Hiking is an excellent way to relieve stress and enjoy nature. The relaxing feeling hiking provides can be hindered by wet, soggy socks and shoes. No one wants to have to feel wet socks when they are on a long hike. The best way to reduce wet feet and stay comfortable is with waterproof hiking shoes.
Hiking shoes are different than hiking boots. When it comes to hiking footwear, most people only think of boots or gym shoes. Gym shoes are not equipped for hiking, but hiking shoes are! They are lightweight, flexible, and less bulky than boots.
Reasons to wear a hiking shoe include:
- Shorter hiking durations
- Hiking on well-defined trails only
- Are carrying little to no weight
- Do not need/want to rely on shoe to provide significant support
There are several different types of hiking shoes on the market that it can be overwhelming. Luckily, the best waterproof shoes for men can be found here!
The Adidas AX2 Climaproof Men’s Hiking Shoe has earned 4.6 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website. Adidas is known worldwide for their high-quality sporting goods. The shoe is currently priced between $70 – USD 100 based on select options.
The shoe is designed with nylon and textile to keep it lightweight, breathable, and durable. The seam-sealed, Climaproof upper layer resists water to make sure feet stay dry and comfortable at all times. A molded, textile sockliner also aids with making the shoe comfortable and allows feet to breathe, keeping them dry.
An EVA midsole keeps the shoe lightweight and cushions feet even after hours of hiking. An ADIPRENE insole adds extra cushioning and provides ultimate shock absorption, protecting the heel during impact. The TRAXION outsole is lugged for excellent grip on the wet and rocky terrain.
The Salomon Men’s X Ultra 2 GTX Hiking Shoe is one of the top-rated hiking shoes, earning an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website. Salomon is a French company that has been manufacturing outdoor products since 1947. The Men’s X Ultra 2 GTX Hiking Shoe currently costs between $95 – USD 145 based on select options.
The shoe is constructed out of waterproof suede leather and nylon. The suede leather upper is equipped with polyester mesh panels for comfort. The shoe has a Gore-Tex waterproof liner enables the foot to breathe without letting water in; effectively keeping the foot dry. Alongside the Gore-Tex lining, a polyester lining wicks moisture away from the foot as well.
Built for lasting comfort, the shoe is constructed with a dual-density EVA midsole that provides anatomically correct support and cushion for the foot. Extra cushion and support is added with OrthoLite sock liners, which combine foam and EVA heel cups to the boot. The Contagrip outsole offers great traction for rocky and wet terrain.
The Merrell Men’s Phoenix Bluff Hiking Shoe is one of many waterproof footwear designed by Merrell. The Phoenix Bluff has accumulated a rating of 4.5 stars on the Amazon website. It is also one of the cheapest hiking shoes, costing between $60 – USD 100.
Made out of suede leather and mesh, the shoe naturally has excellent water resistance. M Select Dry construction stops outside moisture from penetrating the shoe in order to keep feet dry and enhance the shoes’ water resistance. Odor will also be no issue with the use of M Select Fresh antimicrobial technology.
The shoes’ heel is equipped with the Merrell air cushion for ultimate comfort and shock absorption while a nylon arch shank gives the shoe more stability. The EVA footbed adds extra cushion to the foot and is removable if desired. A bellowed tongue keeps any debris from entering the shoe and contains traditional lacing. Completing the shoe, the Durable Vibram outsole has 4mm lugs for an aggressive grip on rocky and wet terrain.
The Teva Men’s Arrowood Hiking Shoe is another popular choice for waterproof hiking shoes among consumers. The shoe has earned an impressive rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website. It currently costs between $48 – USD 120 based on select options.
The Arrowood hiking shoe is made from waterproof leather and nylon. The leather upper aids in sealing out debris that may splash up and get into the shoe. A polyurethane sock liner cushions the foot and reduces the risk of foot fatigue. Constructed with a Float-Life midsole, the shoe provides optimal comfort while the Float-Life outsole keeps the shoe lightweight without compromising the shoes’ durability.
The Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking shoe is just one of the many waterproof hiking shoes from Columbia. With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 on the Amazon website, the Newton Ridge Plus is another great choice. One of the cheapest options, the shoe currently costs between $45 – USD 85 and is perfect for a high-end hiking shoe without the price tag.
The Newton Ridge Plus is made out of waterproof leather and a synthetic leather upper for durability. The seam-sealed design resists against moisture to keep feet dry. Keeping feet comfortable, the Techlite midsole cushions the foot and offers a high energy return that reduces foot fatigue. The shoe also has excellent traction with its Omni-grip, non-marking outsole.
The Merrell Men’s Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe is one of many from the company that meets a hiker’s needs. The shoe has accumulated a high rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website. They cost between $70 – USD 139 based on select options.
The shoe is made from waterproof leather and textile, which also increases the shoes’ durability. Equipped with an M Select Dry layer, the shoe wicks away moisture by letting vapor out without allowing water to get in. The bellowed tongue helps keep debris from getting into the shoe for added protection. The EVA footbed is integrated with Merrell M Select FIT.ECO for added comfort and odor control. The molded, nylon, arch shank absorbs shock to provide more stability. The Vibram outsole is designed with 5mm lugs to help grip terrain and provide high-quality traction.
The KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe is an excellent choice for a waterproof hiking shoe with a variety of performance features. The shoe has earned itself a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on the Amazon from verified purchasers. It currently costs around USD 125.
The shoe is highly water resistant and durable with the use of nubuck leather. A KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable textile layer is added to the shoe for an extra defense against water and to keep feet dry. The padded tongue has a secure-fit, lace capture system to keep debris out and secures the foot comfortably inside the shoe.
Along with water resistance and breathability, the shoe is designed for ultimate comfort. The EVA footbed is metatomical to cushion the foot properly. It is also removable if a hiker prefers a different insole. A dual-density EVA midsole also supplies comfort and is enhanced with an ESS shank for torsional stability. The shank also gives a high energy return that allows a hike for longer periods of time due to a lack of foot fatigue.
The KEEN Men’s Oakridge Waterproof Shoe is yet another example that KEEN is one of the most popular and trust activewear brands for hiking shoes. The shoe has earned a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website. The current price ranges between $63 – USD 115, adding the Oakridge to the cheaper side of hiking shoes.
The shoe is constructed out of durable and waterproof leather with mesh underlays for breathability. It is also designed with the recognizable KEEN.DRY waterproof layer that keeps feet dry by letting vapor out without letting water in. In addition, the shoe has a breathable, textile lining that wicks moisture away.
Like most hiking shoes, the Oakridge is designed with a compression-molded EVA insole for top-quality comfort and cushioning. A QForm midsole is placed in the shoe, which is specifically designed for different genders. The shoe also has a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shank for additional comfort and shock absorption.
The Columbia Men’s North Plains II Hiking Shoe is another great contender from Columbia. The shoe has earned a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website from verified purchasers. It is currently priced between $46 – USD 80 based on select options.
Made from waterproof leather, textile, and a webbed upper, the North Plains II Hiking Shoe provides a durable and waterproof boot without the inflated cost. A waterproof, seam-sealed layer is added to the shoe to enhance water resistance. The shoe also contains a breathable, mesh lining to help keep feet dry.
The TechLite midsole keeps the shoe lightweight and well-cushioned. The midsole also has a high energy return as well. The footbed is also cushioned and is removable if desired. A non-marking, Omni-Grip outsole completes the shoe. It has multi-directional lugs and a rubber, heel crash zone for excellent traction and durability on all terrain.
The Nevados Men’s Spire Low Waterproof Hiking Shoe is another great option for waterproof hiking shoes. The shoe has earned 3.9 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website from verified purchasers. Perfect for hikers with a tight budget, the shoe currently costs between $35 – USD 64 based on select options.
The shoe is made from waterproof, synthetic leather and also contains breathable mesh to help keep the foot dry. Supportive synthetic overlays work to keep debris out of the shoe and help keep the foot secure. A textile lining creates more comfort for the foot as well. The padded tongue with lace closure and padded collar also help keep debris out and provide comfort. A cushioned EVA footbed supports the foot while the lugged outsole gives the shoe great traction.
How to Tell a Hiking Shoe is Truly Waterproof
Due to the construction of hiking shoes, being low-cut and less bulky, some people may think they can’t be waterproof. This is not true; the hiking shoe can be constructed to resist wet conditions and keep feet perfectly dry just like hiking boots can. Hiking shoes are for hikers that will mainly deal with wet conditions such as rain, light snow, and small streams or creeks.
Firstly, not all waterproof hiking shoes will be the same. Depending on the material and other features of the shoe, water resistance can be minimal or excellent. The uppers, liners, and lacing systems all affect the shoe’s ability to keep feet dry.
Hiking shoe uppers are the first feature that should be examined. The upper’s construction will tell you exactly how durable, resistant to water, and breathable the shoe will be. Most often the uppers are constructed with a combination of leather, nylon, and mesh. Leather, such as full-grain and nubuck, are the most durable and water resistant. Synthetic leather (nylon and mesh) are used to increase breathability, but they do not have great durability.
Liners that include mesh and thinner fabrics work best to wick away moisture from the foot. This allows the foot to breathe better during the summer and dry wet socks faster. Breathable and waterproof membranes/layers add extra protection to the shoe, but they make it harder for the shoe to pull moisture away. Looking at a shoe’s liner and waterproof membrane will help determine if it is the best shoe for you.
Lastly, the lacing hardware of a hiking shoe should not be overlooked. If the lacing system easily comes undone, it will not be as secure and allow debris, such as water and mud, to enter the shoe. Additionally, the lacing system is important in order to keep feet comfortable and secure, another major factor alongside water resistance.