Whether you’re an experienced backcountry hiker or you’re just about to embark on your first well-traveled trail, you need the right gear. And no matter how many fleeces or base layers you wear to brave the elements (and look the part), the most important element is your shoes.
Experienced hikers know that having the right pair of hiking boots can make or break your entire excursion. Unless you want to slip, fall or have wet feet all day, you’ll need a pair of boots that can stand up to almost anything.
Because when you’re hiking, you never know what Mother Nature may throw your way.
Ready to find the right footwear for your next adventure? Here are the 7 best hiking boots for men.
What to Look For in a Hiking Boot
Waterproof boots with minimal traction won’t do you any good. Insulated boots made for cold temperatures won’t do you any good if they don’t keep your feet dry.
If they’re not comfortable, then they’re not even worth considering. And if they don’t support your ankles, then you may as well buy a pair of hiking shoes.
Knowing what to look for is key if you want to get the most bang for your buck and have a pair of boots that will last hike after hike after hike.
Hiking boots need to do four things:
- Keep your feet dry
- Support your ankles
- Keep your feet comfortable
- Provide traction on different types of terrain
Before you buy a pair of hiking boots, make sure they’re right for the type of hiking you plan to do. Our suggestion is to invest in a pair that goes above and beyond your skill level. Why? Because once you start hiking you’ll probably want to keep pushing yourself to traverse more and more difficult trails.
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is loaded with features and details to make every hike more enjoyable. With GORE-TEX to keep your feet dry and an advanced chassis for motion control, these boots make it easy to traverse all sorts of terrain.
They'll help you hike over mud, loose dirt, and even keep your footing when you’re heading downhill on slippery slopes.
Made from PU coated leather for extra-durability, this boot is one of Salomon’s bestsellers, and it’s easy to see why. From protected toe guards and mud flaps to molded insoles, these boots offer the perfect blend of comfort and function at a reasonable price of $165.
Priced at $150, the Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid Hiking Boot is functional, comfortable and eco-friendly. Keen has figured out a way to make this boot waterproof without using PFCs and anti-odorous without the use of heavy metals or harsh chemicals. Pretty cool.
But beyond that, these boots are made for function. Multi-directional lugs offer excellent traction, while mud shields offer added durability and provide for long-lasting use. These boots were basically designed to take a beating.
Nubuck leather uppers, GORE-TEX for waterproofing, and 3D Flex ankles make the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX one of the best hiking boots you can buy. At $199, they’re a bit pricey, but if you’re an adventurous hiker, they’re worth every penny.
These boots are designed for use on varying terrains and feature an Impact Brake System that provides excellent traction and grip. They’ll get you where you’re going whether you’re trekking with a small daypack or carrying a moderate load on your back.
At a price of $135, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a smart investment. These boots are made from performance suede leather and mesh and feature a protective rubber toe cap, a molded nylon arch and a shock-absorbing air cushion in the heel.
Super comfortable and durable, these boots offer stability and support in a waterproof design with 5mm lug soles that provide great traction.
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The Danner Mountain 600 Waterproof Hiking Boot is built for comfort and function. Supportive at the ankle and built with a rubberized EVA midsole for added comfort, these boots have a cool, low profile so you can wear them on the trail or on the street.
Ranging in price from $180 to $220 (depending on the fabric), these boots feature self-adapting lugs that offer excellent traction on wet and dry surfaces. They also come in a slew of color combos so you can find a look that perfectly suits your style.
Super affordable at $90, the Skechers Relment Pelmo is comfortable, functional and waterproof – everything you need in a decent hiking boot. The height will keep your ankles stable, while the flexible rubber outsole provides traction so you don’t slip and fall.
These Skechers feature a relaxed fit that makes them a bit roomier than other hiking boots. They also have a memory foam cushioned insole for extra comfort and a rubber toe bumper for added protection.
Made from genuine leather, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is designed equally for function and for comfort.
Seam-sealed so that rain, muck and mud can’t get in, these hiking boots are PU coated with a lightweight Techlite midsole and excellent cushioning. The rubber outsoles are superior in terms of traction, offering a lot more grip than you might expect from a $90 boot
Whether you’re traversing rocks, grass, or tree roots in the backcountry, these boots will get you where you’re going in comfort (and in style).
What Are the Best Hiking Boots for Men?
Make sure the hiking boots you buy offer durability, traction and water-repellency. Make sure they offer ankle support and that they’re comfortable to wear so you can enjoy the great outdoors for hours, or even days, at a time.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or have unlimited funds, there are excellent hiking boots available at every price point and for every type of hiker.
The hardest part about making the purchase is just deciding which pair to buy!
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