LOWA Innox GTX Mid

Gone are the days of weighty, oversized hiking boots—those eight-pound clodhoppers that made the ankles invincible but limited one’s pace to a slow, steady walk. Modern materials mean lighter weight with negligible loss of support, and no boot epitomizes this improvement quite like the Innox GTX Mid from Lowa. At only a pound apiece, these boots feel like ninja slippers: light, fast, and nimble. A wrapped and padded 3/4 upper keeps the ankle comfortably tight and secure, so you can shoulder a pack without fear. And the NXT outsole offers excellent traction on everything from dry trail to slick rock. I wore these boots everywhere, and found myself spontaneously running, jumping, and clambering over obstacles instead of veering around them. Being light on your feet means a bit less padding underfoot, so don’t make the Innox your town shoe—long walks on concrete can wreak havoc on the heels. On softer surfaces, though, you’ll feel like an acrobat. $210; lowaboots.com