Men's Hiking Boot Buying Guide

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Walking and hiking enthusiasts will know that a sturdy and comfortable pair of boots is the number one most essential piece of equipment to get right. There are a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to buying a pair of men’s hiking boots,, so it’s important that the footwear being used for hiking is appropriate for the ambitions of the walker.

There is a wide variety of styles, material choices, ankle heights, brands and of course prices, so finding a pair that’s just right requires some research. Ultimately when buying a pair of men’s hiking shoes, comfort is the most important factor. This guide will outline the key features of hiking boots and how they are related to the buying process. It will also outline how to buy men’s hiking boots on eBay, which can be found under Climbing and Mountaineering..

Features of Men’s Hiking Boots

The various features and styles available mean that it is possible to find a pair of boots or shoes that perfectly match the user’s needs. Someone who will be doing day hikes or weekend backpack trips will have different needs from someone who is intending to undertake a weeklong trek, or someone who will be mountaineering. Factors such as weight, ankle cut, flexibility and midsole stiffness will all change depending on the type of footwear. Here are some of the key features to look for when purchasing a pair:

Types of Hiking Boots

There are a few different types of hiking boot available, but for a rough guide they can be split into four general categories:

Hiking Boots

Generally intended for day hikes or a weekend of light backpacking, these boots generally tend to be high- or mid-cut on the ankle, providing some support, but with a good level of flexibility. They will sometimes require a moderate break-in period and will not provide the support that heavier duty boots will.

Light Hiking Shoes

These tend to be low-cut shoes that look like beefed up running shoes with flexible midsoles. They are intended for those who are going on long-distance backpacking trips, as they are light and comfortable. They may not offer quite the support and strength needed for heavier loads or rougher terrains.

Backpacking Boots

Specifically designed for heavier loads on trips that last over a period of days. They have stiffer midsoles than lighter options and as such are far more durable and supportive. However, this does make them heavier.

Mountaineering Boots

These are also intended to be tough durable and for those carrying heavy loads. They have a stiff midsole and can be used with crampons for mountain or glacier travel.

It is worth mentioning that there are sometimes grey areas between each type, so there are boots that exist that have features of two types. This again makes it easier to find a boot that perfectly fits almost any need.

Cut of the Boot

There are three main types of cut when it comes to hiking boots. The cut is the height at which the shoe stops in relation to the ankle. These are:


Low-cut boots/shoes are normally used for lighter walks – low weight loads and easier trails. They offer a light means of travel, but compromise a little on ankle support (roll resistance) and leave feet more vulnerable to loose debris.


These are perfect for trips of moderate length and with a moderate load. They wrap around the ankle, and therefore offer a greater level of protection.


Give the greatest level of ankle support and are robust enough for almost any terrain. They prevent the ankle rolling when carrying heavier loads, but will often require the user to break them in before being used on a trek.


The material of the boot will affect factors such as weight, water resistance, durability and breathability – all important factors when it comes to picking a shoe that’s right for the user’s needs. Some main materials are:

Full-Grain Leather

Perhaps the hardiest of materials used in walking boots, it offers the best durability and water resistance. It is often used for boots intended for the toughest terrains. However it takes a while to break in and isn’t as breathable as other materials.

Split-Grain Leather

Usually used in combination with nylon to make it breathable, this a more affordable material. However, it does sacrifice on water resistance and toughness.

Nubuck Leather

Resembles suede and is resistance to water and abrasions. It is quite flexible, but like full-grain it takes a while to break in.


Whilst not as tough as leather, polyester or nylon, synthetic leather is a light and affordable material used in hiking boots. They also tend to break in quicker when being used.

Waterproof Linings

A breathable and waterproof membrane is often used to keep feet dry on expeditions; however, the added membrane does sacrifice some breathability, meaning that feet can get warm quite quickly.

Men’s Hiking Boots Buying Considerations

Other than the features mentioned above, there are a few other factors to consider when purchasing a pair of walking or hiking boots:


This will probably reflect how serious the user is about walking or hiking. An enthusiast who spends most of their time on long treks will most likely have a bigger budget than someone who casually walks. It is a good idea to research the market, see what is affordable and then set out a budget for the boots, saving towards them if necessary.


Getting a pair that fits perfectly is very important, because they will be such a big part of any expedition. Too large or small and they will rub or be restrictive, leaving the feet painful and maybe blistered. Be sure to get measured first and look at how different manufacturers size their footwear.


On eBay there are a few different options when it comes to the condition of the shoe. There are plenty that are new and boxed,, whilst some are new without the box. A more affordable option may be to purchase some that have been used,, although it’s important to make sure that they aren’t damaged or the wrong size.


There are many different brands out there and some people like to be loyal to a particular one. However, be sure to explore all the possibilities and compare factors such as price, materials and sizing before making a decision. Some popular brands include:


There are some boots that will specific to different purposes and on eBay it is possible to refine by specific sports. Whether you intend to use them for climbing or hiking or even for sports such as fishing or hunting,, it is possible to find a shoe that fits. Each specific sport may have small adaptations that make them particularly relevant to that sport.

Buying Men’s Hiking Boots on eBay

Once decisions have been made about all the factors mentioned above, it’s time to start shopping. After visiting the eBay site, navigate to the Climbing and Mountaineering section of ‘Sporting Goods’. From here, select the Footwear option to bring up all the relevant results. There are some handy features that eBay offer, which makes the process of finding the right pair easier:


On the left-hand side of the browse there are a number of options to choose from. By clicking these boxes the relevant items will be refined down, and it is possible to select multiple refines. Options such as sport, sub-type, gender, brand and size can all be chosen, with a price range and condition option also available. The search bar can also be used to find specific items.

Product Pages

Once the refinements or search has been made, a list of all the relevant items will remain. This list can be sorted by a number of different parameters. By clicking on one of the products, the product page will be navigated to. This page will show further information about the particular product, such as a description, image gallery, and seller name and delivery/purchase options. This is handy when researching whether a product is relevant or a good fit.

Seller Information

By clicking on the seller name, their profile page will load and their vital stats will be shown. Their track record will be measured by the feedback and comments that previous customers have left, and details of their delivery and returns policy will be included. It will also be possible to contact the sellertto ask any questions that there may be surrounding a particular item.

Auction or Buy Now

There are two different ways to purchase items on eBay. Some listings will be in auctions,, where bids (or maximum bids) can be placed during the time limit, with the highest bid winning. Bids can be replaced if someone else places a higher bid. Other items will be labelled as Buy It Now,, where the item can be purchased directly without having to wait for a time limit to expire. Either is a valid and useful way of shopping on eBay.


This guide has shown the wide variety of choices and refinements available when it comes to buying men’s hiking boots.. It has outlined the key features, but it is important to remember that the most important aspect is finding a pair that fits and is comfortable, as well as being sturdy enough for the type of terrain. It is easy to buy items on eBay, and with their buyer protection policy, user security is assured.

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