Hiking - Boots
Adventure sports, Hiking, Running

Cheap Hiking Boots Under $250

November 11, 2021

Hiking boots are our thing. This analysis examines and contrasts 17 of the finest and cheap hiking boots for 2021. Our experts walked hundreds of kilometers with these shoes, from dry, high alpine trails to wet and muddy trails. Day hikes and multi-day expeditions provided us with information on critical performance categories like as traction. All-day comfort, support, and more, allowing us to provide you with useful comparisons. Hiking shoes may be a better option than hiking boots in certain situations. Finding the right ones for you isn’t easy. Our evaluation will help you choose the best shoe for your foot. If you’re looking for the lightest pair, a trail-running hiker, or a great price. These shoes can be easily be carried in your hiking bags.

1. Cheap Hiking Boots Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex.

Salomon hiking shoe

Price: $149.99

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The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hiking shoe is designed to tackle even the most difficult treks. These shoes are designed specifically for rough terrain where good performance on a variety of surfaces is necessary. Built on an AVD-C Chassis, these low-top hikers provide excellent support. And the combination of SensiFit technology and the Quicklace lacing system enables the shoe to contour to your foot. What’s more good thing about Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex is that it is on our number 1 list of cheap hiking boots under $250.

These shoes are fast to put on and take off by cinching and uncinching the laces. Making it easy to shake off any entering silt. Moving in and out of a tent. We appreciate how sure our footwork feels owing to the deep-set lugs on the outsole. How much a Gore-Tex membrane can make a difference in our hiking comfort. Considering all of these features, it’s amazing that the X Ultra 4 GTX shoes weigh just 1.75 pounds. This updated version of a well-known and highly acclaimed classic saves roughly a quarter pound each pair. As an added plus, the pricing is reasonable in comparison to the other alternatives offered.

Although we appreciate the Quicklace system’s convenience, we know that it is not for everyone. When stored in their pouch, they provide much less of a tripping danger than laces. We did sometimes find ourselves lazily slipping them back into the laces. The tab extending from the ankle of the shoe breaks down with time, and it is inconvenient to repeatedly pull it back out after we get the shoes on. Furthermore, the ankle cuff on these shoes is significantly higher than on other hikers in our lineup, which we noted the first time we wore them. We donned thinner socks to prevent ankle irritation and had no additional problems. In comparison to the top shoes we’ve evaluated, our testers are confident that this is the most complete, low-cut hiker on the market, and they easily suggest it as the finest alternative available.

2. Cheap Hiking Boot Vasque Juxt.

Price: $74.95 – $119.95

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For years, the Vasque Juxt has wowed us with its performance per dollar ratio. This low-cost style is comfortable and supportive, and it is a good choice for trekking. The gripping outsole provides good traction on dry rock. The leather top is more durable than many synthetic materials while being lighter-than-average in weight. We enjoy this shoe as an all-day walker for warm-weather activities like desert trekking that don’t need a waterproof covering.

We discovered that the Juxt has a few flaws to be aware of. They are not waterproof (by design). They should be worn in largely dry situations to avoid getting the unlined top wet. The top is single-stitched, and the shoes have significant long-term durability difficulties that should be watched. Otherwise, they’re a decent entry-level cheap hiking boot at a reasonable price

3. Cheap Hiking Boot Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator.

Merrell Moab 2 low hiking shoes.. waterproof hiking boots  best hiking boots  best hiking shoes

Price: $84.95 – $253.21

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These may not be your long-distance or ultra-rugged hiking shoes. There is a lot to like about Merrell’s flagship Moab 2. What has made this shoe so popular over the years? Most notably, it’s the lightweight but planted feel, comfortable fit, and attractive price point. Merrell updated the Moab a couple of years ago including a more durable upper and greater cushioning in the heel of the footbed. The formula largely remains the same. For day hikers sticking to established trails, the Moab 2 is a great value.

In terms of downsides, on rocky and muddy trails, we found that traction and stabilit. Fall short of a performance shoe like the Salomon X Ultra 3 above. And despite a competitive 1-pound-15-ounce weight for a pair, the shoe feels a little slow and cumbersome compared with some lighter models. These are small complaints about an otherwise fantastic shoe. We highly recommend the Moab 2 for day hikes and lightweight backpacking. Keep in mind that we included the non-waterproof “Vent” here, but Merrell also makes a waterproof version that costs $125 and weighs slightly more at 2 pounds 1 ounce per pair.

4. Cheap Hiking Boot Hoka One One Speedgoat 4.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 trail runner.. trail running shoe  x ultra  waterproof boots

Price: $200.87 – $326.17

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Hoka One One was formerly a niche brand for runners, but that has changed considerably in recent years, and the brand is now a top choice for hikers and great choice of cheap hiking shoes. This trend makes sense: more people are leaving their hefty boots in favour of hiking shoes and trail runners, and if you stay largely on established trails and aren’t climbing or carrying a big load, it’s our favourite way to go. The Hoka Speedgoat 4 is the most comfortable trail shoe we’ve ever worn, with deep cushioning and a lightweight design. The bottom is surprisingly grippy, and we have few complaints about on-trail performance.

What are the flaws of the Hoka Speedgoat 4? We’ve been astonished at how rapidly they wear out, especially the sole. When we were at our local running shop recently, the guy in front of us was purchasing new Hokas and commented, “I truly adore these shoes but am dismayed by how fast they pack up,” which summed up our experiences as well. Furthermore, although they function well on regular routes, we went them scrambling across high terrain and discovered their limits. The Speedgoat is a trail running shoe with little protection around the foot, and its stability might fluctuate when put to the test. However, if you usually walk or run on existing trails, you won’t find a more comfortable shoe for the task.

5. Cheap Hiking Boot Altra Lone Peak 5.

Altra Lone Peak 5 trail runner. hiking gear  trail running shoes  comfortable hiking boots

Price: $84.99 – $247.33

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With a solid selection of massively cushioned but lightweight shoes, running-centric company Altra is an uber-popular alternative for thru-hikers and minimalists. The Lone Peak is their flagship trail runner, and for spring 2021, Altra introduced the “5”. A bouncy midsole, a more adaptable tread design. A revised StoneGuard underfoot are among the changes, but the recipe stays substantially same. In usage, we discovered that the Lone Peak is quite durable, has good grip, and the substantial padding shields you from sharp impacts. The Lone Peak is a perennial favourite on the AT and PCT because to its light weight of 1 pound 6.2 ounces per pair.

When selecting a trail running shoe for hiking, such as the Altra Lone Peak, there are a few factors to consider. For starters, you receive less protection at the toe and around the sides of the foot than with the more hiking-focused shoes on our list. Second, the shoe bends more than a standard hiker, making steep climbs and uneven terrain less comfortable. Third, the Lone Peak fits broad, especially in the toe box. If you have narrow feet, we suggest a different trail runner, such as the Hoka One One Speedgoat mentioned above.

6. Cheap Hiking Boot The North Face Ultra 111 WP.

waterproof hiking boots

Price: $83.26 – $230.19

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The North Face Ultra 111 WP is our best waterproof alternative for individuals on a tight budget looking for a pair of hikers. It’s difficult to find a shoe with a waterproof lining as competent as this model for less money. These hikers are as comfortable as a pair of running shoes and are ideal for days spent trail running, but they are also supportive enough to trek with modest weights on overnight adventures. We were particularly pleased with this shoe’s traction, which we believe performs well on both wet and dry terrain.

The Ultra 111 is well-rounded and suited of anything from day walks to lightweight backpacking excursions, however it lacks some of the stability that stiffer or higher-cut variants provide. They employ a lot of mesh and synthetic fabrics, and we’ve had some durability difficulties with previous North Face versions. They aren’t built to withstand years of abuse, but for such fantastic overall performance, including a sturdy waterproof lining, we believe they’re a wonderful buy.

7. Cheap Hiking Boot La Sportiva TX4.

La Sportiva TX4 hiking shoe

Price: $126.00 – $249.17

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The La Sportiva TX4 isn’t your typical choice, but we adore it. It’s designed as an approach shoe, which means it’s strong and grippy for lengthy walks to climbing goals or travelling over steep, rocky terrain. The Vibram outsole, complete rubber rand, and smooth strip of sticky rubber beneath the toe make it an excellent choice for rock scrambling, smearing, and edging. But what has most struck us is its versatility: with its light and relatively flexible build, the TX4 performs as well going rapidly on the path. We enjoy it so much for daily usage because of the excellent levels of comfort and appealing appearance.

The La Sportiva TX4 has restrictions, like with other approach shoes. The dotty tread holds remarkably well on wet and dry rock and even wowed us with snow traction, but it falls short of becoming a genuine hiking shoe in muck and mud. Furthermore, some hikers, particularly those who want to travel light, may find the firmer sole to be cumbersome and inflexible. But, despite the approach shoe name, the TX4 is a fine partner for extended days on the trail. Also, bear in mind that La Sportiva makes this shoe in a variety of styles, from the mesh TX3 (for additional breathability) to the burly TXS (a full-on hiking boot).

8. Cheap Hiking Boot Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX.

Price: $170.00

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The Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX hiking shoe is the lightest we’ve ever tested. They are nearly invisible while worn, which was a godsend as we proceeded on a 19-mile trip to put these shoes through their paces. Surprisingly light, the featherweight shoes provide enough support and traction while still being very waterproof and breathable. Even after trekking in dry and sandy weather, our feet were hardly sweaty.

The Aerios are extremely light, but in doing so, they sacrifice some long-term endurance. We put them to the test, trekking almost 300 miles in them before they were too soft to be effective for trail hiking. The shoe’s outside shell was still in fine condition, but the structure of the midsole and heel cup had deteriorated to the point that they were no longer as supportive as they previously were. This still seems to be an acceptable lifetime for such a specialty hiking shoe, and we are looking forward to purchasing our next pair to evaluate.

9. Cheap Hiking Boot Danner Trail 2650.

Danner 2650 Trail hiking shoe

Price: $109.99 – $250.00

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Danner is best known for its industrial boots, but the long-standing footwear company has recently made a smooth transition to hikers. The Trail 2650 has a lot going for it: it’s comfy straight out of the box, grippy thanks to the Vibram outsole, and light at 1 pound 8 ounces each pair. And this shoe does something that most hiking shoes do not: it looks fantastic while doing it. Overall, we’re happy with Danner’s direction, and the Trail 2650 is one of the most adaptable alternatives on our list.

The Trail 2650 type seen here isn’t waterproof, but Danner also offers a GTX model for $170 and 1 pound 11 ounces each pair, as well as a Mid GTX for those who like extra ankle support. The only major drawbacks to this shoe line are a lack of stability when hauling a heavy pack (it falls short of the Salomon X Ultra above in this regard) and the rather massive piece of rubber on the heel that appears to go above and beyond the required levels of protection (and adds a bit of weight that won’t help you much on the trail). However, they are minor criticisms of an otherwise pleasant and contemporary lightweight hiking shoe.

More On Our List of Cheap Hiking Boots

10. Keen Targhee Low Vent.

Keen Targhee III Low Vent hiking shoe

Price: $90.00 – $307.00

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The Targhee, like Merrell’s Moab, is Keen’s hallmark daily hiker. When it was updated a few years ago, the alterations weren’t revolutionary, but they did a good job of updating the traditional design. Most crucially, the previous model’s very broad foot bed has been cut down somewhat to provide the shoe a little less sloppy feel on uneven terrain. The Targhee Low Vent isn’t as aggressive as the Salomon X Ultra 3 above, but its robust leather construction, light weight, and well-cushioned inside make it a superb casual hiking shoe.

The Keen Targhee Low and Merrell Moab 2 are two of the most popular day hiking shoes on the market. Both are really comfortable straight out of the box, provide ample of support and traction on non-technical routes, and can even be used for short backpacking excursions. The Targhee’s Nubuck leather top is a touch more durable than the Moab’s mesh upper, but at $130, the Keen isn’t as good of a deal. The price difference and the broad fit are what keep it at the bottom of our list, but you can’t go wrong with any model.

11. Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX.

Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX. other hiking boots  trail runner  ankle support  traditional hiking shoe

Price: $84.95 – $179.99

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The Vasque Breeze LT Low GTX’s small weight, soft soles, and outstanding breathability make them comfortable for extended day treks and supportive enough for lightweight camping. Unlike most of Vasque’s more conventional products, the Breeze LTs are soft and flexible, making them more forgiving on rough terrain than a standard leather hiking shoe. When you choose a lighter-weight shoe over a more conventional shoe, you give up a little durability to save a few ounces. Still, if lightweight comfort and breathability in a waterproof shoe are important to you, the Breeze LTs are an excellent choice.

12. Brooks Cascadia 16.

Cascadia 16

Price: $129.95 – $254.31

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Brooks’ Cascadia was one of the first trail runners to make a significant impact in the ultralight backpacking and thru-hiking communities. Its weight-to-comfort ratio was a surprise for those trying to cover long distances, and the shoe also outperformed expectations in terms of longevity. The Cascadia, now in its 16th generation, is a fantastic crossover trail running/hiking option: the latest model has a soft, cushioned feel, a rock plate underfoot helps take the sting out of a rough trail, and it’s very competitive in terms of weight at 1 pound 5 ounces for the men’s version (the women’s is 1 pound 3 ounces).

How does the Cascadia compare to another thru-hiking favourite, Altra’s Lone Peak above? Both include a solid selection of trail-ready features including sticky and aggressive rubber outsoles, drainage vents in the upper, and gaiter attachment points. The Altra has a zero-drop design, but the Cascadia has a more typical 8-millimeter drop (a choice here will come down to personal preference). While the Cascadia has a big toe box, the Lone Peak has the broad design that many thru-hikers like. The Brooks, on the other hand, is more sturdy and would be our choice for tough terrain. In reality, both are excellent choices, and as we put more miles on the Cascadia, it might easily climb our ranks.

13. Oboz Sawtooth II Low.

Oboz Sawtooth II Low hiking shoe

Price: $139.15 – $287.46

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Oboz footwear is known for its stability and protection, and the company is based in Montana, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Their famous Sawtooth II Low, which is also available in a mid-height boot, has a solid design and is a good alternative for anybody wishing to increase the stiffness and support of their Merrell Moabs. The shoe’s innovative heel counter maintains its form effectively and delivers a stable sensation on rough terrain. In addition, Oboz’s contoured O Fit insole provides a comfortable all-around fit with enough of flexibility in the toe box and strong arch and heel support.

Where the Sawtooth falls short is with the fast-hikers. If you want to cover a lot of land and prefer a light and flexible shoe, we propose the Salomon X Raise or Danner’s Trail 2650 above (even the Moab is nimbler on the trail). And, for those contemplating the waterproof BDry version of the Sawtooth, we discovered that it runs rather hot and had us overheated even in mild temps while hiking. As a result, we prefer the non-waterproof model, which also happens to save you $25.

14. Vasque Skywalk.

Vasque Skywalk Full Detailed Review

Price: $89.99 – $180.00

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The Vasque Skywalk features a polyurethane (PU) midsole and footbed that offers excellent underfoot support. It also completely covers the ankle, which provides enough support but at the expense of comfort since the boot lacks a notched back like most other boots.

Despite protecting the ankle, the boots do not tie up as securely around the ankle as many of the other boots in this category, resulting in a little less support.

15. Tecnica Magma.

Tecnica Magma hiking shoes

Price: $86.03 – $185.50

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There are a handful of light and flexible trail runners that cross over into the hiking category—Speedgoat Hoka’s and Altra’s Lone Peak are two examples—but Tecnica’s Magma reverses the script by combining excellent technical hiking qualities with a surprisingly running-friendly packaging. This hybrid idea isn’t new, but after trying the Magma for almost five months. We believe Tecnica has created a true winner. Most importantly, it’s a very competent design. The aggressive lug pattern (reminiscent of an approach shoe) provides outstanding traction. The low-slung form provides superb foot feel and accuracy for both hiking and running, and the stiffness and flexibility are well balanced. Add a tough upper and a tight, performance fit, and you’ve got a solid alternative for long days in the mountains.

The disadvantage of an aggressive shoe like the Magma is that it seems excessive and less comfortable over softer ground. The underfoot cushioning is pretty simple, so it’s not as soft and forgiving as many of the more classic styles mentioned above (although foot protection is still quite good). Another concern is that the laces are too lengthy, requiring us to triple tie them when completely tightened. Finally, the lugs are rather sharp and solid, which caused in a couple of cut ankles during longer runs when our technique. A touch sloppy. But, for a hiking shoe that’s also a great technical running choice (we wore ours for a hilly and rugged 25K trail race), the Magma is the best option right now.

16. Scarpa Kailash GTX.


Price: $248.95 – $547.99

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These Scarpa Kailash GTX boots feature four closed grommets along the top of the foot and three open grommets on the ankle. Offering the wearer a lot of cinching options. The ankle is raised somewhat higher than in most of the other boots in this test set. Providing adequate ankle support with stiff and supportive leather sides. They feature a Vibram sole with a typical medium aggressiveness pattern that is suitable for most trail and mountain situations. The boots have good edging for scrambling.

17. Lowa Mountain Expert GTX.

Lowa Mountain Expert GTX Review

Price: $239.95 – $434.39

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The large toe-box makes for happy toes at the end of the day. Whether you are walking great distances or continuously kicking into vertical ice. The Flexifit-Synchro lacing system performs an excellent job of securing the heel in the boot while allowing the ankle to bend. The footbed is made of Insulate Pro Alu-Coated with Fleece. Which feels wonderful while you are on your feet all day.

Hiking Footwear Categories​

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes (Salomon X Raise Low by glacier and lake)

A hiking shoe that falls just below the ankle is ideal for the great majority of day hikers. As well as a large proportion of backpackers and through hikers. Shoes like our top-rated Salomon X Ultra 3 are stiffer and more robust than a trail runner for carrying a modest weight across varied terrain. They don’t feel as hefty as a full-on boot. Furthermore, hiking shoes are frequently more robust than trail runners, with more leather and sturdy nylons used instead of mesh. Rubber toe caps and medium-stiff midsoles protect against impediments like pebbles and roots. Hiking shoes are also wonderful alternatives for those who require a robust shoe for regular usage; however, keep in mind that the outsoles will wear quicker on concrete.

Trail Running Shoes

Hiking shoes (Saucony Peregrine 8)

If speed is more important than everything else, you should consider becoming a trail runner. These shoes have acquired great appeal in recent years as the ultimate lightweight alternative. They are a familiar sight on through treks such as the PCT and AT. However, bear in mind that they are not standard off-trail or hiking shoes. Trail runners are flexible and quite comfortable. They don’t provide much ankle support while carrying a large load and have limited toe and underfoot protection. On the other hand, is a fantastic alternative for treks on existing paths or for experienced minimalist trekkers. We’ve included a few of terrific hybrid trail running and hiking alternatives in this post. A more in-depth look, check out our article on the best trail running shoes.

Approach Shoes

The third choice caters to a rather small audience. Climbers and hikers who want a gripping shoe to navigate high rocky terrain. Many rock climbers may use an approach shoe on the way in (thus the term “approach”) and then switch to a genuine climbing shoe when the going becomes steep. Approach shoes are easily identified by their big rubber toe rand and a sticky. Low profile rubber composition underfoot for optimal rock traction. The shoes, particularly a crossover model like the La Sportiva TX4, may be very comfortable for day treks. They aren’t what we generally suggest as a daily driver. The treads are less solid on muddy hiking paths, and they are less comfortable for extended trekking days. An approach shoe, on the other hand, is a fantastic option if your day treks contain a lot of scrambling or low grade rock climbing.

Things to Keep In Mind When Buying Hiking Shoes


The transition to lightweight designs is perhaps the most significant advance in current hiking shoe technology. Tough yet lightweight textiles, as well as a move from over-the-ankle boots to low-top shoes, have made logging long distances much simpler. It’s no surprise that most thru-hikers now prefer hiking shoes over conventional leather boots.

A hiking boot like the Asolo TPS 520 weighs roughly 4 pounds, whereas many of the shoes on our list weigh 2 pounds or less for a pair. And the weight is considerably more noticeable when you’re on your feet. True, the weight reduction has an effect on long-term durability, but there are still a variety of enticing hiking boots for traditionalists and those who want more support. A lightweight shoe is a far better companion for most day hikes, peak bagging, and minimalist overnighters. And as long as the rest of your gear is similarly light, there aren’t many trade-offs.

Stability and Support

Hiking shoes are evolving away from the conventional rigid design of a hiking boot in favour of flexibility and a nimble feel. Reflecting the desire for lighter gear in all aspects. All hiking footwear (with the exception of certain minimalist trail runners) retains some stiffness due to built-in shanks or internal supports. These characteristics are what distinguishes a hiking shoe (and approach shoe) from a very flexy cross trainer or road-running shoe.

We can’t suggest a lightweight and semi-flexible hiking shoe enough for day treks on flatter or less challenging terrain. Shoes like the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator and the Keen Targhee Low are excellent choices for these applications. A more sturdy shoe still wins out for us as your journeys go longer and your bag becomes heavier. The Salomon X Ultra 3 and Arc’teryx Aerios FL are excellent all-around alternatives capable of summiting peaks.


When you’ve narrowed down your hiking footwear options, you may be pondering the GTX question: do I need waterproofing? In principle, waterproofing is a good idea if you’re going to be trekking in the mountains. The additional protection provided by a waterproof and breathable membrane put into the shoe is ideal for brook crossings. If you encounter snow on an early season hike. However, the additional layer adds weight, has a considerable influence on ventilation (described below), and the designs aren’t always optimal. We’ve found Gore-Tex versions to function consistently well, and several in-house designs. The Oboz Sawtooth’s BDry technology, perform similarly in terms of keeping water out (breathability is a another matter).


Waterproof liners, even pricey Gore-Tex boots. Do not breathe effectively, just as a waterproof jacket will not be as breathable as a similar non-waterproof one. Waterproof and breathable membranes limit a shoe’s capacity to draw moisture away from sweaty feet as effectively as a non-waterproof. However, not all non-waterproof shoes should be handled identically. Thinner materials and a lot more mesh in footwear will promote moisture transfer and ventilation. Thus Keeping feet less clammy in warmer weather and drying off damp socks much faster.