Hiking boots vary widely in appearance, but the key to sniffing out this shoe is a relatively rigid structure that provides support for the ankle without restricting movement. The first hiking boots were likely birthed in the 1870s in response to the emergence of mountain climbing as a sport in Europe, but it took over a century for the shoe to evolve into the all-purpose outdoor recreation hiking boot we recognize today. You’ll likely find a beat-up breed on the feet of the tree-hugging, granola-chomping set.
How to wear them: Fortunately, there are now more refined kinds that retain the function and feel of the original without the need for a fleece and a flashlight. Our take is best worn with rolled corduroys (a single cuff will do) and a shawl collar cardigan or fitted Fair Isle sweater.