If hiking is your thing, you will need a quality hiking boot to take you up and down the trail. The best hiking boots for men will go as far as you do, but what makes a good hiking boot? High-quality hiker boots will have a variety of features that make hiking an enjoyable experience, such as comfy insoles, leather uppers, and slip-resistant, rubber outsoles.
Apart from that, there are other features to suit your unique needs, depending on your location and hiking style. In this comprehensive guide, we explain what makes an excellent hiking boot and advise on how to choose the best pair for you, so keep on reading to find out more.
Timberland's Hyperions are some of the best hiking boots for men on the market for a reason. They are lightweight, allowing you to conquer the trail without too much effort. Their molded EVA midsoles and unique anti-fatigue technology make sure you stay comfortable regardless of what the road throws at you.
Apart from that, their uppers are made from high-quality leather paired with a waterproof membrane, keeping your feet dry and safe when things get wild. These hiking boots are highly durable due to their abrasion-resistant features, such as Ever-Guard leather backstay. What’s more, they have alloy safety toes, keeping your toes safe in challenging conditions without added weight.
You won’t need much time to break your Hyperions thanks to flexible cement construction. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about unpleasant odors thanks to the mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment. Because of their Vibram outsoles, these hiking boots offer superior traction on challenging surfaces - they can hike as long as you do.
These Carhartt hiker boots can be used both for hiking and work, as they feature durable steel toes for impact and compression resistance. They’ll support you all day due to the enhanced footbed and arch. When we say all day, we mean it - these hiking boots for men are designed to be lightweight and flexible.
The best hiking boots for men are often made with linings that wick the sweat away and fight unpleasant odors, and that’s exactly what this boot offers. Whether you’re going for a short hike or a hiking marathon, these boots will keep you comfortable while reducing foot fatigue thanks to the cushioned, shock-absorbing insoles.
Vicious boots are some of the best hiking boots for men because of their versatility - you can wear them when hiking outdoors or working indoors. With these boots, you’ll stay on your feet no matter where you go thanks to their slip- and oil-resistant outsoles, offering traction on various surfaces. All-day comfort is guaranteed as they also feature dual-density EVA midsoles, absorbing shock with each step.
Danner always puts quality first, and Vicious boots are no exception - they are made from durable full-grain leather and feature Gore-Tex liners to provide the best hiking experience and keep your feet dry and breathing. You won’t have to worry about complicated lace systems as with these boots all you need to do to tighten them is one tug. They also feature a 90º heel to support you in your steep adventures.
Pittsburgh hiking boot is both tough and comfortable while keeping you on your feet in the great wilderness. It features an asymmetrical steel safety toe for added comfort and protection against impact and compression and a stability plate for support. What adds to stability and support is a 90º heel and a slip-resistant outsole, providing unparalleled traction on different terrains.
Dual-density EVA and PU midsoles reduce fatigue, while a breathable, waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry. Moreover, their uppers are made from leather, ensuring durability for years to come.
Chippewa Cross Terrain hiker boots for men feature flexible, slip-resistant rubber outsoles with large lugs for maximum stability on different surfaces. They are also waterproof, keeping your feet dry in wet and muddy conditions.
These high-quality hiking boots also have nano composite toes for protection against impact and compression, keeping your feet safe in case something heavy falls on your toes while on your hiking journey. Moreover, they feature the Ortholite removable insert to offer support and comfort with each step you take.
The Best Hiking Boots for Men: Buying Advice
While there are many quality hiking boots for men out there, they won’t all suit every hiker. For that reason, it’s vital to know what to look for in a boot to ensure it will fit your hiking style, terrain, and personal preferences. That said, here’s what to consider before choosing your perfect pair of hiking boots.
The Weight of Your Hiking Boots Matters
- Lightweight hiking boots: As the name suggests, lightweight hiker boots are light and flexible. Still, they are strong enough to take you hiking for hours. Typically, these boots feature waterproof liners and are made from nylon, mesh, and leather combined. This makes them less expensive than their heavier counterparts but also less durable. While they offer considerable support, they may not be the best choice if you’re carrying a weighty backpack. But if you need a boot that will let you walk freely, a lightweight one is your best bet.
- Midweight hiking boots: Midweight hiking boots can carry you and your heavier backpack on longer journeys without adding too much weight. Although they are stiffer than their lighter counterparts, midweight hiking boots are still comfortable enough to allow you to enjoy your hike. Besides that, they are often made from higher-quality materials such as Gore-Tex, keeping your feet dry without sacrificing breathability.
- Heavyweight hiking boots: Heavy hiking boots are typically more durable and reliable than lighter options as they are often made from full-grain leather and Gore-Tex for increased abrasion resistance and high performance in wet and snowy conditions. These boots are usually used for long hiking journeys with heavy loads through demanding trails. However, you will likely need to break them in before hitting the trail to avoid any discomfort.
Hiking Boots Need to Provide Stability
Hiking boots are made to provide stability as they often feature a shank of different lengths depending on use. When a boot is stiff, the heel won’t drop when climbing, reducing fatigue. For this reason, the toughest boots are often the stiffest. That said, you need to find a hiking boot that will offer enough stability for the terrain you’re going to wear them on.
If you’re planning to hike on less demanding, flatter terrain and move fast, you may want to check out lightweight boots that offer high levels of flexibility. Moving to steeper terrain and heavier backpacks, you will want a midweight hiking boot that will take you where you’re heading without adding too much weight. However, if you’re up for conquering rocky trails, your best bet is heavier hiker boots, as these will give you the stability and protection you need when things get wild.
Most hiking boots for men are waterproof to keep your feet dry in wet conditions. Typically, they feature Gore-Tex or some other type of liners plus an additional water-repellent layer to shed water more effectively.
Although most hiker boots offer water resistance, it doesn’t mean they are the best option for all hikers out there. For example, if you live in a dry and hot area, waterproof boots will add unnecessary weight and make your feet hot and sweaty, making your hiking experience miserable.
However, if you live in an area where rain, snow, and mud are possible, your safest bet is to get a pair of waterproof hiking boots. What’s more, these will keep your feet warm when temperatures drop. However, if you hike in extremely cold weather, make sure to get a pair of insulated boots.
Still, waterproofing affects breathability, even more so if combined with full-grain leather. So, if breathability is your concern, you may want to opt for a boot made from mesh and nylon.
Lacing Systems Play a Vital Role
If a boot’s lacing system isn’t good, you will have to adjust them frequently or experience discomfort. If the problem is in the laces themselves, you can simply replace them with better ones.
However, if the issue is in the lacing system, you will probably need a new pair of boots. While a single-pull lace design is pretty convenient, it’s harder to tailor the fit. This can, in turn, cause discomfort when heading on longer journeys with heavier loads. For this reason, you may want to look for locking hooks, as these hold the laces much better, maximizing both performance and comfort.
Hiking Boot Uppers to Suit Your Needs
Hiking boots are typically made from leather or synthetic materials. While synthetic materials are lighter and more breathable, they are not as durable and supportive as leather. Moreover, leather adjusts to your feet, making them more comfortable in the long run. You can also find hybrid options where durability and lighter weight merge.
Hiking Boot Midsoles: EVA or PU?
The midsoles sit between the insole and outsole, absorbing shock and providing support and cushioning. Generally, they are made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) or PU (polyurethane).
EVA is a soft foam offering maximum comfort. However, it’s not as durable as its firmer counterpart. PU may be less comfortable. However, it offers more support and shock absorption under heavy loads.
Insoles for the Right Fit
If you feel like the boots don’t fit quite right, the problem is likely in the insoles. For this reason, it’s recommended to remove your insoles and replace them with an aftermarket model that suits your foot’s shape. This way, you can enhance the fit under the arch and boost or reduce the shock absorption.
Hiking Boot Outsoles for Better Traction
Hiking boots typically feature rubber outsoles to provide traction and keep you on your feet on challenging terrain. The deeper the lugs, the better the grip and debris shed.
There are two types of rubber used in outsoles - soft and hard. Soft rubber is stickier, making them an excellent option for climbing. However, it’s not as durable as harder rubber. For this reason, most manufacturers make outsoles using medium-soft rubber to get the best of both worlds.
Do You Need Safety Toe Caps?
Many hiking boots feature safety toe caps to keep your toes protected if a branch falls on your toes or you hit a rock. However, not all hiking boots have this feature, making them a lighter option, but sacrificing protection along the way.
Which Size Do You Need?
When it comes to hiking boots, you may want to go a half size up as feet tend to swell during long hikes. You will also want to think about the socks you’ll be using, as thick socks tend to take up more space. Aftermarket insoles are another consideration to ponder upon, as these also tend to take up more room than the standard ones. If you need to choose between a slightly bigger boot and a smaller one, it’s always better to go bigger.
Break In Your Hiking Boots
While you likely won’t need to break in lighter hiking boots, it’s still recommended to wear them at least a few hours before your adventure to make sure they fit properly. However, heavier boots, especially those that feature safety toes, need a break-in period to make sure they are comfortable and won’t cause blisters.
For this reason, ensure to buy your new hiking boots at least a week or two before your trip and wear them for as long as possible to soften them up.
Should You Waterproof your Hiking Boots?
Waterproof boots do prevent moisture from seeping into your boot, but not even they are entirely waterproof. During extended exposure to water, it will eventually find a way to get into your boot and to your feet. That’s why you should regularly apply waterproofing treatments to keep your boots sealed and your feet dry.
Get Your Pair of Quality Yet Affordable Hiking Boots
Hiking boots need to be of high quality to serve you for years to come without sacrificing comfort. When buying your new pair, make sure to first understand what you need from a boot. Will you hike in wet and cold conditions or dry and warm? What’s the terrain like - flat or rocky and steep?
If you hike in wet areas, make sure to buy a waterproof pair to keep your feet dry. And if plan to hike on challenging terrain with a heavy backpack, keep your feet protected with tougher, heavier boots. On the flip side, if you’re going on a lighter adventure, you may want to choose a more flexible, lighter boot that will take you where you’re going without adding too much weight.
Once you understand what type of hiking boots you need, check out our collection of hiker boots and find your pair at a discounted price. We sell footwear from renowned brands like Timberland and Danner, so you can rest assured they don’t lack quality.