Today I wanted to list out the top 5 men's hiking boots for 2015. The main criteria for all of them to make this list is that they're, more or less, year round hiking boots.
As you probably know, I do a lot of posts on the site on hiking gear. The reason for that is to try and help people make some sense of the menagerie of gear available on the market today and it is a key goal of the site.
With that in mind today I thought a list of the top 5 men's hiking boots options for 2015 might be useful. Now, before we go further I feel I should add that I purposely listed this as ‘the top 5 men's hiking boots' and if I am totally honest, I've been a little disingenuous with the title 😉
So, what do I mean by that? Well, realistically I think ultimately there are so many factors involved in choosing a good pair of hiking boots that it isn't really possible to say, these 5 boots are the top 5, full stop!
Every person is different and one mans meat is another mans poison as they say. For example, if you have flatter, narrow feet, the pair of boots best suited to you may not be the same as someone who has high arched broader feet. The main point being that I feel it's hard to use a one size fits all approach.
Instead I thought it would be more productive to list what I think are 5 of the top hiking boots available today. That is, if you're in the market for a pair of boots and you're starting to do some research these are 5 good options to get you started and they might just fit the bill.
Before going into the the hiking boots I also feel it is important to make it clear from the get go that there are many different types of boot cuts and styles to choose from.
You need to be very clear on what you will be using hiking boots for i.e. terrain, weather, etc. Check out this guide on how to choose hiking boots to learn more about this as it is really important you factor all of the things listed there into account if you're new to buying a pair of hiking boots.
Finally, in this list I am targeting boots that are good for use, more or less, all year round in most conditions in temperate climates, not extreme conditions. What I mean by that is, for example, that if you're planning on going trekking in the Arctic Circle anytime soon, this is the wrong list to be looking at, as it will most likely not apply 😉 You will need more specialized gear!
So let's get to it! Listed below, in my order of recommendation, are the 5 top men's hiking boots available in 2015!
Click on images to learn more about each pair of boots.
1. Salomon 4D GTX
Starting in the Gore-tex world, the Salomon 4D GTX hiking boots are a pair of top men's hiking boots and my number one recommendation.
One thing worth mentioning specifically about these boots is that while they have high and strong ankle support for off-trail hiking, they come in on the lighter side in comparison to other hiking boots.They're designed with this in mind so good for hiking and another great option for a longer backpacking trip.
They're waterproof, breathable and have a lot of great features I would look for in a pair of hiking boots.
They have a more technical look about them than the other Gore-tex based boots listed here, see Lowa boots below, but that's neither here nor there when it comes to your comfort on the trail.
Overall, a really good all year round hiking boot. A viable option for the newbie and experienced hiker alike. Ideal for any hiker planning to do some off-trail hiking over more challenging terrain.
2. Alico New Guide
Next up, we move to a pair of hiking boots in a classic Alpine style that are pretty full on. That is, these probably are more mountaineering boots as opposed to just hiking boots.
The Alico New Guide are a pair of hiking boots for the hiker who plans to go off trail. They're tough enough to keep you stable on trickier terrain. The boots provide a lot of ankle support which is crucial when going off trail.
While they are a bit more specialized than a standard pair of hiking boots, they still of course fulfill all the basic requirements of year round hiking boots too.
Waterproof and crampon compatible, they're definitely for the more seasoned hiker. no problem to buy these as a newbie if you have grand plans of adventure ahead of you. If you're just testing the waters though, you might be better opting for something cheaper.
All in all a great pair of men's hiking boots with lot's of great feedback consistently over time.
3. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a seasoned all round hiking boot. Perfect for day hiking and suitable for longer trekking trips too.
If you prefer Gore-tex to leather, then these boots may be just for you. With a nice mix of nubuck leather and gore-tex, these hiking boots are waterproof and very functional.
The boots have a reasonably high cut so will provide decent ankle support for most off trail terrain but they're probably not as strong in that department as the Alico Guide boots above as they're a bit lower cut than they are.
Again though, this is a pair of year round hiking boots that will suit most hikers from the newbie to the experienced trekker.
I also really like the look of these boots too. They would look just fine wearing them with a pair of jeans walking across town. Not really what we're concerned with here but I think they look really good 😉
4. Merrell Wilderness
The Merrell Wilderness are kind of like the Grandfather of all the boots I have listed here. I mean that in the sense that they have been around that bit longer.
Like the Alico Guide boots above, they can be resoled so providing you take good care of them, these boot's should last you a very long time. I see these boots like having a love affair, of some kind.
That is, you get them, break them in and then spend that many years enjoying them, that it's nearly emotional to have to part with them when the day comes to either resole or buy a new pair lol But that day will be a long way away 🙂
Again, a functional year round hiking boot. As with the Lowa boots though, I see these boots as very much multi-purpose. When you're not hiking in them you can easily wear them for day-to-day purposes. Whether that be going to the store for groceries or doing man stuff in your man cave (garage), I think these boots would fit right in 😉
Anyway, I digress. They're a good classic style hiking boot with a long history of happy users. Can't complain with that resumé.
5. Alico Tahoe
The final pair of boots on the list is another great pair from Alico, their Tahoe hiking boots. I see these boots as perfect for a newbie to hiking.
Why do I say that? Well, I think they're a no nonsense does what it says on the tin pair of boots. Very functional and, like the Merrell Wilderness, they have that classic style about them which never really goes out of fashion. I think these are another good value pair of quality hiking boots.
Again, they're a year round pair of hiking boots. Ideal for hiking on trails but maybe not as suitable for going off trail as some of the other hiking boots listed above. Not that I would rule that totally out though but the cut looks a little lower than say the New Guide boots. Nothing wrong with that though!
Again, it's back to what you plan to use them for. If you know you're going into high steep mountains you need to be looking at the first option on this list and possibly move into the mountaineering boot category. I say that only to illustrate that, like any boots, these boots are great as long as you get them for the right uses.
As with all the boots on this list, they have a long history of happy customers with loads of good user reviews and feedback.
The Tahoe are another good all round hiking boots that will work as well for someone dipping their toes into hiking for the first time, as for for someone more seasoned who likes to stick to hiking on well marked trails with maybe a bit of off trail thrown in every so often.
So, that's it for today. I hope you've found this post useful. As stated at the start, the goal of this post is really to give you an idea on what I think to be some very good year round men's hiking boot options.
While different in style, function etc., they are all well known and trusted options for men's hiking boots.
All these also boots have lot's of positive feedback and user reviews and they have all been around for quite a while so they are holding their quality mark over the test of time which, I feel, is a crucial thing to look for.
There's no doubt about it, choosing a pair of hiking boots is a very personal thing. Every man will have his own preferences, whether that be full leather boots or gore-tex, low or high cut, the list goes on!
Remember though, your first port of call should always be function. Know what you need your hiking boots for and where you will be using them. There's no need to spend a couple of hundred extra dollars to get tough mountaineering boots if you never plan to leave well worn low lying trails.
OK, so let me have it 🙂 What do you think should or shouldn't be on this list? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!