Best Hiking Boots

Promising support and stability along with all-day comfort and secure underfoot grip. We’ve selected a selection of proven boots that will suit a multitude of uses, whether you’re heading out for a day’s walk, heading into the hills, or gearing up for a multi-day hike.



Hiker tying boot laces


© Credits: Image by lzf in istock
Hiker tying boot laces

The best hiking shoes:

1. Best Rugged Fit: SALOMON for men with high waist

2. The most beautiful looks: Zamberlan Vioz Gore-tex® Men’s Walking Shoe

3. Best for big miles and heavy loads: KEEN Men’s Karraig Waterproof Hiking Boots

4. Best With Plush Comfort Levels: Berghaus hiking boots for men

5. Best lightweight and cushioned: Meindl Men’s Hiking Boot

SALOMON for men with high waist

Our thoughts: The Quest Prime is one of Salomon’s best-selling walking shoes, and for good reason: the sneaker-like fit is instantly comfortable, with an unrestricted mid-rise fit. They are also among the lightest boots in this category while offering decent protection, thanks to the generous ankle padding and thick rubber toe cap.

Advantages:

  • Superb underfoot cushioning
  • Excellent shock absorption

The inconvenients:

Zamberlan Vioz Gore-tex® Men’s Walking Shoe

Our thoughts: Traditionalists will love the heritage look of these premium Italian-made boots, featuring a full-grain leather upper and soft, padded ankle cuff. They take a little longer to break in than cloth boots, but do get a few miles, and the build quality is quickly apparent. They feel solidly reassuring underfoot, thanks to a fairly stiff midsole that’s sturdy enough to handle serious mileage yet flexible enough to maintain a high level of comfort.

Advantages:

  • Moderate rocker promotes a natural gait
  • High heel clearance for better grip on steep descents

The inconvenients:

  • Can be a little tight

KEEN Men’s Karraig Waterproof Hiking Boots

Our thoughts: Keen shoes are known for their generous fit, but the Karraig is unusual in that the heel and midfoot are narrower than some, with a medium forefoot. The most striking feature of the boot is a unique lacing system incorporating eyelets and hooks. An external webbing strap at the heel and a drawcord at the top of the ankle designed to tighten it. It works well and the locking lace hooks are rock solid.

Advantages:

  • Lots of protection and support
  • The midsole offers a good balance between stability, flexibility and cushioning

The inconvenients:

  • Rubber sole can wear out quickly

Berghaus hiking boots for men

Our thoughts: The boot is constructed with Gore-Tex lining and thick nubuck leather upper, which is nice and soft. A high rubber heel counter has been added, complementing the toe rim, for added protection and durability. The midsole is moderately stiff, while the excellent Vibram outsole provides reassuring grip on any surface. Berghaus have incorporated their own Opti-Stud lugs underfoot, which grip well and shed mud effectively.

Advantages:

  • Refined to be more durable
  • Plush cushioning and Ortholite footbed

The inconvenients:

  • Takes a while to break in

Meindl Men’s Hiking Boot

Our thoughts: This eye-catching boot has the technical look of an approach shoe, with a lacing system that extends to the narrow toe. Despite the lack of lockable lace hooks, it allows you to achieve the perfect fit. The Tonale fits snugly and is ideal for walkers who find many boots too baggy.

Advantages:

  • Assured traction of the Vibram sole
  • Locking system to eliminate heel slippage

The inconvenients:

  • The midsole is not as stiff as you might expect

Key features to look for:

The sole of many boots has a slight upward curve from heel to toe, known as a rocker. A steep rocker angle encourages forward movement and a more natural gait, ideal for walking long distances.

Also look for a reinforced heel counter. This is a shell that encloses the heel, providing protection and support. A firm heel counter helps lock the foot in place and provides additional stability.

The elastic that protects the toe but sometimes extends all the way around the boot, between the sole and the upper, is called a rand. This provides extra durability, especially on rocky ground.

Walking boot designs generally favor lace-up hooks or D-rings over eyelets, as they are more durable and less prone to water seepage. Many boots have lockable lace hooks that allow you to adjust the tension on different parts of the foot. Boots designed for scrambling or Ferrata usually have laces extending to the toes for a more precise fit.

A padded tongue is essential for comfort but also look for a gusseted or gusseted tongue. This means that it is fully attached to the upper rather than sewn only to the bottom of the laces. This prevents water and debris from entering the trunk.

Should I buy a mid-height boot or a tall boot?

A mid-top boot has a lower ankle cuff than a tall boot, which saves weight and gives a more flexible, trainer-like feel. However, a lower ankle cuff can sometimes let water, mud, and debris into the boot. They may also give less ankle support. Either way, look for a boot with a soft, well-padded ankle cuff.