Best Lightweight Boots Reviewed & Rated
When searching for any type of boot, whether it be for hiking or for wearing to work, lightweight boots are one of the best all around shoes and long term investments you’ll ever make. Most heavy duty boots out there offer fantastic protection, although with the addition of added weight and most of the time a huge price tag. For lighter work loads on the trails or when working, a pair of reliable and lightweight boots may be exactly what you need.
- Timberland PRO 40008 Mudsill
- Low Profile
- KEEN Utility Atlanta Steel
- Leather and Mesh
- Asymmetrical Toes
- Merrell Moab 2
- Suede Leather and Mesh
- Merrel Air Cushion
We’ve compiled a fantastic list of boots suitable for everyday wear as well as niche specific boots that are excellent all around choices without breaking the bank. Each boot has been chosen based on it’s weight; ideally each boot should be around 25 ounces or less. If you’d like to learn more about the criteria of how we chose our list as well as the FAQ section, please see the bottom of the page.
10 Best Lightweight Boots
1. Timberland PRO 40008 Mudsill
Being one of the heavier shoes on the list, the Timberland PRO Mudsills are still considered very lightweight when compared to the vast majority of work boots on the market. The Mudsills provide a great balance of protection and feather weight materials great for any situation.
The Mudsills feature a lace-up closure system, padded collar, and wide steel toe; everything you could want when looking for a pair of work boots. Comfortability is a must in every work shoe and the Timberland Mudsills are a fantastic option when working those long shifts.
Cost and Value
It’s no secret that Timberland produces some of the best boots on the market, and given the price of these, I’d say there an absolute steal. The Mudsills reliability in combination with it’s comfort and weight put these among the very best, and are definitely a work boot to consider and even come in handy when hiking.
- Lightweight build
- Look fantastic
- Complaints of toe pain in smaller sizes
2. KEEN Utility Atlanta Steel
Weighing about the same as the Timberland Mudsills, the Atlanta Steel’s, unlike the Mudsills, feature mesh materials for breathability and range of motion when wearing without a sacrifice in reliability.
Asymmetrical Steel Toes
As mentioned above, the steel toe design on these boots are absolutely unmatched. The asymmetrical design is tailored for your left and right foot protecting all the way from your big toe to your little toe while also providing room to breath and flex; a fantastic feature in terms of comfort.
Cost and Value
The Atlanta Steels do hold a bit of a higher price tag, but the price of the shoe definitely speaks for itself. An investment in these boots will guarantee a fantastic boot experience whatever it is you're doing, and will last you quite a while as long as you take care of them. I can certainly vouch for these shoes as I’ve had them for over a year and haven’t had the slightest of problems with them; and as a result this makes the Steel’s one of the best.
- Great comfort due to steel toe design
- Durable and long lasting
- Mesh materials
- Durable rubber soles
- A bit expensive
3. Merrell Moab 2 Mid
The Merrell Moab 2’s are the heaviest boots on this list, but that comes with a few advantages. Featuring a suede leather and mesh build, the Moab 2’s are also the most durable boots on this list, and with their breathable lining, also feel great when wearing offering flex and reliability when hiking over obstacles on the trails.
The leather and mesh composure as well as the protective rubber cap add a bit more weight in exchange for waterproofing, something that certainty shouldn’t be overlooked on a pair of hiking boots and because of it makes these one of the most reliable boots on the market.
Cost and Value
Given the Moab 2’s are about the same price as the Atlanta Steel’s these are definitely a great option for hikers being a bit more beefy but still being light enough to travel with and take with you on the trails.
- Durable and reliable
- Great synthetic sole for hiking
- Breathable mesh
- Comfortable inner sole cushions
- Heaviest boot on the list
4. Quicksilk Waterproof
Weighing in at a comfortable 23 ounces, the Quicksilk Snow and Hiking boots are the perfect balance between comfortability and protection. Made from beautiful faux leather and featuring a tough and durable rubber sole, these boots are extremely versatile and look fantastic as well.
These Quicksilk boots are the perfect boot for long term wearability as they have quite a wide fit for plenty of toe room and flex as well as a fur inner lining and padded collar for added comfort, fantastic for long expeditions or working shifts.
Cost and Value
Being one of the cheapest shoes on the list, the Quicksilk Waterproof Snow and Hiking Boots provide a great boot experience especially if you're purchasing these for Hiking. Due to how great they look as well as their light weight build and comfortability, these boots provide one of the best bang for your buck and I would definitely recommend them.
- Look fantastic
- Lightweight for a hiking boot
- Comfortable due to their wide fit
- Variety of uses
- Complaints about the longevity of the boots
5. Redback Bobcat UBBK
As mentioned above, these boots have a really nice, easy to slip on design, made of strong and reliable leather and featuring an elastic sided ankle boot for added flex and mobility. The full length foot bed and arch makes these boots extremely comfortable as well while also continuing to be one of the lightest boots out their.
The sole on this pair of boots is composed of synthetic materials while while also having a 3-layed heel for added protection, perfect for attacking any job or trail.
Cost and Value
Taking into account the high quality of these shoes in addition to the unique design, it makes sense why these shoes are prices so high. If you're looking for a reliable pair of well built and hand crafted shoes that will last you quite a while, these are the boots you should shoot for.
- Elastic sided ankle boot
- Synthetic sole
- Multi-layered heel
- Strong leather
- Made in Australia
- Leather can wear down after a while from daily use
6. Timberland PRO Pitboss
Weighing in at a comfortable, but not too heavy, 23 ounces, the Timberland Pitboss’ are a great all around choice; being one the most durable and reliable options on the market in terms of boots.
The Pitboss’s feature a polyurethane midsole as well as cast metal top hooks for increased durability and all around comfort. There's a reason why the Pitboss' are one of the most popular choices among welders and physical workers and it definitely shows.
Cost and Value
The Timberland Pitboss is a nice mid range boot choice if your looking for something still light enough to reduce fatigue but durable enough to ensure you won’t have to continue buying a new pair of boots periodically, definitely a choice you can’t go wrong with in all honesty.
- Safe and tough due to the midsole and top hooks.
- Comfortable inner lining
- Nice weight to protection balance
- Quality leather
- High quality rubber sole
- No waterproofing
- Can be a bit hard on your ankles
7. Carhartt CMH4375
Being just over a pound for each shoe, the Composite’s make for a great hiking and work boot hybrid featuring breathable materials while also being waterproof. The inside of the shoe is just as impressive and is why the shoe is so light as it’s made of soft upper materials, supportive polyurethane cushions, as well as removable soles as an added feature.
Durable and Shock Absorbing
The EVA midsoles and durable rubber lug, as well as nylon shank and composite eyelets, make these a very comfortable boot especially when hiking while also continuing to be extremely light.
Cost and Value
Carhartt really outdid themselves with these boots as they really are a gem. For a mid range price tag you're gaining a lot of value in the features this boot provides while also being one of the lightest on the market. If you're an avid hiker or just looking for a pair of stylish and reliable pair of low-key boots, these are definitely worth a consideration.
- Extremely lightweight
- Safety and shock absorption features
- Good looking leather and suede
- Fit can be a little big
- Can be a bit stiff
8. Golden Fox Lightweight
These boots are really light considering that they look to be a full size boot. The 6 inch moc toe these feature are fantastic as well, offering great protection for the weight and sure to last you awhile. Taking into account that they're American made is always an added bonus for any shoes, giving one more reason to check these out.
Comfort and Warmth
The insides on this pair of boots feature a mesh lining and pigskin collar for added warmth on those cold winter days, as well as an oil resistant lightweight wedge cushion that's also removable; fantastic features that bode great when working.
Cost and Value
Coming in at more or less a budget to mid range price tag, the Golden Fox Lightweight Leather Boots are a great choice for colder climates, and have a really nice hardened U.S. look to them. Considering the quality of these boots as well as the fact that there manufactured in the United States, I’d say these boots are well worth the price for the features you get.
- Great for colder climates
- Really comfortable
- Lightweight considering the size
- American made
- Not too expensive
- Can run a little small
9. Wolverine W02421 Raider
Being a nice, lightweight option the Raider’s also look great like many of the other shoes on this list, but in addition they feature a breathable mesh lining ensuring that your feet stay comfortable and cool when out working.
The name might sound a little weird, but it makes sense when you hear what it’s used for. Wolverine’s ContourWelt’s on the bottom of each shoe bend and flex as you move, similar to how an athletic shoe would, providing fantastic all around mobility.
Cost and Value
Depending on what size shoe you get these can be a little more than your average lightweight boot. Although they may cost a bit more, you get a great working boot package that are nice and mobile while also looking great at the same time, another great option to consider from this list.
- Lightweight and flexible
- Great mobility
- High quality soles and treads
- Removable cushions
- Look great
- On the expensive side
- Boot lace metal durability
10. Irish Setter 83605
Being fairly light in weight compared to many other boot options on the market, the Irish Setters provide a wide range of versatility whether it may be for every day usage on the job, or for hiking.
As stated in the intro to this boot, one of the main selling points of this boot along with it’s low weight is its ability to resist heat and electrical hazards, obviously a really great feature to have on a boot. The soles can resist heat up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit while the rest of the shoe meets ASTM F2413-11 Safety Standards in terms of electrical resistance, which as a result explains the rather large sole this shoe has.
Cost and Value
The safety features and looks alone are enough to justify the price of this shoe. Durability is a key factor for lightweight boots as most just don’t have it; with the Irish Setters, you’ll surely get the most out of your investment while maintaining comfort and the lightness in weight this shoe has to offer.
- Electrical and heat resistance
- Light and mobile
- High quality Trout Brook leather
- High quality laces and footbed
Lower Quality Materials
Lightweight boots open up a lot of opportunities in terms of versatility in the workforce as well as when hiking or even wearing from day to day. In addition, an advantage not often mentioned when talking about lightweight boots are their potential health benefits they offer. Reducing fatigue as well as back pain is huge when standing and walking for long periods of time, and for many of the boots on this list, the lightweight build they provide really drives this point home. Either way, we hope you liked our list and we hope we were able to assist you in making your boot decision!
Criteria For Selecting the Best Lightweight Boots
Weight is obviously the most important factor when choosing a lightweight boot because they need to be light enough to to allow for great mobility, while not being too cumbersome when used on a day to day basis. There are many advantages to having a low weight boot – mobility and flexibility being something that you don’t usually get when purchasing a full size boot. Lightweight boots in general are usually more low profile, allowing for fantastic all around versatility which makes them an excellent all around choice for working as well as recreation.
Boots of course come in many form factors, and if you may have noticed, some of the boots on this list can be as low as 18 ounces and as high as around 28 ounces.
These are going to be your lightest options available, usually having features tailored more towards comfort and mobility. Often mesh and lightweight leather materials are going to be used on these types of boots just like what the Carhartt CMH4375 Composites have. In addition to feather like materials, designs that ease the users experience, like what the KEEN Utility Atlanta Steel boots have in terms of their asymmetrical toe, are going to often be implemented as well. Ultimately, boots of this caliber are designed for lighter workloads typically being used for recreational activities such as hiking. Lighter boots, due to their mobility, make a great work and day to day boot wear, just without as much durability.
Boots on the higher end in terms of weight are going to still be light enough to allow for more mobility than your average boot, but will however be a bit more durable, and pack a bit more of a punch when wearing. The Merrell Moab 2 for example features a waterproof build mixed with a bit of leather and mesh to continue being fairly light, providing a nice medium between super lightweight and super heavy, a great option for hunters and hikers. In the end that’s what these high weighted boots are for; to provide extra options for those looking for a more reliable boot, while still being able to be multipurpose and long lasting.
Inner and Outer Sole
In order to maintain a low weight, many boots on the market skip out on high quality inner and outer soles in order to cut down on weight. The sole, arguably, is one of the most important aspects of the boot and contributes hugely to the overall comfort and effectiveness of the boot itself.
Whether it be hiking or working, the inner sole provides cushioning for the foot, cutting down on fatigue while the outer sole is the real meat of the boot, taking the work load and providing traction. We’re going to break down specific aspects of the sole here and why they were chosen for this list.
As mentioned, the inner sole is the cushioning of the shoe, and without it, wearing boots (or any shoe for that matter) would be dreadful. The inner sole should be breathable, comfortable, and provide enough flex to still be mobile and keep your feet comfortable. There are a lot of issues that can be caused by bad soles, including back pain and a plethora of other conditions which is why I believe soles are one of the most important aspects of any shoe.
The outer sole on the other hand is quite the opposite compared to the inner sole. It should be extremely hard and durable to withstand any sort of terrain that the boot may be worn on to ensure traction. A great example of excellent inner and outer soles on this list is the Timberland PRO Pitboss as it has a polyurethane mid sole as well as big and durable rubber outer soles to withstand any sort of wear.
Leather and Mesh Quality
Last but not least is definitely the quality of leather that is used on all the boots chosen. Of course not all of the boots on this list are 100% made out of leather, but other materials will be addressed in this section as well.
Leather (and a mixture of other mesh type materials) are what the outside of the boot is primarily made out of, and to ensure a quality boot that doesn’t tear, the quality of the leather used has to perfect. Leather is a bit heavier that many other materials on the market and given the size of boots in general it is what makes them so heavy. In terms of lightweight boots the leather has to be light enough to not weigh you down while also being tough enough to not tear or get scuffed up easily.
Leather and Mesh Mixes
Due to the heaviness of leather itself, many boots on our list have chosen to include a leather and mesh mix in order to be both strong and lightweight at the same time. A great example of this would be the Merrell Moab 2 featuring aspects of a mesh outer shell for flex and breathability as well as leather for stiffness. This combination is great especially on hiking shoes as it adds great all around versatility.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know which boots to choose?
Depending on what you’re going to be using the boots for will generally determine what boot you should get. For the most part all of the boots on this list are suitable for all types of activities due to their lightweight build. Additional safety and waterproofing features are what you should shoot for if your looking for a hiking boots as those will be more durable.
How do I get a proper boot fit?
Your boots should generally be the same size as your regular shoes, however you may want to consider getting half a size up if you plan on wearing heavier socks with them.
What are the benefits/differences of different boot heights?
Getting a higher raised boot provides better ankle support when on foot. Generally the higher they are the more ankle support provided. Lower cut boots will be lighter, as there is less material required.
How do I make my boots last longer?
We have another buying guide on leather polishes that you can check out by clicking here. Most of the shoes on this list are composed of leather so choosing a nice shoe polish will ensure a healthy and long lasting shoe.
What is a steel toe?
A steel toe is a steel cap that is built into the end of the boot that is added to provided protection for the wearers toes. Almost every boot on this list has one, being a great safety feature. Composite toes in addition are essentially the exact same thing but being lighter in weight as they are not made from steel.