Whether you enjoy the odd countryside stroll or you’re a keen hiking enthusiast, it’s important to wear the appropriate hiking boots. If you’re ill-equipped for walking whatever duration or terrain you have planned, you can experience some discomfort.
Furthermore, prolonged walking with inappropriate footwear may provoke disorders such as Plantar Fasciitis.
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Quick Buyer’s Guide
If you’re in a hurry and just want to buy the best hiking boots according to your needs you can use the Quick Buy Guide below. Otherwise, scroll down to see each of the boots in detail.
"My favourites boots were found here." I'm an outdoors enthusiast and was delighted to find the right ones for needs.
After testing many hiking boots and shoes, we’ve established this list featuring the 10 best pairs:
- Premium Boots: Irish Setter Elk Tracker
- Comfortable Boots: Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
- Performance Shoes: Salomon X Alp Spry
- Versatile All-Purpose Boots: Asolo Fugitive GTX
- Summer Boots: Keen Targhee Exp Mid WP
- Desert Boots: Lowa Z-6S
- Tactical Boots: Timberland Pro Valor Duty
- Chelsea Walking Boots: Baffin Copenhagen
- Slip-On Shoes: SKECHERS Performance Go Walk 4
- Walking Sandals: Keen Newport
If you’re looking for a particular pair, use the links above you can jump right to it!
Made by trusted brand Red Wing, the Irish Setter Elk Trackers are very stylish boots indeed. You can wear these either with contemporary hiking styles or even take them a step further with plus fours and traditional tweed attire.
With its steel shank, Gore-Tex and Thinsulate lining as well as a full-grain leather upper, the Irish Setter Elk Trackers offer the best walking boots we’ve ever seen. Furthermore, they’re 12″ boots, which is certainly rare in today’s market.
We’re very fond of the brown leather, which are more rustic and go well with tweed. However, you can also pick them up in black for a more contemporary look.
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Historical French brand, Salomon, is renowned for making high quality hiking boots and equipment. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find that they’re present on this list.
Thanks to the proprietary 4D advanced chassis, your feet will be properly guided even on the roughest terrain to reduce fatigue. It also provides more forefoot flexion for a smoother gait along with the lug design for improved grip.
Although we have a preference for the natural brown leather colour, you can also choose between stealth black as well as a Mallard bluish-grey for a slight pop.
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If you want to face the slopes and rough terrain with shoes, then you’ll enjoy the Salomon X Alp Spry. Although you’re sacrifice on support, you’ll benefit from extra freedom from movement.
Thanks to the Sensifit system, your foot will be cradled throughout the shoe. This ensures a secure and comfortable fit, which is improved by a contoured by an Orthotlite EVA footbed. Supplementary stability is provided by a moulded shank.
Whichever you choose, the Alp Spry’s colour schemes are very stylish. Whether you opt for the grey, black and lime or a mallard blue with black and orange accents, both offer pops of colour.
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Prestigious Italian brand Asolo has been making premium shoes under the Zanatta family since 1946. Design for all terrains in mind, the Fugitives are excellent for any type of walk you have in mind.
The GTX earns its name from the Gore-Tex lining, which complements the suede leather and Cordura upper. Meanwhile, two elements comprise the Duo Asoflex midsole, which are fused together. One is stiff for preventing pronation and torsion whilst the other is soft for shock absorption.
Whilst we’re fond of the brown suede leather with black and red accents, there are other options too. For instance, you could opt for black and grey with burgundy accents or black with olive accents.
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When walking long distances in hot summer weather, it can get pretty stuffy in regular walking boots. Therefore, you need something more breathable to stay comfortable with a good fit to prevent rubbing.
Although not designed specifically for the summer, the Keen Targhee is a lightweight shoe that features a KEEN.DRY breathable textile membrane. Furthermore, the ESS shank ensures stability and comfort whilst the dual-density compression-moulded EVA midsole gives you support.
Several colours are available to purchase when considering these walking shoes. We’re fond of the anthracite and gold but there’s also brown, black as well as an olive green suede leather.
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Despite their name, these boots are no relation to the sandier cousins of the Chukkas. Instead, these are tactical boots designed for use in hot conditions as well as the desert. Nevertheless, they’re robust and ideal choice for particularly intense heat.
Thanks to the Dri-Lex 3D nylon lining and ventilation perforations, you’ll experience drier and cooler walking as it acts as a climate control feature. Furthermore, the shoes remain lightweight due to the PU Monowrap, which doesn’t sacrifice stability.
Traditionally, desert boots come in a sandy colour for camouflage reasons. Therefore, despite the accents found on the details, this is the only colour available for this boot style.
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Although designed with security and law enforcement in mind, the Timberland Pro Valors are wonderfully comfortable boots and ideal for walking long distances. As tactical boots may also face uneven terrain, they’re often built for this too.
These boots are made from full-grain leather and ballistic nylon uppers, which are waterproof and feature a pathogen resistant membrane. Meanwhile a composite safety toe provides protection whilst the moulded EVA midsole offers lightweight cushioned comfort.
Being tactical boots, it’s no surprise that these boots are only available in black. If you’re looking for tactical boots in a different colour, you could consider the desert boots instead.
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Here’s an unusual but attractive notion. Rather than wearing typical lace-up walking boots, you could consider Chelsea boots instead. These are designed with hiking specifically in mind. However, they may be better suited to lighter walks yet offer the convenience of being able to just kick them off.
Thanks to their leather uppers and neoprene side panels, these boots are full waterproof. They also offer extra comfort thanks to a Thermaplush lining and EVA midsole. Finally, the rubber outsole provides excellent traction for all weather condition and terrains.
The Baffin Copenhagens are available in either black or brown water-resistant suede leather. Whilst we do like both, we’re more fond of the brown that has a particularly natural appeal to it.
If you’re looking for a casual shoe that’s appropriate for short hikes and prolonged walking, Skechers have an excellent option. These are great multi-purpose shoes to wear in the city or out in the country. However, they won’t be suitable for more intensive hikes if needed.
Of course, there’s the obvious convenience of just being able to slip these shoes on whenever you need them. However, they also come with a 5GEN midsole, which offers superior cushioning and comfort. Thanks to the Go Pillars misdole and outsole, you’ll have ample arch support and the necessary shock-absorption.
We particularly fond of the light grey colour with an orange interior. This has a nice splash of colour, which makes them stylish footwear. However, they’re also available in black if you want something more understated.
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If you’re looking for something that can be worn underwater as well as above it, these sandals by Keen are an excellent choice. You’ll be able to use these whatever the terrain and they’re perfect for tackling rock pools and marshland in hot weather.
Don’t be concerned for the lack of protection. For instance, there’s a toe guard to prevent injury whilst an antimicrobial EVA footbed controls moisture and offers comfort. For added traction, the sandals feature razor siped pods on the outsole, which is perfect for slippery and wet surfaces like moss.
The Newport sandals are offered in either bison brown or gargoyle grey. Both options are nubuck leather and whilst we prefer the brown, the grey look just as good!
Hiking Tips For Beginners
The strange concept of recreational walking in the countryside grew as a popular activity in the 18th Century. Although walking used to be associated with poverty as no other transportation was available, growing industrialisation and the early 19th-Century Romantic Movement gave people a desire to explore their natural environments.
However, if you want to enjoy the great outdoors whether it’s as a leisurely stroll or intense trekking, we’ll give you a few pointers before you start.
Prepare For The Weather
Firstly and most importantly, it’s fundamental to check the weather before you head out. There’s nothing worse than being unprepared both mentally and materially for what’s ahead.
In short, assumption is the mother of all screw-ups and if you don’t check, you may be ill-equipped. For instance, you might go out and expect rain only to feel too hot and get sunburned. Alternatively, you may forget waterproofs and get soaked.
This is especially the case in moderate climates or during transitional seasons where the weather can turn in an instant. Therefore, be sure to check ahead.
Buy A Paper Map & Compass
Smartphones and electronic devices are indeed useful with precision GPS tracking other features. Nevertheless, what happens when the battery dies or they’re damaged by water?
A real-life paper map and compass are unbeatable when in a tight spot. Even on a short walk, it can be surprisingly easy to get lost especially if there aren’t any landmarks.
By using references such as North, contours, paths and junctions, you can likely make your way home. Ordonnance Survey maps are the best choice as they’re very precise and detailed. Nevertheless, any map is better than none.
Plan Your Trek Ahead
Even if you just want to get out of the house and go, it’s worth just checking ahead to get an idea of the trail ahead.
Firstly, planning ahead will make sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. You can check the full distance of the walk or circuit that you’ll be taking and calculate the overall time it will require. Remember to take into account breaks, slopes as well as the weight on your back.
On average, a regular adult can hike 2-3 miles per hour or around 4 kilometres per hour. However, this can vary depending on what you carry.
For instance, you’ll walk slower if you’re carrying a bag. Likewise, you’ll need breaks to take that load off your feet. You can also check the gradients of your walk to make sure it’s something you can or can’t do.
Take Note Of Landmarks
Something else worth checking beforehand is what landmarks you’ll cross on your journey. Not only are these great as they add some extra visual interest to the walk but they’ll also reassure you that you’re on the right track.
Of course, many walks may actual centre around one or several landmarks, which makes it somewhat easier. Nevertheless, you can do this when planning any other walk. Anything from farmhouses, intersections, churches or even hills serve as very useful references.
Wear Layers & Pack Light
When preparing your wardrobe over several days, start by avoiding heavy clothing. In that light, wool and cotton are great companions but keep in mind their weight. Whilst cotton is quite light, it gets heavy when wet and doesn’t dry out very quickly.
Instead, consider wear synthetics that are lightweight and dry quickly. Plan also your outfits in layers so you can add or remove garments depending on the weather and temperature.
For example, rather than having a heavy coat, which takes a lot of space and weight, go for a lightweight garments like a synthetic fleece that can be layered. A waterproof can then be added on top, which also acts as a windbreakers.
Consider the same principles for other items and equipment that you carry. All those belongings can add up so you want to keep it as light as possible. Opt for travel-size products rather than full-size bottles. Also, avoid food cans and tins as these can get heavy too.
Clean Up Afterwards
Always respect the environment by cleaning up after yourself. It’s only fear that you leave the beautiful views and trails in the condition that you found them so the next person gets the same pleasure.
Clean up litter and check beforehand whether you’re allowed to make fires. Whilst some areas are quite liberal about this, others can be strict. Nevertheless, make sure that you clear it up afterwards too!
Pack 10 Essentials
Whatever type of walk you go for, make sure that you have the following 10 essentials at the very least:
- Water & Food
- Map & Compass
- Warm Clothes
- Waterproof Clothes
- Matches / Lighter
- Shelter / Blanket For Emergencies
Whilst most of these seem intuitive, most of these can be easy to forget. However, you’ll be relieved to have them in case anything happens. For instance, a multi-tool or Swiss Army knife can include a blade as well as other tools to help you out of a tight spot.
Similar, first aid is essential in case anyone slips and falls, which is surprisingly common. Meanwhile, something to create fire is always handy whether it’s for cooking or for creating heat.
Finally, a shelter is perhaps the most optional choice. If you’re going out for several days, you’ll likely pack a tent anyway. However, if it’s a long walk over one day in somewhere isolated, you’ll be happy to have a thermo blanket if you get lost or stuck overnight.
Having now read about the best men’s hiking boots, perhaps you’d like to peruse some of our other related shoes guides: