17 Best Hiking Boots For Men (2021 Guide)

Hiking footwear gets better and more advanced each season of the year. It is truly remarkable when you look at the newest men’s hiking boots made by the top brands. So, what are the best hiking boots for men to get this year? Well, the answer can be different for everyone. The best hiking boots for you will depend on your feet, your hiking style, the hikes you do, the terrain, the trail conditions, and the weather. Spend some time thinking about all of this before you buy.

We spent hours researching. After reviewing each brand’s current offering thoroughly (online and offline) we have isolated the highest quality hiking boots.

These boots typically cost more but for good reason. For a slight increase in price ($20-50 per pair) premium hiking boots deliver way more value than cheaper boots. They last much longer because the materials used are of better quality. Hiking Daily does not think it is fair to promote cheap hiking boots that fall apart. We believe you get what you pay for and think it is important to invest in quality gear. Why pay $100 for boots that last one season or less? In most cases, hiking boots that fall in the $150-175 range will last for a couple of seasons of hiking.

The best men's hiking boots 2021

Okay, let’s take a look at the best hiking boots for men to get right now.

The best men’s hiking boots: Our top picks!

After hours of research and time spent trying on the latest hiking boots for men, these are our top picks.

They are organized from heaviest to lightest in weight (as a pair).

Oboz Men’s Bridger Premium Mid Waterproof

This hiking boot boasts premium materials, new technology, and durable all-leather upper construction that delivers excellent performance on the trails. This hiking boot is a standard width.

  • B-DRY Waterproof
  • Full-grain leather upper is durable
  • Metal hardware keep laces and feet secure
  • Comfort urethane pods under the metatarsals and heels protect your feet from rocks
  • Deep heel cup prevents heel slipping
  • Dual-density EVA O-fit insole
  • Rubber toe cap
  • Granite Peak ACT Impact midsole is durable and provides cushioning
  • Vibram Megagrip Granite Peak outsole is durable and grippy
  • 1286 grams

Salomon QUEST 4D 3 GTX

This hiking boot was designed for comfort over long days on the trails. The Salomon QUEST 4D 3 GTX hiking boot delivers incredible support, stability, and cushioning to keep your feet happy and to reduce fatigue. This is a versatile and durable hiking boot that offers maximum traction on mixed terrain.

  • Waterproof GORE-TEX lining
  • Durable nubuck leather upper
  • Contragrip TD outsole has deep lugs for superior traction on all terrain
  • 4D advanced chassis provides stability and foot control
  • EnergyCell EVA midsole
  • Gusseted tongue to keep out dirt and debris
  • Protective rubber toe cap
  • Lace locker keeps your foot secure
  • 1280 grams

Vasque Breeze AT GTX

Vasque Breeze AT GTX hiking boots are amazing. Very well built. I happen to own the Vasque Breeze AT Low GTX hiking shoes which are exactly the same minus the high cut cuff. After trying all footwear that fits my wide feet it was either going to be the Vasque Breeze AT GTX boots or shoes. Why? They seemed to be the most durable and supportive hiking footwear by far. I am very hard on my footwear so durability and support are key. Otherwise, the lifespan is going to be short. If you are an aggressive fast-moving power hiker that hikes over a variety of terrain these boots are going to be a great option. They perform well and protect feet over rocky terrain for long day hikes. Available in a regular and wide widths.

  • Waterproof with GORE-TEX
  • Durable nubuck leather upper
  • Extra support with TPU shank
  • Excellent foot and toe protection
  • Vibram Contact Grip outsole (exclusive to Vasque)
  • Midsole with EVA cushioning pods
  • 1220 grams in weight

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

For years, Lowa has been known for durable high-quality hiking boots. The Renegade GTX mid is the most popular hiking boot made by Lowa. It is a versatile hiking boot that is suitable for a wide variety of terrain.

  • Waterproof with GORE-TEX lining
  • Durable nubuck leather uppers
  • Double Injection DuraPU midsole is supportive and cushiony
  • Full-length stabilizer provides exceptional underfoot support
  • Vibram Evo outsole delivers amazing traction
  • 1110 grams

Oboz Men’s Bridger Vent Mid Waterproof

This is the flagship hiking boot for men made by Oboz. This boot leans toward a mid-weight style that aims to be very durable and breathable at the same time. It is waterproof and protective.

  • Waterproof and breathable membrane (Oboz B-DRY)
  • Rubber toe cap delivers protection and durability
  • Nubuck and abrasion-resistant fabric upper
  • Tough Granite Peak outsole protects feet from rocks and roots
  • Single density cushiony midsole
  • TPU chassis in midsole protects feet and improves stability
  • Heel cup locks in your foot
  • Standard and wide widths
  • 1100 grams

Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots

The Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots combines a classic styling with lightweight innovation. This boot fits slightly large so you may have to downsize a half size from your regular size.

  • Danner Dry 100% waterproof barrier
  • Vibram SPE (Specialized Performance Elastomer) midsole blends synthetic natural rubber and EVA
  • Vibram Fuga outsole with Megagrip are flexible and durable treads that work in wet or dry conditions
  • Nylon shank provides extra stability
  • Made in the USA hiking boots
  • 1050 grams

HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

Hoka One One claims these hiking boots have the best weight to cushion ratio available. If you want a super comfortable and plush hiking boot for long-distance hikes this may be a great option.

  • GORE-TEX bootie keeps your feet comfortable and dry
  • Soft full-grain waterproof leather upper
  • EVA top layer midsole offers plush comfort
  • Midsole bottom layer is a rubberized foam that delivers durable cushioning and support
  • Adjustable lacing system provides a fantastic locked-in fit
  • Vibram Megagrip super-traction outsole
  • Multi-directional 5mm lugs
  • Metal lace hooks
  • 1030 grams

Keen Men’s Targhee III Waterproof Mid

Keen’s bestselling and iconic Targhee III Waterproof Mid is a versatile all-terrain hiking boot that is durable and comfortable. This hiking boot is also available in a wide width version. This is a solid looking nearly all-leather hiking boot.

  • KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane keeps feet dry
  • Leather and mesh upper is durable and breathable
  • Dual-density compression-molded EVA midsole provides arch support
  • KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole
  • Leather mud shield protects the boot and adds to the durability
  • Speed hooks for easy lacing
  • TPU heel-capture system keeps your foot secure and stable
  • ESS shank provides extra stability
  • Tough internal shank
  • 4mm multi-directional lugs
  • Premium leather that is environmentally sourced
  • 986 grams

Lowa Toro Evo GTX Mid

A brand new modern looking hiking boot that has a lighter weight and a fast athletic feel to it.

  • Waterproof with GORE-TEX lining
  • Nubuck/split leather upper is durable
  • Softer, lightweight, Double Injection DuraPU midsole
  • LOWA Multi Trac outsole
  • 960 grams

Keen Men’s Explore Waterproof Boot

This boot is Keen’s bestselling lightweight hiking boot for men. It is perfect for those that are looking for a protective, supportive and durable lightweight boot. Keen calls it a mashup of a sneaker and hiking boot.

  • KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane keeps feet dry
  • Synthetic mesh upper is breathable with TPU overlay for durability
  • KEEN.All-Terrain rubber outsole delivers great traction.
  • Speed hooks for quick and secure lacing
  • Konnectfit heel-capture system provides a locked-in feel
  • Stability shank supports your foot
  • Notch in back cuff for achilles comfort
  • 4mm multi-directional lugs
  • 940 grams

Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid GORE-TEX

Since the Moab was first launched, more than 20 million pairs have been sold. This is the bestselling Merrell hiking boot and one of the most popular hiking boots overall in the world. Why is this the case? The Merrell Moab 2 mid hiking boots are built for comfort right out of the box. No breaking in required they claim. Well, maybe a few hikes before they start to feel like a true extension of your foot. These boots offer a nice intersection of comfort and durability. If you are wanting Merrell hiking boots get the Moab 2’s.

  • GORE-TEX waterproof membrane keeps feet dry
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper is breathable
  • EVA midsole delivers stability and comfort
  • Merrell air cushion heels
  • Bellows tongue to keep out dirt and debris
  • Protective rubber toe cap
  • Nylon arch shank for support
  • Vibram TC5+ sole with 5mm lugs
  • 936 grams

La Sportiva Saber GTX

The Saber GTX is a versatile, all-terrain, lightweight and comfortable hiking boot for men.

  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining keeps feet dry
  • Suede leather and mesh upper is durable and breathable
  • Rubber toe cap adds durability and protection
  • Multi-directional lugs
  • Brake system lugs (heel lugs reverse direction to help you stop)
  • Injected EVA midsole provides excellent cushioning and comfort
  • Soft yet snug-fitting cuff
  • TPU rear stabilizer
  • 930 grams

Salomon X ULTRA 3 MID GORE-TEX

The X ULTRA MID 3 GTX is a Salomon bestseller. This hiking boot is also for aggressive hikers. The boot performs really well on rocky and technical terrain and descents. The X ULTRA MID 3 GTX is also available in a wide width. All in all a totally fast looking pair of men’s black hiking boots.

This hiking boot is available in a waterproof (not GORE-TEX), non-waterproof, and wide width versions.

  • Waterproof with GORE-TEX
  • PU coated leather and synthetic upper is durable yet breathable
  • SensiFit upper construction keeps your foot snug and secure
  • Gusseted tongue keeps dirt and debris out
  • Salomon advanced chassis provides extra stability
  • Multi-directional lug pattern delivers excellent grip
  • Outsole is made of two types of rubber for awesome grip
  • Protective rubber toe cap
  • Wraparound mudguard
  • 900 grams

La Sportiva Stream GTX

The Stream GTX is a waterproof, lightweight, super breathable ultra-comfortable hiking boot for men by La Sportiva. This is a hiking boot for fast-moving hikers.

  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Surround lining
  • Vibram XS Trek outsole with impact brake system
  • Durable abrasion-resistant mesh upper
  • Nano Cell 2.0 Technology in midsole and footbed maximizes breathability
  • 900 grams

Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

The Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GORE-TEX hiking boot is a great choice for fast-moving hikers. An aggressive lug tread pattern with 5mm lugs delivers fantastic traction.

  • Waterproof GORE-TEX membrane
  • Synthetic mesh upper
  • Bellows tongue to keep debris out
  • Protective TPU toe cap
  • Merrell Air Cushion heel absorbs shock and improves stability
  • Rock plate for underfoot protection
  • Quantum Grip rubber outsole performs on rugged terrain
  • 5mm lug treads
  • Vegan-friendly
  • 788 grams in weight

Vasque Breeze LT GTX

Another superb hiking boot made by Vasque. If you do not like heavy clunky hiking boots and prefer to be quick and nimble then these may be a good pick. A perfect combination of solid traction, comfort, and waterproof fabric to keep your feet dry.

  • Waterproof with GORE-TEX
  • Synthetic abrasion-resistant breathable mesh upper
  • Dual-density compression-molded Enduralast EVA midsole
  • Vibram megagrip outsole
  • 754 grams in weight

Danner Trail 2650 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

The Danner Trail 2650 draws inspiration from the 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. This hiking boot was designed to allow you to move quickly over a wide variety of terrain. It is a lightweight yet durable boot that is available in 19 color options. Very cool.

  • Waterproof
  • Durable suede and lightweight textile upper
  • Ultra-lightweight EVA foam midsole
  • Vibram 460 outsole has deep multi-directional lugs
  • Trailguard TPU shank protects your feet and provides extra stability
  • EXO Heel System locks your heel in place
  • 680 grams

So, there you have it, our top picks for 2021 and beyond. Read on to learn more about what you should consider before you choose a new pair of men’s hiking boots.

What to consider when choosing a hiking boot

To choose the best hiking boot for your feet you must think about a number of factors and circumstances of your future hikes.

  • Terrain (rocky vs. smooth trails)
  • Weather and trail conditions (wet vs. dry)
  • Your ability (strength and fitness level)
  • Fit and foot shape (wide vs. narrow)
  • Components and materials
    • Uppers
    • Midsoles
    • Outsoles/treads
    • Internal support
  • Features of hiking boots that may be helpful (or not)
    • Waterproof or water resistance
    • Ventilation and breathability
    • Durability
    • Protection
    • Cushioning
    • Stability and traction
    • Weight (lightweight vs. mid-weight)

Terrain

Ask yourself where you will be hiking, the types of terrain you will encounter, and what will be the duration of your hikes.

Lightweight or mid-weight hiking boots are a better choice if you plan on hiking longer days or multi-day hiking trips across rocky or root-filled hiking trails. If you are making big gains and descents in elevation the extra support and stability that hiking boots provide will be beneficial.

If you know that you will only hike soft, buttery, flat hiking trails, then a trail running shoe or a hiking shoe might be the better choice.

Weather and trail conditions

Weather is an important consideration and will impact the trail conditions and therefore your feet.

Ask yourself, where are you likely to hike and what are the types of weather you could encounter in that location.

Locations like the Pacific North West can be persistently wet. Destinations like this definitely require a waterproof hiking boot to keep your feet dry and to prevent blisters. Look for hiking boots that have a full leather upper that is treated, or Gore-Tex lining.

Other areas like Colorado or Utah are very hot and dry for much of the year. A hiking boot with leather uppers is likely too hot and will not breathe adequately. Gore-Tex may or may not be necessary. If you plan on hiking at higher elevations you may encounter rainstorms or even snow depending on the month. In these situations, you should probably go for a hiking boot that has a Gore-Tex lining.

In other hiking destinations such as Canada or Europe, weather can vary quite a bit season to season. So, a versatile hiking boot is likely your best bet.

Ability: Strength + Fitness

If you are a more active person or a frequent hiker (you hike several days per week) you are going to have a few more options. Lightweight or mid-weight hiking boots can work since your foot and ankle muscles will be stronger and more developed due to your experience.

If you are a beginner or intermediate hiker, or do not follow a regimented strength or fitness routine, look for a hiking boot that offers greater support and torsional rigidity.

Fit and foot shape

When you try on hiking boots make sure you wear real hiking socks. If you do not have any buy some. They are amazing. You will start wearing your hiking socks as everyday socks.

Get to know your feet. Go somewhere and get your feet measured. You want to know your foot length and width (normal, wide or narrow).

Most brands of hiking boots fit slightly differently. When you try on different brands and pairs of hiking boots take note of how each one feels. Some brands are simply not going to fit your foot. Others are going to feel amazing. Zero in on what fits your foot the best.

What to look out for and how to fit:

  • The foot should feel snug (but not tight)
  • No pressure points or slipping (whatsoever)
  • Finger width of space down the back
  • Toes should not touch the front
  • The heel should not slip up/down or side to side
  • Get the appropriate width

For the best results try on hiking boots later in the day. Feet swell between the morning and the afternoon. If you try on hiking boots in the morning they may feel tight on afternoon hikes and not fit properly.

Components And Materials

There are four main components that make up a hiking boot.

Uppers

The uppers are the top area of hiking boots that holds the laces and connects to the outsole or tread.

Uppers are made out of leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of the two.

Full leather uppers are found on hiking boots designed for long distance trekking adventures. They are very durable and often waterproof if treated and in good condition.

Lightweight hiking boots have uppers that are made of synthetic materials. They are more athletic.

Mid-weight hiking boots have uppers that are part leather and part synthetic materials. They are more versatile and the best option for most people. The leather is durable. The synthetic material is breathable and helps to decrease overall weight.

Midsoles

The midsole is found between the uppers and the outsoles.

The materials used in the midsoles provide both cushioning and support. What is used will determine the stiffness of the hiking boot.

The most common materials used in the midsole are EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and polyurethane.

EVA is softer, lighter, and more cushiony. EVA comes in different densities to provide more support or cushion where needed.

Polyurethane is stiffer and more durable than EVA. Polyurethane is more common in trekking and mountaineering boots.

Internal support

Some hiking boots have internal support that is sandwiched between the midsole and the outsole.

Some hiking boots have shanks that provide extra stiffness and torsional rigidity. This support is helpful when you are carrying a heavy pack.

Hiking boots may also have plates that protect your feet from rocks and roots and prevent bruising.

Outsoles and treads

The outsole is attached to the midsole and is the outer rubber surface found on the bottom of your hiking boots. This is essentially the tread of your hiking boot. The main features of outsoles are the lug tread pattern and the heel break that helps reduce sliding.

Key Features Of Modern Hiking Boots

The next task is to decide what features you will need in a hiking boot.

Waterproof hiking boots

In the past waterproof hiking boots were expensive. This is not the case today.

I recommend getting waterproof hiking boots because wet feet are uncomfortable and can lead to blisters.

There are two options.

The first option is to get hiking boots that have a full leather upper that is treated. Full leather hiking boots are heavy and will tire you out sooner. You also have to “break in” leather hiking boots.

The second option is to go for hiking boots that have a Gore-Tex lining. Hiking boots with Gore-Tex lining are lighter and generally more athletic. For most people, a waterproof hiking boot with a Gore-Tex lining is the best option.

Ventilation and breathability

If you hike in warmer climates or months of the year you will require a breathable hiking boot that has good ventilation.

Hot, sweaty, slimy feet are not an enjoyable experience.

Look for hiking boots with uppers that are partly leather (more durable) and partly made of synthetic materials that will let your feet breathe.

Durability

Hiking is hard on footwear.

Rocks, tree roots, water, snow and other debris damage hiking boots over time. Eventually, your hiking boots will fall apart.

Hiking boots that have the most leather in the upper are going to be the most durable hiking boots. However, more leather used decreases ventilation. Synthetic materials in the upper improve breathability and ventilation.

Look for a hiking boot that has a good blend of leather and synthetic materials in the upper. These are the most versatile hiking boots you can get. Most hiking boot manufacturers attach a leather exoskeleton on top of the breathable synthetic material. The leather exoskeleton wraps the foot in areas that are most prone to abrasion.

A durable outsole is also hugely important if you want your hiking boots to last longer. Vibram soles are known to be tough and durable and are a great option. Many top brands have Vibram soles or their own proprietary equivalent. Get hiking boots that have deeper lug tread patterns.

Protection

Protection is a key feature in a hiking boot. Unless you only hike on soft buttery trails, grass, or roads you need to protect your feet from bruising and injury.

Hiking over rugged or rocky terrain demands foot protection.

A partly leather upper (in key spots) will protect your feet from rocks, sticks, roots and other trail debris.

Some hiking boots have tough rubber protection up front to protect your toes.

Other hiking boots have plates in the midsole to prevent bruising from the pressure of rocks and roots under your feet.

Shanks provide torsional rigidity that helps keep your feet stable and secure when you are carrying a heavier load across more technical terrain.

Cushioning

Cushioning is provided by the EVA midsole. However, you don’t really want a super spongy cushiony midsole in a hiking boot. Some cushioning is important. But it is actually stiffness that is important and what will deliver more comfort over variable terrain and longer hikes. A stiffer midsole will protect your feet and prevent bruising from rocks.

Stability and traction

Maintaining a firm grip on the trails is critical to preventing blisters, muscle strain, and conserving your energy. Slipping around on inadequate soles is slow, not fun, and can be dangerous.

Look for treads that have widely spaced, multi-directional, and deeper (5mm) lug patterns.

Some hiking boots have heel brakes. Heel brakes are clearly defined heel areas of the outsole that will help prevent slipping on steep descents.

Opting for a hiking boot with internal shanks is a good idea if you intend to do multi-day (2-3 days) hikes. The extra stiffness from the shank will give extra support when carrying a heavier backpack.

Weight

The weight of your hiking boots is an important consideration. The heavier the boot, the more quickly you will tire out on the trails or your backpacking adventures. Lighter weight hiking boots are more maneuverable, nimble, and will help to conserve energy so you can go further each hiking day. In this guide, we focus on lightweight hiking boots and mid-weight hiking boots. All of our top picks below are perfect for any day hike or shorter (weekend) backpacking trips.

Okay, now that we know what to consider when picking a hiking boot, let’s take a look at the best hiking boots that are available for this hiking season.

For most of the top brands, we will provide a choice of the best lightweight men’s hiking boot and the best mid-weight hiking boot for men. These two weights of hiking boots are best for most hikers and the majority of trails. Heavier weight boots are for long-distance hiking and trekking and we will examine these types of hiking boots in a separate article.

If you hike often, are strong and in great shape, a lightweight hiking boot is probably better.

If you are a beginner or intermediate hiker, hike occasionally, or don’t do intense physical activity very often, a mid-weight hiking boot that offers more protection and support is probably best for you.

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