Nick Hall

18 Best Hiking Boots for the Weekend Adventurer | Man of Many


What to Look For in a Hiking Boot

There are a number of important aspects to put under the microscope when it comes to selecting the best hiking boots for you. Depending on the expected conditions and the terrain on which you plan to run, certain factors, such as material and weight will play a significant factor in your final purchasing decision. Here are the aspects you should consider when buying hiking boots in 2020;
Unlike running shoes or sneakers, hiking boots are far more robust and heavy. Where light-weight shoes are great for mobility, the key considerations for hikers are durability and support. It’s unlikely that you’ll cop a structurally sound pair of men’s hiking boots for under 1.5kg, and there are many reasons for this. The extra padding, cushioning and cross-stitching involved in the design and manufacturing of the hiking boot will add weight to the final result, but these elements are important.


By far the most important element in picking the best hiking boots for you is the fit. Your hiking boots should be snug everywhere, tight nowhere and offer room to wiggle your toes. Having a snug-fitting pair of hiking boots restricts water from entering the shoe while you run, whilst also ensuring your ankles and foot arch is supported throughout the length of your hike.


Where running shoes are heavily reliant on cushioning for support and bounce, hiking boots require cushioning for structure and safety. Running or hiking on slippery or rocky terrain can be dangerous, often leading to ankle injuries and concerns. The last thing you want is to injury yourself out on a hike and have to be airlifted out of a tricky situation. It pays to look for a good pair of hiking boots with a significant amount of support and cushioning.


Think about the terrain you plan on hiking. Is it mountainous or grass-covered? Where you choose to hike will directly influence the type of grip and sole that you need, but also weight. As we mentioned above, understanding how often and how long each hike will be is critical to choosing the right pair of hiking boots for you.

Intended Use


If you’ve ever waded into the world of hiking boots and shoes, you would have seen the term Gore-Tex used extensively. To explain it further, Gore-Tex (often referred to as GTX) is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane that has become a staple ingredient amongst the best hiking boots. Invented in 1969, Gore-Tex can repel liquid while allowing water vapour to pass through, making it ideal for all-weather use.

How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots

Once you’ve settled on the non-negotiables for your hiking boots, you’ll want to hit the stores and cop a new pair, but before you do, make sure you know how to get the right fit. Here is what you need to do before buying a new pair of hiking boots for men;
Most stores now offer gait testing as part of the buying process. This generally involves putting on a neutral shoe and running on a treadmill for around 20-30 seconds. Ultimately, this process charts your landing patterns and any misalignments biomechanically within your knees or ankles, revealing precisely what support and structure you will need.

Get Gait Tested

Like anything, don’t just grab the first pair of men’s hiking boots you see and head to the counter. Make sure you put them on and walk around the store before you purchase. Similarly, some stores will offer a return policy, so make sure you know your rights and requirements before you leave the store. It’s always a good idea to check with the staff first.

Try Before You Buy

Best Hiking Boots For Men

Now onto the main event. If you want to get the most out of your outdoor adventure, slip your feet into a pair of great boots.

1. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Built like a trail-running shoe, the Salomon X Ultra 3 has added ankle support and protection, making them one of the best hiking boots for men. The ultra-lightweight boot offers a combination of comfort and structure that you don’t really see among competitors in the category. This latest variation improves toe protection and lug design, providing better grip for those wanting to tackle the more difficult terrain. Obviously, being a light-weight option, there are a few comprises that have been made on the Salomon X Ultra 3 hiking boots, but they are easily forgiven. Most notably is the lack of underfoot protection. This, in turn, does make the shoe more flexible, which could cause issues down the track. Comfort-wise, the X Ultra 3 sits a little lower on the ankle, which is great for mobility, but perhaps not the best for more rocky areas. That being said, the Salomon X Ultra 3 is easily one of the best hiking boots for men and our pick of the bunch.

2. Asolo Falcon GV

Another mid-weight hiking boot with a classic silhouette, Asolo is undoubtedly one of the best hiking shoe brands of the last decade. The Falcon GV is a sleek number that is a little lighter than others in the range, copping a more modern aesthetic in the process. Cut slightly below the ankle, the boots are highly comfortable and ready to wear, however, it does come at a cost. The lighter weight means the Falcon GVs have a little less support across the bridge, impacting overall stability. Despite the downfall, if you are looking for a great day-trail runner, these hiking boots will more than do the job.

3. Merrell MOAB 2 Mid GTX

Ideal for those going on a day-hike or short backpacking trip, the Merrell MOAB 2 hiking boots offer a moderate amount of support with a lightweight design. What makes the MOAB 2 one of the best hiking boots for men is the combination of combat, style, support and most importantly, value. For entry-level hikers, you can score a solid pair of men’s hiking boots that will serve you well on most terrains, however, it is highly recommended that you step up your game and go for the Gore-Tex model. A little more expesnive, this option offers a new insole with a higher arch, improved cushioning under the heel and more succinct waterproof upper.

4. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

You can tell we like Salomon. A little heavier than the X Ultra 3, the Quest 4D is perfect for those looking to embark on an all-day adventure. Updated in 2019, This hiking boot has copped an innovative new outsole that offers improved grip on nearly all terrain. The only downsides with the Quest 4D are mobility and rigidness. This variation is still pretty stiff, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to consider if you are thinking of taking these out for a brief hike. Make no mistake, these mid-weight shoes are some of the best hiking boots making the rounds.

5. SCARPA Zodiac Plus GTX

With traction similar to that of a trail shoe, the Zodiac Plus is surprisingly tough on more rocky terrain. The mid-weight hiking boots offer semi-stiff structure with solid support over the ankle. These boots are incredibly comfortable straight out of the box.

6. La Sportiva Pyramid GTX

Over the past few years, La Sportiva has been pumping out modern hiking boots for men and women with apparent ease. The Pyramid is a lightweight release that is surprisingly durable and stable. The waterproof Gore-Tex is a welcomed addition, but so too is the breathable upper. Rather than relying on vents for breathability, the La Sportiva Pyramid also releases air through the footbed and midsole. For an affordable price, the Pyramid is one of the best hiking boots you can buy.

7. LOWA Renegade GTX Mid

Bearing an aesthetic reminiscent of the traditional hiking boot, the Renegade GTX from LOWA looks every bit as sturdy as it feels. Perhaps a little less nimble and agile as some others on this list, the Renegade has other features on its side. With added underfoot protection and increased stability, these shoes are ideal for more challenging and rocky terrain. To keep the weight down, LOWA added an external polyurethane frame that offers greater stability across the board. For a boot that weighs less than 2.5 pounds, the Renegade packs a mighty punch. One of the best hiking boots for men this year.

8. Keen Targhee III

Iconic outdoor brand Keen is known for its range of multi-terrain hiking boots and for good reason. The Targhee III is an incarnation that expands upon the range’s already stellar reputation. The lightweight Keen hiking boots have a wide fit, making them more accessible to hikers, with a vast amount of cushioning and support. The shoes feature a leather upper and toe cap, however, the additions do come at the expense of stability. If you’re in the market for a versatile and comfortable hiking boot, Keen has you covered.

9. Vasque Talus Trek Ultradry

You can’t make a list of the best hiking boots for men without adding Vasque. The iconic adventure brand has released some seriously tough editions over the years, with the Talus Trek Ultradry a personal favourite. The lightweight shoe is ideal for wet and rocky terrain, with an anti-slip sole that provides added stability on those short hikes. Despite lacking in overall heft, the Talus Trek has a decent amount of support across the ankle and footbed, along with a rigid toe cap and heel piece.

10. Oboz Bridger B-DRY

Montana boot-maker Oboz has carved out a reputation for sturdy and supportive footwear and the Bridger B-DRY is no exception. The over-ankle design provides significant stability and ankle support, allowing you to hit the more difficult and unpredictable terrain without worrying about injury. Additionally, the leather upper is ultra-durable and the midsole reinforcements give the boot a planted feel.

11. Vasque Breeze III GTX

The second Vasque addition to make the list, this variation stakes its claim on support and stability. With a more traditional silhouette and design, the Breeze IIIs have a bit of weight to them compared to other models. What they lack in mobility, they make up for in support, however. Premium features like the Gore-Tex liner and Vibram outsole are welcomed additions. The wider fit remains snug at the ankle as well, meaning you can wear those rather hefty boots all day with her ease. While a little pricier, the Vasque Breeze III are still some of the best hiking boots for men.

12. Hoka One One Sky Toa GTX

Some of the lightest hiking boots on the market, the Hoka One One Sky Toas are an extremely comfortable bit of kit. Blending Hoka’s running shoe cushioning with more traditional hiking boot technology, this footwear is an updated take on the classic silhouette. While it lacks support and protection for longer and more unpredictable terrains, the hiking boots make up for it with comfort and style. Some of the best hiking boots for those who are just entering the sport.

13. Danner Mountain 600

While Danner is probably best known for its range of all-purpose leather boots, the Mountain 600s show the heritage brand still has some merit in the hiking arena. The above-ankle cut is surprisingly supportive for a lightweight shoe,  with the flexible underfoot design a nice addition. Further, the Danner Mountain 600s cop an in-house waterproof liner and water-resistant suede, ensuring the brand retains its all-purpose title.

14. Asolo Fugitive GTX

A little on the pricier end of the spectrum, the Asolo Fugitive GTX has all the bells and whistles to make light work of any hike or hill. With a traditional silhouette that offers a classic boot design and protection, the above-ankle cut can handle rocky, wet, dry and treacherous terrain. Super-stiff and durable, these boots will last a lifetime, but you will lose out on mobility to a degree. Nevertheless, there’s no denying the Asolo Fugitive GTX are some of the best hiking boots out there.

15. Altra Lone Peak 4

Altra’s Lone Peak trail-running shoes are building a solid following in outdoor circles, so it makes sense that the brand’s hiking boots are making a similar splash. The shoes are deceptively light, but still offer a wide box toe for comfort and safety, decent cushioning and a very obvious zero-drop profile. As a result, you may struggle to find solid footing in wet areas, so be sure to weather-check before you head out. While not amazing, the Altra Lone Peak 4s are some of the best hiking boots for new entrants.

16. Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX

The only release from Salewa to make the best hiking boots for men list, the Mountain Trainer Mid GTX is a worthy addition. Blending alpine boot technology with conventional hiking gear, this innovative footwear is designed for the roughest trails you can find. The protective rand wraps around the entire lower section of the boot, providing total isolation from rocks, debris and other unexpected hazards. If you’re looking to head out on a day-hike, these ones probably aren’t for you, but for the more serious multi-day adventurers, Salewa has you covered.

17. adidas Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX

We all know how successful adidas’ running and sports footwear is, but the brand has also dropped some quality hiking boots. The Terrex Swift R2 offers shoe-like grip with a Continental outsole, quality toe and foot protection and a solid Gore-Tex waterproofing. Even more impressive, these hiking boots won’t set you back a hefty price. Coming in at just USD$170, you can score a solid pair of hiking boots with brand-name backing

18. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II

Priced at just USD$80, you can’t really go wrong with the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II. The leather-upper, waterproof hiking boots offer a solid amount of support and structure, with wearers noting the comfort as a major upside. As with all bargain products, there will be a few compromises, with this release only providing a limited amount of ankle support and breathability. All in all, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II shoes are some of the best hiking boots for the price.
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