Best Hiking Shoes for Men

The best hiking shoes for men will keep you flexible and at ease on the trails. From day hikes to multi-day treks, we have you covered.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore Tex

80

This is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking trips

Pros

  • Excellent performance

  • Lightweight

  • Great traction

  • Water resistance

  • Support

Cons

  • Cuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some

  • Quicklace lacing not everyone's favorite

Hoka One One Toa Gore Tex

78

A blend of top-notch comfort with support in a lightweight package that makes them an excellent choice for long-distance hikers looking to shave weight and increase mobility

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable

  • Lightweight

  • Supportive

Cons

  • Not as cushioned as previous Hoka models

  • Some traction issues

Salomon Outline Low Gtx

75

This comfortable and waterproof shoe has solid traction and a narrow fit

Pros

  • Secure fit

  • Strong traction

  • Stability

Cons

  • Narrow

  • Tongue absorbs water

Scarpa Rush Low Gtx

74

This is a great example of a beefed-up trail runner that works great as a fastpacking shoe

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Lightweight

  • Doubles as a trail runner

Cons

  • Less supportive

  • Average durability

La Sportiva Spire Gtx

74

A versatile hiking shoe built with the comfort and agility of a running shoe without losing a beat in hiking prowess

Pros

  • Excellent comfort and traction

  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Not the most durable

How to Choose Best Hiking Shoes for Men

How to Choose the Best Hiking Shoes
The best pair of hiking shoes can become your most cherished and necessary piece of equipment for everything from day hikes to thru-hikes. Your shoes are essential to your experiences since they are the main point of contact between you and the trail.

While some still prefer the sturdy construction and ankle support of boots, an increasing number of hikers and backpackers prefer the lighter weight and more agile performance of hiking shoes. High-quality shoes are more than capable of navigating a range of terrain for any hiking trip.

It might be challenging to choose the ideal hiking shoes for your particular needs because there are so many different types and factors. This guide has all the information you require to choose a pair of shoes that will take good care of your feet and give you stride confidence.

Weight
Hiking shoe technology has recently shifted toward low-profile and lightweight styles. Modern materials and soles are able to be lighter and thinner without compromising trail performance. The advantages of a light pair of shoes for long treks and thru-hikes only increase with time.

Hiking shoes typically weigh around 2 pounds or less, unlike many bulky hiking boots that weigh over 4 pounds per pair. Light is unquestionably preferable if you enjoy moving quickly through the woods or if you intend to do some trail running in your hiking boots.

Yes, there are situations when cutting weight results in less long-term durability. But several of the shoes on this list are more than capable of lasting as long as a substantial pair of boots. You no longer have to sacrifice durability to reduce weight and improve comfort thanks to contemporary materials and design innovations.

Comfort and Fit
The most crucial aspect of any pair of athletic shoes is comfort. Human feet come in a wide variety of shapes, therefore you might not find comfort in a shoe that another person finds to be comfortable. Wide or narrow feet, high or flat arches, and bulbous or low-volume heels are all possible foot shapes.

There is absolutely no replacement for trying on a pair of hiking shoes and paying attention to how they feel while wearing them. The majority of folks will aim for a fit that actively doesn't tighten or compress their feet or toes while minimizing negative space.

Waterproof
When trekking on muddy and damp terrain, waterproof hiking shoes assist keep your feet dry and comfortable. However, using shoes that are advertised as "waterproof" has both benefits and drawbacks. You're more likely to have blisters and other foot problems if your feet are damp.

Waterproof hiking boots, however, can frequently have a warmer and less breathable feel. Waterproof shoes typically take longer to fully dry after being wet.

Most waterproof hiking shoes have a membrane (GORE-TEX is the most popular) in their lining that prevents water from entering the shoe. Additionally, a lot of hiking shoes have a long-lasting water resistant coating that may be reapplied when it wears off.

Durability and Materials
The outsole and upper of a hiking shoe are the two main components that will experience the most wear. The material that makes up the upper, which is located on top of the shoe, defines how waterproof, robust, and breathable the shoe is overall.

Stability and Support
The sole and midsole of a shoe, among other parts, are built with support in mind. These subsurface layers might be either thick and rigid or thin and squishy. Most people favor a shoe that is firm and solid across the middle of the foot but slightly more flexible near the toe when they are hiking. As a result, you can still flex your toes while feeling like your foot is supported.

Traction
A decent hiking shoe will have an outsole that is strong and gripping. Although some shoe manufacturers produce their own, Vibram is the most popular manufacturer of outsoles.

The primary characteristic that distinguishes a hiking shoe from a sneaker or tennis shoe is its robust outsole. A decent hiking shoe will keep dependable traction on a variety of conditions, from loose scree to slippery rock.

Breathability
The materials used in a shoe's manufacture determine how breathable it is. Breathability will be significantly improved by using woven nylon and open synthetic mesh.

In the meantime, breathability will be reduced by huge leather patches and waterproof membranes like GORE-TEX. Over the course of a demanding hiking day, breathable shoes will feel cooler and less sweaty.

FAQ

What Are the Best Shoes for Hiking?
The ideal hiking footwear is one which fits your feet well and enables you to take pleasure in your time on the route. Fit and comfort should be your top considerations while weighing your selections.

Even while grip, support, and durability are crucial, it doesn't matter if the shoes harm your feet in the end.

Additionally, no single pair of hiking shoes will be the greatest for all circumstances. Each shoe will have a unique set of advantages and disadvantages based on its construction, design, and tread pattern.

Hiking Shoes vs. Hiking Boots: Which Is Better?
Moving away from heavy, ankle-high boots in favor of nimble, lower-cut hiking shoes is the current trend in hiking footwear. At the conclusion of a long day, carrying extra weight on your feet in hiking boots can be very uncomfortable. Your performance may significantly improve if you go from a 4-pound pair of boots to a pair of hiking shoes that weigh only 2 pounds.

Do I Need Waterproof Hiking Shoes?
Depends, really. It's important to remember that no pair of hiking boots is completely water-resistant. Even though some are advertised this manner, wearing hiking shoes completely submerged in a puddle for more than a few seconds will cause them to soak through. Additionally, water is prone to seeping in at the top of the shoe because of how low cut they are around the ankle.

However, waterproof shoes do come with membranes like GORE-TEX that may effectively keep out a lot of moisture. Waterproof shoes will keep your socks and feet dryer than non-waterproof shoes when walking through wet grass or muddy trails.

Is It OK to Hike in Sneakers?
Sneakers are typically made to function well on synthetic surfaces like asphalt or cement. Many sneakers have flimsy soles and don't provide the right amount of support for hiking on uneven ground. Additionally, shoes are less likely to withstand the wear and abrasion that comes with trekking on unforgiving trails.

You'll likely be alright with sneakers if you expect to largely walk on level trails in city parks or backyards. However, hiking shoes are a much superior option for hikes of any length, especially while backpacking.

Are Barefoot Shoes Good for Hiking?

Shoes for bare feet are made to let your foot move naturally with each step. Barefoot shoes allow you to feel the surface of the route on your feet thanks to their light and flexible materials.

Your feet's tissues directly react to the trail with each stride, conforming and contracting as necessary. The sensation is similar to walking barefoot, as the name would imply.