There’s no greater feeling than that of comfort and performance that having the right gear as you hike in the outdoors. One of the most important gear to pay extra attention to is footwear. However, sometimes you find yourself on a budget, and just because you are on a budget – it doesn’t mean that you should enjoy your fair share of nature.
You can find a very good pair of cheap hiking boots on the market without compromising on quality and functionality. Some of the best budget hiking boots boast the same quality, durability and comfort that high priced hiking boots offer. Additionally, these bad boys also deliver versatility and the ability to work on multiple terrains and conditions.
Listed below are the 10 best budget hiking boots in 209 – each presenting its unique features and why they made the cut. The choice is all yours to go for a pair that appeals most to you.
Brace yourself: Most budget hiking boots are made of relatively lightweight material that will wear out a little faster than usual. With that in mind, I recommend shopping with build quality as your highest priority in this price range.
If you're shopping for waterproof boots in the budget price range, look for a boots that have a full waterproof bootie, instead of a membrane that's glued in place around the edges of the sole. The latter style is a lot less durable.
Don't buy budget hiking boots unless they fit well; keep shopping until you find something that feels good on your feet. You might save some money or get instant gratification by settling for a so-so fit, but you'll pay for it with pain and discomfort a few miles down the trail.
How To Choose Budget Hiking Boots – Buying Guide
When choosing the best budget hiking boots to invest in – comfort should be an important factor after the performance. Think of features such as midsoles, wall paddings, and gussets or tongues. To enhance stability to hiking boots, manufacturers add midsoles and footbeds inside the boots.
These paddings are normally air-cushioned and made of EVA to create that cushioning the heel of your feet. The cushioning the pressure on your feet thus, leaving them comfortable. The wall cushioning and padding on the other end helps to prevent any pressure or strain from the walls of the feet.
If the wall cushioning is fitted with a mesh lining, it makes it even better because air circulation is then enhanced. Gussets and tongues offer protection. However, their padding or stuffed fabrication helps to offer some padding on the front of the foot when you have laced up the boots.
Apart from providing comfort, midsoles and footbeds on the best cheap hiking boots enhance stability. Some manufacturers even feature special patented designs such as the Salomon 4D chassis design on the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Men’s Budget Hiking Boots. Apart from offering protection, ankle-length of the bot and arch support also enhance the boots’ stability.
The best cheap hiking boots must have excellent traction. Traction simply coins the amount of grip that your boot has to the surface and this quality determines the boot’s anti-slip properties. Rubber soles offer the best traction for hiking boots. This is because rubber is naturally tough and slip-resistant.
Thus with the right molding and lug patterns and depth, it offers excellent traction qualities. When choosing the best cheap hiking boots to go for, go for those that come with multi-traction and multi-terrain traction as they offer high traction abilities and versatility o allow for use on different surfaces.
The best cheap hiking boots should be made of highly durable and functional material. Leather is an excellent choice of material for your hiking boots because of its naturally rugged, sturdy and durable make. Additionally, the leather used in hiking boots is treated to be water-resistant or waterproof. Make sure to go through the feature so your boots to correctly understand the degree of protection the boots offer.
Additionally, you want to go for boots that allow for breathability and airflow to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Thus, go for boots with mesh linings or breathable membranes to help achieve this. There are different types of leather – full-grain leather, for example, is ideal for longer trips and rough environments because it is water-resistant and highly durable.
However, it is limiting when it comes to breathability. Nubuck leather on the other end undergoes treatment just like suede thus, making it flexible and water-resistant. Synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester are also combined to make the best budget hiking boots. These materials are also ideal because of their high breathability, anti-wear and tear qualities and well as their affordable availability. However, they are not as tough as leather.
The best chap hiking boots must offer protection. There are several features to examine to ensure your hiking boots offer ample protection. Because you expect to use the boots in the outdoors, you want your hiking boots to be water-resistant or waterproof to help keep water from penetrating the boots. Additionally, go for boots with tongues o bellows gussets to help keep out debris and dirt. Tongues also repel cold air on cooler days.
Additionally, a padded tongue will also protect your feet from the pressures of the laces. The collar or wall padding on the other end will protect your ankles and prevent chafing. The use of rubber outsoles also offers protection by repelling water and dirt. Additionally, the toughened rubber outsole protects the boot by enhancing its durability. For the ultimate comfort, also go for boots with heel and toe cap protection.
As mentioned above, the best cheap hiking boots must be waterproof or water-resistant at most. Waterproof hiking boots will allow you to walk on any terrain in any condition. The full waterproof construction completely keeps water out so even if you accidentally step into a water puddle, your feet will still be protected. Water-resistant hiking boots on the other end will offer protection from water.
However, at most, these hiking boots will protect your feet from splashes and light rain. However, you can still waterproof your water-resistant hiking boots at home before you hit the trails. Waterproofing your water-resistant boots every few months at home will not only enhance their function but also enhance their durability.
When choosing your budget hiking shoes, you must ensure that they are breathable. Choose hiking boots that feature mesh lining on the exterior or interior or those constructed with breathable membranes to enhance air circulation. The breathability of the hiking boots is very important. As you walk, you are engaged in physical activity.
Thus, your body produced heat and sweat. If you are wearing bots that are not breathable, this means that the heat and sweat produced remain trapped inside your boots. Over a prolonged period, your feet will get drenched with sweat and too hot. Thus, making you very uncomfortable and rendering the boot unfunctional.
The consistent occurrences of heat and sweat accumulation over prolonged periods affect the durability of your boots thus, reducing their life span. Furthermore, breathability works hand in hand with odor resistance. Some of the best hiking boots on budget feature an anti-odor treatment.
This helps to prevent microbial build-up thus, complementing the functions of the boot’s breathability to also prevent odors. However, if the hiking boots are not breathable enough, and sweat and heat are constantly accumulated this may compromise the anti-odor treatment. Thus, leading o microbial build-up, unpleasant odors and your hiking boots become useless.
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Ankle support on your hiking boots is provided by the length of your boots. Lower cut hiking boots, for example, offer more support and comfort to seasoned hikers as well as on routes that are flatter and more even. Higher raised boots on the other end are designed for newbies and individuals that are not very fit. These types of boots also work best for elevated and challenging routes.
Along with choosing the appropriate height of your hiking boots, you should also go for boots with a collar or wall padding. This feature helps to create a superior cushioning to your ankle so that it doesn’t brush with the rough boot wall with a padded collar or wall on your hiking boots, you can hike for longer without risking burns, blisters, and injuries on your ankle. Longer and deeper gussets and tongues also offer padding to the ankle at some point to prevent pressure from the laces.
Q: Are Cheap Hiking Boots Durable?
Yes, the best cheap hiking boots are durable. You can easily find durable hiking boots that are cheap – it all depends on the right features. For example, you can get a cheap pair of full-grain leather hiking boots which are waterproof, wear-resistant, and highly durable.
You can also get a durable pair of synthetic hiking boots that are affordable such as the Under Armour Speedfit Men’s Budget Hiking Boots. Additionally, the care and maintenance of your hiking boots also affect their durability. If they are impurely cleaned and used, their lifespan is bound to be shortened.Related Post: How To Clean Hiking Boots
Q: Does Compromising On Price Mean Compromising On Quality?
No, compromising on price does not mean compromising on quality. You can still find high-quality hiking boots even at less than US$100. Take the Harley-Davidson Chase Athletic men’s budget hiking boots for example – these hiking boots cost under US$100 however, they boast a highly durable and rugged cement construction thus, allowing them to be highly versatile and ideal for use on multiple terrains. Additionally, these cheap hiking boots also feature high-quality leather and nylon material.
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The budget hiking boots reviews summate pricing doesn’t necessarily affect quality and performance. At an outstanding cost-friendly price tag you can still find highly durable and quality hiking boots with the same luxuries and comfort that may come with a high priced pair of hiking boots.
Whether you plan on hiking on icy terrain, muddy trails or looking for a more versatile choice, the buying guide on the other end, also offers a detailed overview of what to look for and examine when choosing the best budget hiking boots to invest in. The list of the 10 best above delivers an excellent platform to begin your search and you definitely will find your match!
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