Best Hiking Boots For Men 2023

Last summer, my partner and I embarked on a 100-plus-mile hike through Europe that taught me a lot about lengthy backpacking trips. I learned, among other things, that long-term comfort is inversely related to the weight of your pack, and breathable long-sleeve layers are far more pleasant than layers of sunscreen. I also realized that, while a camping tent and stove are important, there’s an argument to be made that no piece of gear is more important than your footwear. And yet, finding proper footwear isn’t easy, especially if you’ve got finicky feet. For that reason, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the best hiking boots for men after poring over the many options and independent reviews.

Unless you’re making your Naked and Afraid debut, you’ll need a pair of hiking boots to handle varied terrain. Styles, features and materials differ from one model to the next, but the rationale remains the same: The best hiking boots for men provide the protection, support, traction and comfort that a regular shoe can’t. From rugged, alpine-ready hiking boots to ultralight designs and even budget-friendly options, we’ve got boots to suit your needs, no matter how you choose to hike. In our experience, good boots make for happier miles and safer adventures, which results in more hiking, bigger smiles and a whole lot less time on the side of the trail tending to hotspots and blisters.

Read on to discover our picks for the best hiking boots for men. Choose from a wide range of styles and budgets, and get expert tips in the buyer’s guide below.

Category: Lightweight | Weight: 1.9 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

Salomon’s best-selling X Ultra 4 Mid GTX hiking boot is a superb choice for hikers who demand both long-term comfort and durability. Built to seamlessly blend the attributes we need in a hiking boot—support, stability and traction—the boot features a mid-height cuff for ankle support and soft fabrics for plenty of cushioning. Suffice to say, it’s perfect for hikes short or long.

The upper is made from a combination of PU-coated leather and synthetic fabric, ensuring the boot retains durability without sacrificing breathability. Towards the toe, a protective rubber cap prevents damage to the front of the shoe, and it keeps your dogs a little safer through rock scrambles. One of the standout features of the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX hiking is its waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex membrane that keeps your feet dry, even if you find yourself postholing in waist-deep snow. Underneath, Salomon’s Contagrip outsole provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, though it’s less effective over ice.

All in all, Salomon’s fourth iteration of the X Ultra Mid is a great all-around choice for hikers who need a durable and supportive boot that can withstand a variety of trail conditions. With your feet taken care of, you can focus on enjoying the adventures at hand.


  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Performance Comfort membrane
  • Fast, light design
  • ADV-C chassis optimizes lateral stability


  • A little stiff out of the box
  • Contagrip outsole isn’t as effective on ice

Category: Midweight| Weight: 2.25 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

A cult classic in the Merrell lineup, the Moab series gets an upgrade in the form of the Moab 3 Mid WP. The combination suede leather and breathable mesh upper works together with a fully waterproof membrane to support breathability without letting moisture interrupt your stride. Meanwhile, a bellowed, foam tongue adds comfort to the forefoot area, but it also prevents debris from getting trapped inside the boot when you’re tackling loose terrain.

A rubber toe cap lessens impact and improves durability, while the Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole comes with five-millimeter widely-spaced lugs that keep you sure-footed. Merrell uses a combination of foams in the footbed to not only offer cushioning and shock absorption, but also to add extra support through the heel and arch where it’s needed most.

Reviewers rave about the boot’s out-of-the-box comfort and long-term durability—most have come back to buy multiple pairs over the years. At less than $150, this wallet-friendly hiking boot will become a staple in any outdoor lover’s wardrobe.


  • Performance suede leather and mesh
  • Closed-cell foam tongue locks out debris
  • Merrell Air Cushion in the heels absorbs shock and adds stability


  • Waterproof membrane isn’t Gore-Tex

Category: Mid/Heavyweight | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

The Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex hiking boot continues to dominate best-seller lists because it offers the bombproof reliability you’d expect from a go-anywhere, do-anything boot. Supportive and waterproof, it’s a responsive package that features details found in Salomon’s trail running shoes. At less than three pounds per pair, it’s on the heavier side for a boot but the aggressive stance offers optimal performance whether you’re bagging a local peak or hiking over a long weekend.

The leather and textile upper features an overlay structure that cradles your foot like a baby to provide a secure and snug fit, even through dynamic movement. Reviewers rave that the upper, combined with the blended midsole, enables you to wear it right out of the box instead of enduring a dreaded break-in period. A tongue that seamlessly connects to the upper keeps out blister-causing debris and helps secure it in place to avoid hotspots.

The boot’s Gore-Tex membrane will keep your feet dry through wet trail conditions and shallow river crossings, while a rubber outsole with deep, multi-directional lugs adds traction and long-lasting durability. A rubber cap at the front of the boot takes the brunt of contact with rocks and roots so your toes stay happy.


  • Tough, durable materials
  • Incredibly supportive midsole
  • Gore-Tex waterproofing


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Category: Lightweight | Weight: 1.63 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

The Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion hiking boot is technically a boot, but at 1.63 pounds per pair, it’s about as light as a traditional running shoe, which makes it the perfect choice for those who need ultralight footwear that doesn’t compromise on durability or protection. As one of the lightest hiking boots on the market, its minimalist design and flexible sole make it feel like you’re wearing nothing at all—a common theme among Xero Shoes’ featherlight footwear offerings.

The boot’s upper blends synthetic mesh with welded TPU overlays that provide structural support, while the outsole features 10 millimeters of cushioning and a rugged dual-chevron tread pattern peppered with 3.5-millimeter lugs. You’d expect a boot this light to do away with superfluous features, but Xero still manages to offer up waterproofing courtesy of seam-sealed inner booties, water-resistant membranes and gusseted tongues. In traditional minimalist fashion, these are zero-drop boots, which means your foot isn’t bolstered in the heel but rather, flat with the rest of your foot. While the zero-drop shoes aren’t for everyone, they can strengthen the muscles of your foot to promote balance, agility and proper posture over time. We recommend trying them on in-person if you get the chance.


  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof with built-in gaiter holes
  • Removable 2-millimeter insoles
  • Vegan materials


  • Less cushioning and long-term support
  • Some feet don’t agree with zero-drop footwear


Category: Midweight | Weight: 2.06 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

Keeping your feet dry isn’t always possible, but it’s made easier when you’re wearing La Sportiva’s Nucleo High II GTX hiking boots. Built with a Gore-Tex Surround lining and a nubuck leather upper, the design does well to seal out water and dry quickly when it happens to get wet. The gusseted tongue, a feature that attaches the bottom and sides of the tongue to the shoe, does well to eliminate not only water, but dirt and debris as well. Weighing a shade over two pounds per pair, it’s a surprisingly light package given its robust protection and cushioning.

Like all good hiking footwear, this boot’s outsole is made with a rubber Vibram compound (in this case, Nano XS-Trek compound) that delivers superior grip whether you’re crossing a river or wading through waist-deep snow. The design is also available in a number of wide sizing options to accommodate different feet, and the boot can be resoled should you wear it for years to come.


  • Gore-Tex Surround lining keeps moisture and debris at bay
  • Gusseted tongue slips easily on and off
  • Optimal performance on downhills courtesy of Vibram outsole


  • Excellent waterproof lining seals in foot heat and sweat

Category: Lightweight| Weight: 1.88 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

The Altra Lone Peak All-Wthr Mid is a great choice for those who have wide feet and struggle to find hiking boots like Goldilocks struggles to find a bed. The boot relies on Altra’s signature FootShape toe box, which provides ample room for your toes to spread out naturally with each step, reducing the risk of blisters, hot spots and other issues caused by poor-fitting footwear. In addition to its spacious toe box, the Lone Peak All-Wthr Mid also features a wide last that accommodates a variety of foot shapes and sizes. This means that even if you have a wider than average foot, you can still squeeze into the boot without issue.

The boot’s upper is made from waterproof and breathable synthetics that keep your feet dry and comfortable, while its mid-height cuff provides added ankle support. The outsole design offers excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, including wet and slippery terrain, and the sole’s lugs are strategically placed to improve grip. After wearing a number of different boots with varying rubber compounds, we’d rank Altra’s DuraTread rubber as one of the best—it’s up there with a number of different Vibram rubbers.


  • Spacious toe box supports wider feet
  • Aggressive lugs and sticky rubber compound provide plenty of grip
  • Lightweight at less than two pounds per pair


  • Some reviewers have said the waterproofing quickly fades
  • Zero-drop cushioning isn’t for everyone

Category: Heavyweight | Weight: 2.65 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is a backpacking boot that delivers ample support in a surprisingly responsive package. Perfect for hauling a heavy pack over rugged mountain terrain, it’s lighter than a traditional mountaineering boot but stiff enough to support on- and off-trail pursuits on some of the world’s most iconic hikes (think Mt. Whitney, the Sierra High Route, etc.).

The boot’s tongue is integrated into the suede leather upper, almost like a sock, to eliminate bunching and hotspots. A Gore-Tex membrane, meanwhile, delivers waterproofing and debris protection whether you’re trudging through scree or snowfields.

Taking cues from Scarpa’s award-winning climbing shoes, this boot uses an asymmetric, to-the-toe lacing system that enables you to dial in a precise fit. A rubber rand protects the boot’s upper from abrasive impacts, adding to its longevity, and the midsole is made from four different densities of foam to deliver ample cushioning and support where it counts. Thanks to a Vibram outsole, the design keeps your feet firmly on the ground and balances the need for stability/speed whether you’re scrambling over boulders or battling steep summit pushes.


  • Technical design supports on- and off-trail pursuits
  • Vibram Drumlin sole
  • Suede leather upper boosts longevity


  • Technical design isn’t well-suited for casual hikes
  • Feels stiffer than its leisurely-hiking competitors

What To Consider When Buying Hiking Boots For Men

When buying the best hiking boots for men, it’s important to consider several key factors that can impact your comfort, support and long-term performance on the trail. Here are some key topics to consider:


A proper fit is perhaps the most important factor to consider when shopping for hiking boots. Look for boots that provide enough room for your toes to move and flex without slipping in the heel or feeling too tight. Whenever possible, visit a retailer to try on boots in-person before buying them online.

Cushioning And Support

The amount of cushioning and support you need will depend on the type of hiking you plan to do. Boots with more cushioning are better for longer hikes and rough terrain, while those with less cushioning are better for shorter hikes and smoother terrain. Look for boots with enough cushioning to absorb shock and reduce fatigue, as well as good arch support and ankle support to prevent unwanted injuries.


If you plan to hike in wet conditions, look for boots with good waterproofing. This can include materials like Gore-Tex or other waterproof membranes that keep water out while allowing moisture to escape as your feet begin to sweat. Also, consider the type of insulation you need for colder conditions, as some boots come with added insulation for warmth.


The outsole of a hiking boot should provide enough traction to prevent slips and falls on uneven or slippery terrain. Look for boots with deep, aggressive tread patterns and good grip, especially if you intend to hike traverse rocky or steep terrain.


Hiking boots are an investment, so keep an eye out for high-quality materials and construction techniques that will last. Leather is a durable and breathable material that can withstand the rigors of hiking, but it isn’t quite as breathable, while synthetic materials are durable, lightweight and breathable.


The weight of a hiking boot can impact your comfort and performance on the trail. Lighter boots are better for shorter hikes and smoother terrain, while heavier boots provide more support and stability for longer hikes and rough terrain. That said, you might consider a lighter hiking boot, or even a trail runner, if you intend to hike hundreds of miles over less technical terrain.


Hiking boots with good breathability can help keep your feet cool and dry, thus preventing blisters and other foot problems. Look for boots with mesh or breathable materials that allow air to circulate.

Is It Better To Have Hiking Boots Or Hiking Shoes?

Whether to choose hiking boots or hiking shoes largely depends on personal preference and the type of hiking you plan to do. Both options have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Hiking boots, on one hand, are typically heavier and provide more support and protection. They’re designed for rough terrain or heavy loads, and they come with better waterproofing and insulation, making them a good choice for cold or wet conditions.

Hiking shoes, on the other hand, are generally lighter and more flexible, which makes for better mobility and agility on the trail. They’re well-suited for smoother and less technical trails, and they tend to be less bulky and more comfortable for extended periods of time. This makes the hiking shoe a great choice for everything from thru-hikes that prioritize weight to day hikes that prioritize comfort.

Do Hiking Boots Make A Difference?

Yes, hiking boots make a significant difference, especially when compared to your everyday trainers. That’s because, unlike trainers, hiking boots provide extended support, protection and comfort on the trail. The main advantages of hiking boots include: refined stability and support for your feet and ankles; reinforced protection from rocks, roots and other debris; better traction on uneven or slippery terrain; and more cushioning in the sole and the upper to provide shock absorption and reduce fatigue.

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