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What are the Best Cheap Hiking Boots?
There are a ton of options available when it comes to waterproof hiking boots, but what are the best options if you’re a hiker on a budget? In this guide we’ll be covering the 5 best budget hiking boots that you can depend on for your next backpacking trip. All of the boots we review are waterproof, and they include data and links for both the men’s and women’s versions for added peace of mind. Over the years we’ve done our fair share of testing in regards to hiking boots and have found it essential to have a pair of waterproof boots.
One thing we’ve learned from being out on the trail is that it’s important to have the right type of footwear. You need footwear that will provide you support as well as durability, and our best budget hiking boot choices do just that. Due to advances in engineering and materials, even today’s cheaper hiking boots can keep you supported on the trail while still remaining lightweight and not breaking the bank. Top line waterproof hiking boots commonly run north of $300, however all of the boots we review are under $200 and include options that are less than $100 which is a fantastic value for backpacking boots.
These boot selections cover a wide range of price points and features, and we’re sure you’ll find a pair that’s perfect for you. When testing a new pair of boots, it’s important to hike with them before taking them out on any extensive backpacking trips and ensuring that they’re broken in. This will ensure that they’re more comfortable for you when hiking with your full-weight pack on. For more tips and buying advice to get the best value for your budget on cheap hiking boots check out our section on this and more included after our reviews.
Best Budget Hiking Boot Summary
Best Overall Budget Hiking Boots: Hoka Trail Code GTX
Best Budget Hiking Boots Under $100: Columbia Newton Ridge
Best Budget Heavy-Duty Hiking Boots: Oboz Bridger Mid
Best Budget Hiking Boots for Traction: Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid
Best Budget Breathable Hiking Boots: Muck Apex Zip Mid
Best Overall Budget Hiking Boots
Material: Synthetic upper, PU footbed, Vibram rubber outsole, Gore-tex waterproofing
What we love about the Trail Code GTX: Dynamic all-weather hiking boot, Great support on uphill travel, Snug support around the ankle, Recycled materials
What we don’t love: N/a
The Hoka Trail Code GTX hiking boots offer a level of comfort, support, and durability that is rare to find in budget-friendly hiking boots. The boots feature a synthetic upper that is both lightweight and sturdy, allowing for a comfortable fit and better support for your feet. The PU footbed is soft and cushioned, making it perfect for long-distance hikes and difficult terrain. This boot both looks and feels more expensive than it is.
One of the standout features of the Hoka Trail Code GTX hiking boots is their rockered midsole and SwallowTail shape. This design allows for effortless uphill travel, as your foot rolls forward with each step, reducing the amount of energy required to propel yourself forward. The SwallowTail shape also provides additional support and stability, making it easier to navigate rocky terrain.
The Vibram rubber outsole with 5-millimeter lugs is another feature that sets these boots apart. The lugs provide excellent traction on uneven terrain, whether you’re hiking through mud, rocks, or snow. The lace closure of the boots creates a custom fit and snug support around the ankle, helping to prevent injuries and blisters.
Additionally, the Hoka Trail Code GTX hiking boots are made with recycled and bio-based materials, making them an eco-friendly option for outdoor enthusiasts. The use of sustainable materials in the boots’ construction is a testament to Hoka’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Overall, the Hoka Trail Code GTX hiking boots are an excellent choice for those who are looking for a comfortable, supportive, and durable pair of hiking boots without breaking the bank. They are versatile enough to be worn in all weather conditions and on various terrains, making them a perfect choice for all-weather trail excursions. With their impressive features and eco-friendly construction, the Hoka Trail Code GTX hiking boots are a fantastic value for budget-conscious hikers.
Best Budget Hiking Boots Under $100
Material: Waterproof suede and leather upper, Rubber sole,
What we love about the Newton Ridge: Frequently on sale, Good traction, Great cushioning, Wide range of colors and sizes
What we don’t love: Take some time to break in, Heavier than other options
If you’re in the market for a hiking boot that won’t break the bank, the Columbia Newton Ridge is a solid choice. Priced at $99.99, this boot is frequently on sale, making it even more affordable. The Newton Ridge features a waterproof suede and leather upper with a rubber sole, which provides good traction on a variety of surfaces.
One of the best things about this boot is its durability. The Newton Ridge’s metal hardware and seam-sealed construction make it sturdy and long-lasting. This is especially important if you’re someone who frequently hikes on rough terrain or in inclement weather.
Comfort is also a high point of the Newton Ridge. It offers just the right amount of cushioning for a comfortable, all-day hike. Plus, with a wide range of colors and sizes available, it’s easy to find a pair that fits your personal style and feet.
That said, the Newton Ridge does have a couple of drawbacks. It takes some time to break in, so you may experience some discomfort during your first few hikes. Additionally, this boot is a bit heavier than other budget-friendly options, which could be an issue for hikers who prefer lighter footwear.
All in all, if you’re looking for an affordable and durable hiking boot that can handle a variety of terrains, the Columbia Newton Ridge is definitely worth considering. Its strong construction and good traction make it a reliable option for any outdoor adventure.
Best Budget Heavy-Duty Hiking Boots
Material: Waterproof nubuck leather upper, Granite Peak rubber outsole, BDry membrane waterproofing
What we love about the Bridger Mid: Great comfort and support on trail, Very durable
What we don’t love: Runs a bit small, Heavier than other options
The Oboz Bridger Mid is an excellent budget-friendly hiking boot that offers exceptional quality and durability for its price point. Made with a waterproof nubuck leather upper, Granite Peak rubber outsole, and BDry membrane waterproofing, these boots are built to withstand any weather conditions that you may encounter on the trail.
One of the standout features of the Bridger Mid is its BFit deluxe insole, which provides exceptional comfort and support for your feet during extended periods of hiking. This insole is designed with a high-density foam that molds to the shape of your foot, providing superior cushioning and reducing the risk of foot fatigue.
In addition to its comfortable insole, the Bridger Mid also offers excellent foot support, which is crucial for maintaining stability and reducing the risk of injury during long hikes. The boots’ solid construction and ample cushioning make them ideal for those who plan to tackle more challenging terrain.
However, it is important to note that the Bridger Mid does run a bit small, so you may need to order a half size up for a proper fit. Additionally, these boots are slightly heavier than some other options on the market, which may be a consideration for hikers looking for a lighter weight boot.
In summary, the Oboz Bridger Mid is an outstanding choice for hikers on a budget who do not want to compromise on quality and comfort. With its superior waterproofing, solid foot support, and comfortable BFit deluxe insole, these boots will keep you comfortable and protected during even the most challenging hikes.
Best Budget Hiking Boots for Traction
Material: Synthetic upper, Contagrip rubber outsole, Gore-tex waterproofing
What we love about the X Ultra 4 Mid: Stable and grippy hiking boot, Provides excellent traction uphill and downhill
What we don’t love: Needs time breaking in, Runs a bit small
If you’re in search of a budget hiking boot that can provide excellent grip and stability, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is a great option to consider. Priced at $169.95, it’s built to handle all types of weather, thanks to its Gore-Tex waterproofing and Contagrip rubber outsole. The sole’s traction is impressive on both wet and dry surfaces, and the shoe’s Advanced Chassis offers great protection for sensitive articulations without limiting freedom of movement.
However, it’s worth noting that the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid will require some breaking in before it becomes comfortable to wear. Additionally, the shoe runs a bit small, so you may need to size up to ensure a proper fit. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is an excellent choice for hikers looking for a reliable, budget-friendly shoe that can handle a variety of terrains and conditions.
Overall, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is a stable, grippy hiking shoe that’s built for all weather conditions. The Gore-Tex waterproofing provides reliable protection against moisture, while the breathable material keeps your feet comfortable during extended hikes. The shoe’s Advanced Chassis offers great protection and support for sensitive articulations, making it an ideal choice for hikers who need extra stability. If you’re looking for a budget hiking boot with excellent grip, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is definitely worth considering.
Best Budget Breathable Hiking Boots
Price: [men’s] $155.00 ; [women’s] $140.00
Material: 100% waterproof neoprene upper, Dual density footbed with memory foam, Lugged rubber outsole
What we love about the Apex Mid-Zip: Breathable neoprene boot, Lightweight yet durable materials, Memory foam cushioning, Rated to sub-freezing temperatures, Easy on-off, Fits true-to-size, Frequently on sale
What we don’t love: Not enough support for rocky alpine conditions
If you’re looking for a cheap yet breathable hiking boot, the Muck Apex is a great option to consider. One of the standout features of this boot is its 100% waterproof neoprene upper, which will keep your feet dry even in wet conditions while keeping the boot fairly lightweight. This helps make these boots comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Additionally, the dual density footbed with memory foam offers excellent cushioning and support, making it a great choice for long hikes.
The Muck Apex Mid-Zip also features a lugged rubber outsole, which provides good traction on a variety of surfaces. The adjustable strap and zipper design makes it easy to put on and take off, which is a nice convenience. The boot is rated to sub-freezing temperatures, which makes it suitable for colder climates with proper socks. However, if you’re planning to hike in rocky alpine conditions or over loose earth, the Muck Apex Mid-Zip may not provide enough support for your needs. Overall, the Muck Apex Mid-Zip is a great budget hiking boot that offers a comfortable fit, waterproof protection, and solid traction on most terrains.
How We Test Budget Hiking Boots
When testing budget hiking boots and deciding which to select for our review, we based our recommendations upon a variety of factors. These factors include boot weight, build material, price, and how much support the boots provide while carrying weight in a backpack. While we understand that there are cheaper options available, we only felt right recommending brands with a strong reputation for developing great hiking boots that can withstand the trail. We feel that it’s best to purchase hiking boots from a reputable brand with quality manufacturing and warranty.
How to Choose the Best Budget Hiking Boots for You
When it comes to hiking, having a good pair of boots is essential. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality pair of hiking boots. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for cheap hiking boots.
The weight of your hiking boots can have a big impact on your comfort and performance on the trail. Generally, heavier boots provide more support and durability, but can be tiring to wear for long periods of time. Lighter boots may not be as durable, but they are more comfortable and flexible. If you plan to do longer hikes or backpacking trips, you may want to consider a lighter pair of boots to reduce fatigue.
The material used to build the boots will determine its durability, water-resistance, and breathability. Synthetic materials like nylon and polyester are lightweight and quick-drying, making them a great choice for warm and dry weather. Leather, on the other hand, is more durable and provides more protection from water, but can be heavy and take longer to dry. Some boots are made from a combination of both materials to balance weight and durability.
One of the biggest factors for many people when buying hiking boots is price. Luckily, there are many affordable options out there. Keep in mind that the cheapest boots may not be the best quality, so it’s important to find a balance between price and quality. Typically, boots in the $50 to $100 range will provide good value and adequate performance for most hikers. Higher-end boots can cost upwards of $200, but may provide additional features like better waterproofing, improved durability, and more comfort.
The traction of your boots is critical when hiking on different terrains. Look for boots with a rugged sole and deep lugs to provide good grip on slippery or uneven surfaces. Vibram is a well-known brand that produces durable, high-quality soles for hiking boots.
Comfort and Support
Hiking boots should be comfortable and provide adequate support to your feet and ankles. Look for boots with a cushioned footbed, padded tongue and collar, and adequate arch support. Some boots may also have additional features like a heel brake to provide extra stability on downhill slopes.
Finally, it’s important to make sure your hiking boots fit properly. A good fit will prevent blisters and provide better support and comfort on the trail. Make sure to try on boots with the socks you plan to wear while hiking and walk around the store to ensure a good fit. Look for boots with a snug fit that allows your toes to wiggle but doesn’t slide around inside the boot.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality pair of budget hiking boots. By considering the weight, build material, price, traction, comfort and support, and fit of your boots, you can find a pair of cheap hiking boots that meet your needs without breaking the bank. Happy hiking!