Men aren’t exactly left wanting when it comes to boot options. Whether you’re in the market for a pair of dress boots, regular lace-up boots or even some winter boots to help combat rain and snowfall, there are myriad options on the market today. But for a greater breadth of choice, a stylish alternative is the hiking boot.
However, hiking boots can fall into a couple of categories: the traditional version that you’ll find at specialist outdoor gear stores that are made to accompany you on serious excursions up, down and over a variety of terrains, and designer hiking boots from the likes of Danner, Moncler and Hunter, that offer warmth and waterproofing, but in a far more stylish package.
While they’re more likely to be put through their paces scurrying around high-street shops than they are over mountain peaks, the stylish, designer option is the sort you’ll want to stock in your closest. But what exactly defines a hiking boot and what should you be looking out for when searching for your own pair?
Hiking Boot Materials
A vast majority of hiking boots – or at least, the ones you’re going to want – should be made from premium materials such as leather or suede. Since they’re most likely going to be subject to a bit of rain or an occasional bout of snow at worst, these materials will be more than capable of holding their own.
You will, however, want to make sure they have a rubber sole, ideally a Vibram-branded one for the last word in quality. A chunky rubber sole will help keep you planted on the ground during inclement weather, and will go some way to helping you wade over rocks and snow should you ever decide to give them a thorough workout.
Hiking Boot Features
One of the clear signs that you’re in possession of a pair of hiking boots lies with the laces. Most hiking boots will rock either D-rings, eyelets or lace-hooks to make tieing and untieing your laces, while also helping to make sure they remain securely fastened.
Given the conditions your hiking boots are likely to endure, you’re going to want to make sure they’re waterproof too. While the likes of premium leathers and suedes can help combat rain showers – with regular maintenance – other technologies such as Gore-Tex should also be welcomed.
With this knowledge in mind, let us reveal to you some of the very best hiking boots for men available right now.
Best Hiking Boots For Men FAQ
What is the difference between hiking boots and hiking shoes?
The main difference between hiking boots and hiking shoes is simply that hiking boots come further up the ankle, providing greater coverage against dirt and rain, as well as extra support. They can, however, be heavier than hiking shoes, so you will need to factor this in when deciding what you need your hiking boots for.
Can I wear hiking boots if I'm not going hiking?
Absolutely. Some companies produce hiking boots that simply mimic the classic styling, but are never destined for use over rocks and snow. Hiking boots that are capable of handling a variety of terrain can also be worn everyday, as they're still a comfortable footwear option, the only obstacle may come with what to pair them with.
Do hiking boots need to be a size bigger?
More often than not, hiking boots should be bought in your standard shoe size, as you want them to fit snugly and to not allow your feet to slide around inside, causing blisters.
However, each manufacturer will have its own size guide. Ideally, you should try a pair on in-store, complete with hiking boot socks, which will help fill out any gaps.
The Mountain Pass boot is made from a full-grain leather upper attached to a Vibram sole, so you won't be falling over any time soon. Add to this a Gore-Tex liner to keep your feet cool and dry and you have yourself a perfectly capable pair of hiking boots.
Case in point is these Batcombe Alp boots. Sporting a D-ring lacing system with a single pair of speed hooks at the top, they're an incredibly handsome pair of hiking-style boots finished in nubuck and given a Gore-Tex treatment. Traction should be no issue thanks to the chunky outsole, and thanks to their looks, they can easily be worn as part of a casual outfit.
Being an outdoor specialist, Columbia's hiking boots are built to perform, such as this pair of 100MW Titanium Outdry boots (which we think are rather fetching). Part of the premium Titanium collection, these boots are built to last. An OutDry membrane ensures they're waterproof while remaining breathable, while a full-grain leather upper should be easy to clean of mud and grime. A Vibram outsole keeps you from sliding around and a cushioned midsole provides all-day comfort.
Such as this pair of Ankeny II mid-boots. Rocking a hiking boot style design complete with speed hooks and D-rings, they're certainly a pair that can be worn day in, day out. The sole isn't as chunky as some others, making them more lightweight than some others on this list, but they're still fully waterproof and the rubber sole is still good for incredible amounts of grip.
The XC4 Summit Plain Toe boot its built on the company's XC4 platform, which provides a perfect fit, the right amount of advanced cushioning and waterproof properties. Not quite as hiking boot-looking as some other pairs but still with much of the qualifying criteria, they're a super comfortable option to consider.
Camper's CRCLR hiking boots, for example, are incredibly modern in their design and functional in their purpose. The very latest Gore-Tex surround technology provides breathability around the entirety of the boot, including the sole, while keeping it fully waterproof. OrthoLite insoles provide a high level of cushioning while the EVA outsole keeps them remarkably lightweight.
The Raider Hunt benefit from D-ring eyelets and speed hooks for quick lacing and a fully waterproof full-grain leather upper. Wolverine's own MultiShox and ContourWelt technologies are onboard to provide effective energy return and supreme comfort, thanks to the boot conforming to the natural flex of your feet.
This pair of Explore Mid boots are fully waterproof and are a mash-up of boot and sneaker, being both super lightweight yet durable and ready for adventure. Your feet are given plenty of support thanks to a Konnectfit locking system for your heel, and a thoughtfully designed notch on the back gives an extra bit of room for your achilles. It's these small touches that make all the difference.
Easily the best-looking pair on this list (in our opinion) the Moncler Peak boots sit at the perfect ankle height and made in Italy from premium leather. A padded collar provides extra support to the ankle and you can let everyone else know you're better than them by way of Moncler's iconic red, white and blue branding.
The Cloudrock Waterproof is advertised as a speed hiking boot, thanks to its being up to 35% lighter than other pairs. Several technologies including Missiongrip rubber for enhanced traction and a FlexLock lacing system that allows you to tighten them with one pull, makes them a fashionable, functional alternative to traditional hiking boots.
The Dolomite boots take their name from the Italian Dolomites mountain range and as a result, are made in Italy. Made from a genuine European vegetable-tanned leather and have been given a memory foam insole lined with calfskin for extra comfort. A sturdy rubber outsole provides enough traction for traversing rocky trails and due to their handsome looks, can effectively be worn as an everyday boot.
These Valsetz RTS 1.5 5" tactical boots are a bit of a mouthful, but they're lightweight and incredibly tough. Under Armour's own Storm waterproof membrane banishes water away, and they'll hold up against abrasions from rocks thanks to a PU film. Comfortable enough for easy all-day wear, their super stealthy appearance only adds to their appeal.
These Isaac boots are AllSaints' "version of a hiking boot". Made from a combination of goat and cow leather and made in Portugal, they feature the classic stylings, including metal eyelets and an incredibly chunky sole. Certainly not a pair you'd wear to scale a mountain, they're targeted at the more fashion focused gentleman.
These Thermo Snowdrift boots are designed for seriously cold environments, and will keep your feet warm and dry thanks to Merrell's own M Select DRY membrane. You needn't worry about them kicking up a stink either with M Select FRESH antimicrobial technology, and warmth is provided by a Conductor fleece lining. Elsewhere you get cushioning, a lightweight build and Merrell's own GRIP outsole for superior grip.
While you won't be scaling mountains of a similar vein, these Pyramid GTX hiking boots will still see you over some difficult hikes. Benefitting from Gore-Tex Surround technology for complete breathability all the way round, these hiking boots remain lightweight yet tough, and will comfortably see you through wind, water and snow.
These Odyssey Mid GTX hiking boots arrive in a particularly good looking colour scheme and are made for going the distance. Fully waterproof thanks to a Gore-Tex membrane, lightweight with ample cushioning and plenty of traction when on roads and trails.
The Halden boot is available in a couple of colour options and is a slightly more modern take on the classic hiking boot. D-ring eyelets and speed hooks tick the boxes, while a waterproof yet breathable membrane keeps your toes dry. A Peak-to-Pavement outsole is the selling point here though, being suitable for traversing tricky terrain, as well as holding you in good stead at the bar.
These Timberland Garrison Trail hiking boots are instantly recognisable (helped in part with a large logo on the side), but perfectly marry together a performance boot with high-street style. Timberland's own TimberDry waterproof membrane has been used to repel water. This membrane, along with plenty of other materials used throughout the boots, is made from recycled materials. A large chunk of EVA-blend foam cushioning is used for shock absorption and energy return, and they're available in multiple colour options.
These Trail Edge mid-height waterproof hiking boots are made from a combination of suede and a breathable mesh for the upper, making them durable yet breathable. DryVent waterproofing is onboard to help keep water at bay and strategically placed foam in the collar, tongue and the mid-sole provide plenty of comfort. Finally, you can be assured of a solid footing thanks to an UtrATAC rubber outsole for serious levels of grip.
The Tracker FG hiking boots has everything you could want from a boot: a waterproof lining with added thermal protection, a lightweight build and a firm ground sole to help see you across the toughest of terrains.
The company is hoping to add hiking fans to that list too with these 1400 hiking boots. Rocking an internal waterproof liner and fully sealed seams and a waterproof leather upper, you can forget about any water getting inside. They're available in various widths too, for those with wide feet or narrow feet looking for a pair of hiking boots.
These Roclite Pro G hiking boots make use of the company's latest Graphene-Grip outsole technology while a Schoeller ceramic-coated upper provides durability and protection from hiking trail obstacles and debris. The addition of Gore-Tex makes them completely weatherproof too, so you can keep on trekking until failure.
The Track 25 GTX hiking boot take on a timeless design, i.e. chunky. Made from a premium full-grain leather and fitted with a fully waterproof Gore-Tex lining, you can be assured of dry feet even in severe downpours. Incredibly comfortable right out of the box, and with a couple of sets of speeds hooks, they're a pair of hiking boots you're not going to want to take off.
The Zodiac Plus GTX are bursting with various footwear technologies, including Gore-Tex, a Vibram outsole, and ActivImpact to help absorb shocks and provide energy return. As with all SCARPA boots, they're made to an incredibly high quality, and are certainly a pair you can rely upon when conditions turn sour.
These Terrex Skychaser hiking boots are seriously good looking, in our opinion, channelling the design of a pair of sneakers into a fully functioning hiking boot. Offering complete waterproofing thanks to a Gore-Tex lining and serious levels of grip afforded by the Continental Rubber outsole (the same Continental that makes car tyres), they're a go-anywhere, do-anything hiking boot.
The Roccia Vet hiking boots are made from a hardwearing canvas with suede applied to the tongue and collar, which also receive extra padding. Incredibly good looking and equally functional, they may cost a little more than some others, but they're oh so worth it.