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Home > Gear Guides > What are the advantages of full-grain leather hiking boots?

What are the advantages of full-grain leather hiking boots?

Some hikers, both men and women, find that leather hiking boots offer the best combination of protection from the elements and close, comfortable fit to the foot. You can find leather versions of hiking shoes, backpacking hiking boots, and mountaineering boots, but keep in mind the different types of leather used in making leather hiking boots:

  • Full-grain: Full-grain leather hiking boots provide maximum durability and resist water and abrasion, and they are the choice for many backpacking hiking boots and mountaineering boots. However, they are heavier and less breathable than split-grain combination boots.
  • Nubuck: Nubuck is full-grain leather that has the buffed appearance of suede rather than the shiny appearance of full-grain leather. Nubuck also resists water and abrasion and is used for mountaineering boots.
  • Split-grain: Split-grain leather boots contain less leather, so they cost less than full-grain or nubuck hiking boots. But they are paired with mesh or nylon for lighter weight and greater breathability. Split-grain leather hiking boots are more susceptible to damage than full-grain boots, but they can serve as waterproof hiking boots if they have waterproof linings.

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