Cutting yourself off from the tethers of daily route monotony by going on a hike gets you in touch with your primal self. This instinctive human nature allows your body to brave challenging terrain and equally unforgiving climates. Though the human body is superbly tough and adaptable, it’s still wise to wear the best protective footwear that modern technology has to offer. This is especially true when it’s hot outside.
Here are the 12 best mens hiking boots and shoes for hot weather.
Founded in Germany in 1924, this popular sport apparel and shoe brand is a global giant in terms of fame and profits. In Europe, it is the largest sports outfitter, but worldwide, it comes in second to their eternal rival, Nike. Throughout the years, Adidas has introduced many iconic shoe designs and technologies that are incorporated into their sports and lifestyle lines. Today, Adidas operates as a holding company that owns and manages its acquired subsidiaries, one of which was a former rival, Reebok.
The Adidas entry on this list is one of the lighter hiking footwear presented on this list. It features their proprietary Primeknit textile upper that’s lined with Gore-Tex for max breathability and reliable waterproofing. It’s designed to hug the foot but remain non-constricting and limiting. It utilizes the Adidas Boost midsole, which provides a high energy return. The outsole is made of Continental Rubber, which delivers supreme traction even on wet surfaces. The design looks and feels very different than more traditional hikers. It’s like a cross between a basketball shoe and a hiking boot; essentially, that is what it is. But it is this rather unorthodox design that makes it ideal for hot-weather hikes.
Tecnica is an Italian sports outfitter that was founded in 1960. Twenty-five years after their founding, Tecnica entered the performance outdoor sports footwear space, which they soon dominated in the European market. Aside from their outdoor footwear brand, they also own two other brands that have each been a defining fad of their respective decades, The Moon Boot (popular in the 70s) and Roller Blade (ubiquitous in the 90s).
Tecnica might just define another decade with their strong offering, the Forge GTX. When you buy this boot, they’re going to be vacuum molded on your feet for a perfect fit. This means that you’ll have less fatigue during your trek since your foot structures are going to be fully supported. It comes with a grip-all Vibram outsole, a breathable Gore-Tex lining, and an upper that’s made from Nubuk or their own proprietary stretch fabric. This shoe covers all the bases, so you would be wise to let it cover your foot.
Salomon is a snowsports and hiking company based in France. It was founded in 1947 as an equipment company for skiing. They have since diversified into hiking. While the brand’s origin is strongly connected with the snow-capped mountains of France, Salomon now boasts a multitude of product lines that are perfect for outdoor sports in warmer weather, like their entry on this list.
The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is a specialized boot that is sort of like a hybrid between a running shoe and a hiking boot. The cushioning is adapted from their running shoe line, which means that it’s designed to be comfortable. The 4D chassis delivers a stable ride, and the Contragrip outsole ensures maximum traction and grip on all types of terrain. Since it comes with Ortholite insoles and a Gore-Tex membrane, your feet are going to stay dry even in the hottest weather.
Vasque is an American brand that was born with a European spirit. The brand was founded in the early 1960s after its founder returned home from a European trip. While in Europe, he became witness to a hiking craze. Impressed by the hiking culture in Europe, he started manufacturing superior hiking boots that turned his American company into a world leader in the industry.
The Saga GTX is a strong contender on this list of the best hiking boots for hot weather. It comes with Vibram outsoles to maintain a steady grip on the terrain and with its Gore-Tex membrane, you are protected from moisture. Gore-Tex allows moisture inside the shoe to wick and evaporate while repelling water that tries to come in. Its mesh upper makes it lightweight and very breathable. It also provides adequate support with the Arc Tempo Last and a TPU chassis which ensures comfort even on the most aggressive terrain.
Keen is an American company that was founded in Alameda, California in 2003. Their original claim to fame was the invention of the very iconic Newport Sandal. Keen footwear are made with outdoor sports in mind. This design inspiration is even apparent in their more casual lifestyle lines. The Keen shoe is recognizable by the presence of its popular black toe rubber bumper.
Keen comes strong on this list with a modified version of their popular platform. The Targhee Vent Mid is made for the summer. It’s made to be worn in a hot climate. Its main feature is its maximum breathability afforded by the upper mesh panels for effective cooling of your feet as you explore the great outdoors. It still comes with all the Keen footwear technology that make it a great hiking shoe, like the Metatomical footbed, the lightweight ESS shank, the injected TPU design heel-capture system that provides stability in the stride, and, of course, their very own all-terrain, high traction outsole.
Merrell is an American manufacturer of high-performance shoes. They’re known mostly for their hiking and trekking footwear. The brand was founded in 1981 by three individuals, two of which were ski company executives, and the third was the namesake, a custom boots maker. In a twist of fate not too uncommon in business, Merrell exited the company named after him in 1986. Today, Merrell, the brand, is considered one of the most profitable and most widely recognized hiking boot manufacturing company in the world.
The MOAB 2 Ventilator Mid is an awesome shoe that’s designed to be all. It, is after all, what Merrell proclaims as the Mother of All Boots. The name declares a very aggressive claim, but they have this shoe to back it up. This beautiful shoe incorporates Merrell’s iconic design as well as high-performance technologies into the mix that is the MOAB 2 Ventilator Mid. It boasts a mesh upper with tough suede leather, a breathable lining made of mesh, Vibram TC5+ outsoles with 5 mm lug depth, and a supportive contoured footbed with integrated arch and heel support.
The brand borne out of the heart of the French Alps returns on this list with the X Ultra 3 Mid GTX. It features a Gore-Tex lining for breathability, which is always welcome in hot weather conditions. It is designed with their proprietary Advanced Chassis design that utilizes foam cushions for maximum foot stability. This tough boot that employs a slip-resistant Contagrip TD outsole and chevron lugs is a boot designed for enhanced support and protection during your descent. It also features a rubber toe protector cap as well as a mudguard that wraps around the base of the upper for targeted mud shielding.
LOWA is a Bavarian brand of footwear that was founded in 1923. The brand is currently owned by The Italian Tecnica Group, which acquired them in 1993. LOWA is a well-known brand in Europe and is the market leader in all German-speaking nations. All LOWA footwear are proudly made in Europe, more specifically in Germany, Italy, and Slovakia, which they then export to more than 50 countries worldwide.
LOWA’s entry on this list is a BACKPACKER Magazine Hall of Famer. The Renegade is a LOWA Platform that has been around for more than a couple of decades, and it has yet to disappoint. It features a Gore-Tex lining for enhanced breathability, a double injected DuraPU midsole, and MONOWRAP Frame for stride stability, and a Vibram sole for optimal traction even in the most challenging terrain. This best-seller comes with a Nubuck upper that makes it highly versatile.
Xero Shoes is a Colorado-based brand of shoes that specializes in minimalist footwear. The company was founded in 2009 when the minimalist running movement was at its peak. Naturally, their products are geared more towards lightweight, minimal running footwear that include sandals and zero-drop runners.
The next entry on this list couldn’t have come from any other company but Xero Shoes. The Daylite Hiker is the only minimalist hiking footwear on this list. It looks and feels much lighter and much less robust than most of its competition on this list. It’s made to be very lightweight to improve mobility and enhance comfort. It also features huarache-style straps to secure the boots in place and for added stability. It features the zero-drop FeelTrue sole design that mimics barefoot biomechanics.
While the outsole is thin, it does however still have lug and chevron treads for optimum traction. The upper is made of a breathable but tough, abrasion-resistant mesh. All these features are perfect for long hikes, even in the summer heat. Xero Shoes are also proud to point out that all materials used in this boot are vegan-friendly.
Columbia is a sports outfitter that hails from Oregon. It began as a hat distributor that soon got into the business of manufacturing their own products after supplier disputes. The original company later became what is now known as the Columbia Sportswear Company. Through a few corporate takeovers, Columbia became the owner of several shoe manufacturing companies. The technology and designs they acquired from these mergers became the basis of their Columbia brand of shoes. Though Columbia has now expanded their product line, their most popular product still remains their famous jacket.
The Columbia Wayfinder Mid Outdry is a hiker that is light and nimble. The mesh fabric with synthetic overlays makes this low-cut shoe the perfect footwear for an outdoor adventure. It’s waterproof and yet still very breathable. It features a Techlite midsole that provides superior comfort and cushioning to enhance your experience as it absorbs impact while providing high energy return with every stride.
The SALEWA brand traces its origin to the mid-1930s in Germany where they manufactured leather goods, mostly for horses. It was only in the 1950s that SALEWA truly became a sports outfitter when the demand for ski sticks and other related gear and apparel soared. They soon focused their sights on mountaineering gear but only got around to making climbing and hiking shoes in 2006.
The Wildfire GTX is a climbing and hiking shoe that specializes in grip and traction. It even has a climbing zone right at the toe area. Hike with confidence with these POMOCA Speed MTN outsoles. These are high-performance shoes that come with an EXA-Shell that works in junction with their 3F system for robust support that still allows for foot flexibility. The Wildfire GTX has a Gore-Tex lining and an Ortholite footbed that works together to wick moisture for quick cooling and drying.
Danner is a boot manufacturing company that was founded in 1932 in Portland, Oregon. Ever since their founding, Danner has continuously built boots that are rugged enough for the real great outdoors. Danner boots are made for outdoor adventurers, urban explorers, and those brave enough to protect us from threats both domestic and foreign.
The Mountain 600 Enduroweave is a sturdy yet very stylish boot that came about as a result of a partnership between Danner and Vibram. The grip on this outsole is uncanny. This is because it boasts the gripping power of a Vibram SPE for the Midsole and Vibram Fuga outsole. The upper is made of a non-waterproof textile and is lined with a highly breathable and moisture-wicking lining that maximizes air ventilation for drying and cooling during hot weather hikes. For added comfort, it also comes with an Ortholite footbed.
Following a hiking trail is already physically demanding. You don’t need to be burdened further by the fact that you wore the wrong type of boots. Different outdoor gear companies make different types of footwear. You’ll find that a hiking boot tends to be specialized. It depends on the type of use it’s going to be subjected to as well as the level of comfort and functionality it offers its wearer.
Hiking boots need to be durable, functional, and comfortable. These are the three basic criteria that you need to pay attention to before purchasing your next pair. Durability pertains to the type of material the shoe or a part of the shoe is made from and the level of abuse it can subsequently handle. Functionality refers more to specialized features and their purpose. An example would be mesh uppers and non-slip outsoles for aquatic hiking shoes.
Another important feature is breathability. This refers to how much air can pass through or circulate inside the chamber of the boots to keep feet cooler and drier. This is provided by the material as well as the general design of the upper. Everything then boils down to comfort. If you’re planning on walking 10 or even upward of 20 miles per day, then you better make sure that your babies are encapsulated in a soft cloud. When considering comfort, examine the form factor and the overall fit. Examine the width of the toe box, the softness or hardness of each step, as well as the weight of the footwear. You should also consider whether you require a low- or high-cut boot.