Have you ever found yourself in the difficult position of choosing from the many walking boots in the market? You are not alone. They all look so similar and yet they are so different. You cannot simply ignore them and settle for some normal shoes. If you wish to save your feet from crying out loud during your next outdoor trip then it is time to know the best walking boots for men and pick the right one.
How should you choose walking boots?
Some might ask how walking boots are any different from a comfortable pair of tennis shoes. But only if you wear a pair would you understand how they support your feet during a hike. The stability they offer and the protection are unmatchable. No ordinary shoes can cocoon your feet so securely and avoid the strain on your ankle as a pair of walking boots would. Here are some of the benefits that walking boots offer:
- Ankle support
- Toe protection
- Best out-sole grip
Having spoken about the benefits of choosing boots specially designed for hikers, here are some of the aspects you should be considering while you buy yours:
- Construction matters a lot:
You would have to look at the design and build of the outsole, midsole, and the overall exteriors as well. The outsoles would have to be stiff if you are more of a hill climber. For steeper terrains, the rigidity of the soles cannot be ignored. But for normal hikes in the woods, you might need something with a more flexible sole. The flex of the soles would not be suitable for steep slopes. These shoes are easy to break in.
- Choose the right type:
Without the hassle of looking at the individual feature, you can always choose shoes based on the type of trips that you undertake. There are standard hiking shoes, day-hiking boots, backpacking boots, mountaineering boots and more. Each vary in terms of the construction and the protection and support they offer.
- Cut of the shoes:
This refers to the height of the uppers. You might need high cut boots if you are looking for higher levels of protection and support at the ankle level. For casual outdoor trips, a low cut boot would be sufficient. But for avid hikers, high cut boots might be the best options.
- Outer material:
This determines the looks of the shoes, the durability and the level of water resistance it offers as well. Full grain leather is one of the most commonly preferred material mainly because of its toughness and longevity. And leather is also water resistant. But if you are looking for shoes that are easier to break in then synthetic might be the easiest. For breathability, people prefer the split grain leather boots which also combine the benefits of synthetic boots. One other material that has recently been quite popular is the Nubuck leather. This looks a lot like suede but it is pretty durable like leather. It can withstand day to day wear and tear and resist scratches.
Most of the outdoor walking boots are water proof. But the water resistance levels would vary depending on the type of shoes chosen. Look for those with water resistant lining and high cut design if you hike often in wet terrains. But these tend to make your feet get warmer very soon. There are also boots that are specially designed to be breathable and lightweight while also offering water resistance.
- Support and protection:
When we talk about support the choice depends on the type of adventures you undertake. For backpackers, a stiff midsole would offer enough support to prevent soreness and pain in the feet. For those that are hiking in rough terrains ankle support would be required to prevent sprains. For those that are looking for casual outdoor trips, a heavy pair of shoes would only do more harm than good. Trail runners are perfect examples of shoes for such hikers as they can offer the support and tread that normal sports shoes do not offer. And at the same time trail runners are also pretty light and easy on the feet. For those treading on rocky and rough terrains shoes with padding on the ankle and stiff toe caps would be good. This would help protect the feet, the ankle, and toes from injury. To add stiffness to the region of the midsoles some shoes come with rigid shanks. The length of the shank varies depending on the level of support required. For extra protection, if you are hiking into deeper forests and rugged lands then look for shoes that come with plates below the shank. These help add an extra protective layer to prevent any sharp objects from hurting the soles.
Once the decision is made always choose a fit based on the width of your feet. Measure your feet and pick the right size so that your feet would not feel constrained. Some boots need time to break in. Plan your purchase well ahead of your next big trip so that you would be ready.
Here we have compiled a list of the 5 most popular walking boots:
Berghaus Men’s Expeditor AQ Trek Boot – Review
Available in blue, brown and grey these are versatile shoes to add to your closet. These are perfect for those who are looking for shoes that can be comfortably worn all day long. The exteriors come in suede or leather and both are equally durable options that would resist scratches and tears. The AQ lining makes these shoes soft on the feet while the tough exteriors can withstand rugged terrains. It is lightweight, waterproof and durable, all that you would want from your walking boots.
The AQ lining is breathable yet waterproof. So your feet stay dry without getting excessively warm
The grip offered by the out soles thanks to the OPTI STUD design is simply unmatchable. This is responsible for the superior traction these shoes offer. So even on the most rugged terrains, your feet would not feel the pain and you can be assured of the most reliable grip.
The DWR coated mesh exteriors make sure that your feet stay well ventilated and comfortable throughout. This makes these shoes great for all types of weather conditions.
These come in narrow standard fit design. The fit might seem a bit tight for those with wide feet, especially for longer wear. And when you wear your socks it gets tighter.
Hi-Tec Men’s Eurotrek Iii Waterproof High Rise Hiking Boots:
The Eurotrek collection has always been popular among the hikers and this one is no exception. This comes with slick styling and durable exteriors teamed up with the comfortable design. So, these shoes are great for offering the best support to your feet. This is made of waterproof leather exteriors. The Dri-Tec technology of the leather keeps water from entering the boots. These are lightweight boots. So if you are looking for some casual pair of walking boots that you could slip into on a wet day for a casual jog this one would be a great option. Besides this, these shoes also come in handy for all your light hiking expeditions.
The Dri-tech material is not just waterproof but it is also breathable. So you would not be left with sweaty feet
The CMEVA midsoles are constructed to rigidly withstand impact. So your feet would not take the strain nor get injured during the hike.
The outer soles are strong and also offer enough friction.
The flex at the toes might seem a little too tight for some users. But the shoes have been specially designed for the flat lands and for low-level hikes. So this should not be a problem unless you are using it on a very rugged terrain.
Karrimor Men’s Bodmin Mid Iv Weathertite High Rise Hiking Boots
With decades of experience, the brand is known for its consistency in delivering high-quality hiking boots that are also comfortable. These come with a lace-up closure that offers a snug fit. So your feet stay comfortable while you are mobile. The shoes are water resistant thanks to the Weathertite membrane that also prevents water from seeping to the feet. The breathability quotient is not compromised here. The exteriors come with leather and mesh. The mesh ensures efficient ventilation of the feet. The leather of the exteriors withstands abrasion very well. These shoes thus turn out to be durable choices.
The Weathertite membrane is the brand’s patented technology which aims at keeping your feet dry all day long. The membrane lives up to its objectives and protects your feet from getting wet on a rainy day.
The Dynagrip outer soles offer great traction so even if you are treading unpredictable terrains you can be assured of the best grip.
The sole material wears off a bit too quickly than most other shoes in this segment.
The shoes are not absolutely water proof when you are out in the heavy rains.
MENS INUVIK FULLY WATERPROOF LACE UP WALKING/HIKING TREKKING BOOT
Here is a classy pair of leather boots that you would never regret purchasing. It is water proof, looks casual and rustic, and it is durable. There are some neat color options to pick from as well. These boots come with a lace up closure that features rust free metal eyelets. The exterior HYDRY membrane comes with a chic glossy finish and it is water proof. So you can confidently don these boots on a rainy day and be assured that your feet would stay dry. The high rise design offers support for the ankles. The cushioning at the rear counter protects the ankle from the impact.
The rubber outsole is made of rubber and it has been designed so as to offer the best traction on every type of terrain.
The padding on the insole ensures absolute comfort for the feet when you wear the shoes all day.
The fit might be a bit smaller than the standard fit. So measure your feet and pick the right size to make sure that you get the most comfortable pair.
Merrell Men’s Moab Mid Gore-Tex High Rise Hiking Boots
These don’t just look rugged but are also pretty tough when it comes to the outdoors. It comes predominantly in 5 color options- black, dark tan, beluga, walnut and dark earth. This pair too comes with the popular combination of mesh and leather to combine the waterproof nature and breathability. The Gore-Tex lining material is breathable and it is also responsible in keeping your feet dry.
Keeping the outdoors in mind the design has been mindfully done so as to provide the best support and protection to the feet. Bellows tongue has been included so as to keep the dust and debris out.
The toe cap and heel counter designs have been done to offer the best protection against bumps and collisions.
It comes with molded arc shank for added support on rough surfaces.
At the heel, an air cushion has been added so that the heel does not feel sore after taking consequent strains.
These shoes are known to offer the best in class stability thanks to the design.
The rubber soles start coming apart after several rough trips.
A final note for those making the big decision
As we have seen for light hikes most of the shoes on our list fair really well in the competition. They all offer superior traction and better grip so that even on a slippery terrain you would not have to worry about your tread. As an all-rounder, the one pair that has won our hearts is the Berghaus Men’s Expeditor AQ Trek Boot. It is the best value for money deal especially given its impressive durability of the exteriors and the out sole. Different thicknesses of exteriors offering different levels of water resistance are available. So you could take a pick based on the terrain and weather conditions in the place where you often hike.