Hiking is an adventurous and rewarding activity that allows you to explore nature while getting some exercise. Selecting the right gear is essential, and finding the perfect pair of hiking boots can mean the difference between an enjoyable trek and an uncomfortable or even painful experience. Not to mention, finding reliable hiking boots that don’t break the bank is a real challenge.
When choosing a budget-friendly pair of hiking boots, it’s crucial to pay attention to a few essential factors such as the material, fit, support, and traction they provide. You’ll want boots made of durable, sturdy materials that can withstand the elements, while offering a comfortable fit with adequate ankle and arch support and excellent traction on various surfaces.
When searching for the best hiking boots under $100, it can be overwhelming to choose from numerous options. This buying guide will help you find the perfect pair of hiking boots while considering essential features.
Fit and Comfort
First and foremost, prioritize the fit and comfort of the boots. Ensure that they provide enough room for your toes to wiggle and have adequate cushioning and support for your arch and heel. It’s crucial to try on the boots with the socks you plan to wear while hiking.
Material and Waterproofing
Choose between leather or synthetic materials. Leather offers durability and natural water resistance, while synthetic materials are lightweight and dry quickly. Consider additional waterproofing features, such as a membrane to keep your feet dry during wet hikes.
Outsole and Traction
The outsole plays a significant role in providing traction on different terrains. Opt for boots with a thick rubber outsole and deep lugs for maximum grip. Vibram outsoles are a popular choice known for their durability and slip resistance.
Ankle Support and Stability
Decide between low-cut, mid-cut, or high-cut boots depending on the level of ankle support and stability desired. Low-cut boots allow for more mobility but less support, while high-cut boots offer increased protection on rougher terrains.
Weight and Style
Consider the weight of the boots, as lighter options are preferable for longer hikes. Additionally, your personal preference and style may influence your decision, but don’t sacrifice comfort and functionality for aesthetics.
To assist in your decision-making process, compare features, and prices of various boots that fit your criteria. Good luck in finding the perfect pair of hiking boots to explore the great outdoors!
For more outdoor essentials, check out these guides:
- 6 Best Kayaks Under $300
- What to Pack for a Day Hike
- Top 15 Best Hiking Backpacks Under $100
- 7 Best Shoes for Kayaking: Top Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Best Hiking Boots Under $100
Having the right pair of hiking boots is essential for your outdoor adventures. We’ve put in the work to evaluate and test various affordable boots to guide you in finding the best hiking boots under $100 that offer excellent performance, comfort, and durability. Read on to discover our top recommendations and make your hiking experiences enjoyable and safe.
1. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Hiking Boot
If you’re seeking a lightweight, waterproof, and stylish hiking boot, Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge is the perfect choice for you.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Durable, waterproof design
- Stylish with multiple color options
- May run small for some
- Limited cushioning in some areas
- Potential stiffness upon initial use
When I first slipped on these boots, I was impressed with the waterproof mesh and leather exterior, which kept my feet dry during a hike through various terrains. As someone who values comfort during long treks, the lightweight midsole provided the support and impact absorption I needed.
One thing I noticed, though, was that the boots initially felt a bit stiff. After a few miles of hiking, they eased up and molded to the shape of my feet; just give them some time to break in. I also appreciated the advanced traction rubber sole, which ensured I didn’t slip on uneven surfaces or wet rocks.
While the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge may run small for some hikers, don’t let that deter you from considering these stylish and durable boots. Just be sure to consult the sizing chart and potentially size up for the perfect fit. Overall, these versatile boots are geared for miles of adventures on various trails and terrains, making them an excellent addition to your wardrobe.
2. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
Suppose you’re after all-around comfort and protection. In that case, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot will surely catch your attention with its stylish yet functional design at an affordable price.
- Waterproof, breathable Omni-TECH membrane
- Long-lasting, superior cushioning with Techlite midsole
- Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole suitable for various terrains
- May require breaking in for some users
- Not as light as some alternatives
- Lack of arch support for those with high arches
Lately, I tested these hiking boots on a weekend hike, and they exceeded my expectations. The full-grain leather and textile construction ensured durability, while the seam-sealed Omni-TECH membrane kept my feet dry even on muddy trails. I was pleasantly surprised by the robust support these boots provided throughout my adventure.
As I used these boots on various terrains, I noticed the Techlite midsole ensured comfort and provided high energy return, making my hike less demanding on my feet. However, the boots felt slightly heavier than some alternatives I’ve tried but didn’t hinder my movements.
The Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole provided impressive grip across different surfaces, making it reliable for diverse outdoor activities. Knowing your feet are secure and won’t slip adds a layer of confidence in your stride during your hike. These boots are perfect for anyone who wants versatile, stylish, and functional hiking boots that won’t break the bank.
3. Skechers Women’s Relaxed Fit Trego Alpine Trail Hiking Boot
If you’re looking for affordable hiking boots that combine style and comfort, the Skechers Women’s Relaxed Fit Trego Alpine Trail Boots are great.
- Stylish and comfortable design
- Waterproof material for all-weather hiking
- Air Cooled Memory Foam insole ensures all-day support
- May not be suitable for heavy-duty trekking
- Breaking in period might be required
- Size chart may slightly differ from actual fit
After using these Skechers Trego Alpine Trail Hiking Boots, you’ll notice how lightweight they feel and the perfect balance between style and functionality they offer. With a soft sport suede upper and mesh fabric, these hiking boots look great and provide a comfortable fit.
The first thing you’ll appreciate when you put them on is the Air Cooled Memory Foam insole that adapts to the shape of your foot for a customized, cushioned experience. Alongside this, the waterproof design ensures your feet stay dry even in wet conditions, allowing you to conquer those trails regardless of the weather.
Despite their fashionable appearance, these boots are rugged enough for most hiking adventures. While they may not be ideal for extremely challenging hikes or backpacking trips, they perform remarkably well for their price range, making them an excellent choice for those who are looking to explore the great outdoors without breaking the bank.
4. KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots
These KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 hiking boots deliver fantastic value for money, providing a comfortable and durable option for your next hike.
- Excellent waterproofing with KEEN.DRY technology
- High traction grip for diverse terrain
- Comfortable fit and ample ankle support
- Slightly bulky design
- Longer break-in period for some users
- Toe box may feel a bit narrow for wide feet
I recently took the KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 hiking boots out for a spin during a day hike, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The waterproof layer ensured my feet remained dry and comfortable as I crossed over creeks and walked in wet conditions. The ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole provided excellent traction on both muddy and rocky sections, making my hike worry-free and enjoyable.
The boots felt surprisingly comfortable out of the box, although I noticed they were a bit bulkier than some competitors. However, the mid-cut profile, padded collar, and removable metatomical footbed all contributed to a snug and supportive fit throughout my hike. The ankle support was particularly impressive, allowing me to confidently navigate uneven terrain.
If you have wider feet, the toe box area might feel a bit constricting at first, but this should improve as the boots break-in. Overall, the KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots are an excellent footwear choice for those seeking a reliable and comfortable hiking boot under $100 without sacrificing quality and performance.
5. XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Waterproof Hiking Boot
If you’re seeking a durable, comfortable, and budget-friendly hiking boot, the XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Waterproof Hiking Boot is worth considering.
- eeps your feet dry with Hydroshield waterproof membrane
- Warm and insulated for temperatures down to -13°F
- Superior traction with aggressive X-grip rubber outsole
- May run a bit small, consider ordering a full size up
- Narrow design not ideal for wide feet
- High instep may cause discomfort for some users
Having recently used the XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Waterproof Hiking Boot on a trail adventure, I appreciate how the Hydroshield membrane kept my feet dry throughout the journey. As someone who often hikes in cold conditions, the 200-gram Thinsulate insulation was a pleasant feature, keeping my feet warm even at temperatures below freezing.
While navigating various terrain, the aggressive X-grip rubber outsole provided excellent traction, allowing me to feel confident and grounded with each step. However, I noticed that these boots run a bit small, so I recommend ordering a full size larger than your usual size for optimal comfort.
One drawback of these boots is the narrow design, which might not be ideal for hikers with wider feet. Additionally, hikers with a high instep could experience some discomfort in these boots. Despite these cons, the XPETI Women’s Thermator Mid High-Top Waterproof Hiking Boots are a great choice for explorers looking for a reliable and budget-friendly option.
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6. NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
If you’re seeking comfortable, stylish, and affordable hiking boots, the NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots should be on your radar.
- Comfortable and lightweight design
- Stylish with contrasting color combinations
- Excellent traction and slip resistance
- May need some break-in time
- Not ideal for icy conditions
- Sizing may run a bit large
The moment you slip into the NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots, you’ll feel their excellent comfort. The lightweight midsole and advanced traction rubber sole make every step feel supported and secure, even when traversing rugged terrain.
The feminine style of these hiking boots is a pleasant surprise – the mix of suede leather, contrasting color combinations, and a soft suede appearance make these boots as fashionable as they are functional. You’ll certainly stand out on the trails without sacrificing quality and performance.
Regarding performance, the advanced traction technology in these boots provides superb grip, giving you the confidence to tackle any environment. Though they may require a bit of break-in time and might not be the best for icy conditions, the NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots offer an excellent blend of style, comfort, and affordability for all your outdoor adventures.
7. Columbia Women’s Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
These affordable hiking boots provide comfort, support, and waterproof features, making them a great choice for outdoor adventures.
- Comfortable and supportive
- Waterproof and breathable
- Great traction on technical trails
- Size may run slightly large
- Toe box area may be too roomy for some
- Average arch support, may need inserts
When I recently put on my Columbia Women’s Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, I was impressed with their exceptional comfort even after a long day of hiking. The high-performance mesh and waterproof suede ensured my feet stayed dry even in wet conditions.
8. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
If you’re seeking both comfort and durability in a hiking boot, the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is definitely worth considering.
- Lightweight, making it easy to move
- Leather and mesh upper provides breathability and durability
- Rubber sole provides slip residence
- Not waterproof
- Some buyers feel the shoe could be wider
Your feet will remain dry and comfortable even when trekking through damp terrain. The suede overlays also added a level of durability that gave me confidence on rough trails.
One of the standout features of these boots is their support and stability. The molded vibram sole will keep your feet well-supported throughout long hikes, while the toe bumper and heel guard provided extra protection.
Some buyers have indicated that the sizing tends to run small, so consider ordering a half size larger than you normally would or the wide width. Lastly, the sole may feel a bit hard for some, though this can often be rectified with a cushioned insole upgrade.