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The leather body and rubber sole can endure significant wear. Can provide traction on even icy surfaces and offers significant ankle support. Can be laced up for a tighter fit. Is available in several colors and styles.
Heavier than competing models of a similar style.
The synthetic soles provide a solid amount of stability and reduce slipping on slick surfaces. These shoes are well ventilated and have air cushioning to provide extra heel comfort. Rubber toe cap provides a moderate level of toe protection.
Have relatively little top protection, leaving the tops of your feet vulnerable.
Breathable and nimble, these shoes will allow the wearer to reliably walk or run through moderate trails. Additional cushioning provides impact absorption and additional comfort.
These shoes should not be used to trek through severe or rocky terrain.
These shoes are built for professional or leisurely outdoor use. The leather body will endure daily wear. The vibram sole offers a healthy mix of shock absorption and traction.
Lacking laces, these shoes have a looser fit and shouldn't be wore in steep terrain.
Breathable design keeps the wearer cool in warm weather and reduces foot order. More flexible body allows this shoe to excel in uneven terrain. Comes in several different designs with varying levels of ankle support.
Not fully water or snowproof, so it's a poor choice for cold weather hikes.
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Hiking is an excellent way to get in some exercise and take in the beautiful natural scenery that surrounds you. If you hike regularly, having proper footwear like a high-quality pair of men’s hiking shoes is vital.
Hiking shoes are lightweight enough to help you move quickly over your favorite trails while providing the traction necessary to keep you from tripping or falling. They can also keep your feet dry if you’re hiking in wet conditions. While hiking boots are popular for more rugged trails and longer hikes, a lighter, flexible pair of men’s hiking shoes are often more comfortable for shorter hikes and more established trails.
Learning why hiking shoes are a must-have, the various styles you can choose from, the key components to look for, how to determine the right fit, and other features that make the shoes more comfortable can help you identify the best men’s hiking shoes for your next adventure.
You might be tempted to go hiking in your favorite pair of sneakers or tennis shoes, but wearing the wrong footwear on the trails can be dangerous.
Men’s hiking shoes offer support for your ankles and feet to keep you stable when going up and down hills so you’re not as likely to fall. The cushioning they provide can help you feel more comfortable when going on long hikes.
A proper pair of men’s hiking shoes offer better traction when you’re on uneven terrain. The outsoles of the shoes feature a pattern or tread that grips the surface you’re walking on to prevent slipping. Sneakers and tennis shoes feature a lighter tread, meaning they don’t provide effective traction on trails and other rugged, uneven surfaces.
If you’re hiking in an area with streams, mud, or frequent rain, hiking shoes offer superior water resistance and dry more quickly than regular shoes, so you can keep your feet dry and prevent your socks from getting wet and causing blisters.
Men’s hiking shoes are available in several styles, depending on the type of hiking you’re doing and the weather you’ll be hiking in.
When looking for hiking shoes, it helps to understand the shoe’s components. Men’s hiking shoes consist of:
Upper: This part of a hiking shoe covers the top of the foot, protecting it from rocks and other debris. It also determines how breathable and waterproof the shoes are.
Tongue: The tongue in a hiking shoe keeps rocks and debris from getting inside, so it helps to choose a pair with a gusseted tongue.
Midsole: The midsole provides cushioning for your feet, helping you feel more comfortable on longer hikes. Shoes with a thicker midsole offer more support and shock absorption for your feet.
Outer sole/outsole: The outsole is the bottom that comes into contact with the ground. It provides stability and traction as you’re moving along the trails. Shoes with a stiff outer sole are usually more comfortable because they move more easily over debris like rocks and branches.
No matter how well-made men’s hiking shoes are, they won’t offer the comfort and stability you want if they don't fit correctly. Of course, your hiking shoes should fit snugly, but they shouldn’t be so tight that they feel uncomfortable.
It’s crucial to try your shoes on with the socks you plan to wear while hiking to be sure they fit properly. If you’re wearing the right size, you should be able to move your toes easily within the shoes, but your heel shouldn’t shift around too much as you step forward.
Men’s hiking shoes can be made with several materials, which affect how durable, comfortable, and supportive the shoes are.
The most common materials for hiking shoes include:
Leather: Hiking shoes made with leather are usually the most durable but also the most expensive. The leather gradually conforms to the shape of your foot as you wear the shoes, making them extremely comfortable. Leather hiking shoes aren’t the most breathable style, and not all leather shoes are waterproof.
Synthetic: Hiking shoes that feature synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, or faux leather are very lightweight and dry quickly. These shoes aren’t usually the most durable option, however, meaning you’ll need to replace them more often.
Mesh: Hiking shoes that feature mesh are the most breathable option, making them ideal for warm-weather hiking. They dry very quickly. However, mesh hiking shoes aren’t very durable.
Combination: Some hiking shoes have a combination of materials, providing the best features of each material. For example, you might find a pair of hiking shoes with a mesh upper for breathability but with synthetic or leather around it to improve the shoe’s durability.
Some men’s hiking shoes are treated with a water-resistant or waterproof coating that helps keep moisture out of your shoes. If you regularly hike in wet conditions, you’ll want a waterproof pair that can keep your feet dry. Keep in mind that waterproof hiking shoes aren’t as breathable as other options, so they may be uncomfortable in hot weather.
If you only occasionally hike in wet conditions and just want to keep your feet dry in light rain, water-resistant hiking shoes can work well. They’re typically more lightweight and breathable as well.
If you regularly hike in hot weather, choose a breathable pair of men’s hiking shoes. The material allows air to pass easily through the shoes so your feet never get too hot or sweaty. Mesh hiking shoes are some of the most breathable options, making them suitable for warm-weather hikes.
The one drawback to breathable hiking shoes is that they usually aren’t as water-resistant as other varieties, which can be an issue if you often hike on wet or muddy trails.
If you’re new to hiking, choose a pair of hiking shoes with better ankle support. They can help you develop the muscles in your legs that might not be used to the demands of hiking.
For the most comfortable hiking, pair your men’s hiking shoes with a high-quality pair of hiking socks. You can find heavier socks that keep your feet warm in cold weather and moisture-wicking options that help keep your feet dry in warm weather.
While hiking shoes provide plenty of support and stability, hiking poles can make staying balanced on rocky trails even easier. You can find foldable or collapsible poles that are extremely easy to carry with you.
If you’re going on a longer hike, a hiking backpack makes it easy to carry your essentials while leaving your hands free. You can find packs in various sizes — choose the right capacity based on the length of your hike.
The most affordable men’s hiking shoes cost between $15 and $60 and are usually lightweight, breathable shoes that work well for short hikes. Most are made of mesh, but you can find some synthetic shoes in this price range. These hiking shoes often aren’t waterproof or water-resistant, so they aren’t the best option for wet conditions.
Mid-range men’s hiking shoes run $65 to $125. They’re more sturdily constructed and are made with synthetic materials like polyester or a combination of mesh and synthetic materials. They usually offer some water resistance, but they aren’t fully waterproof.
The most expensive men’s hiking shoes feature sturdy, durable construction and offer excellent traction and support that works well for longer hikes. They’re likely made of leather or a combination of leather and synthetic or mesh materials. These shoes offer outstanding water resistance, and some are even fully waterproof, costing $130 to $250.
A. It depends on the type of hiking you do. If you go on day-long or weekend hikes on well-defined trails that aren’t too uneven or rocky, hiking shoes are an excellent option. However, hiking boots may be a better choice if you go on longer hiking trips over rocky terrain. They also offer more support when you’re carrying a heavy pack so you’re more comfortable on your hike.
A. Your hiking shoes’ lifespan varies based on how often and far you hike. The majority of shoes usually last for 500 to 1,000 miles. You can tell your shoes need replacing if you notice worn laces, cracks in the midsole, or worn-down treads on the sole.
A. It’s best to stay away from cotton socks when hiking. They’re not moisture-wicking, so they can get sweaty and take a long time to dry, leading to blisters. Instead, opt for socks made of wool or synthetic materials that wick away moisture to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
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