Best Hiking Boots for Machu Picchu

Best hiking boots for Machu Picchu

When it comes to exploring the stunning views of Machu Picchu, having the right pair of hiking boots can make all the difference. Whether you’re going on a day hike or embarking on a more strenuous trek like the Inca Trail, it’s important to choose footwear that provides both comfort and support, here are the best hiking boots for Machu Picchu.

Gone are the days of heavy, cumbersome hiking boots. Today’s options feature lighter materials and waterproof designs, making them ideal for wet or damp conditions. However, for those hiking in hot and dry climates, non-waterproof versions are also available.

To help you choose the best hiking boots for your Machu Picchu adventure, we’ve curated a list of the top options on the market. Our selection is divided into two categories: lightweight boots for shorter hikes and day trips, and mid-weight boots that are perfect for backpacking trips on the Inca Trail.

Our Team’s Hiking Boot Picks

Best overall hiking boot for Machu Picchu

1. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX ($130)

  • Category: Lightweight.
  • Weight: 1 lb. 15.7 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • What we like: Fast, lightweight, flexible and reasonably priced.
  • What we don’t like: Thinner and less stable than the Salomon Quest 4.
Best overall hiking boot for Machu Picchu: Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Our favorite hiking boot for 2024, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid, is perfect for visiting Machu Picchu and hiking Cusco trails like Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek and Ausangate Trek. With a combination of comfort, low weight, and solid toe and ankle protection, these boots provide a stable, high-gripping experience on the trail. With Salomon’s proven build quality, these boots can handle more abuse than others in their weight and price range. The X Ultra 3 Mid’s lightweight construction makes it ideal for carrying on long hikes and offers an impressive balance of support and protection.

However, it is important to note that the X Ultra’s lightweight design does come with a few drawbacks. The underfoot protection is thinner compared to other boots and the boots are more flexible, sitting lower on the ankle, making it less rugged for technical terrain or heavy loads. Nevertheless, for the specific case of visiting Machu Picchu and other Cusco hiking trails, the X Ultra 3 Mid is a top choice.

Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking
Women's X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots
Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Best budget hiking boot for Machu Picchu

2. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof ($100)

  • Category: Lightweight/Midweight
  • Weight: 2 lb. 4 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (M Select DRY)
  • What we like: Great price, fit and comfort.
  • What we don’t like: Not as rugged for tough trails or heavy loads.
Best budget hiking boot for Machu Picchu hikes: Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof

This boot is perfect for those who plan to hike at Machu Picchu and other gentle trails. Ideal for backpackers who stick to well-maintained paths, the boot is popular for its light weight and comfort at an affordable price. For $145, you get good underfoot cushioning, a reliable Vibram sole, and a waterproof membrane, with an upgraded Gore-Tex option available for $165.

However, there are some downsides to the Moab 2 Mid Waterproof. The boot lacks support for carrying heavy loads or hiking on rough terrain, and is not as durable as some of the more expensive models on the market. While well-built overall, the Moab may eventually need to be replaced sooner than other boots due to its lack of premium materials. Nevertheless, for day hikers and weekend adventurers, the Moab offers the right balance of comfort and performance at a much lower cost compared to other boots.

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

The best backpacking boot for rough terrain and the Machu Picchu

3. Salomon Quest 4 GTX ($230)

  • Category: Medium/heavy weight
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 14.2 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • What we like: Rugged, protective and comfortable.
  • What we don’t: Pretty heavy and overkill for most day hikes.
Salomon Men's QUEST 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
Salomon QUEST 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

If you’re in search of a durable boot for your Machu Picchu hike or other demanding trails, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX is the perfect choice. Its fourth generation design boasts a top-notch performance fit, a sturdy stance, and one of the best lacing systems, with eyelets at the ankle that secure your heel in place. The latest model, released in 2022, features a modern but durable upper and provides impressive cushioning and underfoot protection on rocky trails, during heavy loads, and on long hikes. Overall, the Quest is a rugged boot that excels in backcountry adventures.

This boot is ideal for challenging hikes and backpacking trips with steep inclines and declines and off-trail excursions while carrying a heavy pack. However, it may be too stiff and over-the-top for those who don’t require the extra protection or want to move quickly and lightly on well-maintained trails. For those individuals, a lighter and more nimble option such as the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX would be a better fit.

Salomon Men's QUEST 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
Salomon Men’s QUEST 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
Salomon Women's Quest 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
Salomon Women’s Quest 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

Best for trekking and Machu Picchu hikes enthusiasts

4. Asolo Falcon GV ($250)

  • Category: Light/medium
  • Weight: 2 lb. 2.6 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • What we like: Well constructed, extremely comfortable and durable.
  • What we don’t like: Expensive and not as comfortable as other heavier boots on this list.
Asolo Men's Falcon GV Hiking Boot
Asolo Falcon GV Hiking Boot

The Asolo Falcon GV represents the future of hiking footwear. Sleek and modern, it offers a perfect balance between light weight and technical abilities, making it a versatile choice for a range of hiking experiences.

While the Asolo Falcon GV offers less support and stability compared to traditional high-top hiking boots, it still provides ample protection for demanding hikes and backpacking trips. When laced up tightly, it can handle heavy loads, challenging terrain, and steep rocky passes with ease. However, those who prioritize stability and support might prefer a different option.

If you’re looking for a lightweight and comfortable boot that can handle a variety of trekking and hiking activities, the Asolo Falcon GV is a top choice. From day hiking to serious backpacking, this boot is designed to meet the demands of even the most enthusiastic trekkers.

Asolo Men's Falcon GV Hiking Boot
Asolo Men’s Falcon GV Hiking Boot
Asolo Women's Falcon GV Hiking Boot
Asolo Women’s Falcon GV Hiking Boot

Best of the rest for the Machu Picchu hikes and other trails

5. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid (245 $)

  • Category: Mid weight
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • What We Like: Lightweight and comfortable; enough support for most backpackers.
  • What we don’t like: Not the sturdiest construction.
Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

The Lowa Renegade boasts a classic mountain boot appearance while still maintaining a remarkably low weight, making it a top choice for trekking enthusiasts on trails such as the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The leather design offers greater terrain isolation and a sturdy feel compared to more modern and aggressive boots like the Salomon Quest. Although it may lack the performance fit and “fun factor” of the Quest, the Renegade is a better option for those who carry heavy packs or require more protection on rocky terrain.

The polyurethane external frame of the Renegade efficiently takes on stabilization duties, allowing it to perform like a true backpacking boot while weighing less than 2.5 pounds. Its thin leather upper also contributes to its lightness, reducing the break-in time. However, this lightness may come at the cost of long-term durability as some high-mileage users have reported needing to replace their boots annually. Despite this, the comfortable feel and balance of weight and support keep trekkers coming back to the Renegade, which is available in narrow, regular, and wide widths for a perfect fit.

Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

6. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX ($175)

  • Category: Lightweight
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1.2 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • What We Like: Excellent stability and durability in a lightweight, trail runner-type design.
  • What we don’t like: Shallow lugs are prone to slipping in mud.
La Sportiva Mens Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Shoes

The La Sportiva’s Ultra Raptor Mid GTX is a top-notch option for those who want a high level of protection and stability on their hikes. Known for its legendary status in the trail running community, this model combines the best features of both a trail runner and a hiking boot. With its over-the-ankle collar and waterproof membrane, it’s perfect for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, where you won’t be carrying a heavy load.

The Ultra Raptor offers excellent protection for your feet with a generous toe cap and TPU heel, and the stiff shank provides improved stability. The FriXion XF 2.0 outsole is designed for gripping on rocky trails and provides a firm grip, although it may not perform as well in muddy conditions. Although it offers a stiffer feel compared to other more cushioned and agile models, the Ultra Raptor is ideal for hikes on rocky trails such as the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. With its wide toe box, it offers relief for your feet on high-mileage days, making it a great choice for the Machu Picchu hikes.

La Sportiva Mens Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
La Sportiva Mens Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
La Sportiva Womens Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boots
La Sportiva Womens Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boots

7. La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX ($209)

  • Category: Lightweight
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1.6 oz.
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex Surround)
  • What we like: Lightweight, fairly durable and comfortable.
  • What we don’t like: A bit narrow (though wide sizes are available).
La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boot
La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX – Hiking Shoes

The La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX is a must-have for modern hikers and trekkers. This boot is not only lightweight and agile, but also provides ample support for day hikes and most backpacking trips. The Gore-Tex Surround lining and Nano-Cell technology make it a unique option for those who want to tackle difficult terrain while staying comfortable and dry. The Gore-Tex Surround allows breathability through the top of the foot, the bottom of the footbed and the sides, making it a great choice for the often humid and damp conditions of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. The Nano-Cell technology, with its net-like mesh design, gives the boot a distinctive look and only enhances its breathability.

Durability is another factor that sets the Nucleo apart from other lightweight boots. It features large leather stripes for climbing and hiking in challenging terrain, providing a nice upgrade in performance and build quality compared to other boots like the Merrell Moab 2. Its mid-height design offers moderate flexibility and doesn’t require extensive break-in time. The boot also provides excellent traction on rock and mud, making it a perfect option for hiking the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other trails in Peru and Cusco, such as the Rainbow Mountain of Peru, which can get slippery during the rainy season.

La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boot
La Sportiva Mens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boot
La Sportiva Womens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots for Machu Picchu
La Sportiva Womens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots

Hiking Boots for Machu Picchu Comparison Table

BOOTPRICECATEGORYWEIGHTWATERPROOFUPPER
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX$130Lightweight1 lb. 15.7 oz.Yes (Gore-Tex)Leather / textile
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP$100Light/mid2 lb. 4 oz.Yes (M Select)Leather / mesh
Salomon Quest 4 GTX$230Mid/heavy2 lb. 14.2 oz.Yes (Gore-Tex)Leather / textile
Asolo Falcon GV$250Light/mid2 lb. 2.6 oz.Yes (Gore-Tex)Suede / polyester
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid$245Midweight2 lb. 7 oz.Yes (Gore-Tex)Nubuck leather
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II$175Lightweight2 lb. 1.2 oz.Yes (Gore-Tex)Synthetic
La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX$200Lightweight2 lb. 1.6 oz.Yes (Gore-Tex)Nubuck leather

The best trekking boots for Machu Picchu

In conclusion, all of the above mentioned hiking boots are best for a wide range of hikes and treks. However, if your primary goal is to hike Machu Picchu, it is important to choose a boot that will provide you with the support, stability and protection you need on the demanding terrain of the Inca Trail, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain itself. Whether you opt for the most economical option or choose a boot that can withstand your future treks, each of these boots will help you tackle Machu Picchu and other treks in Cusco, such as the Salkantay Trek, the Lares Trek, the Ausangate Trek and the Rainbow Mountain in Peru, with ease.

Note 1: This information is based on personal experiences, travel blogs, comments and reviews from trekking lovers around the world.

Note 2: All links lead to Amazon and are with affiliate account. It is a way to help this blog to continue providing quality information.

Note 3: Check out the website of our partners at HikingBootsHQ.com, they helped us to make this blog.

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