Meet the New Flash Hiking Boots from REI Co-op

The REI Flash Hiking Boots are the first hiking boots ever made by the Co-op. They’re made for speed and breathability, making them perfect for day hikers and high-mileage backpackers.

REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boot

The REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boot.

Plus, the uppers are made from 99% recycled PET polyester FirmaKnit and 30% recycled TPU. The REI Flash Hiking Boots have a reduced environmental footprint as a result—a core tenet of the REI Co-op.

REI Flash Boot

Trail-tested by REI Co-op members.

You Designed the REI Flash Hiking Boots

It’s well known that the REI Co-op has been in the business of selling hiking boots and trail runners ever since its inception. The company has seen the outdoor footwear industry evolved over the decades first hand. As such, the people at REI know a thing or two about shoes.

But the Co-op didn’t simply create its own boot design and run with it. Rather, REI asked for your ideas and feedback about what makes for an exceptional hiking boot as a part of the boot-making process.

REI Flash Hiking Boot

These are YOUR hiking boots.

Over 6,000 people provided input on these boots, and hundreds of REI Co-op members field-tested them.

The end result? The Flash Hiking Boots.

See the women's REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots

See the men's REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots

Waterproof, Breathable, and Comfy Out of the Box

The REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots are less of a traditional hiking boot and more of a hybrid between boots and trail runners. The FirmaKnit uppers provide excellent ventilation that rivals that of any trail runner on the market, and it also keeps the boots lightweight. A pair weighs approximately two pounds, give or take a couple of ounces depending upon the shoe size.

Hiking in Flash Boots

Excellent ventilation and plenty of grip for those hot desert hikes.

What’s more, that lightweight upper is coated in a HydroWall waterproof membrane that retains breathability while repelling water. This marvelous membrane is composed of 75% recycled polyester.

Waterproof Hiking Boots

They may not look waterproof, but they definitely are.

Similarly, the TerraLoft midsoles use 10% algae-based BLOOM foam to cushion your feet, and the TrailBed insoles are made from a 25% bio-based Susterra compound. By using recycled and biodegradable materials, REI has ensured that the Flash Hiking Boots have as little impact as possible on the environment throughout their lifecycle.

But while they’re eco-friendly, that doesn’t mean that they’re any less durable or comfortable. In fact, quite the opposite. The footbed has been designed with technology created by podiatrists to provide the support your feet need and the comfort they deserve.

REI Flash Traction

Look at those lugs!

The TerraGrip soles, too, are made from 20% recycled polyester, and they’ve been custom-designed with dirt-gripping lugs to provide the utmost in trail traction.

See the women's REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots

See the men's REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots

The Hiking and Backpacking Boots You’ve Been Waiting For

The REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots are imbued with the spirit of adventure, as well as a number of REI exclusive technologies. Both the women’s and men’s versions have been ardently tested, picked apart by savvy adventurers, and forged into what Co-op members have said is the perfect hiking boot.

REI Boots

Hiking in style in the new REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots.

Not sold yet? Try them on for size. REI has a satisfaction-guaranteed return policy, and you can send these boots back within 90 days of purchase if you’re not happy with them. Or go try them on at your local REI Co-op store. Simple as that.

See the women's REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots

See the men's REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots


Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This article may contain affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear, we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.

Arthur McMahon

Arthur is Editor of Backpackers.com. He loves to walk. It's as simple as that. Whether it be in the mountains, on the beach, or along the city streets — he believes walking is the best way to experience the world. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was his first backpacking foray, and he hasn't stopped since. He and his wife now regularly travel into the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest seeking new trails to hike. Follow his personal adventures and stories at betterhiker.com and on Instagram.

6 responses to “Meet the New Flash Hiking Boots from REI Co-op

  1. Frank Sladeksays:

    I’d love to try a pair. What about “puncture proof?” My nephew in the dessert got a thorn through the side of a “fabric” hiking boot…obviously ruined that hike. BUT, I love the idea of the lightweight and waterproof fabric.

    How much for a pair?
    Good arch support, but is the ball-of-foot and the heel at the same level…or even the heel lower?

    I also would used them in the summer in the Boundary Waters, which means they would always be wet on a 10 day trek…dry them out when I get home to Iowa.

    1. Hey Frank. These wouldn’t be puncture-proof, no. They don’t have a rock plate in the sole like other tough trail runners and boots, and the fabric uppers are inherently weaker than leather would be. That said, those sacrifices were made in order to make this boot more lightweight and breathable. They give a little to get a little.

      The Flash Hiking boots have a 10mm heel drop from heel to toe. So they’re not zero drop shoes, but they don’t have an extreme lift, either.

  2. Tim Massiesays:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I owned a pair of REI branded leather hiking boots back in 1998. Were they merely rebranded and not designed by them? I know you don’t have a wayback machine for that sort of thing, but I would imagine REI was the one that told you that these were their first boots…

    1. Hey Tim. REI says that these Flash Hiking Boots are the Co-op’s first-ever hiking boots. I did a little digging after reading your comment and found the REI-branded leather boots you’re talking about. It seems that those were indeed REI-branded boots, while these Flash boots are REI Co-op branded boots (having been designed, in part, by Co-op members).

  3. Chrissays:

    Do they have a Vibram sole?

    1. Nope—they have REI’s own TerraGrip soles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *