The Best Men’s Walking Boots Of 2020

  1. The 8 Best Men’s Hiking Boots of 2020
  2. Our Top Picks
  3. Best Walking Boots 2020 | Top 10
  4. Full Specifications
  5. Columbia Terrebonne II OutDRY Mid
  6. Full specifications
  7. Keen Karraig
  8. Hanwag Tatra II GTX
  9. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
  10. Alt-Berg Nordkapp
  11. You May Also :
  12. The 5 Best Trekking Boots for Men 2020
  13. Stroll With It: The Best Men’s Walking Boots
  14. On Cloudrock Waterproof
  15. Hoka One One Sky Kaha
  16. Merrell Thermo Rogue 8in Gore-Tex
  17. Lowa Renegade GTX
  18. KEEN Targhee EXP Mid
  19. Berghaus Hillmaster II GTX
  20. Hi-Tec Altitude V I Waterproof
  21. Walking Boots Buyer’s Guide
  22. What’s the best material for a walking boot upper?
  23. What is Gore-Tex and why is it used in so many boots?
  24. Are different outsoles better suited for different terrain?
  25. How versatile is your boot ly to be?
  26. How much should you spend on a boot and in what ways do they improve as they get more expensive?
  27. How long should a walking boot last and what should you do to help maintain it?
  28. How do you know when it’s time to replace a walking boot?
  29. 10 Best Hiking Boots and Trail Shoes of 2020 – Section Hikers Backpacking Blog
  30. 1. Altra Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Runners
  31. 2. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Low Hiking Shoes
  32. 3. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mids
  33. 4. La Sportiva Ultra Raptors
  34. 5. KEEN Targhee III Mid WP
  35. 6. Brooks Cascadia 14
  36. 7. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Hiking Boots
  37. 8. Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners
  38. 9. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
  39. 10. Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX
  40. How To Choose Hiking Boots, Trail Shoes, and Trail Runners
  41. Sweat can lead to blisters
  42. Black toenails indicate poor fit
  43. After-Market Insoles
  44. Waterproof/breathable footwear dries slowly
  45. Ankle Rolling
  46. Traction
  47. Toe and foot protection
  48. Gaiters
  49. Wide Shoe Sizes
  50. Check Out All of SectionHiker's Gear Guides!
  51. Most Popular Searches

The 8 Best Men’s Hiking Boots of 2020

The Best Men’s Walking Boots Of 2020

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

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Portland, OR-based Danner has been making some of the world’s most reliable hiking and work boots since 1932, and all that expertise has been channeled into the Explorer 650. Using their Danner Light—the industry’s first waterproof boot—as a point of inspiration, the Explorer 650 takes Danner’s signature heritage look and adds all the best modern tech.

Designed to be lightweight without sacrificing performance for days on the trail, the uppers merge full-grain leather materials with panels of large, durable nylon to make the boots light and breathable, drastically reducing the break-in period.

After analyzing wear patterns and traction points on their prototypes, they also shaved off unneeded rubber under the arch to lighten the boots to a humble 33 ounces (per pair). The six-inch-high boot comes with a 100 percent waterproof barrier that allows internal moisture to escape without letting water in for all-day comfort.

A rubberized Vibram SPE midsole provides a platform that’s both durable and comfortably cushioned, while the best-in-class Vibram Escape outsole, custom-designed for the Explorer 650, utilizes self-adapting lugs and a specially formulated Megagrip compound for incredible traction on both wet and solid surfaces.

The entire footbed is constructed of open-cell polyurethane for better heat dispersion and circulation, with three layers of varying density—and can be removed if you prefer an after-market model. It comes in khaki, dark brown/lime green, and the soon-to-be-classic brown/green color combo.

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A relative new-comer in hiking footwear, Forsake embraces the principle that hikers don’t have to look Hummer-esque monsters to perform well.

Dubbed an urban “sneakerboot” that’s ready for all-terrain adventures, the Trail boot carries enough savvy design details to make it suitable for city exploration thanks to bold white soles, pops of orange, and the traditional metal eyelets.

Style aside, the boot still performs admirably on the roughest of trails, and at a price that’s forgiving on your wallet.

With Forsake's Trail boot, you get full-grain leather uppers that provide 100 percent waterproof protection, reinforced with their proprietary HydroGuard internal membrane, which is seam-sealed but breathes admirably, with a gusseted tongue to keep water and debris from sneaking through the lace eyelets or the space between the tongue and upper.

The midsole and footbed follow a familiar pattern: compression EVA and open-cell PU respectively, to offer long-lasting support, rebound, and comfort.

Underneath, Forsake employs their own Peak-to-Pavement outsole, which uses inner lugs for grip on loose terrain (dirt, gravel, scree, and mud) with wider outer lugs for traction and stability on hard surfaces.

The boot comes in two relatively traditional colors — tan and tan/cypress — as well as a stand-out “stone” design that’s a far cry away from the tired hiking boot designs that clutter most retail shelves.

To demonstrate their love of the outdoors, Forsake has also partnered with to offset the energy used to ship store samples.

They also package the shoes with recycled paper and have removed all non-recyclable packaging from their shoe boxes.

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Seasoned backpackers know that finding the right boot is something hunting for a unicorn. The Saga LTR GTX from Vasque may upend that frustration. Made with the needs of a backpacker in mind, this new hiking boot offers protection and durability without sacrificing the nimble, athletic performance you need while spending days on the trail.

Compared to other all-leather boots, this one looks more a sports car than an SUV, with a streamlined profile in both the upper and the outsole construction. The rugged 2mm all-leather upper will endure years of abuse, with a molded TPU toe, heel, and lace yoke for added armor and breathable ports to keep things comfortable in all conditions.

The upper collar is equally constructed for durability and marries nicely with the thick tongue, with a pull-on back strap and easy-to-adjust lacing. As if that wasn’t enough, the Saga LTR GTX also uses a Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane for additional weather protection.

The dual-density ATC midsole is reinforced with a TPU shank to enhance stability and comfort while resisting torsional flexing. And its outsole is just as robust.

Vasque worked with Vibram to develop the Contract Grip, molded in the premium Megagrip high-performance rubber compound, to provide sure purchase on the muddiest, wettest, most vertical, and unpredictable trails, with a lug pattern that provides max ground contact and loads of edging on loose terrain. With a weight that clocks in at three pounds and five ounces, they are far from featherweight. But serious backpackers know there’s no substitute for seriously reliable hiking boots.

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Thru-hikers on the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails swear by Altra, and while they typically opt for low-top trail runners, the Lone Peak Mid Mesh 3.5s offer the same benefits that have earned Altra so much adulation, along with a bit more ankle support and overall protection.

Born from the elite running space, Altra was the first to introduce “zero drop,” meaning that the padding height at your heel and your toe are the same.

However, zero drop doesn’t mean ditching the padding, it just means letting your feet work the way they were naturally meant to, rather than placing them on a big ramp of EVA foam.

The Lone Peak Mid Mesh uses a moderate degree of padding to protect you from rocks and roots, and uses their A-Bound cushioning to deliver energy return and reduce ground impact.

Altra’s other signature — their foot-shaped toe box — might be even more revolutionary as it lets your toes relax and splay naturally, which provides a shocking degree of added control and stability compared to models that shove your toes into a tight box.

A Maxtrac rubber outsole compound delivers solid grip in a variety of terrain, with a tread pattern that puts the lugs below your metatarsals for serious traction on steep climbs and descents. All-mesh uppers allow it to breathe better than a marathon runner, while a four-point gaiter trap keeps dirt, dust, sand, and debris from sneaking inside (the gaiter is sold separately).

You wouldn’t want this for long hard days in variable weather or when hauling a heavy pack, but for fast-and-light assaults, it’s footwear perfection.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.

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A slight upgrade to the boot that changed the world of hiking, the origins of the Mountain Light II trace back to 1979, when Danner introduced the first boot with a one-piece leather upper and a Vibram sole, making it the first seriously weatherproof hiking boot to hit the market.

The II doesn’t modify the original too much, but they did integrate a Gore-Tex lining to provide complete waterproof/breathable protection.

And the outsole is made of Vibram Kletteerlift, engineered from comfort and durability, with superior shock absorption and solid traction on wet, slick surfaces.

But, let’s revisit that one-piece all-leather upper, which eliminates openings in the tongue area and cuts down on seams to really bolster durability and weather-proofing. It also established the now-classic aesthetic that almost all boot-makers strive to achieve.

The leather endures a five-point quality inspection at their Portland, OR-based facility before the boot is hand-crafted with a stitch-down construction, which provides a wider platform for increased stability under foot.

Since they feature a stitch-down design, they also qualify for recrafting by Danner which allows you to get the boot fixed after you pound it into submission over the ensuing decades.

Considering the retail price can be upwards of $300, that’s a nice add-on for something that’s more of an investment than an impulse purchase.

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Wet trails are unavoidable, and while most boots on this list offer varying degrees of weatherproof protection, the Oboz Bridger Mid utilizes three core components to make up their proprietary B-DRY waterproof system: a tape-seam polyurethane film bootie, hydrophobic upper materials, and a textile lining that wicks sweat away to prevent wetness from growing inside the boot. 

The all-Nubuck leather uppers nod to the heritage hiking aesthetic, with a pliable, comfortable collar and lightweight metal hardware.

Yet un most leather models, customers say that the Bridger Mid requires almost no break-in period, thanks in large part to Oboz’s removable O Fit insole, which includes pods of low-density EVA for cushioning, medium density EVE for underfoot support, a moisture-wicking top layer, a high-density EVA sculpted arch to place the foot in a neutral position, and an equally dense, deep heel cup for support and natural cushioning. Its outsole looks it was grafted from the mouth of a predator, with a nylon shank for stability and toothy side lugs to find grip in off-camber trails along with 4-mm directional lugs studding the rest of the sole.

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Recently adopted by the discerning urban hipster, Redwing’s iconic Iron Ranger is more work boot than hiking boot, but a legacy of fine craftsmanship means the Iron Ranger will perform as admirably on the trail as in the coffee shop/open workspace.

This six-inch boot is made of premium oxblood mesa leather alongside brass hardware, speed hooks, and Goodyear welt construction for years of use and abuse.

The style traces back to the needs of Minnesota mine workers, with an oil-resistant outer sole, triple-stitched seams for bomber durability, and a double-layered toe cap to protect your feet from unforeseen trail hazards. A durable Vibram 430 mini-lug outsole provides grip.

The water-, stain-, and perspiration-resistant leather carries a more natural look than other boots, which will age beautifully and crease out the demands of your stride. the box they should feel tight as the leather will stretch, though customers and Red Wing themselves recommend sizing down a half or full size.

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Trails that proffer the full range of terrain require a boot that’s more flexible and lower-profile than a mud-stomper, and that’s where the Zodiac Plus GTX excels.

The mid-height boot boasts a Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable lining for all-day comfort along with 1.

8-mm suede uppers, and ACTIVimpact tech, which uses materials that help absorb the negative impact of ground shock to reduce the stress on your lower limbs and more easily transfer energy into the next step.

An asymmetrical lacing system, which employs traditional eyeholes as well as metal loop latches, helps dial the fit and reach almost to the toes, though Scarpa’s Sock-Fit DV construction already delivers a surprisingly comfortable, snug fit right the box. You also get premium grip thanks to the Vibram Drumlin/Mont outsole, which will find purchase on the slipperiest of slopes thanks to the aggressive lug pattern under foot.

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Best Walking Boots 2020 | Top 10

The Best Men’s Walking Boots Of 2020

Price: £170
Weight: 1088g

Curiouser and curiouser. Hoka One One sprang (for that’s what you do in these) onto the scene a few years ago as an antidote to the minimum/barefoot movement. These were Maxi with a capital ‘M’. The design of the shoe added to the perception too.

The brand became known for spongy, comfortable pavement pounding road running shoes, and recently moved, successfully into trail running shoes and also to hiking. But, Jim, it’s not any hiking boots we’ve ever seen, and, of course, that’s no bad thing.

The Sky Arkali is one of three new models (with the Toa and Kaha) that move higher up the mountain. And that’s where any similarity to typical hiking boots stops.

The idea is that it takes Hoka’s running shoe expertise and posits it in a hiking boot. They do feel very much trail running shoes, but with a mid-level cuff that comes up around the ankles. The lacing is a mixture of laces and velcro around the very top.

Despite feeling a bit the shoes you got before you could tie your laces, it works brilliantly – the Bring Back Velcro Laces campaign starts here! It has a sock- fit with an elasticated cover and is, well, astonishingly comfortable.

I tested them out in wintry conditions on a long, two-day walk in the Brecon Beacons (with some snow cover) and they were supremely comfortable, straight the box too. They’re not waterproof, but even the water in Wales took a few hours to penetrate. On summer hikes, these are the boots you want.

Other features include a Kevlar-enforced upper, high-abrasion rubber toe cap, and an aggressive Vibram rubber outsole with 5mm lugs.

Incredibly comfortable.

Not a problem depending on end use, but be aware they’re not waterproof.

Full Specifications

Kevlar-enforced MATRYX upper / High-abrasion rubber toe cap / Vibram rubber outsole with 5mm lugs / Velcro fastening.

Columbia Terrebonne II OutDRY Mid

Price: £125
Weight: 1230g

The most important part of the unwieldy name of these boots is OutDRY, a significant technology that is owned by the group behind Columbia. Simply put, this method allows the waterproof membrane to be laminated to the upper. Most boots on test here have a waterproof ‘bootie’ that is placed inside the boot.

There are two main advantages to the OutDRY method: firstly, because the waterproof membrane is stuck to the inside of the upper, there isn’t any space for water to sit and get logged in. Secondly, there’s not as much bulk to the shoe.

It’s a technology we’ve seen in boots gloves and backpacks – keep an eye out for it.

So what of the boots? Well, they are strikingly low cut – almost a shoe – just about protecting the ankle. This helps cut down on weight, and they are indeed impressively light. The outsole isn’t the most aggressive, so we’d put these down as a pair of boots for walking on existing, not too technical trails.

And for this they’d be excellent: they are comfortable, light, with a wide toe box and don’t have too many extras. There is also a reasonable amount of cushioning. You could happily spend a full day walking in these and barely notice them. The uppers are mainly leather with a mesh tongue area.

The lacing is fine for a low-level boot, and they seem very well made.

Lightweight, comfortable, excellent cushioning.

Not designed for tough technical trails, but not a criticism.

Full specifications

Waterproof, full grain leather and mesh upper with a scratch rubber toecap / Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber / OutDRY waterproof, breathable construction / Techlite lightweight midsole.

Keen Karraig

Price: £160
Weight: 1670g

The Karraig are the first pair of boots Keen has specially designed for the UK market, that’s to say they’re designed for mud, high mountain passes and more mud. They are the most sturdy boots from Keen that we’ve tested, with a thick rubber rand, especially around the toe – you can imagine these faring well on a bit of Highland scrambling.

They are particularly high too, completely covering the ankle and they offer excellent support. This is partly down to the sophisticated lacing system.

Because of the toughness of the leather, getting a tight fit around the lower part of the foot requires a fair bit of strength.

A mixture of lace-locking clamps, plus two of the lacing holes pull around the back of the foot ensure a good fit, but they really need a tug.

Another improvement on Keen boots, and good for these islands, is an aggressive outsole with 5mm lugs.

What remains Keen through and through, however, is the spongy cushioning and a full, comfortable toe box. A KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane allows you to spend hours on the trails in these and stay warm, dry and comfortable. They are made with leather and mesh upper that looks as though it will last and last. Overall, a very comfortable boot for wet and cold weather in the mountains.

For more on this check out our full Keen Karraig Walking Boot Review.

Comfortable, warm, excellent ankle support.

Lacing requires some adjustment.

Hanwag Tatra II GTX

Price: £230
Weight: 2002g

German manufacturers Hanwag make exceptional boots designed with the landscapes of the Alps in mind. We’ve come to appreciate the brand as a mark of quality craftsmanship; these are boots we reckon would last a lifetime with care. They can be resoled too.

The company makes a wide range of mountaineering and trekking boots, as well as trail and approach shoes. The Tatra II GTX is a hugely popular trekking boot, made with a durable leather upper and with as few seams as possible. The sole is super sturdy too, very stiff (not crampon-compatible) but it gives you the feeling that you can wander over any terrain. These do feel indestructible.

The lacing is particularly efficient, with ball-bearing runners that also clamp tight on four of the lower eyelets and then there are regular hooks.

Once fastened tight, the cuff high above the ankle is comfortable thanks to a soft leather interior lining. Caps at the heel and toe help protect the foot. So far, so great.

The only criticism aimed at these is that they are heavy, more than any others on test here. In many ways, these are the quintessential trekking boot: leather, durable, solidly built.

Here’s our full video review of the boot…

Excellent lacing, beautifully made, comfortable.


Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Price: £180
Weight: 1524g

These are one of the best-selling boots in the UK and with good reason. They are superbly comfortable and very well made. The first thing to notice is how high these are. They go well above the ankle and up to the shin.

It makes them very stable on rocky ground – the chances of going over on your ankle in these is slim. And while they feel secure, I also found enough wiggle room for my toes, keeping them warm but also helping with balance.

The sole is reasonably stiff – up a steep Munro these would be perfect, they are also rigid torsionally. The lacing is good too, drawing in well around the foot – straight the box I had no hotspots at all.

There’s a reasonable amount of cushioning with a good roll to the boots, even the size 11s I tested. I certainly found they we’re comfortable across the day. The outsole is reasonably aggressive, especially on the heels – they feel wonderful heading downhill.

I’m struggling to find any criticism, only that I did find them among the warmest on the test. After all, they are high, with a Gore-Tex lining and chunky leather and fabric upper.

Overall, an excellent option. No wonder they are bought in the bucket load.

For more, check out our full Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX review

Lightweight, comfortable, well made.

They do run warm.

Alt-Berg Nordkapp

Price: £235
Weight: 1460g

Yorkshire-based Alt-Berg is home to true craftspeople. It is a company that takes ingredients and fit very seriously; there’s even a custom fitting service at the workshop. Even just holding a pair of Alt-Berg boots in your hands, you can feel the quality.

On test is the Nordkapp, a three-season boot designed for long days on Scottish Munros or English fells.

One of the critical components that make this boot stand apart is the seamless one-piece of Italian Nubuck leather that forms the upper. It makes it comfortable and durable. There’s also a waterproof membrane behind it, plus a wide rubber rand to protect the leather against scuffs. Underfoot, there’s a solid Vibram sole, again designed for British mountains.

A traditional leather boot is heavy, no doubt, but you’ll have these safe in the knowledge that they’ll last and last, plus the workshop offers a resoling service. When you get the fit right, and you should, you’ll feel as though you can take on any mountain.

Very well made, durable, comfortable.


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The 5 Best Trekking Boots for Men 2020

The Best Men’s Walking Boots Of 2020

Outdoors gear is made for out there. As trends take wilderness apparel from the summits to the streets, Highsnobiety is recasting a seminal part of the outdoors for its new home. Trail Mix is a wear-test series by Highsnobiety.

Instead of climbing mountains, we put gear through tests that ring closer to home. Is a down coat too warm for the subway? Will mountain boots slip on iced-over streets? Each month, we’ll take on a new category, testing five pieces in the wilds of New York City to answer questions just these.

 This month, we’re lacing up trekking boots.

As Spike once said: “It’s gotta be the shoes.”

Whether on a mountaintop or on Mars, footwear matters. Great sneakers might take an outfit up a level. When it comes to the outdoors, however, boots play a more critical role. The right alpine boot means summit or fall. The right backpacking boot means trail or turn back. Forget blowing out a Nike — if a boot fails mid-traverse, it’s game over of a different kind.

Performance-wise, modern outdoors boots make for some of the most impressive gear out there. Lighter hikers combine the agility of sneakers with the stability of a mountain goat. Beefier pairs provide all-conditions security in anatomical designs that still move Michael.

Waterproofing and hybrid shell constructions come standard across both. While they certainly won’t #break2 any time soon, today’s trekkers apply the same level of technology and optimization to pursuits of a different kind. If treated right, some may never break at all.

Shoes made for alpine adventure are certainly built to endure. But in the fashion world, is anything really timeless?

In search of the best outdoors style, Trail Mix reviewed five trekking boots across a range of budgets.

Here are our picks for this season’s best trekking boots for men.

Highsnobiety / Jason Pietra

From Big Sur to Yosemite Valley, California is home to some of the most breathtaking nature on the planet. HOKA ONE ONE, a footwear brand that calls the Golden State home, makes shoes for spending time in it — famously runners, but also boots.

The Kaha GTX is HOKA’s take on a backpacking boot. Named after a Maori phrase meaning “strength and support,” the Kaha combines the brand’s comfort-focused running tech with the stoutness of a hiker. An overbuilt midsole makes it a HOKA. But a GORE bootie, leather upper, and Vibram MegaGrip outsole makes it a bonafide backwoods companion.

Of all the boots in this test, the Kaha was by far the most comfortable. I mean, it’s basically an inch of cushion glued to a waterproof foot cover — what’s not to ? For muddy ascents and fifth-floor walk-ups, the Kaha worked a charm.

There are some durability concerns here, though. I would not, for example, pack the mega-cushioned Kaha on trips that include rocky terrain (abrasion and foam don’t play nicely).

But as a crossover piece, the Kaha GTX — a big brother to last season’s uber-popular Tor Ultra Hi WP — earns high marks.

Highsnobiety / Jason Pietra

While California might capture more of Hollywood’s attention, the French Alps stir a different fascination. Europe’s alpine areas are steep and treacherous — great for fast winter downhills and fierce summer uphills. Annecy-based Salomon built its name outfitting athletes for the challenges of its own backyard. The Quest 4D 3 GTX is how they do trekking boots.

While HOKA’s Kaha puts its running tech front and center, the Quest 4D hides it behind a more protective shell. The combination of GORE-nubuck upper, thick rubber sole, and rigid toecap amp up Quest’s off-road capability. OrthoLite insoles and the brand’s “4D Advanced Chassis” system make it a comfortable ride — but make no mistake, this is more boot than hybrid.

The Quest would be my pick for vacation hikers looking to get double-duty from the $200 boots they might otherwise wear twice a year.

They are incredibly capable, and as fashion pieces, they’re pretty darn great as well (peep the aggressive lines accented by this Grape Leaf/Peat colorway).

Urban nomads and techwear enthusiasts will find these reasons enough to cop. If the fashion of function is your speed, make these your Quest.

Highsnobiety / Jason Pietra

If the French side of the Alps makes rigid footwear, just imagine the Swiss. Mammut (est. 1862) is one of the world’s foremost mountaineering brands. The company got its start making climbing ropes over 150 years ago, and while the centuries (!) since have seen it expand, it never lost its summit-seeking focus. Case in point: the Kento High GTX.

Crampon-compatible and thick crème fraîche, the Kento High is a proper mountaineering boot. Rubber panels front a GORE-TEX bootie to keep elements out. A sturdy Michelin “Alpine Lite” outsole keeps boot and wearer upright. Clever design touches 2-zone lacing and a built-for-movement inside keep the whole thing surprisingly wearable. You know, for a mountaineering boot.

Lacing up the Kento High is stepping into another world. Make no mistake, this is a boot for notching peaks. Durability and capability are foregone conclusions. What is up to question? Wearability. Personally, I enjoyed the Kento.

The action sports color scheme and ridiculous lines scored big aesthetic points, and while comfort isn’t its focus, my only discomforts came from banging against the toe on long walks (did I mention it works with cramp-ons?). If you’re an alpinist, try it out.

If you’re wearing it as a statement piece, it’s phenomenal. But I wouldn’t walk city miles in it.

Highsnobiety / Jason Pietra

La Spohr-tee-va. It’s Italian for “the sportswoman.” And in case you forgot that Italy was shaped a boot, well, here’s your reminder.

Tesero’s La Sportiva has built boots since 1928, a 90-year tenure that’s seen its products take all Seven Summits and a variety of first ascents. The brand’s Trango Tech GTX is one of its more pedestrian products. It’s only a seamless, GORE-infused boot. It’s built to get you up to 6000m. Cramp-on compatibility? Only semi-automatic.

The Trango Tech was my favorite all-rounder in this test. These boots are a true do-it-all hybrid that just looks badass. I loved the race-car looks (black mesh on yellow panels just screams “carbon fiber”) and to-the-toe lacing (a detail borrowed from approach shoes).

I also found the lightweight seamless construction to be comfortable and breathable, although there’d ly be some durability concerns around hard scrapes.

While the soles are stiffer than a corpse tipping 10 percent, the combo of Lamborghini styling with Dolomite substance made these a winner.

Highsnobiety / Jason Pietra

Italy may have its share of famous mountaineering brands, but that’s not what anyone thinks when they hear “Italian boots.” Mixing high altitude with high fashion, Milan-based ROA Hiking unifies these disparate identities in luxurious, outdoors-inspired footwear. Cue the “elevation” puns.

The Andreas boot (shown here in paint splatter) is ROA’s most famous silhouette. Cut from whole-grain leather that’s been treated for easy-wearing, they are — to put it lightly — not built for abuse. Oversized Vibram soles nod to the Andreas’ functional familiars. But that’s not why anyone blows half a stack on boots from a fashion site.

In fewer words, the Andreas is gorgeous. Common Projects with the Achilles, the gift of critical distance allows a fashion-only brand to cast functionwear as art.

Here, the combination of thin uppers and exaggerated sole (with retro-inspired ROA logo hits throughout) just works. In all black, it’s a sporty alternative to tech-inspired boots Prada’s Chelsea. In a multicolored collab context (i.e.

 ROA x Brain Dead), it’s an all-timer made precisely for this moment.

The Andreas takes the style of substance and carves it hollow — in doing so, it creates a fashion shoe. Just don’t take it somewhere the substance might be needed.


Stroll With It: The Best Men’s Walking Boots

The Best Men’s Walking Boots Of 2020

Some of the best ways for Brits to spend a weekend – or longer – on home shores are hiking adventures. Sure, there are no 8,000m-high mountains or punishingly hot jungles, but the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands or Lake District, to take just two examples, leaves no visitor short-changed.

To tackle the rolling hills, plunging valleys and muddy, muddy tracks of the UK you’ll need the right footwear. That means a sturdy pair of waterproof walking boots, so amble your way through our top picks, or stride past to our buyer’s guide, then start enjoying the beauty on your doorstep.

On Cloudrock Waterproof

Swiss brand On is more known for running gear but has taken its talents into the hiking arena, launching the excellent Cloudrock boot.

The waterproof boot is lightweight and ideal for fast hiking, while the brand’s signature pods on the sole have extra grip compared with those on On’s running shoes; these make for an enjoyably cushioned ride, even if they do have an annoying habit of picking up dirt and small pebbles in the gaps.

The Cloudrock is also one of the best-looking boots on this list, especially the cocoa and red design, and it’s comfortable to wear around town as well as on the trails.

Buy from On | £180

Hoka One One Sky Kaha

Committed trail runners will already be familiar with Hoka, which makes highly cushioned but surprisingly lightweight shoes that are ideal for pounding out long runs on mountainous terrain.

The brand has recently moved into the hiking shoe sphere, and the Sky Kaha bears all the hallmarks of a Hoka shoe. It’s also waterproof and has a Vibram Megagrip outsole which provides reliable traction on a range of terrain.

It’s a terrific hiking shoe, with the light, smooth ride being the stand-out feature when we tried it for a long walk around Epping Forest.

Buy from Hoka | £180 (currently reduced to £106)

Merrell Thermo Rogue 8in Gore-Tex

The Thermo Rogue boot comes in 6in and 8in variants, but we’ve opted for the larger version because who doesn’t want an eye-catching extra couple of inches of protection from the elements? That protection comes from a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane and 100g of lightweight Primaloft insulation (yep, the synthetic down used in jackets), which will keep your feet toasty warm in the dead of winter.

Buy from Merrell | £200 (currently reduced to £140)

Lowa Renegade GTX

This powerhouse of a boot is ready to tackle pretty much any terrain straight from the box, with no uncomfortable breaking-in period to suffer.

The Renegade is comfortable and flexible, but also firm in the right areas to provide the support needed to avoid hiking mishaps – if you regularly tackle quite tricky terrain with a heavy pack, you’ll appreciate the stability offered by the Renegade. It has a Gore-Tex liner, naturally.

Buy from Decathlon | £129.99

KEEN Targhee EXP Mid

Depending on how you look at it, the Keen Targhee EXP is either a beefed-up hiking shoe or a stripped-down hiking boot.

The Mid version of the Targhee has more ankle support than the standard Targhee, making it an ideal option if your hike involves some rough trails and hills but avoids the truly treacherous terrain that requires a full boot.

The Targhee EXP has a breathable waterproof membrane and the insole is designed to provide extra support for the arch of your foot. Thanks to a narrow fit, it’s wise to order half a size up.

Buy from Keen | £114.99

Berghaus Hillmaster II GTX

The original Hillmaster, made by Brasher, was one of the most popular walking boots in Britain, and the follow-up does it full justice. Brasher is now owned by Berghaus, which has continued the Hillmaster line with this seriously comfortable, yet hard-wearing and fully waterproof (yes, there’s a Gore-Tex liner) leather boot.

Buy from Berghaus | £165

Hi-Tec Altitude V I Waterproof

Those seeking a bargain should look no further than Hi-Tec’s range. The Altitude V has a classic leather design and a firm-gripping sole that will make short work of muddy hills.

Shop around and you could well pick up a pair for £50-60, which is excellent value. However, Gore-Tex fans will be disappointed – there is no Gore-Tex liner in this boot.

There is a Dri-Tec liner, however, which does the same thing as Gore-Tex.

Buy now

Walking Boots Buyer’s Guide

As with all important purchases there are a few key questions to ask before you select your walking boots. To help, we asked Max Wallder from Merrell and Chris Dykes from Cotswold Outdoor for answers.

What’s the best material for a walking boot upper?

Walking boot uppers are your first line of defence against the elements and provide the support you need when tackling treacherous terrain. A synthetic upper is ly to result in a more comfortable, lightweight boot, while leather is the traditional option and, if treated right, should last for many years.

“Synthetic materials are generally lighter, more breathable and in recent years a very durable option compared with more traditional materials,” says Wallder. “Although leather is widely considered to be the most durable option it is heavier and less breathable.”

What is Gore-Tex and why is it used in so many boots?

As soon as you start investigating walking boots you’ll see the term Gore-Tex crop up with almost every pair you check out. The reason is simple – no-one s wet feet.

“Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane that is microporous by nature so it allows water vapour to pass through while remaining completely waterproof to the outside elements,” says Wallder. “When used in footwear, it helps to keep your feet dry and comfortable.”

Are different outsoles better suited for different terrain?

Once you’ve sorted your upper it’s time to turn your attention to the sole. You’ll want to pick an outsole that’s perfect for the walking you’ll be doing.

“Harder compounds offer increased durability whereas a softer compound offers increased grip,” says Wallder. “The more spaced out and deeper the lugs are, the better they are for cutting through terrain to grip what’s underneath and to shed dirt. The more surface area the greater the durability, particularly on harder terrain.”

How versatile is your boot ly to be?

Boots are often classified by seasons – as in one, two, three or four seasons – indicating how suitable they are for different weather conditions and terrains.

“A one-season product may be a summer-use sandal,” says Wallder, “whereas a four-season product would be a crampon-compatible mountaineering boot that can be used in extreme winter conditions.

“When buying a walking boot, most British customers would choose a three-season boot because it’s the most versatile and it’s suitable for year-round use in the UK. Breathable features make it good for the spring and summer, while advanced gripping systems and support mean that they can also manage in the winter.”

Yes, you read that right. For a walking boot that can handle all four seasons in the UK, plump for a three-season boot.

How much should you spend on a boot and in what ways do they improve as they get more expensive?

“You can spend anything from £50 to £400-plus,” says Dykes. “It all depends where you are going and what you are going to do – whether that’s walking along a canal path or winter mountaineering in the Cairngorms.

“The variation in cost comes from the way the boot is made and what materials it uses. For example, waterproof membranes Gore-Tex often come at a higher price . Sole units can also affect the cost because some are harder-wearing than others. The construction of boots will also vary, and some will offer much greater support than others.”

How long should a walking boot last and what should you do to help maintain it?

“It depends on the type of boot, but if looked after walking boots can last more than 20 years,” says Dykes. “Tips to keep the boots lasting as long as possible include keeping the boots clean, reproofing them and letting them dry naturally rather than using radiators.”

How do you know when it’s time to replace a walking boot?

“You will notice your boots becoming less comfortable and they may begin to leak,” says Dykes. “If you’re unsure, ask one of our in-store experts for their advice.”


10 Best Hiking Boots and Trail Shoes of 2020 – Section Hikers Backpacking Blog

The Best Men’s Walking Boots Of 2020

While there are hundreds of hiking boots, trail shoes, and trail runners available, most hikers and backpackers choose from a small set of common makes and models.

Preferences vary widely, however, and some hikers waterproof mids and boots, while others prefer more breathable trail running shoes that dry rapidly when they get wet.

Here are the 10 best hiking boots, trail shoes, and trail runners that we and many other hikers recommend.

Regardless of your preferences, it’s important to choose footwear that fits well and is appropriate for the conditions you plan to hike in, especially in terms of temperature, terrain difficulty, and the weight of the loads you expect to carry. Many hiking shoes and boots are also available in wide sizes, which is useful if you have big feet, or you find that your feet increase in size if you take a long backpacking trip or hike frequently.

1. Altra Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Runners

The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 ($120), a relative newcomer to the hiking and backpacking world, is the top trail shoe used by hikers and backpackers by a wide margin.

Noted for their roomy toe box, splayed forefoot, and integrated tongue, the moderately cushioned Lone Peak has mesh uppers for enhanced breathability and drainage.

This zero-drop shoe has a toothy lugged sole that provides good traction, with an integrated stone guard that offers enhanced forefoot protection. An innovative gaiter trap on the rear of the shoe holds your gaiters in place.

This latest version of the Lone Peak runs true to size.

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REI | Amazon | Zappos
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REIAmazon | Zappos

2. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Low Hiking Shoes

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent Low ($100) is a mesh trail shoe that features excellent breathability coupled with the durability and added protection of leather uppers.

A reinforced toe cap provides great foot protection for rocky scrambles, while a rockered sole helps sustain forward momentum.

The Vibram sole has large 5mm lugs that provide added traction in sand and mud, while a hard nylon shank provides arch support and protection. The Moab 2 is a very stable shoe that resists rolling, with air cushioning in the heels for enhanced shock absorption.

Wide width sizes are also available. Read our review. 

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REIAmazon | Zappos

3. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mids

Noted for their affordability and availability in wide sizes, the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid ($110) is a long-lasting, lightweight hiking boot that provides excellent ankle support with wrap-around mesh that’s highly breathable and fast drying. The Vibram lugs provide excellent traction and protection for hiking across a wide variety of terrain from the damp forests of Appalachia to the high desert. The boot version of the Moab 2 Vent Low (see above), these mids features the same grippy Vibram sole and leather uppers, but with added ankle support. Wide sizes are available.

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REI | Amazon | Zappos
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REI | Amazon | Zappos

4. La Sportiva Ultra Raptors

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor ($130) is an all-terrain mountain running shoe with a sticky rubber outsole geared towards all-day protection.

Noted for their excellent traction, even on wet rock, they have a sturdy toe bumper and molded nylon shank that provides forefoot protection in rugged terrain. Mesh uppers are highly breathable and dry quickly when wet.

Durability is good with reinforced plastic ribs that prevent the mesh from shredding. The Ultra Raptors have an athletic fit, narrow enough in the heel and mid-foot to provide a stable running or hiking platform.

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REI | La SportivaAmazon
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REI | La SportivaAmazon

5. KEEN Targhee III Mid WP

The Keen Targhee III Mid ($145) is an agile but well-protected waterproof hiking boot.  The exterior is primarily made with leather, providing added stability.  The aggressive outsole has large lugs to bite into the terrain, providing excellent traction control.

An integrated shank provides torsional stability, while the mid-cut height increases ankle support. Keens are especially good for people who prefer a wide toe box. Wide widths are also available. Size up a 1/2 size.

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6. Brooks Cascadia 14

The Brooks Cascadia 14 Trail Running Shoe ($130) is a well-protected and durable shoe for fast hiking and running over technical terrain. A wrap-around mudguards keeps debris your shoes while mesh uppers vent moisture build-up. A ballistic rock shield helps protect your forefoot from sharp terrain, while deep directional lugs provide extra traction on uphills and downhills.

Pivot points built into the sole provide stability and help you maintain forward momentum. Available for both men and women, the Cascadia 14 has a roomy forefoot to keep your toes comfortable. Wide widths are also available.

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REI | Amazon | Zappos
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REI | Amazon | Zappos

7. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Hiking Boots

Merrell’s Moab 2 Mid WP Hiking Boots ($130) are a waterproof version of Merrell’s popular Moab 2 Mid hiking boots (see above) and lined with Merrell’s in-house waterproof/breathable membrane.

The reinforced toe cap provides forefoot protection, while a curved sole helps sustain forward momentum. The Vibram sole has large 5mm lugs that provide added traction in sand and mud, while a rigid nylon shank provides arch support and mid-foot protection.

This mid-ankle boot is a very stable shoe that resists ankle rolling, with extra cushioning in the heels for enhanced shock absorption. Wide width sizes are also available.

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REI | Amazon
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REI | Amazon

8. Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners

The Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runner ($130) is Salomon’s lightest advanced-chassis shock-absorbing shoe. Built for moving quickly, the 3D has lightweight, breathable mesh that keeps your feet cool and drains well.

A beefy toe cap and forefoot rand provide extra protection, while minimalist kevlar speed-laces provide a secure and customized fit. Traction is excellent overall with a nice heel brake for descents. Wide widths are also available.

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9. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX ($230) is a lightweight, but supportive hiking boot that incorporates trail running technology into its design.

The beefy toe-cap provides protection for your toes while a TPU midsole helps control flex, reduce ankle strain, and shield feet in rough terrain.

High ankle support, leather uppers, and locking lace eyelets provide good stability while eliminating heel lift and potential blisters.

The gusseted tongue and Gore-Tex inner bootie protects against rain and water during stream crossings while grippy rubber outsoles provide excellent traction over wet and dry surfaces.

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REIAmazon | Zappos
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REIAmazon | Zappos

10. Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX

The Vasque Breeze Mid III GTX ($180) is a Gore-Tex-lined waterproof hiking boot noted for its comfort out-of-the-box. Nubuck leather uppers maintain abrasion-resistance on the trail, reinforced with a rubberized toe cap for protection from rock strikes.

Ventilation panels circulate air inside the boot, preventing overheating in hot weather, while the waterproof liner seals out rain and water from shallow stream crossings. Wide and narrow widths are available for an excellent fit.

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How To Choose Hiking Boots, Trail Shoes, and Trail Runners

There’s a lot of variety available when it comes to hiking footwear and ad people have a wide range of personal preferences.

Which is why we highly recommend that you try lots of different options if you’re making a new selection, so you can discover what your preferences are.

Here are some guidelines about things you should consider when choosing between different hiking boots, trail shoes, and trail runners.

Sweat can lead to blisters

The buildup of sweat inside of hiking footwear and your socks can lead to blisters. When your socks stick to your skin, they can cause friction, and a friction burn, which is how blisters form. Breathability is key to preventing sweat build-up, which is why so many hikers prefer mesh hiking footwear, since it dries while you wear it.

Black toenails indicate poor fit

If your toe nails turn black when you hike, it’s because your toes do not have enough room in the front of your footwear. Size up or select footwear that has a larger toe box by design. Altra and KEEN shoes and boots have an exaggerated-size toe box, which is why they’re so popular with hikers and backpackers.

After-Market Insoles

One-third of hikers and backpackers buy after-market insoles, such as Superfeet, to replace the insoles that come with their hiking boots, mids, trail shoes, and trail runners. These provide more protection, more arch support, and cup your heel to help prevent the lateral movement that can cause plantar fasciitis. They also last longer than factory insoles.

Waterproof/breathable footwear dries slowly

Waterproof/breathable footwear tends to dry much more slowly than non-waterproof footwear. While waterproof hiking boots and shoes are good for hiking in cold weather, it’s often more desirable to have a well-vented mesh shoe that dries quickly than one that stays wet for days and can lead to blisters and other discomforts.

Ankle Rolling

Many hikers opt for boots/mids because think they’re necessary for carrying heavier weight backpacks and provide more ankle support than low trail shoes or trail runners.

While that was probably true when all hiking boots were made with heavy leather, modern hiking boots and mids are much softer and less supportive and are really just one step up from being trail or running shoes. While they can provide more assurance, you can still twist an ankle wearing one.

On the flip side, many hikers and backpackers are able to carry heavy packs and walk in rugged mountainous terrain in trail shoes and trail runners. In other words, there’s no right answer and you should decide for yourself, rather than follow anyone’s gospel truth.


Boot and shoe manufacturers make a big deal about traction and while it is important, it’s very difficult to prove that different sole compositions, lug angles, lug depth, Vibram or non-Vibram soles, blah, blah, blah, etc.

make that big of an impact on traction. When push comes to shove, the only hiking traction that really matters is when you’re scrambling on wet rock or walking along a cliff edge.

Even then, good footwork is probably more important, so develop that rather than relying on your shoes.

Toe and foot protection

Hiking and backpacking can be tough on the feet, particularly around the toes and under the arch. It doesn’t affect everyone, but it can lead to injuries that take a long time to heal.

Built-up areas around the toes, sometimes called toe kicks, are good if you hike in rocky terrain.

A shank is usually a hard strip of nylon or plastic that runs under the arch and helps stiffen a shoe or boot.


Hikers wear gaiters to block sticks, stones, and other debris from getting into their shoes while they hike. But some shoes are more gaiter compatible than others.

For example, if your gaiters have a strap that loops under your shoe, you’re going to want to have footwear that has an arch, so the gaiter strap doesn’t get destroyed by rubbing on the ground.

Gaiters designed for trail shoes or trail runners may require gluing a velcro strip to the back of your heel to hold the gaiter in places. If this is the case, make sure there is a flat surface on the back of the heel that you can glue the velcro strip too.

Wide Shoe Sizes

About 1/3 of all hikers require footwear in wide widths. Companies such as Merrell, KEEN, Brooks, and Vasque have the best selection of wide-width hiking footwear.

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