Best Hiking Boots for Philmont

3 Best Hiking Boots for Philmont

The largest National High Adventure Base of Boy Scouts of America – Philmont Scout Ranch was born in 1938 as Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp. Since then, Philmont has become a bustling center for training and high adventures. Covering 140,000+ acres of rugged mountain wilderness, Philmont is a ranch located in Colfax County, New Mexico, near the village of Cimarron. Moreover, it is in the range of Sangre de Cristo of the Rocky Mountains and has a unique history involving the only documented Tyrannosaurus rex track in the world.

This ranch operates 55 trail camps and 35 staffed camps that range in elevation from 6500 to 12441 feet. You can check out the different treks available in Philmont on Philmont Scout Ranch official website. Since 1939, more than one million advisors, venturers, and scouts have experienced the adventures offered by Philmont. Additionally, most of these activities happen during the summer, but there are also offseason programs like Autumn and Winter Adventure.

In addition to providing unforgettable experiences, Philmont offers programs that feature the best of the Old West such as horseback riding, gold panning, burro packing, chuckwagon dinners, and interpretive history. Along with that, it has exciting challenges like rock climbing, mountain biking, and sports shooting.

Philmont Scout Ranch is open all year long for visitors to walk through Base Camp. You can visit Museums, or shop at the award-winning Tooth of Time Traders. Also, there is dining, lodging, and things to do in Cimarron, NM and you can get the New Mexico Tourism guide for more info.

What To Look For In Hiking Boots If You Are Going To Philmont?

Are you heading to Philmont and currently underway the quest for knowledge? Then asking the friends who had made trips there, searching Google for advice, gear reviews, and shopping may be the first things you do. You may be on a tight budget or willing to spend a small fortune to be outfitted adequately. If you have bare minimum gears, which are good enough for trips or starting from scratch, you need to pay attention to what you need in hiking boots.

Getting good advice is liberating and can save you from the hassles that you come across on your days at Philmont. However, some tips can work for most people, but many others will have to look over hiking boots that work from them specifically. There is a big difference between hiking shoes and backpacking boots. Lightweight or low-cut hiking shoes are adequate for day hikes with light loads, and may not be suitable for Philmont.

Solid high-top backpacking boots that will give you ankle support and a sole that can handle heavy loads can be a good option. A reinforced toe cap can be a bonus to protect from all of the rocks there. Gore-Tex materials are great for breathability (allowing your feet to breathe) under the hot sun of New Mexico. Allow a break-in period and do not go to Philmont without breaking in a new pair of boots.

Top 3 Best Hiking Boots for Philmont

Following are three of the best hiking boots if you are planning to go to Philmont:

1) Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boots have rubber soles and are water-resistant to power through uphills and descents. These boots have the agility of trail running shoes with the stability, grip, and waterproof protection you need for technical hikes. Even when it is wet or slippery, the contra grip MA outsole of Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX grips the terrain.  

Key Features:

  • Heel measures approximately 1 inch
  • Equipped with a new chassis, protects sensitive articulations without compromising movement
  • Can be used for trail running, backpacking, hiking, or mountaineering


  • Impressively light and nimble like the previous versions of X Ultra
  • Excellent grip abilities for a wide variety of surfaces
  • Solid ankle and toe protection even though the boots are low weight
  • Offered in dedicated wide sizes, Great all-around value


  • Relatively thin padding – could cause sore feet while hauling a heavy pack over hard and rough surfaces
  • The collar sits just above the ankle – fairly low that can let in debris and water
  • Stiffness is noticeably short of the Quest model by Salomon
  • Only available as waterproof GTX version, which could become hot during summer

Where to buy Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boots?

You can purchase the Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boots on Amazon here.

2) La Sportiva Spire GTX Hiking Shoes

La Sportiva has options for the Sprite GTX model for both men and women – Men’s Spire GTX Hiking Shoes and Women’s Spire GTX Hiking Shoes. This Spire GTX is a low-cut mid-duty waterproof hiker or backpacking boots. It features 360-degree breathability from the Gore-Tex Surround Technology and an innovative STB control system.

Key Features:

  • For hikers who want light-duty hiking boots for day trips in variable to rugged terrain
  • For backpackers who want versatile and waterproof boots that breathes well and supports lighter loads
  • Good durability and abrasion resistance as mesh upper provides protection
  • Nano Cell 2.0 structure helps provide maximum breathability
  • GTX surround aeration channels within the midsole and footbed
  • Vibram XS Trek provides traction and grip with an impact brake system sole


  • The sturdiness and protection of a hiking boot in a lighter, low-cut design
  • Solid and reliable grip on different terrains, accomodating for most foot shapes


  • Almost 2 pounds – can be heavy for low-top hiking shoes
  • It rides higher than most other low-slung designs
  • The shoe is a little wider at the heel and may not be suitable for some
  • The midsole is thick and could feel tippy on rocky trails
  • GTX Surround is only a slight upgrade in breathability from standard Gore-Tex

Where to buy La Sportiva Spire GTX Hiking Shoes?

You can purchase the La Sportiva Spire GTX Hiking Shoes on Amazon here.

3) Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Merrell has a variety of Moab 2 models to choose from for your hiking needs. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots and Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots are made from 100% Synthetic leather and mesh. They have GTX waterproof membrane for exceptional breathability and waterproof performance.

Key Features:

  • Simple, yet profoundly power on the pathways and trails
  • Thoughtfully designed to deliver performance, versatility, and durability
  • For day trips to week-long backpacking treks – outdoor excursion
  • Experience out-of-the-box comfort in this GTX hiker
  • Durable Vibram traction, and a supportive footbed
  • All in one versatile package as MOAB stands for mother-of-all-boots
  • Breathable mesh lining on uppers and a protective rubber toe cap at the front


  • Excellent fit, Lightweight, No break-in period, Grips well, Good for daily use
  • High-quality waterproofing, durable, suitable for wet grounds
  • For normal and wide-footed people who prefer ankle support
  • Great value for money, out of box comfort, generous padding, good flexibility
  • Snug, locked-in fit with a reliable lacing design
  • Decent protection for heel and toe as there is a reasonably hardwearing build
  • Sufficient room in the toe box and sculpted insole prevents heel slippage


  • Shorter height, fairly flexible build at the forefoot detract from overall stability
  • At 2 pounds and 4 ounces, these boots are on the heavier end of the spectrum
  • A little more dated than most modern shoe models made for running

Where to buy Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots?

You can purchase the Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots on Amazon here.

Final Thoughts

Firstly, finding the right footwear for your trip to Philmont is one of the most important gear decisions. Moreover, Philmont hikes are challenging and the terrain is demanding. You would not want to be the one in the gigantic wilderness suffering from foot issues because of poor footwear. Lastly, having proper fitting footwear, which meets the need of the hike is essential for both enjoyable and comfortable Philmont trek.

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