We are all looking to find the best men’s lightweight hiking boots.
But, is that the right option?
If you’re going to go on a hike, you might as well do it in style… and with topnotch quality and functionality.
You may have the best camping gear, the latest backpack and the finest sleeping bags and pads, but all those will be useless and your entire camping or hiking experience get ruined if you twist your ankle or have sore feet because your hiking boots failed to live up to the task of “taking you places”.
Choosing Hiking Boots According to Your Needs
So what boots do you need, exactly? Before jumping up and deciding which pair of boots you are going to buy, you must first consider the activity you will need them for because that is largely the deciding factor. Here are the hiking boots options that will be available to you.
Better Options For Best Men’s Lightweight Hiking Boots
Light day hiking shoes
These are made for lightweight hiking or those hiking trips that will last for only a day and with a very little load being carried by the user. As the name clearly states, they are made to be light in weight since the materials used are mostly nylon and light waterproof materials like Gore-tex. Even the soles are soft and light, mostly Vibram, assuring traction and grip on any surface. Anyone wearing them would often feel as though they’re wearing running shoes.
Hiking boots often come in high-cut or mid-cut designs and are intended for hiking trips that would last a little more than a day, like a weekend trip, for example. Although they are high, flexing is not a problem since they can bend easily. Although they are a bit heavier than the light hiking shoes, they are still relatively lightweight, and the materials used are also similar.
When it comes to trips that would last for several days in the country or deeper into the great outdoors while carrying quite a heavy load, you would need more support and durability in your footwear. That is exactly what backpacking boots offer. Made for tougher walks on- and off-trail and for longer trekking periods, their midsoles are made of stiffer materials and instead of nylon or suede, leather is used because of their durability. Naturally, they are heavier than the light hiking boots and the high-cut hiking boots.
The heaviest of the lot, these boots are made for longer hiking trips that will bring the hiker to tougher terrains as he carries an even heavier load. Speaking of tougher terrains, these boots are equipped with midsoles that are designed to be really stiff to make room for crampons when traveling on glacial surfaces. They are mostly made of full grain leather, ensuring the highest level of durability and support in hiking boots.
3 Features That Makes The Difference
It is not enough that your hiking boots will address your exact need at that moment. You also have to consider some features unique to your pair of hiking boots to discern if you will get all the benefits you expect – and deserve – from them.
Consider the boot cut
Should you choose a pair that is low-cut, mid-cut, or high-cut? Again, you would consider the activity. If you’re going on a light hike, it would seem incongruous to be wearing something high-cut, don’t you think?
Conversely, if you go on a hike over uneven terrain or tough trails while carrying a really heavy backpack, you would definitely suffer if you are wearing low-cuts. Aside from the level of comfort being very low, you’d also have debris entering your shoes and inevitably hurting your feet.
For day trips, choose a low-cut boot. If it’ll take you more than a day or two, go for mid-cut, while you will be advised to choose a high-cut for some heavy-duty mountaineering action.
Check out the materials used
Durability is an important feature in hiking boots. Thus you have to make sure the materials used in the upper boot, as well as the soles and other parts of the boot, are made of durable materials.
For mountaineering boots, you need something very sturdy and resist abrasions. Full-grain leather is the primary choice for this purpose.
For lighter boots where breathability is a major consideration, split-grain leather would be a better choice than full-grain.
Other boots make use of suede, polyester, nylon and other synthetic materials, depending on what type of boot it is. Even the soles are considered.
Midsoles are usually made with polyurethane because of their shock-absorbing and cushioning capabilities.
Rubber is the most common choice for the outsoles and Vibram is quite popular among hikers. They offer more traction and grip, something hikers would truly appreciate on a hike.
Make sure the fit is right
This is probably the most important consideration. You may have the boots that are most suitable for the activity and they are the most durable pair there is, with the best possible materials.
However, if they do not fit you, then it’s useless. You would still get shortchanged in the comfort and support department.
Check that the length and width are just right, that you still have room to wiggle your toes but it is not too long or too wide that your feet are sliding within it. Your feet should be wrapped around snugly and securely inside the boots.
The Perfect Hiking Boots
The “Perfect Hiking Boots” do not exist. Or so they say. But if you consider what you need at that point in time for a specific activity, and then factor in all those considerations (fit, materials, cut) in choosing your boots, you will most definitely find the perfect hiking boots – for you.