Hiking boots are an important piece of gear for any outdoor enthusiast. They provide stability and a secure footing while hiking on uneven terrain, providing you with the best chance of avoiding injury. Hiking boots also protect your feet from the elements, keeping them warm and dry. This guide to men’s hiking boots will help you find the best Fall hiking boots for your Autumn adventures.
What features to look for in Fall hiking boots
With shorter days and cooler temperatures, Fall is a great time to explore the outdoors, especially if trees change color in your area. A quality pair of hiking boots will help ensure you have a great hiking experience, whether going for an easy stroll or a more strenuous trek. Fall weather can sometimes bring different hiking conditions than in other seasons. Here are a few features to look for when shopping for Fall hiking boots.
Fit and Comfort
First and foremost, you’ll want a hiking boot that fits properly. The boot fit should be snug but still allow you to move your toes comfortably while wearing socks. If the boot is too tight or too loose, it will not be effective in providing support while hiking and could cause uncomfortable blisters or other discomforts.
Just as importantly, your Fall hiking boot should feel comfortable, not just when you stand in them, but as you walk around in them. You’ll potentially be walking miles in these boots, and comfortable boots allow you to move more easily and walk long distances without pain or discomfort in your feet. The most comfortable hiking boots provide good cushioning and support throughout the foot and ankle areas. Even the most cushioned hiking socks cannot make an ill-fitting and poorly cushioned boot comfortable.
When buying hiking boots, it’s best if you can try them on in person and take into account your foot’s width, length, and arch shape. If heading in-store isn’t convenient for you, many brands offer easy returns on online purchases.
Waterproof and Breathable Materials
Hiking in wet socks or hiking boots is not fun. In cooler weather, having wet feet can actually be dangerous! That’s why we recommend you buy hiking boots that are waterproof.
Waterproof and breathable materials are important features to look for in Fall hiking boots because they will help keep your feet dry and comfortable during wet weather conditions. Waterproofing will protect your feet from rain, snow, or other elements that may be encountered while hiking in the Fall. Water-resistant materials will help prevent water from entering through the seams of the boot, while breathable materials will allow moisture vapor to escape so you don’t feel suffocated by excessive dampness.
Hiking boots should also have a synthetic lining to wick away sweat and keep your feet cool in warm weather conditions. Synthetic linings are often treated with waterproofing or breathability properties so that moisture does not build up inside the boot over time.
Finding boots that are both waterproof and breathable is essential for comfort during Fall hikes.
Good Traction and Durable Outer Sole
Traction is essential for hiking boots. Good traction helps prevent you from slipping on different terrains. For a boot to have good traction, it must have a solid grip on the ground. A strong grip allows you to walk easily and confidently over terrain that might be slippery. To help get a gauge of how good a boot’s traction will be, look at the tread. A tread with good traction will have deep grooves along with a lot of small, closely-packed grooves. A boot with deep treads won’t slip on wet or muddy ground, but a boot with shallow treads will be more likely to slip.
The outer sole of the boot should also be made of a quality material that can handle a lot of wear and tear. Most premium hiking boots use a durable rubber for the hiking boot’s outer sole. A good outer sole is critical to protecting your feet from sharp objects and debris on the path. Avoid foam or other soft-soled hiking boots that will only break down on hiking trails. You don’t want to be stuck in the wilderness with sole-less boots.
Support for your Foot and Ankle
Hiking boots should provide support for your feet so that you can walk and hike comfortably. Ideally, you’ll want your hiking boot to support your arch and ankle.
Hiking boots should provide support for your feet so that you can walk and hike comfortably. Ideally, you’ll want your hiking boot to support your arch and ankle. If a shoe doesn’t provide adequate support for your foot and ankle, you may experience pain or fatigue when walking or hiking. A good arch support will help your foot maintain a natural shape while walking. Some hikers choose to buy boot inserts for additional arch support.
Proper ankle support is especially important if you’re hiking on uneven terrain or walking through streams, rivers, and other water sources. Good ankle support helps prevent ankle sprains or other injuries.
Weight of the Hiking Boot
If you’re backpacking with a load in your pack, you don’t want to add unnecessary weight to your hiking boots. You need to carry the weight of your boot with each step. And after a few miles, you can really start noticing that weight. There’s an old backpacker’s adage that one pound on your feet equals about six pounds on your back. That’s why it’s good to look for lightweight hiking boots that won’t weigh your feet down. Generally, your hiking boot should be 2.5lbs or less. Avoid hiking boots heavier than 3lbs for Fall hikes unless they’re specific to the conditions you’re hiking in (such as heavy snow or cold temperatures.)
Different Types of Hiking Boots
The best fall hiking boots for men vary depending on the type of hike planned. If you are looking to do a day-hike, then any kind of boot will work. However, if you are hiking for more than a day, you’ll want boots that can withstand the miles. Generally, Fall hiking boots fall into one of three categories.
Traditional backpacking or hiking boots are made from durable leather or other sturdy materials. While heavier than nylon or mesh, these materials provide better protection for your feet while you’re out hiking. They’re also built to help handle and support the extra weight of a full pack, so you’ll experience less foot pain at the end of a long trek. Hiking and backpacking boots come in a variety of styles and sizes and are often the most popular type of boot for backpackers.
They generally have stiffer midsoles and higher ankle supports to handle on-or-off-trail treks. Because they’re made from more durable materials, backpacking and hiking boots can also handle a lot of wear and tear.
Hiking or backpacking boots are your best bet when you’re out on the trail for longer distances, over rough terrain, or both. A good pair of hiking boots will last you for years.
Day Hiking Boots
Unlike backpacking, which can include multi-night treks across difficult terrain, day hikes are typically shorter, easier trails with little or no elevation change and short distances between destinations. If you’re only planning on doing day hikes, then a day hiking boot might be the best option for you. Day hiking boots are great for those who are more casual hikers who still want mid to high cut ankle support.
Day hiking boots are lighter, have more flexible soles, and are less bulky than backpacking boots. They’re also made of lighter materials to provide all-day comfort and stability on the trail.
Some day hiking boots have a no-sew lining and are waterproof, which makes them perfect for rainy hikes and streams. The breathable mesh makes it easier to cool off on a hot day, while the rubber sole provides traction in wet conditions.
The lightweight design of day hiking boots means they’re made of slightly less durable materials when compared to backpacking boots, which is why they aren’t ideal for long, rough hikes.
Hiking shoes are another type of hiking boot to consider for day hikes. These ultralight hiking boots look more like shoes, hence the name hiking shoes. Hiking shoes provide good traction and support for walking – or even running -on the trails. Many find the lightweight design more comfortable to walk in since the hiking shoes don’t weigh you down as much as traditional hiking boots.
Hiking shoes are generally made with more flexible outer soles and do not have any ankle support.
Hiking shoes are a great choice if you’re just taking day hikes, but they’re not the best option for multi-day backpacking trips. They’re also a popular alternative to a trail runner for those who want a little extra protection on their runs.
What are the best men’s boots for hiking in the Fall?
The best boots for hiking in the Fall are ones that can handle the varying weathers of the season, while still providing proper support and comfort. Ideally, you’ll want a boot that has a durable rubber outer sole and is made with waterproof or water-resistant materials. A rubber sole with a good treat will help protect your feet and provide traction on uneven surfaces. Waterproof materials will help keep your feet dry and comfortable in inclement weather. Here are our top picks for the best men’s hiking boots for Fall backpacking and hiking treks.
Best Overall Fall Hiking Boot for Men:
The best Men’s hiking boot for fall is one that provides good stability and protection, is waterproof, and can handle a variety of terrain. It should also be comfortable. With these things in mind, we think the Salomon Quest 4D Mid GTX 4 is the best overall hiking boot for men. The Quest 4D offers enhanced stability and support with an improved foot chassis. It’s made with GORE-TEX and a special water repellent treatment to keep your feet dry. And, the All Terrain Contagrip of the Salomon Quest 4D Mid GTX 4gives you a secure grip on wet, dry, hard, or loose surfaces.
Best Men’s Hiking Boot for Bushcraft and Camping
If you’re going backpacking, camping, or doing bushcraft, then you’ll want a versatile hiking boot with a durable, rugged design. The Vasque St. Elias FG GTX Men’s Hiking Boot is a great choice for men who want to explore the backcountry. It has a full-grain leather upper, which provides the most durability and protection, although it means it isn’t the most lightweight hiking boot. These boots have Gore-Tex waterproofing, so you can hike through wet weather or terrain with confidence. The leather upper is durable and comfortable, while the Vibram outsole provides excellent protection and traction over a variety of surfaces.
Starting at $199.95
Best Budget-Friendly Hiking Boot for Men
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly hiking boot that won’t break the bank, consider the Merrell Men’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot. One of the best-selling hiking boots on the market, this mid-height waterproof hiking boot delivers good fit and comfort levels. While not ideal for serious hikes or multi-day backpacking, it’s great for casual day hikes or light backpacking.
As low as $95.99
Best Men’s Day Hiking Shoe
Hiking boots for day hikes are designed to provide comfort on easier levels of terrain and shorter, one-day hikes. For day hikes, we like the Mens’ La Sportiva TX4 Hiking Shoe. It has leather uppers for long-lasting durability and comfort. The Vibram Megagrip outsoles give it enhanced stability and traction while the wider fit on the forefoot improves comfort.
Starting at $140.00
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet
Wide feet are a common problem for men, and finding hiking boots that fit can be difficult. We like the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Men’s Wide Hiking Boots. This X Ultra 4 is specially designed with a wider fit to accommodate those who need a quality mid-cut, waterproof hiking boot for wide feet.
Starting at $164.95
What are the benefits of hiking boots?
A quality pair of hiking boots should be the foundation of any backpacker’s or hiker’s gear kit. There are a myriad of reasons why you should use hiking boots for you hikes, as opposed to traditional walking or athletic shoes.
Hiking boots provide support and stability
Hiking boots provide stability by providing support in the heel and ankle area. This prevents ankle injuries and supports your foot as you hike. Additionally, they help stabilize your foot while hiking so that you can walk with more confidence and control.
Many people choose to hike in hiking boots because they offer great protection against blisters and other foot injuries.
Hiking boots provide traction
Hiking boots provide traction by providing a surface that is non-slip and stable. This allows the hiker to walk on a variety of types of terrain without fear of slipping and falling.
When hiking in slippery or rocky conditions, traction is essential for preventing falls. By providing a sturdy tread with good traction, hiking boots allow hikers to move confidently on terrain that may be difficult or dangerous to navigate without them. In addition, hiking boots protect the feet from rocks and other sharp objects that may be encountered on a hike.
Hiking boots are durable
Durable hiking boots provide protection for the feet while hiking. Hiking boots are made from tough materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear which makes them perfect for outdoor activities like backpacking and hiking, which can involve a lot of walking on rough terrain.
How to choose the right hiking boots for your Fall hike
Now that we’ve covered some important features to look for in hiking boots, here are a few tips on choosing the best boot for hikes during the Fall.
Consider the climate and terrain
When choosing hiking boots, it is important to consider the climate and terrain where you will be hiking. For example, if you are going to be hiking in cooler weather conditions, you may want a boot with more insulation. Conversely, if you have warmer Fall weather, you’ll want hiking boots with good ventilation to help your feet will stay cooler.
Consider the type of terrain that your planned hike will involve as well – for example, if you plan on hiking through dense forest, over snow-covered trails, or easier lo-elevation gain hikes. If you’re doing easier day hikes, you may opt for a lightweight hiking shoe as opposed to sturdier and heavier backpacking boots designed for multi-day hikes.
Consider your desired level of support
Different types of boots provide varying levels of support. When choosing hiking boots, it is important tos elect the boot that best matches your desired level of support. Different types of boots provide varying levels of support, which can be broken down into three categories: lightweight, medium-weight, and heavy-weight.
Lightweight boots (or hiking shoes) are designed for short hikes and offer minimal support. These boots are good for beginners who want an easy time walking on more even terrain or for people who don’t plan on doing serious hiking in the Gall season.
Medium-weight boots (or traditional hiking boots) provide moderate levels ofsupport and are suitable for most hikers. They’re ideal for those who want to venture out on longer trails or hike during inclement weather conditions such as rain or snow.
Heavy-weight boots (or backpacking boots) offer the mostsupport and are best suited for experienced hikers who plan on doing strenuous activities such as scrambling up steep hillsides or crossing rivers/creeks while hiking trailheads.
Selecting the right type of boot depends on your desired level of support and what type of terrain you will be hiking on. It’s important to try different brands and models to find the perfect fit before purchasing them online.
Consider the length of your trek – Will it be an Easy Day Hike or a Multi-Day Hike
The best hiking boot for you may depend on the types of hikes you plan on wearing them on. People look for different things in a hiking boot depending on how long or strenuous their planned hike.
Easy Day Hikes: These are short hikes that can be completed in a single day. They are typically easy to moderate in difficulty and have little to no elevation gain or rough terrain.
Multi-Day Hikes: These are longer hikes that may require more than one day to complete. They can be more challenging, including steeper trails and rockier terrain, but offer greater rewards for those who are up for the challenge.
Make sure to choose hiking boots that will fit your needs and the type of hike you’re planning on taking them on.
Choose durable and quality materials
Hiking boots are often subjected to a lot of wear and tear, so it is important to choose boots that are made from durable and quality materials. Boots made from durable materials will protect your feet against weather conditions such as rain, snow, and ice. In addition, boots made from quality materials will last longer and provide better foot support.
Generally, hiking boots with leather uppers are the most durable, but it’s not as light or breathable as other options. Synthetic leathers or nylon mesh fabric uppers are lighter and dry faster, but they may not last as long as all-leather boots.
What are the best brands of Fall hiking boots?
There are many brands of hiking boots available in the market today. We’ve picked a few of the top hiking boot brands that are trusted to provide quality and reliable hiking boots.
Salomon is a highly reputable brand of outdoor sports equipment, footwear, apparel, and gear. They have been in the industry for over 80 years with their headquarters located in France. Their range includes hiking boots that are perfect for any type of terrain.
What makes Salomon hiking boots stand out?
Salomon is a trusted brand among hikers and is known for their sleek, lightweight designs and high-quality materials. Their boots feature unique Contagrip® outsole technology that they developed to help maximize grip and traction across different terrain types. Many of Salomon’s hiking boots have a GORE-TEX upper. GORE-TEX provides durable waterproofing, breathability, and windproofness.
Merrell is a brand of hiking boots that are designed to provide comfort and performance. Having been around since 1986, Merrell boots are some of the most popular hiking boots on the market, and for good reason – they’re both comfortable and functional. The company offers a variety of different models that are perfect for a variety of different levels of hikes.
What are Merrell hiking boots known for?
Merrell hiking boots are known for being a more budget-friendly option in a quality hiking boot. Their boots offer Vibram outsoles for long-lasting durability. The Merrell Men’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a popular choice for casual day hikers or hikers on a budget.
Keen is an American footwear brand founded in 2003 and based in Portland, Oregon. Keen’s products are designed for comfort, durability, and performance. From insulated hiking boots to waterproof boots to hiking shoes, they offer a variety of hiking boots to keep your feet protected, supported, and dry.
What makes Keen hiking boots special?
One of the things Keen hiking boots are known for is having a wider toe box. The wider toe box gives your toes more room to move, ensuring comfort and breathability. Many of Keen’s hiking boots feature a rubber toe bumper – a feature Keen is known for – that offers additional protection for the toes.
Vasque is another reputable brand among hikers that has been around since the 1960s. They are known for making classic, high-quality leather hiking boots for hiking and backpacking. Their boots feature a variety of technologies like Vibram soles and GORE-TEX waterproofing.
Why do people like Vasque hiking boots?
Generally, hikers who like Vasque hiking boots prefer the more durable construction and foot and ankle protection provided by Vasque’s leather hiking boots.
How to Break in Your Hiking Boots
Experienced hikers will tell you that it’s important to break in your hiking boots properly. Breaking them in will make them more comfortable and help them last longer. It can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks to break in your hiking boots, depending on the type of hiking boot you’re using and the length of hike you’re planning. Here are a few tips for breaking in your hiking boots:
1. Start by wearing them every day around the house. Try to wear the same socks you plan on wearing when you’re hiking.
2. After you’ve broken them in initially at home, it’s time to head outside with your hiking boots. Nothing too serious – just small walks around the neighborhood or running errands. Gradually start walking on different surfaces (grass, dirt, rocks) while wearing the boots to get a feel for how they respond and adjust their fit as needed. You can gradually increase the distance of these trips as the boots get broken in.
3. Finally, it’s time to take the boots on a “test” hike. Find an easy (and short) day hike that has a variety of terrains. If you’re breaking in the boots for more serious elevation changes, you should also choose trails that offer elevation gains.
You’ll know your hiking boots are broken in when the boot fits comfortably snug around the foot, doesn’t rub uncomfortable across any joints or toes, and you don’t experience any pain after wearing them.
How to Care for Hiking Boots
Whenever you hit the trails, it’s inevitable that your hiking boots will get dirty. But just because they’re made for trails, it doesn’t mean you should let your hiking boots stay dirty when you get back from your hike. In fact, properly caring for your hiking boots and keeping them clean will help extend their life so you can wear them longer. Here are some tips for caring for your boots.
To clean the fabric or upper portion of your hiking boot:
- Remove the hiking boot laces and use a dry brush to gently remove dust and dirty.
- If needed use a boot cleaner or warm water and a mild dish soap for additional cleaning. Make sure the cleaner doesn’t contain bleach, additives, or other chemicals that could damage the fabric or waterproofing seal.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water, remove the insoles, and let everything air-dry separately. You can speedy up the drying process by stuffing newspapers into the boots, replacing the paper whenever it’s damp.
To clean the outer soles of your hiking boot:
- Use a brush to dislodge rocks and caked-on dirt and mud from the treads.
- If needed, soak the bottom of the boot (just the outersole) in water to help soften stubborn dirt clumps.
After you’ve cleaned your boots, store them away from heat and moisture to prevent damage during storage.
How much do Men’s hiking boots cost?
The price of Men’s Hiking boots can range depending on a lot of factors. They can range in price from around $50 to over $500, depending on the type and brand. Most quality hiking boots will cost you somewhere between $150 and $250. All-leather hiking boots are generally more expensive (up to double the price) than those made with other materials.
Remember, hiking boots are a necessary purchase and are a critical part of how comfortable your hike will be. So if you plan on doing any serious hiking or backpacking, don’t skimp!
Where to buy Fall hiking boots?
While it’s generally a good rule of thumb to buy your hiking boots in a brick-and-mortar store, more and more stores are now making it easier to buy hiking boots online. Many big box outdoor retailers offer a wider selection of products online and offer convenient return policies if the boot isn’t the perfect fit.
Regardless of whether you buy your shoes at an outdoor recreation store or online, it’s important you test out your hiking boots by putting them on and walking around. Make sure the boot feels comfortable before making your final decision.
The Bushcraft Basecamp Men’s Hiking Boot store makes it easy to browse all of the best hiking boot brands and styles in one place.
Hiking Boots to Avoid
As you’re shopping for hiking boots for your upcoming trips outdoors, here are a few things to avoid.
Hiking boots that are too big
Hiking boots that are too big can cause ankle and foot injuries. When the boots are too big, the toes and heel of the boot don’t fit snugly against each other, which can cause them to slip and twist while hiking. This can lead to sprains, strains, or fractures in the ankle or foot.
When hiking boots are too big, they tend to move around a lot on your feet. This movement can put pressure on your ankles and feet which could lead to pain.
To avoid these types of injuries, make sure that you buy hiking boots that fit snugly against your feet and ankles. You should also try on a few pairs before you buy them so that you can find ones that fit perfectly.
Hiking boots that are not comfortable
Hiking boots that are not comfortable can cause a lot of pain and discomfort when worn for an extended period of time. There are a few factors that contribute to hiking boots being uncomfortable. First, the boot design typically does not allow for enough ventilation. This means that sweat will build up inside the boot, leading to excessive moisture and bacteria growth. Second, the boots may be too tight or too stiff. This can cause pressure on the feet and ankles, as well as increased pain and inflammation. Last but not least, hiking boots that are not comfortable often lack cushioning or support. This means that your feet will hurt after extended wear due to repetitive impacts against rocks or hard surfaces.
If you’re planning on hiking in your new boots for an extended period of time, it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable from the start by testing them out before you hit the trails. Wearing more comfortable and well-cushioned socks can help provide some minor improvement in comfort.
Hiking boots that are not waterproof
Hiking boots that are not waterproof can lead to a lot of discomfort and even injury while hiking. Your boots should be able to withstand water up to ankle depth – or as long as the water doesn’t go over the top of your boots. If your boots are not waterproof, they will get soaked in rain, streams, and snow, causing your feet to get wet. If your feet are wet for a long time, you can develop blisters and even hypothermia in cold weather conditions. Additionally, if your feet are wet, you will not have as much traction on the rocks and slippery surfaces that you encounter while hiking.
Some waterproof hiking boots can be more expensive, so many hikers use a waterproofing spray or seal like Nikwax to make them waterproof. Waterproofing your hiking boots will keep you comfortable and safe on your hike this Fall.
If you plan on doing any type of outdoor activity in wet weather conditions, make sure to invest in a pair of waterproof hiking boots!
Final Thought’s About Men’s Hiking Boots for Fall Hikes
Hiking boots are essential for any hiker during the fall, but there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right pair. First and foremost, it’s important to choose boots that fit well and provide adequate ankle support. Secondly, make sure that the boots have a good grip so you don’t slip and fall on the trails. And lastly, be sure to consider weather conditions before making your purchase – if it looks like rain or snow is headed your way, go with waterproof boots instead. With these tips in mind, you’re guaranteed to have an enjoyable hike this season!