Last Updated on June 12, 2021

One of the most important aspects of any outdoor hiking trip is selecting a good pair of boots. When it comes to harsh desert environments and scorching hot weather, however, you need footwear that is both durable and breathable. No matter if you’re going sand dune climbing, sand skiing, or just walking in the sand, we’ve assembled a list of the best desert hiking boots out there.

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Best Boots for Desert

Best Desert Hiking & Running Boots [2021]

The majority of high-quality desert boots are made of durable, breathable leather, though vegan alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. You’ll need a decent pair of trail hiking shoes that can endure intense heat and rugged terrains without collecting too much sweat, whether you’re trekking in the Sahara desert or running the Marathon des Sables.

1. Kenetrek Desert Guide Non-Insulated Hiking Boot

Top performance
Best Desert Boots

Crafted for extreme abuse, these boots have no waterproof membrane, giving you extreme breathability and all-day comfort no matter how much ground you cover.

Description

Chasing desert sheep across the Cabeza Prieta Wilderness in Arizona calls for a boot that can take a full day of sharp, rock-filled, thorny terrain, allowing you to concentrate on what’s around you. Crafted for extreme abuse, these boots have no waterproof membrane, giving you extreme breathability and all-day comfort no matter how much ground you cover. The outsole traction system and extra padding will make these your go-to long distance favorites. Made in Italy. Men’s sizes (whole & half) 8-12, (whole sizes) 13, 14, Medium width. Men’s Wide width 8-12, 13.

Features

  • 100% Leather
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • 7″ tall leather uppers made from 2.8 mm full grain leather feature double and triple stitching throughout for added durability
  • Custom K73 outsole features a deep, open tread pattern and 360 degrees of traction teeth and lugs. Single piece vulcanized rubber sole balances a soft biting grip and great durability.
  • Forged boot hardware offers corrosion resistance and swivels instead of breaking
  • Featuring a interior Cambrelle lining that wicks away moisture, the Desert Guide is non-insulated and has no waterproof membrane for maximum breathability in warmer weather
  • Protective rubber toe cap for extra abrasion resistance

Review

These are our choice of top boots for hiking and trekking in the desert. They will perform greatly on virtually any kind of terrain, no matter how hot, rough or arid.

Pros & Cons

✅ Sturdy & DurableSomewhat big and stiff
Great for rocky terrainsNot Vegan

2. BLACKHAWK Desert Ops Boot

Top military boot
Best Desert Boots

The Blackhawk Desert Ops Boot features a steel shank for additional support when carrying a full pack, and abrasion-resistant, NATO lacing hooks for a quick and secure lacing system as well as a non-woven back counter for reinforcement at the heel.

Description

The Blackhawk Desert Ops Boot features a steel shank for additional support when carrying a full pack, and abrasion-resistant, NATO lacing hooks for a quick and secure lacing system as well as a non-woven back counter for reinforcement at the heel.  A fully-gusseted tongue prevents debris from entering the boot and a DROLEX® inner liner wicks moisture away.  The Vibram® Multisport outsole is oil resistant, and a custom molded, antimicrobial Ortholite® foot bed is washable.  Available in medium and wide sizes.

Features

  • Made in the USA or Imported
  • Suede sole
  • Durable suede and Cordura upper Comfortable, supportive Ortholite insole
  • Moisture-wicking lining
  • High-traction, oil-resistant Vibram outsole
  • Steel shank for support and stability
  • Gusseted tongue keeps out debris

Review

These are the top military boots for desert. They will last you years even in the most difficult terrains and environmental conditions. They are lightweight and comfortable but not for heavy duty use, as they tend to wear over time and get very hot.

Pros & Cons

✅ Sturdy & DurableCan get very hot
Breathable and sweat-repellentNot Vegan

3. DANNER MANUFACTURING Bull Run Moc Toe Work Boot

Top work boot
DANNER MANUFACTURING Bull Run Moc Toe Work Boot

Constructed of full-grain leather and lightweight, durable Danner wedge outsoles, the unlined bull run work boot may look like a simple design at first glance. However, the trained eye will notice the intricate stitching, the hand of the leather, and how all of the parts work together to simply create a product that is built to last

Description

Constructed of full-grain leather and lightweight, durable Danner wedge outsoles, the unlined bull run work boot may look like a simple design at first glance. However, the trained eye will notice the intricate stitching, the hand of the leather, and how all of the parts work together to simply create a product that is built to last

Features

  • 100% Leather
  • Made in the USA and Imported
  • Moc toe design with contrasting stitch
  • Rubber sole
  • Cushioning open-cell OrthoLite footbed.Steel shank.
  • Handcrafted, stitchdown construction for strength and stability
  • Danner Wedge non-marking, oil-and-slip-resistant outsole offers superior traction

Review

These are the best dirt bike boots for desert and some of the top work boots in the market. They look great and you’ll want to wear them everywhere.

Pros & Cons

✅ Extremely durableLittle rough with break-in
Looks & feels greatNot Vegan

4. VIVOBAREFOOT Gobi III Eco

Top vegan boots
VIVOBAREFOOT Gobi III Eco

Gobi III is a stylish winter upgrade for our classic desert boot. Minimalist, modern design that is versatile enough to be dressed up or casual. Total freedom of movement, inimitable laidback style - even in the cold!

Description

Gobi III is a stylish winter upgrade for our classic desert boot. Minimalist, modern design that is versatile enough to be dressed up or casual. Total freedom of movement, inimitable laidback style – even in the cold!

Features

  • A refined classic for everyday minimalistic style made with with recycled cotton and RPET to minimalise environmental impact
  • Stitched to our thinnest barefoot sole makes the perfect, packable travelling companion

Review

This pair of comfy, desert-inspired minimalist boots is our choice for top vegan boots for walking in the desert. If you are into barefoot shoes, you’ll especially love these.

Pros & Cons

✅ Vegan and eco-friendlyOnly suitable for dry environments
Great for hard terrains and pavements

Best socks for desert boots

Socks are just as important as boots when hiking in the desert. A good pair of socks will not only shield your feet from hot sand, but they will also absorb sweat and ensure sufficient perspiration, avoiding blisters and other foot issues. When looking for the best socks for your desert hike look for merino wool socks, a special type of material that is especially good at preserving moisture from sweat and keeping your feet fresh.

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Best Mens Chukka Boots

Looking for something more casual? Chukka boots, inspired by traditional South African veldskoen shoes, are a great choice for light walks and small hikes in the desert.


Desert Camping Essentials Checklist

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