Author's Danner Crag Rat USA Boots in the Wasatch Mountains

American Made Hikers: Top 10 Boots for Hiking and Rugged Outdoors Work

By Matt Mullins   updated May 20, 2020

The following ten boots are all top quality boots made in the USA. However, everyone’s feet are unique and each boot fits differently. The best boots won’t do you much good if they don’t fit your particular foot shape. I recommend trying on boots to find the proper size. With this in mind, I have chosen retailers with a stellar return policy, competitive pricing, and affordable or free expedited shipping.

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Why Trust Me?

I know how hard it is to find honest recommendations on American made gear. That’s why I started American Gear Guide which other sites are now copying. I take my recommendations seriously and only recommend the best of the best. Of course this is my subjective opinion but I’m confident that you won’t be disappointed. Here are a few reasons to trust me:

  • I make independent recommendations based on personal experience (not paid to endorse a product).
  • I’ve hunted, fished, gathered, and gardened since childhood. I fill my freezer with meat via rod and rifle.
  • As an avid outdoorsman that reviews gear for a living, I also actually own and use all American made gear.
  • My background includes 10 yrs working with the US Forest Service as a Hotshot Firefighter, Ranger, Wildlife Crew-Leader, and Forest Ecologist. I’ve been certified as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I’ve backpacked extensively throughout the USA and 34 countries including in the Middle East, Central & South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. See About page for more.
  • I attend industry trade shows like Outdoor Retailer to stay informed on the latest innovative gear.
  • I value continuous learning and self improvement, so I welcome your criticism. If you think I missed anything then please leave some helpful suggestions.

Best Hiking Boots Made in the USA

Danner Crag Rat USA - Men's

The Crag Rat USA earns our Editor’s Choice Award for exceptional performance in the roughest terrain. These are the boots that I personally use (my boots are pictured above). A solid nylon shank over an aggressive Vibram sole combined with a quality leather upper provides the stiffness and support you need for heavy loads over many rocky miles. I also appreciate the stiff, well designed toes that are great for kick-stepping up steep snow. The Gore-Tex waterproofing has easily withstood fast moving creeks and wet slushy snow. As long as these boots fit your unique feet, I highly recommend them. Last observed price: ~$300

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Out of stock from REI.com

Danner Mt. Adams Hiking Boot - Men's

The Mt. Adams are a lighter weight, waterproof hiking boot utilizing a leather and nylon upper paired with a Gore-Tex liner. They’re equipped with durable vibram soles and abrasion resistant toe caps. Those who are used to light hiking shoes will gravitate to a boot like the Mt. Adams compared to more rugged and stiff leather boots which require a break-in period (though the thick leather boots last longer). Last observed price: $225

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Men's Keen Durand II Mid Boot
Keen Durand II Women's
Women's Keen Durand II Mid Boot

KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking & Work Boot - Men's and Women's

A great choice for a waterproof and breathable hiking boot. This one’s ultra comfortable from the get go (little break-in required). If you like a wider toe box, KEENs are a good option. Last observed price range: ~$150-195

Men’s
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Women’s
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Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot

The iconic Women’s Mountain Light is a stylish yet very capable hiking boot. These premium leather boots have a waterproof and breathable liner, Vibram soles, and offer solid ankle support. This is the same boot as worn in the film and found on the cover of the best selling book, “Wild“. Last observed price range: ~$360-380

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Danner Men's Mountain Light Boot

Classic boots built with premium leather uppers, Gore-Tex liners, and durable Vibram soles, these will last you through countless trail miles. Like the women’s Mountain Lights, they of course provide great ankle support. Last observed price: $380

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Merrell Wilderness USA Backpacking Boot - Men's

A solid backpacking boot with lines reminiscent of the good mountaineering days of old. These Merrell’s have premium waterproof leather uppers and super grippy Vibram Roccia soles. They also offer superb ankle support. Last observed price range: ~$250-400

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Chippewa Cibola 6 - Men's

The Chippewa Classic Lace Up Boot is a hidden gem. It’s surprising to find such a high-quality American-made leather boot for around $200. This isn’t your typical modern hiking boot, think of it as an ultra comfortable throwback to the hiking/work boot of the early 1900’s outdoorsman. These Chippewa’s come with supple leather, classy waxed laces, and beefy Vibram soles. Chippewa also makes an 8″ upper version and models with different soles and steel toes for heavy lifting duties. Last observed price: ~$206

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Danner Light II Boot - Men's & Women's

Another classic Danner boot made to last. The Mountain Light II is crafted in Portland, Oregon with nubuck leather, a Gore-Tex liner, and Vibram soles. This is another good choice for those looking for ankle support. Last observed price: ~$380

Men’s
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Women’s
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Danner Crater Rim Hiking Boot - ​Men's & Women's

The Crater Rim is a rugged waterproof backpacking boot crafted with high quality leather and a Gore-Tex liner. These boots have 6″ uppers and Vibram soles that meet US Forest Service field requirements. Perhaps most impressively, these are boots issued to US Special Forces. Last observed price: ~$330

Men’s
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Women’s
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