Rugged and Comfortable: Men's Hiking Boots

Finding the best hiking boots depends on the type of hiking that a person most often participate in. Many avid hikers keep multiple pairs of hiking boots in their closets so that they can choose the right ones depending on the hiking trip and the weather they will be experiencing. If someone is new to hiking, it is a good idea to try to borrow a friend or relative's pair of hiking boots, if the sizes match up, so that he can see what types of boots work the best for his foot before going out to buy some of his own. If that is not possible, men's hiking boot stores have sales people specialized in helping a person find just the right boot for his foot and for the excursion.

Types of Boots

The most rugged type of men's hiking boot is the mountaineering boot, which has the thickest sole and is very stiff, giving the most support to the man's foot and ankle. This type of boot is also waterproof most of the time, since mountaineering conditions usually encompasses snow, rain, rivers, and other conditions that require a waterproofed boot. In addition, there are some men's hiking boots in this style that allow for crampons, which are used when crossing and climbing glaciers so that slipping is less of a likelihood. These boots are also good for longer backpacking trips that require the backpacker carry up to forty pounds of equipment on his back.

The next most rugged men's hiking boot is the backpacking boot. This boot's sole is a little less thick than the mountaineering hiking boot, allowing for more flexibility when walking, which feels more natural for the foot. It is made for multiple day hiking trips, even up to a week, where the backpacker has to carry a load, but it is not a more extreme weight, pushing forty pounds. This boot also provides solid support for the man's foot and ankle so that it does not become fatigues when walking those distances for days at a time while carrying an average, twenty pound load.

The final category of men's hiking boot is the lightweight boot which is made mostly for day hiking or some backpacking through low impact terrain. These boots are usually very breathable and flexible, providing the most comfort and natural movement for the foot and ankle. They do provide more support than a hiking shoe, which is only slightly more supportive than a tennis shoe, having a thicker sole, and does not come up around the ankle.