A quality pair of shoes for hiking or mountaineering can significantly reduce pains, aches, or broken ankles. Conversely, hiking shoes will provide comfort, water protection, and traction.
In other words, hiking shoes are a must-have if you plan to conquer new trails and explore unfamiliar terrains. So, let’s see the top ten choices for men in 2022.
- BEST SHOES FOR HIKING: OUR EVALUATION METHOD
- – MATERIALS
- – AESTHETICS
- – COMFORT
- – COST
- 1. MERRELL MOAB 2 VENTILATOR HIKING SHOE
- 2. OBOZ FOOTWEAR SAWTOOTH II LOW HIKING SHOE
- 3. HOKA SPEEDGOAT 5 TRAIL SHOE
- 4. SALOMON X ULTRA 3 – MEN’S HIKING SHOE
- 5. NAGLEV UNICO HIKER – BLACK
- 6. LA SPORTIVA SPIRE GTX HIKING BOOT
- 7. KEEN FOOTWEAR TARGHEE III MID HIKING SHOE
- 8. THE NORTH FACE VECTIV EXPLORIS MID FUTURELIGHT™ SHOE
- 9. ADIDAS TERREX FREE HIKER GORE-TEX HIKING SHOES
- 10. ARC’TERYX AERIOS FL GTX SHOE
We tested dozens of models, traversing thousands of miles to find the best hiking shoes money can buy. Of course, we applied the same set of criteria for each review, making the process fair and transparent. Here are the vital elements for separating the best hiking shoes from the rest.
As expected, it all starts with fabrics and materials used in manufacturing. After all, hiking and trail running shoes must be as durable as possible to take you through rugged terrains without hassle. And so, we double-checked the components, primarily the upper, outsole, midsole, and laces.
Admittedly, all hiking shoes look the same after years of wear and tear, especially after going through many muddy areas. Yet, we all want to look presentable at the Start line or when meeting our friends for a light stroll down the nearby trail. We looked at the colors, shapes, and other design features to find the most attractive shoes for hiking.
Of course, we spent most of our time assessing comfort and finding the comfiest shoes for outdoor adventures. In other words, our experts looked at the responsiveness and bounciness provided by the midsole while also checking the support given by the ankle or heel areas.
Finally, we should mention that the budget covering our selection of hiking shoes comprises various price tiers. Therefore, the models we bring in this top ten list cover budget-friendly and high-end models, in no particular order. Then again, we tried to present only the ones offering the best price to value ratio.
To start the list in style, we’ll first visit a 40-year-old company in Rockford, Michigan. After all, Merrel is an iconic American brand with a diverse portfolio of products, including hiking boots, socks, sandals, hoodies, t-shirts, and backpacks. The award-winning Moab 2 Ventilator is the perfect example of Merrell’s craftsmanship, and it more than deserves a place among the best hiking shoes in 2022.
At first glance, the second iteration of Moab looks like any other Merrell shoe. Yet, this model brings several improvements, including best-in-class comfort and heavy-duty leather. These ventilated hiking shoes also feature a supportive footbed and the famous Vibram traction.
Believe it or not, more than 20 million people have worn Moab hiking shoes since their inception. The secret lies in high-quality suede leather and a mesh upper, which provide excellent breathability and ventilation. Meanwhile, the innovative, closed-cell foam tongue will keep the debris out, allowing you to hike without discomfort.
In addition, we should mention the contoured footbed with zonal arches and comfortable heel support. The cushioning in the heel adds stability while absorbing shocks and giving a bounce to your step. Also, the rugged, 5-mm lugs will provide traction over any terrain.
Next, we’ll head over to Bozeman, Montana, to see what’s going on at Oboz Footwear. After all, they have an 18-million-acre laboratory dedicated to manufacturing premium gear for hikers, walkers, anglers, bikers, runners, and anyone in between. Oboz Footwear is remarkably durable, and the same goes for the Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoe.
Over the years, the Sawtooth model grew into an outdoor classic. The improved version will take even the most inexperienced hikers through inhospitable terrain. At the same time, these sturdy shoes have an attractive design thanks to high-end Nubuck leather.
Since Oboz is an eco-conscious brand, they plant a tree for every pair of shoes sold. So, there are more reasons for considering the award-winning Sawtooth II as your next low-profile hiking shoe. Also, this model will provide top-quality breathability thanks to mesh holes in the leather upper.
The coolest part of these hiking shoes is the 3D molded heel. This element works well with the extra-grippy sole, keeping the Sawtooth II in place. On the inside, the proprietary insole contours the foot and delivers an unmatched feel for relaxing hiking or walking experience.
Founded in 2009, Hoka One One is among the youngest names on this list. Nonetheless, this French brand quickly grew into a leader in the athletic shoe market, although it operates under the umbrella of Deckers Brands. Hoka exploded in popularity by introducing the Speedgoat model named after the legendary athlete Karl Meltzer.
And so, we bring you the fifth version of the Speedgoat trail shoe, a masterpiece of outdoor-oriented design. Interestingly, Hoka offers only two color options for this model, making the eye-catching Speedgoat 5 attractive and modern. More importantly, this hiking shoe weighs only 10.30 ounces!
Yes, the ultra-light Hoka Speedgoat 5 could be the perfect option for ultra runners and long-distance hikers, predominantly because these shoes come at an affordable price. Also, Hoka achieved the ideal balance between responsive and plush cushioning, driving you to go faster with each step.
Hoka claims they based Speedgoat 5 on a new platform, creating a trailblazer and workhorse in a single unit. For instance, Speedgoat 5 shoe has symmetrical cushioning with responsive toe-off. At the same time, the fight generation of Hoka Speedgoat comes at a relatively affordable price. If you need a wallet-friendly shoe for trail running or hiking, Speedgoat 5 should be on your wishlist.
With 75 years of experience in the outdoor industry, Salomon is among the oldest and most renowned names. After Hoka, we again have a French brand, even though Salomon has operated as part of Amer Sports since 2019. The best-selling X Ultra 3 presents everything Salomon is about, including recognizable designs and premium materials.
For instance, this model features the Advanced Chassis system for optimal flexibility and mobility. Besides the insert embedded into the outsole, Salomon X Ultra 3 has a welded upper with stitch-free construction. As expected, this technology offers a glove-like fit and maximum comfort.
Salomon hiking shoes are famous for providing an unrivaled grip on any terrain, and the secret lies in Chevron lugs. They improve traction and penetrate deep into loose dirt or mud. In addition, Salomon X Ultra 3 hiking shoes come equipped with Mud Contagrip for an excellent grip on uneven and loose surfaces.
These hiking shoes are ideal for mixed trails, and Salomon X Ultra 3 is among the best all-around hiking shoes. Besides an aggressive grip, these shoes offer top-drawer comfort and plenty of foam cushioning. For instance, high-performing EVA foam excels with shock absorption, regardless of the terrain.
It’s high time we bring out the big guns. So, the next contender has a reputation for being the most badass adventure shoe in 2022. After all, it’s not every day you see a Kevlar-reinforced shoe with a sleek and minimalist design.
And yet, Naglev, the innovative Italian shoemaking brand, opted for this resilient material and created a one-piece upper for the Unico Hiker shoe. Thanks to seamless construction, Kevlar leaves no weak points, making Naglev Unico Hiker the most protective shoe for hiking or other outdoor activities.
Another creative component separating these shoes from the rest is the wool sock-like insert. This element provides moisture-wicking properties while keeping the foot warm and cozy throughout the day. Of course, the heavy-duty Naglev Unico Hiker outdoor shoes are 100% waterproof.
On the other hand, these shoes are also super-comfy and supportive. The footbed molds to the foot, creating a customized fit, while the rubber outsole keeps the shoe flexible. Likewise, the outsole features a rugged, effective lug pattern to maximize grip in various conditions and terrains.
Admittedly, Naglev Unico Hiker is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about hiking shoes. Nevertheless, this dependable model will get the job done wherever the adventure takes you.
Born in 1928, La Sportiva is an old-style name in the Italian footwear industry. Over the years, the company went from hand-crafted leather boots to modern GoreTex athletic shoes. Nowadays, La Sportiva shoes feature a recognizable style, and you’ll rarely mistake them for hiking shoes from other manufacturers.
So, if you are in the market for an eye-catching shoe for one-day hiking trips, the lightweight La Sportiva Spire GTX is among the best options. Likewise, Spire GTX can be a worthwhile investment for backpackers and mountaineers.
The advanced Nano Cell 2.0 construction is these shoes’ selling point because it offers optimal breathability. Namely, this technology, combined with GoreTex Surround channels, creates an aeration network within the midsole and footbed.
Aside from these ventilation outlets, La Sportiva hiking shoes feature a patented STB control system for a comfortable and snug fit. At the same time, the lightweight Spire GTX model comes equipped with a Vibram XS Trek system for excellent traction and grip.
The low-cut La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoe provides 360-degree breathability and top-quality traction thanks to the improved Impact Brake System. For that reason, these backpacking shoes will meet most users’ needs, primarily because a pair of Spire GTX weighs only 15 ounces!
Founded in 2003, KEEN is a relatively young, Oregon-based footwear and accessories brand. Early after the company’s inception, the famous Newport sandals took the world by storm and attracted millions of customers. These days, KEEN continues to run at the same pace, designing one quality shoe after the other.
The third iteration of the robust Targhee III more than deserves a spot on this list because it can handle all-terrain activities. Despite its rugged looks, the Targhee boot offers maximum comfort and breathability. Thus, it’s on a mission to take your backpacking or mountaineering game to new heights.
Primarily, KEEN opted for high-performance leather upper and a durable rubber outsole. The quick-dry lining and a removable PU insole also help while on the trail and provide long-lasting comfort.
The dependable Targhee III hiking boot offers increased traction by featuring multi-directional, 4mm lugs. Likewise, the injected TPU heel ensures stability and support on soft and hard surfaces.
KEEN Targhee III also has an anatomical footbed design for top-drawer arch support. We should also mention the proprietary waterproof membrane because it will let the vapor out while preventing water from getting in.
North Face is another legendary outdoor brand founded 54 years ago in San Francisco. Nowadays, North Face has its HQ in Denver, Colorado, serving a worldwide audience with premium outdoor clothing and sports equipment. For example, the VECTIV Exploris boots are a perfect example of this renowned brand.
The sleek and elegant North Face VECTIV hiking boots will help you reach new peaks while looking cool and modern. The VECTIV Exploris model is among the best-looking hiking boots in 2022. You can choose between two color combos.
Then again, these hiking shoes offer more than attractive looks, starting with Sole Unit VECTIV technology for maximizing your energy on the trail. In addition, the patented Surface Control outsole optimizes traction and propels the hiker forward. The same goes for the Rocker geometry midsole, which offers unmatched forward propulsion.
We should also mention the OrthoLite footbed and the single-density 3D TPU underfoot, providing the North Face VECTIV Exploris with multi-directional stability. Meanwhile, the durable Cordura ripstop mesh in the upper gives these shoes remarkable abrasion resistance. All in all, it’s almost impossible to find a flaw with the well-built North Face VECTIV Exploris Mid Futurelight shoes for hiking, backpacking, or trail running.
We’ve all heard about the famous Dassler brothers and the split that triggered the fierce rivalry with Puma. Moreover, Adi Dassler founded Adidas in 1949, after the relations with his brother Rudolf came to a halt. After that, Adidas kept growing and conquering new markets, gaining a global following.
Since exploration and movement are at the heart of Adidas’ philosophy, it’s not surprising to see that Terrex Free Hiker GORE-TEX shoes provide excellent freedom of movement. As the name says, these hiking boots offer a waterproof performance thanks to the protective GORE-TEX membrane.
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker is among the best hiking shoes for wet conditions because it features the efficient Continental Rubber outsole. At the same time, Adidas opted for the patented Boost technology to create a responsive midsole. Terrex Free Hiker delivers plenty of energy to keep you moving for hours.
Of course, Adidas Terrex hiking shoes offer maximum durability because they feature abrasion-resistant reinforcements. Likewise, the molded toe cap will handle years of wear and tear as you traverse rocky trails and muddy paths. Most importantly, Adidas Terrex Free Hiker delivers next-gen comfort for multi-day hikes or backpacking trips.
Last but not least, we’ll visit a Canadian company with three decades of experience in the business. Like Salomon, Arc’teryx also flies under the Amer Sports banner. Nonetheless, this creative brand remains a force to be reckoned with, and Arc’teryx has more than 80 stores globally.
Arc’teryx has a rich portfolio, and the Aerios FL GTX hiking shoes are among the best-selling models. Even though these premium shoes are best-suited for technical trails, people with varying hiking experiences choose the stylish Aerios. After all, durable yet lightweight GORE-TEX shoes are on everyone’s wishlist.
Aerios FL GTX shoe is also long-distance friendly, given that Arc’teryx opted for a Vibram Megagrip outsole and a compressed EVA midsole. Moreover, this model has an integrated TPU shank. And yet, the Aerios FL GTX shoe weighs only 12 ounces despite these resilient and sturdy components.
As expected, the protective Aerios FL GTX has a waterproof membrane. In addition, these versatile hiking shoes are comfortable, breathable, and fast on any terrain. The optimized ankle support and 4mm OrthoLite 3D insert will improve the points for stability and comfort. Overall, Aerios FL from Arc’teryx has almost no flaws, making this shoe a solid contender for the top spot among the best hiking shoes.
As you can see, hiking, long-distance running, or ultramarathon shoes come in various designs, offering many different features and qualities. The abundance of options makes it tricky to choose the ideal model, but everything depends on your specific needs and preferences.
For instance, Hoka, Nike, or Merrell shoes could be a safe bet for most recreational and professional hikers. Likewise, shoes from Salomon or Keen are among the elite for a reason, and they’ll exceed your expectations in more ways than one.
Either way, the choice is yours, and the best shoes for hiking in 2022 are here to take your game to the next level!