Hiking is a wonderful pastime. Whether you are backpacking across New Zealand or winding down some nearby trail, you probably have a bit of gear on hand. Probably things like breathable shorts, a light jacket, a hat just in case the sun make appearances. But what about your boots?
Not all hiking boots are created equal. Some brands might have better protection against wet weather while falling short on ankle support. Others might offer the ankle support you need, but the soles might be weak. So, how do you decide which hiking boot is best for you? We’ve put together this short list of 2020’s best hiking boots for men, in which we consider quality, materials, and the input of other customers. So, hop to it – adventure awaits.
The Best Hiking Boots For Men
Let’s start with our best choice: Saloman Quest’s Men’s Backpacking boots. Like most of the boots on this list, they come with a standard rubber sole for good grip on most kinds of outdoor terrain. Saloman has also developed a 4D Advanced Chassis to guide the foot, suitable for when the landscape starts getting rough. It also helps to reduce fatigue during extended periods of trekking. These gore-tex boots keep your feet dry on the trail. They are comfortable because the 4D Advanced Chassis enables more forefoot flexion. The rubber sole is improved to ensure a sturdier grip on all surfaces.
Rubber sole with improved grip
4D Advanced Chassis
Suitable for most types of terrain
- Weight3.57 pounds
We have covered our best choice, so why not show you our pick for the best value? Merrell has developed a waterproof boot with a sturdy rubber sole, making it ideal for hiking during a wet season. It’s reinforced by the M Select Dry Barrier, which is a waterproof-breathable membrane. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots are very comfortable, and the membrane keeps out water while also allowing internal moisture to evaporate. An advanced Kinetic Fit removable contoured insole supports the heel and arch structure, absorbing shock. Although we do not advise jumping from heights and landing, the soles do stand up to a fair bit of stress.
Good value for money
Kinetic Fit contoured insole
- ModelMOAB 2 MID WTPF-M
- Weight2 pounds
Our third spot goes to Keen and their Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boots. These comfortable, rubber-soled boots are made from 100% waterproof Nubuck leather, the heels measure at approximately 1.5 inches. They have a breathable membrane which seals out water while allowing internal moisture to evaporate. You can go all day wearing these, and they will feel as comfortable as they did the minute you put them on. The leather treatment is a PFC-free water repellent, so there are no harmful chemicals. These all-terrain boots have a high-traction grip for all environments. The rubber outsoles are non-marking, so you will not leave a trackable trail; additionally, it comes with an external support shank, which adds support to the ankles and helps you maintain balance.
For more quality footwear for outdoor adventures, check out our guide to the best mountaineering boots.
Good ankle support
Enhances balance on uneven surfaces
Contoured heel supports stability
Waterproof, good for wetter weather
Good traction on the rubber sole
- ModelTarghee II Mid Waterproof
- Weight12 ounces
Probably one of the more durable boots we have on this list, the rubber outsole has multi-directional lugs to support traction for a wide variety of terrain. When out walking on uneven surfaces, this helps you keep your balance as well as navigate rough patches. The shaft measures approximately 5 inches from the arch, with a 1.5-inch heel so you can experience a bit of lift. NORTIV 8 Men’s Ankle High Waterproof Hiking Boots also have a waterproof lining and are slip-resistant. While not recommended for sustained wet conditions, should you find yourself walking through a small stretch of water, or out in the rain, your feet will be kept nice and dry. They also feature a cushioned EVA footbed to support the arch of the foot, as well as provide comfort.
For more like this, check out our top hiking shoes list.
EVA footbed insole
Suitable for all-terrain
Multi-directional lugs to support traction
- BrandNORTIV 8
Our next spot goes to a brand well-known for top-quality hiking and dress boots, Timberland! The shaft measures approximately five inches from the arch, and the platform comes in at about half-an-inch. The White Ledge Hiking Boot has a premium, full-grain waterproof upper, the seams sealed with waterproof construction, and the lace hooks are rustproof. The closure design lets you lace up the boots quickly and securely. Not only are these Timberland shoes sturdy and suitable for trail walking, but they also look fashionable and will not look out of place for casual wear.
Sturdy, good for outdoor use
Fashionable, suitable for casual use
- Weight12 ounces
Vasque’s entry onto this list is the Talus Trek UltraDry Hiking Boot. The boot is well designed, using good quality materials such as XSTrek rubber in the Vibram Nuasi sole, which molded with compounded, angular, multi-directional lugs for strong traction while out on the trail. It’s difficult to slip in these boots. The toe of the boot has a rubber sidewall wrap to improve stability and give extra protection while out and about on rocky trails. This lightweight boot comes with athletic EVA midsole cushioning for a nimble, comfortable feel while walking. The upper part of the boot features 1.8mm waterproof Nubuck leather, joined with a breathable, abrasion-resistant polyamide mesh, making it suitable for warm conditions. It’s easy to lace up using a simple speed-lacing setup. Vasque has also included their UltraDry membrane for extra peace of mind for messy weather conditions.
You may also be interested in some of the best water shoes for hiking from our list.
Waterproof Nubuck leather
Vibram Nuasi sole
Multi-directional lugs for improved traction
- ModelTalus Trek UltraDry-M
- Weight1 pound
The seventh spot goes to our absolute premium choice: Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX. Made with GORE-TEX Performance Comfort, these boots keep your feet bone-dry while out on the trail. They have a strong rubber sole, not the sturdiest we’ve ever encountered, but it does stand up to a fair bit of wear and tear. The shaft measures at about six inches from the arch of the foot, giving excellent coverage. It laces up with an asymmetric lace system for a precise fit and has Sock-Fit DV construction for a snug fit, and to reduce that bulky feeling you get when wearing hiking socks with the boots.
Gore-Tex performance comfort
Keeps feet dry
Asymmetric lace for a precise fit
Three densities of EVA midsole to optimize performance
- ModelSCARPA ZODIAC PLUS GTX Hiking Boot-M
- Weight4.3 pounds
The eighth spot on this list goes to Columbia’s Newton Ridge Plus II, which features a synthetic sole and a shaft that measures ankle-high from the arch of the foot. The platform is approximately one inch high. The Newton Ridge Plus II features stylish and practical construction. The lace-up closure ensures a comfortable and secure fit from the moment you lace up for the first time. This boot is a mix of faux leather, breathable mesh, and waterproof suede, so this boot is going to keep your foot dry and comfortable for the duration of your hike.
The Newton Ridge Plus II features a signature, lightweight midsole to add to comfort, offering superior cushioning compared to other boots on the market. Additionally, the synthetic sole has a multidirectional grip, so you can maintain your balance while out hiking. The sole has a specially-crafted dual track, which makes it ideal for use during winter, although we do advise caution. This feature also helps reduce the risk of slipping. Additionally, the seam-sealed construction is built for durability, withstanding rain, muck, and generally anything the elements can throw at it.
For more quality footwear, check out our selection of these long-lasting rain boots, and pick your favorite pair.
Waterproof suede/mesh/faux leather combination
Metal hardware, seam-seal construction
Good for all terrains
- Weight2.15 pounds
Our next boot comes from the North Face. The Hedgehog Fastpack Mid GTX Hiking Boot boasts a leather upper, fabric lining, and lace-up closure. The shank is five inches high, the opening is 11 inches wide, and there is a classic lace-up closure. The eyelets are rustproof and will not break after wear and tear. Additionally, it comes with a protective steel toe cap. These boots come with TPU-CRADLE heel-stabilizing technology to help you when you are descending steep hills, as well as compression-molded EVA midsole cushioning. Your arches will thank you for this, as it helps to ease the tension from other parts of your foot. The breathable fabric lining, and GORE-TEX membrane, have a great in-shoe feel, nice and comfortable, and offer waterproof protection from the elements.
Feel free to wear them as your winter boots.
TPU-CRADLE Heel Stabilising technology
Vibram rubber outsole
Good for all terrains
- BrandThe North Face
- Weight3.4 pounds
Our last boot is from the lesser-known brand, RAX. The Wild Wolf Mid Venture Hiking Boots boast a sturdy rubber sole and suede leather upper combined with breathable lycra and an adjustable lace-up vamp for comfort. These boots are also waterproof and have a padded tongue that keeps out debris and water so that you can continue your hike or backpacking adventure in comfort. The midsole is made of EVA cushioning, so it molds to the shape of your foot. The multi-directional traction rubber outsole helps you keep a steady path while out on the trail. There’s also an extra element of protection, as the toe has a protective rubber wrap to shield the toes.
You may also like some of these durable combat boots from our list.
Waterproof with suede leather upper
Adjustable lace-up vamp
Lightweight with EVA cushioning
Antiskid multi-directional outsole
Padded tongue and collar to keep out debris
- Weight2.2 pounds
Hiking Boot For Men Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection of Hiking Boots for Men
Quality - We included things like waterproofing, material use, lacing style, and sole-durability.
Brand - We looked into the brands we feature. Big names like Timberland or Saloman have excellent reputations when it comes to producing good-quality outdoor footwear. Additionally, we tried to give more consideration to lesser-known brands to highlight the range of boots available to consumers.
Price - Not everyone has two-or-three-hundred dollars to spend on a pair of boots, so we tried to keep a reasonable price range.
Reviews - We surveyed the experience of people who have bought these boots featured below. While not everyone was completely thrilled with their purchases, we wanted to feature the products which had the highest possible ratings.
Features to Look for in Hiking Boots for Men
Hike Duration - If you are going for a quick walk through the woods, you might need a pair of boots that can stand the test of time but aren’t too expensive. If you are planning a long-distance backpacking trip, you might have different needs.
Material - Most boots are leather, but most brands also offer alternatives. The material can affect factors such as weight, waterproofness, and support.
Waterproofness - This feature will be key for people who plan to trek through a wet forest or cross streams. A waterproof boot will have a layer or a membrane allowing for breathability while keeping out water and preserving your sock and foot.
Arch Support - The arch of the foot is susceptible to damage, so look for a boot that has a good cushioning in this area of the midsole.
Types of Hiking Boots
Hiking boots are boots that protect the feet and ankle while the wearer is out and about on more rural terrain such as rock, dirt, or forest floor. They can be used for a wide variety of outdoor activities, although some people prefer them as a fashion statement in addition to practical use.
Hiking Shoes - These are all-around shoes that will be suitable for most terrains and short-term use. These are good for beginners and general day-to-day activities. They are generally lighter than formal hiking boots.
Day Hiking Boots - These boots are usually much more lightweight than traditional backpacking boots and tend to be waterproof. They also stand up to longer periods of use, although you will need to take good care of them. Consider getting a pair if you plan to go camping.
Backpacking Boots - These will have firmer soles and shanks for reinforcement and protection. They are designed for extreme long-term use and will last for a good number of years if you take care of them.
Hiking Boots for Men FAQ
Q: Do you need waterproof boots?
A: Waterproof boots are useful when you are walking through wet terrain or in damp weather.
Q: How do you know if your hiking boots fit?
A: You want a boot that feels snug, comfortable, and not too tight.
Q: Can I wash my hiking boots?
A: Yes. Bear in mind that many boots will be waterproof, but will still need cleaning to maintain extended use. Make sure you get a cleaning agent that is suitable for the material f so that you do not damage the boot.
Q: What are the best socks for hiking?
A: Get something padded and breathable. You want to avoid too much moisture in the foot to prevent all sorts of nasty infections and general discomfort.
The Best Ways to Lace Your Hiking Boots
- People with narrow feet should consider tying their boots with the bow at the bottom. This method helps keep the front part of the boot closed for extended periods and fits the boot more snugly to your foot to provide better support.
- Consider a heel-lock method, which helps to prevent heel lift, ease forward movement, and support when descended steep movement.
- Creating a “window” with your laces at certain points in the eyelets can help to alleviate the pressures felt by people with a broader foot. Look into some of the patterns used, try them out, and see where there is less tension when walking.
- Alternatively, you might prefer the way the manufacturer has laced the boot. Many boots use a criss-cross layout so that when you pull the string, the laces tighten immediately.
Ten Things You Should Bring On Every Hike
- Bottled water to stave off dehydration (at least 1.5 liters).
- A first aid kit in the event you are injured and need to bandage up an open wound.
- A light lunch and some snacks to keep your energy up.
- A map so that you do not lose your way.
- Hand sanitizer or hand wipes to maintain a level of hygiene while you are out in the wilderness.
- Tissues or toilet paper in case nature calls while you are out there.
- Sunscreen to prevent sunburn and keep your skin healthy.
- Insulation. The weather can change quickly, so it is well worth keeping a light insulated jacket or blanket on hand just in case you end up in the middle of a rainstorm. Avoid cotton because it does not insulate when wet.
- Emergency shelter.
- An emergency repair kit. Include a Swiss Army knife or multi-tool in this kit, as they come in very handy when you least expect them.