Heading out for a hike? Sorry, your sneakers just won’t cut it in the wild. For one thing, your feet will get soaked—and your shoes will be forever ruined. What you need is a decent pair of hiking boots that can take the heat. And the mud. And the wind, rain, snow, and debris. You need a pair of waterproof hiking boots with a good amount of traction so that not only will you trek comfortably, but without worrying about whether you’ll end up on the ground, the victim of a nasty fall.
What to look for in your specific choice of boot depends a lot on what sort of hike you’re going on. In terms of types, there are generally agreed to be three: hiking sneakers, day boots, and backpacking boots. Hiking sneakers cut off at the ankle and are better for shorter trips or trail running. Day boots cut off at the shin and are generally lighter and more flexible—perfect for a day hike. And backpacking boots are indestructible, high-cut boots that are built to handle heavy loads.
Read more: Best Hiking Gear Essentials
When you order boots, it’s absolutely vital to know your fit. You’re going to be out and about all day and don’t want blisters to ruin your experience. So make sure your boots fit snugly (not tight) with a little room in the front for your toes. We also recommend wearing your boots around a little before your hike so you can wear them in.
Needless to say, there are tons and tons of hiking boot options out there. But these 18 picks are the best hiking boots on the market, helping you take on the toughest trails with style.
These sporty boots have a design that lets the foot splay naturally to maintain proper alignment while hiking. The bottom effortlessly absorbs shock, giving you a comfortable hike overall.
Read more: Best Work Boots for Men
The Moab 2 (literally, “mother of all”) boots are among the best hiking boots for beginners. Between the performance leather, mesh uppers, protective toe caps, and approachable price, look no further than to start here.
These boots from Arc’teryx are the true definition of mountain ready. They combine a breathable GORE-TEX upper with a extremely grippy Vibram sole to give you the best possible control in the worst possible conditions.
They’re as tough as they look, with Gore-Tex membranes and a proprietary fit that let your feet move through their natural range of motion. The gusseted tongues, high collars, and cuffs keep the trail off your socks.
Read more: Best Winter Boots for Men
It’s all in the name. These guys will get you off the beaten path with waterproof Gore-Tex liners and nylon shanks to help you along longer trails. Plus, those Vibram outsoles will never let you fall.
With a super roomy toe box and ample cushioning, these running shoes are designed to tackle tougher trail terrain, but also work for everyday outdoor use. The darker color scheme means that wear-and-tear is less noticeable over time, backed up by a durable outer sole that won’t quickly wear down.
Read more: Best Work Boots for Men
Waterproof hiking boots are a definite must-have on the trail, and these fit the bill perfectly. Made from completely waterproof leather and with a rugged, rubber sole for added traction, you’ll go a whole lot further.
Part hiking boot, part sneaker, you can’t deny these look as cool as they’ll keep your feet dry. The waterproof knit exterior molds to your foot for a sock-like fit, making these comfortable while staying durable.
Hiking boots for mud or muddy conditions aren’t a dime-a-dozen—you need something that’ll stop 100% of the water. These Timberland boots are full-grain waterproof leather with a sole that can grip rocky trails.
These sleek hiking boots are perfect for the trail—but still casual enough to wear to work. Their waterproof GORE-TEX membrane will keep your feet dry through whatever winter throws at you
Among the best hiking boots under $100, these standard-bearers from Columbia have everything you need in a durable, lightweight hiking boot. Their uppers are coated in polyurethane, adding extra protection, and a comfortable, all-day fit.
These great looking hiking boots from HOKA ONE ONE are a perfect blend of style and functionality. Combining elements of leather and GORE-TEX for its upper, it’s an ideal option for both the trail and the town alike—especially as we approach the depths of winter.
For something a little on the rugged side, look no further than… Sketchers? You bet. These rough guys are all leather—but don’t require much time to break in—and are all about comfort. You might as well get two in case they get a little dirty.
If you’re looking to turn heads on the trail (and in the office), these shoes from Salomon are perfect for you. They also feature a plush footbed, so your feet will feel fresh all day.
These hikers are designed to look more like a casual sneaker than a performance boot, but they’re the real deal. The shoes are surprisingly breathable, with a lockdown fit and a super-grippy outsole that performs on the trail.
This unique hiking shoe provides just the right amount of protection your feet need from the rocky road but still allows you to feel grounded to the trail. No matter what Mother Nature throws your way, the Vibram Megagrip has the killer grip and exceptional durability to keep you moving with ease.
Perfect for everything from a casual day hike to a weekend in the outdoors, the Grandview GTX boots keep your feet comfortable, dry, and secure with an ultra-durable Vibram rubber outsole and a waterproof seal.
These serious-as-hell boots justify the entry fee with Gore-Tex defense, all-leather uppers, and a footbed that can be removed in favor of orthotics for extra comfort. Plus, they’re made in the USA, and you just have to love that.
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