Best Hiking Boots for Men (Our Top 3 Picks of Men's Hiking Boots for 2018)

5 Best Hiking Boots for Men (Our Top Picks for 2018)

Hiking outdoors is an exciting alternative to going to the gym if you want to get some cardio exercise.

A lot of men choose to go hiking not only because of the physical exercise that it provides, but also because of the nice views, fresh air, and sounds of nature.

Hiking in nature has specific health benefits for men's bodies, such as strengthening muscles, decreasing stress, and controlling body weight.

In order to get the most out of a hike, you need to be comfortable. You don't want to be stuck in painful footwear, or be at risk for injury. Also, you don't want to end up with cold, wet feet after walking through water or muddy conditions.

You definitely don't want to have shoes that are made for flat and dry conditions if you are planning a long-term trek with a heavy backpack on the rocky ground.

It is important to know the differences between various types of hiking footwear so you show up to your hike prepared and don't find yourself in a situation where you are stuck with a pair of boots that are essentially useless. Coming here to do your research about men's hiking boots is a great first step to going on successful hikes.

Hiking boots are also an important part of your performance while you're out on the trails. Hiking boots aren't all stiff and heavy like you may think, and they are no longer made in a way that will weigh you down all day.

There are lots of options out there, from lightweight hiking "shoes" to heavier boots. Here, we will look at some options that we have found to be the best hiking boots for men on the market in 2018.

Hiking boots

Show up to your hike prepared by wearing the right hiking footwear.

Different Types of Hiking Boots

There are a few different types of hiking boots to choose from. What you will want depends on the type of hiking you plan to do, and how often you will go hiking.

Hiking Shoes

These refer to low-cut shoes that have flexible midsoles. 

  • These hiking shoes are great for day hikes, and some people even like to wear them when they are not hiking.
  • They can also be used for light backpacking, even if you are planning to go a long distance.
  • They are great for trails that are smooth and dry.
  • They will likely need to be replaced more often than day-hiking boots and backpacking boots.

Day-Hiking Boots

These are a bit heavier and range from mid- to high-cut. Some people also choose to wear these on a regular basis, but that is not as common as wearing hiking shoes.

  • They give the ankle a bit more support than hiking shoes.
  • They are perfect for day hikes or light backpacking trips.
  • Day-hiking boots flex easily, and don't require a lot of time to break in, meaning they are comfortable during the first few uses.
  • These boots are not as supportive or durable as strong backpacking boots.

Backpacking Boots

These are designed to be used when you are carrying heavy loads, or if you are planning to go on a trip that will last multiple days.

If you regularly do some heavy-duty hiking, it is best to go ahead and spend the money on the type of shoe that you will need.

  • Most backpacking boots have a high cut that supports the ankles by wrapping above them. The laces go up the high ankle to provide ample support.
  • These men's hiking shoes are durable, provide great overall support, and have a stiffer midsole. Making them appropriate for travel both on and off the trails.
  • These boots should absorb impact, stabilize your feet, and promote a healthy and correct stride.
  • This type of footwear is more heavy-duty than hiking shoes or day-hiking boots.
  • These boots will tend to be a bit more expensive than the others.
  • These boots need to be broken in before using them for long hikes.

If you regularly do some heavy-duty hiking, it is best to go ahead and spend the money on the type of boots that you will need.

Don't have time to read the entire men's hiking boots review?

Here's a quick look at our top picks for best hiking boots for men.

How to Choose the Best Men's Hiking Boots

Know Your Size

Hiking boots should be snug, but not tight. You should be able to move your toes around in the toe box when you are wearing them. It is best to try on your hiking boots at the end of the day before buying them because this is when your feet swell. Also, make sure to bring the socks that you plan to wear hiking to the store when you are trying on shoes.

In order to truly know your boot size, it is important to have your foot's length, width, and arch length correctly measured using a specially calibrated fitting device at a sporting goods store. It is also helpful to know your foot volume, which can also be assessed by an expert at a relevant store.

Tying up laces of hiking boots

Knowing your foot size helps you choose the best pair of hiking boots

When trying boots on in the store, spend some time walking around in them. Find some stairs and inclines to experiment on, and make sure that the shoes are comfortable as you are making your way through the store.

There are also sizing charts available online that can help you determine your size. If you choose to use a chart online, it is best to double-check your size by removing the insoles and standing on top of them.

It is best to leave yourself about half an inch of space at the toe of the shoe to ensure they are not too tight. If you use this method and are buying your shoes online, it is still best to stick with a brand that you are familiar with so you will have an idea of how their shoes fit you.

Once you get your new hiking boots, be sure to break them in before going on your first hike. This will help them become sized specifically for your feet, and reduce your chances of getting a blister while you are on a hike. As much as hikers want to have their boots fit perfectly right when they buy them, this is rarely the case. Hopefully, your boots will need minimal breaking in.

Consider Your Hiking Environment

Are you going to be hiking trails that tend to be wet and muddy, or full of roots that you might trip on? Or are your trails pretty well-maintained and often relatively dry?

It is important to think about the kind of hiking you are doing so you don't buy a hiking shoe that is not supportive enough, or alternatively, buy a hiking boot that is too heavy and will just weigh you down.

men's hiking boots

Think about the kind of hiking you are doing so you buy the best hiking boots for your needs.

You want to be able to be light on your feet so you can dodge any obstacles that come your way, but you also want to be well-supported in case you step on a root or are on a slippery surface.

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Sketchy trails will require you to have heavier boots for stability, and the ability to withstand wear and tear. Their soles need to be able to handle the abuse from both rocks and roots, so you can spare your feet that burden.

Are you considering only beautiful forest trails and paved nature trails? If so, you won't need the warmth and protection of a heavy-duty boot.

How to Break In Your Hiking Boots

Breaking boots in is a process.

1. Plan ahead. Don't try to do it in one day, right before your hike.

2. You can break your boots in by walking inside, so you are just using them lightly. You don't have to break them in on hiking trails.

3. Once they feel good when you are walking inside, wear them a bit outside, but take it slow.

4. Start to increase your walk time, and find some hills, gravel, and grass to give your boots the final test.

Consider Frequency of Hiking

If you are going to be using your men's hiking boots often, you will want to buy some that are durable. While this means you will be spending more money up front, it also means that you will have more time in between purchases to enjoy your hiking boots. You will typically get what you pay for, so if you want to buy a pair of boots to use for the long term, you will likely be spending the money for them.

Also, how fast do you think you will be going? Are you planning a slow and steady walk, or a speed hike? Lightweight boots will help you maintain a fast pace. This is great if you are trying to get a lot of miles finished in one day.

Three Best Hiking Boots for Men

There is a wide spectrum of footwear to choose from if you plan to go hiking, so there is a lot to consider. These three options are what we fin​​​​d to be the best on the market today, in terms of value and usefulness.

These hiking boots for men are the most comfortable for long haul hikes. They come with high traction Contagrip® soles, which make them especially great for slippery conditions. These boots also have a protective toe cap and high support for ankles, so your ankles will be protected from rolling during your hike.

These boots use GORE-TEX waterproof protection to allow your feet to stay dry no matter what kind of weather you are hiking in. They also offer extra stability and protection with their Salomon 4D chassis.

The Salomen Men's Hiking boots are not all about practical applications. They also can be a bit fashionable. These boots come in a variety of colors to fit anyone's personal style. As with many other boots, it is best to order one size higher than your typical shoe size when wearing these boots.

While these boots are not insulated, many people have found that they still protect their feet from the cold. Even though these boots are built to be lightweight and breathable, they can still be used in cold temperatures. If you have your own shoe inserts that you prefer, you can remove the inserts that come with these hiking boots and replace them with your own.

PROS

CONS

  • These boots have a short break-in period.
  • Very durable.
  • Great ankle support.
  • Great lacing system.
  • Can handle the heavy weight of a backpack.
  • Easy to put on and remove.
  • Laces come loose while hiking.
  • The seams start to wear out first.
  • Too narrow for some people.
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    Some find these are too stiff for light hiking.

These men's hiking boots have the best waterproofing system. The waterproof Nubuck leather works together with a hydrophobic mesh lining for optimal durability and breathable comfort.

The waterproof technology used in these boots keeps water out, no matter how wet your hike may be. The lugged outsole also grips to a wide variety of terrains, allowing the user to stay safe throughout their hike.

Some users report buying these boots after seeing their waterproofing ability with their hiking partners. They are also well known for their gripping ability, no matter how steep or wet a trail is. People enjoy that these boots easily slip on and off, and they are comfortable enough to wear even if you are not going out for a hike.

PROS

CONS

  • Great waterproofing.
  • Very light and comfortable.
  • Short break-in time.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Not as durable as other boots.
  • Soles become loose after a little while.
  • Lacing eyelets tend to rip.

These are the best hiking boots for men and for people who are new to hiking. Having a great, affordable beginner boot can help people figure out the features that they want to spend more money on or focus on more in the future.

These best hiking boots for men are made with polyurethane coated leather, suede, mesh material, and metal hardware. Polyurethane-coated leather is typically more firm and durable than ethylene vinyl acetate, so it is usually found in boots that are used for extended backpacking or mountaineering.

They have a Techlite lightweight midsole that allows the user to be comfortable during a long hike. These shoes also have great cushioning, and provide the user with high energy return.

The non-marking traction rubber in these boots makes them ideal for breaking in indoors before taking them out on the trail. They are made with a rich, all-over leather that allows them to have a premium outdoor feel.

The newton ridge that is featured in these boots, along with their waterproofing ability, helps to seal out moisture while still being breathable. These hiking boots for men also have a shank under the arch, which helps them deliver support and stability where people need it the most. The Omni grip® outsole has great traction that is specifically designed to remove mud.

These boots are made of Nubuck leather, which is full-grain leather that has been slightly manipulated to resemble suede. It is durable and water-resistant, as well as being tough against abrasion. Nubuck leather is relatively flexible, and will only get more flexible with time and use.

PROS

CONS

  • Lightweight.
  • Short break-in time.
  • Comfortable enough for everyday use.
  • Not great for long hiking trips.
  • The laces are a bit short.
  • Not great for people who have wide feet.

The Timberland White Ledge Men's Waterproof Boots are the most popular hiking boots on Amazon. It is also Timberland’s best-selling hiking boots.

These boots have premium waterproof leather and have padded collars that make hiking in them comfortable. The footbeds are made of removable dual-density EVA, making for lightweight cushioning. Multidirectional traction lugs with B.S.F.P.™ motion efficiency system make it easy to navigate various types of terrains.

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PROS

CONS

  • Versatile and flexible
  • Lightweight even if it made of all leather
  • Zero break-in time reported by many buyers
  • Tongue of boot may be too thick for some
  • Some report that boots are not true to size
  • Not great for people with big toes

Danner Men's Portland Select Light Brawler Hiking Boots is a USA-made hiking boot. It has synthetic soles and 100% waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX lining and Vibram outsoles provides great traction on both wet and dry surfaces and super shock absorption. It also features wider platforms for increased stability underfoot.

PROS

CONS

  • Lightweight.
  • Detailed design
  • Limited to one color
  • Not true to size. Manufacturer recommends sizing down a half size for the best fit.

Conclusion

The clear winner of this hiking boots for men roundup is the Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot. Seeing as these are the most comfortable boots on long hikes, they are the most versatile option, and well worth the investment.

These hiking shoes for men offer great protection, meaning they can be worn on any kind of trail that you might encounter. Their high ankles provides a lot of support so users can feel safe when hiking on treacherous terrain. The waterproofing protection is very secure, which also allows users to be comfortable in any hiking conditions.

Because these come in a variety of colors, there are lots of options for people to choose from to pick a pair that they feel are attractive. While users should still try these boots on before purchasing them, they typically run true to size, which is helpful for people who do not have access to a sporting goods store.

People have found that these hiking boots for men last them well over 1,000 miles of hiking. The boots were built to take a beating, so they really live up to the hopes and expectations of any hiker.

If you are serious about hiking, it is important to take your comfort into consideration and invest in a pair of boots that will last you a long time and keep you safe. Get a pair of Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boots today so you can start improving your hiking experience.

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