The Best Men’s Footwear For Adventure Travel

ECCO Biom 2.1

The Danish company ECCO has a reputation for well-made and stylish footwear, from dress shoes and boots to sneakers. In my experience, their shoes tend to be very comfortable right out of the box. Now we have their new ECCO Biom 2.1 Low Tex, which is more than just a casual shoe but a distinctive move to the trail. It’s designed as a lightweight hiking trail shoe and since this is a shoe made by ECCO, it’s a dual purpose, created with both mountain trails and urban living in mind. They “power” the shoe with BIOM® Natural Motion® Technology, using three independent layers, a mix of premium textiles and ECCO Yak Leather, which might convince you to head to the Himalayas for a little trail running. They have a lightweight and breathable upper, a Phorene™ midsole that provides some extra bounce, and the ECCO Performance Rubber+ outsole, which is designed for extra traction.$150.

KEEN NXIS EVO Waterproof Shoe

KEEN is especially known for their hiking shoes, water shoes and those rubber-toed sandals that have saved many a toe. Their new NXIS lightweight hikers combines years of innovation in a shoe that’s a light and fast version of their bestselling hiker. The company calls it “a running shoe for hikers,” so it double functions without being a minimal trail running shoe. That said, it has speed lace webbing, and a well-cushioned midsole. The outsole is a proprietary horseshoe tread, designed for uneven trails. The upper, in classic Keen fashion, is waterproof. It’s available in a shoe and boot style. $144.

Merrell Hydro Moc BLOOM™

Merrell shoes are a long-time favorite of mine, and while the look of their new Hydro Moc BLOOM™ might give you pause, they’re well-worth checking out. These are comfortable water shoes that you could end wearing all day long, in the water or not. They’re that comfortable. They utilize injected EVA foam for the upper, which is both water-friendly and durable. The rear heel sling is made of translucent rubber and 10% recycled rubber fleck. Merrell uses FloatEco Foam™ to make the Hydro Moc both lightweight and comfortable. From a sustainability point of view, BLOOM™ EVA is a performance foam made from 10% recycled algae biomass, transforming green water into clean water in the process. They’re also Vegan-friendly. Consider tossing the old Crocs and slip into these. $55.

Danner Free Spirit Hiker

Anyone look for stylish hiking shoes should consider these retro hikers from Danner, a company that has long led the charge for fashionable boots that could make it in Milan as well as the mountains. The Free Spirit hiker is based on Danner’s original 1988 Free Spirit boot but reimagined for 2022. The dual density midsole promises comfort and durability on the trail. There’s a Vibram® outsole with Megagrip to keep you on the trail. There is solid D-ring hardware that gives them a true outdoorsy look. The Free Spirit has GORE-TEX waterproofing, which means that it’s a true multi-season boot. I suspect that many of these boots will go no further than the sidewalks of Manhattan on an inclement day but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful as a Father’s Day gift. $200.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Hiking Shoes

Serious hikers should take a look at the Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Hiking Shoes. These low hikers have Gore-Tex® waterproof bootie liners. The fit feels almost sculpted, so your foot will resist any urge to swim around when you’re on the trail. There’s foam cushioning, textile linings that wick moisture, and Ortholite sockliners, which combine foam and contoured EVA heel cups for support and cushioning. The rubber toe caps are designed for the roots and rocks you’ll encounter. I find that Salomon’s fit is a tad finicky, so try before you buy. $150.

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