Best Hiking Boots Under 100

A pair of brown hiking boots laying on the edge of a rocky cliff.
Credit: Vlad Tchompalov

A pair of brown hiking boots laying on the edge of a rocky cliff.
Credit: Vlad Tchompalov

If you're trying to find the best hiking boots under 100 dollars or pounds, but you're not sure what features to look for, don't worry! We're here to guide you through the process and help you locate the ideal pair.

We've focused on selecting boots packed with cushioning to absorb the impact of each stride. Moreover, boots with fairly aggressive lugs across the outsoles are essential to maintaining grip across uneven terrain. Some kind of waterproofing is also a must, particularly in the winter. However, you'll want to avoid materials that completely remove any form of breathability from your boots.

So, with all this in mind, we've put together a list of our top budget-friendly picks based on reviews, features, and, of course, price which, in comparison to some of the best hiking boots around, are relatively inexpensive to pick up.

Whether you're looking for something lightweight, like these adidas Terrex AX4 Mids, or you're after a lower-cut pair of boots for summer, like these KEEN Targhee-IIs, then we've got you covered.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding hiking boots to help you figure out what exactly it is you need for your specific adventures. Before that though, let's get into our list...

Best hiking boots under 100

  1. Merrell Moab 3
  2. adidas Terrex AX4 Mid
  3. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
  4. KEEN Targhee-II Low
  5. Haglöfs Skuta Mid Proof Eco
Merrell Moab 3 product image of a granite grey suede and mesh boot with blue accents.
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Credit: Merrell

1. Merrell Moab 3

Best all-round hiking boots under 100

Brand: Merrell | Material: Leather / Mesh | Weight: 980g

First released in 2007, Merrel's Moab hiking boots have seen several adaptations over the years to make them as optimised as possible for long-distance adventures.

These Merrell Moab 3s, in particular, stand out to us as some of the best as they come with a ton of technology designed to improve comfort.

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For example, they feature Kinetic Fit ADVANCED insoles with reinforced heel cushioning to help improve stability over rough terrain.

Like some of the best winter running shoes, the boots also feature mesh panels to keep their weight to a minimum. However, the shoes are also protected by a layer of waterproof GORE-TEX to keep you dry whilst also maintaining their breathability.

In terms of grip, the boots come with Vibram TC5+ outsoles with 5mm lugs that have been engineered for traction and to help you stay balanced across uneven surfaces, thus making them an all-around good option to consider.

adidas Terrex AX4 Mid product image of an all-black mid-top boot.
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Credit: adidas

2. adidas Terrex AX4 Mid

Best lightweight hiking boots under 100

Brand: adidas | Material: Mesh / Synthetic Leather | Weight: 858g

These adidas Terrex AX4 Mids are a slightly more modern take on a classic set of hiking boots; however, we're a fan of their design and the way adidas has used its sportswear expertise to optimise these boots for hiking.

For instance, the uppers are made almost entirely from mesh, like a set of lightweight trail-running shoes, but are then covered in GORE-TEX to waterproof the exterior for wet weather adventures.

Read More: Best adidas shoes

You also get dual-density EVA foam in the midsoles to absorb some of the shocks felt from uneven terrain. Moreover, the Continental rubber used for the outsoles should provide the grip to complement the foam cushioning.

It's also worth mentioning the mesh is made from a recycled material called Primegreen. This means 50% of the uppers are made from recycled content, thus making them a sustainable pick for you to consider. That said, keep an eye out for the newly released and wander x adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2s, which look as though they may take things to the next level with Boost foam providing comfort, all while the recycled content remains the same.

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II product image of a dark brown and suede grey boot.
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Credit: Columbia

3. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II

Best hiking boots under 100 for winter

Brand: Columbia | Material: Leather / Suede / Mesh | Weight: 904g

If you're looking for a top pair of boots to tackle the challenging weather of winter hikes, then these Columbia Newton Ridge Plus IIs could be your answer.

Columbia has teamed with Omni-Tech to provide waterproofing and wind protection to these boots whilst maintaining the boot's ability to breathe through the multi-layer construction.

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The boots also feature Techlite cushioning in the midsoles which has been designed to absorb impact and provide a higher energy return during each step you take, so should help you conserve energy.

They're also relatively lightweight, weighing just 452g per boot, meaning you shouldn't feel as weighed down. especially whilst carrying a tent in your backpack.

KEEN Targhee-II Low product image of a dark green low-top boot with yellow accents.
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Credit: KEEN

4. KEEN Targhee-II Low

Best low-top hiking boots under 100

Brand: KEEN | Material: Leather / Mesh | Weight: 436.6g

During the warmer summer weather, low-cut boots offer a lighter and more flexible option compared to mid or high-top shoes. Out of all the budget-friendly low-top options on the market, we'd highly recommend these KEEN Targhee-IIs.

These boots blend leather and mesh for their uppers, providing both lightweight support and breathability. Plus, they come with a PFC-free waterproof membrane, ensuring your feet stay dry when crossing streams or getting caught in the rain.

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For enhanced traction on rugged trails with rocks and branches, the boots are equipped with 4mm multi-directional lugs. Moreover, they feature Eco Anti-Odour technology, offering a natural and fresh scent during use, making it convenient to keep them in your tent without worries of unpleasant odours throughout the night.

So, as far as low-cut collar options go, these KEEN boots are a top option to consider purchasing.

Haglöfs Skuta Mid Proof Eco product image of an oak brown, green, and brown boot.
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Credit: Haglöfs

5. Haglöfs Skuta Mid Proof Eco

Best sustainably-made hiking boots under 100

Brand: Haglöfs | Material: Leather / Suede / Mesh | Weight: 489g

These Haglöfs Skuta Mid Proof Eco boots are designed with sustainability at the forefront. As their name suggests, they prioritise eco-friendly materials and practices.

One notable sustainable aspect is the use of PROOF ECO, a fluorocarbon-free material, for the waterproof membrane around the uppers. This alligns with Haglöfs' commitment to reducing CO2 emissions.

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In fact, the boots are entirely free from fluorocarbons, showcasing their dedication to environmental responsibility. The outsoles feature AHAR Plus (ASICS High Abrasion Resistance Rubber) for enhanced durability and traction, making them long-lasting and reliable.

Then, for comfort and support, the boots are equipped with moulded EVA midsoles that provide a sturdy foundation for your feet. Additionally, GEL rearfoot cushioning is integrated to absorb shocks with every step, ensuring a comfortable walking experience.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

With so many different kinds of hiking boots available, you may have a few questions about them. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries right here.

What should you look for from a pair of hiking boots?

One of the key areas to look out for when choosing a pair of hiking boots is the kind of support they provide to keep you comfortable and stable over rough terrain.

Opting for something with rubber foam midsoles and padded ankles should deliver a cushioned ride with enough support to help reduce your risk of injury.

EVA foam is common as it's relatively light. However, PU foam is also worth considering if you're after something heavier but with a firmer feel underfoot.

On the topic of weight, you'll want to make sure the boots you're buying aren't too heavy as you may find you feel like you're being weighed down whilst hiking. These days, many hiking boots opt for sections of mesh to keep weight to a minimum for this reason.

Finally, we'd recommend opting for boots with some kind of waterproofing or weather protection.

Anything with GORE-TEX looks to be pretty good for this as it wraps your boots in a thin membrane that's designed to be waterproof, windproof, yet breathable to keep you both cool and dry during your hikes.

Do you need to break in new hiking boots?

It's likely you'll need to break in your hiking boots after unboxing them for the first time; however, how much 'breaking-in' they'll need will depend on the material.

For instance, lighter hiking boots may only need a short break-in period as the material is unlikely to be as stiff. Some boots may even fit comfortably right from the get-go if they're predominately made from mesh.

However, thicker, more robust hiking boots, particularly ones made of leather, will likely require a little more time to break in as the leather needs to soften up in order to conform to the shape of your feet.

One way to do this is to wear them around your house or during short walks outside whilst wearing the socks you intend to wear on your hikes.

Deliberately walking on uneven terrain may also help speed up the process to stretch out the materials even further.

There's not really a set time frame on how long it will take to break in your hiking boots. Therefore, our recommendation would be to gradually increase the length of your walks once you start to feel your boots loosening up and becoming more comfortable.

Should you buy hiking boots a size bigger?

Hiking boots are typically worn with fairly thick socks, so it may be beneficial to buy your next pair a size bigger to ensure they fit snugly, but with enough room so that you can move your toes without feeling restricted.

Furthermore, it's likely your feet will swell up to some degree whilst hiking, so making sure your boots have enough room to accommodate this is another reason why going up half a size or more might be beneficial.

Clarks recommends that, for shoes in general, you should leave about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoe. In our opinion, this is worth keeping in mind when trying on your boots to help ensure they'll fit comfortably whilst hiking.

If you're still unsure though, most manufacturers will have their own size chart to compare to. Our guide on Nike vs adidas sizing and Nike vs HOKA sizing, for example, provides an insight into how exactly you can use these charts to your advantage. Check out our guide on measuring your shoe size as well to help get you started.

Can hiking boots be used in snowy or icy conditions?

Hiking boots can be used in snowy or icy conditions, but it depends on the specific design and features of the boots. For example, for snowy or icy conditions, it's beneficial to have hiking boots with insulation to keep your feet warm. Some hiking boots come with built-in insulation, while others may require additional insulated socks or liners.

Also, slippery surfaces require boots with excellent traction, so look for hiking boots with lugged or aggressive outsoles that provide a good grip on icy or snowy terrain if you need to. Some boots also feature specialised rubber compounds or crampon compatibility for added traction.

Moreover, it's important to keep your feet dry in snowy or slushy conditions. That means you'll need hiking boots that have waterproof or water-resistant features to prevent moisture from seeping in. This will help keep your feet warm in the cold.

In short, it's essential to choose hiking boots specifically designed for snowy or icy conditions to ensure your safety and comfort. Try on a few pairs in person if you're struggling to choose.

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