Spending about four months a year hiking in all kinds of conditions, all over the world, means we thoroughly test our hiking boots. So far, we both agree that one brand is superior: Asolo. Boots that are light weight yet have a stiff shank are rare. But we find these qualities essential for long days in rugged backcountry. And many models of Asolo boots are precisely that: light yet stiff. (Here’s the critical test. Hold a boot with the heel in one hand, the toe in the other. If you can bend it easily, it’s too flexible, and your feet will tire quickly.) In particular, we’ve found the Asolo Voyager (pictured here) to be one of our all-time favourites. They’re light (2.5 lbs per pair), extremely stiff, and have a moderately high shaft (5 inches). A Gore-Tex XCR membrane keeps them reasonably water repellent. (No boot, regardless what the manufacturer claims, is truly waterproof.) And the Voyagers’ construction and materials tolerate a beating. We’ve purchased several pairs. If you can’t find Voyagers, consider other Asolo models. We’re confident they’ll serve you well.