Getting drenched is a big no-no to men of the backcountry. When drizzles turn for the worse and puddles are obstacles you need to go through (not around), best be geared up with the finest waterproof hiking boots for men.
300+ pairs of watertight hikers we have put to the test to come up with this fine selection. There is more than enough for your powerful teeth to sink into here: from incredible all-rounders to extraordinary backpacking kicks and speedy hikers.
Doesn’t offer much in terms of torsional stability
We implore you: get the Renegade GTX Mid. This mighty gem from Lowa blew us away in every respect!
Indeed, if there is one waterproof boot to truly fanboy over, the Renegade GTX Mid is it and nothing else. All manners of wetness stayed outside this monster hiker, and we have no complaints. Its Gore-Tex liner and sealed tongue (a.k.a. gusseted tongue) kept the boot’s interior dry, whether in a heavy downpour or deep puddles.
Suppleness was readily available in the Renegade GTX Mid. On day one, the boot gave us the level of comfort we were expecting. Its padded confines never rubbed, and hotspots never reared their ugly heads in the entirety of our hikes!
“Immensely supportive” is how we’d also describe this Lowa bad boy. Both its collar and midfoot (arch) were stellar in this regard, not allowing us to tilt or lose balance.
Now, the Renegade GTX Mid worked its wonder on the breathability front, as well. Where most waterproof boots trade ventilation for impermeability, this offering swims in both directions. Yes, the boot in question is both watertight and breathable!
And as an icing on top, the Renegade GTX Mid lasts. In the days we tested it, this Lowa hiker was a bull! Its outsole only received minor dents, and its leather shell sustained only light scratches.
Are you down for something cool-looking and superbly waterproof at the same time? Then the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is definitely for you!
Without a shadow of a doubt, this fantastic Salomon kick gives its Gore-Tex name justice. We’re talking about its performance against all things wet. We carelessly waded through creeks and rushing streams in it, and every drop of fluid simply slid off its urban-style upper!
Just like our Lowa top pick, the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is also mighty breathable. Our tootsies and socks didn’t get soggy at all in its impermeable confines. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of its arch zone, which we found lacking in the support department.
Comfort-wise, the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX was a real doozy. Right from the Salomon box, this watertight kick for the gents felt amazing. So plush was its Achilles’ heel that we went downhill as many times as we could just to feel its fluffiness over and over. We also give its tongue padding extra credit in this regard.
But does the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX shine in the area of traction? Of course! Whether on mud, wet grass, and slick boulders, the boot gave us superb grip. Outstanding!
For the tough homies out there needing an equally incredible backpacking boot, we give you the formidable Quest 4D 3 GTX from Salomon!
After testing over 100 pairs of backpacking boots, we are proud to crown this Salomon hiker as the king of trekking (that rhymes!) in inclement conditions! Heavy rains and murky creeks were a no match to its Gore-Tex-lined upper, leaving our manly-but-gentle tootsies moisture-free!
Lasting comfort is what you can expect from the Quest 4D 3 GTX. We experienced neither hotspots nor rubbing inside its impermeable shell. Yes, the boot’s comfiness matches its exemplary waterproofing. Superb!
Another amazing thing about the Quest 4D 3 GTX is its stabilizing heel. Whether on the move or stationary, the boot cradled our feet with incredible balance. Even fist-sized rocks had a hard time sweeping us off our feet.
In the area of grip, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX also left us in awe. We went over rocky tracks and mossy roots, and we didn’t get even the slightest hint of slippage. Yes, its Contagrip outsole with aggressive lugs made our brave hearts even more courageous on tricky surfaces, including icy ones!
Are you looking for the manliest leather boot in town? Do you need it with extraordinary cushioning underfoot to last you days in rainy weather, as well? Then what you require is the Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX!
A rejecter of all manners of fluids, the 996 Vioz GTX cut through shallow streams and creeks like a boss. The seamlessness of its buffed leather shell and the boot’s Gore-Tex membrane locked out moisture even in the heavy downpour we encountered. We wouldn’t use the boot in warmer conditions, though.
The 996 Vioz GTX has the supportiveness to match its kingly waterproofing. We were particularly impressed with its adamantine-yet-cushy collar, which granted us high amounts of security on extra-rugged surfaces!
This multi-day hiker from Zamberlan is also as waterproof as it is comfy. It’s true—the 996 Vioz GTX elevated our trekking game with through-the-roof comfort, especially around the ankle cuff and heel.
And golly wow! The 996 Vioz GTX’s Vibram outsole outclassed many others in the grip and durability departments (second only to our top pick, of course). It spelled safety throughout our adventures across slippery terrain, and its toughness rendered it with only minor scratches and dents!
Manly, fast, and elegant for the urban lifestyle, the Columbia Fairbanks Rover is a striking hiker in both form and function!
This stylish beast from Columbia is among the lightest hiking boots on the market. Where most kicks of its kind average around 600 g per piece, the Fairbanks Rover stuns with a measly 490 g per kick! Make bigger leaps in this lightweight bad boy!
Now, its eye-catching shell deflected rainwater and splashes from streams without a hitch. We also did our staple water-immersion test on it, and the boot kept its plush interior dry!
While its name doesn’t give a hint about its cold-weather prowess, the Fairbanks Rover is insulated, and remarkably so. The boot helped our feet stay toasty in freezing conditions, even with just a pair of regular socks on.
Past its rather short break-in period, the Columbia Fairbanks Rover became the comfiest lightweight hiking boot in our books. Its mid-top shell felt custom-made, exciting our feet with more than enough plushness we could ever ask for!
And the best part? The Fairbanks Rover has the price tag to match its lightweight construction. Indeed, at $140 (MSRP), this wondrous gem is a real treat!
When the top portion is tightened, the bottom part loosens
Too much excess fabric
Lightness? Check. Highly impermeable confines? Check. Who’s checking? Why the Merrell Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof, who else!?
At no more than 850 g per pair, the leathered shell Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof will make your brawny feet go further with unrestricted strides. Despite having protective overlays, metal hardware for eyelets, and a semi-stout midsole, the boot still managed to be under the average boot weight, which is between 1000 g and 1200 g.
If you are a fan of Merrell but not soggy socks or wrinkly feet, the Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof has to be your “it” hiker. Engineered with a proprietary membrane called M Select Dry, this retro-inspired kick has what it takes to keep your piggies moist-free for longer. And yes, it has a gusseted tongue, too!
In terms of adhesiveness, this Merrell piece didn’t disappoint. On wet surfaces—pebbles on streams and muddy puddles—the Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof got us through with exceptional slip resistance. Its low-profile lugs also astounded us on pavements and asphalt roads.
This remarkable second choice rocks in the area of comfort, too. We just can’t say the same about its unruly laces, though.
Do you want to zoom past your homies, leaving them baffled in a cloud of dust? Then get the OUTline Mid GTX ASAP!
Out of the hundreds of waterproof boots we’ve tested, this offering is the nimblest of them all! Weighing no more than 420 g per kick, the OUTline Mid GTX is a definite must-buy for speedsters like you. Oh, but its lightness is only half of the story as its propelling sole unit deserves equal credit.
Our ninja-like performance was matched by the OUTline Mid GTX’s buzz-worthy water protection. With hurried strides making bigger splashes, we went through this one creek without getting our feet soaked. That dryness and freshness persisted all the way to the B-point of our speedy excursion!
On that same watery journey, which was actually our initial test/hike, the Salomon OUTline Mid GTX impressed us with resplendent comfort. Nothing within its lined interior felt odd, and the usual rubbing sensation you get in new boots was completely non-existent. Fantastic!
And we can’t be swooning over the OUTline Mid GTX without touching on its grip level. Simply put, the boot delivered with flying colors in the area of surface traction. Nothing caused us to slip—no slippery rock, no mossy routes.
What do you call a super-impermeable and sporty hiker from Lowa? Let us spell it out for you: Innox Pro GTX Mid!
A boot that can be mistaken for a pair of basketball shoes, the Innox Pro GTX Mid is an exciting gear where agility and security are required in equal measure. Despite its stout build (particularly around the rearfoot), this hiker for the speedy dudes felt lighter than its claimed weight of 450 g per shoe.
Aside from its lightweight engineering, the Innox Pro GTX Mid’s ability to elevate your pace also comes from the boot’s stride-boosting sole unit. Whether on rocky tracks or groomed trails, the boot stunned us with glide-like steps. Before we knew it, we were already at our destination!
But is the Lowa Innox Pro GTX Mid as waterproof as it is a rockstar on the trail? Absolutely! This undeniably incredible alternative got us through bogs, puddled trails (post heavy rain), and shallow streams without getting that sloppy feeling on the inside.
We also charted no instance of slipping and sliding in the Innox Pro GTX Mid in the same wet environments. Its deep, triangular lugs made us feel like grip kings, especially on muddy slopes!
This is NOT a test: the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof sells for a measly $80 a pop! This impossibly affordable boot is also a generous giver in more ways than one.
Keeping your feet fresh and dry is the boot’s primary objective, and in our time with, it delivered in aces! Although we didn’t encounter a more serious downpour, and the stream we crossed was rather shallow (about 3 inches tops), the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof lived up to its name!
While its watertight shell kept everything on the inside moist-free, the boot’s padded interior pampered our feet. Straight from the Columbia box, the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof exceeded our expectations comfort-wise. Our fears of getting blisters were completely quelled in this plush hiker!
The Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof is a lightweight wonder, too. No weightier than 450 g per shoe, this Columbia boot felt as light on our feet as it did on our wallets!
And let’s not dare forget its clawing performance on various terrain. Its tire-like lugs afforded us plenty grip on rocky inclines and grassy hillsides. Descents were also a cinch in this handsome must-but thanks to its highly capable heel brake.
Dancing to the tune of budget-friendliness is the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof from Timberland. Indeed, with its MSRP (minimum suggested retail price) of $110, the boot in question can help you quit the habit of overspending in no time!
A snug hug awaits you and your best homies in this Timberland offering. We are confident that it will pamper your adventure-hungry feet as quickly as it did ours. It’s true: the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof is mighty comfortable on day one!
But what is a comfy Timberland hiking boot without excellent water protection to match? Well, the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof proved its worth to us through moderate rain showers and three-inch-deep flooded areas.
In the traction department, the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof floored us, as well. Its sticking prowess worked in our favor both on backcountry terrain (although we tackled mostly groomed trails) and man-made surfaces.
Its stoutness translated to amazing support for us, too. While its padded cuff met our ankles with more than enough security, the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof’s arch was the star of the show. Indeed, the boot’s powerful sole unit maintained our bearings on root-filled and rocky terrain!
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.