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The Best Men’s Hiking Boots

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By Daniel Meagher, OnRamp

If you're a hiker, hunter, camper, or the outdoorsy type, you're going to need proper footwear. As anyone who's ever tried to hike in flip-flops already knows, mother nature can really put your feet through the grinder. A quality pair of hiking boots should withstand the wear and tear of trekking trails. But which ones should you get? With so many options available, sifting through them all can take hours. Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you and honed in on a list of the best of the best in men's hiking boots.

Timberland White-Ledge Mid Ankle Boot

A Timeless Classic

Best Overall; Stylish, sturdy, waterproof, and as tough as they come, these boots were an easy top pick. They're comfortable, true to size, and built to last through and through.

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A timeless boot from a well-known brand, the Timberland White-ledge Mid Ankle Boot is our top choice for hikers and trekkers. This pick boasts all the best qualities you expect from a hiking shoe: waterproof layers, rubber soles, tried-and-true insulation, and long-lasting comfort. Better yet, the lower shaft height makes them fashionable even in a non-outdoor setting. With multiple colors to choose from, you’re sure to be happy with a pair of these Timberlands.

Pros:

  • Waterproof and very durable

  • Comfortable rubber soles and padded collar

  • Stylish indoors and outdoors

Cons:

  • Lower shaft height not suited for heavy snow

Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

A Supremely Comfortable Option

Most Comfortable: Merrell spares no expense when it comes to comfort, and you can count on these boots to be waterproof and sturdy as well.

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The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 boots are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. The suede leather and mesh allow your feet to breathe while still maintaining its integrity in bad weather. The Vibram outsole and Merrell air cushions give these boots a sneaker-like feel, but with great traction. In addition, the toe cab is rubber, which adds protection and helps the boot last longer. The end result is a boot that we rate as the most comfortable. If comfort is your number one priority, these should be your number one choice.

Pros:

  • Mesh allows your feet to breathe

  • Extremely comfortable

Cons:

  • Not as waterproof as other options

Hi Tec Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Start Hiking and Save Some Money

Best Value: Available in several colors and sizes, Hi Tec's boots can get you out on the trail in no time without putting a dent in your wallet.

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Not sure hiking is for you, or simply looking to keep within your budget for the month? The Hi Tec Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a great option for the budget-conscious hiker. However, don’t let the price fool you: these are full-featured hiking boots. They’re as legit as it gets, with a leather construction and a rubber sole. Available in multiple colors, these Banderas help get your outdoor adventure started.

Pros:

  • Very affordable

  • Waterproof function is surprisingly effective

  • Laces are rust-proof

Cons:

  • Not as durable as some other pairs

SALOMON Men’s Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots

An Elite Pair for Enthusiasts

Best Premium: A top-of-the-line weatherproof hiking shoe with the comfort of a sneaker, excellent traction, and stability, this pair from Salomon is perfect if money is no object. If you're a hiking enthusiast, you owe yourself and your feet the best level of protection and comfort.

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If you’re going to go for serious distances, you’re going to need some serious shoes. The Salomon Men’s Quest 4d 3 GTX is a top-of-the-line option for those that hike on a regular basis and are in need of extreme comfort and durability. The higher shaft height and lasting waterproofing provide protection in extreme weather. Better yet, the foam cushion in the chassis will let you walk for miles without your feet getting sore. We also found that the traction of these boots was second to none.

Pros:

  • Sturdy ankle support

  • Both lightweight and durable

  • Great traction for rough terrains

Cons:

  • More pricey than other options

Frequently Asked Questions

What is shaft height?

Shaft height refers to the height of the boot from the sole to the top of the ankle. The higher the shaft height, the more ankle support and protection from the elements your boot will provide. However, mobility may be more limited.

How waterproof is a hiking boot really?

While most hiking boots claim to be waterproof, not all boots are created equal. Most boots that claim to be waterproof should be able to tolerate light to moderate rain and the occasional puddle. However, boots made of more breathable materials will usually sacrifice some protection from the elements. Go with boots that explicitly highlight their durability in the face of extreme weather if you plan on hiking in bad weather conditions.

How do I take care of my hiking boots?

Be sure to clean and waterproof your hiking boots with waterproofing treatments and conditioners. Remove the laces prior to cleaning, brush off dust and dirt and then run your boots through water on the hard-to-clean areas. It’s best to apply waterproofing treatments and conditioners after this step when the boots are damp.

Daniel is a freelance writer covering the latest in technology and all things outdoors.

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