Best Hiking Shoes for Men 2023

Hiking Shoes for Men
Hiking Shoes for Men

Hiking enthusiasts understand the pivotal role that hiking shoes play in enhancing outdoor experiences. Men’s hiking shoes have gradually taken the spotlight, replacing bulky boots for those who prefer agility and speed on the trails. If you are considering making the transition from heavy boots to lighter, more versatile hiking shoes, this guide is for you. We’ve curated a list of the finest men’s hiking shoes available in 2023 after extensive testing on Colorado’s challenging terrains, evaluating factors like fit, traction, features, and support.

Selecting the Best Hiking Shoes for Men

Drawing from years of hiking experience, we embarked on a journey into the rugged landscapes of Northern Colorado. We tested these shoes across a variety of terrains, including creek crossings, to discern what makes the ideal men’s hiking shoe. Our assessment involved:

  • Hiking: We initiated our trials with short hikes to break in the shoes, followed by longer treks, encompassing both uphill and flat sections, to gauge their overall performance.
  • Water Crossings: To evaluate water resistance, we subjected the shoes to wet rocks and submerged them partially in water to assess their ability to keep feet and socks dry.
  • Sizing: Recognizing the importance of fit, we scrutinized the shoes’ sizing, considering factors like toe box roominess, which is crucial for downhill hikes.
  • Uniqueness: We also explored each shoe’s distinctive features, such as waterproofing, alternative lacing systems, and other specialized attributes.

See Also: Best Hiking Shoes Women- Top 5 Picks

Our Recommendations for the Best Hiking Shoes for Men

1. Best Overall Men’s Hiking Shoes: Scarpa Rush GTX

SCARPA Men's Rush GTX Waterproof Gore

Buy On Amazon


  • Ideal for fast-paced hikers.
  • Enhanced comfort with extra padded soles.
  • Designed to keep water out while maintaining trail performance.


  • Sizing may require going up a size.
  • Not as breathable as some alternatives.

It might come as a surprise, but trail runners have emerged as the best men’s hiking shoes. This trend has gained popularity among hikers seeking agility and speed on rugged trails. For swift hikers like myself, who cover long distances quickly, the Scarpa Rush GTX proved to be an excellent choice. These shoes strike a balance between hiking shoes and trail runners, offering additional support with a thicker sole compared to traditional trail runners. Additionally, the GORE-TEX design effectively keeps water out during creek crossings while maintaining breathability. It’s worth noting that the Scarpa Rush tends to run snug, so consider sizing up if needed.

2. Best Versatile Hiking Shoes for Men: Merrell Moab 3

Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Buy On Amazon


  • Affordable with various options to suit different needs.
  • Excellent traction, especially on wet and slippery surfaces.
  • Comfortable right out of the box.


  • Slightly bulkier design with a wider appearance.
  • May cause discomfort on longer hikes.

Slipping into the Merrell Moab 3, my pick for the most comfortable hiking shoe, felt like walking on clouds compared to other brands. These shoes immediately offered superior comfort with their cushioned design, setting them apart from the competition. They excel on rocky and root-covered trails, providing stability with a Vibram-designed sole that grips well on slick terrain and rocks. However, they may not be suitable for extended hikes, as some users may experience foot discomfort. Merrell offers several Moab variations, including waterproof options, catering to creek crossings and wet conditions. The sticky rubber outsole also ensures good performance during river crossings while keeping feet reasonably dry. You can also opt for the Mid GTX version, which transforms the Moab design into a boot, offering the same comfort and durability with added ankle support.

3. Best Trail Runner Hiking Shoes for Men: Altra Lone Peak

ALTRA Men's Lone Peak 6

Buy On Amazon


  • Lightweight design.
  • Zero-drop for a more natural running gait.


  • Minimal cushioning and arch support, may require additional insoles.

For those looking to diversify their footwear for hiking, trail running, or hunting, the Altra Lone Peak deserves a spot on your shortlist. These shoes encourage a mid-foot or forefoot strike, potentially improving running form and reducing knee pain for runners. However, note that they offer minimal arch support, so some users may need to insert custom insoles for added comfort. As one of the few true zero-drop shoes available, the Altra Lone Peak provides underfoot cushioning and a wide toe box that enhances stability on uneven terrain. This shoe is an excellent choice for those transitioning into minimalist footwear, allowing their feet to strengthen, particularly the arch, after years of wearing traditionally supportive shoes.

4. Best for Mixed Terrain: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

La Sportiva Mens Ultra Raptor

Buy On Amazon


  • Breathable and waterproof hiking shoes.
  • Durable rubber toe cap.
  • Aggressive outsole for varied terrains.


  • Pricier option

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II bridges the gap between trail runners and scramblers, making it suitable for unpredictable weather without sacrificing weight and bulk. Its outsole features oval-shaped lugs for grip and stability on dirt and rocks, as well as a deep cup on the insole for braking during steep descents. The shoe’s abrasion-resistant breathable mesh withstands harsh terrains while preventing debris from entering. A substantial rubber toe cap absorbs impact and handles obstacles adeptly. Although there is slight concern regarding the rubber’s long-term durability, it has not exhibited peeling issues thus far. The Gore-Tex wrapping ensures dry feet in any weather, and the secure lacing system keeps the shoe snug. While it lacks a pull loop, the fold in the heel material allows for easy donning.

5. Best Cushioned Hiking Shoes for Men: Hoka Kaha GTX 2

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Running Shoes

Buy On Amazon


  • Lightweight and high ankle support.
  • Plush cushioning for added comfort.
  • Utilizes sustainable materials, including recycled Gore-Tex textiles.


  • Relatively expensive.
  • Limited width options.

The Hoka Kaha GTX 2 distinguishes itself with a slight arch in the sole, facilitating a rocking motion that enhances forward propulsion. This design, combined with ample cushioning, provides a comfortable and springy walking experience. The newest GTX 2 iteration boasts even plusher cushioning, preventing foot fatigue during extended hikes. The Gore-Tex lining keeps feet dry, even in wet and muddy conditions. Comprising Vibram Megagrip, the outsole delivers reliable traction and durability, although it may wear down faster, especially on sharp lava rock surfaces. Despite this minor drawback, the Hoka Kaha GTX 2 remains one of the few shoes that do not require aftermarket insoles due to its excellent shock absorption properties.

How to Choose the Best Hiking Shoes for Men

Selecting the ideal hiking shoes involves several key considerations:

  • Foot Examination: Begin by understanding your feet and their unique characteristics. A proper fit is essential to avoid blisters and discomfort. Wide feet, for example, necessitate wider shoe options.
  • Drop Height: Be mindful of the shoe’s drop height, which impacts your walking style. Transition gradually if switching to a zero-drop shoe to prevent potential injuries.
  • Terrain and Use: Assess the type of terrain you’ll be tackling and the intended use of the shoe. Waterproof shoes are suitable for creek crossings, while rugged terrains demand sturdier options.

What to Look for in Hiking Shoes for Men

Consider the following factors when evaluating hiking shoes:

  • Typical Use: The ideal hiking shoe varies based on the type of hike and the load you’ll be carrying. Short hikes may benefit from lightweight, breathable options, while longer treks require additional support and durability.
  • Fit: Ensure the shoe fits snugly, preventing blisters and hot spots. Keep in mind that your feet may swell during hikes, so sizing up when in doubt is advisable.
  • Material: Leather offers durability and breathability but is heavier and requires regular maintenance. Synthetic materials are lightweight and dry quickly but may lack durability. Gore-Tex offers waterproofing but can trap heat in warm weather.
  • Price: Quality hiking shoes come at a price that reflects their durability and performance. Expect to invest between $75 and $250 for the best options.
  • Traction: Adequate traction is crucial for safe hiking. Look for deep lugs on the outsole, with three millimeters for easy trails and five millimeters for technical terrain.


The right men’s hiking shoes can significantly enhance your outdoor adventures. Carefully assess your needs, terrain, and preferences to select the perfect pair that will accompany you on many memorable journeys in 2023.

Features and Products Image sourced from Amazon


Q: What type of footwear is best for hiking?

A: The best type of footwear for hiking is hiking boots or trail shoes, depending on the terrain and personal preference.

Q: What shoes to wear for hiking for men?

A: For men, the ideal footwear for hiking is typically hiking boots or trail shoes, chosen based on the specific terrain and individual comfort and support needs.

Q: Are hiking and trekking shoes the same?

A: Hiking and trekking shoes are similar but not the same. Hiking shoes are generally lighter and designed for less rugged terrain, while trekking shoes are more robust and suitable for challenging and longer hikes or treks in various terrains.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like