Hiking and Boots is a band forged in adventure. A good pair of hiking boots can get you to places unharmed.
Review of the Top Hiking Boots & Hiking Shoes for Men
Our top pic is Salomon men’s Quest 4d2 GTX. Reason – It is the most versatile hiking boot of 2016. Be it any terrain, Salomon Men’s Quest will be working with you till the end. The high nick collar is stiff enough to keep your ankles from twisting. The shoes are comfortable and sturdy enough to prevent your feet from blistering even while carrying heavy backpacks. It comes with a superior Gore-Tex waterproof protection that will keep your feet dry even if you walk into small river streams or puddles. Its synthetic contragrip outsole provides enough traction on all the surfaces alike. The shoe itself is quite lightweight, built for stability and are breathable. Like in Salomon’s Quest 1 the seam seems to give away however you can always apply a good seam sealer to prevent that.
Verdict: Buy it if you have planned multiple hikes on various terrains in the coming year
The Under Armour Fat Tire – One of the most sturdy hiking boot and the most dope looking one in its class. The traction that the sole provides is just unbelievable. Trust us, you would have never worn anything like this before after all it uses Michelin outsole rubber compound.The upper uses GTX (Gore Tex) construction and is pretty waterproof while being breathable at the same time. The shoes provide more than enough cushion to keep your foot comfortable throughout the hike that greatly reduces any foot aches. These however do fit a little too snug, so we suggest buying a size or half bigger than what you usually wear in your running shoes. Inspite of all the additional cumfort, padding and cushioning the shoe itself is very light. Did we mention we just dig the color of that sole.
Verdict: Buy it for the excellent traction/grip and design.
Finally Vasque decided to bring back the classic midweight hiking Boot – Skywalk GTX. The best part being they did with all the shenanigans that are apt for a hiking boot. Mixed upper helps it to be lightweight, the Gore Tex waterproofing liner does not let your feet get wet without sacrificing the breathability and with all this you still get that Vasque trust and the retro look. These are more of a backpacking boots suitable for almost every trail. They tend to break in in a couple of weeks so spend sometime wearing them before heading out to your favorite outdoor adventure trail. However after the initial break-in period, you will certainly experience what is it like to wear a Vasque Skywalk GTX.
Take all the goodness of Hoka Running shoes and remold it into a hiking boots – well that’s what these are. These are certainly one of the most comfortable hiking boots available right now, all thanks to the Hoka One One cushioning technology. Hoka Tor summit is made of leather upper with EVA and RMAT midsole built to provide a smooth and comfortable ride. For outsole it uses Vibram’s Megagrip traction sole that prevent you from slipping or even partial slipping on wide range of terrains. Inspite of the lack of Gore-Tex, these shoes provide excellent water proofing that will keep your foot warm and dry even in the wettest of conditions. Shoe itself comes in 3 color options, so you can choose it as per what suits your style statement. Hoka One One are midweight boots and you can even wear them for your daily walks.
Hiking Shoes Vs Hiking Boots
What is the difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots? Hiking boots are strong and sturdy with a cut that is above your ankle. Because of this hiking boots are good in rocky areas or other rugged terrain where you might roll your ankle. Hiking shoes are a little less bulky than hiking boots are closer to a special purpose tennis shoe. They provide most of the same benefits as a hiking boot minus the high ankle support. Hiking shoes tend to be more comfortable during light hiking duty due to the lower ankle cut and a more flexible sole.
The Different Types of Hiking Shoes and Hiking Boots
Some features can cross over multiple shoe and boot categories. Examples include types of tread designs, breathability due to design and materials used and special features like being waterproof.
- Hiking shoes – light weight and often more comfortable than hiking boots for day hikes.
- Hiking Boots – strong and sturdy, best suited to rugged terrain and heavier duty for backpacking or multi-day trips
- Walking Shoes – comfort over ruggedness and designed for urban terrain
- Trail Running Shoes – a blend between regular running shoes and hiking shoes. Designed for off road terrain while maintaining the needed breath-ability and comfort of a running shoe
- Climbing Shoes – Light weight specialty shoes that are designed for maximum grip while rock climbing
Hiking Shoe Materials
Light weight materials include nylon and mesh. These are idea for their breath-ability and flexibility (easy to break in).These breathable materials aren’t the best when it comes to water resistance so waterproof shoes made from these materials tend to have linings to provide the water resistance.
Heavier duty boots and hiking shoes tend to use leather for its durability. This extra ruggedness is the reason that t takes longer to break in a full leather hiker versus a lighter weight shoe. The leather also adds to the water resistance of the boot while sacrificing some breath-ability.
The sole of the boot is made up of multiple layers. First there is the insole that provides the cushioning. Next is the mid-sole and this is where the stiff part of the sole exists to provide the needed support. The outer part of the sole is the tread and the tread patterns vary widely for different terrain conditions. Hiking on concrete pavement is very different than walking in the swamp or on granite boulders and the treed types need to match your destination.
Is there a difference between Men’s & Women’s Hiking Boots?
One word answer – No!!
There is no difference in the make of Men’s & Women’s hiking boots or shoes. Both serve the same purpose and are built using the same set of ideas. Hiking Boots and Shoes should have thick, padded soles and are made from durable exterior materials to provide a cushion between your feet and the ground. They are far more durable than ordinary sneakers and also last longer, making them ideal for people who do a lot of walking. If you take the bus or train and know you still have a lot of walking to do to get to work, a dependable pair of hiking shoes could be your best friend on your journeys.
Whether you’re just a regular walker or seriously enjoy a bit of outdoor adventure, you won’t go amiss with a pair or quality men’s hiking shoes. They are great for all outdoor activities that require you to be removed from the comfort of your carpets and tiled floors. Out in the wild, anything goes and you need to be prepared.
Rocks, sand, thorns and mud are no match for proper hiking boots. Resists the harshest of elements with one of the best hiking boots listed above so that they will serve you well wherever you find yourself.Rest assured that an investment in new hiking shoes is an investment in your health and outdoor lifestyle. Whether you’re sweating in extreme heat or in danger of being soaked in a rainstorm, your hiking boots should keep you fresh, dry, comfortable and protect you all the way to the finish line.
Hope this little guide on best hiking boots and shoes answers all your questions and help you decide the best one suitable for you 🙂