On the hunt for some budget hiking boots?
I don’t blame you. Walking and camping boots can be crazily expensive sometimes! You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a new pair.
And those high prices can be off-putting when you’re not looking for pro gear.
After all, not everybody’s climbing Everest at the weekends! You might just want some extra comfort, support, and waterproofing on local trails.
That’s where the best hiking boots under 100 come into play. Do a bit of hunting and you can find good-quality outdoor footwear without the hefty price tag.
Want help finding the best cheap hiking boots possible? Read on for 8 comprehensive reviews of the best hiking boots under $100 I could find.
[Last Updated: February 2021]
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
Best Hiking Boots Under 100 Bucks – Summary Table
Heads up, you might also like these posts:
- The Best Sleeping Bags Under 100
- The Best Backpacks for Hiking Under 100
- The Best Binoculars Under 100
- The Best Hiking Underwear for Men
How to Choose the Best Budget Hiking Boots
Keep the following considerations in mind for picking the best hiking boots under $100.
How the Budget Hiking Boots Fit
First thing’s first, it’s important to find a pair of boots that fit properly!
But that’s obviously easier said than done- especially when you’re buying online.
You can’t try the shoes on first, which leaves a lot of room for error. To complicate matters further, different manufacturers use different sizing guides.
One brand might label a boot as size 10, for example, when another would say it’s an 11.
Needless to say, it’s not ideal.
The secret to success is referencing the manufacturer’s sizing guide. With a bit of luck they’ll provide some guidance to the exact boot size you need for the dimensions of your foot.
An alternative is to go to the local outdoor store and try some boots on in-person.
Find some you like, make your excuses, and head back to home to buy the pair at cheaper online prices!
You want a pair that’s snug, but not too tight (remember that you’ll be wearing thicker hiking socks on the trail too). Find a pair that’s slightly too small and it’s a recipe for blisters and foot pain. Too big, though, and you’ll lack the support you need.
The Terrain You’ll Be Walking On
Think about where you’ll be using your boots too.
The terrain will impact the type of boots you need.
For short hikes over reasonable ground, you might even get away with hiking shoes with less ankle support.
When you’re on rough and more challenging terrain, though, you’ll need additional support, better waterproofing, and more durable materials in general.
In all honesty, though, budget hiking boots aren’t well-suited to the most serious terrain.
Rugged, technical trails at higher-altitudes, and where you’re open to the elements, demand higher-quality footwear. And, unfortunately, budget-variety boots just won’t cut it.
The Cheap Hiking Boots’ Ankle Support
Ankle support is a big deal!
Boots come in different cuts: low, mid, or high. The higher the cut, the more ankle support you get.
Again, this is where the level of hiking you’ll be doing comes into play.
You’ll be fine with low-cut boots/shoes on easier hikes. Where there’s more chance of rolling an ankle, though, the higher-cut boots will be better.
Will you be wearing your boots on lots of hilly walks, with loose-ground underfoot, and over long distances? Again, higher-cuts might be better-suited to the task.
The Best Budget Hiking Boot Waterproofing Level
There’s nothing worse than hiking with wet feet.
Anybody who’s done it knows how much it sucks! The tell-tale squelch of each foot-step tells its own tale of misery and discomfort.
Everybody wins with boots that keep their feet as dry as possible. Unfortunately, this is one area that cheap hiking boots can struggle.
You might start with a basic level of waterproofing that you’ll need to top up with special sprays/treatments. In worst-cases, they won’t be very waterproof at all!
Of course, that’s fine in warm and dry climates, or when rain is highly unlikely.
Either way, pay attention to the level of waterproofing when selecting your boots.
You never know when you’ll get caught in a downpour and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Finding a pair that won’t let you down in bad weather is always a plus.
Looking for a budget backpack as well? Check out this guide to the best hiking backpack under 100 bucks!
The 8 Best Hiking & Camping Boots Under 100 Bucks
Here we go, then: reviews of 8 of the best hiking boots under 100 bucks (4 for men and 4 for women).
The Best Men’s Hiking Boots Under 100 Reviews
1. Keen Targhee 2 Hiking Boots
The Keen Targhee 2 ticks all the right boxes for a quality pair of budget hiking boots.
They’re light-weight, comfortable, water-resistant, and would offer good traction (think 4mm multi-directional lugs) over technical terrain.
Mid-level ankle support should keep you safe over rough ground too.
Throw in the built-in ventilation system for extra breathability in hot weather and you’re onto a winner!
My only slight concern would be about durability.
With one or two reviews detailing material faults with a year of purchase, there’s a chance the Keen Targhee 2s could suffer through heavy use.
That said, these are some super cheap boots! It would be unreasonable to expect them to perform like high-end varieties.
For the quality on offer at such a low price, they’re hard to fault.
- Chemical-free Water-resistant materials
- Padded collar and tongue for comfort
- Great for wide feet
- Aggressive rubber outsole provides quality traction
- Reinforced sole for torsion stability
- Mid-level cut means good ankle support
- Good warranty
- Need additional waterproofing
- Possible durability concerns
2. Timberland Boots Under $100 – White Ledge
I was amazed to see a pair of Timberland hiking boots for under 100 bucks!
The ones I’ve seen in stores in the past have always been up in the hundreds.
It should come as no surprise, then, that these Timberland White Ledge boots are so popular online (there are over 15,000 reviews on Amazon for them- and the vast majority are 5 stars).
Quality traction (specially designed rubber soles with grippy lugs), solid ankle support, a breathable foot bed, and waterproof materials make this another top choice.
Like most cheap hiking boots, though, you might want to top up their level of waterproofing.
Don’t, and there’s a chance you’ll get wet feet in heavier rain.
Another slight downside relates to supposed stiffness out of the box. Make sure you break them in properly before going on a substantial hike!
- Hugely popular online
- Padded collar and tongue for comfort
- Plenty of ankle support
- Great traction
- Great brand at a discount price
- Versatile boot
- Possible durability issues
- Possible stiffness (takes time to break them in)
3. Merrell Moab 2 Mid (Best Budget Hiking Shoes/Boots for Men)
Everybody raves about these Merrell Moabs.
They’ve got thousands of reviews- over three-quarters of which are 5-star!
It seems to live up to its name as the ‘Mother of all Boots’ (aka MOAB).
By all accounts they’re some of the most comfortable hiking boots out there, with plenty of space even if your feet are particularly wide.
You’ll benefit from 5mm lugs for grip/traction over rough surfaces, Vibram soles (the gold-standard for outdoor footwear soles) and plenty of ankle support (including a special design to support your foot arches).
They’re lightweight, water-resistant, and a great all-rounder that’ll keep your feet and ankles supported.
Once again, don’t expect too much of the waterproofing though! Your feet will get wet in heavier rain, unless you take extra waterproofing measures.
All things considered, though, there isn’t a lot not to like. The Moabs seem up there with the best of them!
Heads up, these would make epic gifts for hikers too!
- Vibram soles
- Comfortable (no breaking in required)
- Shock absorbing design
- Removable contoured insole
- Enhanced heel and arch support
- 5mm lugs
- Possible ventilation issues
- Possible traction issues on hard, slippery surfaces
Check out my ultralightweight backpacking gear list for more lightweight gear ideas!
4. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus 2 (Best Waterproof Boots Under 100)
I’d say these Columbia boots are solid competitor to the Moabs before them.
They’re just as popular online (if not more so), renowned for their comfort and support, and widely recommended from numerous sources.
Once again, you’re looking at lightweight boots with great traction and ankle support.
The water-proofing gets a special mention here too. By all accounts, it’s pretty good- even without any extra steps to give it a boost.
That said, I still think heavy rain would put them to the test.
The only issue I noticed relates to the rubber soles. A couple of people noted that they wear down- especially when using them on pavements instead of trails.
In all other ways, though, you’re getting serious bang for your buck! I think they look pretty smart too, which is good news if you wanted to wear them for casual, day to day use.
- Comfortable (minimal break in required)
- Great arch support
- Rubber soles
- Quality materials
- Good water resistance (not fully waterproof)
- Possible durability issues with heavy use (rubber soles wear out)
The Best Women’s Hiking Boots Under 100
5. Merrell Moab 2 Vent
The women’s version of Merrell’s ‘Mother of all Boots’ 2 is as highly-recommended as the men’s pair.
From what I gather, you’ll struggle to find a better set of budget hiking boots for women. Period.
They boast all the same high-quality attributes with (seemingly) no downside.
In terms of safety/stability, you benefit from an aggressive level of traction (thanks to the 5mm lug on industry-leading Vibram soles) and mid-cut ankle support.
Combine that with their lightweight design and tough terrain shouldn’t be an issue.
As with the men’s pair, the comfort of these boots is another major advantage.
They fit as per the sizing guide and should feel great straight out the box. That’s helped with a clever air-cushion feature in the heel, which softens impact and, in theory, eases strain on your feet.
Interestingly, I didn’t see any reports of waterproofing problems either.
However, I think it’s safer to assume they fit the ‘water-resistant’ category as opposed to full-waterproofing. Even if your feet do get wet, though, the mesh ventilation system should make the Moabs relatively quick-drying.
- Vibram Soles
- 5mm lug
- Supreme comfort (no breaking in required)
- Heel air cushioning to reduce foot strain
- Made from recycled materials
6. Ariat Terrain H2O
Honestly, these Ariat Terrain H2Os seem hard to fault as well.
You’re looking at a hugely popular pair of budget hiking boots that are rated 5-star by over 80% of people who review them.
One thing that stands out above all else is how comfortable they are.
By all accounts, you can whip them on straight from the box, wear them all day, and expect zero foot pain, blisters, or soreness.
Then there’s the waterproofing.
Unlike other hiking boots under 100 bucks, the Ariat Terrains seem to hold up well in wet weather. Your feet will stay warm and dry in spite of the rain.
Combine all that with quality materials, traction (except, possibly, over icy ground), design-work, and ankle support, and these boots seem like the real deal.
One reviewer did mention durability issues though.
After about 8 months of use, the leather had started cracking where the boots bend at the toe. However, they’d been worn regularly on wet, muddy ground, which would have played a role.
Someone else mentioned that they’re quite bulky, which makes them frustrating to travel with. I feel their pain, but think that’d be the case with most hiking boots!
All told, I think these Ariats are hard to beat.
- Rubber sole
- Cushioned footbed and padded collar for high comfort
- Minimal break-in required
- Good waterproofing
- Feet stay warm in cold weather!
- Reasonably breathable
- Good traction and support
- Possible durability issues with intense use in bad weather
- Quite bulky for travel
- Possible slipperiness over packed snow and ice
7. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
You won’t find many women’s hiking boots more popular than the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus’.
They make the Ariats’ enviable level of online popularity seem meagre in comparison.
At the time of writing there are 6,224 reviews on Amazon- 80% of which are 5-star. That’s basically 5,000 top-rated reviews.
That means these boots are doing something right! Let’s start with the basics.
You’re looking at lightweight, sturdy boots with a quality design and good traction for rough terrain. The mid-cut ankle support should be ideal on all but the most technical hikes.
Then you’ve got a leather/mesh combo that’s designed to be waterproof and breathable. Nicely, it seems to deliver on both.
I think they look pretty damn good too.
You could easily wear them out and about for casual use as well on the trail.
One issue that did come up a number of times related to the toe box, though, which seemed to be too tight for some peoples’ feet.
All told, it’s hard to argue against thousands of 5-star reviews! These Columbia hiking boots seem to do the trick for almost everybody who buys them.
- Lots of cushioning for comfort
- No breaking in required
- Supportive midsole
- High-level of traction from ‘Omni-Grip’ sole
- Good waterproofing
- Stylish boots!
- Might have to go half/one size up for proper fit
- Toe-box might press against the top of toes
8. Vasque Breeze 2.0
My final pick for the best hiking boots under 100 for women are the Vasque Breeze 2.0s.
Once again, they’ve got the basics sorted:
Lightweight, well-made, durable, and offering good traction/stability over rougher terrain.
The fact they’re made from Gore-Tex and have Vibram soles makes them even better. Both features are seen as a gold-standard in terms of outdoor gear and boots.
Gore-Tex, for instance, means the boots should be watertight and breathable (the magic combination) on the trail. And the Vibram soles mean you can trust your footing and expect them to hold up well over time.
In general, they’re both indications of the quality of these boots! The fact that you can get Gore-Tex and Vibram on boots that cost under $100 is seriously impressive.
Onto the downsides.
One issue you may come across is to do with sizing. Numerous people found the Vasques too small for their feet when purchasing their typical shoe-size.
Keep that in mind if you decide these boots are the ones for you. It seems that you’ll need a pair that’s (at least) half a size larger than what you’d normally buy.
Other than that, they’re hard to fault!
- Good waterproofing
- Vibram soles
- Good traction
- Breathable (thanks to Gore-Tex)
- Comfortable boots
- Sturdy, Flexible and supportive
- Runs tight and narrow (order a half/one size up for proper fit)
- May not have enough arch support for some people
Read these reviews of the best minimalist hiking boots and shoes for more hiking boot options!
Time to Pick the Best Hiking Shoes Under 100
Top quality hiking boots don’t come cheap.
And, frankly, the sky-high costs involved can be off-putting when you aren’t going on serious, expedition-style hikes.
That’s where the best budget hiking boots come in so handy.
You can find awesome boots that provide the support, traction, and waterproofing you need, at a fraction of the price. To put it another way, they make hiking accessible for everyone!
Hopefully, the best hiking boots under 100 bucks in this post will help you find the perfect pair of camping boots for your needs