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The Best Hiking Shoes For Men

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When you’re on truly inhospitable terrain there’s no substitute for a top-quality hiking boot, and the best of them are comfortable to wear for long periods as well. However, there are many occasions when a full boot for your long walk is a little much but you require more grip and protection for your feet than trainers provide. That’s where hiking shoes come in.

Hiking shoes provide the grip you need on tricky terrain and use more rugged, protective materials than you’ll find on trail-running shoes. They are lighter than boots and generally dispense with above-ankle support, making them more comfortable to wear, especially in hot conditions. Like boots, hiking shoes will often have a waterproof upper, though some get rid of that as well in the name of letting the feet breathe better when the sun is shining.

So if you’ve been plodding through long walks in heavy boots for no reason other than you had no alternative, try one of these top-notch pairs of hiking shoes.


Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid 2 Gore-Tex

Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid 2 Gore-Tex

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The Hoka Speedgoat is named after Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer – an ultra-running icon with a nickname to match – and the Mid version of the Speedgoat brings the lightweight stack of cushioning of the running shoe to a more protective low boot. It has a Gore-Tex liner to keep your feet dry, while the Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures you’ll find purchase on any terrain even when moving at speed.

Buy from Hoka (opens in new tab) | £150


Danner Trail 2650

Danner Trail 2650

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The number in the name of these shoes refers to the 2,650-mile (4,265km) length of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Canada-US border to southern California. This is to indicate that the shoe is as rugged and stable as they come – although it’s not waterproof, because it’s designed to be lightweight and breathable for summer hikes, rather than rainy days. So you’d best finish that trail before autumn arrives.

Buy from Danner (opens in new tab) | £140


Merrell Claypool Sport Gore-Tex

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It may not win many fashion points but the utilitarian Claypool Sport absolutely does the business for both rural and urban hikes. The Gore-Tex membrane provides excellent waterproofing, the deep grip gives good traction and for such a lightweight and flexible shoe, it offers solid support on uneven terrain. But what impressed us most was how comfortable this shoe was, even on longer walks, thanks to the air cushioning and its ability to flex in the midsole.

Buy from Merrell (opens in new tab) | £125


Adidas Terrex Free Hiker GTX

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We are big fans of the standard Free Hiker shoe, but come the British winter waterproofing is a must, so we are delighted Adidas Terrex has launched a Gore-Tex version. Aside from its extra weather resistance nothing else has really changed about the shoe, which has a stretchy yet snug Primeknit upper, and a thick slab of comfortable and bouncy Boost foam in the midsole – just what you want for long days on your feet.

Buy from Adidas (opens in new tab) | £170


Columbia SH/FT OutDry Boot

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The suede and textile upper on this shoe comes in a variety of designs, pretty much all of which we love, though the stand-out is the teal and purple combo. The boot is completely waterproof thanks to Columbia’s OutDry liner, while the SH/FT cushioning in the sole offers comfort to rival Adidas’s Boost foam.

Buy from Columbia (opens in new tab) | £145 (currently reduced to £101.50)


Merrell Zion Gore-Tex

Merrell Zion Gore-Tex

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Although it has a Gore-Tex liner, the low cut on this shoe means it’s probably best not to use it in bog-like conditions, because if you stray into anything deeper than a small puddle water will get in over the top anyway (and won’t be able to get out either). However, that low cut – combined with aggressive grip – makes it a great option for fast day hikes where you feel that even a mid-height boot will weigh you down.

Buy from Merrell (opens in new tab) | £130


Keen Venture Waterproof

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The Venture has the feel of a boot, with a sturdy waterproof upper and an outsole pocked with 4mm lugs that provide grip on all types of terrain bar the boggiest of ground, but it’s far lighter and is positively nimble when working your way along uneven paths. There are three colourways to choose from including this “ketchup” red and black version.

Buy from Keen (opens in new tab) | £129.99

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.