In decades past, sturdy hiking boots were all the rage. Fast forward to a few years ago, and folks were trading in their heavy boots for super lightweight trail runners. For a while, the choice was between a heavy shoe or an ultralight one — and it was a hard decision to make! A lot of outdoor excursions needed something more in the middle, a lighter shoe that didn’t compromise on a lot of features to shed weight.
The Helly Hansen Traverse HELLYTECH® Hiking Boots combine the best features of burly boots and featherlight trail runners, creating a multipurpose shoe that’s as practical as it is light on the foot.
The Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boots retain many of the beloved features of classic hiking boots that hikers don’t want left behind.
When choosing trail runners over boots, you usually sacrifice features like waterproofness, stability, durability, and protection. That’s a lot to leave out of a shoe, especially when you’re backpacking or carrying heavier loads. Meanwhile, classic boots aren’t lightweight or very breathable.
The Helly Hansen Traverse Boots reach the perfect middle ground that most modern hikers and backpackers seek.
Helly Hansen Traverse HELLYTECH® Hiking Boots Specifications
|Feature Type||Feature Specs||What This Means|
|Weight||1000g (women’s size 8)||Lightweight boots that don’t feel cumbersome and can take you further on the trail.|
|Material||Lining mixture of recycled polyester and polyurethane.||Uppers made from 100% recycled polyester, and the lining is made from a mix.|
|Water Resistance||HellyTech® WATERPROOF and HH® Quick Dry||DWR treated and seam sealed with a waterproof membrane, keeping your feet dry in wetter conditions.|
|Insole||HH® Max Comfort, 100% EVA||Molded, removable footbed that guides your foot and provides a custom, comfortable fit.|
|Outsole||HH® Maxgrip and HH® Surround Grip||Superior, multi-directional grip for multiple conditions and surfaces, providing great traction all around.|
|Height||Mid Height||Ankle support and protection against brush and rocks.|
|Protection||HH® ProGuard||Reinforced, abrasion-resistant toe and heel caps.|
|Breathability||HH® Max Vent||Ventilated and breathable material to enable circulation.|
|Fit||HH® Lite-Frame and HH® Arch Brace||Seamless midfoot layer to protect the upper foot. Arch bar that prevents unnecessary lateral movement.|
|Sustainability||Recycled materials throughout||100% recycled lining, lace, and polyester. Uppers are made from 60% recycled materials.|
|Durability||HH® Tough Wear and antimicrobial||Abrasion-resistant rubber and treated to prevent odor.|
|Manufacturer Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty||For the expected timeline of use, Helly Hansen stands by their product, covering any manufacturer defects.|
|Retail Price||$220||Well-made and eco-friendly.|
Unique Features of Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot
The Traverse Hiking Boots are packed with tried and true features that Helly Hansen has tested and used in countless other products. They combined these features to bring to market a durable, lightweight, and comfortable hiking shoe.
What’s most impressive about these boots is the waterproof technology combined with their breathability. Typically in hiking boots, what you gain in waterproofing, you lose in breathability. The Traverse Hiking Boot utilizes their HellyTech® WATERPROOF and HH® QuickDry technology, combining a waterproof membrane with a hydrophobic treatment to repel water. To combat the normally stuffy feeling you get when using a shoe with a waterproof membrane, Helly Hansen uses ventilated materials that allow for breathability while still protecting against the elements and blisters.
While there exist more dedicated boots for trudging in the snow for miles, these will keep your feet dry for shallow creek crossings and rain storms in the forests while allowing for airflow and working to keep your feet breathing during hotter days. I found my feet staying comfortable despite hot temperatures and was delighted while wearing them compared to other boots I’ve used.
Helly Hansen isn’t shy when it comes to boasting about their features, and they shouldn’t be! Another highlight of the Traverse Boot’s many features is the traction you get while hiking. The company has worked to engineer a boot that can really take you to the places that you want to go, whatever the terrain may be.
They use their propriety HH® MaxGrip and SurroundGrip, allowing for superior grip and control while hiking different terrains. The lugs provide 360-degree traction while utilizing a grippy, durable, lightweight rubber outsole. The boot shone on many different types of terrain, from loose gravel to packed dirt to rock scrambles.
You want a pair of boots that’ll withstand a toe bang against a rock that simultaneously works to keep the blisters away. The Traverse Hiking Boots do just that, offering much more protection than your typical trail runner. Their HH® ProGuard means the toe and heel caps are reinforced to protect your feet and abrasion resistant to keep the shoe lasting longer.
These boots also are taller than trail runners, extending above the ankle, providing ankle support and protection. While lightweight, they don’t feel flimsy and keep you feeling surefooted.
Helly Hansen prides itself on producing a quality product, and the stability of a shoe is one of the most essential attributes. Stability comes from the footbed, preventing lateral movements, which can help with foot pain. The Traverse Hiking boot features a molded, removable footbed that provides a comfortable fit while guiding your foot the correct way.
These boots also feature a seamless midfoot layer. This helps the shoe maintain its lightweight feel while supporting the upper foot by strengthening and protecting it. The Traverse boots are made with an arch bar, a molded thermoplastic piece embedded in the shoe’s arch. By combining this with a sturdy footbed, these boots prevent further unnecessary lateral movement while hiking.
How the Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot Compares to Other Hiking Shoes
Many brands produce mid-height hiking boots. Here’s how the Traverse Hiking Boot compares to other popular boots on the market.
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid versus Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot
The X Ultra 4 is Salomon’s version of a lighter-weight hiking boot that blurs the lines between a heavier boot and a shoe. It’s another popular shoe that many enjoy.
Both hiking shoes are lightweight and have excellent grip for different terrain types you might encounter along the trail. What stands out in the Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot is that these boots maintain their waterproofness while allowing for breathability. The Salomon X Ultra 4 features a Goretex® membrane, which, while very waterproof, doesn’t allow much airflow in the shoe. The Traverse Hiking Boot kept my feet dry but also allowed for a lot of ventilation, which is a great feature for varying temperatures, making it a terrific 3-season boot, even in the height of summer.
Adidas TERREX Mid versus Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot
The Adidas TERREX Mid is another lightweight hiking shoe popular among hikers looking to ditch the heavy boot but needing a little more stability than a trail runner can offer. Compared to the Traverse Boot, the TERREX loses a bit of focus on protection, where Helly Hansen shines.
The Traverse Boots really hit it home with their well-designed protection for your feet, saving you from pain when you’re miles into the backcountry. With their HH® Lite-Frame, HH® Arch Brace, and HH® Max Comfort, Helly Hansen puts protection and comfort at the top of their list. The Traverse is simply more protective than the TERREX.
Merrell Moab 3 Mid versus Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot
Merrell, one of the most well-known hiking boot brands, has produced many hiking boots over the years. The Moab 3 Mid is one of their most popular and is similar in some ways to the Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot. Both are waterproof with similar stability and protection.
A big difference between the two is the leather uppers that Merrell uses compared to the synthetic uppers of Helly Hansen. Those who are looking for vegan materials would want to avoid Merrell with the use of pigskin leather. The Moab hiking shoes also have a wider fit, so those preferring a secure, snug fit may find them a little loose and less stable than the Traverse.
REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots versus Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boot
The REI Flash Hiking Boots are lightweight and comfortable for the bottom of the foot. Helly Hansen’s Traverse has both of these qualities as well, but the tongue and ankle support reach a little higher, providing a more comfortable bend in the shoe when hiking and more overall stability.
Who is Helly Hansen?
The Norwegian-based brand has been operating for over 140 years and is the number-one brand for ski professionals across the globe. While they’re most famously known for their ski gear, Helly Hansen also produces high-quality gear for work, sailing, and trekking. Helly Hansen strives to continually meet the high-quality standards of their founder, even hundreds of years later.
Helly Hansen innovates products through feedback from top professionals and works to create durable gear that withstands whatever you throw at it, all while promoting sustainable practices.
Helly Hansen sponsors this post.
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