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Boots, Hiking, Men, Women

The Best Hiking Boots For Men And Women Comparison

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outdoorsTrailing, trekking or backpacking boots are a type of footwear that is specifically designed for taking a walk, or taking a hike as some people like to call it. If you are one of those persons that likes to take a hike every once in a while, then a good pair of trekking boots will be your most essential hiking gear. You won’t survive anywhere without decent footwear. It doesn’t matter whether you will go trekking on a trail, foraging in the forest, go on a safari, or climb a mountain. You’re going to need some good walking boots, because this is the most solid investment you can make for yourself if you’re an outdoors person.

There are many different kinds of hiking, hunting, combat and military boots available on the market today. Not all of them are as comfortable as the next one. Not all boots are created alike, you might say. Some people prefer to have boots with steel toes. Other people prefer high cut ones, while others would rather go for low cut ones. A good pair of working boots can also be used for the purpose of taking a hike. There isn’t much difference between boots that were made for working and boots that were made for hiking. They are interchangeable for either working or hiking.

When you’ve got yourself a set of boots for hiking, you’ve got yourself a pair of boots that were made with the intention to provide you with the comfort you so sorely need when you are walking across very long distances in a terrain that could be considered rough. You can do with a simple pair of running shoes when you are simply talking a walk on a well down trodden path. But as soon as you’re going places where rocks are strewn all over the place, a sturdy set of hiking shoes are what you need in order to push yourself through the trip.

High Quality Boots – Why Do You Need’Em?

Whichever footwear you are wearing, you’ve got to make sure that your boots are neither too loose nor too tight. When you put them on too loose, you’re not going to be able to enjoy all of the support that this pair of boots is giving you. When you put them on too tight, you’re going to experience a lot of discomfort needlessly. When putting on your black leather waterproof walking boots, you’ve got to use your common sense in order to determine when they are on just tight enough. Most people, myself included, like to tie the laces, walk a few steps, then retie the laces to make sure the tightness is just right!

runningThe great thing about safety walking boots is that they will last a very long time if you take good care of them. I have a pair of classic leather comfortable backpacking boots from 1982 and I put them on to see if they were still going strong. Turns out they were. I wasn’t entirely surprised, because I had taken such good care of them while I was trekking down many trails during the eighties and the early nineties. I got busy with my career for a little while, but now I’m ready to go back to being more active outdoors again.

My old boots are still doing well up in my favorite mountain trails. Not as good as a pair of new ones, though. You can take care of your boots all you like… but when they’re 30 years old, you’re going to notice a decline in quality nonetheless. That’s why I buy a new set of trail walking shoes on Amazon once every few years. It kind of depends on how intensely you use them, ofcourse. And I also use my trekking boots for strolls on the sidewalk when I’m at home in the city. The wear and tear sets in after about a year of using your boots regularly.

Hiking shoes come in all sorts of different colors, shapes, sizes and they come for both men as well as for women. Always make sure that your hike boots have very thick soles, otherwise they’re not entitled to be called trekking boots anyway. Also make sure that you get good ankle support from them, especially if they are high cuts. And most boots are high cuts, ofcourse. Low cut boots are actually just shoes if you ask me. But who am I to judge?

Because of the fact that the most comfortable high end trekking boots  made in the usa will give you a lot of support all by themselves, you don’t really need to put on thick socks anymore. As a matter of fact, putting on thick socks can make you feel pretty cramped in there. Sometimes, less is more. And that is indeed the case with socks and boots. It’s better to wear thin socks instead. Don’t make the whole outdoor lifestyle any harder on yourself than it already is. This is especially true when you’ve got inflamed heels. In that case, you’re going to need trailing boots for plantar fasciitis.

And in case you just so happen to have plantar fasciitis… be sure to take that condition seriously. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Outdoor hiking is an incredibly popular pastime that is gaining popularity with each and every passing year. There are now so many boot manufacturers that it’s not even funny anymore. It can be hard to choose which ones will be the most suitable for you. But the truth is that most brands are actually pretty good. You have to look hard in order to come across a boot that’s low quality. Among the best trailing boot brands are:

  • Hi-Tec
  • Timberland
  • Merrell
  • Columbia
  • Salomon
  • Nevado
  • Keen
  • Danner
  • Northside
  • Teva
  • New Balance
  • Ahnu
  • Vasque
  • La Sportiva
  • Wolverine
  • Scarpa
  • Pemo
  • Lowa
  • Etc.

red lacesAny of these brands will do fine whether you want to go backpacking, hunting, mountaineering or climbing a big hill. However, when you know upfront which sort of terrains and climates you will be walking, trekking and hiking in, then it pays off to carefully select the type of shoe or boot that you’ll want to buy.

If you are going to be active in dry climates and rocky paths that aren’t so rugged anymore because they are well trodden, then you’ll want to go for a good pair of trail shoes.

If you are going to be going up a very steep incline, or you’ll be walking in muddy paths a lot, then the best light weight hiking shoe will be the so called trail hiker.

If you are going downright mountain climbing or walking in the hills with a big, burdensome backpack to accompany you, then you will definitely wanna go for mountain boots.

As expected, prices go up when you are shopping for high end trail shoes. But you usually do get what you pay for. It’s best to spend more money on high end boots, because they will last longer. In case you’re gonna be cheap, expect to have to buy a new set of boots once every year.

High Quality Boots – What To Look For In Your Hiking Footwear?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou will always want to go for high quality backpacking boots. So what exactly constitutes a high quality trekking boot?

If you are really serious about buying something that is high quality, then you will have to realistically assume that you are going to have to spend at least $100. You can definitely get good boots for around $75, but those are considered budget boots. If you buy a budget boot, then do so because you are going on your first hike and you haven’t quite figured out yet whether hiking is a good sport for you.

However, when it turns out that you really like hiking and you want to make it a part of your life, then it is recommended that you buy boots above the $100 mark. From hereon, you can find all the best quality camping boots. The higher the price you pay, the more quality you will get for it in return. Higher priced boots do not fall apart within the first year. Far from it. Even when you use top quality trail boots regularly, year in year out, then you can expect them to last for many years.

Because of the high durability of top quality boots, a lot of people that I know not only wear them when they hit the trail. They also wear them casually in their every day lives. I myself have done this as well. A lot of people never stop to think that hike boots can actually look pretty fashionable, next to being highly functional.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this poor economy, the best thing you can do for yourself… is to make good investments. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that a high quality $150 boot costs twice as much as a low quality $75 boot. But what most people do not know, is that the high quality one will outlast the low quality one by a pretty wide margin. The high quality stuff will easily last 3 to 4 times longer than the low quality stuff.

The difference is all in the materials used. Lower quality footwear is never made of the highest grade leather, whereas the higher quality footwear is usually made of (nubuck) leather, which is an extremely sturdy material. Leather boots will often require a bit of breaking in. It’s a bit of a hassle, but when you have boots that require breaking in… then you can bet your behind that you’ve got yourself a high quality leather hiking boot. Leather is so incredibly tough that it will last for what seems like a century.

So in conclusion, you can rest assured that buying high quality is always going to be the better investment when it comes to boots. You will get a lot more bang for your buck in the long run. Don’t be a sucker and keep buying $75 boots every single year. The cost of your boots is going to be adding up over the year. And it doesn’t need to, because you can simply go for the $150 and get real quality instead!


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About the author


Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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12 thoughts on “The Best Hiking Boots For Men And Women Comparison”

    • Hi Seng,

      Because I didn’t put them on there.

      It’s a good suggestion, though. I might put’em on there in a future update.

      Thanks for the suggestion!



  1. I really question your skill level and experience.
    You included manufacturers like HiTec but no La Sportiva or Danner?

    …Crispi, Kenetrek, Limmer, blah blah blah.

    I was a gear tester for a long time(both for review and r&d) and have been planting my feet on terra firma for north of 35yrs all over the globe.

    I wouldnt touch 80% of the boots on your list nor would anyone who has a clue and actually is looking for a solidly manufactured boot.


    They make socks.

    One company you list is a company who steals other manufacturers designs.

    Seriously, this list looks like you went through Amazon sales for a qtr and took the top sellers from there & deemed them the best.

    If you are seriously listing Nevados and the like you dont have a clue.

    Feel free to email me. I will be more than happy to help you get dialed in.

    Its very obvious you are trying but lets be honest.

    Your list is a mess.

    • Hi Loco,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on my site.

      I’ve edited the article to apply your suggested fixes.

      Feel free to dial me in right here in the comments.



    • Hi Eric,

      You very well might be right about that. This is an old page that is in dire need of an update.

      Once I find the time to update it, I will be sure to select more suitable photos.

      Thanks for taking the time to bring this to my attention.



  2. Zamberlan. Expensive yes but wow .
    I have the 1023 NW Norwegian welted boots.
    Absolutely love them.

  3. wonderful post about the hiking boots. i am a trekking guide in Nepal. The most about my spending is on hiking boot. I would like to have best boots which i but a year ago and its going really well. but it does not look attractive like show here in pictures.

    • Hi Nabin,

      Are you saying the pictures look more attractive than the real thing?

      I have yet to see a hiking trail where this is the case. But, oh well…



  4. I’m a tall, “no longer young” woman and am on my second pair of Keen Targhees. FYI your feet spread out over the years and since I was already a women’s size 10 I now have to wear men’s Keens. I’ve been backpacking since my late teens and have banged up feet, knees and ankles along the way and at least for me there’s nothing like Keens. Now please do a list on hiking shoes.


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