They're not cheap -- on any level. A good pair of hiking boots will see you through all four seasons for many, many years. We've rounded up some of the best, from trendy trail runners for adventure racing through crampon-compatible mountaineering boots. For most people, a rigid-soled hiking or backpacking boot will get the most wear.
Raichle's Kootenay 3 backpacking boot is a good choice for multi-day treks, $189 at Mountain Equipment Co-op (1, 400 King West, 416-340-2667).
Merrell's Baja Activator approach shoes are light, flexible and water-resistant (2, MEC, $89).
Montrail's water-resistant Morraine AT mountaineering boot helps haul heavy loads (3, $359, MEC).
Robin Williams bought a pair of the Gore-Tex-lined, waterproof Hurricane Ridge trail running shoes, by Montrail, from Europe Bound (4, $145.99, 383 King West, 416-205-9992, and others).
Salomon's Gore-Tex-lined Mach 8 is incredibly light and a heavy-duty winner at $289 (5, Europe Bound).
Roots' Tuff Boot is big on style (6, $120, 1485 Yonge, 416-967-4499, and others).
Lowa's Tempest Lo Lady looks like a runner but has a full shank for the support of a true hiking boot. Its Euro fit suits a slender foot (7, $149.99, Trailhead, 370 King West, 416-977-7031, and others).
Merrell's stiff but light Chameleon Prime offers a good mix between hiking and day-hiking needs (8, $159.99, Europe Bound).
Kayland's Mythos is getting into mountaineering terrain and features hard-wearing Vibram soles (9, $299.99, Trailhead).
Salomon is a leader in the adventure racing phenom. The flexible Raidsport offers lots of support (10, $119.99, Trailhead).
Vasque's Gore-Tex-lined Sundowner is a truly classic and classy backpacking boot (11, $289.99 at Trailhead, $239.99 on special at Europe Bound).
A high-traction sole and full steel shank make the XCS Killington very attractive (12, $160, Rockport Store, 2577 Yonge, 416-440-8445).
Racy red defines Rockport's Mojave adventure walking shoe (13, $140).
Asolo's light, low-cut Rainier Plus features a thermoplastic (vs. steel) shank (14, $159.99, Europe Bound).
MEC's quick-drying, budget-priced Hi-Tec Enduro trail runner is a big seller among canoeists (15, $79).
Gronell's Gatineau 2 day hiker is made in Italy to MEC's specs (16, $135).