Most people scoff at the idea of getting cheap hiking boots to fulfill their footwear needs. The basic premise here is if you’re going to invest in this gear, it’s better to spend a little more for something that will last. On the other hand, these affordable hikers offer a lot of value at a lesser cost than more expensive models.
How hiking boots for men and women become cheap
The best hiking boots in the market are made from premium materials and innovative technologies to protect your feet and help them perform better. On the other hand, cheap hiking boots still offer the basic semblance of performance and protection in their construction. Majority of affordable hikers use uppers made of synthetic fabrics or less-durable leather variants, such as suede. Most of these footwear models are also equipped with soles that emphasize lightness and flexibility.
Brand designers have taken out various technologies from cheap hiking boots to make them more cost-effective. For instance, you won’t find features that help you get a better fit or components that enhance support from these hikers. These technologies are often found in mid to high-end footgear products, justifying their price. Instead, you’ll get a no-frills pair that can still deliver your basic footwear needs at a lesser cost.
Advantages and disadvantages of the finest cheap hiking boots
Every piece of gear you bring along for your hike has its own set of pros and cons. The same can be said if you choose to wear cheap hiking boots. Shown below are some pros and cons of this piece of gear.
Why should I get cheap hiking boots?
They won’t break your budget. As its classification implies, cheap hiking boots are budget friendly. Take a look around gear stores, and you’ll find affordable hikers that range from $50 to $110. In comparison, premium hiking footgear models are priced at around $240 to $380. The former still offers a decent set of qualities that will help you hike better. With the discrepancy in price, you can even purchase additional gear that can be useful outdoors, such as gaiters or a sturdy backpack.
Cheap hiking boots are an ideal supplementary pair. Outdoor lovers often wear out their footgear over time, especially when they are used for more demanding trails. Having cheap hiking boots can be advantageous in preserving your main hikers. You can use this footwear product for easy trails that don’t involve harsh conditions. In this way, you can extend the lifespan of your primary pair.
They’re light and comfortable. There are good cheap hiking boots for men and women that don’t possess heavy uppers or stiff midsole components. They are often made of lightweight materials, such as synthetic leather and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsoles. The design of these footwear products is a boon for those who want to hike as light as possible.
Some cheap hiking boots don’t have a waterproof liner to counter the elements. In its place, this footgear uses a combination of textile fabric and mesh panels to ventilate your foot better. Improved breathability can help your foot feel more comfortable, especially during a warm hike.
What are the downsides of using cheap hiking boots?
Durability is an issue. Cheap hiking boots are often constructed using materials that are more susceptible to wear and abrasion. For instance, an affordable pair of hikers usually use synthetic uppers with mesh panels or textile fabric. As compared to leather, these materials can be easily damaged from sharp edges or lose their quality from being exposed to the elements. If you frequent trails with harsh conditions and unpredictable weather, getting the best hiking boots would be a better idea.
Cheap hiking boots don’t offer enough protection. A component typically absent from cheap hiking boots to save costs is a waterproof membrane. This technology helps in keeping your foot dry while maintaining breathability. With a waterproof liner gone from most affordable footwear products, you might have a hard time hiking, especially if you’re tackling several wet trail conditions.
Another feature you might find missing from cheap hiking boots is a durable upper. Most footgear options under this category use mesh, synthetic, or textile fabrics. These materials don’t offer much protection when you’re going against exposed tree roots or sharp rocks. In comparison, all leather hiking boots are better when it comes to protecting your foot from these obstacles.
Some notable footwear brands that offer the best cheap men's and women's hiking boots
Merrell. Merrel’s line of cheap hiking boots doesn’t scrimp on features or materials. Its Moab 2 Mid Ventilator grants competent support and comfort at a reasonable price. This footwear model is also counted among a diverse set of Vibram hiking boots that offers reliable traction on virtually all types of terrain.
Columbia. Columbia’s inexpensive boots for hikers are packed with a wide array of features and technologies. Take a look at their affordable offerings, and you’ll see footwear products with suede leather uppers, waterproof membranes, and midsoles engineered for high energy return. One such model that offers these qualities at a reasonable price is the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof.
Timberland. One example of an affordable footwear option from Timberland is the Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof. This gear uses a full-grain leather upper lined with the brand’s patented Timber-Dry waterproof membrane. It also sports an EVA midsole with a thermopolyurethane (TPU) shank for sufficient support and cushioning. All of these useful features come together at a price that won’t break your budget.
Xero Shoes. Xero Shoes’ footwear philosophy focuses on providing its customers with a natural feel and fit without compromising motion. This philosophy is embodied in one of their cheap hiking boots, the Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker. Its mid-cut ballistic mesh upper is combined with a lightweight sole component to make your every stride lighter. Also, the gear is made of vegan-friendly materials, providing more eco-friendly value to its price.
The North Face. The North Face Chillkat III is one of the product from the brand that can be counted as affordable. This winter hiking boot model is crafted to provide comfort, protection, and warmth for hikers in cold weather conditions. Its temperature-sensitive outsole is engineered to provide traction in this kind of environment.
North Side. North Side has been manufacturing outdoor gear at reasonable prices since 1985. One of their products, the North Side Apex, comes with a full-grain leather upper and waterproof seam-sealed construction. For its $70 price tag, the features of this footwear model resemble those of mid-range hiking boots.
Harley-Davidson. The company’s sole hiking boot product, the Woodridge, provides a set of features that can come handy during a hike. Its waterproof leather upper is lined with mesh panels to deliver both breathability and protection at an affordable price tag.
Under Armour. The UA Culver Mid WP is one of Under Armour’s cheap hiking boot offerings. Its construction is designed for day hikers who want a lightweight pair that can provide protection and grip.
What makes discount boots affordable
Before outdoor companies release new footwear models, they must first sell their current inventory of products, including hiking boots. These brands often lower the original price of these hikers to entice customers to buy them. They hold clearance sale promos which showcase these cheap hiking boots in an effort to clear their respective inventories. Also, various outdoor gear stores also organize product closeouts at a discounted price to make way for new footwear models.
Fit and sizing guide when getting new cheap hiking boots
Getting a precise fit from your cheap hiking boots is an important element to your trip’s success. If your footwear is either too tight or too loose, there’s a chance you wouldn’t be able to complete your hike. As such, here are several tips to keep in mind when getting a new pair of cheap hikers.
Wear the same socks you use on the trail when you try on new boots. The thickness of these socks will help you attain an exact fit from your footwear.
If you’re going to order a pair of cheap hiking boots online, it’s best to refer to your preferred brand’s size chart. Get the measurement of your foot’s length and match it to the corresponding size found in the guide.
Make sure to lace your hikers properly. Once you’ve done that, walk around in them for a few minutes to check how these boots feel. If your foot slips inside the gear or the toes touch the front end, you might need to go one size bigger to get the right fit.
When trying on a new pair of cheap hiking boots, it’s important to choose one that doesn’t allow your heel to lift. When this happens, the back of your foot will rub against the gear and cause blisters as you hike.
The best time to fit new boots is during the afternoon when your foot swells a little. Trying them during this time of the day helps you have a precise fit from the product you’re planning to purchase.
Men’s cheap hiking boots
Several brands offer a wide assortment of affordable footwear products for male hikers in whole and half sizes. The best cheap hiking boots for men are usually around 7 to 15. Most of these footgear models come in regular width while some are designed for men with wide feet. Also, these low-cost boots for men relatively run true to size, with a few options offering a narrower fit.
Women’s cheap hiking boots
Inexpensive footwear options for female hikers typically range from 5 to 12. Half-sizes are also available for women. These cheap hiking boots are mostly offered in standard width with a select few available in a wide version. Some footgear companies recommend getting a women’s boot that’s one full size larger than your size so you can get a better fit.
Frequently asked questions about cheap hiking boots
How should I clean my cheap hiking boots?
Keeping your inexpensive hikers in good condition is a must. Otherwise, their quality will be affected, and you’ll end up with a pair that can’t be used outdoors. Here are some tips to remember when cleaning your cheap hiking boots.
Get a soft-bristled brush or a damp piece of cloth to remove visible dirt and debris on your footwear.
Remove the footbed and lace so you can have greater access to the boot’s innermost areas.
After wiping away traces of dirt on your above-the-ankle hikers, place them under running water to rinse them. Mix an amount of mild detergent with water to create your cleaning solution. Use this mixture to wash your cheap hiking boots thoroughly.
Apply a coat of waterproofing solution on your footgear while it is still damp. This product will help preserve your boot’s resistance to the elements.
If your cheap hiking boots are equipped with a leather upper, you should use a leather conditioning solution. This product will prevent the said material from drying out and cracking.
Leave your footwear in a well-ventilated area to dry off. Never place your newly-washed cheap hiking boots near any direct source of heat or a spot with low-humidity as these conditions will damage your gear.
How can I further improve the way my cheap hiking boots perform?
A good piece of gear you can add to your affordable hikers is a new pair of footbeds. There are third-party footbed products that are designed to enhance underfoot comfort, cushioning, and arch support. With this add-on, your foot can feel more secure and supported while wearing cheap hiking boots.
Another option you can consider is pairing your low-cost hikers with Merino wool socks. This type of is better in dissipating excess heat and moisture. It also dries faster than cotton socks after being exposed to sweat or water.
Attaching gaiters to your cheap hiking boots can help you prepare against unpredictable weather. This accessory covers the footwear’s collar and part of your leg to prevent water from entering it. With the help of this gear, you can tackle rainy weather with more confidence.
15 best cheap hiking boots
Ariat Terrain Waterproof
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof
Timberland Euro Hiker
Timberland Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof
Merrell Alverstone Mid Waterproof
Columbia Wayfinder Mid Outdry
Columbia Redmond V2 Mid Waterproof
Skechers Relment Pelmo
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid
Keen Voyageur Mid
Columbia Bugaboot III
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof
Adidas Terrex Tivid Mid CP
Skechers Relment Traven
Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.
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