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 buying guide reviewed by an experienced outdoor guide for extra tips and tricks for purchasing the right fit for your foot!
My name is 박 (Pak). I am a first-generation Korean American who has worked in the outdoors for 6 years as a guide. Now I'm enjoying traveling around with my bicycle and spending time outdoors with my dog Gaara.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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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.
Hiking sneakers are also a great alternative for those who want to go trail running. Many have a serrated grip for rugged terrain, as well as stiff construction while providing foot protection. Trail runners come in all different types from the light, rugged, and off-trail, depending on where you'll be running.
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!
A downside of choosing a waterproof boot is they take longer to dry out. Once you get water into the boot and it soaks through the material, then the boot will stay wet for a lot longer than a non-waterproof boot. The best way to dry your boots is to wear them, as the heat of your feet while hiking will dry them out quicker.
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.
Some outdoor retailers will allow you to try on the shoes for a hike to see if it's something that you like, and if not, you can return them within a window of time. It is common for companies to update the shoe for the newer model, so if you like a particular boot, try to buy it the same year the boot came out.
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.
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Men's 453 5.5" Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
A Waterproof and Durable Hiking Boot for Long Adventures
Men's Targhee III Waterproof Leather Hiking Shoe
A Lightweight All-Terrain Hiking Shoe
Men's Waterproof Hiking Boots
A Stylish Mid-Boot for Heavy-Duty Use
Granite Ridge Waterproof Boot
Breathable, Low-Rise Hiking Boots for Hiking and Everyday Use
Quest Prime GORE-TEX Men's Backpacking Boot
Gore-Tex Hiking Boots Built Specially for the Outdoors
St. Elias Hiking Boot
A Full-Grain Leather Hiking Boot for Working or Wandering
This hiking boot is made with full-grain leather, and it's lined with Gore-tex, a waterproof and breathable mesh. It also has hooks that make lacing much faster and comes with plenty of cushioning.
A lot of reviewers loved the overall durability and comfortable fit of this book. They also mentioned how great the traction is on slippery terrain.
Other reviews gave lower ratings because of how long the boot takes to be broken in, and a few with wider feet recommended ordering a size up. But this boot remains highly favored for its light weight, aesthetic, and ability to keep feet dry in all types of weather.
This hiking shoe is made for trails and long walks on even terrain. It has a breathable, waterproof lining and added cushioning for stability.
Reviewers liked the durability, and many stated that they have owned pairs for years on end before needing to repurchase. Other reviewers couldn't stop talking about the comfortable insoles.
There were negative reviews due to the soles of the shoe separating from the rest of the shoe over time. However, many reviewers loved the reinforced shoelace grommets and versatile nature of the shoe. They used these shoes for work, hiking, or just around town.
This boot is crafted with suede leather uppers and a memory foam insole for maximum comfort. It also features a toe cap for added durability.
Reviewers loved the precise fit and solid ankle support. Some reviewers warned that those with larger feet should buy a size up. They also noted that the inside of the shoe tends to run hot during long hikes or summer weather.
However, many users praised this boot's toughness. They also confirm that these boots helped keep their feet comfortable and dry! Lastly, The sneaker-like aesthetic of this boot lends itself to running errands and casual events.
These lightweight hiking shoes are a mix of full-grain and micro-fleece, which gives them a good amount of breathability. It also has a lace-up closure for a snug fit and feel. Many reviewers spoke highly about the high level of comfort and waterproof design.
So what's the downside? Some reviewers weren't happy with the squeaky sole when worn indoors or how the toe section of the boot breaks down over time. There was a spattering of sizing troubles as well that resulted in boots being too tight.
All-in-all this boot is well-liked for the comfort, waterproof mesh, and ability to double as a great work shoe.
This waterproof pair of hiking boots boast an exceptionally light build at just under 1.3 pounds, which makes it a contender for long, uphill hikes.
Positive reviews said that the boots were comfortable right out of the box and required very little break-in time. There are only a few negative reviews! The bad reviews it does have are because a few people received boots that weren't quite as durable as the others.
However, the vast majority of reviewers loved the comfort and feel of this hiking boot. They also confirmed that the light weight makes them easy to wear all day.
This watertight hiking boot comes with a flexible sole for everyday use. And because of its ankle support, it's a good choice for heavy backpacking. Plus, it has a Gore-Tex lining for added durability.
Reviewers enjoyed the years of use they got out of their pairs, but some reviewers weren't fans of the plastic shoelace holes or the narrow toe area. Most reviews couldn't stop talking about the fully waterproof material or how warm the inside is in colder climates.
These boots have time and time again been rated one of the best backpacking boots by Backpacker Magazine and even inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2018. With great ankle support, solid underfoot stability, and trusted leather durability, this boot has many of the attributes that make a great boot.
You may have some shoes picked out, but is all of your other hiking gear up to snuff? Here are some of our suggestions.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Danner｜Men's 453 5.5" Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
No. 2: KEEN｜Men's Targhee III Waterproof Leather Hiking Shoe
No. 3: Nortiv 8｜Men's Waterproof Hiking Boots
No. 4: Columbia｜Granite Ridge Waterproof Boot
No. 5: Salomon｜Quest Prime GORE-TEX Men's Backpacking Boot
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