Hiking boots, despite fashionable appeal for city goers, have a real-world purpose. They need to safeguard your feet as you navigate rugged country. Terrain varies across hiking country, thus the reason for various styles in hiking boots. And let’s be honest. Fashion does come into play. Nevertheless, if you’re shopping for a new hiking boot, you need to consider its application, your budget and the demands of your feet to make the right selection. Here are the new standards and the best hiking boots for men.
Rocks, steep slopes and inclement weather demand the most rugged boot you can find, and Cabela’s meets that demand with the Cabela’s Meindl Men’s Perfekt Light Hikers. The heart of the boot focuses on a four-layer footbed for remarkable comfort. Poron cushioning in the heels helps reduce jolts to joints, and all layers manage moisture to keep feet dry. A waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane forms a barrier to keep feet dry from outside elements. Underneath, a multigrip outsole serves as additional shock absorption combined with EVA midsoles. Outsoles also provide firm contact for safe hiking. The waxed uppers provide extra abrasion protection for extended boot life, and overall weight is 2.9 pounds; price is $239.99. Note: You can also purchase Perfekt Light Hikers in a vented model.
Maybe your hike doesn’t demand a boot with expedition ruggedness. For comfort, lightweight appeal and protection from Mother Nature, look at Cabela’s Men’s XPG 2.0 in the mid configuration. Cabela’s introduced its XPG line of gear for the serious outdoor person. The XPG Hiker takes you farther in comfort with EVA midsoles that cushion trails and wide platforms that guarantee stability. Rubber Vibram outsoles promise limited slippage in any tough terrain. For moisture escape and breathability, the boot includes nylon mesh uppers. Gore-Tex ensures your feet won’t get wet from outside conditions. The mid model retails for $139.99.
Are you looking for a hiking boot that has the feel of a sneaker, but the manliness to handle the outdoors? Check out the Cabela’s XPG Low Gore-Tex Hikers. The low profile equals lightweight at just 1.6 pounds, and Gore-Tex protects your feet from all moisture while offering breathability. The boot also includes TC3 footbeds that have integrated antimicrobial odor defense, plus intense shock absorption with OrthoLite insoles. Fit for Comfort custom booties mold to your feet and stretch at crucial flex points for a tailored fit. And if you do take this boot off-road, the Vibram XS TREK outsole grips wet or rock-strewn trail surfaces with unequal traction. The XPG Low Gore-Tex Hiker retails for $129.99, but shop now for a sale bargain at $84.88.
Sometimes you want a boot you can hit the trail or spend a day in the office with equal comfort. Merrell offers that with its Reflex series in Mid or Low options. All boots include 4.5 mm anatomical footbeds to conform to individual feet. Merrell microinjection heel counters, injection-molded shank supports and compression-molded EVA frames all equal maximum support in uneven landscapes. You’ll stay grounded with Reflex outsoles, and waterproof linings in all models ensure feet will stay dry, despite the forecast, or ground conditions. Mid and Low hikers are stylish in their nubuck/pigskin uppers protected by Benecke Ceraprene toe wraps for double toe protection. If you want a more rugged version, then consider the All-Leather Mid Hiker. Mid models retail for $129.99, Low for $104.99 and All-Leather for $119.99.
Hiking boots give you freedom to traverse the most unforgiving environments. They also give freedom to use the footwear during city escapes and even in the cubicle maze of the office. Regardless of the adventure, pick a winner in the world of hiking boots.
This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s
Hiking photos by Mark Kayser; product images courtesy of Cabela’s