Best Boots For Desert Hiking

Hiking in the desert can be a strenuous and intense experience. The sun is punishing, and in the unforgiving environment, with brutally high temperatures and even more brutal winds and it’s easy to get lost even with a map. Plus, there are a lot of desert plants that are toxic to humans. However, the quality is the key factor in selecting the boots, and their wearing degree. The following are some suggestions about how to choose a set of boots for desert hiking in various situations, and what are the biggest problems you can face, without choosing the right hiking boots for a desert environment? Read on!

Best Desert Hiking Boots: Reviewed

1. Danner South Rim 600: Best Overall Desert Hiking Boots

Danner South Rim 600 shoes are perfect for anyone who wants to stay active in the desert under the hot raging sun. With a weight of only 32 oz per pair, these shoes are lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day long.

Danner South Rim 600 desert hiking boots


  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Price: $180
  • Material: Suede/Nubuck/Textile
  • Ankle Height: 4″
  • Colors: Sand
  • Sole: Good Traction,
  • Wide-Feet Models Available: Yes

Pros: Lightweight, durable, and good breathable

Cons: Lacks arch support

Danner South Rim 600 is made from a mix of Suede, Nubuck, and textile. A mixture of these provides better breathable material than any other fabric of its kind. It’s the best breathable fabric on the market – reinforced by triple-stitching everywhere.

With a height of 4″, these boots are perfect for those who are looking for a boot that will fit well above their ankle. The footbed is made from OrthoLite foam, which is designed to provide superior support and comfort. And the air mesh lining ensures that you stay cool and dry during hot weather conditions.

When To Avoid These Boots:

If you have a bad ankle injury, these do not provide good ankle support.

Bottom Line

A pair of Danner South Rim 600 is going to last you a long time. These are the boots that every hiker needs on their desert hiking trip. If you want to buy a pair of desert boots that offer both durability and comfort then go for these.

You May Also Like: 11 Best kids waterproof hiking boots of 2022 

2. Kenetrek Desert: Best Premium Desert Hiking Boots

Kenetrek Desert are full desert boots, that are specifically designed to use in the desert, and it widely used by professional hikers and hunters in the desert. These boots are constructed to use in all terrain, doesn’t matter how rough, or rocky it is, you’ll never have to face a sore feet problem.

Kenetrek Desert hiking boots


  • Weight: 4.3 lbs
  • Price: $430
  • Material: Leather/Synthetic
  • Ankle Height: 7″
  • Colors: Brown
  • Sole: Good Traction, Oil & Slip-Resistant
  • Wide-Feet Models Available: Yes


  • Very breathable, comfortable & good under dry and muddy terrain


  • Long break-in period
  • Short laces
  • Expensive

It is built with a 2.8mm-thick full-grain leather upper that built safety against rock-filled and thorny terrain. Plus, it has Custom K-73™ outsoles that offer strong traction and durability. It does not have a waterproof liner. which increases breathability in hot climates, and wicks away the moisture from feet, to keep them dry.

At 6″ in height, the boot is heavier compared to others, but extra weight also comes with added safety, durability, and support. There’s excellent ankle support for hiking, which everyone appreciates.

People trusted these boots across Cabeza Prieta Wilderness in Arizona, so might want to look at one of these desert hiking boots.

When To Avoid These Boots:

When your budget is under $300.

Bottom Line

The thing with Kenetrek Desert is – they cut no corners. These boots will last you for a long time. But they are not cheap. These are best suitable for the hiker, who does desert hiking a lot.

You May Also Like: The 7 Best Waterproof Socks For Hiking 

3. KEEN Voyageur Mid: Best Affordable Desert Hiking Boots

KEEN Voyageur Mid is the second pick on the best desert hiking boots, due to its quick-drying, versatility, excellent ankle support, and great outdoor performance. However, the biggest flaw in these boots is their sole, which is not very durable.

KEEN Voyageur Mid hiking boots


  • Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Price: $145
  • Material: leather and mesh
  • Ankle Height: 4″
  • Colors: Black, Brown
  • Sole: Good Traction, Oil & Slip-Resistant
  • Wide-Feet Models Available: Yes


  • Good traction, Lightweight, Sufficient ankle support, Quick drying & Versatile


  • Sole wore out easily, Insufficient underfoot protection, & Causes bad blistering

Keen is constructed with leather and mesh designed to be durable and versatile. The mesh panels allow sufficient airflow and breathability, which is needed during hiking in the desert. Plus, the boots try to wick away any moisture build-up so the foot can stay dry and comfortable. Although, it’s the very best, as much as you want.

The removable footbeds are custom-shaped to provide ample cushioning and arch support, while the compression-molded EVAs offer shock absorption and padding for all-day comfort. The supportive ESS plastic shanks provide torsional stability and protection from uneven and rocky terrain.

When To Avoid These Boots:

  • Suffer from sweaty feets
  • The terrain is a rough or hard surface.

Bottom Line

KEEN Voyageur Mid is quite a good desert hiking boot, that hiker use on their desert expeditions. In addition, they are also very affordable and available in wide-size options.

You May Also Like: Best Lightweight Waterproof Gloves for Hiking 

4. Topo Athletic Trailventure 2: Best Running Desert Hiking Boots

Topo is famous for its popularity in running shoes, and these boots are quite suitable to be worn in the desert when traveling. Avoid the first variant, the second gen comes with advancements in durability, versatility, and ankle support.

Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 desert boots


  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Price: $160
  • Material: Leather/Synthetic
  • Ankle Height: 4″
  • Colors: Black, Tan
  • Sole: Good Traction, Oil & Slip-Resistant
  • Wide-Feet Models Available: Yes

Pros: Lightweight and nimble with a comfort-first fit.

Cons: Not durable as other desert hiking boots

This is not your “normal” desert hiking boot. It is a mixture of running and breathable hiking boot, that comes with a 4″ ankle height.

It is good for shorter distances, urban areas, and moving around fast – sprinting and running, etc. But it is not well-suitable for longer or rough treks.

it is constructed with mesh, a textile that offers maximum breathability to the shoe. Plus, it has medial drainage ports for quick water release, which is one of the unique features of these boots, and it wicks any sweat from the feet, in an instant.

When to Avoid these boots:

  • Longer trek

Bottom Line

Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 is the good desert hiking boots you can get. Get them for speed, or for surviving the hot southern weather, but only for a short distance.

You May Also Like: 13 Best women’s Life Vests for kayaking 

5. Oboz Sawtooth II Mid: Best Performance Desert Hiking Boots

This is the last desert hiking boots on our list,  and it doesn’t mean are the worst, it is still one of the best to choose while hiking in the desert. What makes it last on our list, is that it is constructed with leather and mesh, and leather makes the boot less breathable.

Oboz Sawtooth II Mid desert hiking boots


  • Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Price: $217
  • Material: Leather/Synthetic
  • Ankle Height: 4″
  • Colors: Tan
  • Sole: Good Traction, Oil & Slip-Resistant
  • Wide-Feet Models Available: Yes

Pros: Amazing arch support, very durable, and good for long treks

Cons: Heavy & slightly tight around the edges

The boots are constructed with a leather and mesh upper and come with a sturdy rubber outsole. Plus, these boots give that classy, “authority” look which looks very stylish. For comfort, it has a dual-density EVA midsole for added cushioning and stability, and a nylon shank for protection on sharp or rocky surface terrain.

Although, it is not the best breathable hiking boots, but works great in desert areas. The hiker just has to change its socks 2 times more than while wearing any other desert hiking boots. If you are okay with this, you’ll have durable hiking boots, that will survive any rocky terrain, with good traction, ankle support, and comfortability.

When to Avoid these boots:

People sweat a lot, as boots are not breathable as other desert hiking boots so might have to change socks often.

Bottom Line

The boots are comfortable and take a few weeks to wear. At first, you find it slight discomfort, but the more you wear the better these boots become.

You May Also Like: 9 Best Tactical Boots For Hiking 

What To Look In Desert Hiking Boots

To Choose the right pair of footwear when hiking or walking in the desert, there are some important things you must know, to survive the desert, without causing damage to your feet. Although we have provided the list of best boots for desert hiking, to choose the pair among them, you must understand the basic terms that make each pair different.

Keeping Out The Sand

It wouldn’t be much desert hiking if your shoes are quickly filling up with sand. So to avoid this happening, your shoes must have a liner that can help keep the sand and debris out. However, there are very rare shoes that have these features, in addition, those shoes which have this feature also have a Goretex Liner, which you should avoid in your desert hiking boots.

Ankle Support

It’s a must feature that every person looks for when buying a pair of boots, especially hiking boots. However, ankle support is mainly needed in two types of terrain, rough, sharp, or too soft, like a desert filled with soft sand. Choosing a good hiking boot like amid height hiking boot will keep out sand, and offer ankle protection as well.

Heavy VS Lightweight

Choosing heavy-weight boots for your desert hiking expedition will quickly tire your legs,  while lightweight boots do offer versatility, but they are durable, also sometimes they lack ankle support, and cushioning.

Choose, mesh hiking boots, as they will be more breathable than a full leather hiking boot.

No Goretex Liner Needed

Goretex liner, makes the boots waterproof, however, it’s very unlikely, that you will experience rainfall in a desert, so it is not needed. Plus, the Goretex liner boot reduces the breathability of your boots and traps in sweat and moisture.

Furthermore, the increase in moisture in the shoes, makes the skin soft,  and more prone to blisters.

Note: If you hiking boots with a Goretex liner, then it is advised to change your socks 2-3 times a day. Doing this may reduce the risk of blisters.


It doesn’t matter if you walking on a paved path, a rough path, or a sand trail, your shoes must be equipped with good cushioning. Also, desert hiking trails can be rough, and without a good cushion, it’s hard to walk on the trail for a long period.


It’s very common shoe practice, always get the right fit for your shoes, otherwise, you’ll suffer every step you walk on those shoes. Generally, people are unaware that they have wide feet, and it’s very common, so be sure to measure your feet’ size and width for the perfect

Are Socks Needed

Yes, socks are needed when hiking in the desert with your boots on. The best fabric material for desert hiking is “wool”, as it can hold a lot of moisture. Thus, keeping your feet dry as possible for long durations.

While wearing socks on a hot day, always keep on changing them after a few hours, OR you’ll face blisters problem a lot.


The best boots for desert hiking and camping are those that are very breathable, so you don’t have to suffer from blisters which is a very common problem in desert hiking. These boots wick o the moisture from the feet and keep them dry as possible.