To find the best solutions for your upcoming excursion, our hiking crew laced up and tried Best Affordable Hiking Boots from Salomon, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Lowa, and more.
Consideration should be given to value because you want to pay the least amount possible for the best boot that will meet your needs. Value to us is the amount of performance you get for every dollar spent. In our analysis, we found a number of boots with very reasonable prices that also received commendable ratings.
SALOMON QUEST 4 GORE-TEX
Since it is the real deal, we believe that the Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex represents the peak of what a hiking boot should be. In this whole package, you get cushioned comfort, superb stability, and some of the best waterproof features available. These shoes are made for hikers who want to make difficult, protracted hiking trips through difficult terrain while toting a hefty pack. These camping boots, in our opinion, are the most stable ones on the market. Their height also makes them more water-resistant. They offer a unique support mechanism and the tallest ankle cuff of any boot we evaluated.
MERRELL MOAB 3 MID WATERPROOF
The Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof hiking boot is cozy and fairly priced, and it feels great right out of the box. The arch support is among the best in its class, and testers reported no blisters during the numerous kilometers of testing. The EVA midsole and insole offer excellent cushioning, while the padded tongue lessens chafing during ankle flexion. Even though the suede and mesh upper don’t seem waterproof, this boot offers superior defense against mud and light water crossings.
LA SPORTIVA ULTRA RAPTOR II MID GTX
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a tough trail running shoe that has been strengthened and is one of the best all-terrain shoes on the market. The Ultra Raptor’s mix of shoe-like comfort, boot-like support, and traction allows it to function well beyond the limitations of its weight class. This hiking boot is for you if you want the most capable cross-country shoes but also want to keep your weight low and put on-trail walking comfort as a top priority—something that models that are similarly capable but heavier in weight don’t always do well at.
SCARPA ZODIAC PLUS GTX
The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is the ideal mountain boot for off-trail hiking, mountain climbing, and hauling heavy loads. Thanks to its outstanding stability, you may comfortably edge or smear up the steepest terrain you could encounter on a taxing cross-country trip. The Vibram sole is sticky while still being durable, and the top is made of full-grain leather, which will last for many wearings before it starts to show signs of wear.
SALOMON X ULTRA MID 4 GORE-TEX
Compared to the previous generation, these boots are nearly a half-pound lighter while still providing the mid-ankle support we require for off-trail travel and expeditions with large packs. These boots offer extraordinary support, wrapping closely around the foot to provide a sturdy platform that prevents rolling. They have the same ActiveSupport and ADV-C Chassis components as the model’s low-top shoe counterparts. They are waterproof due to the Gore-Tex liner, making them suitable for practically all terrain types and environments.
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Consider this boot as a link between the robust traditional hiking boots and the lightweight world of trail runners and hiking shoes. They are at the lightest end of the boot spectrum, maintaining some of the added stability and support that this group is known for while shedding a significant amount of weight and remaining as flexible and agile as running shoes. On bumpy terrain, the sole may be thinner than some people would prefer, but on light excursions, we are okay with that trade-off. These will work best for hikers who truly want to reduce their weight by wearing shoes but yet require the support of boots.
TECNICA FORGE S GTX
In addition to being the first fully customized hiking boot, The Forge is also the first hiking boot produced by ski boot manufacturer Tecnica. Every component of the Forge may be customized, especially the upper, which comes in nubuck leather and synthetic ripstop. Additionally, Tecnica gave the Forge every component that makes a good hiking boot, such as a Gore-Tex lining and a Vibram rubber sole.
The Forge can only be purchased from physical stores that keep it and its boot-fitting robot in stock because it is a fully customized boot (you can purchase the boot online and then what you can do is bring it to one of these stores for molding after). The boot feels noticeably different before and after molding, so the standard fitting procedure—which entails trying on many pairs of boots and ascending and descending a ramp filled with artificial rock—does not apply here. Two cycles of heating and molding—one for the Forge’s insoles and another for the uppers—take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
It doesn’t require a long break-in period and the fit is about as good as a hiking boot can get. That alone ought to entice many people to pick the Forge, but that isn’t the only quality that distinguishes it as a superior hiking boot. The wrap-around cuff is cozy and supportive, the Vibram sole is sufficiently tough, and the upper is waterproof but breathable. Tecnica succeeded in its initial attempt into a brand-new category.
ON CLOUDROCK WATERPROOF
There’s a lot more to this boot than first meets the eye. It reminds me of a high-top version of some of the stunning running shoes from the young Swiss brand. It is jam-packed with cutting-edge inventions and proprietary technology to keep your steps swift and light. Zero-Gravity CloudTec cushions every step, a Missiongrip rubber outsole with deep lugs offers traction and bite on uneven surfaces, and the FlexLock lacing system allows you to tighten up with a single pull or adjust the top and bottom separately.
A strong wind- and waterproof membrane, a high, cushioned collar and tongue, and two types of mesh designed for support and comfort make up the upper, which also impresses us. The Cloudrock is extremely lightweight at less than a pound even with all of these capabilities. You’ll be practically flying over the trails thanks to the lightweight construction and the propulsion-enhancing Speedboard insole.
KEEN TARGHEE VENT MID
One of Keen’s most popular hiking boots, the Targhee is also of the most adaptable and reasonably priced models out there. With the Vent, a non-waterproof boot with mesh paneling windows for greater breathability in warmer weather, Keen just expanded the Targhee lineup. The remainder of the boot closely resembles the original in terms of its supportive footbed design, water-resistant oiled nubuck leather, and grippy rubber outsole with deep lugs.
The Targhee Vent Mid has a somewhat wider fit, which is most noticeable in the toe box, which has plenty of flexibility for movement, much like its predecessor. Even without installing an aftermarket footbed, the boot is incredibly supportive and the heel hold is still superb. The Targhee is a fantastic daily boot because the cuff isn’t too high.
Due to the fact that waterproofing in hiking boots isn’t strictly necessary, we decided to include the Vent version in our list. No matter what boots you’re wearing, if you’re hiking in conditions where your feet will likely get wet, like rainfall, or on a trail that crosses rivers, they probably will. In addition, hot waterproof linings might make your feet perspire and become wet anyhow. By allowing ventilation even when you’re wearing them about town, The Vent succeeds in preventing this.
HOKA KAHA GTX 2
For its second generation, Hoka’s Kaha GTX 2 has undergone some significant improvements, most notably an increase in the usage of sustainable materials all throughout the boot. Recycled textiles were used to create the Gore-Tex footwear fabric, recycled mesh, the molded PU sock lining, and recycled polyester was used to create the laces.
DANNER MOUNTAIN 600
The Mountain 600 is Danner’s city-to-mountain hiking boot, combining a traditional outdoor style with contemporary materials. A leather upper and a cushy Vibram outsole make it lightweight and cozy right out of the box for hikers.
Because it is “lightweight and elegant enough to wear in town yet has plenty of grip and support for trail use too,” one of our testers spent a lot of time wearing the leather version of the Mountain 600. It provides support without being overly stiff so that it would be uncomfortable to stroll about town all day. In this sense, it combines the best of both worlds and is a fantastic alternative for people who don’t go on extremely long hikes (backpacking excursions offer better options), carry a lot of weight in their packs, or simply don’t want to own multiple pairs of boots for various situations.
One thing we suggest is adding an aftermarket insole to the Mountain 600 if you plan to purchase one. For the best fit, size down by half a size.