Best Stylish Hiking Boots in 2021 for Men and Women
The Humble Hiking Boot
In 1937, Vitale Bramani began the company, Vitale Sole. It was this company which is credited with developing the hiking boot. Vitale wanted to perfect the perfect walking boots for men and women as two of his friends died tragic deaths while hiking. He believed that these deaths could have been prevented if his friends had the proper shoes.
Fast forward to the 21st century and not only do walking boots for men and women protect a person’s feet and make the hike more comfortable, but they are also a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. No one can afford to be without a pair of designer walking boots.
In this article, we have a look at some of the best stylish hiking boots and which ones are best for hitting the hiking trails in both warm and cold weather.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Boot
When choosing the best hiking boot for you, the first question that you have to ask yourself is: “What am I going to be using the hiking boot for?” There is no such thing as a ‘best’ hiking boot for everyone. What makes such a boot best for you is if it will serve the purpose that you intend for it. For example, if you’re going to be going through rough terrains, you’ll need a different boot from that which you’ll need if you just want to stroll around your neighbourhood. In actual fact, if you’re aiming to use the boots for a technical hike, you’ll need a pair of the best waterproof hiking boots.
Also, you’ll need to figure out how much you want to spend. If you are indeed searching for the best hiking boot for wide feet (and money is no object) or if you’re just really looking for the best budget hiking boot, you’ll need to decide this upfront before you go to the store.
When you’re trying the boots on, make sure that you choose the most comfortable boot that you can. Remember that hikes are rarely short trips - they could range from a day right up to a week-long trip. This means that you need to be happy to wear the boots for the duration of your trip. A boot that doesn’t fit well will cause blisters so you’ll have to give hiking a skip, for a period of time, while they heal. If you continue to wear boots that don’t fit you well, this could lead to more serious problems such as bunions that require surgery to fix. So, it’s super important that your chosen hiking boots fit you well and are comfortable.
Designer hiking boots are made to be solid and offer your feet the maximum amount of protection. There is a piece of plastic that is inserted between the midsole and the outsole, which is known as the shank. If this piece of plastic extends for the entire length of the boot, it becomes more rigid.
The benefit of rigid hiking boots is that when wearing these, the hiker’s heel does not drop when they’re ascending a steep hill. This reduces fatigue in the calf muscle. As a result, you’ll be able to push yourself for longer. If you’re someone who tackles longer and steeper summits, you need to choose boots which are more rigid.
Whether you’re looking for the best hiking boots for mud, the best waterproof hiking boots or the best all-terrain hiking boot, as we said before you need to make sure that it’s comfortable, also, having the right pair of hiking socks will add to your comfort.
If you want to go hiking in the warmer climes, you need to choose a breathable hiking boot. If you don’t have a boot which is breathable, you may find yourself standing in a pool of your own sweat after a strenuous hike.
In terms of hiking socks, make sure that you choose a fabric that is breathable because - if you don’t (but you prefer a boot that is breathable) - your feet will still sweat a lot. Wool is the most popular fabric that hiking socks are made out of as it regulates the temperature of your feet and provides a good amount of cushioning. In addition, wool is antimicrobial, which means that it retains smells less than synthetic fibres. These socks come with quite a hefty price tag, which is why quite a lot of hikers choose to go for cheaper polyester alternatives.
If you’re going to be hiking in snow or are intending to do water crossings, then you definitely need a pair of stylish waterproof hiking boots. In the same way that you’ll be sloshing around in non-breathable hiking boots, during a hike in a warmer climate, if you don’t get a pair of the best waterproof hiking boots for cold-weather hikes, you’ll still end up with a pool in your boots.
The style of boot you choose will be dependent on what type of hikes you want to do. For instance, if you want a pair of hiking boots that are great for walks around your local park or the city centre, then an ankle boot or running shoe will do just fine.
However, if you’re after technical hiking boots, then you should go for a mid-rise or high boot as this will provide you with the greatest amount of ankle support and will also protect your calves from bugs.
First things first. The material of your boots affects durability, water-resistance and breathability:
- Mesh is commonly used in entry-level as well as mid-range boots. It is excellent for aiding breathability and can absorb moisture well.
- Nubuck leather uppers can be commonly found in mid-range boots. You’ll often find this type of leather being combined with mesh.
- Full-grain leather is used for your top-of-the-range boots. It is highly durable, water-resistant and insulates the feet well. This makes full-grain leather hiking boots ideal as winter boots.
Midsole, Insole and Traction Types
The midsole is the shock absorber in the best hiking boots for men as well as women. In addition, the midsole provides an extra layer of protection against sharp rocks.
The insole of a hiking boot is the inside part of a hiking boot that runs underneath it and supports the bottom of the foot. The best hiking boots for narrow feet will have an insole to ensure a better fit.
The outsoles provide better traction than your run-of-the-mill running shoe. This is the selling point for hiking boots for many as they want to avoid slipping on surfaces which are uneven - like a stony section in the forest.
As we said earlier, the best stylish hiking boots for you will depend on what you want to use them for. For example, if you don’t want to use your running shoes on a walking tour of a new city, you can get casual boots as the terrain that you’ll be traversing won’t have many obstacles that you need to navigate.
However, if you’re going on a more technical hike, where the trails are possibly not well-demarcated, then you need a pair of technical hiking boots with a good pair of hiking socks.
How to Wear Hiking Boots
The outfits which compliment hiking boots are either shorts or skirts as these show off the boots well. Some of the best hiking boots for women look quite funky so they’ll be a great addition to any outfit! However, there is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to how to wear hiking boots. Play around with a couple of looks and see what takes your fancy.
The colour of your hiking socks should complement the colour of your boots, and remember to wear thicker hiking socks when you wear boots with full-grain leather uppers as this will make your trip more comfortable.
In terms of how to correctly lace your boots, the lace hooks at the base of your ankle make for excellent support. These also make sure that you don’t have to take a break for a period of time to retie your laces while you’re in the depths of your hike.
How to Wear Hiking Boots with Jeans
We recommend that you wear ankle hiking boots with jeans as this will show off your boot in all of its glory. However, as we said before, there is no hard-and-fast rule in terms of how to wear hiking boots with jeans so play around and see what you like.
How long does it take to break in a new pair of hiking boots?
We suggest that you wear in your hiking boots for about two weeks to a month before you embark on a long hike. You’ll need to wear in technical hiking boots for a bit longer as they are made of studier material than mesh or nubuck leather boots are. However, should you feel that you need to wear in your boots for longer, do it. The goal is for them to feel comfortable. When you think that they’re ready, take them on a long test walk. If they start to hurt, you at least know that they’re not prepared and you’ll be able to wear them in some more.
The Best Waterproof Hiking Boots
The best waterproof hiking boots have a GORE-TEX inner lining to help keep your feet dry. The best stylish waterproof hiking boots are known to have leather uppers and rubber lowers.
Monty HI - Pewter
This boot is made of nubuck leather. It has Mini PriStop panels as well as a 100% Hydroguard bootie liner. As one of the best waterproof hiking boots for men and women, the Monty HI boasts retro-classic styling. It comes in a standard F fitting, so it is a good hiking boot for those with narrow feet.
Follow this link to purchase the boot.
Heritage - Oxblood/Red
The Heritage hiking boot is made of premium waxed and oiled leather, a waxed cotton canvas collar as well as a 100% Hydroguard lining. The outsole is made of an EVA midsole that sits on real rubber.
Follow this link to purchase this boot.
The Best All-Terrain Trail Hiking Boots
The best all-terrain hiking boots should be made in 2mm nubuck, waterproof leather. A GORE-TEX inner lining will help to keep them waterproof and breathable so that you can tackle any terrain. At the same time, the boots should be stylish enough so that you can wear them to the shops if you need to.
Outback II - Brown/Olive
The Outback II is one of Ridgemont’s most popular styles. It doesn’t look like your typical technical trail hiking boot so it can be worn quite successfully as a casual boot. This range has unisex sizing, so it is suitable for men and women.
To find out more about this boot and to purchase it, please follow this link.
Camino Lake - Blue/Rust
The Camino is one of the latest additions to Ridgemont’s collection of hiking boots. Styled as more of a masculine boot, this is definitely one of the best hiking boots for men as it can go from a hike to the office. It has an incredibly light sole and comes with luxurious oiled suede uppers.
Follow this link to learn more about this boot and to order.
The Best Comfortable Hiking Boots
The best comfortable hiking boot definitely has to be able to mould to your foot seamlessly so that when you put these on, you feel like you’re walking on air. Also, they need to have a cushioned lining so that your feet are supported well. For extra comfort, make sure that you get a good pair of hiking socks.
Monty Lo - Red/Yellow
The Monty Lo’s styling is an ode to the light hikers of the 80s. It is made of high-quality oiled suede with DWR coating. Its EVA-crush footbed is antimicrobials, lightweight, supportive and incredibly comfortable.
To buy this boot, follow this link.
Monty HI FG - Chocolate/Tan
Also new to the Ridgemont range is the Monty HI FG. Style totally in full-grain leather it has a perforated leather collar as well as side and toe panels. It boasts a 100% waterproof Hydroguard Lining that will keep your feet dry and warm. To order, please follow this link.
The Best Walking Hiking Boots for Men and Women
The main thing about the best walking hiking boots is that they need to be comfortable. Although they may not need to provide the support necessary from technical hiking boots, they must be made in such a way that ensures the hiker remains comfortable throughout the journey.
Outback II - Peat/Red
The Outback II Peat/Red is one of the best hiking boots for women as it is super comfy and doesn’t look like your typical hiking boot. While it provides all of the specs that you would typically expect to find with a good-quality hiking boot, it also has quite a funky styling that will be a great addition to any outfit!
To read more about this hiking boot and to order, please follow this link.
Monty HI - Black/Gum
Just one look at this boot and you can imagine any guy feeling so comfortable wearing these! It is made of high-qualify oiled suede with DWR coating, ballistic ripstop nylon panels as well as antique brass eyelets and speedhooks, any guy would be proud to call these his own!
To order your pair, please follow this link.
The Best Boots for Country Walking, Muddy terrain and Dog Walking
The best hiking boots for mud and country-walking are definitely those that don’t show the dirt quickly. So, after you’ve finished doing your hike, you don’t have to do much to get them clean. The same goes for hiking boots to wear when you’re walking your dog - they’ll probably get SUPER dirty and want to play with you, so your shoes will get dirty as well.
Monty HI FG - Black/Charcoal
The Month HI FG Black/Charcoal is a fully waterproof hiking boot. As it is in black, you won’t see any mud that creeps onto it. As well, it will keep your feet dry and warm.
To read more about this boot and to order it, please follow this link.
Costa - Stone/Cement
The Costa is made from high-quality, 2mm oiled suede with DWE coating. In addition, a 100% rubber, lugged, vulcanized ‘Scrambler’ outsole which will make sure that you have a comfortable walk wherever you go.
For more information about this and to order, please follow this link.
The Best Lightweight Hiking Boots
A good lightweight boot is usually made of mesh. Those which are made of leather tend to be heavier. These boots graze the ankle - the heavier boots rise above the ankle or come to mid-calf.
Monty Lo - Navy/Oxblood
The super-trendy Monty Lo, in two-tone navy/oxblood - works just as well whether you’re going for a leisurely stroll around your favourite museum or meeting friends for a drink. This hiking shoe is fully waterproof and it’s rubber lugged sole will make sure that you can grip any surface well.
To order, please follow this link.
Monty Lo - Slate/Grey
Again in the Monty Lo range, the slate/grey combination has a nubuck leather upper with grey rip stop nylon panels. As it has a nubuck leather upper, it is one of the best lightweight hiking boots in our range. Its neutral colouring makes it a great addition to a pair of jeans or any other outfit you want to pair it with.
To order this boot, please follow this link.
The Best Budget Conscious Hiking Boots
If you’re just starting out with hiking, you may want to buy a pair of hiking boots that aren’t as costly. If this describes you, then have a look at the two great options below!
Monty Lo - Black
Coming in at just £95, the black version of the Monty Lo will suit the hiker who’s just starting out and can even double up as a casual boot or even a running shoe. This hiking boot is stiff in the mid and heel while being softer in the toe. This means that it provides protection from sharp stones while still retaining flexibility.
To find out more about this great boot, and to order, please follow this link.
Monty HI - Grey/Olive
Another boot in our range of the best budget hiking boots is the Monty HI which comes in grey/olive. This hiking boot has a £99 price tag, so it’s a bit more expensive than the black Monty Lo. However, this is an excellent option to go for if you’re going to be going on more technical hikes as this shoe provides more ankle support.
Available in unisex sizing, this version of the Monty Hi has an Eva-crush footbed which will make your hike super comfy. Its variflex lasting board will protect the soles of your feet from sharp stones underfoot while still retaining flexibility.
CTA: Not seeing something here which takes your fancy? Visit the Full Hiking Boot Catalogue for more great hiking boots!