Best budget hiking boots (2024)

Chris Townsend rounds up a selection of budget hiking boots – perfect for anyone working within a certain price range, or looking for their first pair of hiking boots.

The best hiking boots can cost well over $200/£200, with many of them being extremely pricey. However, there is no need to spend a fortune because there are plenty of low-cost hiking boot options that are appropriate for hillwalking and backpacking. With the exception of steep snow and ice, there are numerous budget hiking boots that cost £150/$150 or less and are appropriate for use in all conditions.

These boots vary in weight and stiffness. The important area for flex is the forefoot. Boots that bend with your foot here allow you to walk naturally and are less tiring to wear. Toe to heel stiffness is different and can provide more support when traversing steep slopes and on rough terrain.The weight of footwear is significant because you lift and swing it with every step. Over a day that adds up. It’s most significant on high mileage days and multi-day walks.

Fit is crucial. People’s feet are not the same. Boots that fit one person well may be torture for someone with different-shaped feet. Remember that when reading reviews and descriptions. Find out how to choose a pair of walking boots with our guide, and remember taking the time to have boots fitted correctly by a trained boot fitter is always worthwhile.

This goes alongside having your feet measured, you should be able to try the boots on an incline board to see how they feel on a slope and on a rock board to see what they feel like on stony ground. Fit can be modified a little by ditching the footbeds that come with the boots – these are often flimsy and pretty useless even in expensive boots – and replacing them with more supportive or thicker or thinner ones.

Want to know how to make your new pair of hiking boots last longer? Check out our guide: can walking boots be resoled or repaired?

Our picks of the best budget hiking boots

  • Keen Circadia | RRP: $145 | £115 (Buy now from Amazon)
  • Berghaus Expeditor Trek 2.0 | RRP: £120 | International shipping available (Buy now from
  • Columbia Peakfreak™ II Mid OutDry™ | RRP: $130 | £125 (Buy now from
  • Haglofs Skuta Mid Proof Eco Boots | RRP: £135 (Buy now from
  • Merrell MQM 3 Mid Gore-Tex | RRP: $160 | £145 (Buy now from
  • The North Face Vectiv Fastpack FutureLight | RRP: $149 | £145 (Buy now from

* All buy now links are affiliate links.

The best budget hiking boots

Here are some of the best budget hiking boots for hillwalking. These are Chris Townsend’s top picks if you’re looking for an entry level option or working to a tight budget.

Keen Circadia boot

Best budget hiking boots (1)

  • Price: $140 | £115
  • Weight: 585g

First up on our list of the best budget hiking boots is the Keen Circadia. Described as designed for ‘beginner outdoor adventurists’ these boots are made from leather and mesh and have Keen’s own waterproof and breathable membrane inside for dry feet. The midsole is cushioned and there’s a removable PU insole with arch support. The rubber outsole has multi-directional lugs for traction. A big solid bumper protects your toes. The boots are PFC-free and have an Eco Anti-Odour treatment. The leather is from a Leather Working Group (LWG) certified tannery that reduces chemical use. The fit is roomy, making these a good choice for people with wide feet.


Berghaus Expeditor Trek 2.0

Best budget hiking boots (2)

  • Price: £120
  • Weight: 1010g

The lightweight Expeditor Trek boots are made from split suede leather with mesh fabric panels. Inside there’s Berghaus’s AQ waterproof/breathable lining to keep your feet dry. For cushioning there’s an EVA midsole plus a removable OrthoLite footbed. An Opti-Stud outsole gives grip on the roughest terrain and a small hard bumper protects your toes.


Columbia Peakfreak II Mid OutDry Walking Boot

Best budget hiking boots (3)

  • Price: $130 | £125
  • Weight: 490g

These lightweight low-cut boots feature Columbia’s OutDry waterproof, breathable construction to keep your feet dry. The uppers are made from polyester mesh with solid reinforcements to maintain the shape. The Navic Fit System lacing locks the midfoot down to keep it in place. The toe has a solid bumper for protection. For cushioning there’s a single density foam midsole plus a removable PU footbed. The AdaptTrax outsole provides grip on any terrain.


Haglofs Skuta Mid Proof Eco Boots

Best budget hiking boots (4)

  • Price: £135
  • Weight: 950g

The mid-cut Skuta has a wide forefoot for comfort so it’s good for those with wide feet. The uppers are made from premium leather from an LWG certified tannery plus synthetic mesh and have a fluorocarbon free DWR treatment to help repel water and dirt. The toe and heel are reinforced with suede for extra protection and durability. Inside there’s a waterproof and breathable fluorocarbon free Proof Eco membrane to keep rain out. For cushioning there’s a moulded EVA midsole plus silicone gel under the heel. The rubber outsole has a deep tread for good grip plus ASICS High Abrasion Resistance Rubber on the heel for durability.


Merrell MQM 3 Mid Gore-Tex | Buy now: $160 | £145 Best budget hiking boots (5)

  • Price: $160 | £145
  • Weight: 640g

The MQM (it stands for Moving Quickly in the Mountains) boot has a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, which is unusual in this price range and which provides as good breathability as you’ll find. This is a synthetic boot with a mesh upper with TPU reinforcements. Inside there’s a recycled mesh lining. The lacing and webbing are recycled too as is the top sheet on the removable EVA foam insole. The cushioned midsole has a Merrell Air Cushion and Super Rebound Compound in the heel for durable shock absorption and stability. The Vibram outsole is designed for a balance of grip, traction, durability, and flexibility.

The North Face Vectiv Fastpack FutureLight

Best budget hiking boots (6)

  • Price: $149 | £145
  • Weight: 592g

The Vectiv is a very light (592 grams a pair) synthetic boot with an abrasion-resistant mesh upper with a reinforced ankle and a protective moulded-TPU toe cap. Inside there’s a proprietary seam sealed FutureLight waterproof and breathable membrane. The sole unit consists of a removable sweat-wicking antimicrobial OrthoLite footbed, a high-rebound single-density EVA midsole with a 3D TPU plate under the forefoot for stability, and a bio-based rubber outsole with 4mm lugs for traction. The midsole has a rocker design for forward propulsion.


What to look for in budget hiking boots


Fit comes first, second, third and fourth. If boots don’t fit properly it doesn’t matter how well-designed or how much they cost they are they will hurt your feet. Take time fitting boots, preferably in a shop with a trained fitter.


Lighter boots are less tiring to wear.


Leather lasts longest, especially if there are few seams, and is more water-resistant. Boots made from fabric or leather/fabric often weigh less though.

Waterproof Membranes

Whilst waterproof/breathable membranes do make boots waterproof they also increase the warmth and reduce breathability, which can make boots hot and sweaty in warm weather. So membranes are best suited to cooler conditions or those who suffer from cold feet. When wet boots with membranes are also slower drying than ones without membranes. And membranes often start to leak long before the rest of the boots wears out.


All boots have cushioning material in the sole. This makes walking more comfortable, especially on rocky terrain and hard surfaces. The thicker the cushioning is the more protection for your feet but also the less ‘feel’ you’ll have for the terrain.

Toe Protection

Hard toe caps or bumpers protect your toes against rocks. All boots should have these.

Heel Counter

To hold your feet in place boots need firm heel counters, usually rigid material hidden inside but sometimes external.


The deeper the tread on the sole the longer it will last. Very shallow treads may not grip well on all surfaces even when new.

Sole Stiffness

Sole flexibility is a compromise between comfort and support. Very flexible soles, especially at the forefoot, are the most comfortable and less tiring to walk in but may feel unsupportive on steep rough terrain

Best budget hiking boots (2024)


How much should I spend on hiking boots? ›

Now, this doesn't mean you have to spend $200 for a single pair of hiking boots. In general, you should look to spend around $50 to $100 on a good quality pair of hiking boots. To help them last, make sure you're consistently cleaning them and keeping them in a cool, dry area.

Is it OK to wear hiking boots everyday? ›

Yes, you definitely can wear hiking boots every day. All Timberland boots offer optimal support and premium leather uppers for lasting durability. As with any shoes, it will also take less time to break in hiking boots if you wear them often as you hike the backcountry on your next backpacking trip in cold weather.

Are hiking boots better than trekking boots? ›

What is the difference between trekking shoes and hiking boots? Trekking shoes meet tougher requirements for hiking. Trekking boots are more robust and stronger, but also heavier. Those who do not hike for several days or weeks in the wilderness are better served with a classic hiking shoe.

Should hiking boots be 1 size bigger? ›

Hiking boots come in different sizes – and different fits, for example narrower or wider widths. Measure your foot to determine your shoe size and get the right fit. Buy your hiking boots slightly bigger. Make sure you have a finger's width of wiggle room at the front for your toes.

Is it better to size up for hiking boots? ›

The answer is ... when buying hiking boots, you should generally go for a size larger than you normally wear. Normally, you can buy one size up in hiking boots because your feet normally swell during the course of a day. Consequently, you should always try on new hiking boots either late afternoon or in the evening.

Is it OK to wear hiking boots for walking? ›

Hiking shoes are designed to provide support and protection for a variety of terrains, so they can certainly handle walking on flat, even surfaces. However, they might be a bit overkill for casual, everyday walking and may not be as comfortable or lightweight as shoes designed specifically for walking.

How long do hiking boots usually last? ›

Generally speaking, the average shelf life of a quality hiking boot ranges from 600 to 1,000 miles (for heavier mountaineering models). In other terms, if the average hiker scales roughly 8 miles a day, her boots will last her a little over 4 months, provided the trail and terrain remain the same.

Can I use hiking boots for walking? ›

Both trail and hiking shoes have the potential to be equally comfortable over long days of walking. For shorter walks, carrying lighter loads and where speed is important, trail running shoes offer a balance of cushion and flex.

Are Hokas good for hiking? ›

Hoka is known for their comfortable and supportive shoes, making them a great choice for hiking. One highly recommended option is the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4. This shoe features a durable and grippy outsole, a cushioned midsole for shock absorption, and a breathable upper for comfort on long hikes.

Should I get light or heavy hiking boots? ›

The big advantage to lighter hiking boots and hiking shoes is you're not lugging around as much weight on your feet – literally. It feels heavier down there and it's compounded with every step you take. The old backpacker's adage that one pound on your feet equals about six pounds on your back still holds weight.

What to wear if you don't have hiking boots? ›

If you don't have any special hiking footwear, go with your most comfortable sneakers. Some people swear by hiking sandlals in hot weather. I used to use Chacos and they're great, but switching to a breathable trail runner eliminated the need for sandals. If you get a leather hiking boot, you will need to break it in.

Is GORE-TEX bad for hiking? ›

If you're on a short hike for a few days it's probably fine - you might be able to keep your feet dry or trudge harmlessly in sloshy boots. If you're on a long hike feet soaking in wet goretex are a serious problem, light water-permeable shoes work much better for me.

Are keen hiking boots good? ›

The Keen Targhee II is a fantastic boot for a bargain price. It is one of our favorite hiking boots, delivering a lot of great attributes that any hiker can appreciate, whether new to the activity or a grizzled veteran of the trail.

Is Merrell a good brand of shoes? ›

Merrell is a long-time leader in hiking footwear, and their Moab Speed Low brings the much-loved Moab (above) into the modern era. The Speed Low features a lightweight and cushioned design that will appeal to day hikers and weight-conscious backpackers alike.

How often should I buy hiking boots? ›

The average lifespan of a hiking boot is about 500 miles. However, this can vary depending on the type of boot, how often you hike, and the conditions you hike in. For example, if you hike in extremely wet or dry conditions, your boots will likely break down sooner than 500 miles.

How long should hiking boots last? ›

Generally speaking, the average shelf life of a quality hiking boot ranges from 600 to 1,000 miles (for heavier mountaineering models). In other terms, if the average hiker scales roughly 8 miles a day, her boots will last her a little over 4 months, provided the trail and terrain remain the same.

Do hiking boots make a difference? ›

If you just want the maximum protection and a shoe that will last (potentially) for thousands of miles, go with a hiking boot. I don't wear them anymore, but when I did they were though as nails. Overall they're heavier and require more energy to hike with.

How much room should be at the end of hiking boots? ›

Measure the Length

Push your foot forward until your toes touch the front of the boot, and measure the space between the back of the shoe and your heel. You should allow two fingers – your index finger and your middle finger – to comfortably fit between the end of the shoe and your heel.


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