Hiking shoes are an excellent addition to your hiking kit. They provide a more flexible option for hiking in better conditions and on even trails. Although not always the best option, they have their place and I wouldn't be without them. They also look damn good with a pair of jeans, so they are a versatile investment.
Here in this article, I want to lay out the best hiking shoes for men in 2020, that are currently available on the market today. They all, more or less, have all the functionality and features that you, as a day hiker should be looking for in a pair of hiking shoes.
They all also score well across multiple review sites and multiple user review's so if you’re in the market for a new pair of men's hiking shoes, they'll give you plenty of ideas and options to consider. We close with some buying advice, so you can skip down to there using the menu belowf if buying hiking shoes is all new to you.
#1 Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Merrel Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes For Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
Popular outdoor-brand Merrell are famous for their performance oriented hiking footwear and the MOAB 2 Vent (Ventilator) Hiking Shoe is both sturdy and reliable, providing excellent support and traction. These hiking shoes are ideal for anyone looking for a lightweight alternative to hiking boots for long distance hiking over challenging terrain. The MOAB 2 Vent are one of the pricier hiking shoe models, they do however offer exceptional stability and durability.
Featuring an extremely durable Vibram TC5+ outsole with 5mm multi-directional lugs, the MOAB 2 Vent Hiking Shoe provides excellent grip and traction. You can rely upon it over all types of terrain in various weather conditions. It’s EVA midsole and molded nylon arch shank add stability and comfort, enhanced further by the Merrell air cushioned heel that works as a shock absorber protecting your feet from hard, rugged terrain.
Zonal arch and heel support is provided by Merrell’s M Select FIT.ECO blended EVA contoured footbed. Your feet will feel great even after miles of rocky, extreme terrain.
The MOAB 2 Vent have a breathable mesh lining, perfect for those who like to hike a little faster than the average pace, allowing perspiration to pass to the outside, keeping feet dry. The suede leather and mesh upper also features a bellows tongue that is very useful on gravel and sand, as it keeps debris out and away from your feet as well as providing moisture protection.
The upper fastens with a traditional lacing system so you can adjust your shoe’s fitting. However, if you have owned previous versions of this model, be aware that this new, updated version no longer features the uppermost eyelets at the top of the shoe. The laces now tie at what was the second eyelet. This can give the impression of having less ankle support, which can lead to heel slippage depending upon how this shoe fits for you.
The MOAB 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is an excellent hiking boot alternative, providing you with the stability and comfort you need for long days on the trail. It’s Vibram rubber outsole will allow you to take on challenging terrain, while its breathable mesh lining is great for cooling hot, sweaty feet. In spite of its higher-than-average price, the MOAB 2 Vent is a good purchase for anyone looking for a durable, serious hiking shoe that will stand its own to a hiking boot.
#2 Vasque Men's Mantra 2.0 Hiking Shoe
Vasque Mantra 2.0 Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
Vasque have been making quality trail footwear since 1964 and the men’s Mantra 2.0 Hiking Shoe is no exception. This popular, low-cut hiking shoe has been designed to offer the stability and grip of a hiking boot.
Thanks to its durable Vibram Nuasi rubber outsole, complete with multi-directional lugs, the Mantra offers excellent traction and grip no matter the terrain. It’s lightweight, molded polyurethane midsole and TPU midfoot stabilizer, enhance stability whilst allowing a degree of flexibility for faster paced hiking.
The upper is made from a combination of durable nubuck with abrasion-resistant mesh that allows your feet to breathe. The Mantra’s speed lacing system enhances fit and comfort, while the rubber sidewall toe wrap provides added stability and protection from extreme and rocky terrain.
This hiking shoe really is an excellent choice, however due to its toe design, it is best worn in drier conditions as the toe area tends to let in water. Nonetheless, this really is an outstanding hiking shoe for drier locations and seasons, where it manages to provide the protection and grip of a hiking boot in a lightweight, breathable shoe cut with a rigid, durable sole.
Priced at the low to mid section of the market compared to its competitors, the Vasque Mantra 2.0 also offers excellent value for money.
#3 KEEN Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe
KEEN Targhee II Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Light day hiking, outdoor use, general day-to-day use
Popular outdoor brand Keen from Portland, Oregon have become one of the most successful hiking footwear providers in recent years. The Targhee II provides all-day comfort for adventure seekers out on the trail.
Designed to cope with any terrain, the heavy-duty rubber outsole features 4mm multi-directional lugs alongside a contoured heel lock for a maximum of traction and grip. The ESS shank and dual density compression molded EVA midsole provide great stability and balance, whilst enabling the Targhee II to remain lighter than a boot.
The Targhee II is well known for its durable, waterproof nubuck leather upper for protection from the elements. Combined with a hydrophobic mesh lining, this hiking shoe offers a greater level of breathability than your average hiking boot, while keeping water out. KEENs generally offer good arch support and the Targhee II is no exception. Comfort is further enhanced with its padded tongue and collar and easy-on heel pull.
All in all the KEEN Targhee II hiking shoes are a great choice for hiking in the wet, however, it is heavier than a lot of other hiking shoes, so if you’re really looking to pick up the pace you may be better with a lighter weight option.
The Targhee II provides more ankle support than a standard shoe and helps keep your feet protected, although it is important to remember that they are not hiking boots (there is another version of the Targhee that are hiking boots).
Overall, competitively priced in the lower half of the scale, the Targhee II is an extremely popular, great all-rounder. However, they may not be the best option for tougher hiking excursions.
#4 KEEN Men's Voyageur Hiking Shoe
KEEN Voyageur Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Light hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
It’s for good reason that the KEEN Voyageur Hiking Shoe has developed a cult-like following of fans. Providing great breathability and day-long comfort, it has become the go-to shoe for a huge number of people, for both hiking and everyday wear alike.
Its durable rubber outsole features 4mm multi-directional lugs and a contoured heel lock, making easy work of steep descents with an excellent grip on even tricky terrain. Torsional stability is provided by its built in ESS shank, which allows an ideal balance of flex and protection from rugged terrain.
Comfort is one of the reasons for this hiking shoe’s huge popularity. Thanks to its metatomical EVA footbed, this hiking shoe provides extra support, while its sturdy toe box protects from stubbing on harder, rocky terrain. The leather and mesh upper allows feet to breathe, for a fit that is both flexible and snug.
With the continual airflow supplied via the mesh lining, your feet will feel fresh and comfortable all day long. There are some sizing issues with this shoe, so you might be best trying out two sizes and returning one to ensure you get the right fit.
The Keen Voyageur Hiking Shoe is competitively priced around the mid-range mark against its compatriots. It’s a great option for those looking for a versatile hiking shoe that can be worn all day both on the trail or around town, providing support, comfort and breathability.
#5 Merrell Men's Moab Edge Hiking Shoe
The Merrell Moab Edge Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor and day-to-day use
Merrell prides itself on manufacturing high quality outdoor footwear that fulfills four main criteria: comfort, durability, design and versatility, basically everything you need from a good hiking shoe. The Moab Edge provides all this and more.
The Moab Edge has an extremely durable TC5+ Vibram outsole with lugs, ensuring your stability whatever the terrain and weather conditions may be. Wet, dry, hot or cold the Moab Edge’s outsole provides excellent traction.
There are no lugs under the arches to allow your foot to flex more naturally, which provides greater comfort and ease of movement, while the Merrell air-cushion in the heel absorbs shock and enhances stability. This makes this hiking shoe ideal for those looking to move at a faster pace than regular hiking, but you may sacrifice a bit of traction in the process. It’s all about your needs and finding a balance though 🙂
The Merrell Moab Edge features a lightweight, molded nylon arch shank and a EVA contoured foot bed complete with odor control. The antimicrobial agents enhance freshness and disrupt the reproduction of odor-producing microbes. The laced upper is made from an extremely breathable, fast-drying mesh which prevents build up from perspiration, while the bellows tongue keeps debris out. Complete with rear pull loop, the Moab Edge is easy to put on and remove.
The Moab Edge provides an excellent, comfortable fit, however, the spacious toe box is not to everyone’s style, so if you prefer to be able “feel” the shoe, then this may not be the right hiking shoe for you.
Although it is priced above average, this hiking shoe is an extremely popular choice, mainly thanks to its lightweight and fast-drying construction as well as its excellent grip. This makes it the perfect choice for those looking for a great alternative to heavy hiking boots for faster paced hiking over rough terrain.
#6 Adidas Outdoor Men's Terrex Swift R GTX
Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, general use
Adidas is famous for its sportswear and the quality construction of its Outdoor Men’s Terrex Swift R Hiking Shoes will not disappoint those looking for a durable, waterproof yet breathable hiking shoe with excellent traction.
The Traxion outsole provides optimal grip in even wet and rocky conditions, coupled with the TPU support structure for midfoot stability. The Terrex Swift are highly reliable, durable hiking shoes with excellent grip over mountainous and off-road terrain in all weather conditions. Heel cushioning and a molded rubber toe cap provide impact protection and enhance comfort.
The upper material construction is a lightweight, breathable, abrasion-resistant, ripstop mesh. This will prevent your feet from getting hot and sweaty after many miles on the trail. To maintain breathability alongside waterproofness, the Terrex Swift comes complete with a Gore-Tex lining.
Its speed lacing system allows for fast lacing and a snug fit with a lace bungee to store and avoid tangling. However, the lacing system can be a bit tricky to get used to, and it’s difficult to get the laces as tight as you can with tying.
The Terrex Swift achieves the feat of combining breathability with a waterproof liner, making it an excellent choice for year-round wear. Its traction and grip are excellent across a wide variety of challenging conditions, whilst the shoe remains lightweight yet sturdy.
This popular hiking shoe is priced slightly less that average for this kind of quality and certainly offers good value for money, thanks to its strong and durable construction. It is not the lightest option available, however
#7 Merrell Men's Moab Adventure MOC Hiking Shoe
The Merrell MOAB Adventure MOC Hiking Shoe for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
Veering a bit away from the standard hiking shoe, top outdoor footwear brand Merrell have created the Moab Adventure MOC, a slip-on, hiking-style shoe that can be worn just about anywhere thanks to its smart exterior.
Ideal for casual outdoor wear, the Moab Adventure MOC combines a great all-round, everyday-wear shoe with hiking shoe features, for a versatile classic that is great for an active lifestyle. In spite of its hiking shoe features, this shoe is more suited for casual wear and occasional hiking, not a full-time hiking boot replacement.
The Moab Adventure MOC has a Vibram outsole which provides excellent stability and slip resistance in all weather conditions. Its EVA midsole adds to stability and comfort, while its FIT.ECO blended EVA footbed features organic odor control, so you can even wear them to the office without having to worry about any odors after miles of walking.
The molded nylon arch shank is lightweight and provides support. The moccasin upper is made of nubuck leather, complete with a breathable, mesh interior lining. As a moccasin there are no fastenings, although it is somewhat surprising that this model does not feature a pull-on heel loop to aid with pulling these shoes on.
The Moab Adventure MOC is priced higher than many similar shoes, and while it may be marketed as a hiking shoe, it is best considered as casual footwear with an outdoor sole. It makes an excellent shoe for everyday wear including the occasional ad-hoc outdoor adventure.
Although it offers a Vibram sole, this shoe is not going to make a great hiking boot replacement. However, if you are looking to buy just one pair of shoes for both town and country wear, you will be pleased with the good looks, durability and grip provided by the Moab Adventure MOC. Its comfort straight from the box would make it a good choice for a active vacation shoe that will not go to waste once the trip is over.
There is an argument to say that this shouldn’t be on this list as a classic type hiking shoe, but it’s hybrid versatility for light trail walking and general day-to-day use has it’s merits for the appropriate user.
#8 The North Face Men's Ultra 109 GTX Trail Runner
The North Face Ultra 109 GTX Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, trail running, general day-to-day use
As one of the leading high-quality outdoor wear specialists, The North Face needs no introduction. The Ultra 109 GTX is a sturdy hiking shoe built with the elements in mind, to offer the stability of a hiking boot in a shoe.
The Ultra 109 GTX has a UltrATAC rubber outsole providing great traction and grip over varied terrain. It did, however, perform less impressively in wet, slippery conditions. The North Face also make the Storm III with a Vibram outsole, so if you expect you will be needing maximum traction in the wet, that could be a better option from TNF.
A compression-molded EVA midsole and ESS midfoot shank provide excellent stability, while the rigid TPU SnakePlate protects your forefoot from brushing over uneven trails. The Ultra 109 GTX has a leather and breathable mesh upper complete with a Gore Tex Extended Comfort Range membrane that keeps water out while allowing feet to breathe. A protective toe cap ensures durability and enhanced protection on rocky or uneven trails, while the laces allow a customized fit.
This rigid hiking shoe provides excellent support and has been designed to provide security and stability over a wide variety of terrain. Complete with a lifetime warranty, these durable hiking shoes are towards the upper end of the price scale, however considering their excellent performance and warranty they represent good value for money.
Ideal for rugged hiking and outdoor exploration, these hiking shoes would also be suited for any outdoor wear that involves walking for miles, including urban environments, thanks to their muted good looks.
#9 Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 GTX Trail Shoe
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, trail running, day-to-day use
Salomon originated in the French Alps in 1947 and prides itself upon its focus on performance driven design. The X Ultra 3 GTX is no exception, providing a wealth of technological innovations that will enable you to stay nimble on the trail over all types of terrain, whilst providing enough support to be an excellent contender as hiking boot replacement shoes.
The X Ultra 3 GTX has a rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs. Made from two types of strategically placed rubber, the outsole provides excellent grip and traction on all terrain types. Your feet hold steady and are protected thanks to its high-traction Contra-Grip and protective heel cap. Descent control technology makes easy work of steep, difficult descents, in short, the X Ultra 3 GTX are hiking shoes you can rely on to get you safely up and down challenging, mountainous trails.
The EVA and molded shank midsole further enhance stability and constitute the shoe’s Advanced Chassis, which connects directly to the sole, stabilizing the heel. Your whole foot is intuitively held in place by the innovative, wrap-around SensiFit system that ensures a snug, comfortable and customizable fit for ultimate comfort and stability.
The water-repellent upper is made from textile and synthetic leather and comes complete with a GoreTex membrane that makes these hiking shoes fully waterproof although less breathable than their non-GTX sister range. The upper is completed with an advanced Quick-Lace system that adjusts to ensure your whole foot is held evenly tight, and works in tandem with the SensiFit system. A thick rubber toe cap ensures maximum protection for rocky, uneven terrain.
The X Ultra 3 GTX is an excellent trail running / hiking shoe and is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a hiking shoe for fast-paced hiking over rugged, challenging terrain. Comfortable, lightweight and snug-fitting, the waterproof X Ultra 3 GTX will keep your feet safe and dry no matter where you choose to explore, making them a worthy hiking boot replacement for greater speed and agility.
In spite of their high price, this is a best selling, popular model and comes complete with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. Ideal for anyone looking for hiking shoes for back country exploration and long hikes over seriously challenging terrain, with the odd trail run / jog thrown in for good measure.
#10 HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit Hiking Shoes For Men
HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, trail running, general outdoor use
Hoka One One have been creating very comfortable, cushioned running shoes for over five years and now they’ve put their expertise into hiking shoes with the Tor Summit.
This hiking shoe is extremely comfortable with a very deep cushioned sole. However, the high level of technology, workmanship and materials come at a high price, making the Tor Summit almost double the price of its nearest competitor.
With a durable Vibram rubber outsole, complete with 5mm lugs, the Tor Summit offers good traction and grip on a variety of terrains in all conditions. Meta-Rocker geometry promotes a smooth, natural pace.
A combination of layers of EVA and RMAT rubber make up an extra thick, cushioning midsole that also serves as an excellent shock absorber, ensuring your comfort no matter what the terrain.
The Hoka One One Tor Summit has a durable, flexible nubuck and suede leather upper complete with a low collar and a highly breathable eVent waterproof membrane bootie construction, for dry feet.
The Summit Tor is a midweight hiking shoe, primarily designed to offer outstanding comfort, and is suitable for trail hiking at whatever pace you prefer.
In spite of its huge price tag, it remains a popular choice and its high levels of comfort and cushioning have seduced large numbers of people, not least of all those with knee or foot problems looking for a way to comfortably hike again.
The Tor Summit’s unconventional look with its extra thick out and midsole do not detract from its fashionable styling, and a pair would not look too out of place in an urban setting. Anywhere you really need to experience comfort and to take the weight off your feet , whether it’s miles on the trail or all day at work, the Tor Summit is possibly a contender for the most comfortable hiking shoe ever made.
#11 Columbia Men's Redmond Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Columbia Redmond Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, general outdoor use
Popular outdoor-wear brand Columbia have created the Redmond Waterproof Hiking Shoe, available at an extremely competitive, low price. Lightweight, waterproof and breathable, first impressions are good, however, although the Redmond Waterproof rates highly in certain areas, its overall performance makes it more suitable for use on even, easygoing terrain rather than full-on hiking.
It is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a low priced hiking boot alternative for an outing or trip involving easy walking, or for those looking to start out hiking with a minimal financial outlay before investing in more specialized gear.
The Columbia Redmond Waterproof hiking shoe has its own patented Omni-Grip non-marking rubber outsole which provides a fair degree of grip, although this is somewhat reduced on wet, slippery surfaces.
Unlike the majority of other hiking shoes, the Redmond Waterproof does not have a shank, making it more flexible and less suitable for walking over uneven surfaces over long distances. Your feet will feel all the the stones, roots and rocks, which could lead to bruising and aching after just a few miles.
The Tech-Lite midsole provides a good degree of cushioning, however without the firmness of a shank it is impossible to appreciate it if you stray onto rough or uneven terrain.
The Richmond Waterproof’s upper is made from suede leather, mesh and webbing, with a breathable, waterproof membrane. This keeps your feet dry while allowing them to breathe. The waterproof membrane works well, however, be aware that as the shoes are quite low cut, water can get in from above and they do take several days to dry out completely, at room temperature drying, once wet through. The Richmond’s reinforced toe cap helps to prevent against toe injury through stubbing rocks or other hazards.
The Richmond Waterproof Hiking Shoe is an excellent purchase providing you don’t want to do any serious hiking over rough terrain. It would be ideal for even trails and general everyday wear even in wet weather, thanks to its waterproof membrane. However, if you’re looking for a hiking shoe for long treks you would be better looking at a different model with greater comfort and protection.
This hiking shoe would also be a good option for a trip walking on paved trails, where its lack of an internal shank would have less impact. It could also be used about town afterwards thanks to its subtle styling.
#12 Hanagal Men's Evoque II Hiking Shoe
Hanagal Evoque II Hiking Shoes for Men Features Summary:
Best Uses: Trail hiking, general outdoor use
These hiking shoes by newcomer Hanagal are aimed at those looking for a shoe that can be worn out on the trail as well as about town. This is more of an entry-level hiking shoe, which would make an excellent choice for beginners who don’t want to spend large amounts before discovering whether or not hiking really is for them, or for occasional hikers.
The Hanagal Evoque II features a sticky outsole made from rubber that offers a good grip on varied terrain. The heel is elevated for improved arch support, with a lightweight, cushioned EVA midsole for stability.
The anatomically shaped POLIYOU footbed offers extra comfort, better dampness absorption and odor control. The soft leather upper is durable and flexible with to-the-toe lacing for a better, more adjustable fit and a rubber toe cap for protection.
Complete with an easy pull-on heel tag, these hiking shoes are comfortable, lightweight and excellent value for money. They are a good choice for anyone looking for low-priced outdoor footwear that is lightweight with a rubber outsole that grips.
While they offer less support than other hiking shoes on this list, they are a good choice for occasional hikers who need a versatile shoe that can also be worn around town.
Where to Start When Choosing Hiking Shoes
To boot or not to boot, is that the question? Well, no, we don't think so. Hiking boots are generally a must for any serious hiker, they are often the best option for many hiking adventures. However, they are not always the best option for the trail, and hiking shoes can at times be a better choice.
As with all types of hiking gear, hiking shoes have a myriad of options to choose from, all with different features and built for different needs. Prices can also vary widely, so it can be difficult to know where to start.
Overall, I look on hiking shoes as an accompaniment option to my hiking boots. I do most of my hiking in a temperate climate, where it is very wet in the cooler months, so for that reason, hiking boots are generally what I need. However, on a hot summers day on a nice easy trail, I will turn to my hiking shoes to provide a more comfortable hiking experience.
I also tend to go off trail quite a bit, so I like the extra ankle support that hiking boots give me. I have on many occasions slipped down a rabbit hole or the like, and the support of my hiking boots has most definitely saved me from a strain, sprain, or possibly worse!
Now, some people who always hike on well marked and even trails, and in drier conditions, may reverse this approach i.e. it makes more sense to use hiking shoes more often than boots. Under those conditions, that of course makes sense.
Overall, the point I am making here is that, as always, what you need your hiking shoes for is the critical factor in choosing to use them on a hike over hiking boots.
With that covered off, the next things to think about are the make-up and construction of the shoes. Hiking shoes, like hiking boots, offer many different types of features, will vary in weight, etc. Check out our buying guide which goes into the subject in much more detail. Again though, fundamentally keep your needs in mind.
Ask yourself questions like, where do I plan to use my hiking shoes? What types of trails? Are they well defined and even? What type of climate will I be using them in? Will I use them for casual use about town? And so on. when you have all these answers, you will have the basis for going more in depth into the features you may want or need.
So that's it! I hope you enjoyed this quick preview of the best hiking shoes for men in 2020. As you can see, there is a lot of great choice on offer for sure. As I said at the start, I don't think hiking shoes can fully replace hiking boots, but they are an essential part of any hikers kit, and well worth the investment. So if you're on the hunt for a new pair of hiking shoes, definitely check some of these options out.
As mentioned above, always remember to know your requirements before buying a new pair of hiking shoes or boots. There can be a big variation in price and there is no point buying more than you need.
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