Best Hiking Shoes for Men in 2024

Best Hiking Shoes for Men: Nike trail runners have been put to the test on the trail

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Picking the perfect hiking shoes is important.

New technology in trail runners provides comfort and flexibility, making them a top choice for many men hiking. That’s why we believe bulky boots aren’t necessary nowadays.

But choosing wrong could lead to issues like blisters, poor arch support, or slipping. That’s no fun.

Luckily this guide can help you pick the best hiking shoes for men without stress. We’ll point out shoes known for keeping feet happy, healthy miles out on the trails.

Let’s get started.

What are the Best Hiking Shoes for Men?

  1. Most Ultralight: Hoka Zinal 2 (7.72oz/219g)
  2. Best Overall: Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 SE (9.59oz/272g)
  3. Best Value: Salomon Ultra Glide 2 (10.4oz/295g)
  4. Best Grip: Asics Fuji Lite 4 (10.05oz/285g)
  5. Budget Option: Quechua NH500 (13.3oz/378g)

1. Most Ultralight
Hoka Zinal 2

Hoka Zinal 2

Key Specs


Weight: 7.72 ounces (219 grams) per shoe
Price: $$$

PROS


✅ Ultralight

✅ Superior grip

CONS


❌ Slippy heel cup

Hoka’s Zinal 2 trail runners are crafted to enhance agility and energy return on the trails. Featuring a reduced stack height and aggressive lugs for exceptional grip, they excel across various terrains.

Their versatility, lightweight construction, and efficient cushioning render them ideal for extended endeavors. The stretch-knit collar effectively prevents debris intrusion, and the Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures enhanced traction.

While a few users have reported minor issues with foot slipping in the heel cup, these concerns aside, these shoes come highly recommended.


2. Best Overall
Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 SE

Ultralight Hiking Trail Runners for Men: Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 SE

Key Specs


Weight: 9.59 ounces (272 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Relatively affordable (look for sales)

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ Fits a bit narrow

When considering ultralight hiking shoes, the Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 emerges as a reliable companion for your outdoor journeys.

Designed to withstand rugged conditions yet provide breathability, they conquer rocky terrains with their underfoot traction while delivering a smooth ride.

With the incorporation of Flywire technology and Nike React foam, these shoes ensure enduring support and invigorated movement. The rubber outsole, crafted using insights from fellow hikers, delivers crucial grip on diverse surfaces.

Keep in mind that the fit might be on the narrow side, but there’s ample space for your toes to indulge in comfort. For hiking, the Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 offers responsiveness, durability, and support.


3. Best Value
Salomon Ultra Glide 2

Salomon Ultra Glide 2

Key Specs


Weight: 10.4 ounces (295 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Comfortable

✅ Good quality

CONS


❌ Not the grippiest option

The Salomon Ultra Glide 2 stands out as a flexible and cozy selection for your outdoor exploits, rendering it an attractive choice for navigating diverse terrains, wherever your path may go.

We can commend these shoes for their remarkable comfort. They maintain a cool feel in warmer climates and ensure a snug fit. During lengthier hikes, they offer dependable support and a lightweight build, particularly appealing to older hikers.

The traction strikes a fine equilibrium for different situations. While they adeptly handle various terrains, a minor issue arises from their elastic upper occasionally collecting debris, which necessitates occasional cleaning.


4. Best Grip
Asics Fuji Lite 4

Asics Fuji Lite 4

Key Specs


Weight: 10.05 ounces (285 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Good grip

✅ Great breathability

CONS


❌ Fits a bit narrow

❌ Shock absorption could be better

The Asics FUJI LITE™ 4 trail runners offer advanced grip for fast trail adventures. The shoe is well-designed, featuring FF BLAST™ cushioning for impact absorption and a modified outsole for improved traction on uneven and wet terrain.

Its engineered mesh upper enhances breathability, and the use of recycled materials reflects a commitment to sustainability. Notable attention to detail, such as the gusseted tongue and lace strap, is evident.

While we found the toe box a bit narrow and desired better shock absorption, overall, we highly praise its outsole tread and performance. This makes it a solid choice for ultralight hikers seeking reliable grip and comfort.


5. Budget Option
Quechua NH500

Quechua NH500

Key Specs


Weight: 13.33 ounces (378 grams) per shoe
Price: $

PROS


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ Not the best grip

❌ Not the best durability

The NH500 hiking shoes are a budget-friendly option. The EVA sole provides adequate cushioning and shock absorption on uneven terrain, while the lug pattern and 4mm spikes give sufficient traction on dirt, gravel, and mud.

The leather and mesh upper resists abrasion well, and the seamless rubber toe cap protects against rocks and debris. I appreciated the roomy toe box and breathable mesh fabric that kept my feet cool on warm hikes.

In testing, these shoes showed decent durability on off-road trails, but aren’t suitable for frequent hiking on rough mountain trails, which can cause premature wear. The traction also struggles on wet wood and slippery surfaces.

For the affordable price, the NH500 offers decent comfort and performance for easy to moderate trails. Just don’t expect them to hold up to heavy use like premium hiking shoes.

But if you want a budget hiking shoe for only occasional wear, the NH500 is a solid choice.

How to Choose the Best Hiking Shoes for Men

Trail runners are a special kind of shoe that’s distinct from regular running shoes. They stand out by offering a firm grip on uneven terrain with their lugged soles, ensuring stability and traction on surfaces like dirt, mud, gravel, and rocks.

When you’re trying to figure out the best trail runners for your needs, it’s important to think about the type of shoe, its weight, cushioning, heel-to-toe drop, and, most importantly, how well it fits.

Understanding the kind of trails you plan to tackle, whether they’re easy, rugged, or off the beaten path, can guide your shoe selection.

Weight plays a big role because even a small difference, like 4 ounces per shoe, can add up when you’re taking 20,000 to 30,000 steps in a day during your hike.

You’ll also need to choose the right amount of cushioning, which ranges from minimalist to maximum, to match your preferences. The heel-to-toe drop influences how you move, so selecting a drop that aligns with what you’re used to can be helpful.

Above all, finding the perfect fit is the most crucial factor. Keep in mind that your shoe size might change over time, so it’s a good idea to measure your feet regularly.

If you’re on the hunt for waterproof options, don’t forget to check out our TOP 5 guide here.

FAQ

How to choose the best hiking shoes for men?

When choosing the best hiking shoes for rugged adventures, it’s important to consider durability, weight, cushioning, heel-to-toe drop, and fit. Durable trail runners with lugged soles provide stability and traction on uneven terrain, while lightweight shoes prevent fatigue over long distances. The right amount of cushioning keeps your feet comfortable on rough trails, and getting the ideal heel-to-toe drop aligns with your movement preferences. However, nothing matters more than finding a shoe that fits your feet perfectly for stability during outdoor challenges. Prioritizing durability, comfort, and fit will lead you to the ideal hiking shoes for adventure.

What features should I look for in hiking shoes for men?

When choosing hiking shoes, prioritize sturdy construction with abrasion-resistant uppers to handle rugged terrain. Seek proper ankle support and a snug heel fit to prevent rolling. Lugged soles with deep lugs give traction on slippery surfaces like mud or loose rocks. A moderate heel-to-toe drop between 4-8mm promotes natural foot motion. Cushioning in the midsole absorbs shock from uneven ground. Finally, make sure to get the right size shoe for your foot to prevent blisters and hot spots on long hikes. Focusing on durability, stability, traction, and comfort will ensure your hiking shoes can handle whatever the trail throws at you.

What is the average price range of quality hiking shoes for men?

Expect to pay between $100-$200 for a durable and comfortable pair of men’s hiking shoes. Budget-friendly shoes under $100 typically have lower quality construction that won’t hold up well on the trail. Investing in the $150-$200 range provides better traction, cushioning, and support for hiking rugged terrain. Higher-end hiking shoes from $200-$300 offer premium technologies and materials for experienced hikers and backpackers. However, shoes in the $100-$200 range strike the best balance of quality, performance, and value for most casual and serious hikers. Focus on fit and features more than price when choosing hiking shoes within this reasonable range.

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