If you’re looking for comfortable hiking boots that won’t break the bank, this guide is for you. We’ve reviewed the best hiking boots under $100, giving you comfort and quality for an affordable price.
The difference that a pair of boots can make should never be underestimated. Here at SnowSunSee, we know all too well that painful feet can greatly detract from your hiking experience.
With that in mind, we’ve reviewed the best budget hiking boots that can improve your time on the trail. The products on this list prove that quality and comfort don’t need to cost an exorbitant amount.
Best Hiking Boots Under $100 At A Glance
Why Do I Need The Best Hiking Boots Under $100?
Hiking boots are probably the most important walking item you will purchase. Designed to keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable; they are an essential part of life on the trail.
The problem with quality boots often lies in the cost. With many of the best options selling for extortionate amounts, it can be difficult to find comfort for a reasonable price.
In order to help budget minded backpackers, we’ve put together this list of the best hiking boots under $100. Every option provides the features you should look for in a top-quality boot for a fraction of the cost.
Hint: We also have a guide detailing the best hiking boots for wide feet.
How To Choose The Best Hiking Boots Under $100
Cut below the ankle with a soft and flexible feel; hiking shoes are made for day hikers. They are lightweight and will keep you walking at speed, which can make them the preferred choice of some ultralight backpackers.
The downside of hiking shoes lies in their lack of stability, with your ankles lacking support on challenging terrain. In addition, they are often less adept at dealing with adverse weather.
Day Hiking Boots
As you might expect, day hiking boots are great for spending short amounts of time on the trail. They range from mid to high cut, ensuring ankle stability when the going gets tough.
Most good day hiking boots offer a good amount of waterproofing. Despite their larger size, they often remain lightweight and are flexible enough to reduce ‘break-in’ time.
While day hiking boots offer some ankle protection, they lack the stability of tougher backpacking boots. Although durable enough to spend a day exploring the outdoors, they can come up short during longer thru-hikes.
If you’re carrying a heavy pack or completing a multi-day hike, you should be looking towards backpacking boots. Most use a high cut that sits above the ankle to provide maximum support.
Backpacking boots offer serious durability. They are designed to face the harshest weather and can stand up to the most rugged landscapes.
However, supreme strength does come at a higher price. In addition, backpacking boots are almost always the heaviest on the market. Their stiff design might lend itself to stability, but it can greatly increase break-in’ time.
Even if you prefer summer excursions, it’s likely you will face rain at some point. In order to make sure you’re prepared for any weather, it’s usually best to make sure your boots are waterproof.
Most modern hiking boots offer some level of water-resistance. However, the amount can vary from product to product.
One of the most popular waterproofing methods is Gore-Tex. It’s got a proven track record of ensuring dry feet, but it can be expensive.
Aside from Gore-Tex, each brand will offer its own unique waterproofing system. It will usually involve the use of an inner ‘membrane’, which is often combined with a water-repellent outer coating.
Beware that waterproofing can affect a boots performance in warm weather conditions. Despite their wet weather prowess, they can lack the breathability to cope with serious heat.
If you love summer excursions, you need to prioritise boots that are breathable. By allowing excess heat and moisture to dissipate, they will keep your feet cool on the hottest days.
Most waterproof boots also offer breathability. Their specially designed membrane can allow excess heat to leave your foot, while still keeping out the elements.
However, the most breathable boots often offer the least waterproofing. Some will use mesh on the outside and forgo any form of weather-resistance to maximise ventilation.
Weigh up the type of conditions you will be facing most frequently. It will give you an idea of the level of breathability you require on any given trail day.
Best Hiking Boots Under $100 Reviewed
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II offers the features of a top-quality hiking boot for a significantly lower price. Using a predominantly leather construction, they are fully waterproof and seam-sealed for leak-proof protection.
The upper panels are designed using mesh and suede, which helps to improve breathability and ventilation. Underneath the boot, you will find a lightweight midsole that provides plenty of bounce and traction on rugged terrain.
If you’re looking for a reliable hiking boot that won’t break the bank, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is an excellent choice. It’s made from high-quality materials and offers the waterproofing required to keep your feet cosy.
- Waterproof suede construction
- Fully seam-sealed
- Breathable inner membrane
- Suede and mesh uppers improve ventilation
- Lightweight midsole
- Impact absorbing sole
- Ample underfoot traction
- Sole durability can be an issue
- Metal lace hardware is prone to damage
The Timberland White Ledge Mid are some of the most popular budget hiking boots on the market. Featuring a full-grain leather construction, they are fully waterproof and seam-sealed to keep your feet dry in any weather.
Inside the boot, you will find compression-molded EVA footbeds that can provide day-hiking comfort. In addition, they are completed with cushioned midsoles and underfoot traction lugs for grip on varied terrain.
If you’re looking for affordable hiking boots from a reputable brand, the Timberland White Ledge Mid is a good choice. They are made from high-quality materials and are capable of protecting your feet from the elements.
- Waterproof full-grain leather
- Seam-sealed construction
- Rustproof metal lace hardware
- Comfortable EVA footbed
- Cushioned midsole
- Underfoot traction lugs
- Solid rubber outsoles
- Can lack warmth on colder hikes
- Waterproofing can decline over time
If you’re looking for budget hiking shoes that are great for sunny days on the trail, the Merrell Moab 2 Vent might be your best bet. Designed from a combination of suede and mesh, they prioritise ventilation to keep your feet cool during the hottest hikes.
Using a ‘closed-cell’ tongue, they are made to protect your feet from moisture and debris. With comfort in mind, they feature a supportive footbed and air-cushion heel to absorb shock and improve stability.
The Merrell Moab 2 Vent is a great budget choice for warm weather hikers. The design is super comfortable, highly durable and capable of keeping your feet cool throughout the summer.
- Durable suede leather design
- Mesh lining is breathable
- Tongue design keeps out debris
- Rubber toe cap adds durability
- Excellent ventilation in warm weather
- Contoured and supportive footbed
- Shock absorbing heel
- Underfoot traction lugs
- Lack waterproofing
- Arch support a bit high for flatter feet
The Columbia Crestwood Mid are some of the best hiking boots under $100. They use an ‘omni-tech’ inner bootie that makes them fully waterproof, while still remaining breathable on warmer days.
A combination of leather, mesh and webbing keeps these boots strong and durable during day hikes. In addition, their lightweight midsoles provide superior rebound and cushioning for all day comfort.
The Columbia Crestwood Mid hiking boots offer comfort and weather-resistance for a reasonable price. They are constructed from high-quality materials and have the adaptability to keep you comfortable in most weather conditions.
- Inner waterproof bootie
- Durable leather outer material
- Mesh and webbing add breathability
- Lightweight midsole improves comfort
- Great cushioning and rebound
- Underfoot traction rubber
- Overall lightweight design
- Size runs small and narrow
- Can loose their shape over time
It’s easy to see why the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is one of the most popular women’s budget hiking boots on the market. Their leather and mesh construction provides a great blend of waterproofing and breathability.
With a solid and stable feeling underfoot, they provide great support when shouldering a heavier pack. In addition, a ‘techlite’ midsole absorbs impact to provide all-day comfort.
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus provides support and comfort. Featuring a durable leather construction, they are well designed to withstand any weather conditions.
- Breathable mesh textile material
- Waterproof seam-sealed membrane
- Durable leather construction
- High midsole energy return
- Great underfoot cushioning
- Traction rubber improves grip
- Overall supportive feel
- Some hikers might want a lighter boot
- Can lack arch support for some feet
Getting the right hiking boots is essential to your time on the trail. However, finding a good pair for a budget price can be a challenging task.
The best hiking boots under $100 provide comfort and support without breaking the bank. Keeping your feet dry and stable shouldn’t cost a fortune, with the boots on this list proving our point.
Take the time to assess the key features of each product to find the one that’s right for you. If you stick to the boots on this list, you’re sure to improve your outdoor adventure.
James is the founder of SnowSunSee. He started skiing when he was five years old and has been a qualified ski instructor for 8 years. He has taught skiing in many countries, including UK, Europe, Japan, China and Malaysia. When he’s not on the slopes, James spends his time travelling the world one trail at a time.