Hiking can quickly become a most hated activity if your shoes are wrong. Wearing the wrong men’s hiking shoes can cause blisters, they can make your feet wet, they can let in stones, and they can even cause injuries (rolling over on your ankles is a thing and a very painful one at that!).

For this reason, it is of utmost importance that you find a hiking shoe that fits you perfectly, is ideal for your specific needs, and protects your foot in the best way possible for you. Shoes, as we know, are not one size fits all.

However, as well as this being a literal fact, it is also true in the sense that what one hiker needs from a shoe is not the same as another hiker. This can make finding the perfect hiking shoe a bit of a headache.

There is so much choice out there, and it is easy to get bogged down by what everyone else likes. You may feel that there is not much difference between men’s hiking shoes and women’s hiking shoes.

Certainly, the only visible difference may be the color. However, women’s feet are typically a little different from men’s feet, and for this reason, their shoes should be different, too.

BEST RATED OVERALL

  • Excellent waterproofing

  • Comfortable fit

  • Great traction to ensure you can walk on uneven terrains, rocks and even mud

  • Quick lacing system so you can slip them on and tighten to suit you

BEST VALUE

  • Excellent fit

  • Variety of colors to choose from to suit all needs

  • Great traction food all terrains, wet or dry

  • Comfortable underfoot thanks to the EVA foam midsole

In this article, we are going to be showing you five of the Best Ever Hiking Shoes for men. As well as this, we also found through our research that there were a number of important considerations to make with regards to finding the best hiking shoe.

These considerations quickly formed a sort of Buyers’ Guide for us, determining what we should be looking for when trying to find the best shoes possible. We thought that this would be invaluable to you, the buyers’ of the shoes so we have included it in our article for you.

So if you have been struggling to find your perfect hiking shoe, either for yourself or for the male hiker in your life, then this article is for you!

Men’s Hiking Shoes

BEST RATED OVERALL

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Our top pick and the best overall product that we have found is by Salomon. They are practical whilst still looking good.

The rubber soles are made with two different types to allow the most intense grip yet. The tread allows excellent hold even on rocky, uneven terrain.

This reassures you that you have control. The Advanced Chassis is surrounded by foam cushioning, ensuring each step can be taken in comfort.

They really do give meaning to the phrase ‘a spring in your step’ even on those super steep descents and in wet weather.

They support your arch well and hold your foot comfortably.

The waterproof function ensures they are ideal even in soggy, muddy conditions, performing as well as they would on a dry day. 

Pros

  • Quick lace system to ensure you can slip them on easily

  • High-quality waterproofing

  • Comfortable fit

  • Excellent range of colors to choose from

  • Soles allow for excellent traction

Cons

  • Some customers have said that they have found the quick lacing system to loosen quickly in comparison to traditional laces. This is worth bearing in mind if you are usually someone who has traditional laces.

BEST VALUE

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Merrell’s shoes are an excellent choice if you are looking for footwear that is sustainable. These shoes are made from suede which is durable and comfortable.

They Have a rubber sole with excellent Vibram traction to ensure stability and control even on unsteady terrain.

The tongue of the shoes is made from closed-cell foam in order to keep out moisture and debris whilst still allowing your feet to breathe and get the sweat out.

The cushioned heel acts as a shock absorber as well as giving comfort that feels like you are walking on air with a bounce in your step.

The midsole is made from EVA foam to add to this and to give extra stability.

Pros

  • True to size

  • Comfortable materials used

  • Excellent traction

  • Great range of colors

Cons

  • These shoes are not waterproof.

ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT

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These mega lightweight shoes are a super versatile pair if you are someone who enjoys trail running as well as a hike on your favorite walking path.

The upper material is made from a very durable mesh. This mesh is quick dry to ensure sweat and water does not affect your run (or hike).

They are very flexible, which is a blessing for hiking shoes which can often be very rigid. That being said, they do not compromise on support!

The Balanced Cushioning and FootShape Toe ensures that your feet are supported and protected even on uneven terrain.

They also have excellent traction because of the MaxTrac Rubber and TrailClaw technology.

Pros

  • Super comfortable even after a long run

  • Very lightweight

  • Great traction

  • Available in half sizes

Cons

  • Some people have said that even when taking advantage of the half size feature, they are still a little tight on those with wide feet.

BEST OF THE REST

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This pair of hiking shoes is something of a combination between shoe and boot.

They give slightly more support than a typical shoe in that it comes a little further up the ankle.

However, they are still more lightweight than a heavy boot.

It is covered with Gore-Tex waterproof material to keep the elements out, but they also have the added bonus of breathable membranes to let sweat out.

The shoe also has excellent levels of ventilation and comfort. The Vibram Contact Grip with Megagrip on the soles ensures that you get traction on all terrains.

This shoe is perfect as a versatile all-rounder.

Pros

  • Great waterproofing to ensure you are set for all weather conditions

  • Excellent traction and grip

  • Breathable material

  • Well-made and good quality materials used

Cons

  • Some people found that even with the ventilation, they were too warm to wear in the summer

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Last but not least we have a pair from Keen. These hiking shoes are waterproof, ensuring you are set for anything the weather throws at you.

They offer excellent support and stability because of the TPU heel capture system and external support shank.

The outsole is the Keen All-Terrain rubber to ensure excellent traction and grip, even in muddy conditions or on unsteady rocks.

The fit is comfortable and secure to ensure your feet are supported whilst giving them the flexibility they need to walk with ease.

Pros

  • Waterproof material that keeps moisture from getting in but lets sweat out

  • Secure fit to support all aspects of your feet

  • Arch support thanks to the EVA foam underfoot

  • Grip and traction

Cons

  • Some customers have said that they have not found these shoes true to size.

Buyers’ Guide

Lightweight

It is super important that you consider how lightweight the shoe is before you purchase it.

When buying a hiking shoe as opposed to a hiking boot, the expectation is that generally, they will be much lighter on your feet.

A lightweight shoe is a great choice if you are a casual hiker who tends to stick to well-trodden paths and moderate, mixed terrain.

If you were, say, mountain climbing, or constantly traversing a very rugged landscape then a pair of boots may be the best choice.

Lightweight shoes will ensure that you do not have any excess weight when you are walking and will ensure your feet and calves are not as achy after a full day on the trails.

Waterproof

Do you need your shoes to be waterproof? If you are often walking in muddy paths, or someone who is not afraid to walk in all weather conditions, then the answer should be yes.

We certainly think that waterproofing is essential.

Of course, not everyone feels that they need them, and certainly, if you are walking in desert conditions or live in an area that is blessed with sun all year round (you lucky things), then waterproofing is probably not a huge deal.

However, if you happen to live somewhere with a lot of rain, waterproof shoes are needed!

Letting water into your shoes is not just a nuisance but can actually pose a health risk.

You can get blisters far more easily, as well as foot infections and even trench foot if you wear them for long enough! It is certainly not worth the risk in our opinion.

How do they fasten?

Some walking shoes now come with quick laces. These are laces made from elastic that does not need to be tied like a traditional lace but instead can tighten or loosen depending on your needs. Consider whether you need these or whether you would be happy with traditional laces. Perhaps you would prefer velcro straps instead. There is no right or wrong, as long as they can provide adequate support for your feet and ankles.

Where will you be hiking?

The environment in which you undertake your hikes will be a huge factor when deciding what type of shoes you will need.

If you are someone who likes to hike on all sorts of terrains, whether soft and muddy, dry and sandy or very rocky, you will likely need a shoe that is versatile enough to handle all of these.

If you are someone who just hikes on uneven, rocky terrain, you will need a shoe to support this, ensuring the traction is excellent, and that you have adequate arch support as well as some toe protection.

Wetter, muddier conditions call for shoes with deep tread and mudguards. You may also wish to ensure the shoes are waterproof.

In general, if the tread of your shoes is thick and deep, then you are likely to get excellent hold and support from them even when descending a steep, uneven incline.

Toe protection

Your toes will always need some form of protection, after all, that is what shoes are for, in part.

However, there are times where your feet will need even more protection. One of these times is if you are walking on some rocky terrain.

Loose rocks that can fall on your feet have the potential to really injure you.

Ensuring your toes are protected by thick, rubber (or any other material) toe caps, can help stop any nasty injuries.

There are many shoes on the market with molded toe caps that will prove useful for this.

The one thing to bear in mind, though, is that having toe caps can interfere with the overall weight of your shoes.

This is an important thing to bear in mind if having lightweight shoes is the most important consideration for you.

The design

Now, it goes without saying that the main priority of walking shoes is for them to be functional.

They are made to serve a purpose, and that purpose is to keep our feet protected when we walk.

However, that does not mean to say that they can’t look good. Given the huge variety of choice out there when it comes to walking shoes, it is now easier than ever to find a pair that look good as well as being practical.

Consider what color and style of shoe you may want. Do you want trusty black or brown, or something with a splash of color?

Of course, this is a mere frivolity to some people, but equally many others will want to look their best.

Whatever category you fall into is totally fine, and whether they look good will not affect the quality of the shoe.

Even so, if it is important to you, it is worth considering!

Final Verdict

There you have it, our top five picks for the Best Ever Men’s hiking shoes.

We are shoe-a (get it, it’s a pun!) that our list has led you to find the ideal pair of hiking shoes for your needs.

However, if you still haven’t found your dream hiking shoes, worry not.

You are now fully equipped to find a pair of hiking shoes thanks to our Buyers’ Guide as it tells you all of the important factors and features to consider when buying your own pair.

We bet you can’t wait to get them on your feet and go on the most relaxing hike possible!