Men’s Hiking Boots: What You Need To Know
Finding the right pair of hiking boots can be tricky, especially if you’re on a budget. Fortunately, if you narrow your search to include only the products that meet your specific criteria, the task becomes that much simpler.
Here’s a guide to the best men’s hiking boots that we were able to find on the current market. All of the brands listed are priced at under $100.
In A Hurry?
Our Top Pick – Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot
Quick Look At Men’s Hiking Boots Under $100
- Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot, Breathable, High-Traction Grip
- NORTIV 8 Men’s Ankle High Waterproof Hiking Boots Outdoor Lightweight Shoes Backpacking Trekking Trails
- Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
- KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- Skechers Men’s Relment Pelmo Chukka Waterproof Boot
- Skechers Men’s Rolton-Elero Hiking Boot
- Timberland Men’s Flume Waterproof Boot
- Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- Clorts Waterproof Men’s Hiking Boots Outdoor Lightweight Work Shoes Backpacking Trekking Trails
- Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot (Copper)
How To Choose The Best Hiking Boots
First of all, you should think about what type of hiking you’ll be doing. Do you routinely make long-distance treks over difficult terrain requiring a rugged waterproof hiking boot, or are you just looking for a comfortable pair of lightweight kicks for your casual day hikes at the local park? The type of boot you buy depends largely on the answer to this question.
To pickup the best pair of boots for the money, you need a general idea of your basic hiking needs, determine how much you’re willing and able to spend on a new pair of boots. A quick Internet search should give you some idea of the price range.
Bear in mind that the sturdiest, most durable boots are likely to cost a great deal more than their budget friendly lighter counterparts.
Why Is It Important To Choose The Right Pair Of Hiking Boots?
If a hiking boot doesn’t fit properly, it can lead to a whole host of problems that you’d do better to avoid, particularly if you prefer an active lifestyle. For example, when the heel of your hiking boot is too loose, your foot is prone to slippage, which may cause hot spots or blisters. Also, if you have wider feet, you may need to look into a boot that offers sizes in wide.
An ill-fitting boot can also lead to more worrisome injuries, especially if they cause you to turn your ankle or fall down on the trail.
When you try on a pair of hiking boots, pay close attention to the fit. The ball of your foot should fit snugly against the sole of the boot, with the heel remaining firmly in place with each step.
Be sure that you’re able to comfortably wiggle your toes, however, since this is the area where you’ll need the most control. The extra space in the toe box will also allow for a bit of swelling, which is normal during exertion.
Important Things To Look For
Size isn’t the only factor to consider when shopping for hiking boots. On the subject of blisters: Wet and sweaty feet are likely the main cause of this hiking hazard, so it’s just as important to ensure that your shoes are made of the proper material. Synthetics such as nylon and polyester are light and easy to break-in and suitable for day hikes in drier conditions.
Split-grain leather, sometimes labeled as “genuine leather,” is leather that has had the inner layers of the hide stripped away. For these purposes, it’s often combined with synthetics to make a hiking boot that’s breathable and offers a bit more protection from the elements, yet isn’t as sturdy as its full-grain counterparts.
By contrast, hiking boots made of full-grain leather are the most durable ones you’ll find. They’re also heavier and require a great deal of breaking in, however, so you should invest in these only if you regularly hike in rugged conditions.
The height of the ankle support is another important feature to consider. Low boots are fine for easy strolls along groomed trails, but more strenuous terrain requires a mid-cut boot for greater support and protection from debris. If you do a lot of off-trail hiking on rough or unstable terrain, look for a high-cut boot.
What’s The Best Way To Break In Hiking Boots?
If you purchase a light hiking shoe made of synthetic material, it’s not really necessary to break them in. Ditto if they’re made of split-grain leather, although these would certainly benefit from a stroll or two around the block before hitting the trail. High-quality full-grain leather, on the other hand, requires the royal treatment.
Next, take them on a brief spin around the neighborhood. Start with smaller distances, then work your way up if the fit still seems comfortable.
First of all, try putting on your new boots when you’re hanging around the house. Try to get a feel for how the tongue and gussets line up with the natural curve of your foot. A bit of stiffness during this stage is to be expected, but feel free to adjust the laces if the boots feel too tight.
Once you’ve increased your distance to a couple of miles, you can attempt a few shorter day hikes, gradually adding weight to your pack to make sure you and your boots can handle the extra weight.
Should you notice any pain or discomfort during this stage, stop the breaking-in process immediately and return to the store to see if the boots can be exchanged.
Best Men’s Hiking Boots Under $100
1. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot, Breathable, High-Traction Grip
The Newton Ridge Plus II boot from Columbia is constructed of leather, suede, and mesh, which offers a great deal of protection without sacrificing style and affordability.
The rubber soles are outfitted with an advanced traction system that allows for a strong grip, even in slippery conditions. This is a high-cut boot with a 1.5-inch heel, suitable for wear on moderate to strenuous terrain.
They’re also water-resistant enough to work well in snowy conditions.
2. NORTIV 8 Men’s Ankle High Waterproof Hiking Boots Outdoor Lightweight Shoes Backpacking Trekking Trails
The NORTIV 8 is a high-cut, waterproof hiking boot with a removable insole and cushioned footbed for superior comfort.
The rubber outsoles feature multi-directional lugs to help with traction in unstable terrain. While they’re made of synthetic materials, these boots offer a good value for the price, especially when you consider the fact that they manage to be breathable and waterproof all at the same time.
3. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
This is a low-cut hiking shoe that falls on the pricier end of the spectrum here. The materials are suede and mesh, so this isn’t a fully waterproof option, but they are breathable and lightweight enough for easy trail hikes.
4. KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
These leather-and-textile mid-cut boots feature a breathable mesh lining and a gradual heel-to-toe incline that makes them suitable for multi-day hikes, as long as the going doesn’t get too rough.
They are fully waterproof, with reflectors included to help increase visibility.
5. Skechers Men’s Relment Pelmo Chukka Waterproof Boot
The Relment Pelmo offers a suede construction with a high cut and synthetic soles. They’re outfitted with memory foam, which increases the overall comfort level, especially when coupled with the suede exterior.
The fit is slightly loose, making these a good choice for those who prefer to wear thick socks or just want a little extra wiggle room.
6. Skechers Men’s Rolton-Elero Hiking Boot
This second offering from Skechers is constructed of a leather/synthetic blend that gives it a bit more durability than the Relment Pelmo. The boots are waterproof, with Skecher’s trademark memory foam and relaxed fit.
7. Timberland Men’s Flume Waterproof Boot
Timberland’s Flume boot is constructed of 100 percent full-grain leather, which is ideal for strenuous terrain. The shaft on these high-cut specimens measures five inches from the arch.
The Flume is available in brown or black only, so if color variety ranks high on your hit parade, you might be better off with one of the other options listed here. That said, you’d be hard-pressed to find a higher quality boot anywhere.
8. Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
This is another mid-cut option, constructed of leather and textiles with a suede overlay and nylon straps. Other features include removable insoles and steel shanks for ankle and arch support.
9. Clorts Waterproof Men’s Hiking Boots Outdoor Lightweight Work Shoes Backpacking Trekking Trails
Clorts offers a mid-cut, durable and waterproof boot at an affordable price, with a padded collar and tongue cover for increased comfort. The construct is leather and suede, with skid-proof rubber soles.
10. Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot (Copper)
Like the Timberland Flume, the high-cut Ariat Terrain H20 is constructed of 100 percent waterproof leather, with a leather lining to match. If you’re looking for a full-grain leather option, this one could be the perfect fit.
While only you can determine which hiking boot best suits your individual needs, We would recommend the Ariat Terrian H2O over all the others listed here. Why? Because the full-grain leather construct offers the best value for the price, especially given how well they fit.
If you’re serious about hiking as a hobby and are looking for a boot that’s as comfortable as it is durable, take a closer look at the Ariat Terrain H2O.