Boots are the most crucial element of hiking equipment, and comfortable and safe passage of any route directly depend on them. If you can still put up with a heavy backpack and wet clothes, then it is simply impossible to withstand 8-10 hours of walking in uncomfortable shoes. It’s not necessary at all to pay a fortune for a quality product. Best hiking boots under 100 will pleasantly surprise you with their durability and comfort.
Before shopping, think of the following questions. How difficult will your route be? How much will your backpack weigh? And what is your physical fitness? The choice of the correct pair of boots directly depends on the answers. Now on the market, you can find specific shoes for almost every situation. So that you don’t get lost in all this diversity, I have written a comprehensive overview of hiking boots.
In my article, I have reviewed 15 inexpensive pairs of shoes for the whole family. So you can go on the next hike with your kids. Such boots’ distinct features are excellent foot fixation, water- and mechanical damage resistance, durable sole, and excellent support for a foot arch.
Top 15 Best Hiking Boots Under 100
- Top 15 Best Hiking Boots Under 100
- 1. My Top Pick: Timberland White Ledge
- 2. Budget Hiking Shoes with Innovative Lacing: KEEN Targhee II
- 3. Lightweight Affordable Hiking Shoes: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
- 4. Breathable Inexpensive Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2
- 5. Waterproof Budget Hiking Shoes: Danner Radical 452
- 6. Top Women’s Pick: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
- 7. Waterproof Low-Cost Hiking Shoes: Clorts Women’s Boots
- 8. Good Cheap Hiking Boots for Winter Hikes: Merrell Women’s Moab 2
- 9. Durable and Affordable Hiking Boots: Ahnu Alamere Mid
- 10. Well-Ventilated Inexpensive Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid
- 11. Top Pick for Kids: Mishansha Boys Girls Boots
- 12. Good Inexpensive Hiking Shoes for Children: JMFCHI Kids Boots
- 13. Universal Low-Cost Hiking Shoes: Northside Kids’ Rampart Mid
- 14. Affordable Hiking Shoes with Perfect Grip: Columbia Youth Newton Ridge
- 15. Low-Cost Hiking Shoes for Winter Activities: Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV
- Affordable Hiking Boots FAQ
- Budget-Friendly Hiking Boots for Your Best Experience
When choosing the right pair of shoes, be guided by your own feelings and your route. Remember that careful planning is one of the main hiking tips that will make any trip enjoyable. And buying the right boots is an important part of it.
1. My Top Pick: Timberland White Ledge
By far, Timberland White Ledge is the best men’s hiking boots under $100 I have ever tested. I liked it primarily because it is incredibly lightweight despite the one-piece leather upper with no synthetic inserts compared to other hiking boots. The weight may vary depending on the size you choose, but the average is 1.02 pounds. For leather shoes, it is a great indicator.
This model has both a number of excellent characteristics and some minor disadvantages. However, all that is consistent with its value. As the boots have a one-piece leather upper, they are waterproof. So, you don’t have to worry about walking on wet grass. Plus, the one-piece upper ensures durability as there are no seams or panels to come off. However, due to the lack of a waterproof membrane, they will not withstand complete immersion in water.
As with any Timberland shoe, a signature rubber outsole used in this item is wide and stable. It is quite soft, flexible, and provides good grip. However, it can quickly wear out if you often walk in these boots in the mountains. I like the average height of this model. Although it is not very high, your leg is securely fixed in the ankle joint area, which, together with the comfortable lacing, protects you from sprains. These boots are an excellent choice for those planning a long but uncomplicated cross-country route with a backpack of about 20 pounds.
- Extra lightweight;
- Leather upper;
- Flexible outsole;
- Ankles firmly fixed.
- No waterproof membrane.
2. Budget Hiking Shoes with Innovative Lacing: KEEN Targhee II
KEEN Targhee II is very popular among those who like hiking. I liked these boots for how comfortable my feet felt even after a few hours of hiking. Not every model offers this level of comfort for such a price. It is achieved due to a double insole and a padded collar around the ankle. Plus, it’s one of the most lightweight models on my list (1.08 pounds).
The product’s design deserves special attention. I find it very practical that the toes of the boots have a rubber coating. It not only prolongs the item’s life but also protects your toes from possible impacts with stones. The lacing system is made unusually. A couple of webbing eyelets extend from the heels, allowing you to tighten the laces as much as possible and keep the boots in place. From my experience, it is the only model with such a lacing.
The combination upper (nubuck and synthetic panels) is breathable for excellent feet ventilation. This model uses proprietary KEEN.DRY membrane, which protects you from minor water ingress (e.g., while crossing a shallow stream) but will not save you from more serious flooding. Many seams in the toe area let water pass through. It is also worth noting that this product is not very high, so the ankle does not have much support. As with the previous boots, I would say they are well-suited for easy trails with a small backpack.
- Excellent lacing system;
- Reinforced toe area;
- Not 100% waterproof.
3. Lightweight Affordable Hiking Shoes: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
The Newton Ridge Plus II is one of the leading hiking boots from Columbia. The diverse size range and the opportunity to choose a normal or increased fullness makes them truly versatile. Everyone can find shoes that fit them perfectly. Compared to many other leather models, this one is very soft to the touch, pleasant to wear, and weighs only 1 pound. The midsole has excellent shock-absorbing properties.
The upper is made of suede and leather combined with synthetic inserts. Usually, such inserts are used to ensure good ventilation inside the boot; however, in my opinion, it is insufficient here. Although I was not particularly uncomfortable, it seemed to me that it could be a problem in a warmer climate. But the level of moisture-protection really surprised me. Water can still enter through the mesh tongue; your feet will remain dry even after walking in rainy weather.
The outsole is made of non-marking rubber and has a “winter” tread pattern, so these boots are also suitable for winter hiking. Even though the outsole looks solid, it is still quite soft and may not hold up to rock climbing. All other elements and seams are made securely and will not deteriorate over time. Whether you go hiking occasionally or need footwear for outdoor work, Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a great choice.
- Large size range;
- Perfect shock absorption;
- For winter hikes;
- Good moisture protection.
- Insufficient ventilation.
4. Breathable Inexpensive Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2
The Merrell Moab 2 is a lightweight, soft, and flexible shoe model with a sneaker-like design. The shoes are great for short hikes without a heavy backpack. If you are on a multi-day trip, I recommend choosing a harder top model that provides a higher level of foot support.
The upper part of these boots is made of faux leather combined with mesh inserts. It makes them breathable and suitable for hiking in hot climates. Unfortunately, it can be a disadvantage if your route runs through rivers. These shoes offer little or no water-protection, although the used GORE-TEX membrane should. In general, my experience shows that it is a common occurrence: the better the ventilation, the worse the water-resistant properties of a product.
The Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole is wide and stable enough to fit those with wide feet. However, the tread pattern is not very deep, which means that boots can slip on unstable surfaces such as mud. The presence of a large number of inserts, seams, and other details makes these shoes, not the most durable. They definitely won’t handle heavy trips. Although, in my opinion, it is one of the most convenient items for everyday use for this money. You don’t have to break-in them and can use them right out of the box.
- Soft upper part;
- Very breathable;
- Ideal for everyday use.
- Let water through;
- Not for heavy trips.
5. Waterproof Budget Hiking Shoes: Danner Radical 452
If you are looking for shoes to use on a challenging route, Danner Radical 452 is worth looking at. It is one of the most durable boots I have ever tested. They stand up to daily wear in the toughest conditions. Although they look quite bulky, I can assure you they are very comfortable on the inside. But they weigh more than the previous items on my list (1.44 pounds). This extra durability could not but affect the boots’ cost, which is slightly higher compared to other products.
The boots have a nubuck upper and a reinforced rubber toe cap. I don’t really like nubuck as even the smallest scratches are visible on it. However, it does not affect the properties of these shoes. Although there are many small details and seams in the design of this model, they are made really reliable and seem to be able to withstand any load. The manufacturer has used a breathable and moisture-repellent GORE-TEX lining.
The Boulder TF outsole is combined with the TERRA FORCE platform for excellent traction. Although there are no really deep lugs on it, they have a complex pattern and point in different directions. The midsole is made of EVA and is well-cushioned, reducing stress on the knees. The boots are of medium height and end just above the ankle to provide support on difficult routes.
- Excellent water resistance;
- Suitable for heavy use.
- A bit heavy;
- Have a slightly higher price.
6. Top Women’s Pick: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus opens the list of the best women’s boots. Its EVA midsole is resilient, flexible, and well-cushioned, like in running shoes. While 1-inch thickness may seem insufficient to some, on the contrary, it seems to me to be a plus. It gives you better control over your stride and traction. That is why I consider this model to be the best hiking shoes under 100 for women.
The leather upper, waterproof mesh tongue and secure lacing provide a good level of fit. However, almost 100% tightness tends to impair ventilation inside the boot, and this item is no exception. In my opinion, the model is better suited for hiking in autumn or winter, especially since the deep tread gives a good grip even on ice and snow-covered sections of a route.
Of course, the female model weighs less on average than the male one. These boots fall into the category of lightweight product, as they weigh 0.8 pounds. Don’t think they are cheap and flimsy because of their low weight and cost. They are really solid and durable. Not a single seam has come apart during testing, although I suppose a soft sole can quickly deteriorate due to heavy use. I would say this model is more suitable for beginner hikers or those who plan routes of low to medium difficulty. Moreover, it is not very high and does not provide the ankle support necessary for complex trips.
- Perfect for winter hikes;
- For easy routes only.
7. Waterproof Low-Cost Hiking Shoes: Clorts Women’s Boots
The Chinese brand Clorts is not as well-known as some of the other manufacturers on my list. However, their hiking boots for women can compete with counterparts in the same price range.
The Uneebtex membrane protects you reliably from water, and a special design provides additional stability on difficult routes. In particular, it is facilitated by the mid-cut height and rubber outsole, which gives excellent traction on various surfaces. The upper is made of suede in combination with the mesh. Therefore, walking in these boots is comfortable even all day long. It is convenient that the insole is made of EVA and remembers the shape of your foot.
On the other hand, the shoes made in China often don’t stand the test of time. They wear out quickly, mainly due to poor quality seams. But it is worth paying tribute to the manufacturer; this model looks quite reliable. Overall, I would recommend it for jogging and short hikes on challenging trails.
These shoes can withstand such a load. As a disadvantage of these boots, I would like to point out a rather large weight of 1.97 pounds. At the same time, despite the weight and mid-cut height, the shoes do not look bulky. On the contrary, thanks to the simple design, they look quite nice. In a matter of appearance, it is one of the most stylish boots in its category.
- Appealing design;
- Excellent water resistance.
8. Good Cheap Hiking Boots for Winter Hikes: Merrell Women’s Moab 2
Unlike the men’s version of the Moab 2 on my list, the women’s model is a little lower, and the focus is not on ventilation but moisture-protection. I believe that it is more suitable for everyday wear or short hikes without a load than for conquering challenging routes. Due to the high water resistance level, these boots should be chosen for walking in cold weather. In spring or summer, ventilation may seem inadequate.
The upper of the product is made of a combination of suede and synthetic mesh and has a rubber toe guard. It makes it very lightweight (0.75 pounds). On the inside, the boots have a water-repellent M-Select DRY lining, which prevents moisture from getting inside, but at the same time, wicks away sweat well. The Vibram TC5+ outsole has long gained popularity among hikers for providing good traction on many surfaces. The tread has a complex pattern, so you can walk safely even on ice and off-road.
Overall, both the outsole and the upper are so flexible that they allow you to run quite comfortably in these boots. The midsole features a soft cushion in the heel area. However, I would like to point out that they do not provide enough support for a foot arch or ankle so that you can navigate difficult routes with a lot of weight. In general, I recommend replacing the factory insole with any other convenient for you.
- Ideal for winter walks;
- Excellent water resistance.
- Insufficient foot support.
9. Durable and Affordable Hiking Boots: Ahnu Alamere Mid
The Ahnu Alamere Mid is one of the cheapest and most lightweight (0.71 pounds) models on my list. The boots stand out from the rest of the products with a rather cute design. They are not bulky like most hiking shoes and really look neat on foot. A comfortable lacing system allows you to tighten them if you have narrow feet. And so that you do not experience discomfort because of this, the tongue is equipped with a padded lining.
The boots have a solid design, and at first glance, it had seemed to me that they would not have passed air very well. In practice, however, they provided sufficient ventilation to keep feet from sweating. The upper of the boot is made of three materials: textile, leather, and synthetic. The mesh is made of ripstop fabric, which is highly durable and resistant to any mechanical damage. I especially liked it because there is always a chance of catching on to something sharp on a hike.
The midsole is made of thick EVA and provides excellent arch support. This model has a medium height, sufficient to support ankle joints but without disrupting your natural movements. Although the manufacturer had indicated that they had to protect the feet from the water completely, it seemed to me they were not seam-sealed waterproof. There are really many seams and small details through which water can still get inside.
- Cute design;
- Good ventilation;
- Not 100% waterproof.
10. Well-Ventilated Inexpensive Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid
It is another women’s Merrell Moab 2, but with a medium height and improved ventilation. I usually recommend mid-height boots for hiking in rough terrain, as with them, you will not sprain your foot. Although, as far as I know, some hikers prefer low-cut models as high shoes can chafe around the ankles. To get rid of this problem, the manufacturer has equipped this model with a rather thick ankle pad.
The upper from suede and mesh is responsible for good ventilation. It allows excess moisture to wick away from the inside and keeps your feet dry. At the same time, it is because of the excellent ventilation that these boots are not suitable for hiking in rainy weather. They let the water through too much. However, they dry very quickly as the top consists mainly of mesh. Like most Merrell models, these boots feature a Vibram outsole. Although soft, it neither wears out quickly nor slips on dangerous trails.
This product is very comfortable for daily use. You can wear it not only on hikes but also for work as the midsole provides excellent arch support. Plus, they are comfortable right from the box, so you don’t have to break-in it. Overall, it is somewhat heavier than previous models from this brand and weighs 1 pound.
- Good ankle and arch support;
- Excellent ventilation;
- Dry quickly.
- Let water through;
- Not for winter hiking.
11. Top Pick for Kids: Mishansha Boys Girls Boots
Hiking boots for children from Mishansha are made of environmentally friendly artificial leather. Lightweight and flexible, this model is suitable for any outdoor activity. For added safety, the outsole is made of durable rubber. It improves traction and reduces the likelihood of a kid falling while running. Additionally, the manufacturer has developed a protective sock design. It will help protect your feet from bruising after a collision with an object or from a fall. In general, Mishansha boots are suitable not only for walking but also for jogging and even climbing.
It is very convenient to put on these boots: instead of lacing, Velcro straps are used. And it applies not only to children but also to parents, who will find it easy to dress their small kids quickly. Another advantage is efficient water resistance. In these boots, you can play in the snow and run in puddles. And the breathable mesh vamp provides excellent ventilation. The height of the boot is average, which, on the one hand, offers additional stability to the foot, and on the other hand, allows you to put your pants on over the boots, protecting against moisture ingress further.
I also like that the model is lightweight and does not look bulky. At the same time, the boots are quite roomy, so you can put thick woolen socks on your kid, even if they fit tightly on their legs.
- Protective design;
- Some parts are not well-stitched.
12. Good Inexpensive Hiking Shoes for Children: JMFCHI Kids Boots
These boots are designed primarily for hiking as they have a special non-slip metal claw on the outsole. In the closed position, it is hidden, and only the rubber part of the sole is in contact with the ground. While open, the claw is fixed with the teeth downward, providing additional grip. I also liked that the outsole provides reliable traction and cushioning when jumping. Thus, the boots are suitable for difficult mountain routes. But for sports, for example, running, this model is definitely not suitable, as it is rather bulky.
The lining is made of high-quality plush, so the feet always stay warm in boots. Also, the model has a fairly dense construction, thanks to which it protects the legs well from the wind. As a disadvantage, I have noted that the boots are not completely waterproof and will only protect from rain or snow; they should not be immersed in water.
I also liked that this shoe model fit securely and comfortably on foot. The shoes are fastened with Velcro, but there is also decorative lacing. However, metal eyelets are of high quality, so if necessary, you can insert your own laces to fix the shoes even more securely on the kid’s feet. This, by the way, allows you to slightly increase the size of the boots.
- Suitable for mountain hikes;
- Very warm;
- Protect from the wind.
- Not completely water-resistant;
13. Universal Low-Cost Hiking Shoes: Northside Kids’ Rampart Mid
These are all-season shoes from the Northside. They are durable enough to withstand the adventures of young travelers. But, on heavy routes, I would suggest taking more suitable shoes. However, the insole provides reliable shock absorption, and the embossed pattern improves traction. The rubber outsole quality is outstanding, so it won’t wear out for a long time. Additional stability is guaranteed by the heel stabilizer and the PVC mudguard. The height of the boots reaches approximately to the ankles.
The shoes are suitable for all kinds of weather. In particular, they have a moisture-wicking lining to help keep the kids’ feet dry. However, the model is not 100% waterproof. The upper is covered with dense suede with breathable ripstop nylon that keeps the feet from sweating. I also liked the comfortable EVA insole. The tongue of these shoes is soft and does not chafe the foot; moreover, it protects the shoes well from small debris.
Unlike the previous models with Velcro fasteners, this item uses lacing. The laces are passed through fabric loops and cling to metal hooks at the top. On the one hand, it lets you fix the shoes better on foot; on the other hand, putting them on takes more time. Besides, not every kid knows how to tie laces reliably. That is why I prefer kids’ shoes with Velcro on them.
- Excellent ventilation.
- Not fully waterproof;
- Lacing without Velcro.
14. Affordable Hiking Shoes with Perfect Grip: Columbia Youth Newton Ridge
Columbia makes quality footwear for the whole family, so you can also find budget-friendly hiking boots for your kids among their products. Columbia Youth Newton Ridge is the same design as the adult model but more lightweight (0.6 pounds). The upper is made of genuine leather, and the tongue has a synthetic mesh covering for better air ventilation.
This item is so lightweight due to the use of thin leather. It is very flexible (it will definitely be convenient for a kid to run in them), and at the same time, it is subject to faster wear and tear. Any scratches are clearly visible on it. However, it will not affect its protective features. Because of the thin upper, these boots are not suitable for walking in winter, since they do not keep the heat very well. I would say they are best worn in the summer or cool weather.
The outsole is made of Omni-Grip rubber for good traction on any surface. This model is waterproof and does not allow moisture to pass through, even when immersed in water. However, as it is leather, it dries for a long time. Although the boots are quite stable and the midsole is very cushioned, they don’t provide sufficient support for the foot and ankle. But for the price, they are an excellent choice for occasional mountain hikes.
- Excellent grip;
- Very inexpensive.
- Take a lot of time to dry;
- No ankle support.
15. Low-Cost Hiking Shoes for Winter Activities: Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV
The Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV is the perfect winter boots for kids. They have excellent water resistance as the outsole and seams on the bottom are completely waterproof. Although there are synthetic mesh inserts around the bootleg, they will withstand the moisture ingress.
These leather boots keep you warm thanks to the Omni-Heat system. According to the manufacturer, they can be worn comfortably even in temperatures as low as -45°F. However, more often, it depends mostly on the child’s activity. The disadvantage of this system, in my opinion, is its insufficient breathability. A kid is likely to feel uncomfortable in these boots at warm temperatures.
This model has one of the highest cuts on my list, even when compared to adult shoes. It ends above the ankle and allows you to tuck the pants in for more comfort. There are rubber cables like lacing, which are tightened with a simple mechanism. On the one hand, it is convenient since kids can put on their shoes by themselves; on the other hand, elastic bands stretch quite quickly and require replacement.
These boots have a rather aggressive design that may not be pleasant to children due to the lack of bright colors. But they are comfortable inside: the boots have enough space to be worn with thick socks. It turned out that this model weighs quite a lot for kids’ shoes. The weight of one boot is 1 pound.
- Completely waterproof;
- Keep warm well;
- Ideal for winter hikes.
- Quite heavy;
- Poor ventilation.
Affordable Hiking Boots FAQ
Now that I have sorted out the best boot models, I will answer some of my readers’ questions. Please feel free to ask your questions in the comments section. I will be happy to answer them.
How should your hiking boot fit?
Such boots should fit evenly over the entire foot, not squeeze, but also not dangle freely. Your toes should not touch the toe caps when the shoe is fully laced. It is recommended to take half a size more than you normally wear. This way, you can wear thicker socks and feel comfortable when your feet are swollen after a long hike. Be sure to consider not only the length of your foot but also its width.
It is better to try on the shoes in the afternoon when your foot is a little swollen. You can also try different pairs of socks right away (thinner, thicker) to see how it feels. I recommend spending 10-15 minutes in boots and walking a little in them. If, after this time, your feet still feel comfortable, you can buy this model.
Why do you need hiking boots?
They are a must-have for any hiking enthusiast as they will keep your feet healthy and happy. But even if you don’t hike often, hiking shoes will be a better choice over regular sneakers. Although many models are bulky and slightly heavier than casual footwear, they offer the best protection level from unnecessary stress. Besides, they are more durable and can withstand regular multi-hour trips. By the way, not only tourists choose hiking boots. Many people whose work implies cross-country hiking love them for their comfort.
Can you go hiking in steel toe boots?
Yes, they are quite suitable for hiking. However, you should consider their specifics, and first of all, their increased weight compared to casual boots. If you plan a long trip, it can be a problem as you overwork. Moreover, most of them are not well-ventilated, so they may not be suitable for walking in warm climates. And if your route is on snow, keep in mind that steel toes easily conduct the cold inside boots. But the big advantages of such shoes are water- and mechanical damage resistance.
Budget-Friendly Hiking Boots for Your Best Experience
Hiking shoes don’t have to be expensive for you to enjoy your trip. I hope my hiking boots reviews have convinced you of this. While there are models on this list that I consider to be truly the best in their category, it’s better to try multiple pairs of shoes to find the one that fits you perfectly. Choosing the right shoes is part of your foot care. The easiest option is to get a product from the company which footwear you have previously worn. Usually, brands use the same stocks for each season, so the chances the boots will suit you are high.
Also, remember that no matter how good a shoe model is, improper care can quickly make it unusable. After each trip, clean your boots from dirt and dust using a brush and plain water. If they get wet, remove the insoles and dry them away from heaters. Never dry your shoes near a fire, as a large temperature difference can severely harm them. It is advisable to apply special water repellents before each hike.
Please share your hiking experience in the comments. Which boots do you think are the best? Which routes do you take most often?
Last update on 2021-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API