10 Best Hiking Boots For Men in 2021

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
10 Best Hiking Boots For Men in 2021

We have all been there—the terrain all of a sudden becomes tougher, and we wish we had something more formidable wrapping our feet. For such a situation, you and your homies had better be in some of the best hiking boots for men.

Having tested 350+ high-quality men’s hiking boots, we give you kicks that deserve the highest recognitions in a handful of categories. So, whether you need a brawny all-rounder or a boot that can pamper your feet while towing a loaded pack, this is the space for you.

How we review the best hiking boots for men

We take pride in our unbiased reviews. To make sure that we stay on the lane of objectivity, we live by the following:

  • Hiking boots for men aren’t always cheap. That said, we buy each pair using our money.
  • We hike for days to test these men’s kicks to find out each one’s strengths and area of expertise. Over various terrain and in different weather conditions, we test them.
  • To make our reviews on men’s hiking boots comprehensive, we include in the mix thousands of reviews from both regular users and experts.

Every men’s hiking boot that we review comes with a CoreScore. This RunRepeat-exclusive scoring system allows us to come up with our top picks below.

Best overall

For you serious gents out there, we bring you the greatest there is on the trail, and it’s none other than the Renegade GTX Mid from Lowa!

After testing hundreds of top-quality hiking boots for men, we’re convinced that this Lowa offering has the best waterproofing there is. Engineered with a Gore-Tex liner, the Renegade GTX Mid never let a single drop moisten our socks and ruin our off-trail adventure.

On the breathability front, this manly boot left us in disbelief (but in a good way). Yes, despite its solidly built leather shell being fully lined, its interior didn’t heat up in warmer conditions.

But is the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid comfortable, you ask? Absolutely! Right on the first day, the boot felt fantastic, particularly around the heel. Indeed, the boot felt broken in straight out of the gate, leaving us with pampered feet minus the pinching and hotspots!

Now, what is a towering boot without exemplary support? Well, the Renegade GTX Mid has tons of it, so you don’t ever need to worry about injuring your ankles or getting painful arches in it.

And let’s not forget the Renegade GTX Mid’s fantastic outsole. Its aggressive studs (a.k.a. lugs) kept our pace steady without losing our footing on muddy terrain. Yes, traction-wise, this bad boy from Lowa is a doozy!

See our full review and facts

Do you want to feel mightier than before while tackling seemingly difficult obstacles on the trail? Then sport the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX and be the difference out there!

Like the Renegade GTX Mid (our top pick!), the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX from Salomon is quite formidable where the terrain turns for the slippery. We tested its Contagrip outsole on mud, and we came out slip-free. Slopes, whether wet or dry, also didn’t stand a chance against the boot’s proprietary outsole.

As for comfort, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX didn’t disappoint. This must-buy for the gents never gave us hotspots anywhere, and that dreaded pinching around the sides or instep was nowhere to be found. And while its footbed felt rather flat, the boot’s sole unit was cushy and dreamy to be on.

During our waterproofing test, where we semi-haphazardly trampled over creeks, the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX deflected moisture like a boss. Yes, nothing got through its Gore-Tex liner in the entirety of our trip.

There’s also the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX’s breathability. After hours of adventuring under the sun, our feet came out of the boot sweat-free and feeling fresh.

See our full review and facts

Best for backpacking

Don the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX and rack up trekking miles like an absolute champ!

Our biggest takeaway from our tests has to be the boot’s amazing sole unit. It cushioned our feet on uneven terrain and gave us more than enough protection where we needed it (on rocky patches, for example). Indeed, the Quest 4D 3 GTX made us feel safe with its highly stabilizing and enduring sole unit!

Comfort-wise, the Quest 4D 3 GTX has to be your “it” boot for backpacking, simply because everything inside it felt plush to us right from the get-go. We didn’t feel any hotspots or sustained blisters in its plush confines during our initial hike. Extra props go to its rich collar—it gave us no rubbing at all!

In the area of waterproofing, this Salomon bad boy didn’t relent in moderate rains. Across creeks and streams (although we picked the shallowest parts), the Quest 4D 3 GTX proved its worthiness. The boot in question also fenced out water through four-inch-deep puddles. Amazing!

Matching its supreme stability is the hiker’s slip resistance. Yes, its proprietary outsole (also known as Contagrip) saved up from losing our footing on sloppy surfaces such as mud and mulchy bogs.

See our full review and facts

Do you need an alternative that screams quality leather? If so, get geared up with the Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX and put the wiles of the trail in their place!

A formidable hiker where moisture is involved, the 996 Vioz GTX exceeded our expectations on the waterproofing front. Built with a Gore-Tex membrane just like our top pick for backpacking, this Zamberlan kick couldn’t have disappointed us if it tried. Yes, all manners of wetness were hurled at us, yet the boot fenced them all out like a king!

Another kingly aspect about the Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX is its enduring comfort. Our hikes involved heavier packs than usual, yet through all of them, our feet came out pampered—no pain nor hotspots.

In the area of durability, we were most impressed with its lugged outsole. While it helped us gain footing on treacherous terrain, including soft soil and mud, it was the way it came away virtually scratch-free through it all!

The Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX made us believers with its combination of supportiveness and mobility, as well. Yes, our time with the boot translated to safety (particularly around the ankle) and freedom of movement at the same time.

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight

Are you looking for the GOAT in the realm of lightness? Then feast your eyes on the Terrex Free Hiker from Adidas!

Yes, agility is what you can expect from this featherweight gem, given that it only comes in at approximately 760 g per pair. In this must-buy for men, the speedster in us was kept beyond satisfied, whether on level ground or uneven terrain.

Another propelling thing about the Free Hiker is its springy sole unit, particularly its proprietary midsole. Indeed, its Boost midsole, which is a favorite among sporty hikers, allowed us to make more daring strides minus the weightiness. Most impressive about it was the way it supported our arches as we made our way across flatter terrain rather speedily!

Grip-wise, the Adidas Free Hiker floored us, too! While its lugs are low-profile, these rubber studs gave us more than enough purchase on a variety of surfaces, including dewy grass and wet rock.

This lightweight must-have for the gents also has incredible comfort. It felt supremely cushy on day one, especially around the instep. Its high breathability also contributed to the overall comfiness of the boot. Yes, you’ll be striding comfortably in this Adidas hiker minus the sweat!

See our full review and facts

Trailing several inches behind our top pick for lightness is the OUTline Mid GTX from Salomon.

At only 420 g per boot, this nimble must-have felt like a dream on our feet. And by “dream,” we mean inspiringly weightless despite its solid construction.

Equally wowing was the amount of comfort we got out of it straight from the box. Indeed, the OUTline Mid GTX required no break-in period; it felt plush the moment we put it on and the time we slipped out of it.

Now the OUTline Mid GTX is mighty impressive support-wise. Salomon engineers did a swell job finetuning its collar AND arch zone. Never did we struggle with our pace or feel unsafe on uneven terrain in this lightweight Salomon hiker!

As you’d expect from a boot designed with a Gore-Tex liner, the OUTline Mid GTX is fully waterproof. It blew our minds away because it kept our tootsies moisture-free through boggy areas and in moderate rain.

And if you thought the OUTline Mid GTX was a pushover grip-wise—think again. This hiking boot never let us slip, whether on slippery inclines or dry, grainy hillsides. Scrambling in it was also a walk in the park!

See our full review and facts

Best comfort

Now this—the Targhee III Waterproof Mid—has to be on your comfort radar. After testing 300+ pairs of hiking boots for men, we crown this KEEN hiker as the king of pampering!

Plush from the moment you put it on, the Targhee III Waterproof Mid can be used and enjoyed right away. While most boots would require a few short miles to loosen up their confines, this manly gem required none. We want to highlight its supple instep and heel for spoiling our feet through and through.

The leather upper of the Targhee III Waterproof Mid felt like a tank. That said, it was more for support than for something you need to do away with. In fact, we can safely say that this KEEN bad boy has a perfect blend of solid support and ankle mobility.

In terms of protection, the Targhee III Waterproof Mid is a giver. So protective was its toe cap that you’d be forgiven for thinking that the shoe was a work boot instead of a full-fledged KEEN hiker.

Now, the Targhee III Waterproof Mid is a complete package price-wise, too. Yes, with an MSRP of $140, this brawny boot is a deal sealer!

See our full review and facts

Scarpa has always been known for putting out some of the best hikers in terms of sporty performance. In the Terra GTX, however, they have also created their comfiest boot thus far!

The Terra GTX was one of those boots that we’ve hiked for miles in without prior preparations (a.k.a. break-in). Our decision was fruitful, too, in that the shoe’s confines felt great right away. Yes, its interior—especially the midfoot—hugged our feet nicely, as if the boot was used (by us) for many miles. It felt THAT good minus the honeymoon phase!

Its almost seamless leather upper made our hikes completely moisture-free. While we’re kind of unsure about its ability to prevent scratches, the Terra GTX’s leather shell knocked it out of the park where streams and moderate rain were involved.

Also astonishing was its grip performance. Constructed with a Vibram outsole, the Terra GTX stuck to virtually all sorts of surfaces we trampled on. Its tire-like lugs were also a doozy on inclines and steep descents, whether wet or dry.

And if its grounded look isn’t enough for you, perhaps its fantastic breathability can seal the deal. Yes, stuffiness is not a thing in the Scarpa Terra GTX, giving you fresh tootsies for longer!

See our full review and facts

Best budget boot

Coming your way handsome but not pricey is the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof from Timberland.

With its MSRP of $115, this gem of a boot is a wise buy for those looking for something truly supportive. We’re talking mainly about its wall-like collar, which kept our wobbly ankles in check throughout our adventures.

Despite its strong ankle cuff, the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof never felt stiff around the collar. We scaled low-level inclines and navigated hillsides, and came away impressed with the boot’s flexibility.

Did we need to go on a pre-hike to break in the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof? No, the boot in question felt snug straight from the Timbs box. We give its bunch-free instep zone and lift-less heel section extra credit in this regard!

We also give the boot’s waterproofing the highest praise. Living up to its name, the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof made our traipsing through creeks and puddles the highlight of the show. Indeed, its Timber-Dry liner and gusseted tongue helped us brave the wet outdoors like absolute kings!

At roughly 480 g per kick, the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof is among the lightest bunch. We just wish its forefoot zone was a bit roomier.

See our full review and facts

Hold on to your manly socks because the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof will blow them away with its gawk-worthy MSRP of $80! We’re not kidding. This Columbia kick for the homies is pro-consumer, and that’s without our price-busting deals factored in yet!

Equally flooring is the boot’s readily comfy combination upper. Columbia engineers worked their magic to make the shoe’s confines snug minus the drawn-out break-in period. Yes, the boot’s padded interior felt cozy and didn’t make our feet suffer from blisters and hotspots!

In the area of waterproofing, this Columbia hiker prevented soaked feet and soggy socks. Indeed, the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof lived up to its name, as it made sure all manners of wetness were kept at bay.

At roughly 900 g per pair, the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof will not weigh you down. This lightness translated to faster and bigger strides during our testing. We’re quite positive that your time with it will result in the same outcome, as well!

Slipping and sliding are also not part of the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof’s vocabulary. Its Omni-Grip outsole dug into a variety of terrain, thanks to its sturdy lugs and grippy treads.

Yup, the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof deserves your attention both in price and performance. Snag one through us now!

See our full review and facts
Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.