OK fellas, if you’re building your kit for a new hiking season and shoes are on your hiking list, this is the article for you! What follows are some suggestions for a variety of shoes, categorized by features, price and recommended usage.
Best All-around—The North Face Ultra 110 GTX
If this shoe is familiar to you, don’t be surprised. For the past few years, it’s essentially been the leader in the world of men’s hiking shoes. It’s for a good reason, too. This shoe performs extremely well! It’s very lightweight and extremely versatile. It also offers a ton of support, and this, combined with the low weight, makes it ideal for hikers that plan to rack up some serious mileage with a pack on their backs. The shoe comes with some serious tread so that it will perform well in a variety of terrain. Truly, though, it’s the comfort level that sets these shoes apart. You can hike all day and even break into a jog if you’d like—these shoes will feel great the entire time.
Most Economical—Vasque Juxt
If you’re looking for a great shoe at a moderate price, the Vasque Juxt is a great choice. It has a full-leather upper that’s very lightweight and made for comfort. The tread will handle a variety of terrain equally well, from flat pavement to rough rock and gravel. The only drawback is that the lining isn’t waterproof, so it certainly won’t perform as well in wet conditions.
Best For Speed-Hiking—Saloman X Ultra 2 GTX
The Saloman X Ultra 2 GTX is built for guys that intend to rack up some serious mileage on the trails. It won’t perform quite as well as the North Face model when it comes to carrying a load in a pack, but if you’re not carrying a lot of weight, this is a great option. It’s a lighter shoe and narrower model, so it works great for scurrying through trails and jogging some flat portions. The rubber used on the sole holds up better than most competitors, so you don’t have to worry about replacing shoes every couple of years.
Most Comfortable—HOKA ONE ONE Tour Summit WP
The HOKA ONE ONE Tour Summit WP is the most expensive model on this list, but if you’re looking for the most comfortable shoe you can find, you likely don’t mind paying for it. The soles are very thick and extremely cushioned. It’s an ideal shoe for day hikes and backpacking trips.
Best Support—Keen Targhee II
The Keen Targhee II offers superior ankle support for a low-cut hiking shoe. It’s not the best choice for those hikers looking for speed, but if you’re carrying a medium to heavy load are more concerned with comfort and support, these shoes are unrivaled. If you’re looking to engage in some multi-day through-hikes, this model is definitely worth checking out.