You may think regular workout attire will suffice on the trails, but you’ll quickly realize how much better off you are with proper hiking gear, especially boots. Trainers and running shoes are not as supportive on trails (whether you’re out for an hour or the whole day) and many activewear items simply won’t give you the protection or grip you need.
Ask any avid male hiker and they’ll assure you the boots are the meat and potatoes of trekking wear. Good boots equals good hike.
As we only want you wearing the best men’s hiking boots possible, we’ve put together this guide for you. We’ve broken down what to look for in a pair of men’s hiking boots, different types and features, and our picks for the best men’s hiking boots on offer in the UK right now.
A good pair of hiking boots will have you enjoying the trails for hours!
What to look for in a pair of men’s hiking boots
As with most athletic shoes, fit is going to be the most important factor. It can be easy to get caught up in the appearance of a pair of trekking boots, but don’t get sidetracked, make sure the boots feel right on your feet.
Hiking boots are often worn with double-layered socks, one thin base layer to prevent blisters and a second pair for warmth, support and to help with fit. So make sure you have good hiking socks and bring them with to try on boots!
You don’t want the boots too tight and restrictive. If your toes are curling under that means the boot is too tight. If there’s a lot of extra material that’s a sign of too loose of fit.
Best practise is to look for boots that feel quite snug, but not so tight that you feel restricted. It’s best to walk around the store for a while when trying on a pair. If anything pinches or hurts that’s a red flag and if the boots starts to loosen after while, that will also be a no.
The sole is the MOST important feature you need to pay attention to when choosing a pair of hiking boots. It’s the part of your foot that will be feeling the most stress on treks.
So what does a “good” sole feel like?
There’s no one good answer. Stiff soles are good if you’ll be hiking steep inclines and rough terrain (more on that in a minute), while flexible soles can be good for light hikes and less challenging terrain.
Material wise, EVA is typically feels more cushioned, which is good if your feet need that, although it may feel too soft for some. PU is a bit harder, but usually lighter weight.
You’ll need to decide for yourself, but make sure the sole feels comfortable and will support you on the types of hikes you’re interested in. Also remember, no matter what kind of trails you’ll be trekking, choose a boot with good tread!
Hiking boots will be either cut high or low on your ankle, depending on the style you choose. Like sole choice, there’s no one clear “right” answer, you’ll need to evaluate based on your hiking preference and individual preferences.
If you have weaker ankles, previous injuries or plan to climb steeper trails, high cut would be a good choice. Alternatively, if you have stronger (possibly larger) ankles or will be taking more casual, flatter hikes, a low cut can be a good choice.
Some people find the high cut restrictive or inflexible, and prefer lower cuts. Others feel very unstable in low cut and want the support of a high cut. Again, go with what feels right for you and your feet!
You’ll have a few options for the material of your hiking boots. The most common options are; suede, leather, synthetic materials or a combination.
Leather is the “classic” choice and many traditionalists out there prefer it, however, many companies will sell primarily synthetic boots.
This is because synthetics have insulating properties (no one wants cold feet when trekking!), while remaining breathable (no one wants sweaty feet either!), and lightweight.
You’ll have to decide what you prefer, however, make sure your boots have some sort of waterproof membrane layer (such as Gore-Tex) to keep your feet dry! This is almost a given with any high quality boots, but best to double check!
Size is also important and may be different from your street shoe size.
Some men’s hiking boots follow regular shoe size charts and you’ll be able to order exactly what you would for “normal shoes”. Some may follow a slightly adjusted size chart, and some may just recommend ordering up or down a size or half size.
Make sure to check the fit guide for each product and read reviews to get an idea if a particular shoe runs smaller or larger and if the sizing recommendations allow for men’s hiking socks (which can change size choice).
Your choice of boots will differ depending on your choice of hiking terrain.
If you’ll mostly be trekking the flat countryside or smaller hills, a lighter weight boot with a more flexible sole is a good choice. Comparatively, rough terrain and steep mountains will require a stiffer, more supportive sole and better ankle support (ie high cut).
If you’ll be doing a mix of both, choose a boot a bit in the middle, or it may be worth buying multiple pairs.
Best Men’s Hiking Boots in the UK
Berghaus Hillmaster II Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
If you’re after value for money, these Berghaus hiking boots are one of our top picks. Made of classic leather and a comfortable EVA sole, you’ll be hiking in style and comfort. The memory foam tongue and collar fit ensures maximum comfort tailored to your feet!
The Gore-Tex outer membrane ensures no water will be touching your feet on the trails.
Overall a great quality boot and a more than reasonable price.
- Leather material
- EVA sole
- Waterproof Gore-Tex
- Medium width
- Low cut
Millets High Route GTX Hiking BootsNo products found.
If you’re after good quality light weight boots, we highly recommend these Millets hiking boots. The mix of leather and synthetic material, with EVO outer sole (for traction) and EVA midsole (for cushioned comfort) make them perfect for rough terrain and steep climbs!
The high cut is very supportive, especially for more intense climbs. and the Gore-Tex provides necessary waterproofing. Everything you need in a solid pair of hikers.
No products found.
Peter Storm Grizedale Hiking Boots
These Peter Storm hiking boots are all about comfort! The leather material is lined with mesh for maximum durability. The gum rubber sole is complete with Vibrum outsole for great traction and PU midsole that absorbs shock and provides comfort.
They’re also completely waterproof, as is generally standard on any high quality boot.
- Leather material
- Gum rubber sole
- Mesh liner
- Medium width
- Shock absorption
Trespass Lochlyn Hiking Boots
These Trespass hiking boot are just the comfy pair you are looking for. Made of lightweight synthetic material and a gum rubber sole, they’ll keep you moving quickly and comfortably on the trails.
The Gusseted tongue is special, as it’ll prevent any pesky dirt or debris from entering your shoe whilst hiking.
Salomon X Ultra Wide GTX Hiking Boot
Do you have wide feet that always seem to blow out even the most durable shoes? These Salomon hiking boots are designed specifically for such feet, with wider insole allowing for a roomier fit and better comfort.
The rubber material is extremely durable and comfortable, while the 2 year warranty ensures even if your feet wear them out, you’re covered.
Karrimor Aerator Low Rise Hiking Boots
For sturdy boots that still have a little give, we’d recommend looking at these low rise Karrimor hiking boots! Made of suede, they appear to be regular walking shoes, however they stand up to the trails with the best of them.
With gum rubber soles, complete with the comfort of a Phylon midsole and the traction of a Dynagrip sole, you’ll be set on any terrain with these. Great fitting, and look pretty great too.
- Suede material
- Phylon midsole
- Dynagrip sole
- Medium width
- Low rise
Berghaus Expeditor Aq Trek Hiking Boots
These Berghaus hiking boots are some of the best value on the market. A classic suede leather look, complete with a breathable and waterproof mesh lining. The EVA mid sole provides unmatched cushion, while the opti-stud out sole ensures unmatched grip.
These high cut boots are an economic choice, but some of the most comfortable and secure on the market. Berghaus is always a brand you can rely on, these ones are no exception and have proven their time on the trails too.
- Leather material
- Gum rubber sole
- Waterproof mesh
- Normal width
- High cut
Salomon Quest 4d 3 GTX Hiking Boot
These Salomon hiking boots are a great lightweight choice. They’re completely synthetic but highly durable, and won’t weigh you down on the trails.
The traction is great and as with all Salomon boots, we found the fit was particularly comfortable. Great for everything from casual walks to serious hikes out in the bush.
- Synthetic material
- Synthetic sole
- Enhanced traction
- Medium width
- High cut
FAQs of Use
How to ensure boot longevity?
Okay, so once you’ve bought a pair of hiking boots, you can just through them in the mud room and hope they’ll always be in top condition, right?
Well, you could…but not if you want your boots to be in their absolute best, waterproof condition on every hike. Make sure you’re regularly treating them with silicone or wax treatments.
Additionally, best practise is to use boot trees when storing, and keep them in a dry place.
If you’re heading out on a longer backpacking trip, make sure you bring some waterproofing treatment with you. Longer hikes mean more wear and tear on your boots, and increases the chance of accidentally stepping in a river one too many times, breaking down the material.
If you want to be even more meticulous, remove the insoles after every hike. They’ll have absorbed moisture from sweat, water crossings and rain during the trek, thus it’s best to dry them out to keep them in top working condition!
Blisters and pain
Of course, even the best fitting and most comfortable boots can’t completely protect you against foot ails. The more you use your feet (for long hikes for instance), the more likely you’ll encounter blisters, sores or other foot pain.
In general, the best way to ensure against this (in addition to of course, buying the best boots possible), is to buy cushioned insoles and good hiking socks. Both will help with general comfort, and prevent any uncomfortable rubbing or pressure.
If you recently bought a new pair of hiking boots, make sure to break them in on shorter and easier hikes, before heading off on any more strenuous terrain. This will prevent any “new boot” stiffness and pain.
Finally, don’t forget to frequently cut your toenails! This will ensure they don’t cut into your skin when snug together in boots all day long.
Best hiking boot accessories
The short answer is, it’s a good idea, especially if you plan on becoming an avid hiker.
As mentioned before, no matter what a bit of foot pain and blisters is to be expected, however, a good pair of well-fitting socks can help prevent this. Sure, you could “technically” use any old socks while hiking…but your feet will thank you for using proper ones meant for hiking.
Crampons are used for extra grip (and safety) in icy terrain and low level snow. So if you plan to hike in either conditions, they’d be a good investment. However, if you plan to hike in primarily snowy conditions (i.e. snowshoeing), you’ll want to invest in a pair of snowshoes. And of course if you’re a fair weather, summer only hiker, then you can pass on both.
In the end, you could opt just for the boots, but if you want the safest and most comfortable experience, best to add a few extras.
Best Men’s Hiking Boots: Our Top Picks
Our best value boot pick is the Berghaus Expeditor Aq Trek hiking boot – fairly priced, without sacrificing quality. You’ll get a stylish looking suede leather boot, with a waterproof mesh lining to ensure your feet stay nice and dry on the trails. However, the best part of these boots is the sole. The EVA midsole provides amazing cushion and comfort for long hikes, while the Opti-stud out sole gives you some of the best traction out there.
These Peter Storm Grizedale hiking boots have our vote for best long-haul hiking boots. The comfy Vibrum outsole, provides amazing traction while the PU midsole cushions and absorbs shock. Additionally, the waterproof mesh liner ensures your feet will stay dry and well-prepared on the trails. You won’t want to miss out on these extremely comfy boots!
Finally, our best pick overall are the Berghaus Hillmaster II Gore-Tex hiking boots. Made up of classic leather and a comfortable EVA sole, you’ll be hiking in style and comfort. The breathable Gore-Tex outer membrane ensures no water will be touching your feet on the trails and sweat will escape with ease!
Last update on 2020-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API