The Top 10 Best Hiking Boots for 2021

There are several principal aspects to consider when deciding on the perfect hiking boots for your next overland adventure. In this article the top 10 best hiking boots for men on the market right now we research 10 very good boots for you to choose from.

When looking to purchase the best boots for yourself, some of the most important ingredients we need to be sure we have are comfort, protection, traction, waterproofing, durability, and the weight of the boot.

These are the areas we will touch on in the description of every boot on this list and give our opinion on the strong points and the weak of each boot.

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 Starting With Simply The Best Hiking Boots

1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 Hiking Boots   

PROS.

  • Durable construction 
  • Excellent comfort levels 

CONS.

  • Could be a little heavy for some people

This Salomon is an exceptional hiking boot with great foot support from a soft but very strong upper that will keep your ankles and feet free from damage on the most grueling hikes. 

The design of this new model wraps your foot in strong support from the walls and collar of the boot while the heal sits nicely in position in the cup.

All-around exceptional high-performance boot with the premium wet traction Contra Grip technology that will help you cross any wet terrain with ease and speed getting you to your destination without too much stress.

A pair of these Salomon Quest hiking boots in the mid-size range would weigh approximately 2 lb 14 oz. They come in many sizes ranging from  4 – 15 US and usually fit true to size.

Durability is excellent and well up in high range among its competitors, with great construction this boot should last many seasons.

While construction includes the very good gore-tex membrane to keep out the water remember that waterproof liners can restrict breathability and so it will be a warmer boot in hotter and dryer climates.

They will provide you with stability protection and comfort on the trail when you need it, best for heavy going and with a full pack.

With excellent design and construction featuring the Contra-Grip technology, these boots will get you to your destination with confidence.

We Scored This Product 4.8 from 5 Stars

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2. Salomon X Ultra 3 Men’s Wide Hiking Boot

The Best Lightweight Hiking Boots

PROS.

  • High grip Contragrip rubber sole
  • Excellent lightweight protection

CONS.

  • Insert aftermarket insoles for more comfort

Another great boot from a great manufacturer, the X-Ultra has a solid rubber cap around the toe area that will protect your toes from sharp sticks, stones, and other obstacles in your path.

Lightweight over the ankle suede leather/nylon uppers with a soft and strong collar they have a similar feel to a good hiking shoe when you have them on.

Excellent traction on Salomon X Ultra 3 boots is excellent and that is largely due to the aggressive lug patterns that hold you firm and stable in fast downhill mode.

These boots are some of the lightest on our list, in fact, some of the lightest you will find for a full support boot. Solomon x ultra 3 weighs in at just a shade under 1lb 15 oz for the pair

We have seen the poor durability of some of the boots on this list however there is no such problem with the Salomon X-Ultra 3, there are plenty of good reasons to own this boot and durability is one.

Gore-Tex waterproof boot liners will assist in keeping your feet dry and also allow them to breathe this weatherproof technology will allow you to move well through any season.

This is a high-performance hiking boot that is excellent in all areas and will surely sit among our top picks for hiking boots this year. Perfect for light and fast hiking. 

We Scored This Product 4.7 from 5 Stars

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3. Keen Men’s Targhee ll Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

The Best Budget Hiking Boots 

PROS.

  • Extremely popular
  • Robust toecap for good protection 

CONS.

  • Not as durable as some others

The Keen Targhee ll men’s waterproof hiking boot is solid and robust with a rubber sole will keep your feet safe and secure on any trail.

A comfortable fit with a cushioned insole and thick sole to keep you balanced and safe from any sharp objects and stable throughout your hike.

The waterproof leather construction with breathable leather lining will keep your feet dry while the aggressive outsoles will provide you with a sure-footed journey.

This is a great boot for a typical weekend hike and at 2.3 pounds in weight, with a very good grip, this would suit those looking for a good boot at a reasonable price.

This was not the most durable boot we researched for this list, however, out of the box it performed well enough on damp to dry ground and most trail surfaces.

While the Targhee II is designed to keep your feet dry, just be aware that a short ankle height will allow water in while crossing any water of depth.

Aggressive lug pattern and good torsional support also add value to a mid-high boot that is priced well for most weekend short distance hiking.

We Scored This Product 4.2 from 5 Stars

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4. Scarpa Men’s Zodiac Plus Gtx Hiking Boot

The Best Boots for Traction

PROS.

  • Very breathable boot.
  • Reliable heavy-duty construction.

CONS.

  • A few complaints about the laces loosening quickly.

Scarpa Zodiac Plus is an all-around sturdy well-constructed boot using strong materials for excellent protection of the toes and foot.

Comfort is one of the factors that make this boot popular among the hiking community, and the comfort levels increase after a short break-in period.

This is an excellent rock scrambling boot with terrific traction and high performance in terrain that is challenging and unmaintained. The lugs grip tightly to the ground and slippery or muddy situations are easily overcome by these remarkable boots.

Whether you have a long walk to the base camp or you are setting out on a light trek that will take you an hour or two, this boot will be a good fit for almost any walk out there.

Weighing 2 pounds (thanks to a polyurethane material as well as the high-density three-layer EVA midsoles), it turns out to be lighter than a lot of boots in this category.

There hasn’t been any serious concern about the durability of the GTX so far, and rightly so, this boot looks and feels solidly built right out of the box on the first inspection.

Together with the water-resistant suede uppers, any wet ground won’t be a problem. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that this boot is ankle-high, submerging it past the ankle will mean soaking your feet for the rest of the journey.

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is the right boot for anyone who wants to get the best of protection and comfort. With the ideal design to enable you to walk tough hillside trails or descend loose slopes.

We Scored This Product 4.4 from 5 Stars

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5. Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot $239

Lowa’s Best Selling Boots

PROS.

  • Very breathable interior.
  • Vibram vital sole with high grip and shock absorption. 

CONS.

  • It might take a long time to dry if completely soaked.

Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX hiking boot is a great choice for most hikers as it packs in a hoard of features that ensure reliable protection for your feet on any terrain.

A comfortable wrap-around ankle protecting collar and full-length nylon shank gives extra stability over any rough and difficult country and will provide comfort on your adventure.

The tread pattern also adds to the traction that this boot boasts, as it offers a great combination of awesome bite in snow, dirt, or soft ground, and plenty of stickiness over roots and rocks.

The weight of these boots is around 2 lb 10 oz which means the Renegade might not be the boot that takes the cake in this list when it comes to being the lightest, but it still beats a lot of the competition in this area.  

The Lowa Renegade is solidly built and should hold up well despite constant use on unforgiving terrain, there are some claims about the toe rubber and the upper separating slightly after several months.

You’ll have the waterproof Gore-Tex lining and the water-repellent Nubuck leather uppers to thank for its ability to keep your feet dry when walking across a soggy field.

With a combination of solid construction, great waterproofing, and the ability to take on a wide array of terrains, this boot is Lowa’s best selling top-performing boot and makes an ideal choice for plenty of happy hikers.

We Scored This Product 4.5 from 5 Stars

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6. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot

The Best Ventilated Boots

PROS.

  • Breathable mesh lining will assist in keeping your feet dry
  • Out of the box comfort

CONS.

  • These are ventilators and not waterproof

Tough ground conditions and hard obstacles will be no match for this solid construction which will keep your feet safe while the good solid protective toe cap will protect your toes.

Good quality materials and a supportive cushioned footbed with firm arch support are a feature of the Merrell MOAB 2 boots and help make these extremely comfortable boots.

If most of your hiking is day hiking with the occasional weekend you should be able to get a couple of good seasons out of these boots.

Just on 2 lb 4 oz, these are nice and lightweight and very good for a mid-size pack weight they are also available in a wide design so a broad foot can also be accommodated in style and comfort.

The high-performance durable suede leather and mesh upper materials used in the construction of these boots are a step above a lot of the budget range.

If you are doing the seriously rough stuff over loose hilly climbs and fast challenging descents do yourself a favor and look at something like either of the Salomon boots listed above.

We Scored This Product 4.5 from 5 Stars

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7. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Boot

Amazons Best Selling Men’s Hiking Boots

PROS.

  • Great boot for casual outdoors use
  • Highly rated on Amazon 

CONS.

  • Not really suitable for heavy-duty use 

For a full leather boot for under $80 this one will suit the budget-conscious person while camping and exploring the outdoors or on a casual short hike.

This simple all leather boot with good well-padded ankle support will protect your feet against the hard ground and will keep your feet safe from sharp objects and any impacts.

If you prefer a stiffer boot which most hikers do then this one will not be for you. If you like a boot that will keep its shape but still want to go lightweight, then go for the Keen Targhee ll above.

This is a reasonable boot that performs adequately for occasional hiking but lacks some of the quality that is built into some of the other boots listed here. 

This is a lightweight boot at around 2.25 lbs per pair available in size 5-15 there is an option here for most of us and if you require wide there is an excellent range of widths.

Solid rubber outsole with multidirectional lugs give reasonable grip even on damp surfaces and would prove a very good boot for light duties around the campsite and for a casual walk into the forest from time to time.

There is no doubting the popularity of the Timberland white ledge boot, with well over 12,000 ratings on Amazon the majority of whom are very positive and rated highly.

We Scored This Product 4.4 from 5 Stars

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8. Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot – Men’s

PROS.

  • Great protection for your feet.
  • Reliable waterproofing performance.

CONS.

  • It would be great with full rubber rand for extra durability.

The tongues feature a padded and gusseted design that helps keep out any debris and moisture.

Padded ankle cuffs further add to the protection of your ankle and lower shins as well as protecting your feet against bruises or impact when trekking on rocks and rough terrain.

A wide fit design is one of the things that make this boot great in terms of comfort, and without necessarily trading off the support. It also comes with removable footbeds for additional cushioning and comfort.

Traction is one of the most essential factors in a hiking boot, and the Asolo Power Matic doesn’t disappoint at that, thanks to its robust, grippy Asolo-Vibram rubber outsole that performs well on both wet as well as dry terrains.

Weighing 3 lbs and 12 ounces it’s far too heavy when compared to some other boots that we’ve researched for this list. But when you factor in the solid construction, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s one of the heavyweights out there.

Despite the solid construction of this boot, the durability isn’t as remarkable as it has been reported to have issues with the soles separating a tad too soon.

Thanks to a combination of great features as the water-resistant Italian leather uppers and Gore-Tex lining, it does a fantastic job of keeping your feet well ventilated while protecting them from contact with outside water.

On the bottom line, it’s clear that as much as this boot is not the perfect pick for a dedicated outdoors person, it can make a great choice for seasonal hiking trips.

We Scored This Product 4.3 from 5 Stars

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9. Salewa Mountain Trainer Men’s Boots

PROS.

  • Excellent toe protection
  • Needs virtually no break-in

CONS.

  • The outsole tends to wear out a bit too fast

It’s most likely the first thing you’ll have your eyes on when selecting the ideal hiking boot for your next getaway, and thankfully, this one does a great job at protecting you from the unforgiving outdoors.

The Bilight midsoles have a polyurethane-injected construction that does a great job at keeping your foot ergonomically cradled and has an incline that offers to cushion and flex for the heel when traversing steep terrain.

To allow you to take on steep rocks, slippery roots, or the downright rough terrain in the wild, this boot has a robust Vibram EVO rubber outsole that is designed to give the much-needed traction.

If a lightweight boot is a type you prefer (which is preferable for long hikes anyway), then this boot could make a great choice. At 2.2 lbs a pair, it is a light boot that will make your hike easy and lots of fun.

This boot holds up well for long enough to give you the value for your money, besides, its all-leather construction ensures there are no weak spots where the boot could disintegrate easily.

With a combination of the suede leather upper and the ankle-high design of this boot, you can count on it when facing shallow crossings and muddy and wet areas.

It has a Gore-Tex lining that delivers a great combination of breathability, comfort, and waterproof performance.

We Scored This Product 4.4 from 5 Stars

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10. Vasque Men’s St. Elias Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot

PROS.

  • Sufficient cushion and support
  • Offers enough protection from the elements

CONS.

  • The laces reportedly fray quite fast
  • There are a few negative comments about the lace lugs breaking

Protection is one of the most essential things you can expect to get with an outdoor boot, and this one goes the distance to offer just that.

Thanks to a combination of the Vibram frontier rubber outsole and tough traditional Nubuck leather upper your feet will stay safe in this boot.

One of the features is the A.S.E midsoles, which have EVA cushioning pods in both the heel and forefoot area, which are built to offer nothing short of ultimate comfort.

Vasque also does a great job when it comes to traction, thanks to its lugged Vibram rubber outsoles, which are designed to maintain a high level of stability as well as traction on the unpredictable outdoors terrain.

This boot comes across as one of the heaviest options we’ve researched for this list. Weighing up to 3 lbs 1 oz. it is certainly a heavy boot.

But it does boast such impressive specs as the 2.3mm Nubuck leather upper and the dual-density EVA footbed for ideal cushioning and shock absorption with each step.

Durability is another important aspect you need to consider when choosing any boot for your hiking adventures, and luckily enough, this one doesn’t disappoint at that as well.

If you want a boot that can keep your feet dry the Vasque St Elias has a rubber toecap with a stitch-in molded design as well as a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane that is designed to keep the water out and ensure your feet stay dry inside the boot.

We Scored This Product 4.2 from 5 Stars

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three people hiking on a path

Protection

Protection is probably the first reason we even need boots, protecting our feet from the harsh environments we will encounter on our hikes is the number one priority. Then, we look for several other elements that make up our ideal boot. 

The correct fitting of any boot is paramount and you need to get the size right before you make a purchase, the right size will keep your foot safe and well supported. Size is not just the length, but also the width of the boot and the toebox area.

Comfort

Finding and purchasing a perfect fitting boot is awesome as comfortable boots are going to be extremely important on any trail. Any spot in the boot that is uncomfortable will only amount to a painful experience

One area of any boot that can cause discomfort is the insole but sometimes just a small tweak can improve the comfort and one easy way is to get a good quality aftermarket insole.

A good quality EVA foam in the midsole is very beneficial, while most boots have this product a high-quality EVA can make a lot of difference to the comfort.

Most standard insoles will not take long term demanding punishment from serious hiking so make sure you check out the aftermarket insoles that will provide enhanced comfort in your boots. Some of the best are Superfeet available from Amazon.

Traction

Depending on the adventures you take part in, the performance of the boots will change. If you are in suburban areas with managed walking trails you will not need grippy shock-absorbing waterproof hiking boots.

On the other hand, of course, there are superly built boots like the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX that will have you safely overcoming the most treacherous downhill descents with confidence and ease.

two pair of hiking boots

Weight

The weight of the boots should also be considered, this is another very important aspect of which boot we purchase and it is largely determined by the type of hiking we wish to take part in. 

Be sure to get this right as it will make up a big part of your decision. Search for a boot that will give you all the safety, comfort, and performance without weighing you down too much.

Durability 

The durability of any boot is important in also giving you value, irrespective of the amount of money you outlay on the purchase.

Durability will be determined a lot by the design and manufacture plus the type of use and the amount of use the boots get.

Some hiking boots are constructed with a PU or polyurethane midsole for heavy going over rough country or in heavy impact events, thus also enhancing the protection of the foot.

Waterproofing

The reality is that there is no such thing as a totally waterproof boot or shoe, just step into a stream that is deeper than the height of your boot and see how waterproof the boot is. 

A waterproof lining such as the Gore-Text Membrane constructed inside a weatherproof boot will provide you with the best chance of keeping your feet dry.

The next best we can ask for it that the sole of the boot and the seams that join it are weatherproof enough to keep our feet dry when hiking on damp or wet ground and when we step into small puddles of water.

Let’s face it, a good downpour will send water down your legs straight into your boots, and hiking in tropical climates where rain is considered the norm on just on those wet trips you may prefer a quick-drying boot because you will be doing a lot of drying.

Socks

A good pair of socks will make a world of difference to comfort levels and choosing the correct socks can be just as important as choosing the boots themselves.

man standing on a rock

Questions and Answers

Question: Hi, while some hiking boots are made waterproof can I spray or add any product to help?

Answer: While the materials used in the construction of some hiking boots are waterproof and some boots are manufactured using the excellent gore-tex waterproof liners this alone will not always keep the water out. You can use a spray-on waterproofing agent to help with the overall waterproofing.  

Question: I am a small female and a casual hiker, I’m not sure if I need a hiking boot or if a shoe would be good enough for me. What do you suggest?

Answer: If you don’t do any real adventurous hiking over rough terrain and long distances and most of the time you are on graded and maintained pathways a good hiking shoe could be your best bet. However, if you are into thru-hiking, long distances, and rough terrain a good quality pair of hiking boots might become your best friends.

Question: I am planning a trip into snow country and I was wondering if hiking boots perform well in snow and ice conditions?

Answer: The short answer is Yes they do very well, but a few tips for you. Firstly be sure they are waterproof with a gore-tex lining. Comfort is next, so make sure they fit well. Traction is an important aspect when hiking through snow and ice so be sure the sole is and lugs are designed for snow.

Question: Quick question which hiking boots do you believe to be the best?

Answer: Hard to give a straight out answer on one boot but the top 6 boots on this list, in my opinion, will not be beaten under most circumstances for comfort durability, and performance.

My Top Picks:

Simply The Best Hiking Boots                       Salomon Quest 4D 3 Hiking Boot

The Best Lightweight Boots       Salomon X Ultra 3 Men’s Wide Hiking Boot

The Best Budget Hiking Boots         Keen Men’s Targhee ll Mid  Hiking Boot

The Best Boots for Traction          Scarpa Men’s Zodiac Plus Gtx Hiking Boot

Conclusion

In summary, protection, comfort, traction, waterproofing, durability, and weight are key elements that make the perfect hiking boot. Wherever your hiking adventures take you the above list contains some of the best hiking boots on the market right now.

If you have any more questions about The Top 10 Best Hiking Boots, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

You may also like to read my Best Hiking Boots For Women

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.

Shane.

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