If you look back over history, you might notice that a lot of hiking boots have red laces. A lot of people are unsure as to why this is but one thing is for certain, this lace color does not appear to have waned in popularity.
In truth, no one is certain as to why the tradition of red laces came about but many believe that this has become part of the uniform of a hiker.
In this article, we are going to be exploring the reasons why red laces are so ingrained in hiking culture as well as looking at some of the best hiking boots with red laces, giving you the pick of the best bunch.
Why Do Hiking Boots Have Red Laces?
Red laces have been used in hiking boots for at least the last sixty years, having become very popular in the 1960s. However, while this color lace has become a staple in the wardrobes of hiking fanatics around the globe, not many people are sure why this is, it would appear that many hikers simply want to follow the trend.
But after doing a lot of research, we have found a few reasons why manufacturers decided that this color was the way to go; if anything, it’s sure to get you noticed.
But getting noticed might not be such a crazy idea. In fact, one of the reasons that people believe red laces first came into play was to draw attention. Not in a ‘look at me, look at my boots’ kind of way, but for safety reasons. It is believed that red laces would stand out if you ever found yourself in a sticky situation.
For example, if you were hiking a remote trail in the snow and took a fall, those red laces could be your saving grace – literally. They would stand out and draw attention to you so that rescuers could help you. So while they might be a bit garish, they are certainly beneficial.
Furthermore, there is a lot of suggestion that having red laces makes you stand out as a hiker, not merely someone who likes a good pair of walking boots.
Red Laces and Hiking Culture?
As we mentioned, the craze for red laces began way back in the sixties and this trend soon took off. Shoe manufacturers all over the world started adding red laces to specialized hiking boots and they become the epitome of hiking fashion.
But unlike other sixties trends; the beehive and the poncho, for example, hiking boots with red laces went on through the decades being just as desirable. Through the seventies and eighties, many hikers were seen sporting a pair of red-laced boots on the trails.
With such huge demand, by this point in time, it was rare to see a pair of hiking boots that weren’t made with red laces as standard. Today, with such a varied market, shoemakers don’t always use the traditional red color. That being said, many red laces are being sold separately, and a lot of other colors, giving you the chance to switch up your style as you see fit.
But the red lace means a lot more to some hikers. There is something of a status symbol attached to the red lace. Those who are serious about hiking may want to demonstrate to the world that they are indeed a dedicated hiker. One of the suggestions about why boot manufacturers began using red laces was as a way to set hiking boots apart from the rest; some might say that they were superior to regular boots and this showed the world that you had the best boots money could buy.
A lot of people have stuck with this idea and still believe that by sporting red laces, they are letting the world know that your boots are a cut above the rest. That isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination either when you think about it; having a designer handbag or a high-end watch demonstrates status. Just because hiking boots have a more practical purpose, there is no reason that there shouldn’t be an element of luxury about them.
The Best Hiking Boots With Red Laces
There are thousands of pairs of hiking boots out there that come with red laces; you truly will be spoilt for choice. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing because this leaves more room for mistakes and you may end up with a boot that looks great but doesn’t function well when you are out hiking.
We believe these boots to be some of the very best on the market, they offer comfort, style, durability, and support; all of which are essential in a hiking boot. The red laces add that traditional element that so many people are looking for.
1. Asolo Fugitive
This is perhaps one of the most traditional-looking hiking boots available right now and if you are looking for something that is extremely practical as well, then you can’t go far wrong with this pair.
The striking red laces are set off by a tan and black upper that is the ultimate in hiking style. These neutral colors have long been used in hiking boots and while there are many bright designs now on the market, these colors remain a favorite of many. The laces are also elasticated for better comfort and easier lacing.
But aside from having traditional laces, you are getting so much more with these shoes. They are made from a blend of Cordura, leather, and suede which provides maximum durability and comfort.
This comfort is further reinforced by the cushioned midsole that offers excellent shock absorption making every step feel as light as air. Furthermore, the rubber sole has been designed to add to the comfort of the boots while providing a solid walking base. These have excellent traction and are designed for use on all terrains, so no matter what you put them through, they’ll keep you on your feet.
The boots have a water-resistant upper and a Gore-Tex lining which provides you with the guarantee that your feet will stay fresh and dry. Gore-Tex prevents water from getting in but will allow the boots to breathe.
2. Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical Shoes
We will hold our hands up and admit that these shoes do not come with red laces, but these are such an incredible pair of hiking boots, we just had to include them. Of course, you can always remove the laces that come with the boots and purchase a stunning red pair, an example of which, we will show you later.
Owing to the black design of these boots, red laces would look incredible but the boots have a lot more to offer besides.
One of the most notable things about this pair of boots is the 4D advanced chassis which has been designed for ultimate comfort and support. This guides the feet as they move without making you feel constricted. As a result, you will notice far fewer problems with foot fatigue and pain.
The boots are lightweight and fully cushioned, giving you an even greater walking experience. The toe on these boots is slightly wider than normal so makes an ideal solution for people with wide feet or those that are prone to swelling.
What’s more, they have a durable rubber sole with excellent traction, making these a great pair of boots for a variety of terrains. You will be just as supported walking the dog as you would be on rugged, rocky ground. They are also waterproof so will be suitable for use in all weather.
3. Zamberlan Men’s 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot
One of the first things to stand out about these boots is not the laces but the beautiful overall design of the boot. They are crafted with full-grain waxed leather that gives them the look and feel of a quality boot. But this is not merely an illusion, they truly are an excellent pair of hiking boots.
This leather upper not only gives you superior comfort and fit but is also incredibly durable. If you need a pair of boots that are going to stand the test of time, these are it.
If you want to have a flash of red in your laces but don’t want to go for a bright, in-your-face design then this is a good middle ground. The laces are black and have red flecks, modern, with a traditional twist.
The boots feature a durable Vibram sole that is guaranteed to see you through hundreds of miles without wearing. What’s more, this is one of the most grippy soles out there. If you intend on using the boots on uneven terrain, this is essential.
These hiking boots are extremely comfortable and boast a removable 4mm insole. This is great if you use orthotics in your shoes as it gives you the option of more space.
Alternatively, you can leave this in for some of the best comforts in a pair of boots. They also feature a PU midsole which is great for two reasons; it is comfortable and extremely durable. If you are a serious hiker, going for PU might be a better idea than an EVA midsole as these don’t tend to last as long.
Kevlar Reinforced Boot Laces
We promised to introduce you to a pair of red laces that you could use on boots that do not feature these as standard, and we like to deliver on our word.
There are a lot of options for laces but we liked these best for several reasons. The laces are indeed as red as it gets. In a muted red, they are ideal for matching with your favorite hiking boots to set yourself apart.
But they are also exceptionally durable and this is thanks to the Kevlar stitching. This material is known for its longevity and will ensure that you get the maximum use out of your laces.
They are a polyester blend which again offers durability. But you will also notice that these laces have a larger diameter and not only will this add to their lifespan but also makes them much more comfortable across the instep.
The laces measure 137cm/54 inches which makes them suitable for most work or hiking boots. Furthermore, they are designed for speed lacing which means that you won’t be fiddling about with them every time you want to take a hike.
What To Look For In Hiking Boots With Red Laces
It goes without saying that when you are looking for a pair of hiking boots with red laces, you are going to want them to come with red laces. But this is far from being the only consideration.
When choosing boots, you should never select a pair based merely on style. This leaves you open to purchasing a pair of boots that offer nothing else and when you are going to be on your feet for hours at a time, comfort, support, and durability are all far more important than how the boots look.
Of course, everyone wants to look their best so you will be pleased to hear that there are several pairs of hiking boots with red laces that provide you with all of the things you expect from a boot on top of looking the height of style.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the features you should keep an eye out for.
Regardless of the color of the laces, there are several things you want to look for, especially if you are buying a set of laces separately from your boots.
Primarily, you need to look at the materials from which the laces are made. They are going to be going through a lot and it is vital that they can stand up to this challenge. Nylon and Kevlar are two of the most common materials used in boot laces and this is because they are both extremely durable and won’t break after being tied a few times.
However, you might also wish to look for other features where your laces are concerned like how stretchy they are. Having a fair amount of stretch in the laces makes them much more flexible, easier to tie, and more comfortable.
The laces should not be slippy. Once you have secured them, you want to feel confident that they will stay tied and you won’t find yourself having to stop and retie them every few hundred steps, which can be incredibly annoying.
Finally, if you want the laces to continue looking good for their entire life, you should find some that are fade-resistant, because as we have discovered, looking good on the trail is essential.
The last thing that anyone wants is to splash out on a new pair of hiking boots with red laces to find that after a few wears, the boots are worn and rendered useless. For this reason, you should look at things like the materials and how well-constructed the boots are.
When it comes to comfort, there is much more to think about than you might initially imagine. But it is essential to remember that the comfort of your hiking boots with red laces is one of the most critical factors.
If the shoes are not comfortable, feel tight, pinch, or rub the feet, this can lead to intense pain and once you are out there on the trail, there is no getting away from this. Many hikers have had to learn the hard way so do be sure to find comfortable boots.
Traction or grip is essential on any pair of hiking boots regardless of the color of the laces. Without an adequate level of traction, you risk slipping, especially when navigating challenging terrain.
One of the best ways to determine the traction of the boots is to look at the outsole. Typically this will be made from rubber, or a blend of rubbers and this natural material is known for its durability and non-slip nature.
You should also look at the lug depth. This is the depth of the grooves on the outsole. A lug depth of 5mm is considered to be enough but this will depend on how you intend you use the boots.
One of the best ways to ensure that the boots will feel good on the feet is to make sure that they are the correct size. There is a lot of suggestion that you should buy a walking boot in a bigger size, but this will largely depend on the individual boot and should never be used as a hard and fast rule.
The only way to determine if a hiking boot fits correctly is to try it on. Try to forget about the number inside the boot and just see how it feels. To properly size a walking boot, you should put it on and attempt to slide your index finger down the heel of the boot. Your finger should easily fit between the back of the boot and your foot. If you cannot do this, you may need to go a size up. If there is too much room, you will need a smaller boot.
When looking at how good a boot feels when it is on, you should pay attention to the soles; the outsole, the midsole, and the insole. Essentially, these are the layers of the sole and each one should be constructed in such a way that it offers the most impeccable comfort.
What’s more, the soles ought to offer a decent degree of shock absorbency, this will prevent problems such as knee pain and sore feet.
If you only ever intend to use your boots on hot, sunny days then being waterproof probably won’t matter to you. But in most cases, you cannot guarantee the weather so it is important to think about purchasing a pair of boots that will keep your feet dry.
There are many components that determines how waterproof the boots will be starting with the upper. In some cases, you will notice that the upper is advertised as being water-resistant and it is crucial to keep in mind that this is different from being waterproof.
Most hiking boots will also feature a waterproof lining and one of the most common is a Gore-Tex lining. This material is excellent for hiking boots since it will stop water from getting into the boots, even in the most torrential downpours. Furthermore, it is breathable so there will be a good level of airflow around the boots, preventing too much moisture from building up inside.
The most common material for hiking boots is leather and this is one of the most comfortable due to its flexible nature. However, you should be mindful of the fact that leather doesn’t come ready to wear.
In most cases, you will need to break your new boots in before putting them through their paces. This allows the leather to loosen and the boots to get used to the shape of your feet. If you omit this step, you may find that your feet become sore in the boots and blisters may develop. If this happens when you are on a rural hike with no other footwear, you will be cursing yourself for not breaking your boots in.
Hiking boots should always support the feet. They should be designed to wrap around the foot and cradle it as you move. Your feet should never move around inside the shoe and if they do, this is an indication that the level of support is not good enough.
The ankle height is a good place to start. A higher ankle height is good if you have problems with the ankles and need that additional support. This is also good for more demanding terrain as it will prevent you from rolling your ankle. However, if you are a lighter hiker, this may not be necessary.
The insoles should offer a fair level of cushioning which will support the foot and mold to its shape.
Since the 1960s, hiking boots have been adorned with red laces and a lot of people think that this is by chance. However, it is likely that once this trend was established, it became commonplace for hikers to use red laces as a way of making their boots stand out as hiking boots and not merely working boots or fashion boots.
This trend has endured the test of time and there are many hiking boots with red laces still being sold today. If you see a pair of boots that you love which do not have red laces, there is also the option to switch the laces for a bright red pair.
But whatever boots you go for, you should always make sure that you check out the features of the boots to make sure that they will also keep your feet safe and comfortable as well as look the part.