After testing dozens of hiking boots to find the best lightweight options on the market today -- ones that don’t compromise on ankle support or space in the suitcase -- we found eight that fit the bill. As for the actual hiking part, well, that’s up to you. (Although we do offer a new trail to try, in case you need inspiration.)


END Stumptown LT
(men’s, 13 oz.; women’s, 11 oz.)
Debuting this month, this astonishingly light boot is made from 20 to 30 percent renewable, sustainable, or recyclable materials (with a goal of 100percent within three to five years). The boot also has a bamboo-infused lining, a recycled-rubber outsole, and a patterned exterior. $85.

La Sportiva Halite GTX
(men’s, 21.2 oz.; women’s, 17.5 oz.)
La Sportiva’s fabric-and-leather boot has a cushy, soft feel even before you break it in -- yet it still locks your ankle in tight. The toe capis made from a light weight mixture of sand, glue, and rubber. The boot also sports an Impact Brake System outsole, a Trailon midsole, and a Gore-Tex lining. $160. www.lasportiva.com

Vasque Breeze
(men’s, 40 oz.; women’s, 38 oz.)
Provento be versatile when you’re squeezing numerous activities into one day, this boot has mesh and leather uppers, plus a Gore-Tex XCR water prooflining to let your feet breathe. $110 to $140. www.vasque.com

Scarpa Nangapala XCR
(men’s, 21 oz.; women’s, 18 oz.)
Now in its 70th year of making shoes, Scarpa continues to build all of its shoes in Europe, including hand-lasting in the company’s factory in northern Italy. This boot allows for good mobility around the ankle, ensuring comfort even when you’re jet-lagged. $159. www.scarpa.com

Montrail Helium GTX
(men’s, 24.8 oz.)
Witha Gryptonite bottom, this sturdy but lightweight boot is ideal for cold weather (thanks to its thick walls) and has a synthetic upper with breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex. $220. www.montrail.com

Lowa AL-X 79 XCR
(women’s, 30.4 oz.)
This sporty-looking boot feels soft and relaxed against sore feet, and it has a Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining, as well as split-leather and Cordura uppers. $160. www.lowaboots.com

Timberland Hypertrail
(men’s, 36 oz.; women’s, 30 oz.)
If your hiking footwear needs to double for a gallery visit or an alfresco dinner, lace up this lightweight low-cut shoe. Its sturdy sole is perfect for trail and urban adventures. $85 to $90. www.timberland.com


Break ‘em In

A new trail for your new boots
Open since October 2007, the 2.5-mile Madera Canyon Hiking Trail is within the Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountains Preserve, about 24 miles northwest of Fort Davis, Texas, and 175 miles southeast of ElPaso. Described as moderately difficult, the 2.5-mile trail takes hikers through ponderosa pines, piñon-juniper woodlands, and meadows, as well as down into Chico Canyon, which follows a creek and passes by a historic stock tank.