If you enjoy hiking as a routine or even as a recreation, you need to have the proper gear with you. And in the list of hiking equipment, hiking boots definitely come first.
Whether you are a professional hiker or just a beginner, going on a hiking trail with wrong footwear could quickly turn your adventure into a misadventure. This is how crucial hiking boots really are.
So how can you pick a proper hiking boot for your journey?
Generally, we determine the quality of hiking boots based on how light and comfortable they are.
Besides, water-resistance and durability are other features that should be taken into consideration while choosing a hiking boot.
The other to note about your hiking boot is its price. If it functions well and comes at a reasonable price, you are good to go.
Here, we have listed 10 of the best budget hiking boots under $100 in 2019 for your convenience.
Moab 2 Ventilator Mid is a perfect hiking boot for day hikers and causal backpackers. Though it lacks waterproofing, the boot ranks good for its excellent breathability.
14 X 10 X 6 inches
Moab 2 Ventilator Mid weighs precisely 2 pounds for a pair of men’s size 9. This makes it a moderately lightweight hiker model designed by Merrell.
The lighter weight of this hiking boot is the result of a mesh, lower density sole. Also, the boot comes with a molded nylon shank which assists in keeping its weight in proper check. For most of the hikers, the Moab 2 offers a great combination of weight and performance.
The cushioned collar and tongue alongside supportive footbed and enough flexibility make this boot extraordinarily comfortable for hiking. It also presents decent arch support and the molded heel cup which holds your feet correctly on the trail. Also, the hiking shoe has extra padding in the heel, which aids in proper underfoot protection.
Moab 2 Ventilator Mid also comes with a light and flexible sole which allows in a free bending of your feet. The only issue of the material is that there is only one pair of lacing hooks in addition to the eyelets. This constraint makes it harder to lace these boots with a customized, comfortable fit.
This model of Merrell hiking boot has kept check with the thread pattern or Vibram rubber compound from the previous version. Due to this, it offers decent all-around traction or grip over rock and dirt.
The traction grade of this hiking boot is a good match for most day hikers and moderate to difficult peak baggers. Besides, this model has a smoother lug pattern which makes the boot more capable on the sand and the slick rock trails.
In terms of water resistance, the model ranks to be quite modest. It is because Moab 2 Ventilator Mid boots lack a waterproof membrane. Instead, the hiking boot holds the feature of breathability, which makes it one of the most breathable boots. It provides enough comfort while hiking through hot and dry environments.
Talking about durability, this model of hiking boot is quite average. It lacks durability because of the lower quality mesh outer, which starts to wear off after only a few days of use on rocky trails.
Also, the nylon lacing eyelets wear out quicker than the metal ones. Other than that, the use of softer rubber compound makes it less durable than the boots which use harder compounds.
The Men’s White Ledge hiking boot is one of the all-time best-selling products of Timberland. Currently, this product falls among the best hiking boots on Amazon for its favorable price and quality performance.
5 X 5 X 0.7 inches
Men’s White Ledge hiking boot is quite light with a weight of 1.2 pounds.
It is surprisingly lightweight since it is an all-leather boot. Although the product is made of premium and durable materials, it is light enough to make your hike comfortable and soothing.
This product is very comfy for your hike. It comes equipped with an EVA dual-density footbed which aids you with plenty of comfort and arch support. The padding around the ankle of this footwear is very thick and comfortable, and so is its upper tongue.
In the meantime, the sole of this shoe is comfortable and equally flexible. However, this can cause some problems with very long hikes on rough terrain. You can take full pleasure of this boot during a short hike and for the jobs that require extra protection for your feet.
The outside of Men’s White Ledge hiking boot is filled up with rubber and also features multi-directional lugs for enhanced grip. In addition, it also comes with the Timberland’s BSFP system which stands for Brake, Support, Flex, and Propel.
The model of footwear is designed to bend naturally along with your foot to make sure that you stay exactly at the place where you wanted. Courtesy of this, you can maintain your balance even in the slipperiest terrain.
The boot’s seam-sealed waterproof construction makes it perfect water-resistant footwear for your hike. It is a versatile and multipurpose boot made with waterproof leather. The leather is made waterproof during the tanning process. You can find a premium full-grain waterproof leather used in this model of the hiking boot.
This hiking boot can keep your feet dry while hiking through wet grass and splashing in puddles on your trail.
With the use of imported leather, the model of hiking boot earns good points in durability. Besides, it also holds a significant place while it comes to its natural strength and breathability. It finds its place amongst the hikers who prefer low-cost footwear that is durable and comfortable.
Comparatively, the upper lacing eyelets of this hiking shoe bends easily and all the eyelets tend to loosen and spin. Generally, this type of boot can handle the occasional hike and provide you reasonable comfort during the journey.
Keen Targhee II Mid, designed for men, has been a staple in the day-hiking world for years now. It is a solid lightweight hiking boot that features immense comfort and toe protection for a quality hike.
5 X 5 X 0.7 inches
The weight of this footwear stands at 2.12 pounds. This boot is a moderately heavy model in its category but stays on average when compared with the overall products.
The components that make this hiking shoe heavy is the crafting of its thick midsole, its high-traction outsole, and some robust rubber protection at the toe and heel. Though these features make it a high-performing model, it is somewhat unpopular among light travelers.
The Keen Targhee II Mid is a comfortable, rugged, waterproof boot that has excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces. The boot comes with a solid protective rubber in the front which removes the possibility of stubbed toes. Besides, the thick sole with shank-insert handles uneven surfaces without any discomfort.
When compared to its other versions, it is very roomy; it means if you have narrow or broad feet, you can find ample space for comfort. It has a proper lacing system made up of three lower, one middle, and one upper locking eyelets. In the meantime, this model breathes pretty well to provide comfort to your feet.
Keen Targhee II Mid uses an in-house rubber for a better grip. With the availability of multi-directional lugs, it is more substantial and grippy in the rough terrain. The Targhee’s non-marking rubber sole performs well in dry and wet rocky surfaces and also handles muddy slopes with ease.
In addition, the well-designed sole helps in a better journey through slippery mud better than most traditional sole designs.
The model of a hiking boot comes with a waterproof top-grain cattle leather and flexible nylon mesh. Keen Targhee II Mid shoes are made of KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membranes. These help to keep your feet dry all the time.
The upper portion of this hiking shoe is generally all nubuck leather. The textile detailing and breathable mesh on the tongue means the shoe is durable and won’t shred when the trail gets rocky.
Additionally, this footwear also features a substantial dual density EVA midsole and noticeably large rubber toe rand which offers extra protection to your feet.
If you want an exceptionally lightweight and excellent comfort hiking boot, you should opt for the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II. It offers you excellent support and stability in your adventure.
15 X 10 X 5 inches
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II hiking boot weighs at just 1 pound. It comes with the Columbia Techlite lightweight midsole which ensures long-lasting comfort as well as superior cushioning.
The model’s lightweight ability makes it suitable for risky days out on the trail or the mountain region.
The comfort of this hiking boot can be measured by how well it is padded in the right places. You can gain extra support from well-placed cushioning to guard against friction points for a more comfortable experience.
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II is not too stiff and it allows your feet to fold naturally when you take your steps in the steep hills. This also boosts your flexibility. You should take note that the tread lugs on outside heel begin to disappear after a couple of usages.
The model of hiking boot is designed to handle rough and rocky terrain that you are likely to encounter in your trail. The availability of hard yet flexible soles offers an excellent grip in the uneven tracks. This rubber sole features Omni-Grip patented traction rubber that grips well and doesn’t leave black marks on floors.
Whether on rock or sand or in mud or rain, you can trust the gripping power of this boot to get you through your hike comfortably.
This is a waterproofing hiking boot that features a leather upper with a breathable mesh tongue that is ideal for ensuring you get a cool and dry foot during the wet trails.
In this hiking boot, you can find the leather and metal materials constructed with UP for maximum water resistance and other moisture. Additionally, the inclusion of waterproof seam construction helps to seal moisture out to keep your feet cool and dry.
This Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II comes with advanced technology which includes its Techlite lightweight midsole. This feature makes it long lasting and ranks at top when it comes to comfort.
The imported leather material and a rubber sole add to its durability. One thing to keep in mind is that this hiking boot is more suitable for a hiker who demands arch support.
Adventure awaits you in the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Ventilator hiking shoe which is an affordable option for warm and dry climates. The model comes with great traction and breathable capability.
5 X 5 X 0.7 inches
The model of hiking boot weighs around 1.13 pounds in a women’s size 10. Although the footwear comes with stable materialization for exceptional ankle support and lateral movement, it stays in the zone of lightest hiking boots available.
While we compare other women shoes in the Merrell category, this boot is only six ounces heavier than the Siren Edge Q2 Waterproof.
In terms of comfort, the Women’s Moab 2 Ventilator boot scores good points with the appreciable cushioning found in this type of hiking shoe. The material uses a blended EVA midsole which makes sure it is not too soft. With the help of this, your feet shouldn’t feel every pebble or rock in your trail.
However, the boots with the Merrell brand feels slightly small in the women’s size. You could feel a bit of knocking while going downhill as the toes almost reach the end of this boot. You may need to consider sizing up as per the requirement in your trail.
This model of hiking boot provides a great grip for the rocky trails. The Vibram sole on this shoe comes with a unique design. It features circles, swoops, and larger v-patterns instead of traditional lugs. The rubber used is on the softer side and is very sticky which helps you to walk in very steep slabs comfortably.
The hiking boot receives a low score in water resistance because it is without the waterproof feature. Instead, it is made with breathability and ventilation in mind, avoiding the waterproofing.
It ships with a mesh liner that assists in repelling light rain or some dew and is ideal if you hike in the desert or only in the sunshine.
The inclusion of softer rubber in this hiking shoe somewhat puts concern in its durability. Meanwhile, the exposed EVA midsole can tear up on brush.
Although the upper contains a cutout leather that provides ventilation, it also creates much room for failure. The joint of this footwear is only single stitched which can cause sudden break. However, the availability of small rubber toe cap offers somewhat wear protection.
Priced just under $100, Timberland Mt. Maddsen hiking boot is a perfect fit for your frequent adventures on the trails. The model of hiking boot is packed with various technologies to keep your feet dry and stable on the road.
5 X 5 X 0.7 inches
Timberland Mt. Maddsen is a unisex hiking boot with the extremely light weight of 1.1 pounds. Its lightweight feature makes this shoe a perfect fit for you in case you are on your feet all day long.
Despite the stylish design and strong construction, the hiking boot attracts most of the hikers owing to its lightest weight.
As we already mentioned, this model of hiking boot is built for frequent hikers who like to spend most of the time in the adventure trails. The technology used provides proper shock absorption, and impeccable standing comfort.
The hiking shoe also has a compression molded EVA midsole that supports the arch of a wearer for better comfort. It also assists with the overall cushioning to keep the heel and ball of the foot comfortable.
The hiking boot has a durable 15% recycled rubber lug outsole which is essential for a better grip. The product is made from a material that supports a midsole underfoot from the ground up. With the rubber outsole, you can experience a fantastic grip as you climb up and down while enjoying its stability and support.
Thankfully, the availability of eco-conscious waterproof membrane termed Timber-Dry™ in this boot helps to keep your feet dry in any weather condition. The use of the eco-conscious aspect of the layer is also appealing for those who are eco-friendly.
Additionally, the tongue of this hiking shoe comes with a fabric which assists in keeping waste and moisture out. However, this hiking boot comes with less breathable and ventilation features as it is rich with waterproofing features. Another good thing about waterproofing is that it safeguards the interiors of your boot.
The material has a full-leather upper that is extremely strong and durable. As mentioned earlier, the midsole composed of EVA material adds more strength and durability to the product.
Timberland Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boot has an outsole made of a sturdy rubber material that is regarded as being durable. Additionally, the product is fully waterproof so that the leather won’t get damaged and the boot gets enough durability.
Comfortable and lightweight boot for your hiking, Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O uses an Advanced Torque Stability that supports and cushions the feet as you move on the trail.
16 X 15 X 6 inches
The product comes with the lightest weight of 1.25 pounds. Due to its well-balanced weight, this hiking wear provides immense comfort while your journey into the big and lengthy hikes.
In the meantime, the lightweight composite shank available in this hiking boot enhances stability for better support during the adventure. You are lucky that Ariat designers found a way to make the Terrain H2O remarkably lightweight and supportive.
Some quality features of the hiking footwear make it a perfect choice for comfort. The gel cushioning in insole helps to absorb shock for energy-returning comfort. In addition, the slip-resistant Duratread outsole is highly resistant to oil and barnyard acids.
Other notable aspects of this hiking boot are the availability of toe and heel guards for protection and padded collar that feels good in your feet.
In terms of traction, the product is a perfect fit. It is because of the moisture-wicking lining insole which assists for dry wear. The availability of this feature makes the boot ideal for sailing over the rough terrain and muddy paths.
The Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot is waterproof and made up of full oiled leather. The waterproof membrane is constant and consistent and offers much relief to your feet in the wet and moist conditions.
In addition to the waterproof technology, the material has an ATS™ technology that keeps the boot balanced and dry from the inside out.
The design of this boot is done with imported leather material which delivers greater flexibility and durability. This model of the boot is specially designed for athletes, jumpers, and riders and that’s why it possesses durable construction which automatically profits durability.
You should know that the traction of this hiking shoe is not entirely exceptional and can wear off at any given situation.
The North Women’s Hedgehog Fastpack GTX is an excellent shoe for fast and light hiking. It comes with excellent waterproof features and sleek design for comfortable wear.
13 X 9 X 5 inches
The model of hiking shoe weighs around 1.3 pounds. This feature allows for a swift and lightweight movement along with the light and fast hiking trails. If you have a habit of running during your hike, this boot is a perfect choice for you.
However, the serious concern of this product is that it offers less stability as The North Face has given more priority to make this a lightweight shoe.
In terms of comfort, the Hedgehog Fastpack GTX receives an average score. Though the availability of cushioning can be felt under the heel, the forefoot, unfortunately, lacks this feature making it not so comfortable for your adventure.
Additionally, the model runs a bit narrow which may cause a problem if you have wide feet. In such a case, you need to find a perfect fit for your comfortable journey.
While talking about the traction of this hiking shoe, it ranks best for its outsole which offers tremendous support on various trails. The Vibram sole comes in the shape of a flower or a tree bunch. Meanwhile, the inner rubber is soft which helps it to grip on slick surfaces.
The hiking boot performs well in the water resistance testing. The leather coated with Polyurethane and synthetic upper helps to keep the water out. Additionally, the Gore-Tex liner acts as a backup in case any water enters through the upper.
The ankle opening of this product provides much coverage for hiking through wet brush.
Unfortunately, the durability of this hiking boot is a bit of a concern. The reason for this is the single-stitched leather cut-out strips designed in the upper. These stitches tend to come loose after a couple of months of use making the product less durable and more vulnerable to wearing out.
To enjoy the full feature of this hiking footwear, try using it in your short and quick hikes.
One of the kinds for a light and easy hike is Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof hiking boot. It comes at a reasonable price and offers good value for money.
12 X 8 X 4 inches
Weighing at just 1.3 pounds, Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid hiking boot is a suitable choice for you if you are planning for a light and fast trek. The hiking shoe is constructed in a way that it is not heavy on the feet for light day hiking, but probably not that sturdy for longer backpacking trips.
Although a thick padded tongue further protects the ankle area and upper foot area of the footwear, it doesn’t add much weight to the product. However, it provides the same amount of stability as you expect from most of the hiking boots.
This model of hiking boot is comfortable for a short hike. It has a removable contoured inside made from foam. As we mentioned earlier that the boot has extra padding in the upper foot area, many times the extra padding can make it difficult to tie your laces securely.
Though the footwear comes with a moisture-absorbing lining to help keep your feet dry, the boots wouldn’t be overly breathable. That is why it is recommended while hiking on well-established and accessible trails.
This model of hiking boot features a traction rubber cup sole. A cup sole in the shoe is an outsole like a cup around the sole of your foot. These cup soles are glued to the bottom of the boot and are covered on the outside by a carbon rubber outsole. This feature offers multi-directional traction for added grip.
However, the soles of the boots are not solid enough to take you through heavy off-trail hikes. Therefore, you should use this model for a quick hike.
Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof hiking boot comes with a waterproofing feature. However, this depends on the type of trail.
For instance, this boot can work well in light to medium rain showers through spring, summer, and autumn seasons. Meanwhile, if you are planning to be out in heavy downpours or stuck in near ankle deep water, this hiking footwear is unlikely to keep your feet dry.
As we mentioned above that this type of hiking boot suits your simple and easy hikes. Having said that, if you risk using the model during an off-trail adventure, you are most likely to damage the product and its durability.
In general, the Hi-Tec Bandera hiking boot is a good boot for the price you pay. You are unlikely to go wrong for what you are paying.
Merrell Siren Edge Q2 Women’s hiking boot is specially designed to keep your feet feeling good and well-supported. The model is widely recommended for those who value comfort over any other feature.
5 X 5 X 0.7 inches
One of the important features of this shoe is that it is incredibly lightweight. It is even lighter than the Merrell’s Moab 2 Ventilator designed for women.
However, despite the lightweight feature, the hiking boot is not so comfortable for long hikes. It lacks enough support which seems to be lost while making it comfortable for a simplified adventure.
In comparison, the hiking boot scores relatively low score when it comes to comfort. It is because the boot is designed for short and easy trails and not for the extended ones. Additionally, the absence of padding in underfoot makes it hard for you to walk through the rough trails with even a light daypack.
In the meantime, the upper of this boot is a weird blend of mesh and it feels plasticky and makes a strange sound while walking.
The boot is not perfectly designed for a hike through rough and rocky trails. Due to this, you will not get a good grip with this footwear if you plan to hike around uneven tracks.
In addition, the tread pattern of this boot is shallow and there is a lack of space between the lugs which could cause you to slip a lot on weak trails.
The shoe contains an M Select DRY liner from Merrell for sealing out the water and making it waterproof. However, this doesn’t work well to keep the material waterproof as the membrane tends to leak in a short period of use.
The model of hiking boot is also cut lower than most of the other models. So if you are a regular hiker and love to hike in wet weather conditions, you need to look for other better options.
The boot scores quite good marks when it comes to durability. It is made of durable materials and often performs well during a light one or two-mile hikes on gentle terrains. , You will not find this model durable while you opt for a lengthy and somewhat difficult adventure.
Comparison Table of Budget Hiking Boots
|Product Name||Dimensions (Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Waterproof|
|Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid||14 X 10 X 6||2||No|
|Timberland Men's White Ledge||5 X 5 X 0.7||1.2||Yes|
|Keen Targhee II Mid||5 X 5 X 0.7||2.12||Yes|
|Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II||15 X 10 X 5||1||Yes|
|Merrell Women's Moab 2 Ventilator||5 X 5 X 0.7||1.13||No|
|Timberland Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boots||5 X 5 X 0.7||1.1||Yes|
|Ariat Men's Terrain H2O Hiking Boot||16 X 15 X 6||1.25||Yes|
|The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Women's||13 X 9 X 5||1.3||Yes|
|Hi-Tec Men's Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot||12 X 8 X 4||1.3||Yes|
|Merrell Siren Edge Q2 WP Women's||5 X 5 X 0.7||0.68||Yes|
Things to Consider Before Buying Hiking Boots
Before you decide to spend some share of your budget on the hiking boots, you need to consider a few essential things.
These factors are handy for you to aim for comfortable footwear for a pleasant and well-balanced adventure.
Let’s discuss these valuable components in detail.
The primary thing you need to do before spending money on a hiking boot is to determine what you are going to use them for. For instance, if you are planning to hike on even and well-maintained trails with a light backpack, you can opt for a low-to-mid cut hiking boot. On the other hand, if your path is challenging, you need to get hold of higher-top hiking boots.
The other most important thing to consider before buying a hiking boot is its size. Your shoe should fit perfectly with your feet. Else, you are sure to be in big on-trail trouble, my friend!
One best way to find a perfect fit is by trying the model in the afternoon time. This time around, your feet are likely to be in the largest size. Your boot should provide some space for your toes to move quickly. Make sure that the footwear fits snugly, but not be tight and uncomfortable.
The next thing to keep in check is style. It is essential to choose the right style of a hiking boot to suit the conditions you will hike in.
As we already mentioned in usability, hiking in the steep and challenging trails need higher top hiking boots. This style of footwear provides excellent support to your ankles which aids in a proper journey around rough terrains. In the meantime, a light hike on an easy trail with a light pack can be achieved with low-or-mid cut hiking boots.
Before packing anything for your hike, you should always prepare for the worst weather scenarios. The same is the case when you opt to buy a hiking boot.
If the weather condition shows the chances of rain, you need to pack waterproof boots for a comfortable journey. This way, you can keep your feet dry in all weather conditions. Remember that hiking in wet boots can make your adventure miserable and uncomfortable.
Traction or grip is another essential thing to consider before buying a hiking boot. Generally, hiking trails can be slippery and rocky. You need to find a boot with a proper grip to remain untroubled in these situations.
Always choose the shoe type that offers the right amount of traction you will need for the trail you will be hiking in. In case your trail is well-maintained, and you are with a light pack, you don’t need heavy traction. Besides, you need a heavier lug sole which will give you the best traction.
You need to see whether your boot provides enough ventilation for your feet or not. The proper breathability feature of a hiking boot assists to prevent your feet from becoming too hot and sweaty. With the appropriate air flow, you can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable journey.
Another significant feature you need to take notice of before buying a hiking boot is the amount of padding. Some boots have less filling compared to the others. You need to choose a boot’s padding as per your comfort.
Besides, arch support is another feature available in hiking boots. If you are flat-footed, you may require extra arch support for the comfortable journey.
You may get confused while choosing a better hiking boot for your smooth adventure that also comes with reasonable pricing. To be honest, it is not that difficult!
Just try to find a perfect pair that can genuinely assist you in completing the hike without any complications. If you tend to venture out in wet and moist conditions, you need to pick a good pair of hiking shoes with excellent waterproofing. Else, go for the one with better comfort and durability.
Make a wise choice and feel free to share with us if you find other convenient products that didn’t make it into our list. Enjoy!
- 1. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid
- 2. Timberland Men’s White Ledge
- 3. Keen Men’s Targhee II Mid
- 4. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II
- 5. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Ventilator
- 6. Timberland Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boots
- 7. Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boots
- 8. The North Face Women’s Hedgehog Fastpack GTX
- 9. Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- 10. Merrell Siren Edge Q2 WP Women’s
- Comparison Table of Budget Hiking Boots
- Things to Consider Before Buying Hiking Boots