Affordable hiking boots can be all you need and you should consider them if you don’t want to spend that much on new hiking footwear. You would be surprised at how much hiking boot you can get for a not that much money. A good hiking boot is one of the 3 things you don’t want to skimp on, the other two being a good tent and a warm sleeping bag.
Your feet are your most important asset out on the trail. You want them to be comfortable, well supported and protected. I’ve gone into more detail on how to fit a hiking boot and what to look for when you are looking to buy your first pair in this article.
On some models depending on the size you choose it might go over budget but the boot is still a good choice.
An important thing to note, I did not include some popular boot choices because of the many reports of poor quality despite the attractive low price. I believe that choosing from the affordable hiking boots bellow you will get the most bang for your buck with reliability and durability to boot.
And the occasional bad pun will be included as well!
Let’s see what I’ve got lined up for you :
Waterproof: Yes, M select dry breathable system – basically the same as Gore-Tex
Materials: Full leather grain upper, Vibram TC5+ outsole 5mm lugs
Use: Hiking, Backpacking
We are starting off our affordable hiking boots line up with the Merrel Phaserbound. A nice sturdy hiking boot. The full grain leather upper provides the best water protection as well as abrasion resistance. The inside is lined with m select dry material/membrane which does the same thing as gore-tex – it is breathable, blocks water from coming in, lets moisture come out. The footbed is also treated for organic odor control to keep your feet fresh longer. There’s an air cushion in the midsole right under the heel for extra comfort. The Vibram outsole has nice and big 5 mm lugs that will grip on any terrain you put them on.
There is good ankle and arch support thanks to the external instep and heel stability arm. The stability arm also protects the heel from scuffs when you try to take them off using your other foot. Its a great boot for backpackers with heavy loads on their back. It can also be used as a hiking boot if you need the extra arch and ankle support. The sizing is very close to true adding to the already great value for the money!
Adidas Terrex Swift R – trail runner
Waterproof: Yes, water resistant, Gore-tex lining
Materials: synthetic Ripstop upper, TRAXION (see what they did there – traction = TRAXION) outsole
Use: Hiking, Light Backpacking
Right after the hiking boot, we are continuing with a trail runner to avoid the pitchforks of the thru-hikers and ultralightweight backpackers. I’m joking, I’m joking, I love all hikers of all shapes and distances!
This is a good lightweight trail runner. There’s shock absorbing ADIPRENE under the heel for added comfort. And Being a lightweight trail runner they are very comfortable. The lacing system is simple and quick. You just pull the laces and it’s done. You can safely tuck away the extra lace in the bungee up front. There is a molded rubber toe cap for protection and some moderate heel support as well. If you’re familiar with Adidas footwear you’ll know that they are a bit narrow so go up half a size if you have wider feet.
This one does not have ankle support, there is a mid-model that offers some light ankle support. If you want good ankle support look for a different model. Then again most people will choose them because of the lack of ankle support, lightweight, water protection, and breathability. The good thing about trail runners is that they require little to no break in period. If they fit you comfortably you can go hiking that very moment. The arch support is limited and ideally, they should be used for hiking and lightweight backpacking. Overall this is a good budget-friendly trail runner for hiking.
Waterproof: No, but there are versions that are – read on
Materials: Vibram TC 5+ outsole
Type of use: hiking, light backpacking
When it comes to affordable hiking boots you must look at the Merrel Moab. Hiking shoes actually but who’s keeping score, you know what I mean… I can end the list with this model. The Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator is one of the most well-regarded hiking shoes for hikers and backpackers alike. Heck, even thru-hikers often pick them up because of their durability and lightweight. There is also a version for women. The value that you don’t see right away is that the brand stands firmly behind its products and that is a big plus in my book. The model I’m showing you here is low cut, no ankle support with good ventilation. Vibram outsole with no shank so you will have to pack your backpack light.
They are ideal for hiking and light backpacking. If you want ankle support there is a mid-model that offers it. There is also a mid waterproof version. There are quite a few reports of hikers getting 1000 + miles from one pair of Moabs which is crazy value for money. The Moab can be your one-stop for comfortable lightweight and durable hiking shoes for a very reasonable price. Did I mention that I like em? Ya, I do!
Materials: Mesh upper
Use: hiking, light backpacking
Have you seen the treads on these? It’s as if they’ve put a mountain bike tire on the outsole. Very grippy and very confidence inspiring in each stride. They are a snug fit wrapping your foot comfortably. Salmon chose to go with a quick lacing system for easy and fast lace up. The ripstop synthetic upper while waterproof will still be able to let your feet breathe. You can eat up miles with the awesome treads like there’s no tomorrow, fast and light. They are not as light as the Adidas Terrex Swift R, but they are a bit more comfortable and very grippy. While they cost a bit more than the Merrell, I think they are worth every dollar for the comfort and grip they provide.
Like the rest of the reviewed trail runners, you can use them for hiking and light backpacking. If you carry a heavier backpack a nice hiking boot with a shank for the added arch support might be a better choice.
One knock I’d give them is that there doesn’t seem to be any models above size 11 which is sad news for people with bigger feet. Salmon has somewhat remedied that by introducing the Ultra 3 GTX model(up to size 14), but the asking price goes up. Like the Moab, there is a mid version to provide ankle support if you need it. All this makes the Salomon Men’s X Ultra 2 GTX great trail runners with awesome grip.
Materials: Breathable mesh upper
Use: hiking, light backpacking
Crazy light, crazy comfortable. The La Sportiva Wildcat has a following around it and the hype is well deserved. If you’ve tried every shoe imaginable and it doesn’t fit – the Wildcat might be your final saving grace. At first glance, it looks like a regular running shoe, but it certainly has some tough features. The toe cap while not providing the greatest protection but it will still save your toes from hard knocks. There is also a nice heel cup that wraps around your heel to keep it in place. The full mesh upper provides all the ventilation you will need apart from walking barefoot. Even after getting wet the mesh will help the shoes dry out very fast. The treads are not as grippy as the Salmon Ultra 2 GTX and you will not feel as sure-footed on wet rocks. What this hiking shoe provides is amazing breathability, great comfort, reasonable grip and ultra lightweight for a fair price. I wouldn’t mind slapping these on during hot summer hikes.
Materials: Full grain leather upper
Use: hiking, light to medium weight backpacking
What would an affordable hiking boots review be without actual hiking boots? Here’s where the Timberland White Ledge come in. They also have a women’s model!
Sometimes they go on sale for half price making them an even greater value for money. Even if you can’t catch the discount they are worth the money. Timberland has added cylindrical lugs on special places on the outsole to provide support through the entire length of the foot. While we’re talking about the outsole, let me address the treads. They are designed to brake, when you need it and provide the grip and traction to propel you forward. Moving on the breathable EVA footbed provides comfort and wicks moisture away. The boot comes with all rustproof metal lace hardware promising to last a long time. Of course, it has a gusseted tongue while still providing comfort it also prevents trail debris to pass through.
What more can I say? Oh, yea, full grain leather upper, my favorite. This is the toughest leather providing the best waterproofing and abrasion resistance. Keep em clean and waxed from time to time and they will last you a long time. For a hiking boot, they are fairly light. You can use them on any terrain and season you want, although I’d skip summer because they don’t breathe as well as the mesh/leather models. Pick one up, they are fairly inexpensive and can serve you well once you’ve broken them in.
Waterproof: Yes, Gore-tex liner
Materials: Nubuck leather upper with 1000 denier nylon
Use: all-rounder – hiking, heavy backpacking
I wanted to fit a Danner hiking boot so much in this price range and I’m so happy that I could. Granted currently if you go above size 9.5 the price will jump slightly over our 150$ mark, but they are so worth it! Danner boots are well known for their toughness and longevity and this is a big part of the reason I’m so excited to see them in the affordable hiking boots price range.
This hiking boot will last you for a very long time, and I mean very long. The nubuck leather upper along with the nylon fabric will provide good waterproofing as well as good breathability enhanced by the Gore-Tex liner. There’s a double shank system which is surprisingly lightweight and provides all the arch support and rigidity you will need from heel to toe. The outsole has Danner’s special multidirectional design for the lugs to keep you stable in all situations. Good ankle support and EVA footbed as expected from Danner. These boots can take everything you throw at them and will ask for more in the end. They’re “radical” you know?! I can geek out all day about these boots, just buy them, wear em, love em and then wear them some more!
And there you have it 7 affordable hiking boots for under 150$ that you can depend on. Whether you like the breathability, lightness, and comfort of trail runners and hiking shoes or you like the feeling of a sturdy leather hiking boot providing good arch and ankle support – you can’t go wrong with any of these models. Let me know in the comments below which of these is your favorite. I’d love to hear all about how long you’ve had them and what have you put them through to deserve your appreciation. Soon I will publish another list of great hiking boots under 200/300 dollars so be on the lookout for that.
Until then – Happy Hiking!