Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

4Products analysed

45Hours spent

13Evaluated articles

215User reviews

Comfortable, quality hiking shoes are particularly important for hiking enthusiasts. The right hiking shoes enable pain-free hiking even over several days. There are different hiking shoes for different needs, depending on the area of use, temperature, altitude and duration of the hiking tour.

With our large men's hiking boots test 2021 we want to help you find the best hiking boots. We have compared the different types of hiking boots and listed their advantages and disadvantages. We have also answered any questions you may have about hiking shoes for men. Our information will certainly make it easy for you to make a purchase decision.




The most important facts

  • Choosing the right hiking boots is important to be prepared for any weather and situation.
  • Hiking boots are divided into classes from A to D, from simple leisure shoes to expedition boots.
  • You can find the perfect hiking boots on the basis of several criteria, such as area of use, shoe size, material, weight, breathability and water behaviour.

The Best Mens Hiking Shoes: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for hiking shoes for men

Next, we will show you which features you can use to decide between the many possible hiking shoes for men.

The criteria you can use to compare these outdoor shoes with each other include:

Field of application

Before you buy hiking boots, you should think carefully about what you want to use them for. The area of use is the most important purchase criterion, it determines which category of hiking boots is best for your needs.

Consider exactly where, how long (single or multi-day hikes) and when (high/low temperatures) you want to use this outdoor shoe.

Determining the area of use, in combination with the other buying criteria, will help you make the final decision and ensure that you make the right choice.

The right size

Finding the right shoe size is important in any shoe purchase. For hiking shoes, the size is of even greater importance, as otherwise blue toes and painful blisters can occur.

Men's shoes are available from size 39 EU and some also go up to size 50 EU.

However, shoe sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For hiking shoes, we recommend that you always plan for one size larger.

Outdoor shoes that are too small can rob you of your hiking fun and cause blue toes or painful blisters. Keep in mind that your foot can get thicker during your hiking tour. In addition, the hiking socks also need a certain amount of space in your shoe.

The basic rule for any hiking boot is a snug fit for your foot but also enough space for your toes.

Colour

When deciding on the colour of your hiking boots, your personal taste is more relevant. Many manufacturers offer numerous colour variations.

Keep in mind that dirt is not as noticeable on hiking boots in natural colours.

You can expect to find something that suits you.

When hiking, you are very close to nature, which is why many hikers adapt their colours to nature. Hiking shoes are usually offered in natural colours such as green, brown, beige, blue, etc.

Of course, if you are not a big fan of natural colours, you can also opt for hiking boots in bright colours or neon colours.

Closure

The best closure method for hiking boots are laces. They allow you to divide your foot into several sections and lace them up with varying degrees of tightness.

When hiking, you need to adjust the strength of the lacing depending on whether you are going uphill or downhill. This is the only way to be sure that your foot sits properly in the shoe and that blisters or other pain are avoided.

Hiking boots with additional metal eyelets on the shaft offer your feet even better support.

Material

Materials vary depending on the shoe model. You should take a closer look at the upper material, the inner material and the outsole before deciding on a model.

Das Obermaterial kann entweder aus Synthetik oder Leder bestehen
Verlour leather and nubuck leather are often used. They are robust, water-repellent but at the same time breathable. Sometimes there is a rubber coating under the leather for even better protection.

Synthetic hiking boots are relatively light and adapt to the foot more quickly than leather. Synthetic dries faster than leather. However, this material is only suitable for less demanding hikes.

A Gore-Tex membrane is particularly suitable as an inner material. This membrane is very thin, weighs little, dries quickly and creates an optimal foot climate. This material absorbs sweat from the foot and passes it on, thus reducing odour build-up.

The outsole should ideally be made of rubber. Rubber absorbs all shocks, so you can hike over sticks and stones without any problems. Most hiking boots have a rubber sole.

Dimensions and weight

The dimensions of hiking boots depend on the heel height, heel shape, shaft height, shaft width and shoe width. The heel height of hiking shoes is between 1 and 4 cm. The shape of the heel can be either flat or a little steep.

Think carefully about the purpose of the walking shoes.

The height of the upper is important because it gives your foot more support.

For simple hiking tours, you don't necessarily need a high shaft. For more demanding tours, we recommend light hiking boots with a high shaft. Also pay attention to the width of your hiking boots.

In addition to the importance of shoe size, the width of the shoe is particularly important for wide feet. Keep in mind that feet can often swell up while hiking.

Manufacturers generally try to produce shoes that are as light as possible in order to keep the strain on the feet as low as possible.

Breathability / water behaviour

Breathable hiking boots are of great importance for every tour. The Gore-Tex membrane is well suited for this. The upper material of the shoes must also be breathable.

Breathable does not mean that the hiking boots are water-permeable!

After the tour, you should air your outdoor shoes well, dry them off and care for them properly. This is the only way your hiking boots will retain their properties.

Hiking boots can be either water-repellent or waterproof. Water-repellent shoes can withstand water for a long time. Precipitation should therefore not be a problem.

Waterproof means that the hiking shoe will not let water through under any circumstances. Hiking boots with a Gore-Tex membrane are waterproof. Hiking boots made of leather are neither water-repellent nor waterproof.

Decision: What types of hiking boots for men are there and which is right for you?

Hiking shoes come in several types, from freedom shoes to expedition shoes and everything in between. To help you make this choice, we present each type of hiking boot and its advantages and disadvantages.

Hiking boots are divided into the following categories of use:

category purpose of hiking shoes
class A casual shoes
class A/B light outdoor shoes for easy hikes
class B demanding hikes
class B/C difficult hikes
class C mountain hikes on difficult, alpine trails
class D high alpine tours

If you want a detailed description of the different classes of hiking boots, be sure to read the sections on the different classes carefully. There you will find all the necessary information about each class and its advantages and disadvantages.

Klasse A

Class A

This class mainly contains leisure shoes and everyday shoes. These types of walking shoes are very comfortable and perfect for travelling. If you like to walk often, this category is perfect for you.

They have a flexible sole, but with little cushioning. They have a low weight and can therefore be worn all day without any problems.

Advantages
  • comfortable, soft shoes
  • flexible sole
  • good for forest and meadow trails
  • lightweight shoe
Disadvantages
  • low cushioning
  • only suitable for flat paths
  • short shaft
Klasse A/B

Class A/B

If you enjoy walking in the low mountain range or in the foothills of the Alps, then the A/B boot is just right for you.

Advantages
  • much comfort
  • good rolling characteristics
  • firm shoe
  • high shaft
Disadvantages
  • Trails must be well surfaced
  • stiff and thick sole

The A/B shoe is a lightweight hiking or trekking shoe. It is suitable for paved trails with a few bumps. They provide comfort and good rolling characteristics, are sturdy shoes with a higher upper. The sole is thicker and stiffer compared to the previous A class.

Klasse B

Class B

The hiking boots in this class are well suited for more demanding hikes and are called classic trekking boots. They enable hiking on all kinds of mountain trails.

Class B hiking shoes are well suited for long, multi-day hikes and offer a secure hold because of the high shaft and stiff sole. This outdoor shoe also has good cushioning.

This shoe is perfect for mountain trails of all kinds, but also for alpine tours on developed trails. This outdoor shoe is no longer suitable for hiking in very cold weather and at very high altitudes.

Advantages
  • good for long-term wear
  • stable shaft
  • stiff sole
  • secure hold
  • good cushioning
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for via ferrata
  • do not use in very cold conditions
  • not suitable for very high altitudes
Klasse B/C

Class B/C

Hiking boots in this category can already be described as heavy trekking boots. No matter which trail you choose, this shoe will support you perfectly.

This hiking boot is characterised by a high lacing. With additional metal eyelets on the shaft, you can provide targeted support for your foot. The sole is also stiff and has a deep tread.

Such a hiking boot can last up to 15 years, but the sole is the first to break. With many models, however, you can easily have the sole replaced. Some of the hiking boots in this class are already suitable for use with a sledgehammer and crampons.

Advantages
  • very high lacing
  • stiff sole, deep tread
  • often re-soleable models
  • high, stable shaft
  • suitable for dodgers and crampons
Disadvantages
  • not so good rolling behaviour
  • not for easy hikes
  • stiffer than normal hiking boots

The disadvantages of this category are the poorer rolling behaviour and the increasing stiffness of the hiking boots. This shoe is no longer recommended for easy hikes because it is not too comfortable.

Klasse C

Class C

If you want to do tours in the high mountains, on glaciers or the toughest trekking tours, then the class C is just for you.

These hiking boots are also crampon resistant to a certain extent. Tours lasting several days in winter or at high altitudes are no challenge for this shoe.

Advantages
  • conditionally crampon-compatible
  • hard, flex-resistant sole
  • high shaft
  • extremely robust materials
Disadvantages
  • high weight
  • very stiff shoe
  • not a shoe for normal tours

You can put crampons on most boots in this class without any problems. Another advantage is the very hard and bend-resistant sole, which carries you through very rough terrain. The boot is made with extremely robust material and offers a high shaft, which is often additionally insulated.

These hiking boots also have disadvantages, namely their high weight and stiffness.

Klasse D

Class D

If you prefer challenge and the extreme, then class D is exactly your category. This crampon-compatible alpine boot carries you over glaciers and difficult terrain. This class is ideal for long winter tours and high altitudes.

Class D is the expedition boot for high-altitude and extreme mountaineers. Glacier tours and also ice tours can be undertaken well with this shoe. This hiking boot supports you perfectly with its very stiff sole and its high hard shaft. In addition, this outdoor shoe is available with a warm lining or with an inner boot.

The weight and stiffness of such a shoe are very high, so the hiking shoes might feel a little uncomfortable at the beginning.

Advantages
  • absolutely stiff sole
  • hard shaft
  • warmly lined
  • absolutely crampon resistant
  • often with removable, insulating inner shoe
Disadvantages
  • high weight
  • stiff boot
  • long acclimatisation period

Guide: Frequently asked questions about hiking boots for men answered in detail

In the following part of our test report, we would like to address those questions that occur more frequently in combination with hiking boots for men.

How much do hiking boots for men cost?

The price of hiking shoes for men varies depending on the manufacturer, class, material and area of use.

Type price
inexpensive hiking shoes from approx. 30 euros
qualitative hiking shoes between 50 and 100 euros
cost-intensive hiking shoes up to 500 euros

You will find hiking boots that start at a price of approx. 30 euros.

If you want better quality, you should expect to pay between 50 and 100 euros. The most recommended hiking boots for men belong to this price category, as they offer good value for money.

However, if you are interested in the professional models of hiking boots, then please expect an investment that can exceed 500 Euros.

How do I know if my hiking boots fit properly?

Basically, you should feel comfortable in your hiking boots. Nothing should pinch or pinch in the shoe.

The shoe size is not the only decisive factor for the perfect hiking shoe, but also the width. Some good outdoor shoes are available in different widths.

It is best to try the shoes on in the evening, as the feet may be a little more swollen during the day.

As a general rule, try one size larger than your normal shoe size. Make sure that the hiking boots are not too wide, but not too tight either. When you slip them on, the shoe should fit the shape of your foot.

How do I break in my hiking boots properly?

Before you go hiking for a long time, you need to break in your hiking boots. This way you are sure that the shoe will be comfortable for hiking.

The following steps will show you how to break in your hiking boots properly:

  1. Put on the right socks
  2. Don't lace them up too tightly the first time, leave them a little looser
  3. Walk around the house in your walking shoes
  4. Test them by walking through a stream or watering them a little
  5. Also go on a longer but easy hike where you also have to walk uphill and downhill

If you follow these steps in this order, you will not get blisters or pain on your first more challenging hike.

How do I lace up my hiking boots properly?

You need to take enough time to lace up your hiking boots properly before you set off. You should always retie your shoes so that you have a secure hold throughout the tour. After about 30 minutes of warming up, be sure to tie them for the first time.

Herren Wanderschuhe-2

You can match the colour of your hiking boots to the natural surroundings. This way, the dirt on your shoes will not stand out so easily.
(Image source: LUM3N / pixabay)

When walking uphill, lace the upper part, the shaft, a little looser. However, to avoid blue toes when going downhill, tie the shoes a little tighter in the bend.

How do I care for my hiking boots properly?

You probably want to use your hiking boots for as long as possible. For this reason, proper care is very important.

Follow these care instructions for many years of use:

  1. Remove dirt and grime with a sponge or brush and warm water immediately after hiking.
  2. If the hiking boot is damp, stuff newspaper into it and let it dry slowly.
  3. Be careful with textile fibres: do not use soap or similar.
  4. You should waterproof your shoes from time to time. It is best to do this when they are clean but not completely dry.
  5. After impregnating, you can apply a wax cream.

Tip: You must renew the waterproofing when the water no longer drips off the shoe.

Which socks are best for my hiking boots?

The material of the socks is very important: synthetic fibre socks, cotton socks, merino wool socks. All three materials are appropriate for hiking boots.

Synthetic fibre socks regulate moisture well, but are not as warm as merino wool socks. Cotton socks are very popular, but there are now better alternatives. They absorb sweat quickly but do not wick it away well, resulting in damp feet inside the shoe.

Use the following features to find the perfect socks:

  • Fast drying properties
  • No wrinkling of the foot
  • Light padding
  • Always take a spare pair of hiking socks
  • Good wearing comfort
  • Breathable

Which insoles are good for hiking boots?

Insoles are a great help, especially for very wide or narrow feet. They help you prevent pain, are good for your posture and for your health.

If you have a special foot shape, it is best to go to an orthopaedist for advice.

There you will get all the information about suitable insoles that will save you a lot of pain.

If the hiking boot is very hard and a bit uncomfortable, then insoles can also be very helpful. You can find extra cushioning insoles. If your feet are always cold, try insulating insoles.

Where is the best place to store my hiking boots?

After you have properly cared for your hiking boots by applying our tips, it's time for storage.

How you store your hiking boots is also very important. They need a dark, dry, cool and airy place for storage. It's best to put your hiking boots in a shoe bag or cardboard box, these are particularly suitable for good storage.

Image source: fotoknips/ 123rf.com

Why you can trust me?

Reviews