Hiking Boots: Whenever people ask me how to pack light for backpacking, this is one of the first things I say. You’ll expend less energy, have fewer blisters, and break in your new shoes faster by exchanging your big, burly hiking boots for trail runners. Most of the top ranked hiking boots on the market weigh between 2.5 and 4.5 pounds. The best trail running shoes are all well under two pounds. Plus, there’s little evidence behind the myth of big boots equal better ankle support. You’re better off following a consistent regimen of stretching and strengthening excises to prepare for hiking season in the first place. And finally, waterproof boots aren’t going to stay waterproof for long, so don’t bother. Trail running shoes dry out faster, too. I can’t remember the last time I took my shoes off to cross a river so as to not get them wet.