The best hiking boots for men 2020: Toughness and style combined

From traversing the tundra to dog walks in the park, we run through the best boot options for every hiker
The best hiking boots for men 2020

Getting hold of the right pair of boots for trekking is essential. Pick some that don’t quite fit, make your feet sweat or have the grip of a pair of plimsoles and that that 10-mile yomp home is going to feel significantly longer.

There are loads of factors to consider when choosing the right pair of boots, and understanding the sorts of terrain and weather that you’ll most likely be using them in can make your decision much easier.

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If you're heading for a full day's hike up a mountain in winter, you're going need a pair of boots that are far more hard-wearing than what you’d take on a two-hour flat walk in the middle of summer.

Fabric vs leather

At one end of the hiking boot spectrum you have light fabric pairs designed for comfort, and at the other, you have thick leather options that will offer more support and protection against the cold. Fabric pairs are better suited to warm and dry conditions, whilst the leather products out there are often built to help you up some of the toughest of snow-covered mountains.

Here we run through our choices for the best options out there at the moment, from light and breathable to full-on winter trek boots.

On average, a good pair of hiking boots built to last will set you back in the region of $120 to $300. Cheaper options are available, but, depending on the level of hiking you’re planning to do, it’s an investment that sits right at the top of the hikers checklist.

The best hiking boots for technical hikes

If you're heading into the mountains and expecting to take on tough terrain and even some scrambling, you need a pair of boots that are both durable and offer a high level of grip. These boots are focused on the technical side of hiking, offering protection and strength when you need it.

Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-Tex

The best hiking boots for men 2019: Toughness and style combined

Salewa is first and foremost a company that designs kit for mountaineering and climbing, so it'll come as no surprise that these shoes are designed for the toughest ascents and descents.

Although this guide is focussed on hiking and trekking shoes, we've included this offering from Salewa due to the fact that it bridges a wide gap between trekking and alpinism – providing an excellent option if you're at the more serious end of trekking world and often find yourself scrambling.

As well as being built with the high level of durability that you'd expect from an approach shoe, the MTN Trainer Mid GTX is designed to also offer flexibility and comfort, not only for shorter ascents and descents but for full-day hikes.

Features include a protective rubber rand that sits high above the foot for protection from rocks, a special lacing system that extends all the way to the toes to allow a nice secure fit, a collar design that adapts to varied movement for a natural and relaxed fit and a compact Vibram sole for a high level of support and traction.

If you're looking for a nice comfortable walking boot then scroll down this list. However, if you want a pair of all-terrain beasts that will tackle the most advanced alpine treks and scrambles but still offer comfort during a hike, they're great value for money.

Weight: 3.1lbs /1.4kg

Scarpa R-Evo GTX

Best hiking and trekking boots for men

Aside from the fact that the R-Evo GTX is a really nice-looking modern shoe, the major plus point here comes from a design that focuses heavily on the technical aspects of hikes. Essentially that comes down to the fact that everything from the high level of ankle support to a very impressive amount of technical traction delivers a boot that's not far off mountaineering levels.

As well as great durability and effective Gore-Tex waterproofing goes, the boot will keep your foot firmly held in place over technical terrain. However, there is a trade-off and if you're looking for something that's comfortable and breathable over less demanding terrain, the R-Evo GTX is probably going to be overkill. One negative feature to note is that it also has very thin laces that can be tricky to use.

Weight: 2.9lbs / 1.3kg

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX hiking boots

Best Hiking boots for men

If you’re looking for a pair of boots that’ll keep safe and dry in the toughest conditions, the Quest 4D 3s are our top choice by a long way. Perfect for long hikes carrying heavy loads and, thanks to a fancy new lug design, technical scrambles on wet surfaces.

Salomon has managed to create a boot that combines a really tight level of support with a chassis that allows for a surprising amount of flexibility in the forefoot. The result is a product which moves like a mountaineering boot but actually feels like a more general walking boot over a longer distance.

Other nice features include impressively effective Gore-Tex waterproof sealing, artificially treated antibacterial footbeds and a very smooth lacing system that probably helps to explain the supportive feel of the boot.

Weight: 2.8lbs / 1.28kg

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

The best hiking boots for men 2019

The Renegade is a terrific multifunctional boot that’s suitable for pretty much any kind of walking, trekking or climbing you want to do, but it truly excels on less technical trails, and those who do spent most of their scrambling up peaks might be more at-home in a dedicated climbing boot.

A Gore-Tex lining ensure your feet will stay dry at all times, and Lowa’s MONOWRAP web is also integrated into the nubuck leather upper of the boot to provide support for the foot that’s both secure and comfortable. The outsole of the shoe is made from Vibram’s reliable runner, which is impressively durable and adept at finding grip on any kind of terrain.

At just over a kilo the Renegade is also light enough to use for day walks, or even strolls around town in inclement weather, especially as the simple style of the boot fits in as well on the high street as it does the trails. There’s also no breaking in period required with the boot, which is comfortable to wear straight out to the box.

Weight: 2.44lbs / 1.11kg

The best hiking boots for multi-day hikes

For multi-day hikes, whether that's in the mountains or on the flat, you need a pair of boots that are comfortable, protective and offer a high level of durability.

Danner Mountain 600

Best Hiking boots for men

When it comes to boots that tick all the boxes, from daily wear to serious hiking, Danner is the brand to beat. The Mountain 600 manages to combine the functional requirements needed on tough terrain with a design that mixes a classic hiking look with modern stylings.

The distinctive full-grain leather upper offers support without stiffness, plus 100% waterproofing as well as an impressive grip via the Vibram outsole. Add to that the fact that they’re also one of the comfiest pair of boots we’ve tried – without any need to wear them in – and you’re looking at a formidable option for anyone looking to invest in a great pair of boots that’ll do the job in most scenarios. They’re not designed for technical mountaineering though, so don’t expect them to do everything.

Weight: 2.4lbs / 1.1kg

Note: Look at getting a half size down as the Danner range tends to run slightly larger.


Best hiking and trekking boots for men

HOKA ONE ONE’s hiking range has taken everything the company knows about running shoes, from the comfort and cushioning to the outside-of-the-box modern design, and created an impressive range of boots that cover a wide audience of hikers.

The Sky Kaha is by far our favourite part of the collection. Sturdy, hardwearing boots that can tackle the toughest terrain while still feeling like you’re wearing something a lot lighter. Aesthetically, the Sky Kaha is, like most of HOKA ONE ONE’s products, a modern (chunky) take on a concept, with the thick outsole an acquired taste for some people.

The Vibram Megagrip traction on the outsole is extremely effective on wet slippy surfaces and the soft eVent bootie keeps your feet secure and dry whilst still feeling light and airy. A smart, innovative piece of kit which has managed to make an item of high-level technical gear look remarkably modern and stylish.

Weight: 2.2lbs / 1.0kg

Keen Karraig hiking boots

Best Hiking boots for men

To be honest, there’s not one major standout element from the Karraig, but that really isn’t a bad thing. Where some boots excel in one area, the Karraig is just a strong player across the board. The waterproof leather outsole comes up nice and high on the leg which, twinned with the interestingly effective lace locking ‘eyelets’, makes for a sturdy fitting shoe that doesn’t feel noticeably tight. They’ve also managed to design a shoe that looks aesthetically pleasing whilst still giving the appearance that you could happily wander over all manner of painful objects.

The deep lugs on the rubber outsole make the Karraig a great option for wet and muddy trails whilst the breathable mesh, twinned with a slightly generous shape, make them one of the best options for people with wider feet. They're also made with a handy probiotic technology that naturally breaks down sweaty odours – one that aims to be safe for the environment too, so no heavy metals or hazardous chemicals.

Weight: 3.1lbs / 1.4kg

Mammut Trovat Guide II High GTX

Best Hiking boots for men

The Trovat Guide II are the closest you’re going to get to full-on mountaineering boots whilst still retaining a level of comfort that you need for long-distance hiking. That said, they fit firmly at the technical end of the spectrum, so what you gain from grip, waterproofing and hard-wearing materials, you lose in comfort.

If you’re looking for multi-day hikes over nice comfortable trails, then there are far better options in the list. If, however, you want a pair of boots to cover you for a tricky series of technical day hikes, they’re a great investment for your boot cupboard.

As looks go, the design fits firmly in the classic style of older hiking boots, although there have been some subtle updates to modernise them. However, from a functional aspect, there’s a lot the Trovat Guide II have to be proud of: double heel straps and special cushioned foam to help prevent blistering, a three-zone lacing system for a secure feel and a level of waterproofing that is one of the best we’ve seen.

They’re also strap-on crampon compatible, which is a major bonus for any serious hikers out there who often hit colder routes.

Weight: 3.5lbs / 1.6kg

The best hiking boots for mid-level hiking

If you're the kind of hiker that likes to spend a few hours out in the wilderness instead of a few days, you need a comfortable and lightweight boot that still has a good level of durability and protection.

Merrell Men's Ontario Mid Waterproof

Best Hiking boots for men

Much like the Danner Moutain 600s, the Ontarios are an all-rounder shoe that bridge the gap between mid-level hikes and smart modern design. As looks go, they’re a long way from the older, bulkier styles of boot out there and their weight in comparison to how sturdy and functional they are is extremely impressive.

Incorporated into the deceptively streamlined design are a lot of clever technical features. The M Select impermeable membrane, twinned with the full-grain leather upper, will keep your feet dry in the toughest of conditions, whilst the inner lining has antibacterial micro-agents to stop odours from developing.

The Vibram Megagrip outsole is also true to its word, offering a reliable grip on the trickiest wet and dry surfaces. All packed into a boot that’s surprisingly stable and supportive considering how lightweight it is. For those with a heavy focus on the style of the shoe, they also come in a range of colorways.

Weight: 2.1lbs / 0.9kg

Jack Wolfskin Force Striker Texapore Mid

The best hiking boots for men 2020: Toughness and style combined

The Force Striker Texapore is a formidable hiking boot that's best suited to day hikes across varied terrain. The sturdy build and comfortable design, twinned with some hefty technical design features, make it a great option if your outdoor excursions take you from long days covering high mileage to shorter hikes up mid-level terrain.

As well as offering a good level of waterproofing, even when you find yourself stepping into hidden bogs, that same outer membrane is also designed to be breathable, which makes long walks on hotter days significantly more enjoyable.

Those hefty technical features we mentioned include a Force Plate in the forefoot to improve cushioning and stability and Reflex Foam in the EVA midsole, which helps take the edge off when you're out walking all day. There's also the addition of TPU welding on the side and the front which helps maintain a strong, sturdy feel, despite the flexible feel of the lightweight upper.

The Vibram outsole grip does a good job at tackling rocky ascents as well as holding their own over wet, slippy ground. For scrambling and clambering up heavily muddy mountainsides, the lug length isn't as long as we'd have liked.

Weight: 2lbs / 0.9kg


Best Hiking boots for men

As hiking boots go, the Sky Toa packs an awful lot into a minimally designed piece of footwear. The majority of the marketing surrounding the Sky Toa is focused towards the idea of speed hiking, a concept tailored towards those hikers that want a balance between light kit and those features that hikers want in an effective boot.

In reality, the Sky Toa fits into a world between hiking boots and hiking shoes, offering more support than the latter but taking a hit on being super light as a result. That’s not a bad thing though, as the result is a boot that’s sturdy enough for the cold and wet of the mountains but offers the wearer the freedom to move a lot faster than they would do in a significantly more technical boot.

Weight: 1.9lbs / 0.8kg

Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Best hiking and trekking boots for men

As you'd probably expect from Arc’teryx, the Bora2 is by far the most creative and distinctive design we've seen for a while. The most important feature of this mid to light hiking boot is the inclusion of a clever removable liner that can be swapped out depending on the weather or terrain you're planning on tackling. The other benefit of this, and it's a big one for anyone who wears their boots a lot, is that you can wash it separately from the boot itself.

As well as being one of the lighter shoes on the list, the inventive design offers a sort of gator effect with the waterproof liner securely covering the whole foot and leg from water. The outer is an extremely hardwearing piece of kit designed to deal with scuffs and scrapes on the outside, while the Vibram sole offers an impressive level of technical handling across tough terrain.

Ingenuity doesn't come without a price, however, and the Bora2 is an expensive bit of kit. The build and replaceable inner do make it a long-lasting and durable investment if you're willing to spend the money though.

Weight: 2.4lbs / 1.1kg

On Cloudrock Waterproof

Best hiking and trekking boots for men

When it comes to running shoes there aren't many brands that have continued to release as many exciting and innovative new products as On. In 2019 that creativity saw the company take things a step further as it launched its first product for hikers an walkers; the Cloudrock Waterproof.

As you'd expect from On, the boot is a beautifully designed piece of kit – both aesthetically and functionally – taking a heap of tried and tested features from the running shoe range and developing them into a lightweight product made for speed-hiking on tough terrain.

As well as an impressive waterproof membrane that'll cover you for the wettest of hikes, the design incorporates On's Missiongrip rubber outsole, a soft-terrain feature used in the popular Cloudventure trail range. That, combined with a very comfortable fit, makes the Cloudrock one of the best options for day and weekend hikes across muddy and wet ground. We've used them for a number of long-distance walks across the UK countryside and have been consistently impressed with the comfort and the protection.

We have, however, found that the lugs aren't particularly good when walking across slippery, rocky surfaces, so if you're looking for a boot that'll handle more technical routes, they aren't the best option on the list.

Weight: 2lbs / 0.9kg

Danner Trail 2650 GTX Mid

The best hiking boots for men 2019: Toughness and style combined

Inspired by the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail in the US, the 2650 GTX Mid is built to offer a high level of support and durability whilst still being lightweight, especially in comparison to some of the bulkier hiking boots out there.

As anyone who has ventured the Pacific Crest Trail would know, the terrain across the length of the hike is incredibly varied. Danner has created the 2650 GTX to tackle that changing landscape, designing a mid boot that offers a nice balance between long hot walks and cold wet hikes.

Aside from an impressive level of roominess and breathability – an essential if you're planning on doing long-distance hikes, the 2650 GTX Mid comes with a heap of technical features to keep you covered in some of the toughest situations. As well as GORE-TEX lining, to fend off the rain and ground moisture, there's a Vibram 460 outsole that offers an excellent level of grip as well as an Ultra-lightweight EVA midsole for a high level of cushioning.

If you're planning on hiking up technical mountain climbs then 2650 GTX Mid isn't the best option, however, if you want a lightweight shoe that will cover you throughout the whole year, whether that's a multi-day hike in the heat or a clamber through the Lake District, it's a wonderfully designed piece of kit.

Weight: 1.8lbs / 0.8kg

The best hiking boots for day hikes and walks

The perfect boots that mix fashion, function and comfort, these options will look and feel great whether you're wandering the city or taking the scenic route via lighter trails.

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker GTX

The best hiking boots for men 2019: Toughness and style combined

The Free Hikers GTX is probably the lightest feeling hiking boot we’ve ever come across. Not only does it incorporate the same boost technology that makes adidas running shoes so popular, but it also utilize primeknit uppers, like those seen in the Ultraboost range. The result is a ridiculously comfortable and flexible boot which feels like you’re wearing a trainer.

In this most recent iteration of the Free Hiker, adidas has gone one step further and added a GORE TEX membrane to help battle wet conditions. That update has meant that not only is it a stylish boot that’ll feel ventilated and bouncy whether you’re sightseeing around a city or spending the day walking the trails, but it'll also keep your feet dry when the weather turns.

For heavily technical terrain the Free Hiker GTX isn't the best option, lacking in both upper durability and support for tougher climbs, but the Continental rubber outsole offers a surprising level of grip for moderate walks and hikes.

Weight: 1.9lbs / 0.8kg

Columbia SH/FT OutDry Mid Shoe

The best hiking boots for men 2020: Toughness and style combined

Like the Free Hiker, the SH/FT OutDry is a hybrid design that aims to bridge the gap between fashion and the lighter side of hiking. So although you might want something a bit more hard-wearing for your next ascent of the Dolomites, there's plenty of technical features here that will cover you for shorter, less demanding walks.

Although the sock-like upper may look built for comfort, the Outdry material is actually 100% waterproof. There's also a thin but extremely competent rubber outsole design to offer grip on the wettest of concrete and light trails.

If it's comfort you want then the SH/FT OutDry incorporates a special PU foam that includes soft beads in the material. The upshot is a cushioned yet responsive level of energy return that makes the shoe a joy to wear whether you're tackling a rainy trail or wandering around the city.

The only issue that's worth noting with the SH/FT OutDry is that the sock design of the boot can be a bit tricky to get on and off.

Weight: 0.9oz / 0.4kg

Budget options

Mountain Warehouse Boulder Winter Trekker Boots

Best hiking and trekking boots for men

The main feature of this boot, aside from the affordable price, is the fact it's specially designed to keep your feet warm in the coldest conditions thanks to the IsoTherm layer. Not only that but it's also waterproof, so if you're planning on taking a long walk in snowy or icy conditions you'll be warm and dry.

As well as offering a durable, long-lasting build it's also one of the comfiest fits you're likely to find, backed up by hundreds of reviews made by customers, making it a perfect option for those who plan to spend a long day out in the cold.

If you're planning on heading up on rockier climbs, however, there are far better options on the list as the rubber outsole grip – although thick and sturdy – lacks the grip of a technically designed boot.

Regatta Bainsford Hiking Boot

Best Hiking boots for men

There aren’t many brands out there that offer a cost-effective option for hikers whilst still retaining the necessary technical requirements of great kit. Regatta is by far one of the best with a range of reliable kit that comes in significantly cheaper than most of the big-name manufacturers.

The Bainsford boot is a surprisingly comfortable option, even on some of the tougher hikes you might come across. The waterproof upper does a great job in wet conditions and the light rubber outsole is effective on most terrains you’ll come across.

As far as looks go, that’s where the majority of the cost-saving goes, so if you want a modern-looking design then you won’t be in luck here. If however, you have an absolute budget limit but you want a boot that’ll cover you for mountains hikes and wet conditions it’s a great option.

Weight: 2.4lbs / 1.1kg

Decathlon Quencha MH500 Mid

Best Hiking boots for men

If price is your absolute top priority, then you could do a lot worse than some of the Quencha range. They may not be the best looking boots on the market and they won’t stand up to some of the other products in the list in terms of technical specifications, but they’ll do the job when you need it.

The Quencha MH500 is our pick of the bunch when it comes to day and multi-day hikes. A comfortable fit that has a well-built outsole for grip on most surfaces and nice level of cushioning for longer hikes. As far as waterproofing goes, they’ll cover you for the odd bit of rain or the occasional puddle, but don’t expect to get home with dry feet if you’re travelling through bogs or in a heavy downfall – for that, you'll need to invest in some gators.

Weight: 1.7lbs / 0.8kg

Best for sustainability

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Parley

The best hiking boots for men 2020: Toughness and style combined

The Free Hiker Parley shoe from adidas takes everything that you'll find in the previous iteration except for the fact that – like the rest of the hugely popular Parley footwear and apparel range – a proportion of the material used comes from upcycled waste taken from beaches and coastal communities.

As well as featuring the same Boost cushioning that you find across many of the high performing running shoe options available from adidas, there's also the same Continental rubber – a design element that offers some of the most impressive grip we've seen in a shoe.

That recycled Primeknit upper doesn't just mean you're helping to protect the planet, the Parley material is designed to be as functional as it is sustainable, meaning that you can expect the same level of sock-like comfort in addition to it being water repellent. So, although it won't cover you in extreme downpours, your feet will be protected when it comes to light showers or early morning dewy grass.

A great option if you're looking for a sustainable choice that can be worn as day-to-day walking shoes but deliver on the occasions you need something a bit more hard-wearing.

Weight: 1.9lbs / 0.8kg

Tags:    Trekking
Tagged    Trekking