTX on Backcountry


10.) adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX

  • Weight: 1 lb. 15.6 oz.
  • Material: Nubuck Leather / Cordura nylon
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Traction, Comfort, Lightweight
  • Cons: Weak Support

Being a top footwear brand for years, it was only a matter of time before Adidas crossed over into the hiking genre, and we can’t say that we are disappointed. The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 is the perfect combination of a hiking boot and a trail runner.

Weighing in at 1lb 15.6oz, they are light and flexible without skimping on the Gor-Tex waterproofing or impressive Continental outsole grip. While they don’t have quite the ankle support of other mid-ankle hiking boots, they do have exceptional foot and toe protection. Not to mention, they are just as stylish as you would expect an Adidas product. All that being said, these are better for summer hiking boots in Iceland — not even the shoulder seassons.

Men’s Terrex Swift R2 on Backcountry

Men’s Terrex Swift R2 on Amazon Women’s Terrex Swift R2 on Amazon


Hiking in Snow


Iceland Travel

It does snow in Iceland very frequent in the winter months and it can be cold. However, it is not even as cold as parts of the American Midwest, Northwest, Canada, or Northern Europe. Due to the ocean that surrounds Iceland temperatures remain a mild cold all year. In the South of Iceland in the winter months, temperatures hover around a few degrees above or below freezing. Things do get a bit more difficult in the North during the winter months, but travel around the area is difficult and generally only good for

If you plan to trudge through the snow it’s not necessarily about clunky snow boots like the Sorel Caribou above. Those winter boots are great if you plan to stand around for extended periods of time, but they aren’t necessarily hiking boots. That being said there are some solid insulated hiking boots that will help keep your feet toasty in cold temperatures.

It’s about keeping your feet dry this means you need waterproof hiking boots like the Goretex models above. In addition to the waterproof hiking boots quality wool socks and if it’s really deep a pair of gaiters are lifesavers. The key is dry feet means warm feet.


What to Consider Before You Buy Hiking Boots


There are many factors that go into making the best hiking boots, some of which are more important than others. So, to simplify your purchasing experience, here are the essential things to look at before you splash your cash. 


Fit

The fit of your hiking boots is by far the most crucial aspect to consider before you invest in a new pair. Too tight and you run the risk of restricting your blood flow, your toes squishing up against the rough outer layer of the boot and swelling. Too loose and you can develop blisters, slip on rocks, or even lose your boots on an uphill climb. 

To know you have the right fit, try on the boots at the end of the day with the socks you intend to use. This is when your feet are the most swollen, so it gives you room to grow. The boots should fit snugly everywhere, be loose nowhere, yet still allow you to wiggle your toes. 


Uppers

This refers to the type of material used mostly over the exterior of the boot. These generally come in split-grain leather, full-grain leather, nubuck leather, or synthetic. Specifically for a hiking boot for Iceland, you should be looking for nubuck leather or synthetic, as they are lighter in weight and much more breathable. 


Midsole

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The midsole is the material that cushions your stride and absorbs the shock as you trek through the countryside. These are generally made from two types of materials – EVA and PU (polyurethane). PU midsoles are usually firmer and more durable, making them better for long-distance backcountry backpacking. EVA midsoles tend to give more cushioning but don’t last as long, so these are most recommended for day-hikers. 


Lug Pattern

The lug pattern refers to the plastic grips on the outsole of your boots. Tighter lug patterns give you more grip, while lugs that are more spaced out give you great traction and are easier to clean mud out from. 


Weight

Even in the lightweight category, you still need to evaluate the weight of your boots. That’s because anything below 3.3lbs is considered lightweight. The ideal weight for hiking boots is around 2lbs. This generally means they have the higher durability of a midweight boot without sacrificing ankle support and foot protection. Plus, removing the weight from your feet will make you more nimble and increase your overall comfort in the long run. 


Features in Hiking Boots 

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Outside of hiking boots’ basic construction, the features they have can make or break the pair. Here are a few things to keep a close eye on to avoid buyer’s remorse.


Eyelets

Personally, this is a pet peeve of mine. There is nothing worse than finding that perfect pair of boots, lacing up and hitting the trail, just to find that the eyelets are too small and your laces keep coming undone! Look for eyelets with strong brackets around the ankles that can handle you tugging your laces through them regularly without bending or breaking. 


Waterproofing

If you have ever ended up with soggy feet miles away from your final stop, you already know the importance of waterproofing. Outside of keeping you comfortable, this important feature will also help better regulate your body temperature and prevent blisters in wet environments. The two best and most common types of waterproofing are Gor-Tex and eVent. Trust me, if the boots you are looking at don’t have one of these types, you should continue the search. 


Mesh Inlays

While it may seem counterproductive to have mesh inlays in the upper part of the boots, it’s actually more beneficial than you think. They give your hiking boots a huge boost in breathability to prevent you from sweating through your socks and slipping and sliding inside your boots. 


Padding

Extra padding is not always the top choice in the midsole, as it can initially make you feel wobbly until you get used to it; however, it is a great way to increase your shock absorption and save your knees on those strenuous days in the woods. Also, look for added padding around the ankle support to prevent chafing. 


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Cameron

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Cameron Seagle is one of the creative forces behind The World Pursuit. He is a writer and photographer for the travel website. Cameron has been traveling for the last four years. He found a passion for conservation and safari while living out of a truck in the African bush. Obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products, he loves to research new product releases. In his free time, you can find him shooting photographs, summiting mountains, and snowboarding. Cameron currently lives in Banff with his partner and blogging co-conspirator Natasha. Cameron's favorite countries are Ireland, Scotland, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Japan. And he can never resist an excellent beach destination.

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