Hiking is super fun, but the wrong pair of shoes can make everything go south real quick. There are different types of hiking shoes for men, and you should know which ones are right for you. Fortunately, this article reviews the best hiking shoes for male hikers. From mid-cut to low-cut training shoes, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re in a rush, here is a quick overview of the best hiking shoes for men in 2021:
- Best overall: Salomon X Ultra 3 Gore-Tex Men’s Hiking Shoes
- Most comfortable: KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoes
- Best for flat feet: Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots
- Best for trail running: La Sportiva Men’s Ultra Raptor Trail Running Shoes
- Best waterproof: Salomon Men’s X Ultra Mid Winter CS Waterproof Hiking Boots
Best Hiking Shoes for Men: 2021 Buyers Guide
Finding the best hiking shoes is not easy, especially when you don’t know what to look for. Fortunately, we’ve listed out several factors to consider before choosing the right pair of hiking shoes.
1) CONSTRUCTION – Hiking shoes are constructed using different materials and a combination of materials. The shoe’s upper material and sole determines its durability, breathability, and overall comfort. It’s necessary to consider the type of material used to design the top side of your hiking shoes.
The best hiking shoes are made of a combination of mesh, nylon, and nylon mesh. The three materials ensure durability and performance.
Nylon and mesh panels are lightweight and long-lasting. Most importantly, they enhance ventilation, thus ensuring feet freshness all day long.
Leather, especially Nubuck Leather, is used to design heavy hiking shoes. Leather is light in weight and flexible than more durable. The leather itself is not breathable, and for this reason, it is combined with mesh and nylon for longevity and ventilation.
2) COMFORT AND STABILITY – Without comfort and stability, you are unlikely to enjoy your hiking. The best hiking shoes are designed to offer excellent ankle support to prevent rolling. Also, you need stability to eliminate chances of falling even when walking in the most unfriendly terrains.
Unfortunately for hikers, even the best-maintained hiking trails are not all rosy. It is for this reason that you should invest in a shoe that offers enough heel and toes protection. The shoes we reviewed below feature a full rubber toe cap so that you can enjoy every minute you spend on the trail.
3) TREAD AND TRACTION – The hiking shoes you buy must offer you a steady grip even when hiking in rough areas. An ideal hiking shoe comes with additional traction; the best hiking shoes ensure enough traction on mud, wet rocks, sand, rock or snow. Our list comprises of shoes that have been tested under different terrains and found to offer a perfect grip to keep you going even when the conditions are not the best.
You will need different shoe threads depending on where you intend to hike. For instance, individual hiking through a desert will need a different shoe thread than someone hiking on the sand.
4) INTERNAL SUPPORT – The type of insole you choose can cause you misery or offer you the best hiking experience. The good news is that all hiking shoes come with removable insoles to allow for replacement at any time. Several insoles in the market are designed for various tasks, and they are quite affordable. However, this does not mean that you turn a blind eye on the type of insole that your hiking shoes come with.
Choose shoes with an extra added insole for increased comfort over a long period of time. Remember to change your insole the moment you feel they are not offering you the cushioning they should.
5) WEIGHT – Hiking boots come in different weights. Ultralight hiking shoes are best for warm climates and day hiking while heavy shoes are best for uneven terrains since they absorb shock and support your ankles adequately.
Whether to opt for lightweight or heavy hiking shoes is a decision you make depending on the type of terrain you prefer to hike on. If you rea headed to a rocky area, then we recommend you go for heavy shoes for extra cushioning and comfort. For shorter hikes in an even ground, then you are off better with a lightweight pair.
6) WATERPROOFING – You will want a shoe that will withstand all the possible weather conditions, including snow and water. Waterproof hiking shoes ensure that your feet remain warm even when hiking in chilly conditions. Most waterproof shoes feature a chemical membrane known as Gore-Tex, often written as GTX. However, the decision whether to buy waterproof shoes or not depends on your personal preference. Summer hikers may not find waterproof shoes necessary.
7) VENTILATION – It is also necessary that the shoes remain ventilated all the way during hot conditions. Remember – your feet are more likely to sweat as you move up and down the trail during warm temperatures. A breathable material will allow your feet to stay comfortable and fresh throughout the journey. In general, hiking shoes with thin fabrics and mesh do well when it comes to wicking away moisture and enhancing airflow so that your feet remain dry all day long.
8) CUSHIONING – Hiking shoe cushioning determines the amount of comfort you get while you hike. EVA and TPU are the common cushioning material used in the best hiking shoes. Proper cushioning ensures that your feet are protected from the ground impact as you move.
EVA is the common cushioning in the best trail running shoes for hiking. This is a lightweight and incredibly soft material that takes care of you midfoot and heel shocks. While there are several shoes in the market with EVA cushioning, they can vary from stiff to soft. For rough terrains, you will need a stiff cushioning midsole which is stable to protect your feet from unnecessary tension.
Soft midsoles may be more comfortable but will be worn out before you know it. When it comes to EVA soles, pay more for quality.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is another common midsole material for hiking shoes. This is a durable, comfortable and extremely functional material. TPU is softer and long-lasting than EVA; the material is perfect for heavy hiking. The material remains in shape for longer. The only downside with TPU is that it is quite expensive.
Some brands successfully combine EVA and TPU to design shoes that most hikers appreciate. The TPU is used as a frame for stability and support, while the added EVA enhances comfort.
9) BUDGET – You need to know how much money you are willing to spend on the best hiking shoes. Having a budget in place cuts down on overspending.
Your budget determines the type of shoe hiking shoes you buy. The good news is that our list of the 10 best hiking shoes for men consists of high quality but affordable shoes. Several low- priced shoes come with several features that a hiker will love, we reviewed more of those.
The Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX is one of the best waterproofing hiking shoes for men. While there are other incredible features of these shoes, hikers agree that its protection against weather elements is one of its main strengths.
The hiking shoe features a Gore-Tex membrane whose main function is to resist water and provide comfort during undesirable conditions such as cold or extreme heat. This material is lightweight and extremely durable.
With these shoes, you get an ortholite sock liners that are meant to increase support. They are removable and machine washable. To add unto your comfort, there are textile linings that wick away moisture at every chance hence creating a great atmosphere to keep you going.
The midsoles of this hiking boot are made with EVA foam which ensures that your feet are properly supported through all possible terrains out there. This material remains sturdy and does not thin out, no matter what. We love that the midsoles incorporate some waterproofing material to increase resistance to mud, water and moisture. The insoles are light and add no significant weight to the shoes.
The upper section of the shoes is made of high-quality leather. The leather easily moulds to your shoe shape for deserved ankle support during the hikes. The toe caps are strategically placed on the front end of the shoe to form protection between your toes and objects on the ground.
The contra grip outsole ensures that you get enough traction and grip on every terrain. We love the lugs that help with cleaning the sole to reduce the shoe’s weight, especially when hiking in muddy areas. The shoe also comes with mudguards that do a well- job repelling mud.
Salomon uses its Advanced Chasis Design that provides a great grip without adding unnecessary weight to the shoe. Consider this pair when looking for the best lightweight hiking shoes.
KEEN is known for durable, fairly priced and comfortable hiking shoes for both men and women. This best waterproof hiking shoes come with several other features necessary for a great hiking experience.
KEEN incorporates nubuck leather and a KEEN dry membrane that ensures you have dry feet at all times regardless of the weather conditions out there. The breathable membrane wicks moisture from your feet but prevents any moisture from the atmosphere form getting into your shoes.
The shoe’s insoles offer extraordinary support and shock absorption thanks to their extra padding. The soles are made of rubber which is bouncy and stable. The toe bumper does a great job protecting your toes from ground elements such as rocks and gravels. The shoe’s cushioning, support, and stability makes it one of the best hiking shoes for bad knees.
If you are in the market for the best hiking shoe for flat feet, then you will be glad you came across this incredible hiking shoe. This is definitely one of the best breathable hiking shoes, and it aligns with your feet to ensure nothing less than extreme comfort.
Salomon uses Thinsulate Insulation technology in these hiking shoes to ensure that the heat your body generates remains in the boots to keep you warm and comfortable during the cold season. On top of that, the shoe comes with a moulded heel pad that protects from extreme weather conditions such as snow.
For better cushioning, and shock absorption, this Men’s Ultra X Winter hiking shoes feature an EVA foam that is extra padded. The shoe does a good job when it comes to stability and offering a grip over the wet rocks. There is a high-quality chassis that goes between the outsole and midsole to enhances traction over slippery terrains.
The shoes are versatile and can be worn as wint3er shoes as well as hiking boots thanks to their durable material that will not wear out even after years of regular wearing.
This is the best men’s hiking shoes for those looking for a shoe that offers protection from blisters and pressure. This Altar Lone 4.5 is a zero-drop shoe which means the forefoot and the heel are the same height from the ground.
The most popular aspect of this shoe is its foot shape toe box which offers plenty of room for your toes to relax. The toe box is covered with fine breathable material and a mesh that will prevent your feet from getting wet. The mesh extends from downside as around the heel with added lateral support and protection. The shoe also has a hard toe kick for additional protection.
The interior of the Altra men’s Lone shoe comes with a thick lining but breathable enough to wick away moisture from your feet. The tongue is strategically placed to protect your feet from debris and dust. The shoe’s laces are nicely designed to help prevent irritation.
The outsole has deep multi-directional lugs to prevent your shoes from getting stuck in a variety of terrains such as mud and ice.
Vasque is the name that comes into mind when talking about hiking shoes for wide feet. The Vasque Men’s Breeze is designed for a die-hard long-distance hiker who is yearning for feet freedom.
The first thing you will notice about this best hiking boots is their lightweight. Their low weight makes them ideal for trail running. The shoe collar is made of extra cushioning to secure your feet in place throughout your journey.
Quality Eva insoles are a must for Vasque hiking shoes. You will enjoy the multiple insoles that provide exceptional comfort during those long-dreaded hikes. The insole also features a Vibram Technology which ensures some bounciness hence protection from shock. You will appreciate the Gore-Tex Mesh Technology, which provides enough ventilation and waterproofing.
Amazingly, with all the incredible features listed above, this hiking shoe comes at an affordable price.
If you are looking for minimalist waterproof hiking shoes then you need to consider the Moab 2 from Merrell. The shoe is sleek-designed, thus ideal for different outdoor activities.
The shoe is made of quality mesh uppers and leather. On top of this, the brand uses suede to ensure that the shoe is long-lasting.
The shoe features an air cushion on the heel to ensure adequate shock absorption when hiking. The midsole is made of EVA sole for increased comfort. The shoe tongues are wide and made of hard foam which protects your feet from sand and moisture. The foam also cushions you from the pressure of the laces.
The Vibram outer sole is durable and bouncy. Its exceptional grip is suitable for different terrains. The lugs offer enough traction while walking on the mud while the nylon shank offers stability and support to prevent you from sliding and falling.
The Asolo Fugitive is another contender for the best hiking shoes for wide feet. This shoe gives you the best of hiking experience without putting pressure on your feet.
The shoe’s upper section is made of high-quality water-resistant Italian suede. The insoles are made of the Gore-Tex lining that helps keep your feet dry as much as possible even after long hikes.
If you are after a fairly priced yet highly breathable hiking shoes, then you can consider Asolo Fugitive. The mesh material at the sides ensures that there is enough air circulating in your shoes to keep your feet feeling fresh all day long.
The sole is made of bi-density rubber which is great for grip and traction. You can wear this shoe when heading for hiking on wet rocks without fear of falls. The toe cap and heel are excellent in absorbing shock, especially when hiking on rough terrains.
The Asoloflex thermoplastic design protects your feet from trauma and bruises; hence one of the best shoes for hiking in the jungle.
The Oboz Firebrand is one of the best lightweight hiking shoes on the market. This will be ideal for anyone looking for durable yet lightweight shoes for shorter hikes.
The Oboz Firebrand II is made of a waterproof material that wick protect your feet from wetness. The upper section is also made of breathable material that promotes circulation of air in the shoes throughout your hiking.
The shoe’s insole is made of comfortable and high-quality EVA foam. This padding ensures that your feet are protected from pressure, especially at prone areas such as the heels, toes and midsole.
The shoe’s outsoles feature a sawtooth material to offer the traction and grip needed when walking on wet areas. Oboz Firebrand best fits day hikers with wide feet. The shoes also come at a fair price.
If you are interested in all-terrain hiking shoes, then you may want to check out the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor shoes.
We love the extensive upper mesh, which promotes breathability to keep your feet comfortable even on the hot days. The mesh dries fast, and so your shoe remains dry even during cold weather. The sides of this shoe feature plastic ribs that help keep the mesh in place for as long as possible.
The heel cup provides enough support for trail running over a long period of time while the Vibram sole offers you traction and stability you need for exceptional hiking. The toe area has extra padding to ensure that your feet are protected from rocks.
This is the best trail running shoe for hiking is ideal for narrow feet hikers looking for an athletic style hiking shoe.
Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX is the kind of hiking shoe that most flat-feet hikers will appreciate. The most important feature of these shoes that makes all the difference is that it has an internal Sensfit System that enhances perfect fitting.
This best hiking shoes for flat feet features waterproofing material that ensures your feet remain dry and comfortable irrespective of the weather. To ensure more comfort, the X lacing style evenly distributes pressure on the shoe’s tongue.
If you love to have your feet pampered, then this best hiking boots will be ideal. The shoes come with a butterfly- soft glove leather that moulds to the shape of your feet for extra comfort. The mesh on the shoe allowed adequate air circulation in and out of your shoe for enhanced breathability and lowered feet fatigue.
We love the Supination Pronation system that helps lower pronation and supination to enhance comfort for those hikers with flat feet.
The following hiking shoes didn’t make it on our list, but they’re still great products that you should check out:
- adidas Men’s Terrex Free Hiker Hiking Boots – mid-profile best hiking shoe for men that focuses on comfort, ventilation and durability, all at an affordable price (for an adidas shoe). This is one of the few pair of hiking shoes that comes with a sock-lock which is meant to hold your feet in place at all times. The shoe also features a moulded sock liner for increased comfort. The outsole features a continental rubber whose arrow-shaped ridges ensures optimal grip always. For this reason, we conclude that this is one of the best hiking shoes for wet rocks.
- Nike Men’s ACG Ruckel Ridge – best option for hikers looking for a stylish hiking sneaker that offers adequate support. The insole provides great protection against shock from rocks and sand. The sole has a lugged outer rim that is also stable while the midsole remains flexible for comfort and fast mobility. The well-aligned ventilation panels ensure that your feet remain dry and fresh throughout. The only downside with this shoe is that it is not made of waterproof material and therefore not suitable for harsh weather. Otherwise, it is a great option for tropical climate hikers.
- Nike Wildhouse 6 Mens Running Trainers – one of the best trail running shoes on the market. Each aspect of this shoe is designed to give you ultimate comfort when on the trail. These best trail running shoes feature a Nike React foam which offers adequate cushioning on the heel for that bounce and stability you require when trail running. The ankle collar comes with minimal cushioning but quickly makes up for that by keeping the grit out of the shoe. The shoe’s tongue has some padding so as prevent laces’ pressure. The anticlog coating ensures that you have good traction even when hiking on slippery grounds.
- The North Face Ultra 109 GTX – renown shoe brand that focuses on designing comfortable and durable hiking shoes. North Face Ultra 109 GTX is the best low cut hiking shoes that offer excellent waterproofing. The upper section of the shoe is made of a durable mesh that enhances ventilation, thus comfort. This is a lightweight, all-weather hiking shoe that meets all your hiking demands. It is made of a rubber sole that remains bouncy and comfortable for years to come. The EVA foam aligns your feet and protects you from unforeseen shock, especially when hiking on slippery terrains.
- adidas outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoes – ideal for mountain climbers who are looking for a pair of shoes that stays to true to the task. This shoe has a sturdy sole that ensures the right amount of grip on steep slopes. The shoe is adequately cushioned to ensure that you get through the steep hills just fine, the lightweight and breathable material ensures that your feet stay fresh and dry throughout your hiking. This pair can be used for other sporting activities such as wall climbing, trail running and more.
Why trust us?
As avid adventurers, we know the importance of getting the right gear for your trip. Finding the right source to provide you with trustworthy information is crucial, which is why we built HelloHiking. Here’s why you should trust us:
- The products we review have been tested by members of our team.
- We don’t have any bias in terms of brands – if the product is great, it’ll be listed.
- We update our guides each year so you have the latest information.
- We’ve covered over 20,000 miles of trails – it’s in our blood.
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