Taking a walk in the nature can change your life in more ways than one. You might stumble upon an epiphany about life or think of a startup idea. But most importantly,you find liberation from the monotony of life. The best hiking shoes can help you keep your mind off the feet and think about such worldly things.They have the necessary grip on their soles to breeze through the treacherous trails. They are structured for comfortable fit for long trips. They are customized to allow maximum forefoot torsion without letting your feet twist. There are many options in the market. Focusing on the technicalities, we rounded up the ten best hiking shoes for men that make Huayna Picchu hike feel like a cakewalk.
What is better: hiking shoes or hiking boots?
The opinion of which one is better is a bitter debate. Many experienced hikers go against the traditional idea that the boots provide more ankle support. They say that the hiking shoes are low-weight and ankle support depends on soles not ankle shaft. We will explain the difference between the two:
Hiking Shoes: These look like normal shoes except that they have a thicker sole with a vigorous lug pattern on the sole for better traction. These are lighter than hiking boots but their ankle shaft is not as long as that of the boots. If you are planning day hikes, hiking shoes are the better option. They are light on the feet so walking will be that much easier. They are more comfortable and breathable that the mid cut or high cut boots.
Hiking Boots:The hiking boots (for more details look at our hiking boots article) are those footwear which have a high ankle collar. This keeps the ankle from accidental rolling. However, many argue that this is primarily decided by the sturdiness of the sole. Waterproof hiking boots with gusseted tongue keep the dirt and debris out and provide better protection against water. They are heavier but after a long hike your feet will thank you for the ankle brace.
What’s the difference between hiking shoes and trail-running shoes?
We covered both in our best hiking shoes for men list. But hiking shoes are slightly different from trail-running shoes. Hiking shoes have a more rigid sole that supports the weight of the hiker as well her/his baggage. Trail-running shoes are for runners who carry minimal load and run a shorter distance. They are usually lighter than the hiking shoes. While hiking shoes provide lateral ankle support, trail-running shoes focus on more support and traction for the feet.
Which are the best men’s hiking shoes?
There are many shoes in the market parading as running-cum-hiking shoes. If you are a light hiker who occasionally gazes at the Hollywood trails and calls herself/himself a hiker, these are a good option. But for avid male hikers, these best men’s hiking shoes treat your feet like princes. Here’s how we selected the 10 best hiking shoes for men:
Comfort: When you are busy navigating through “The Maze” at Utah, you don’t want to be annoyed by uncomfortable shoes. If you find the right fit in these best hiking shoes, your feet will remain cozy and stable inside them. They are well-ventilated without any pressure points to poke your feet.
Support:The best hiking shoes for men provide excellent support for the foot. The arch support keeps the feet from fatiguing over long hikes. For long trails with backpack, opt for a thicker sole support. For smaller hikes with just a hydration pack in the tow, use more pliable soles like trail-runners.
Traction: The best hiking shoes for men have the capability to scale all kinds of terrains: loose gravel, wet, rocky, grassy, slope etc. Waterproof hiking shoes are usually customized for good grip in wet trails. The non-waterproof ones are generally crafted for better traction on dry, dusty or rocky trails.
Weight: Weight makes a ton of difference to your foot health. There’s sweetspot on the scale for the best men’s hiking shoes. They must be able to support your feet and be lightweight for a quick hike. The lighter they are, the lesser fatigue they will exert. But we checked that it doesn’t come at the cost of foot support.
Durability:You get value for the money you spend on hiking shoes only when they last long. Running shoes fade fast when used on trails. The best hiking shoes for men maintain their lug pattern and soles over continuous use.
Best Hiking Shoes for Men In 2018 – Chart
Keen has afanatic fan-following for its remarkable shoe engineering. Whenever the mention of sports footwear comes up, Keen leads the discussion from the top. So it was no surprise that they took the cake in hiking shoes department as well. We experienced the most effective foot support and traction in Keen Targhee II men’s hiking shoes. Not only do they keep our socks dry as a bone, they can prevent sly rocks for catching our toes off-guard. The wide forefoot and sophisticated ankle lacing makes them comfortable for all sizes. At their price they walk themselves off the shelf and right on to the top spot on our best hiking shoes for men list.
The Keen men’s Targhee II is an out-an-out men’s hiking shoe. It looks dangerous with a chunky sole. But it is relatively lightweight at 2.25 pounds. The uppers are mostly done in leather. There are healthy patches of mesh material on the tongue for ventilation. Both the ankle collar and tongue are padded for comfort. The toe is protected by an extension of the rubber sole. This is life-saver in the event you stub your toebox on a wickedly-concealed rock.
The thick cords of laces crisscross until the final eyelet which wraps around the ankle. So if you have narrow feet, this extra strap through the back will ensure good fitment. Waterproofing with proprietary Keen.Dry Technology is at par with Gore-Tex at half the price. The tread pattern of these men’s hiking shoes is quite aggressive. The center lugs are positioned along the pressure centers of the feet and they hold well on wet, slippery or dry rocky terrain. Targhee II’s traction on different types of trails is the best in the class.
Comfort and Fitment
The fit of Keen Targhee II men’s hiking shoe has impressed folks of all foot types. The broad feet fit comfortably in the wide forefoot side. Narrow feet can be secured with the ankle lacing. Arch support is excellent with the EVA midsole. The rubber outsole could have been a little softer in this area. The removable dual-density EVA midsole and ESS shank allow torsion without twisting your feet in the process. It can sustain light to medium backpacking loads easily over long hikes.
- Outstanding traction and support
- Waterproof and breathable
- Rubber toe protection
- Wide toebox and lace tightening option at ankle
- Complaints in some recent products possibly due to outsourcing
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe>>
Merrell is a famed name in shoe-making. So we were hooked when we saw a full-fledged men’s hiking shoe at almost half the price of many other shoes on this list. The Merrell men’s Moab shoe is available as mid hiking boot and also in a waterproof version. It provides excellent traction for thru-hikes. The fitment and comfort are well-executed for most people. Given, its value-for-money, it is very popular amongst light hikers and those who want to use it on a regular basis as well. It whizzes on to the best hiking shoes for menlist at top speed.
The upper of the Merrell Moab men’s hiking shoe is a lattice of leather and mesh. The mesh covers more area on the upper of Moab than Targhee II. This lends the ‘Ventilator’ quality to it. It is wildly breathable. You will find it to be a coolcompanion on long and fast hikes without letting sweat take over. In spite of the open pores, this shoe is relatively water-resistant. Once it gets wet, it dries pretty quickly. The waterproof model uses Gore-Tex to ward off water.
This hiking shoe uses the acclaimed Vibram Multisport TC5 and rubber outsole. If you are trudging through Bryce Canyon trails, this will hold on tight to the territory and help you cover distances quickly. The traction of Moab is extremely helpful in negotiating dangerously rocky trails.
Moab men’s hiking shoe uses the drastic thick lacing that makes its fitment so effective. The laces snake through eyelets and usual lace holes for tight fit over the feet and at the ankles.It is comfortable right out of the box. There is no break-in period. It has an average weight in the hiking class at about 2.1 pounds.
The only problem with Moab Ventilator is the relatively flat arch. It does not provide great arch support. So if you dance over gravels and cover miles fast, you are going to wake up to red and angry feet.
- Comfortable and fitment as expected
- High ventilation
- Water-resistant. Waterproof model available
- Highly affordable
- 14 colors
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe>>
The Vasque Juxtmen’s hiking shoe brings excellent value for their money.It is as lightweight and easy on your feet as the Merrell Moab. It has some key winning points like the lacing pattern and the excellent traction on dry or rocky areas. It is not waterproof, so if you plan to take over some wet trails, you have to look at the KeenTarghee 2. They dry off pretty quickly in the sun though. The comfort and traction of Juxt is one of the best we have seen. It bangs so big for the bucks that we had to put it on the best hiking shoes for men list.
The Juxt men’s hiking shoes from Vasque look less menacing than the Keen Targhee 2. These are leather shoes with a 1.6mm suede upper. They create a well-ventilated environment for the feet, second only to the Merrell Moab. We are yet to see a waterproof version of Juxt. The laces criss-cross through 8 eyelets for a tight fit against the upper area of the feet and keep the shoes from sliding around inside them. They allow more versatility in the fitment of Juxt.
This men’s hiking shoe has a mellower lug pattern than the Keen Targhee. We found it suitable for the dry hikes like Rocky Mountain National Park. Slippery surfaces with water will not allow them to hold on tightly. Since they are not waterproof, we would not use them to scale rainforests anyway.On gravel that plotted to dislodge us from the vertical line, they performed exceptionally well. They have an added rubber layer for toe protection.
Comfort and Fitment
One thing we appreciated about the Vasque Juxt men’s hiking shoe is that it does not require to be broken in. It allows you to tighten up the fit to a larger extend than most shoes. But the toe box is narrower than the Keen Targhee 2. So folks with bunions and wide feet beware. Molded EVA midsole and TPU plate provide arch support to the shoe. This area needs improvement. You must have strong ankles to take the Juxt to hikes with a medium load on your back.These can be used as everyday shoes too, given their natural looks. The tread pattern is better suited for hiking and may wear off with constant use on the pavements.
- Versatile lacing system
- No break-in required
- Excellent traction on dry rocky or gravel terrains
- Lightweight and durable
- Snug toebox
- Not waterproof
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe>>
Trail running shoes can perform better than hiking shoes on well-trodden hiking paths when you have a light backpack load. Easy day hikes and exploring Maui rainforest is a job for the Salomon men’s Speedcross 3 trail running shoe. Not only are these ridiculously lightweight, they come from a maker with rich legacy of ergonomic shoe fitting. 33 colors of these men’s hiking shoes make them irresistible for buyers. They Speedcross right into the best hiking shoes for men list.
Compared to Keen Targhee II, the Salomon Speedcross 3 men’s hiking shoe looks sleeker and more streamlined. It uses Salomon’s Quicklace kit. This is an installed polyester cord with a slider that can be quickly tightened and you can hit the road in the time that it takes to spell L-A-C-E-S. There’s both a normal and a waterproof version. The latter uses Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry when you are wading through streams. The former is water-resistant so you can step in the occasional puddle without bathing your feet. The rubber sole extends to protect the toes against shock.
The outsole of this men’s hiking shoe has one of the most dramatic lug pattern we have ever seen. Traction-wise, they are best suited for soft trails, wet or dusty. If you have the lightest load, like only a hydration pack, and you plan day hike through canyons or trail-runs then these have enough traction. The tread is too evolved to be used on asphalt roads.
The ortholite insole and EVA midsole of the Salomon Speedcross 3 men’s hiking shoe create support for the feet when you are descending from a slope. At 10.9 ounce they are pretty lightweight and lend you the agility to move fast. The soles are thinner than hiking shoes. So if you are covering a long distance on rocky roads, you will find your feet sore next morning.
The fitment is snug so that your feet do not slip inside these hiking shoes. The Sensifit technology binds the uppers to the feet tighter and keeps the feet from sliding around when navigating rocks.
- Stylish in multiple colors
- Aggressive tread for great traction
- Snug fitment
- Toe protector
- Can be used in too rocky surface or roads
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Salomon Men’s Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe>>
Light hikers can rejoice at the agility of the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX men’s hiking shoe. Although primarily built for trail runs, these shoes can handle day hikes through harsh geography pretty well. Their quick lacing system matches with the go-getter spirit of our times.Their traction on all kinds of surface makes them priceless of hiking use. They are available in a number of funky colors.They covered the trail to the best hiking shoes for men list in a jiffy.
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX men’s hiking shoes are a gorgeous-looking synthetic pair. The synthetic upper has a lot of mesh regions to maintain a thoroughfare of air. Lacing is done through 5 eyelets. Terrex allows speed lacing just like the Salomon Speedcross 3. It’s an elastic lace with a stopper to fix the length.
This men’s hiking shoe is lined with Gore-Tex for protection against water. It delivers bone-dry comfort when you walk through puddles and stream of Buffalo Creek Falls at Wellington lake. The rubber sole is hard and provides remarkable traction on both wet and dry, rocky surfaces. If you hike on short trails or go trail-running, these will carry you through without falling prey to rickety terrain. Your toes will also thank you for the added rubber padding in the front.
Comfort and Fitment
The weight of the Adidas men’s Terrex hiking shoes comes down to 15.2 oz. Like Salomon Speedcross 3, this is also lighter than most hiking shoes. But it’s a heavyweight in the trail-running category.It is extremely durable. The rubber soles last long even with persistent hiking ventures. The shoes are a tad tight for the wide-feet people. You can order 0.5 size higher than your usual size for a better fit.
The EVA and TPU midsole support could be better. Keen Targhee 2 wins outright in this regard. However, Swift R GTX is more expensive, given the brand value.
- Speed lacing
- Stylish looks
- Outstanding traction on all terrains
- Rubber toe-protection
- Heavy for trail-running
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Swift R GTX>>
Keen Voyageur men’s hiking shoe maintains the same standards that they established with Targhee II. It ditches the waterproofing and sheds some more weight. It has the same aggressive traction capabilities and comfortable fitment for wide toes. The ventilation inside the shoes is perfect for a hot trudge through the Getty View Trail LA. We also liked the removable EVA foam footbed. As usual, Keen usurped a spot on the best hiking shoes for men list with its usual swag.
The Voyageur men’s hiking shoe from Keen have the hardcore look that enforces our conviction in its ruggedness. It uses a thick rubber sole that adds 1.5-inch heel to the shoe. The lug pattern on it is exactly like that of the Keen Targhee 2. It is drastic and crafted for traction on all kinds of surfaces. But for longevity’s sake we suggest that you stick to moderately difficult terrain. Keep the worst hikes for Keen Targhee 2 mid-hiking boots, which offer best traction and more ankle support.
The Voyageur hiking shoes are not waterproof. The upper is generously patched with mesh for better breathability. It is also water-resistant to a certain extent. So if you are caught off-guard in the rain, your shoes will have a fighting chance. The toe protector in the front is an extension of the rubber sole and one of the strongest fortresses for our little guys.
Comfort and Fitment
Keen usually makes the toe-box roomy and that’s the case with Voyageur hiking shoe as well. The lacing system provides a snug fit for the feet. The last eyelet connects to a strap that snakes around the ankle. This way the feet stay stable inside these shoes. The dual-density EVA foam footbed does not provide the requisite support. So, many of the users swap them out for custom arch supports that fit with their high or low arches.
Torsional stability via the ESS shank straddles a delicate balance between forefoot movement freedom and rigidity over rocky terrain.
- Durable and lightweight at 1.875 pounds
- Excellent traction on most terrains
- Wide toebox with toe protection
- Comfortable out of the box
- EVA midsole provides low arch support
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of KEEN Men’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe>>
Salomon goes all out with its shoe designs. The Eskape GTX men’s hiking shoe is another example of how they pack a whole lot of technology into a single pair of shoes. It handles the delicate balance of breathability and waterproofing like a pro. The Eskape is a handsome pair with rigorous tread pattern that Salomon usually maintains. Apart from slight quality issue with the laces, they deliver the Salomon performance at a very reasonable price. We were suitably impressed and launched them straight into our best hiking shoes for men list.
Salomon Eskape men’s GTX hiking shoe is Gore-Tex-lined waterproof shoe. Youcan submerge it in water for 3-4 mins without getting it soaked. This lining gets in the way of breathability so it ranks lower than the Salomon Speedcross 3. Eskape feels slightly warmer and less airy. The upper is mostly synthetic and textile material. The tongue is gusseted and prevents the entry of foreign agents into the shoe.
This hiking shoe has a tight pattern of tread. It is very useful for traction on dry, rocky, wet and gravelly trails. Going down the slopes on slippery surfaces is a bit tricky with them. We would opt for the Merrell Moab Ventilator waterproof shoes for better grip on slippery slopes. Because the sole is so stiff, it is pretty durable.
Comfort and Fitment
The fitment of the Salomon Eskape men’s hiking shoe is its main attraction. It fits like a glove, leaving necessary space inside for your toes to wiggle. The rigid shoe takes some time to break-in. The ankle protection is only moderate. If you have healthy ankles, then Eskape provides an escape from heavy shoes like Keen Targhee 2. Eskape weighs only about 1.72 pounds. So you can cover the miles fast on any road.
- Lightweight and good-looking
- Gusseted tongue
- Gore-Tex waterproofing
- Excellent traction on most trails
- Low grip on slippery slopes
- Needs to be broken -in
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Salomon Men’s Eskape GTX Hiking Shoe>>
Merrell shoes have a cult following of their own. They are a safe buy with good value for money. The Chameleon Prime men’s hiking shoes have a handful of design features that qualify them for the best hiking shoes for men list. These are not waterproof. Instead they invest on the ventilation inside the shoe. Your feet stay protected from debris and dust. It has good foot support and better traction that the Chameleon C4.
Merrell Chameleon Prime men’s hiking shoe makes detour from the traditional tongue architecture with a bellowed tongue. The same fabric extends around the top of ankle collar as well. The upper is almost equally divided between leather and mesh material. Together, this structure and the gusseted tongue create an airy atmosphere inside, all the while keeping the dirt out.
The rubber sole with a sophisticated tread pattern extends up to top of the toes to protect against toe stubs. Lugs of 4mm thickness are placed strategically along the center of the foot for improved traction. They do well on dry trails like Yellowstone National Park. The laces are the speed-lacing elastic type. You simply need to pull the tightening tab. There’s a probability that this elastic lace will fail on you. And they cannot be easily replaced either.
Comfort and Fitment
The Chameleon Prime Stretch men’s hiking shoe comes in the standard Merrell sizes. You will find the toebox roomier than Vasque Juxt shoes. The padded ankle collar gives you good ankle support on rocky terrain. The air cushioned heels absorb shock from walking on uneven ground. The sole is rigid and supports light to medium weights. It weighs 2 pounds which is middle-of-the-pack for hiking shoes.
- Good traction on dry ground
- Quick lacing system
- Good support for sole and ankle
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Merrell Men’s Chameleon Prime Stretch Hiking Shoe>>
The Adidas Kanadia 7 TR M men’s trail-running shoe is a chic choice for off-trail running and hiking. Unusually cost-effective for a branded shoe, the Kanadiaprovide superior traction on dry terrains. Although they look stylish, they are better suited for the rough life than the high-life on asphalt. They are dirt-proof due to itheir closed design. Instead of investing in leather, they have used a synthetic material to cut costs. We found so much value for our money in Kanadia that we jogged it right into our best hiking shoes for men list.
The Kanadia 7TR M men’s hiking shoe has a synthetic upper with major area covered by mesh. This provides lot of air circulation inside the shoe and keeps your feet sweat-free while running. At its cost, there is no Gore-Tex membrane to save the day. So stick to dry hiking trails for the best performance value.
Like Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX, the Kanadia also uses their proprietary TRAXION outsole. This has good grip over loose stones and gravel. Rocky terrain also scales away under these shoes. However, the lug pattern is not great for regular use on cement and asphalt paths. The tongue holds close to ankle collar of the shoe. This closed construction keeps dirt and grime from entering the interiors. There are 10 tribal colors in these shoes which up your style quotient on the trail.
Comfort and Fitment
The best thing about Adidas Kanadia 7 TR M men’s trail-running shoe is that it fits the general populace well. It is spacious at the forefoot without being too bulky. The last eyelet of the lace has two tightening options to fit narrow and broad ankles. It provides good support for high arches. You can always use a custom insole for more comfort.
- Suave looks
- Fits both broad and narrow feet
- Good ventilation
- Lightweight at 10 ounces
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Adidas Performance Men’s Kanadia 7 TR M Trail Running Shoe>>
If you can’t afford Merrell’s masterpiece, the Moab Ventilator, you can pick up a pair of the Merrell Pulsate men’s hiking shoe. They would be less sturdy than the leather Moabs. But they are Merrells after all. They do well in both casual-wear scenarios and as hiking shoes. They have more sizing options than the usual medium fitments. And they cost half as much as the Merrell Moab Ventilators. What’s to stop them from being on the best hiking boots for men list?
Although it looks fierce, the Merrell Pulsate men’s hiking shoe is not as forcefulin performance as the other hiking shoes on this list. Its upper is made of synthetic and mesh material against Moab’s leather. The laces run through 5 textile eyelets and one pair of metal eyelet. We didn’t approve of the ordinary laces that come with the Pulsate. They untie easily in spite of our best efforts.
This hiking shoe uses a fairly organized tread pattern. Moab Ventilator takes the cake away for traction from Pulsate any day. But the latter isn’t bad for a novice hiker either. Merrell uses the proprietaryM-Select lining and footbed to create a sweat-free environment inside the shoes and succeeds to a large extent.
Comfort and Fitment
Merrell Pulsate men’s hiking shoe comes in both medium and wide fitments in every size. This and the lacing system make the fit versatile for both narrow and broad feet. The arch support is good at the cost but not extraordinary. The soles are thinner than Moab so they are more flexible for foot movement. But that diminishes the arch support slightly. They are ready to go right out of the box. There was no break-in required.
- Good traction and support
- Can be used for everyday walking
- Not waterproof
- Laces are low-quality
<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Merrell Men’s Pulsate Hiking Shoe>>