North Face’s vectiv technology is all about maximising energy while walking and this shoe has plenty going on in the midsole to back this up and promote a nice rolling action from heel to toe. Combined with the fact that each shoe is only 416g they are well-suited to day hiking and are comfortable from the off with a snug fit that also allows a lot of foot flex.
Choosing a walking boot for your next endeavour requires some very careful consideration. After all, these can be the difference between an enjoyable experience in the fresh air and a tortuous blister-fest. Pick wisely, and you won’t even have to think about them as they carry you in comfort through terrain and trail.
We are starting off with the assumption that you have something more epic planned than just walking to the shops. That’s why one of the first things we looked at was the out-of-the-box wearability of each shoe, as you don’t want to spend hours breaking in a new pair.
Supple and moulded materials should combine to make the boot or shoe comfortable and snug-fitting from their very first outing, especially because after hours of walking, feet tend to swell. So you need a nicely proportioned shoe, regardless of your size, and a comfortable fit.
The outsole has a dual role to ensure traction from the lug pattern so that you’re more confident than a mountain goat and also to be constructed in such a way that it gives good energy return with every foot strike
The importance of weight, waterproofing, breathability and protection will all depend on where you’re going, so we’ve included a range to ensure that wherever you’re headed, this lot is an absolute shoe-in (sorry) for your next adventure.
How we tested
We headed to Dartmoor and the Highlands to test the boots, so we could run the gamut of terrain and conditions with which to scrutinise each shoe. While we were walking, we specifically sought out mud, wet grass and rock to test the grip and traction of each shoe’s outsole, while everything else, from comfort and fit to the waterproofing and breathability of the materials, was scrutinised by the moorland trails and Highland weather.
The best men’s walking boots and shoes for 2023 are:
- Best men’s walking boots overall – The North Face vectiv exploris futurelight men’s walking boots: £124, Thenorthface.co.uk
- Best men’s walking boots for out-of-the-box comfort – Salomon outpulse men’s walking boots: £141, Amazon.co.uk
- Best men’s walking boots for grip – Inov-8 roclite G 345 GTX men’s walking boots: £155.99, Inov-8.com
- Best men’s walking boots for spring/summer hikes – On cloudridge men’s walking boots: £184.60, Legendfootwear.co.uk
- Best men’s walking boots for technical walking – Arc’teryx aerios FL GTX men’s walking boots: £150, Arcteryx.com