Happy feet means a happy hiker. Cheap boots that don’t fit right are a nightmare to hike in. From super burly to ultra plush, these are the best hiking boots for men right now.
Gone are the days of walking in a hiking boot until it’s “broken in.” The Forge, the world’s first heat-moldable hiking boot, confirms to your feet, resulting in a custom fit. No more cutting edges or store-bought insoles. The ankle, heal and insole inside all get cooked during the fitting at a specialized shop.
The overlap collar around the ankle creates seamless fit after molding. The adaptive sole built out of Vibram Forge with Vibram Megagrip adapts to the ground as you move while guarding against hard, rocky spots. Textured laces with kevlar loops lock lacing in place so you don’t have to kill the momentum just to tie your shoes.
Salomon has taken its successful X Ultra 2 mid-high hiking boot and made it even better. The X Ultra 3 has the classic Salomon fit and chassis in the midsole for side-to-side stability and flexibility moving forward.
The sole is Salomon’s sticky Contagrip rubber with braking lugs under the heel and ascending lugs under the toes. Sensifit straps built into both sides connect the laces directly to the sole for lots of control in technical terrain. A Gore-Tex waterproof liner keeps your feet nice and dry.
At only 1 pound per shoe, the X Ultra 3’s are a lightweight option that also provides a bit of water protection. The shoes come in an Aero version with no waterproof liner for higher airflow in hot conditions.
Known for enormous, pillow-like soles, Hoka One One has taken that comfortable ride and put it on a hiking boot. The Tor Ultra HI uses EVA foam and RMat in the midsole to build up the most cushioned hiking boot I’ve ever tested. Hoka also adds the brand’s late-stage Meta-rocker geometry for a smooth roll in each step.
With the largest mid-soles in this round-up, it’s surprising these boots only weigh 1.1 pounds per shoe while packing in wider than the standard soles for better traction and stability. Also included in the package is an eVent waterproof liner with exceptional breathability for those warm, wet days.
Mammut — popular in Europe for high-quality skiing and mountaineering gear — is pushing further into the North American market. The T Aenergy High GTX boot is a prime example of the brand’s durable, off-road quality.
The soft inner and durable outer layers of the boot are bonded together to reduce stitching and irritation on your foot. Memory foam in the ankle provides plenty of cushion for the ankle and shin. Two-zone lacing means you can easily adjust the top and bottom of the boot separately.
A touch heavier than the other boots in this round-up at 1.3 pounds per boot, the T Aenergy High can handle a higher-volume foot and heavier weight for longer. The high-rebound EVA foam wedge in the heel absorbs the impact of thousands of steps on a long hike. The Vibram Scale sole acts like an animal’s scale providing grip on all surfaces but still rolling forward for easy walking.
Building on the success of the Breeze II, the Vasque Breeze III focuses on breathability using Gore-Tex Extended Comfort, plenty of mesh, and toe and heel vents that keep air flowing and rocks out. The rest of the upper on the boot is nubuck leather.
The Breeze III comes in at 1.3 pounds, relatively lightweight but still strong because of the TPU shank in the midsole. On the bottom is Vasque’s Contact Grip combined with Vibram Megagrip. They fit a touch small, so if you like space in the toe-box, go a half size up.
Danner is creating a new category of gear called “Performance Heritage” and the Mountain 600 EnduroWeave hiking boots display that proudly. The brand has taken the bestselling Mountain 600, a solid hiker that can hit the streets as well, and covered it with the super-breathable EnduroWeave fabric. The tightly-woven, carbon-washed fabric repels water, resists abrasion, and allows for tons of air flow.
Not content with the heavy soles from other boots, Danner worked with Vibram to create the Fuga outsole infused with Vibram Megagrip. The weight reduction brings the Mountain 600 EnduroWeave in at just over a pound. Danner recommends sizing down a bit for the best fit. The boots are also available in D and the wider EE widths.