Hiking strikes a perfect balance between being outdoors and being safely distanced. Lucky for us, we’re living in a golden age of hiking boots, as I learned recently when I had to find a new pair. There are a ridiculous array of options, catering to distance, terrain, weather and weight criteria, among many others. I’ve tried to present a fair amount of variety within the following eight options — American-made and imported, thrifty and pricey, old-school and cutting-edge, nondescript and downright pretty. I’ve also indicated which models are available in wide and narrow sizes, for those with more quirkily shaped dogs.
- $84 $165 at Amazon
Men's Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
- $260 at Zappos
- $250 at Zappos
- $136 $175 at Amazon
Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot
- $150 at Zappos
X Ultra Pioneer
- $220 at Amazon
St. Elias FG GTX
- $245 at Zappos
- $105 $115 at Amazon
White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Below, here are my picks for the best men's hiking boots.
Try to find a “best hiking boots” list that doesn’t include these babies. Go ahead — we’ll wait. See? That’s because they are, indeed, widely and deservedly celebrated: out-of-the-box comfy, waterproof, and yet somehow they breathe. Reader, I bought them, opting for the warm Earth tone, but there are six other colors to choose from, some which can be had for as little as $76! (Oh, and right now, the women's variety is on sale for as low as $130 —that's $35 off!)
Need a second opinion? "If you're considering these, don't hesitate," said one happy trekker. "These look even better in person and live up to their reputation."
Falcons have got full-grain leather uppers, a back-tapered ankle collar, and weigh in at under two pounds. As for performance, one reviewer said, “The day after receiving these I left for a 60-mile trip on the Appalachian Trail and these performed perfectly. It poured rain the first two days, and my feet stayed dry as a bone. Support and traction were great. Even with no break-in they were quite comfortable, with no blisters.” Bona, but if I’m being honest, it’s mostly about the look.
As this reviewer testifies, these TRs deliver on rocky, icy terrains: “Decided to risk them untried on a 17-mile hike on steep and rocky trails in the Tahoe/Desolation Wilderness. These performed great — good insulation from the rocks, and felt as light as trail runners. Not a single hot spot at the end of the day either.” Available only in elegant, hipster-friendly all-black.
You don’t need me to sing the praises of this well-established brand; the web is lousy with glowing testimonials (check their hiking sandals too). The Targhee is their sturdy, no-nonsense standard-bearer. "Love 'em," says a five-star reviewer. "Lightweight and super comfy. I’ve tried a LOT of different boot brands for work and some are good but Keen has always been my favorite. High quality and comfort." Weighing in at a sprightly 2 pounds, 2.8 ounces, available in six colors and wide sizes (though I’ve heard the Targhee II is an even roomier option for us Bigfoots), this is a solid choice.
Take it from this five-star reviewer: "Wanted a waterproof and comfortable hiking boot and these fit the specs and are a great pair of boots. Have worn on long hikes in muddy water and great results."
The warm, horsey-brown full-grain leather uppers of the Cognac variety sent me off on reveries of Alpine vistas, fir-lined trailways, and dutiful St. Bernards. "Have had them for approx five months and have been on multiple hikes with these boots," said one five-star reviewer. "They are comfortable, and rugged.... Would buy again without hesitation."
In 2020 Backpacker magazine inducted this model into its Editors' Choice 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame. As they put it: “Yes, the Renegade is a big, burly leather boot, built for eating miles and slaying rough terrain, but, dang, is it comfortable.” Available in wide and narrow sizes, and three colors. “I never expected to say that any shoe over $200 was a bargain,” says one reviewer, “but...this shoe qualifies.”
Another tres affordable option, this one with a bit more reputational gravitas. In a game of word association many people would simply blurt out “Timberland!” upon hearing the words hiking boots. Yep, they’re that established. And who am I to argue? "I have been wearing Timberline White Ledge boots for the last 22 years," said one of over 38,000 five-star reviewers. "For a lightweight waterproof hiking boot they can't be beat." PS: At this price point, can you blame me for not listing these first? You might not have read any further...and I simply couldn’t have that.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
Looking for more great Amazon deals? Check these out:
Bissell Zing Lightweight, $61 (was $80), amazon.com
Extra Large Cutting Board, $17 (was $30), amazon.com
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