If you’re into hiking then there’s one bit of gear that will make all the difference to your endeavors – your shoes. While hiking trainers can afford the luxury of a light feel and breathable fabrics, they’re not suited to every kind of trail.
If you’ll be hitting serious slopes, you’ll want heavy-duty soles, ankle protection, and weather resistance… and that’s when hiking boots come into play.
At A Glance: Our Favorite Cheap Boots For Hiking
However, shopping around for budget-friendly hiking boots can be a bit of a minefield, with high price tags not always meaning high-end products. Here, we’ve scoured the cheapest hiking boots on the market to bring you the best of the budget options – and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what we’ve found.
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Best For Cold Weather
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Best For Comfort
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Setting the bar high for some top budget hiking boots are the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II boots. With a mid-sized shaft and uppers constructed from a mixture of leather, suede, and mesh, these hiking boots offer great support but don’t weigh a tonne either.
Plus, the upper is PU-coated and attached to the sole via sealed seams that won’t let any water through. You might get a few splashes over the mid-height shaft or through the eyelets, but overall, these boots are pretty much waterproof at a bargain price.
One of our favorite things about these affordable hiking boots is the soles. The Techlite™ midsole protects you from impact yet is surprisingly lightweight, while the outsole uses Columbia’s Omni-Grip™ technology (which basically means it uses grippy rubber with strategic treads) to stop you from slipping. The net result is a sole that ensures you can tackle even the toughest of terrain.
The leather upper is a little stiff, which is great for ankle support but if you’ll be hitting up gentle trails then perhaps you’d rather something a little more comfortable. We like that they’re available in half sizes but watch out with your sizes because they run a little wide (which they could avoid by introducing a regular and wide fit).
Although the waterproof membrane is designed to allow some airflow, the boots aren’t as breathable as we’d like, so they aren’t the best for sweaty summer hikes.
Overall, for a bargain price you’re getting a pair of lightweight hiking boots. And, they are waterproof boots with great soles too!
If you’re after a pair of winter boots at a bargain price, then look no further than the NORTIV 8 Winter Boots. A waterproof shell at the base combined with a water- (and even oil-) resistant upper means that these boots will keep out the rain and snow, and we love that they feature a toe cap to stop any nasty toe injuries.
Arguably the best thing about these inexpensive hiking boots is their insulation. It’s hard to believe that, for this super low price, you can get a pair of hiking boots with 200g of insulation and a heat-reflective liner – enough to keep you warm at temperatures as frosty as -25°F!
The shaft is nice and high too, increasing the warmth around your ankles and making any pesky splashes less likely to make their way inside your hiking boots – although there have been a few reports of the shaft rubbing on ankles, so make sure you have a tall pair of socks to hand.
The lug patterns on the durable rubber sole provide a decent grip, and the EVA inner sole scores very well in the comfort department. The sizes do seem to run a little small, so we’d recommend going at least a half size up from your normal size (no wide fit available). Perfect for hiking or even just as a general snow boot, this is one great value pair of winter hiking boots.
And now for something a little different, the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Boot. These hiking boots have hit the marketplace by storm, and for good reason.
These boots score exceptionally well in the comfort department thanks to Merrel’s M Select™ FIT.ECO+ footbed. It’s constructed from EVA foam to provide maximum support and features reinforcement around the heel and arch, plus it has a nylon arch shank and a shock-absorbing air cushion in the heel. They’re also available in half sizes and wide fits, so you can be sure to get your sizing spot on.
The suede leather and mesh construction results in a boot that’s as tough and durable as it is breathable. The mesh lining ensures constant airflow around your feet, which is fantastically refreshing when trekking in hot weather (but obviously not so great in a downpour – these cheap hiking boots are NOT waterproof).
On top of that, the durable rubber sole has a treat depth of 5mm, so you won’t find slide around much on slippy surfaces, but there’s a rubber toe cap in case you do stumble. The low shaft definitely makes these hiking boots comfier to wear than models with taller shafts, but watch out for debris that are more likely to make it over the top of your boot.
Overall, while they’re lacking in insulation and they certainly aren’t waterproof, if you’re after a pair of super comfortable, lightweight boots for hiking or backpacking in warmer climates, then the Merrel Moabs are a great shout.
The Timberland White Ledge Mid Boots are our top choice if you want a pair of boots as well suited to the trail as they are to everyday life.
A shaft of 4.75 inches provides enough support for uneven surfaces but keeps comfort levels high. On top of that, the overall stylish appearance of these boots means that you can stroll around town without looking like a hiker who’s taken a wrong turn.
But don’t let the good looks fool you. Despite the casual appearance, the uppers of these hiking boots are constructed from durable, waterproof leather connected to the soles via sealed seams. Plus, the lacing system is rustproof so you don’t have to worry about them wearing out any time soon.
The EVA footbeds and midsoles provide comfort and protection, and the outsoles have bidirectional lugs to keep you stable on slippy surfaces. They aren’t the most durable soles we’ve ever seen though, so if you plan on doing super long hikes in these hiking shoes regularly, they might only last you a couple of years (they can’t be re-soled).
We also love that the fabric linings are constructed from a material made from recycled plastic, so you’re earning yourself some green points with you’re purchase.
Overall, by paying a little bit more than you would for a pair of everyday shoes, you’re getting hiking shoes you can wear in day to day life as well as a waterproof, lightweight, and eco-friendly pair of hiking boots.
Okay, so we know the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Boots aren’t super cheap… but they do offer an exceptional combination of lightness, traction, and comfort at a great price so we just had to mention them.
First off, weighing in at just over 2lbs for a men’s size 9, these are definitely at the light end of the spectrum for mid-rise hiking boots. Plus, by using two types of rubber, Salomon has created an ultra-grippy outsole featuring an impressive lug pattern that really optimizes grip.
This combination means you really can stroll around with a spring in your step without fear of stumbling. And you’ll be comfy while you’re doing it too, thanks to the 4D advanced chassis – a midsole plate that provides great foot support – and protective heel plate.
With uppers constructed of Gor-Tex and synthetic material, you can rest assured your feet will stay dry, yet we found these budget hiking boots to have better breathability than most boots of this kind. The overall high-quality materials also mean you won’t have to replace this hiking footwear any time soon.
Our main gripe is with the soles – although they provide some cushioning against impact, they’re slightly less protective than we’d like. Also, although the lower than average shaft reduces weight and adds to the comfort, it does mean you aren’t as protected from debris or supported at the ankle.
Overall, if you plan to hike along extreme terrain, these might not be the best option. But for anything less extreme, these lightweight, waterproof hiking boots offer great grip and comfort – oh, and they come in half sizes, wide fits, male and female models, and a range of colors too.
The HI-TEC Skamania Mid Boots offer astounding value for money. Waterproof, supportive, and lightweight too… we can’t believe that these budget hiking boots don’t come with a higher price tag.
The upper of these hiking boots is crafted mostly from suede leather, with patches of mesh fabric for great breathability. And if you think this doesn’t sound like a pair of boots to keep you dry, then think again – the Dri-Tec membrane combined with the leather ensures that your feet will stay bone dry.
The outsoles have lug patterns suited to both uphill and braking movements, and they’re carefully designed so that they won’t hang on to pesky pebbles. The EVA midsoles are nice and comfortable and sculpted by a steel shank, but we wish they were slightly thicker for added protection on sharp ground.
You don’t need to worry about rear and frontward impacts though – these cheap hiking boots have in-built heel protectors and toe guards. Also, the cushioned around the ankle is splendid and means the tall shaft won’t rub you raw.
The biggest issue with these boots is their longevity… they probably won’t last you a lifetime. However, at this price, we wouldn’t really expect them to. Watch out for the sizing too, as they ten to run a little small (but they are available in half sizes, wide fits, and male and female models).
If you’re after something to use from time to time, or are happy to replace your hiking boots every few years, then the Skamania Mid Boots have a lot to offer.
The KEEN Targhee III Mid Boots are definitely at the higher end of the cheap hiking boot price range, but they’re worth every penny – especially if comfort is your top priority.
The deal-breaker in terms of comfort lies in the soles. Not only does the EVA midsole provide great cushioning, but it’s also embedded with an inner shank and an external support shank for incredible support along the foot, particularly at the arch. Oh, and the rubber outsole has a tread of 4mm so your feet will stay put.
The shaft is lower than some, but high enough to stop any ankles from rolling, and has plush cushioning around the rim. There’s also a toe protector for added protection. The upper itself is made of soft, oiled leather upper, and this softness gives the boot a trainer-like feel. Sure, you’ll lose some stability for this lack of rigidity but, overall, you’ll feel like you’re walking on air.
We also love the multiple lacing options that let you optimize the feel of the boot, but the sizes do run a little wide so you right have to wear thick socks if you’re narrow-footed. The KeenDry waterproof membrane and leather upper mean that your feet will stay dry and, although the membrane allows some airflow, we’d like to see better breathability at this price.
The Keen Targhee might not be the meanest, toughest hiking boots around, but they’re waterproof, protective, and unrivaled in terms of comfort for this price bracket.
The main selling point of the Vasque Talus AT UltraDry Boots is their impressive grip… even in soggy conditions.
This is thanks to the excellent traction provided by the Vibram Nuasi outsole. Its XS Trek compound construction (made partly from recycled materials), treads, and lug patterns all contribute to the super stable sole.
We also love that not only is the collar padded to stop any ankle rubbing, but so is the tongue for premium comfort. The cheap hiking boots also feature a toe cap, so you don’t have to worry about broken toes, and the heel is reinforced too.
The EVA midsole feature a shank for added support, and the leather uppers and waterproof lining make these boots truly waterproof and, although not particularly bad, the ventilation isn’t the best we’ve seen.
Available in a range of colors, half sizes, wide fits, and male and female models, there really is very little to complain about with these partially leather boots (except perhaps the price)!
Okay, so there you have our favorite cheap hiking boots. But how did we manage to separate the wheat from the chaff? Well, there are some key factors to consider:
No one wants a slippy pair of walking boots, and all of the boots here have a decent outsole to make sure you won’t be sliding around on the trail. Some boots, however, are better than others when it comes to grip. It might cost you a little bit more for a high-end outsole, so think about whether your routes are likely to be treacherous or not (a rubber sole with basic lugs and tread patterns is more than enough for easy to moderate hikes).
If you want to wear your boots all year round, then you’ll probably want to make sure they’re waterproof. Most of the boots featured here are constructed of leather with some kind of waterproof coating to repel water – but remember that the length of the shaft also plays a role in keeping splashes out.
Plus, if your boots aren’t going to let water in, will they be able to let air out? In cold climates, you might want to keep the warm air in, but in sunnier conditions, the opposite will be true. And if you’ll be trekking in serious cold places, you’ll also want to look for added layers of insulation.
To a certain degree, you get what you pay for with outdoor gear. Having said that, there are some bargains out there with low price tags – if it’s longevity you’re after, keep an eye out for high-end materials such as leather, Gore-Tex, EVA midsoles, and rubber soles (you’ll find these in all of the boots above).
This is by no means an exhaustive list – there are tonnes of other factors to consider, such as sizing, support, and weight – so whatever you do, make sure you don’t rush into buying the first pair of budget hiking boots you come across.
If we had to pick our top three what would they be?
Our favorite pair of budget hiking boots for colder climates has to be the NORTIV 8 Winter Boots – with their impressive insulation system keeping you warm at temperatures as low as -25°F, how it could it not be?!
And on top of that, you get great soles, a protective shaft and toe cap, and they can even double up a snowshoe – winning!
Our top pick for comfort has to be the KEEN Targhee III Mid Boots. – because who says hiking boots can’t feel like trainers? You’ll walk for miles without even realizing in these hiking boots, thanks to the incredible support system in the soles.
Plus, you get decent waterproofing, ankle cushioning, and a toe protector to boot (see what we did there?).
And our favorite boots from the list? It’s the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II boots. Grippy, protective, and supportive, all at a fraction of the price we’d expect to see – what’s not to love?