men's hiking boots pair on top of a rock

The Best Hiking Boots For Men [2019 Top Picks]

Last Update: 23 October 2019
When you make purchases through links on our website, we may earn affiliate commissions.

The Best Trekking Boots for Men

We all agree that a hiking boot is almost unavoidable. However, with thousands of choices available in the men's shoe market, shopping for the best hiking boots becomes a tedious task. How do you choose your favorite boot?

If you are a wide-footed man, you are going to need wide hiking boots. It is either that, or you are going to trek like a man walking on needles.

And there are no two ways about that!

Those with narrow feet may hike comfortably in non-wide (normal) hiking boots, but the situation gets funny, more cartoon-like, when they hike in wide boots.

Believe me, if the boots are not a perfect fit, you will hardly hike a mile and a half in them. You may force your way but that will not be without regrettable consequences (talk of bunions and blisters).

So, it is either you pick a proper pair or you don’t hike at all. And a proper pair is what our team of 42 hikers were out in the trails to find.

We tested 102 different hiking boots and shoes. More than half failed the test, a fair number were good enough while just about 10% were exemplary to make it to our top 10 list.

We considered the following criteria for our analysis;

After the exhaustive mission, our team of reviewers came up with the following best performers about which we have no qualms at all recommending.

Even then, we shall not hard-sell anything to you since these are just but reviews of what our analyses placed at the top. But ignore this list at your own peril!

The Best Hiking Boots For Men

1. Editors' Pick: Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot
Check Price / Buy

This was not an easy call to make but the Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots were unanimously voted for as the best pick. The question that could be in your lips now is the reason why the GTX boots topped the list.

Well, this particular Asolo product scored remarkably well in all areas that we tested. It had a wonderful feel on the feet. More importantly, this product proved to be suitable for nearly all terrains and weather conditions.

Comfort

Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX is one of the most comfortable hiking boots you will find in the market. It boasts of a roomy interior that makes it impossible to cause blisters. Again, the GTX hiking boot has a wide toe box. This is essential as your toes do not get crumpled.

The Techlite midsoles are lightweight and perfectly cushioned to provide long-lasting coziness, high energy return and impact absorption.

It is worth noting that our hikers who were in this hiking boot alternately used both thin and thick pairs of socks. In either case, there was no report of discomfort. This makes this boot a great choice for both hot and damp weather conditions. When you think that your feet could do with a little warmth, use a thick pair of socks!

Weight

We tested three pairs of size 12 of the Asolo boots. At 3.51 pounds, the Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX hiking boots proved to be one of the heaviest in our expeditions. This is attributed to its stiff outer sole.

Mid-weight hiking boots like the Fugitive GTX come in handy when you are carrying a moderately heavy load during your hiking. So if you will be carrying a heavy backpack then this is absolutely what you need. For light hikes and backpacking, you can read further to find what works best.

Stability and Support

This product prides itself in best foot stability, thanks to the dense PU (polyurethane) mid sole that the manufacturer uses. The dense PU material is notably better than the lighter gauge PVA (polyvinyl acetate) used in most hiking boots.

With a mid-cut upper, the Asolo GTX does not offer a lot of ankle stability. This is more occasioned by the less ankle collar materials and the comparatively narrower sole underfoot. But this should not make this a hindrance to your buying this shoe particularly if you want to use it in less rocky areas that will not twist your ankles.

Traction

The Fugitive is equipped with a Vibram sole. As you might have already known, Vibram soles have above average traction. More importantly, the tread exhibited by Vibram soles tend to increase after some friction on the trail.

The sole is remarkably firm hence very helpful in rugged trails and scree slopes. Finally, muddy trails do not pose any noticeable challenge to the Aloso hiking boots.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

Is the Fugitive's water resistance ability its strongest feature? Well, we had our men through all types of trails and after a series of tests, we conclusively ascertained that the hiker is completely impermeable.

The upper is made from a blend of high quality synthetic and leather materials. The synthetic areas soak in almost no water while the leather parts have a higher resistance than anything else that landed in our hands for testing.

Now, what can you achieve with a flood height of 7 inches? Let's keep that for another day.

Durability

There is absolutely no doubt that the Asolo Fugitive GTX Men's Hiking Boots will serve you faithfully. In fact, with the above features, it is only evident that this hiker is able to withstand the harsh outdoor conditions.

The upper, consisting of both synthetic and authentic leather materials, are strong and resistant to wear and tear forces characteristic of hiking trails. The sole is also strong and will not crack at the forefoot like most soles do. However, after years of use, the sole tends to separate from the upper. This can easily be corrected by an extra string and contact adhesive from your local shoeman.

Our Verdict

If you prefer foot support to ankle stability then this is a hiking boot that you should consider. It is an interesting mid-weight boot that appeals to most folks. It is a perfect choice for two sets of hikers.

Firstly, if you have strong ankles and like to carry heavy backpacks through difficult terrains, you shouldn’t be having any qualms about purchasing these pair. Secondly, the boot is phenomenally water resistant hence ideal for hikers in highly muddy and snowy environments!

2. Best Pick For New Hikers: KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Check Price / Buy

The KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is one of the best sellers in its category. Rightly so as it features incredible comfort and toe protection among other amazing features. This entry level hiking boot brings together a technical look and a traditional feel in a way that is second to none!

How has the Targhee II performed in our tests through the years?

Comfort

Generally, EVA is not the best for an insole, particularly when it is the ordinary light density EVA. However, KEEN uses EVA in the Targhee II insole. It is worth noting from the onset that this is not your ordinary light density EVA but a metatomical dual density EVA. Sounds complex, right?

This basically means that the EVA footbed is engineered to imitate the various contours of the foot, an act that increases contact area and also provides the required arch support hence more comfort.

The mid-cut hiker has a heavy padding on the tongue and the collar that provides great cushioning even when laced-up tightly. The stiff rubber front reduces any chances of stubbed toes while the thick sole is protective when you decide to venture into more rugged terrains.

Weight

Our men in the trails wore size 11 US. And with this, the weight came to 2.37 pounds when we weighed. This means that the Targhee II is a mid weight hiker. The moderately heavy weight is as a result of the thick sole, sufficient rubber protection of both the heel and toe as well as an extra high traction sole.

As far as our editors were concerned, these were all very essential factors that accounted for the moderately heavier weight. It delivers well, despite the weight!

Stability and Support

The KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking boot made it to our list of best hiking boots for its versatility. It features a flexible but stable upper which makes it ideal for men with either narrow or wide feet. It also features a wider forefoot sole for more stability in rugged areas and load-bearing support.

However, with an upper of just 4.5 inches high, this hiker is one of the shortest hence less ankle support. It is therefore great if you have a relatively more stable ankle joint to avoid susceptibility to twists.

Traction

As far as tread is concerned, this product from KEEN performed reasonably well across all of our most challenging trails. The propriety rubber sole stuck well in both wet and dry trails. Moreover, it performed incredibly better than most boots we tested in muddy slopes.

When out for heavy hiking, the Targhee II will prove priceless. However, light hikes may require a shoe with better traction. During light hikes, the blocky forefoot may not be very conducive for precise foot placement.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

The Targhee II has a good water resistance level. However, it is certainly not the best. It has so many seams around the toe-box. It comprises of 8 distinctive pieces of leather sewn over a synthetic material to make up the upper.

While it has an interior waterproof liner, the seams are bound to certainly wear out and leak as a result of continuous forefoot flexion. Well, that's just a precaution as it survived the frequent walks we had in the moderately swamped trails.

Finally, with a mere 3.75 inches of flood height, you cannot count on this boot to keep your feet dry in excessively flooded environments.

Durability

Every product derives its durability status from the types of materials it is made from as well as the workmanship. This hiker is made from high quality nubuck leather and a strong synthetic material and a waterproof liner. The sole is also very thick, strong and durable.

While the workmanship exhibits a traditional appeal, it falls short in the sense that it comprises of too many seams. The upper is made of 8 distinctive pieces of leather sewn over the synthetic liner. The seams look incredibly strong.

While we did not witness anything out of the ordinary during our tests, the fact that many seams mean many weak points is a matter of common sense particularly for a high activity exercise like hiking.

Our Verdict

The KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a product worth consideration.

Despite its mid-cut upper, the boot will still give adequate support to your ankles through the ESS torsion stability shank.

More importantly, the multi-directional 4mm lugs are sufficiently aggressive enough to anchor you on muddy and wet trails. We recommend this boot for daylight hiking.

3. Best Lightweight Pick: Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot

Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot
Check Price / Buy

It is impossible to review best hiking boots without mentioning any model from the renowned Columbia Sportswear. That would be like reviewing soccer boots without a mention of anything from Adidas or Puma. Well, Columbia Sportswear has been around since 1938, churning great outdoor footwear right from here, Oregon!

The Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot from Columbia Sportswear is a masterpiece. A testimony of why this company will soon be a centurion! It brings together performance and lightweight in a single hiker, a feat that you will certainly not come by every single day.

Let's look at it now.

Comfort

The compression-molded EVA Techlite insole deployed in the Newton Ridge is a massive step towards long lasting cushioning and comfort as well as high energy returns. The upper consists of mostly leather and synthetic materials. The synthetic textile provides the needed cushioning for long treks and hikes.

Like every other footwear, comfort increases with the correct choice of size! You will find a detailed explanation of how to choose the appropriate hiking boot size after the end of these reviews.

Weight

As already mentioned, this pair brings together performance and lightweight in a way that you will rarely find. This is one of the most lightweight boots that we tested. Yet, the pair does not compromise on any of the core features that you will need in a hiking boot.

The average weight of a size 7 hiking boot is just over 1 pound. This, in essence, makes it one of the most lightweight boots in the market.

Stability and Support

The Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot is one of the most stable hiking boots that we tested. This is aided by its superior sole and the workmanship deployed in the upper.

The compression-molded EVA ensures that your foot is kept in shape and ready to hike the trails. Again, the stability provided by the EVA insole makes this hiker ideal for everyone including men with flat feet.

The upper incorporates polyurethane leather, mesh material and metals. This combination improves both comfort and stability. While this hiking boot is classified as a mid cut hiking boot, the D-Ring lacing system gives you the required stability for commonly challenging trails.

Traction

Our hikers confirmed that this is an ideal trail boot. The manufacturer uses a historical Omni-grip system in the outsole. This shoe was made and tested in the mountains of Oregon and the trails of the Pacific. We can confidently confide in you that it did beat off the trails. It is thus for this reason that Columbia Sportswear boasts that through this footwear, you can begin a stable and well anchored life on the trail.

Slippery stones and sand-covered gravel is usually a challenging trail for most hikers. However, our hikers who were on such challenging trails were quite surprised how good the Newton Ridge stuck. As a matter of fact, this hiking boot not only meets the expectations of every avid hiker but also surpasses it.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

Are you worried about what Mother-Nature might throw your way? Well, you do not really need to worry. Get into your Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot and enjoy your adventure. Why? First, it has an interior mesh that keeps your feet ventilated and cool even in the hottest weather.

Columbia Sportswear brings together advanced technological knowhow to keep you safe and comfortable in all weather conditions. The high quality materials are bound together by a seam-sealed construction. Moreover, the reliable Omnishield water resistance technology deployed in this hiking boot ensures that all wetness is kept away from your feet.

Durability

It is needless pointing out over and over again that this company has been around for almost an entire decade. Such a feat translates to insurmountable experience!

Talk about experience in choosing the best materials, recruiting the best personnel, acquiring the best machinery and using the best technology, then Columbia Sportswear scores highly on every count.

Just like the non-marking outer sole, the molded EVA midsole is flexible, strong and durable. Again, the waterproof and scratch resistance treatment is a plus as the treatments help to improve the durability of the Newton Ridge Plus II hiking boots.

Our Verdict

The Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot is stylish, comfortable and incredibly functional.

While this is a perfect example of a boot meant for the trail, so many buyers have confessed to using it as a day to day footwear without any limitations. This hiking boot is lightweight and fits just as expected.

4. Highest Rated Among Experienced Hikers: Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX

Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX
Check Price / Buy

Editors can have their say but product users often have their way! That is a fact, at least as far as this hiking boot is concerned. We have to admit from the onset that our editors saw immense quality and performance in this product and would have still put it in this list. However, the love for this hiking boot cannot go without mention.

After our tests and a look through top online markets, we can conclusively say that the Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Lightweight Hiking Boots have fanatical following from our men and online shoppers. Not for the wrong reasons, as you can find out from our impartial review.

Comfort

The dense removable EVA foam that forms the footbed is a measure of comfort. And as we already know, the EVA insole efficiently conforms to the contours of the feet during and after a period of time. This helps to improve comfort as the entire foot plate considerably bears some weight during locomotion.

It also features a thick ortholite sock liner that keeps your feet dry throughout. The sockliner and the EVA footbed absorb all the shock that may be caused by harder elements along the trail. These are supported by a 4D chassis construction to support the soles of your feet.

Well, the upper too is a key factor that determines how comfortable a hiking or walking boot is. This model is fully padded and has a tongue that is both padded and gusseted hence will not pull off easily and leave top of your feet exposed. Finally, the lacing system, which features side loops, is essential as it keeps the laces far off your skin.

Weight

Perhaps the greatest selling point of this hiking boot lies in its weight in relation to its size. For a high boot to weigh just slightly over 3 pounds is a feat worth noting. However, it is important to note that this hiking pair does not boast of lightweight without compromising on any of the essential features of a hiking boot.

It is still amazingly comfortable, versatile, durable and stable. If you intend to go out for a weekend of some light hiking and want a hiking boot that is lightweight yet functional, then this is just what you need. However, if you will be carrying along a heavy backpack then you may want to look elsewhere.

Stability and Support

The stability of the Quest 4D is something that you will find worthy. With a shaft of 7.5 inches and an upper that goes well beyond the ankle joint, there is no doubt that your ankle is fully supported and protected from twists and turns that are often caused by uneven trails. This is why most of our men who wore these boot concluded that it is ideal for everyone including hikers with less stable ankle joints.

Well, that's just the upper. The sole, mid sole and insole of this hiking boot have features that improve its stability. The toe box looks very basic yet very strong and protective. It will not cause any bruises but at the same time will not be strong enough to protect you from occasional knocks on stumps and rocks along the trail.

Also worth mentioning is the protective rubber heel cap that works amazingly to both absorb shock and provide an extra protection to your heels! Need you more on stability and support?

Traction

The Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 has an outsole that uses the Contragrip technology. Basically, what this does is it brings up a combination of both deep and shallow grooves around the lugs.

The deeper grooves are great for less stable trails such as wet slippery surfaces while the shallow grooves are designed to provide proper grip on hardy surfaces such as rocky terrains? Isn't this a sign of versatility? Again, these groups are multidirectional!

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

The main constituent waterproofing material used in this hiking boot is Gore-Tex. It is therefore quite obvious that this hiking boot has sufficient breathability to keep your feet aerated even in the hottest of weathers.

When it comes to water resistance, again the material combination of the hiking boot comes into play. Nubuck leather and Gore-Tex materials are great choices for water resistance. This material combination makes the pair typical winter hiking boots.

In general, these materials will effectively create a medium for the flow of air while also preventing dampness in wet environments. You are therefore guaranteed of cool and dry feet.

Durability

Can you buy a product that will not serve you diligently and for a long period of time? I bet that the answer to this question is a definite "no!" This hiking boot is flexible while exhibiting enough strength to walk you thousands of miles. The rubber heel cap also prevents uneven wear on the heel particularly for people with slight foot eversion or inversion.

While we did not record any formal complaints on this hiking boot, the nylon mesh is something we are quite skeptical about. It's quite a light material and could get worn out after long ten uses.

Our Verdict

The Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boots is a lightweight model though not flimsy. It is comfortable and goes against most hiking conditions comparatively well. This is an improvement of the Quest 4D hence most of the downfalls of the preceding model have been corrected. These include functional features as well as the appearance.

5. Top Pick for All Seasons: Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking Boots

Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking boot
Check Price / Buy

Even in a dry season, the trail can often get very wet. Oboz knows this and the footwear company acknowledges the fact that your feet deserve to remain dry despite the environment.

That is basically the reason why this hiking boot was rated as one of the most water-resistant choices.

The Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking boots keep a traditional nostalgic look while giving the boots an original modern feel hence a hit for both young and older hikers. Let's get to the basics and see why this boot made it to our picks for top 10 best hiking boots in 2019.

Comfort

As our imposed rule, we always start with comfort. Well, isn't comfort the most important factor to consider when choosing the best hiking boot? I bet it probably is; our editors think so, too.

The Bridger BDRY boots perform remarkably well. The Oboz Bridger is incredibly comfortable while still retaining its true boot label. This is different from most boots that often achieve comfort by bringing in a sneaker-like touch. Oboz fits true to size but as you will learn, it is sometimes ideal to pick a boot size that is half an inch bigger.

It comes with a pretty insole, with thicker paddings on the heel and along the sole. What is more exciting is the fact that it comes with a plastic arch support.

You have flat feet? Don't worry about custom orthotics. The arch support comes in handy. The inside of the boot is properly cushioned by a material that is much better than the traditional leather-lining used in most shoes and boots.

Weight

Another thing that you will like with the Bridger is that despite all the comfort and the boot-like feel, you will not feel like your feet are tied on some log or rock. It is incredibly lightweight. In fact, at just 16 ounces, it is one of the most lightweight boots that we tested.

The weight is great for an all-leather boot model but you will learn as you read on that it is not weight alone that the Oboz shows its finesse on!

Stability and Support

Honestly, the Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking boots do not have the best stability and support but still offer what most boots can only dream of. An all-leather upper holds your feet properly and stabilizes your ankle joint.

This hiker has a firm granite peak midsole that will support and stabilize your feet for sufficient weight transfer.

The arch support helps to distribute weight equally on the feet. The flat feet hikers that we had in our team found this really helpful as they did not have to use any custom orthotics. A lot more can be said of the patented O FIT combination but let's move onto the next item!

Traction

The outsole, complete with a Granite Peak molded on it is one of the strongest points for this hiking foot. This is due to its incredible traction as well as supportive and protective abilities.

It features 4mm lugs that are ideal for most terrains. While most lugs will wear out after a couple of pummeling, the Oboz Bridger did well even after months of strenuous hikes. However, it is worth admitting that the rounded heels and absence of a distinct heel brake proved quite tricky for most hikers while going down sloppy trails.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

Let's face it, we have no control of the weather. This is why a boot that leaks in very drop of water is useless. The Oboz Bridger is not such a boot. In fact, our editors feel that this is a hiking boot that will not restrict you to hiking only when the weather is warm and dry!

The manufacturer of this boot utilizes the B-DRY waterproofing system to ensure that your feet are 100% protected from any moisture. It has a waterproof membrane under the all-leather upper. However, it is important to admit that the boot gets a little bit hot on a very hot day.

Durability

So far, no one in our team of hikers has raised anything against this hiking gear. And as already noted above, the upper is basically made of leather. Can you doubt the durability of leather? Your guess is as good as mine. Let's move to the sole make up. The midsole is firm while the firm rubber that makes the outsole wears slowly.

None of the 6 pairs we are using for our tests has shown any signs ripping, pulling loose or tearing. No significant signs of wear have been noted, despite each having hiked an average of 80 miles! Isn't this a sign of more miles to go?

Our Verdict

Despite the minor shortfalls, the Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking boot is one hiker you will undoubtedly fall in love with. It is comfortable and still boasts of the feel and look of an ordinary boot. This is a boot you will love for all the good reasons. Moreover, you will only get to the market for a new pair if you need an extra one!

6. Most Stylish Pick: Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot

Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot
Check Price / Buy

If you value style then the Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boots could just be your ideal pick for the trails. The mid weight hiking boot is incredibly stylish and comes in a wide range of colors. You therefore have the privilege of choosing what is more appealing to you.

You will probably opine that you have seen or owned hiking boots that are more stylish than the Vasque GTX hiking boots. Granted!! However, while the classy and masculine look of this hiker is certainly an irresistible catch, looks alone did not land this hiker on this list. It is therefore important to state that apart from the looks, this hiker performed competitively well through our tests.

Comfort

One of the features you will find stunning about this hiking boot is the comfort you will enjoy while in it. Featuring a combination of mesh and leather upper, this is one of the most breathable boots we tested. In fact, out of a possible score of 10, the Vasque 2.0 Gore-Tex scored a massive 9.5. This is excellent, at least by our standards.

The upper is padded and hugs your foot and ankle incredibly. You do not have to worry about the type of foot you are gifted with as this hiking boot is ideal for people with any type of feet; wide or narrow. It has a spacious toebox that will not hurt your toes and features dual density insole that is certainly one of the best. The lacing system is fairly simple and you can tie them as tight as possible without getting hurt.

Weight

This remains one of the most lightweight boots we tested and should have probably picked the most lightweight hiking boot trophy. However, the stylish look stood out as exceptionally phenomenal.

It weighed a paltry 2.90 lbs for a pair of size 12. This is incredibly low for a high cut boot. The lightweight nature of the Breeze 2.0 is credited to the mesh panels incorporated in the upper. This therefore means that the mesh panels serve three purposes; they help to reduce weight, improve breathability and add some classy touch to the hiking boots.

Stability and Support

The Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot is a fairly stable hiking boot. However, it is only fair to be honest and make it clear that stability and support are not the Breeze's strongest points. This is synonymous with most lightweight and midweight hiking boots.

While both the insole and midsole are great and provide remarkable stability and support, the Breeze falls short when it comes to lateral support. This is mainly because the high collar is very flexible.

Traction

The Breeze's traction can be described in a single statement: not bad but really not exceptional! It proved to be an above-average performer in both muddy and loose gravel trails but our hikers felt a bit let down when we tested these boots on trails with wet rocks.

The outsole has several varying shapes of lugs and this should provide a fair grip against all surfaces. The main shortfall lies in the ball of the sole. It is quite narrow hence a smaller surface area gets into contact with the rocks.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

We read through the promo material that claims to keep your feet and socks dry and designed our tests to prove the credibility of this claim. After a series of "stand in the water and flex" tests, it was evident that no water seeps into the boot. The interior remained dry, thanks to the Gore-Tex (GTX) membrane used in the Breeze 2.0 hiking boots.

However, it is important to note that the mesh textile used in the upper part soaks up water and, apart from adding to weight, will take some time to dry. The water does not go past the GTX liner into your socks and feet so this may not be a serious issue.

Durability

The Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot is fairly priced and has qualities that you will fall in love with. It has an outsole that will serve you for years and miles. It is less likely that you will consider this hiker for a resole. The midsole is fairly built to provide support and stability for a long time. The lacing hooks are all metallic which will not snap like we witnessed with boots with plastic hooks or eyelets.

On the downside, we felt that the seams and mesh are just too many. Again, the pores in the mesh are relatively wider and could get damaged by twigs along the trail. This is just a precaution, as none of our hikers formally recorded such an occurrence.

Our Verdict

Vasque provides a great pair of boots in the Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot. Without having to break the bank, you can own a pair of comfortable and versatile pair of hiking boots to confront the trails in.

We recommend this for light backpackers and hikers who are determined to keep the weight of their footwear low without sacrificing ankle support. Finally, it is a common saying that the kind of shoe a man puts on says a lot about them. Now, if you value looks then this is your ideal hiking boot.

7. Most Breathable Pick: Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Check Price / Buy

Merrel is a relatively new entrant into the outdoor gear market. In fact, the Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is their second production. In the decade or so that they have been around, they have left a mark that is bound to be felt for lifetimes, mostly for the good reasons! The Moab 2 is an improvement of the original Moab Mid Hiking Boot.

The predecessor was a great hiker and from our tests, Merrell does not cut on any of the outstanding qualities of its predecessor. We could only note some improvements but first things first. MOAB means Mother-Of-All-Boots and the manufacturer strives to live to this billing by producing functional boots in appealing colors and designs.

Comfort

The Moab 2 has been a popular choice for so long, thanks to the comfort that these hiking boots provide. The cushioning around the collar and tongue are sufficient. Moreover, this Merrell hiker has one of the best footbeds. You will therefore experience unrivalled comfort from the moment you slip your feet into the boots.

Perhaps the most notable improvement in the Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is the decent insole. The new insole has a fine insole and a molded heel cap that will keep your feet in place even through the most difficult terrains. Finally, the additional heel cushioning provides trail isolation, underfoot protection and an unimaginable customized feel.

Weight

Merrell's Moab shoes have always led the way in the lightweight category and the Moab 2 hiking boot is no exception. In fact, it leads as the rest follow. We put a pair of men's size 9 boots on our scale and came up with 2 pounds. Isn't this incredibly lightweight?

The lightweight tag is achieved by three factors; an amazingly strong but light original suede leather, the breathable mesh that is on the upper as well as the lightweight Vibram sole. The lightweight feature and the flexible upper are a suitable combination for vibrant hikers who are eager to hit the trail.

Stability and Support

Well, the MOAB 2 is most suited for day and light backpackers. This is to imply that this hiking boot is of moderate stability. It is not the best out there, but you won't be tumbling down on the trickiest terrain trails. In fact, it plants itself superbly in nearly every terrain save for wet slippery trails.

There is remarkable flexibility around the collar and the underfoot. Flexibility is always geared towards improving comfort but it occasionally minimizes ankle support. Still, you won't twist your ankle in the Merell Moab 2 hiking boots.

Merrell improves the support and stability of these shoes by adding silicon bands on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. This is aimed at improving the ankle support. Noticeably, these bands were not present in the initial Moab hiking boot.

Traction

The company does not change anything on the outsole, of course for all the good reasons. The Vibram rubber was an incredible hit with most hikers. We found it astounding during our tests.

Equipped with multidirectional lugs, the Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot plants itself well in most trails. The tread and traction of this hiking boot can be trusted, even after miles of use.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

Merrell Moab 2 comes in two options; the waterproof option and a select non waterproof option. One thing you will like about either of the options you opt to buy is the fact that the breathability of these boots is just up there. They will not store any heat or moisture within. This is irrespective of the type of socks you opt to wear with them.

The GTX option soaks fast through the mesh and will allow in water into your socks and feet. However, the mesh is fairly light but strong and will dry faster than you may think. On the other hand, the waterproof option is treated and does not allow any water into the boots. The choice is all yours.

Durability

We have used the Moab 2 for over 10 months now and it held up quite well apart from a few permanent scratches that have remained on the plastic portion of the toe box. The terrains varied from rocky hills in Utah to some of the muddiest terrains you can think of. The sole is durable and will serve you for miles.

Well, these are reviews and we are not trying to hard sell any product. So it is only fair to be honest enough to tell you that the mesh parts on the upper gave us some headache. Even though we did not notice anything out of the ordinary, the mesh looks a bit weak but so far, so good!

Our Verdict

The Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a good choice for day hikers and those who do not intend to carry large backpacks.

They are comfortable, versatile, breathable, and fairly durable and provide sufficient stability and support.

What else do you need in a good hiking boot? So, apart from the debatable waterproofing ability, the Moab 2 does a good job in promoting the already rising reputation of the manufacturer.

8. Best Pick for Winter and Wet Trails: Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot Copper

Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot Copper
Check Price / Buy

Almost all boots claim to be waterproof but often do not live up to the expectation. The Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot delivers on what it promises and much more. It is an all-season boot designed for those who often venture into wet terrains as well as those who do hike throughout the year.

As you will learn in this section, the Ariat hiking boot does not compromise any of the essential features at the expense of a non leaking boot. It is still a comfortable, supportive and durable boot with amazing traction. How did this product perform? Let's find out.

Comfort

Ariat hiking boot is a very comfortable and versatile product. The comfort is necessitated by a well-built interior and sole. The entire upper is made of full grain leather on the exterior. However, this should not worry you as the upper is sufficiently padded to keep your feet safe and comfortable.

Again, after a few miles, the upper gets a bit flexible to enable you maneuver trails without feeling the hardness of the hard leather on your skin. You can choose to wear thin or thick pair of socks with this hiking boot.

The insole has sufficient padding to cushion your feet from the shocks of rocks along the trail while the midsole in the Ariat Waterproof Hiking Boot will keep your feet in place and comfortable throughout the trail.

Weight

The Ariat is a mid-weight hiking boot that you will fall in love with. The combination of weight and comfort makes this boot one of our favorites for wet trails. Moreover, its weight makes it versatile enough for a wide range of backpacking activities.

Most wet terrain boots often increase in weight after a bit of walking in wet trails. This is not the case with Ariat as it does not get soaked with water.

We found this out because we weighed this product before we set our feet on the trail and again when we felt that it had endured enough of the soggy and wet trails. What we found out was amazing as there was no substantial additional weight on our second result.

Stability and Support

This is a mid-cut hiking boot and that means it does not go much over the ankle joint but that will not make you rate it as an unstable hiking boot devoid of enough stability. The upper is made from full-grain leather hence rigid enough to hold your foot in place.

Fact, most hikers are skeptical of fairly rigid uppers as they may not be flexible enough to aid movements. This cannot be said of the Ariat Waterproof Pro hiking boot. After a few miles, the upper becomes flexible and suitable for hiking without losing its desired support.

It also has an insole and midsole that are designed to support and stabilize your feet. There is an unrivaled stability and support that you get in every heel-strike and foot-flat. Our hikers talked positively of this hiking boot.

Traction

Traction counts a lot when you decide to purchase a hiking boot and it even becomes a more crucial consideration when you intend to venture into wet terrains. This is because moist or wet terrains can usually be slippery or just unnecessarily sticky. Whatever the case, the performance of the Ariat Men's Waterproof Pro is excellent.

The deep lugs used in the outsole, coupled with the ATS sole technology play an important role in anchoring the boots on slippery trails but does not stick in muddy terrains. This is an important feature for the Ariat boot since it is mainly used as a wet trail boot.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

The Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot provides maximum protection from all elements when weather decides not to cooperate. The top-notch waterproof design and construction is reliable and will stand the test of time, thanks to the impermeable membrane and the full-grain waterproof leather utilized in this hiking boot’s construction.

The moisture-wicking, gel-cushioned footbed prevents water from getting into your feet. This technology and design are sure reasons why the Ariat Men's Water Hiking Boot is most suited for rivers, muck, ponds, mud and generally all wet terrains.

Durability

You will not be going to the market anytime soon if you decide to buy this hiking boot, unless you want an extra pair. The upper is made of oiled, full-grain leather with very minimal seams, an act aimed at reducing points of weakness.

Secondly, lack of any mesh material in the upper is an indication that the upper will stay in place for a long time. A Duratread sole and Eva midsole have the ability to last you for long and a final testimony that you won't be replacing your sole after a few miles.

Our Verdict

The Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot is an exclusive hiking gear designed for hikers who frequently hike through wet terrains. We had a bunch of hikers on river banks, ponds and swamps but all of them brought back one answer: the Ariat is 100% waterproof.

When we told them to take off their shoes after hours and miles of walking, their socks were surprisingly dry. We saw the dryness then they told us how warm their feet had remained throughout the walk.

9. Most Comfortable Hiking Boot: Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Check Price / Buy

We have certainly talked about several brands including those that you are probably not very conversant with. However, the mention of Timberland has not only rang a bell in your mind but has also elicited some excitement. Rightly so!! To most of us, Timberland means fashion, class and durability. The same can be said of Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot.

The Chocorua Trail has made it to our list of the best hiking boots in 2019 not because it is from Timberland but because it lives up to the expectations of every hiker. It is comfortable, durable and waterproof yet breathable just to mention but a few of its awesome qualities. If you like the traditional looks and style of a hiking boot, then the Timberland Chocorua will suit your taste.

Comfort

The anti fatigue technology featured in the Chocurua Trail Hiking boots ensures that you are kept comfortable throughout the day and across every possible terrain. The removable dual density EVA insole has an array of perforations to improve the flow of air into the boots. Both the collar and the tongue feature thick lining which in essence help to protect your feet.

The boots are suitable for both wide and narrow footed hikers, though there are specific designs with a wider toebox for those with extra wide feet. Another thing that our hikers were pleased with is the break-in period. The boots have minimum to no break-in period.

Weight

Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot falls in the lightweight category of hiking boots. It weighs just over 2 pounds for a pair of size 11.5. This is fairly lightweight enough by all standards.

While it is remarkably lightweight, the Chocorua is incredibly versatile. It is not only an ideal hiking boot but also a boot that will come in handy when you decide to take a walk in your nearby town or for any activities that may need a hiking boot.

Stability and Support

With a shaft of approximately 5" from the arch, the mid-cut hiking boot provides great support and stability. The collar and tongue are well padded to provide support to the ankle joint despite the Chocorua being a mid cut hiking boot.

On the downside, 20% of our hikers noted that the toebox was too stiff and sturdy. This could be hard on your toes but after the break in is complete, the boot is pretty comfortable. Moreover, some hikers noted that a sturdy toe box handles work pretty well as it offers protection against rocks and tools that may injure your feet. These aren't steel toes but are hard enough to offer adequate protection from falling objects.

Traction

The grip and tread of the Timberland Chocorua are incredible. The soles, purely made of rubber, offer unrivaled traction when you need it. The boots have a rugged bottom with rubber lugs that have good grip on almost every terrain. It proved suitable for slippery rocks, mud, snow and loose sand.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

As expected, the Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot has the ability to keep your feet dry in all types of weather. While we are of the opinion that winter is a bit extreme, we can confidently tell you that this is a 3 season hiking boot.

The Gore-Tex technology ensures that your feet are kept dry and warm in cold and wet atmosphere while the mesh upper and the perforated insole help to improve the aeration of the hiking boot.

Durability

The durability of a hiking boot, just like any other product, relies solely on the quality of the materials used and the workmanship. The full grain leather used in this case will serve you for years. Mesh is usually considered a less durable material but Timberland uses a special type of durable mesh with the ability to withstand the strain of the external environment.

Rubber soles are popular for their longevity and ability to withstand cracking particularly at the fore foot. This sole did well but we noted some degree of wear on the sole after our hikers hit 150 miles on the trail.

Our Verdict

Honestly, most of us were pretty surprised with the Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot not only because Timberland rings fashion bells but also because we did not expect to see such immense style associated with outdoors.

While the quality of this hiker is not one you would die for, it still remains a hiker you cannot rule out, particularly if your hiking will mostly be along established trails. Finally, do not risk using these in extremely swampy areas.

10. Best Bang for the Buck: Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Check Price / Buy

Just like all products, every hiking boot brand has a signature model that it will always pride itself in. The Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot is that model for Lowa. It is a versatile hiker that will satisfy all your outdoor needs including hiking and backpacking.

The Renegade GTX is a best seller whose users claim to experience amazing trekking comfort. Manufacturers will always try to hard-sell stuff. However, this is one of the products that granted Lowa the ISO 9001 certification; a feat of its kind for any footwear company. This speaks a lot about the quality and design of the Renegade GTX.

That aside, let's see how the Renegade performed in our tests!

Comfort

The Renegade offers maximum comfort with absolutely no break-in period. That is the reason why most hikers prefer to use this boot for the most rugged and tricky treks including those in new or less established trails. It features a firm insole with sufficient stiffness to tread rugged uphill slogs and a soft collar to cushion your feet from the laces. Tighten the laces as tight as you feel.

The midsole and the rubber outsole will as well isolate your feet from the shocks of the rocky trails. Finally, the boots are pretty breathable and will keep your feet cool in the hottest of weathers.

Weight

The Lowa Renegade weighs 2 pounds and 10 ounces, making it one of the most lightweight in the mid-weight hiking boots category. Despite the feathery weight, Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot is remarkably solid without compromising the desired flexibility. The weight therefore remains an impressive feature for this particular hiking boot.

Stability and Support

If you think that comfort and lightweight are no reasons enough to compel you into considering the Lowa Renegade Hiking Boots, then support and stability will. It is not a stiff hiker by any means but offers the required support for all types of trails.

At 5 inches, the upper is long enough to support your ankles and prevent them against twisting and turning. As you now know, this is a trekking boot for both established trails and off-trail terrains. The footbed is dense enough to provide necessary support for the feet more so during weight transfer with every strike on the trail. You can't ask for more from a lightweight like the Renegade GTX.

Traction

With a Vibram outsole employed by Lowa, the Renegade GTX does not disappoint. It has a combination of tread that bites into hard rocks, gravel and snow. Well, that is not all there is to the traction of the Lowa Renegade. When tested on muddy, loose trails and granite, the pair hold quite impressively.

The Vibram sole gives you the confidence and urge to make your next step in the trail. Finally, the kind of lugs this sole has gives it an unimaginable versatility and durability to satisfy all your hiking and backpacking needs.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

If you want a high quality trekking boot that will not leak in a drop, then the GTX version of the Renegade should be your choice. The Renegade GTX comes with a combination of solid leather upper, GTX coating and a water-repellant coating to keep your feet and socks dry throughout your hike or backpacking.

Do not get skeptical about the breathability of this hiking boot. Leather can give you worries. However, this is thin leather and both the lining and the insole provide a good medium for moisture absorption and dissipation. You won't be throwing your feet into a sauna.

Durability

We have continuously tested the Renegade GTX for over a year now and while we can't conclusively tell you that these boots can last for half a decade with consistent use, we are positive that the build quality is the best under its mid weight category.

To start with, it has a Vibram sole which does not chip away like most rubber soles do. It will therefore not lose its tread after a few hundred miles. The upper is made from thin but strong, durable leather that withstands abrasion.

Our Verdict

Snowshoers, backpackers and hikers have made the Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot their preferred boot over the years despite the growing competition from ultra light boots. The Renegade GTX's popularity is attributed to its excellent support, foot protection and comfort.

Having tested these boots along various trails, we can confidently say that the Renegade GTX offers what it promises. We were impressed by its reliability.

Related: The Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women

How We Tested the Hiking Boots

hiking boots testing

Testing hiking boots is one of the most daunting tasks for any expert or group of reviewers. We went into this venture fully aware of the task at hand. With an established experience in testing other outdoor equipment including outdoor water filters, hiking poles, camping tents among other outdoor gear, this challenge was well accepted by our planning and implementing crew.

So, for the hiking boots, we lined up our men for various trails and in a wide range of the best hiking boots in the market today. We tried the boots along Seven Way, in the slopes of Mt. Glaciers, across the South District and in the Southwest desert. We also tried the boots in the Amazon Rainforest, Sierra high country and in the Inca Trail in the Sacred Valley, Peru.

These regions gave us enough of wooded trails, pristine alpine meadows, smooth sandstone slabs and unending granite talus. The weather also varied from the scorching summer heat to the rainy and freezing winters. We focused on performance in terms of stability and support, comfort, durability, weight, traction as well as waterproofing and breathability.

Any hiking boot that made it to our list above withstood most if not all these harsh hiking and backpacking environmental conditions.

Our hikers had a scorecard for every hiking boot used. We also had a physical and mechanical assessment before and after we were done with these boots. This is how we assessed the boots as per the criteria above:

Comfort

Just from the box, we looked at the workmanship. This included the padding, additional linings and the insole. Hiking boots such as the Renegade GTX were quite rigid at the start but got more comfortable after the break in. Again, our hikers felt more comfortable in hiking boots with inbuilt arch supports.

Weight

We weighed the boots straight from the box and recorded the measurements. After some miles of hiking particularly in wet areas, measurements were taken again and recorded. A number of boots absorbed good amounts of water and had their weight remarkably high while others had negligible difference in weight.

An example of a hiking boot that showed no signs of water absorption is the Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot.

Stability and Support

Stability is a core aspect when it comes to choosing a hiking boot. It is dependent on the type of midsole, the cut of the upper and the padding of the collar and tongue. Another important factor that determines the stability and support that a hiking boot can achieve is the lacing system. Our hikers hiked in these boots through various types of trails to find out how supportive they were.

Traction

Testing Traction in KEEN Men's Targhee Mid Hiking Boots

We looked at the lug pattern as well as the material used in making the sole. It then turned out that some boots lost the lugs faster than others.

Waterproofing Ability and Breathability

Was there any additional treatment or waterproof membranes added to the hiking boots? What was the major material used for the upper, leather or synthetic mesh? After considering those, we had hikers in trails that crossed streams and swamps and stood in water then flexed the forefeet to test if there were any leakages.

Durability

The durability of a hiking boot relies on a number of factors. More specifically, durability is dependent on the type and quality of the materials as well as the workmanship. Is it full-grain leather or synthetic fabric? Are there several seams or just a few?

Other Expert Tips to Consider When Choosing the Best Hiking Boots

Even with a review of the best hiking boots as above, it is still very confusing to choose the best footwear for your outdoors. Consider the following to make the most suitable choice for your hiking and backpacking needs.

The Fit

man fitting on a hiking boot on the trails

This is everything in a boot as it will directly affect two very important aspects; comfort and stability. There are a few hiking boots that are true to the size. However, this is usually a big risk hence the need to choose a hiking boot that is half an inch bigger than your ordinary shoe size.

Check the type of pair of socks that you intend to use before you make a final decision on size. Thicker socks eat up more space while it is vice versa for lighter/thinner socks. Finger, sensory, stride and slant board tests are the best way to test the fit of a hiking boot.

Low, Medium or High Cut

Generally, the cut determines the stability, support and the weight of the hiking boots. Low or mid cut boots are more likely to be lightweight. These category of boots are best suited for light backpacking, on trail hiking and day backpacking. On the other hand, high cut boots are best suited for heavy backpacking and off-trail hiking where you may expect a more rugged terrain.

On the same note, low-cut hikers have less material and are less likely to be heavier hence are not suitable for hauling heavy backpacks as they do not provide sufficient support.

Season Rating

Boots, like most outdoor gear, have a season rating from 1 to 4 seasons. These ratings are enough to give you an idea of the types of environmental conditions the boot is best suited for.

One Season Rating:

These boots are usually very lightweight and flexible, often ideal for well established summer trails. They are very breathable.

Two Season Rating:

Still falling under lightweight category, these are slightly stiffer and may be ideal for moderately varied terrains. They have very minimum waterproofing ability.

Three Season Rating:

This is a versatile category that will tackle both flat and rocky terrain. Have an impressive waterproofing ability.

Four or All Season Rating:

This is designed for severe conditions. They have stiffer soles to protect you and an incredible waterproofing ability. They are highly supportive, stable and have great traction to tackle any kind of outdoor activities.

Extra Inclusions

A number of inclusions are usually added to footwear to improve comfort, increase stability and enhance durability. A footwear with an arch support, gusseted tongue and extra paddings in the collar is one that you should consider.

Author-bio

ABOUT DANIEL MSANII

When he's not camping or adventuring the outdoors, you'll find him grinding hard on his keyboard to put up some super-awesome content on campingmaniacs.com. Starting off on camping escapades back in 2011, he has grown fond of the activity over the years. His exposure to a myriad of different camping terrains, gear and the outdoor atmosphere has hitherto changed his perception of the entire outdoor life. He enjoys sharing the experiences of his adventures and gear reviews with the awesome camping community on this platform. Read more about us.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Subscribe to comments

Submit Comment
scroll-to-top