The 7 Best Hiking Boots for Men of 2021

Hit the trails with supportive gear for your feet

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Aside from water, reflective gear, and hiking poles, a solid pair of hiking boots rounds out any list of hiking essentials. Whether you encounter inclement weather, rough terrain, or a longer-than-expected route, hiking boots help keep you protected from the elements and prepared for any situation thrown your way.

When searching for your ideal pair, keep in mind your preferred fit and materials, a style that’ll match your hiking gear, and durability so it’ll last you more than a few hikes. 

Ahead, the best hiking boots for men, fit for both seasoned and casual backpackers.

Our Top Picks
These rugged midweight boots, which get high marks for both comfort (virtually no break-in time) and durability.
Good for those who need additional ankle support and prefer to hike in warmer locales.
Whether in torrential rain, mud, or snow, and ice, these midweight, over-the-ankle hikers are completely waterproof right out of the box.
Notably flexible and lightweight, coming in at well under two pounds.
Best Winter Hiking Boots:
SCARPA Zodiac Plus GTX at Amazon
These boots are so good in snowy mountain terrain that one customer even commented grips like a mountain goat.
Rugged enough for a mountain hike, yet stylish enough for the city streets.
Lightweight, waterproof, and inexpensive, these boots are unbeatable.

Best Overall: Salomon Quest 4D 3 GORE-TEX Men's Backpacking Boots

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots

Salomon has been crafting boots and skis from their home in the French Alps for more than 70 years, and these rugged midweight boots, which get high marks for both comfort (virtually no break-in time) and durability, stand the test of time like the countless models that have come before them. The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX boots borrow from running shoe technology, and their high-cut design gives hikers and backpackers the ankle support they need while the high-traction sole provides excellent traction, especially on rigid terrain and wet surfaces. Plus, the Gore-Tex waterproof lining and the leather and textile upper make these boots both waterproof and light and breathable—and an ideal choice for all seasons.

Most Comfortable: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot

merrel-moab

Merrell enthusiasts buy these classic hiking boots year after year​ but don’t get us wrong, the rugged Moab 2 Vent Mid hikers still get high marks for durability. The vent mid model is good for those who need additional ankle support and prefer to hike in warmer locales—the breathable (non-waterproof), mesh design lets sweat out. Made of synthetic leather and a Vibram sole, with an air cushion in the heel, they are both sturdy and comfortable. Repeat customers are typically day hikers or casual backpackers that rave about the model’s lightweight (2.2lbs), budget-friendly price, excellent traction, and stability. A ​shoe version is also available, as are wide-width, waterproof, and Gore-Tex models.​

What Our Testers Say

"As a trail runner and long-distance backpacker, I found the relatively light weight of the shoes a nice surprise at around 1 pound each. The relatively deep (5 millimeters) lugs held their own on muddy trail and gravel alike. I thought the sole was thin enough near the forefoot to allow for some flexibility and improve the grip and feel on the trail, especially when going through the rocky sections very common in Colorado."

Justin Park, Verywell writer and tester

Best Waterproof: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

Whether in torrential rain, mud, or snow, and ice, these midweight, over-the-ankle hikers are completely waterproof right out of the box and don’t require additional pre-hike treatment. Breathable Gore-Tex liners, water-repellent Nubuck uppers, and polyester linings keep feet warm and dry in the cold, but customers like that they are great for summer hiking and warmer temps as well. Weighing in at just under three pounds, the Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid is lightweight for its class without sacrificing in areas like traction, support, and stability. The stylish shoe comes in more than a dozen colors and has durable metal eyelets for the laces.

Customers love these for their comfort and high supportive arch.

Best Lightweight: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R Mid GTX

Adidas OutdoorTerrex Swift R2 Mid GTX Hiking Shoe

With a fit more like a shoe than a boot—not surprising given they’re made by the famed sneaker brand—these mid-height Gore-Tex hikers are notably flexible and lightweight, coming in at well under two pounds. Adidas’s Outdoor Terrex Swift R Mid GTX are also versatile, comfortable, and just right for day-long hikes with a grippy Traxion outsole that easily handles slippery surfaces and icy terrain. The speedy, open lace system takes some getting used to but ultimately makes it really easy to get the shoes on and off. Fashionable enough for sneaker heads, these are about as dapper as you can get for all-terrain hiking boots.

Best Winter Hiking Boots: SCARPA Zodiac Plus GTX

SCARPA Zodiac Plus GTX

Serious winter hikers will love these boots. With shoe-like traction and mountaineering-like toughness, SCARPA’s Zodiac GTX boots are our top choice for hiking through rocky, snowy, and icy terrain, which is unsurprising as the Italian company is based in Alps and is well-known for performance footwear and gear for the alpine. The Vibram Drumlin soles grip even the rockiest turf while the above-the-ankle design offers much-needed support for climbing steep trails or descending loose slopes. A three-layer midsole keeps these boots comfortable, mile after mile. Plus, they are fully waterproof for winter treks.

These boots are so good in snowy mountain terrain that one customer even commented "grips like a mountain goat".

Most Stylish: Timberland Earthkeepers Lace-Up Boot

Timberland Earthkeepers Lace-Up Boot

These full-grain leather lace-ups are rugged enough for a mountain hike, yet stylish enough for the city streets. Shoppers consistently say the Timberland Earthkeepers are comfortable and durable—one happy customer says “these are the longest lasting pair of boots I have ever owned"—which is great as the dark brown burnished oiled Nubuck leather only softens and gets better with age. These are casual boots that can withstand light treks but aren’t your best bet for serious backpacking or hiking. While they’re not completely waterproof, they are weather-resistant and can handle plenty of moisture and a little snow. This pair has three different shades of brown you can choose from depending on your style needs.

Best Budget: HI-TEC Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

HI-TEC Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Lightweight, waterproof, and inexpensive, these boots are unbeatable—and proof that not all quality hiking boots have to be costly. Great for light trail hiking and weekend adventures, the Hi-Tec Bandera Mid Boot has a rubber sole and a steel shank, offering both traction and stability for hikers of all levels. Buyers note that the foam molded insole is not all that comfortable, but it is removable, so that’s an easy fix, especially given the reasonable cost. The leather and textile upper has suede overlays and striped nylon straps, and comes in a variety of stylish color combinations.

Final Verdict

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GORE-TEX Boots (view at Amazon) checks all the boxes for its minimal break-in time, high-top design that offers protection and support, and compatibility with rigid and wet terrain. If comfort is a priority, or you're a leisure hiker, the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot (view at Merrell) fits the bill for your excursions.

What to Look for in Hiking Boots for Men

Comfort

Hiking is no fun if your boots hurt your feet. Make sure you look for those that fit well and are made of a material that works for the elements and terrain you plan to take on. For example, if you’re going to be walking through streams or hiking in the rain, waterproof materials are a must to keep your feet warm and dry.

Durability

How tough the terrain you plan to tackle is as well as the elements you’ll likely face while doing so will help you determine just how serious of a boot you need. Some are made to take on snow, water, and other tough conditions, while others are better for hikes on the tamer side. 

Style

Functional hiking boots are a must, but that doesn't mean they can't be fashionable as well. Pick a style and color that you'll feel comfortable wearing on and off the trails.

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