You don’t need to be someone who lived in the 60s or 70s to appreciate vintage hiking boots. Admit it – those old hiking boots of your father have that timeless appeal. And you shouldn’t be surprised why there are lots of retro hiking boots available in the market today.
Many outdoor footwear brands realize that there’s a market for vintage hiking boots. So every fall and spring, they come up with a few hiking boot designs that harken back to the old days when your dad or mom was in their prime and enjoyed hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
However, these vintage hiking boots are equipped with the latest technology to provide superior comfort and support for hiking long miles. You would be surprised that despite their looks, these retro hiking boots perform as well as any other hiking boots.
How to choose vintage hiking boots
Foot protection and durability will always be important when choosing any footwear. And because hiking exposes our feet to all sorts of elements, the more that it becomes imperative to find hiking boots that are durable and made of rugged materials.
The leather is perhaps the most popular material that boots are made of. It is not only durable but also weather resistant. However, be prepared for a longer time to break in leather hiking boots. Moreover, boots made of leather are notoriously heavy.
Vintage hiking boots may also be made of synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Hiking boots made of this material are known for being waterproof. These are thus ideal for use in rugged terrain and wet climates.
You’ll be walking for countless hours while hiking so the hiking boots you wear must have very sturdy and comfy soles. Hiking boot soles may be stitched or cemented. Boots that have cemented soles are less expensive, but they aren’t as durable as those that are stitched.
3. Weather protection
If you are hiking in mild conditions, then weather protection may not be the most important aspect in choosing vintage hiking boots. But we know that the weather has become very predictable these days, so I would recommend that you get waterproof footwear.
There are different kinds of water protection for hiking booths. One is waterproof breathable lining that is designed to prevent moisture from passing and reaching your feet. One example of lining frequently used in this regard is Gore-Tex fabric. But keep in mind that the lining won’t prevent the exterior of the boots from absorbing moisture.
There’s also weatherproof leather. Hiking boots made of full-grain leather are usually waterproof, although a boot that’s badly constructed is not impervious to leaks.
When buying hiking boots, look for one where your foot fits snug enough for it not to move around whenever you walk. The boots should also have enough space for your toes to wiggle without them touching the end of your shoes.
I would also recommend that you try on these boots with socks, and to do so at the end of the day as this is usually when your feet are at its biggest size.
The height of the boot can determine how it is specifically designed to be used for. Usually, taller boots can provide superior support when navigating difficult terrain. Meanwhile, low profile boots are best used for short hikes.
6. Other features
These features aren’t exactly the first things you will be looking for in a hiking boot. But these features could make you choose one hiking boot over the other.
For example, a boot rand runs along the outer edge of the shoe. It is a tough rubber guard that may also have a toe cap. It can add protection to the footwear, subsequently increasing its lifespan.
Another feature worth checking out is the collar. Padded collars can support the ankle. Boot linings, meanwhile, can absorb sweat and help keep your feet dry. There are also some boots with linings integrated with antimicrobial treatment for odor elimination.
Top Vintage Hiking Boots for Men Available On The Market Today
#1 Vasque Men's Sundowner Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot
This hiking boots has an Italian-inspired design. It comes in three colors—jet black, hawthorne, and red oak.
It is classic and versatile that you can even wear it to formal events like a wedding. Or wear it when you stroll around the mall in the weekends.
But you will be impressed at how the manufacturer equipped this boot with a midsole and insole that offers superior support to your feet while you navigate rough trails. There’s also a Gore-Tex insert that adds comfort while keeping your feet dry.
The rubber outsole, meanwhile, can capably handle any trails. Its heel is slightly curved so that you can efficiently stride while hiking. This vintage hiking boots also feature D-ring lace eyelets. You can even customize the look of the boots by changing the colors of the laces.
#2 Timberland White Ledge Men's Waterproof Boot
Timberland is a brand that’s very popular for its good quality products. This waterproof boots is one good example. For starters, it is available in six colors.
This waterproof boot has a high rise design. It has a seam-sealed and full-grain leather upper designed to keep your feet dry even when you go through the most punishing terrains. The padded collar and tongue enhance the comfort of this boots.
The footbed, meanwhile, is breathable and can wick away moisture thanks to its perforated design. It is also removable.
It is equipped with Timberland’s patented B.S.F.P. system that allows the users to have excellent traction while outdoors. The rubber outsole has lugs that you can rely on when you brake or accelerate while on the trails.
#3 Danner Men's Mountain Trail Left Bank
This boots is made of synthetic. Its outsold is made of vibram while its upper part is made of chomexcel leather.
This boots has the time-honored Mountain Trail silhouette. Its vintage inspired look is perhaps its biggest strength.
However, hiking vets will love how comfortable and reliable these boots can be.
The fit of these boots also run large, so I would recommend that you purchase one that is ½ size smaller than you would. For instance, if you normally buy a size 8, you ought to get size 7 ½.
Top Vintage Hiking Boots for Women Available On The Market Today
#1 Ahnu Women's Sugarpine Hiking Boot
This is a pair of lightweight, comfy and waterproof hiking boots designed for women. It is made of leather with a rubber sole. It also features a cushioned collar and lace-up vamp. It is a mid-cut boot designed to support the ankles.
Lady hikers will love the fact that this hiking boot has nine color variations, so they can choose one that fits their personality. Outdoors, this hiking boot performs very well. It is very comfortable, roomy and lightweight. It also feels sturdy enough that hikers won’t feel the pain coming from every rock that they step on. And best of all, these are waterproof boots that can keep their feet dry all the time.
#2 Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
This is another solid choice for ladies who are looking for vintage hiking boots. It is also waterproof, lightweight and comfortable on the feet. It features a breathable mesh designed to keep feet dry.
There’s also an omni-grip tread that enables those who wear these boots to tackle even the most rugged of terrains. Hikers can be assured that they won’t easily slip or fall when they go through wet rocks.
My favorite vintage hiking boots is the Vasque Sundowner Gore-Tex Backpacking Boots. Its design is not only impressive. I’ve used them outdoors, and the boots is really comfy and supportive.
As for the women’s hiking boots, I think the Ahnu Women's Sugarpine Hiking Boot is the better choice if only for the simple reason that it has more color options than the Columbia hiking boots.