A Guide to the Best Men’s Hiking Boots
With fall fast approaching and winter not far on the horizon, you are probably looking for new, high-quality protective footwear that will keep your feet moisture-free and comfortable in freezing conditions. Hence, we’ve combed the net for the best men’s hiking boots out there, comparing sole quality, insulation capacity, heel and ankle support, breathability and padding to come up with a list of the best boots available to buy in Canada right now. For the best all-round results and walkability, we’ve concentrated our search on hiking boots that can also double up as snow boots. So, whether you’re taking a day trip in the mountains, doing the rounds in town in winter weather, or taking out the dog, these high-quality, lightweight winter boots will provide adequate protection for 90% of your day-to-day outdoor needs.
Columbia Bugaboot Plus II XTM
The single best hiking boot currently on the market, Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus II XTM, comes out on top thanks to its unique combination of lightweight materials, heavy-duty insulation and great ankle and lower-leg support. Part of the award-winning Bugaboot Series, Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus II XTM goes one better than last year’s model by packing an extra 600 grams of Omni-Heat insulation into an already toasty warm boot. The folks over at Wirecutter even tried test-dunking these boots in an icy water bath, but failed to detect neither leakage nor a significant drop in in-boot temperature.
Columbia’s Bugaboots also have great breathing qualities, meaning that this lightweight, easy to clean hiking boot is going to keep your toes warm through heavy, sweat-inducing exertions. Genuinely waterproof, with a stiff, unyielding 7” inch shaft that offers great ankle and lower-leg support on rocky surfaces, the Bugaboot Plus II XTM can tackle slushy terrain and temperatures well below -25°F. The undisputed king of the trail, its sleek, streamline design gives it a signature appearance that screams quality and performance.
L.L. Bean Men’s Gore-Tex Kangaroo Upland Boots
This stylish, kangaroo leather boot is the ideal pick for those looking for a fashionable, all-around winter option. Featuring a 100% waterproof Gore-Tex liner under a thick layer of tawny Kangaroo leather complete with brass-colored accents, this boot provides great traction over ice and perfect insulation against slush and snow. A 200-gram Thinsulate Insulation polyester provides added warmth under the tough, relatively lightweight kangaroo leather exterior, while still ensuring adequate breathability.
With a 9” inch shaft, these stylish boots provide an added two inches of support as compared to the Bugaboot, and come with a gusseted tongue that ensures that the interior of the boot remains ice and snow-free. These boots are noted to be extremely comfortable and come in different specialty sizes, including wide and extra-wide varieties that fit thick snow-socks and all manner of foot sizes. L.L. Bean’s Kangaroo Upland Boots are certainly one of the best men’s hiking boots on the market and a great option for those looking for fashionable, high-quality footwear.
This burly, weather-battling boot is the ideal candidate for low-temperature excursions to the outdoors. Covered in a tried-and-tested waterproof leather and nylon exterior, this boot is designed to withstand temperatures up to -40°C. Easy to put on and clean, its rubber duck toe and SnowTread rubber traction outsole provides the NationPlus with added grip and toe-feel on rugged and slippery surfaces.
Boasting an inner layer of Thinsulate technology, Kamik’s NationPlus beat more expensive competitors to take home the OutdoorGearLab winter boot test. With a powerful shaft, brass accents and eye-catching suede material on the tongue, Kamik’s NationPlus allies its impressive specs with great design, making it one the best all-around options available.
Lowa Oslo GTX
A versatile winter boot, Lowa’s Oslo GTX is equally suited to day-to-day in-town use and backcountry trails. Stylish and powerful, the Oslo GTX get on the best men’s hiking boots list for its combination of a Gore-Tex waterproof exterior, breathable interior membranes and Partelana fleece insulation technology.
This boot also features a MonoWrap construction designed for added stability on the trail, while its Ultra-grip Al-S II sole will keep your feet happy on long treks. This hiking boot has been voted as one of the best insulated and most comfortable men’s shoes out there. Close-fitting and sporting a trendy, but low-profile brown design with red details, Lowa’s Oslo GTX presents a perfect balance between style and substance.
Keen Summit County III
Designed to navigate the outdoors with ease, these blizzard-proof boots are a great option for hikers who spend lots of time in the wilderness. Built to accommodate wide feet, Keen’s Summit County III boots are best suited for use in deep snow and forest and mountain trails. An ultra-light boot, this model is Keen’s warmest outdoors option and will provide adequate foot protection during any physically demanding fresh air activity.
Fitted with a non-marking rubber outsole for added grip, a wide toe box, 4mm lugs and a waterproof leather exterior, the Summit County III’s interior is lined with a combination of Keen’s exclusive 400-gram insulation and breathing technology. With snug lacing and firm heel and ankle support, your Summit County III’s will provide protection against snow entering the top of your boot, which can be an absolute nightmare in cold conditions. A great option for hikers who are expecting to be outdoors for longer periods.
Vasque St. Elias GTX
This all-terrain hiking boot is built to tackle everything from backcountry roads to thick forests, giving you all the freedom you need on the trail. Vasque’s award-winning boot is custom-designed for backpackers moving through a range of different climates. Its waterproof, full grain nubuck leather exterior provides great protection against the elements, while its feather-light padded midsole lined with EVA cushioning pods ensures unparalleled comfort.
Exclusive Vibram Frontier outsoles with XSTREK compound and matching rubber toe caps boosts grip on slippery surfaces. The high ankle collar and shaft provide the firm ankle support needed to navigate tricky, snow-covered terrain. Built to be super light and requiring little break-in time, Vasque’s St.Elias GTX boot achieves high scores in all test-related metrics, and is the perfect choice on our best men’s hiking boots list for light backpacking.
Asolo Power Matic 200
One of the most heavy-duty hiking boots on the market, Asolo’s Power Matic 200 definitely lives up to its name. With its fully submergible, 100% waterproof exterior providing great protection against moisture, these shoes are noted for their ridiculous durability, comfort, water resistance, traction and stability.
The Power Matic 200 is a heavy and rather clunky boot, and is best used by an experienced hiker or outdoorsperson. Fitted with Vibram soles, strong ankle collars, high torsion capacity and a one-piece leather exterior, the Power Matic 200 offers a blend of comfort and high-power attributes. A throwback to older designs, the Asolo Power Matic is a great option for hikers who are willing to trade added weight for increased shoe durability.
Of course, if leather goes against your values, you still have options. Be sure to check out this round up of the best vegan hiking boots.