Do you long to spend time in the great outdoors? Is your hiking footwear beginning to fail the test of time? Take a peek at our top ten best men's hiking boots! Life can be an uphill climb, but it's a little easier when you have the right hiking footwear. Whether you're backpacking, day hiking, or camping, a good pair of hiking boots will do you good.
Our number one pick for the best men's hiking boot is the Danner Men's Gore-Tex Hiking Boot. It has a speedy lace system to make gearing up a little easier. But, we've included other options for the novice climber, the expert mountaineer, the outdoorsy vegan, and everyone in between. When you're done you can walk on over to our buyer's guide for extra tips and tricks for purchasing the right fit for your foot!
Every piece of footwear on this list will let you take the next step with confidence. We reviewed these products based on ankle support, durability, waterproofing, comfort, and material. So, lace up! We're walking this trail together.
|Material||Full-grain leather, micro-fleece|
Men's 453 5.5" Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
Men's Targhee III Waterproof Leather Hiking Shoe
Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots
Men's Waterproof Hiking Boots
Thermator Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot
Granite Ridge Waterproof Boot
Quest Prime GORE-TEX Men's Backpacking Boot
St. Elias Hiking Boot
Verge 2.0 Mid Gore-tex Hiking Boot
A Waterproof and Durable Hiking Boot for Long Adventures
A Lightweight All-Terrain Hiking Shoe
A Fully Synthetic Backpacking Boot With a Stiff Sole for Rocky Terrain
A Stylish Mid-Boot for Heavy-Duty Use
Mountaineering Camo Boots That are Ideal for Cold Weather
Breathable, Low-Rise Hiking Boots for Hiking and Everyday Use
Gore-Tex Hiking Boots Built Specially for the Outdoors
A Full-Grain Leather Hiking Boot for Working or Wandering
Sleek, Synthetic Hiking Boots With a Rubber Sole
|Material||Full-grain leather||Nubuck leather||Synthetic||Split-grain leather||Synthetic||Full-grain leather, micro-fleece||Nubuck leather||Full-grain leather||Synthetic|
The joys of hiking are even better when you don't have blisters, black toenails, and foot pain to deal with! Even if you're just looking for something to ease the weight on your joints during long work days, this still applies.
We've done the research so you don't have to and created a practical guide for anyone looking to find the right boot!
Hiking boots have three distinct styles. If you’re just getting into hiking then you may not know the different styles yet, but any hiker that spends hours exploring their environment knows just how important selecting the right boot can be.
As you may know, hiking sneakers aren’t technically boots. Sure they share the same wide frame and thicker insole, but hiking sneakers don’t share the same level of ankle support. That means you’re just as susceptible to rolling your ankle on an unfortunately placed rock as you are in any footwear.
However, because hiking sneakers are breathable, lightweight, and cheaper than other hiking footwear, they’re often picked for trail walking. You may see the occasional novice wearing hiking sneakers to take on a tricky backslope, but it’s definitely not recommended or safe.
Day-hiker or mid-length boots are made to support your ankles on uneven terrain. They also provide better support than a hiking sneaker for pack carrying. Typically, day hiking boots are far more breathable than backpacking boots, so they can also be worn for around-town errands.
They’re the perfect boot for anyone that spends most of the day outside and on their feet. Day hiking boots will often be lightweight, which allows for a faster, less intensive hike.
Mid-length boots are usually available in sneaker-like designs without being actual sneakers. They also have a lower, sleeker profile than their backpacking counterparts. This is a plus for fashion-conscious hikers who seek to blend the durability and ankle support of hiking boots with the stylistic range of hiking sneakers.
Backpacking boots are the real steel of the hiking world. These boots offer major stability, and they support your ankle to prevent it from rolling. A rolled ankle is more likely to happen with a heavy pack or on uneven ground, so ankle support is the primary focus.
We should mention that while most backpacking boots are waterproof, not all are. This is important if you're hiking in around puddles or in the rain. Shoes get heavy when they're wet, and backpacking boots usually are already pretty heavy.
If your boots aren't waterproof and happen to get wet, then you'll be lugging around a few extra pounds of weight per step. That adds up quick on a long hike!
The material of a hiking boot is going to play a factor in how much your feet sweat and blister, It also affects the break-in time and water resistance of the boots. There are a handful of materials that hiking boots are made of and they all have pros and cons.
You'll usually find full-grain leather on heavy-duty backpacking boots, but it's used for other styles too.
Full-grain leather is going to be a lot less breathable than other materials, but it's waterproof. And the thick leather protects your feet and ankles from cuts and scrapes. Full-grain leather takes a little longer to form to your foot, so it's essential to break them in before a long hike.
It's worth noting that full-grain leather is also naturally highly durable. While the sole of the boot, seams, and other sections may eventually break down, the full-grain will likely still be intact. Anyone searching for a boot that they plan to own for years should consider full-grain leather boots as an option.
Nubuck leather is a durable leather that’s been treated to be more breathable than other types of leather. It’s also generally more comfortable, making it a go-to for hikers that have issues with the fit or feel of full-grain leather boots. Nubuck can be waterproof and strongly resembles suede at first glance.
Split grain leather, also called suede, combines the toughness of leather with the breathability of synthetic materials. It's a popular material for hiking sneakers and the occasional day-hiker boot.
Because split-grain is often paired with synthetic material, it's generally the most breathable and comfortable hiking boot. However, split-grain leather boots typically have more seams, which increases the chance of tearing.
Split-grain leather and Nubuck are similar in terms of feel and look. The most significant difference is that Nubuck will typically be water-resistant (if not entirely waterproof) and is considered more durable. Whereas, the breathability of split-grain makes it a popular choice in drier climates.
It's common practice to make hiking boots with animal products, but several companies make vegan-friendly hiking boots. Vegan boots are made from synthetic materials that can breakdown a little quicker than leather. However, durability is primarily based on the brand.
Generally, it's better to search for hiking boots made with 100% synthetic materials instead of searching for specifically vegan hiking boots. Most manufacturers don't market their hiking boots as vegan.
If you're having a hard time finding the right vegan hiking boot, we've included some on our top ten list. Vegan hiking boots are usually lightweight and can be waterproof.
This tip won’t always apply, but if you purchase your hiking boots from the store, ask to check the last. In terms of making shoes, the “last” is the mold or frame that a shoe is built on. The “last” directly represents the shoe frame and cut, so you’ll get a clear idea of how (or if) your foot will fit.
If the frame simply isn’t right for your foot shape, then it won’t matter what size or what brand the hiking boot is - it just won’t be comfortable.
Companies that specialize in hiking footwear may also have pictures or measurements for the last they use for each model on their website. In the long term, it’s beneficial to take note of the last used for your best-fitting pair of hiking boots so you can use it as a comparison on future purchases.
Feet swell in the evening. That’s a fact. When you consider how thick hiking socks are and how much thicker they get after absorbing sweat, it’s clear that not much room is left over for swelling. It’s good practice to try boots on in the evening to get a better idea of how they’ll fit after a long hike.
If you have particularly long or wide feet, then this tip is especially important. Often, in this case, it’s good to buy a size up to accommodate large feet, thick hiking socks, and evening swelling. Some manufacturers will even have wide foot options in their sizing charts, and you can always check reviews left by others with feet outside of the generic sizes.
Do you crave the smell of fresh air? Are you thinking about planning a camping trip with friends? Check out our other articles to help find the best gear for you.
Hiking is the perfect hobby for those that love movement and scenery. It’s a great way to stay fit, explore your region, and nuture your mental health. And a great pair of shoes will make hiking that much more enjoyable and comfortable.
If you’re just starting to hike, then remember to take it easy at first! The great outdoors is already out there, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So lace up your boots, refill your water bottle, and explore the wondrous wild!
Author: Chadhurst Jainlett Sharpe
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