The 5 Best Men’s Hiking Boots for 2020

The Elevated Male’s 5 for 5 Men’s All Around Hiking Boots Review.

Disclosure: The Elevated Male researched all 5 Hiking boots listed in this article. We compiled our information from fair usage data located on the internet, as well as interviewing friends, family, and casual hikers at state parks in and around the state of Florida. We also looked at manufacturer fact sheets on their respective products. Although that data is always slanted towards their product, we were able to glean manufacturing methods and materials for comparison of each hiking boot.

After compiling all the research, I decided to personally invest in the KEEN Targhee III Mid Leather WP-M Hiking Boot. I’ve had the boot now for about a month. So far, I’ve been very happy with it. It’s comfortable and durable and seems to be built well. It’s really too early to provide anything further about it at this time, but I will say that in the past, I was hesitant to spend high dollars on hiking boots. Not because I’m cheap, but because I felt I wasn’t a “pro hiker” and could suffice with a cheaper model. Well, from that perspective, the old adage is true, “you get what you pay for.” My old hiking shoes, although comfortable, always wore out way too fast and the materials never lasted even though they were a well-known brand and were only used on city streets.

Finally, we were not paid nor did we receive any type of product from any of the manufacturers listed in this article in return for any part of the review. This was solely (no pun intended) our top 5 picks based on what we were looking for in an all-around higher-end hiking boot.

#1 SALOMON Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot

Total User Comments Compiled: 2,173

Overall Rating: 79% Positive.

Sizing: 83% Correct Fit.

Waterproof: Yes. Gore-Tex Protection.

Toe Cap: Yes. Rubber.

Components: Lightweight new buck leather and textile. Vibram outsoles for excellent traction.

Top 5 Positive User Comments:

Appalachian Trail tested. High-quality technical gear with beefy build. A bit stiff at first but felt broken-in pretty quick.

Excellent traction when wet. Vibram soles wear well in all conditions. Extremely comfortable.

Great for rocky climbing or crossing streams. Has breathable waterproof protection against the elements.

Fully wrapped rubber toe cap for extra protection. Great ankle support

Possibly the best boot I’ve ever owned.  

Top 5 Negative User Comments:

Sole separating from shoes after only a few weeks of wear.

Leaked on my first outing. Disappointed in the quality of these Salomon Hiking boots.

Initially very comfortable on my first hike but then I had toe problems no matter on rocky surfaces or flat and straight trails.

Toe guard is coming away from the boot and the tongue is unraveling. Not happy!!

Side of boot is blowing out after only wearing them about 25/30 times. This should not happen for the price I paid ($179.00).

#2 KEEN Targhee III Mid Leather Hiking Boot

Total User Comments Compiled: 2,123.

Overall Rating: 75% Positive.

Sizing: 80% Correct Fit.

Waterproof: Yes. Leather/mesh upper.

Toe Cap: Yes. Rubber.

Components: Lightweight new buck leather and textile. Lugged outsole for secure traction.

Top 5 Positive User Comments:

Very comfortable and have little to no break-in time.

Good looking shoe with comfortable fit.

Excellent grip and good ankle support.

Perfect fit. Comfortable from the beginning. Short to no break in period.

No more tired feet. Highly waterproof in my opinion. Breathable shoe in warm weather.  

Top 5 Negative User Comments:

Color was off from the picture shown. Olive green was more of a dark gray green. Hot in the summer. Not very breathable.

Cheap construction and the materials are not the best quality for the money you spend.

Leather cracking after 2 1/2 months even after using conditioning products on my boots.

Definitely not waterproof. Inquired with Keen if shoe was defective. I was asked to send the shoes back to manufacturer at my own expense. In my humble opinion, that’s just poor service and poor product!

It’s unfortunate that the quality and comfort are not up to the identical model of a few years ago. I used to go for long hikes in the mountains they were great. However, this new model is disappointing. A pity for sure.

#3 VASQUE Breeze Waterproof Hiking Boot

Total User Comments Compiled: 1,160.

Overall Rating: 73% Positive.

Sizing: 76% Correct Fit.

Waterproof: Yes. Gore-Tex Protection.

Toe Cap: Yes. Rubber.

Components: Leather and textile upper. Dual Density EVA footbed for comfort. XSTrek outsole partnership with Vibram.

Top 5 Positive User Comments:

Uses something called XSTrek for the sole which “they say” is an exclusive partnership with Vbram. I guess that’s good.

Have worn for six months. Can’t say enough about how great these Hiking boots are. You won’t regret buying these boots! Super comfortable for long hikes.

Excellent ankle support. So far, I have not been disappointed. Holding up very well with very little wear. Grand Canyon tested with intermittent rain and my feet stayed dry. I’m happy!

Great workmanship and comfort. I’ve known about Vasque for sometime but this is the first pair I purchased. I like the rubber covered toe feature. Not too heavy either.

These Hiking boots have held their own in all sorts of terrain and in all seasons. Excellent in mud and around rivers for fishing. My feet never get cold and I have yet to get wet socks. Great boot.  

Top 5 Negative User Comments:

Entire parts of the sole started to come off after having the boots for a year and less than 40 miles of hiking. Vasque’s quality control and materials have gone down the tube. Pathetic.

Not worth the money. Soles wearing down way too fast. Bought less than six months ago.

Not waterproof as they say they are. Wet feet after a couple of months of use.

Used for hunting and the straps that hold the laces busted. Shoe strings are too short also and it’s hard to double knot them. Save your money and buy another brand.

Disappointing boot. Hurt my feet even after a lengthy break-in period. Also, they’re not at all waterproof. Vasque customer service said I had to deal with Amazon, where I purchased them. Amazon couldn’t help because I was past my return date. I feel like I got screwed big time with these boots.

#4 MERRELL Moab II Hiking Boot

Total User Comments Compiled: 1,652.

Overall Rating: 76% Positive.

Sizing: 86% Correct Fit.

Waterproof: No – Water Resistant.

Toe Cap: Yes. Rubber.

Components: Leather and upper mesh. Vibram sole. “M-Select DRY” prevents odor buildup. Moisture wicking mesh lining. Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability.

Top 5 Positive User Comments:

I have plantar fasciitis and have had no problem whatsoever with this shoe. Very comfortable shoe. Fits well right out of the box. Going to buy a second pair before they’re discontinued.

Recently hiked the Appalachian Trail, with many rocks, slippery terrain and debre of all sorts. I had no problems with traction. The soles were great and protected my feet well. After a few hundred miles the boots really broke in. They actually stretched out quite a bit but a second pair of socks and tightening the laces helped. Highly recommend.

Great for high damp grass. I feel that they have great ankle support. I’m in my 50s and I don’t ever want to roll an ankle on the trail. These boots give me the confidence to tackle any terrain. They breathe well and so far, have kept my feet high and dry. Most comfortable out-of-the-box hiking boot I have ever purchased. 

Actually bought these boots for construction and walking. I needed something that was strong enough around construction sites (I go up and down ladders all day) and also comfortable and durable for all the walking I do around those sites. Wearing heavy construction boots make my feet hurt after a 12 hour day. Anyways, so far so good. Super comfortable and light weight.

Great boot. I wanted a durable, comfortable but heavy-duty hiking boot suitable for all seasons. I feel I got that in the Moab II. 

Top 5 Negative User Comments:

They didn’t last very long.Tremendous disappointment, 4 weeks of daily use and the right boot inside toe started coming apart. Seems like no brand makes good, long-lasting boots any more.

NOT WATERPROOF. Although, now that I have went back and read the fact sheet, it states “Water Resistant”. My left boot started leaking despite having no holes that I could see. For the price, I expected more from Merrell. Good shoe for dry conditions, but when doing some serious hiking, and you want a tough shoe for all sorts of terrain, especially wet areas, this boot doesn’t cut it.

Very comfortable but not waterproof. Wet socks on first hike.

Unbelievably low quality hiking boots. Totally disappointed. The treads are coming apart after only a couple of months use. It said Vibram soles, but they have not worn like any previous shoes I’ve had with Vibram soles. Wonder if they are knock-offs. Don’t buy!

These boots are NOT waterproof. I’ve worn at least 4 pairs of these shoes in the past with no water issues, even walking in creeks up to my ankle bone. This pair however soaked my feet through to my socks in only wet grass. I work outdoors in all kinds of conditions and this version of the Moab boot is not worth the money. Water-resistant maybe but not water proof.

#5 Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Hiking Boot

Total User Comments Compiled: 2,937

Overall Rating: 75% Positive.

Sizing: 89% Correct Fit.

Waterproof: Yes. Waterproof mesh and leather.

Toe Cap: Partial.

Components: Leather, mesh, suede and textile. Advanced Omni-Grip traction sole, TechLite midsole.

Top 5 Positive User Comments:

Comfortable, durable and most important, WATERPROOF!!!

I love these boots! Lasted well for over 8 months, which is good for me. Just bought my 3rd pair and they fit well right out of the box. I realize every foot is different, but for me, these work. Every other hiking boot I’ve bought has killed my feet in one way or another. Super happy.

A well put together boot. Lightweight and comfortable. I might even try them for my carpenter job since they have such great traction.

I’m writing this review after fully testing these boots. Waterproof? YES! Up to my ankle in water numerous times and my feet stayed dry. I have used in all seasons but during winter and spring rains, they were great. Not the best for icy conditions but what shoes are? High quality Hiking boots. I recommend buying.

What a wonderful hiking boot. So far, they’ve kept my feet dry and comfortable. Only had them for a few months, but I am happy. Not as expensive as some of the other brands too. I had alway heard Columbia was a great brand, now I know.

Top 5 Negative User Comments:

I’m very disappointed in these. I bought these Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking boots about a year ago. I use them in wet grass and hiking trails near my home. Have started to leak and my socks are wet especially on the left shoe. Disappointing.

The boots are beginning to separate at the sole. Only had them for a few months. I’m not that hard on shoes – total crap. This appears to be the trend with many shoe manufacturers these days – declining quality with every new model. Won’t buy Columbia again.

After 4 months use, sole is starting to separate from the rest of the boot. Horrible!! Do not buy, super cheap materials.

Not very well constructed. After a few weeks of use one of the shoe soles began de-laminating from the foot bed. They are not a particularly heavy boot either. Good for walking or work around the house but not for serious hiking. They feel cheap.

These boots are the first product I have ever purchased from Columbia and will be surely be my last. I really hate these boots. Terrible fit even after break-in period. I got tons of blisters from them.


We tried to provide you a middle of the road pro and con for each hiking boot, leaving you to make the final decision. Each of these products has certain design characteristics that may or may not appeal to you. The pricing is all over the board too, so shop around to find the right style and price you want in a hiking boot.

All five of the products featured here are fairly good all around hiking boots. They’ll get you to your destination, for the most part, in a comfortable caddy for your tired dogs. They’re all lightweight and made from mostly man-made synthetic materials, aside from a couple that feature parts of the shoe made from cow hide. They all have pretty fair traction too, some with Vibram soles and others with their own fancy-named branded sole.

Keep in mind that everyone’s foot is different and all of these hiking boots are manufactured outside the USA for general consumer use. That means quality assurance is not always a high priority and your foot might not fit into a specific product. Don’t injure yourself if the shoe doesn’t fit correctly. Send it back within the allotted return time try another size or brand. Now if your looking for a custom hiking boot, made specifically for your feet, well, that’s a whole other story. I know for a fact you can get custom cowboy boots tailored for each foot, if you have a fat wallet. In fact, I think that will be our next review article, the 5 best cowboy boots for men. Giddy up.


  1. ExoRank.com February 1, 2020
  2. Robt Vlasaty March 8, 2020
    • åTAK March 10, 2020

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