Heading into the wilderness for a weekend doesn’t have to mean stomping around in bulky boots. The latest lightweight hikers offer many of the technical aspects of their heavy, steel-toed bretheren (grip, toughness, comfort) without the weight.
One such boot that earns our nod is the 5.10 Dome Mid. Designed for day hikes and weekends in the backcountry, the boots weigh a feathery 15 ounces each (size 10.5) and feature enough protection and flexibility to keep you moving comfortably during casual off grid adventures. Despite their scant weight, the boots are nearly as capable as many of their burlier, more hardcore counterparts, thanks to an all-leather exterior and grippy Stealth rubber outsole. They’re comfortable too, with soft, cushioned cuffs that hug ankles securely, and supportive EVA midsoles that absorb the shock of lugging a light pack over miles of singletrack.
While trekking through Northern California’s Trinity Alps and Castle Crags Wilderness area, we found that the boots performed as well off the trails as they did on them, providing firm footing for everything from a simple hike on rock-scarred hills to a scramble up steep granite walls. The tough leather upper kept low-level branches from stabbing their way through to our feet when we waded through brush. The boots breathed admirably throughout our tests – but more importantly, we barely felt as though we were wearing them. Available in men’s sizes. [$155; fiveten.com]