Hiking is an excellent way to discover nature’s hidden gems. Whether you like to hike daily, on the weekends, or just during your holidays, you need secure, comfortable walking boots.
Otherwise, your trek in the wild might turn into a trip to the hospital.
The problems start when your budget is small. Can cheap walking boots really perform on rugged, slippery terrain? And will they withstand puddles and tears?
The answer is yes; if you choose the right model. But, with hundreds of models on the market, it can be difficult to compare them all.
So, to avoid making any mistakes, read this article. We’ll show you how to get the best walking boots under £100 in two easy steps.
Step 1: Judge the main features of these boots through the lens of your needs.
Step 2: Purchase the pair of shoes that fits best.
If you need some help putting this method into practice, we’ll show you how below:
10 Walking Boots under £100 reviewed
XPETI Thermator Women’s: best waterproof hiking boots for women
These walking boots are waterproof. The combination of waterproof upper and hydroshield membrane ensure no water can get inside your shoes. If you land on the product listing, just remember the Camouflage boots aren’t 100% waterproof, although the rest of the eight models are.
The Thermator boots are some of the warmest on the market. The 200 grams Thinsulate insulation keeps your feet toasty to a minimum of -30ᵒC. Even if these boots are hot, your feet won’t sweat thanks to the moisture-wicking mesh lining.
These boots offer maximum grip and support. A muddy, slippery trail requires high-traction walking boots like the Thermators. These boots have aggressive rubber outsoles that won’t let you slip even on slippery rocks. Besides, the Thermator’s rubber toe caps and moulded TPU ankle support minimise the risk of injury.
The Thermator boots are comfy for long hikes. The thick soles are quite cushiony so that they reduce impacts to your feet. Besides, the EVA footbeds support your feet in a neutral, anatomically-correct position, which means you can walk for hours. Another advantage for wet terrain is that these boots are lightweight, and therefore hiking won’t strain your feet.
Now here are the most significant problems:
Some customers complain about the rigid ankle and sole support. And they’re right. The Thermator boots are cushiony and supportive, but they’re not fluffily soft.
Some reviewers noticed their boots started to leak after a few months of constant wear and tear. So yes, the ladies’ Thermator boots can become less waterproof in time, which is why you should use a waterproofing spray on them regularly.
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus: best waterproof boots for men
The Columbia Ridges are stable so that they can perform well even on tricky trails. Their expert craftsmanship starts with the choice of materials; even if these boots are affordable, they still use quality materials like leather, mesh, and metal.
Plus, you can find them in lots of sizes and colours.
These boots keep your feet steady so that you can avoid accidents. For instance, the high leather uppers offer top arch support, while the generous padding prevents blisters. Besides, the rubber Omni-Grip outsoles offer full traction on uneven terrain.
The Columbia Ridges are comfortable. These boots are lightweight and snug, so your feet can maintain a relaxed, aligned posture throughout your trip. Plus, the anti-fatigue Techlite midsole cushions your steps but also offers high energy return. That means your feet won’t get tired on long hikes because they get back some of the energy you use for walking.
They’re waterproof. These boots have UP-reinforced coating and waterproof seams in addition to their waterproof leather uppers. Therefore, you can wear these shoes in rainy weather and through puddles without getting your feet wet.
But here are the most common issues that people noticed:
The upper eyelets can bend after lots of wear and tear. So our advice is to tighten your shoelaces gently.
The waterproof, leather construction may feel hot. Therefore, although these boots don’t let water seep in from the outside, they might make your feet sweat in warm weather.
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid GTX High Rise Hiking Shoes: best ladies high-ankle boots
These boots offer top ankle support. The humanmade inner material and ankle padding keep your ankles steady on most terrains.
But the outsole also assists ankle support because any slip can cause injuries to your feet.
So, the Merrel Moab’s rubber Vibram sole provides reliable traction, although mostly on dry terrain. Some reviewers claim these boots perform well on mud and snow too.
These boots are comfortable. Comfort is essential for long treks but also if you have pre-existing conditions that demand more ankle support. The ladies’ Moab 2 boots have supportive footbeds that cushion your steps. As such, you’ll avoid foot fatigue that causes you to strain your ankle because of ankle-sole misalignments.
The Merrel Moab 2 are water-resistant. This feature doesn’t technically influence ankle support, but it explains why we voted these boots best in the high-ankle category. So, although you won’t be able to cross burns and rivers with these boots, you’ll be able to wear them comfortably in rain and puddles.
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gore-Tex’ High Rise Hiking Shoes: best high-ankle walking boots for men
The inner textile material feels nice and soft around your ankles when you lace these boots snugly. As such, you’ll get the ankle support you need with no risk of blisters or cramping.
The outer rubber sole has prominent lugs and deep patterns, which allow you to tackle rugged terrains. As you know, not slipping is essential if you want to keep your ankles steady.
The moulded nylon arch shank keeps your arches in a comfortable, relaxed position. Therefore, you won’t have to strain your feet when your walking. Keeping an anatomically-correct alignment between your ankles and soles is essential to avoid ankle injuries. It’s also crucial if you have pre-existing foot pain.
The rubber toe cap decreases the risk of painful impacts on your toes. Apart from guaranteeing a comfortable ling trek, this feature also ensures more ankle support. That’s because hits to your toes can cause you to lose your balance and possibly injure your ankles.
As you can see, the Merrel Moab 2 boots for men offer top ankle support for challenging terrain.
But another advantage is that they’re water-resistant.
The GORE-TEX fabric is resistant to water, but it’s also moisture-wicking, windproof, and breathable. In combination with the synthetic leather uppers and the debris-proof closed-cell foam tongue, this material will keep your feet toasty and dry for long periods.
Not too toasty, though.
The mesh additions promote air circulation so that your feet can stay sweat-free for the duration of your trek.
Here are the downsides:
These boots aren’t entirely waterproof. The GORE-TEX membrane performs well against some moisture for short periods. But, wear these boots for hours through wet grass and your socks will need serious wringing.
If you need quality cheap waterproof boots with reliable ankle support, scroll on up to the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II.
And, like all Merrel boots, the Moab 2 Men’s also run somewhat small. Take this feature into account, especially if you plan on wearing thicker socks.
Columbia Women’s Redmond V2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe: best low rise shoes for women
But here’s what you have to remember: low-rise cuts are not excellent on rugged terrain because you get less ankle support than difficult trails demand.
And that brings us to the issue of the soles:
The Omni-grip non-marking outsoles offer reliable grip for most terrain, but only if you’re doing mild or moderate hikes. You can notice that from the lug pattern and how the outsoles combine to the uppers. So, the Columbia Redmond V2’s are best for dry weather and dry terrain.
The uppers are soft, breathable and comfy. The combination of leather, mesh, and webbing promotes good air circulation to keep your feet from sweating. Besides, these materials are flexible so you won’t get blisters or achy feet after long hikes.
The midsoles are anti-fatigue. The Techlite patented technology doesn’t let your feet get tired because it keeps them in a neutral, aligned position. Besides, this material is renowned for its high energy returns so that you can walk for hours. Another advantage in terms of comfort is that this type of midsole is lighter than EVA or highly-cushioned materials.
But, as you can see, these features are accurate to the Columbia Redmond V2’s original purpose: mild to moderate treks in dry weather.
Here are the downsides:
Firstly, these shoes are a bit wide and warm in high temperatures. Besides, the arch support is minimal.
But the real problem is that Columbia advertises these boots as waterproof, instead of using the most accurate term of water-resistant.
So, the Omni-Tech waterproof membrane is not completely waterproof. Remember that these boots are made of leather, mesh, and webbing. So, even if the Redmond V2 shoes can withstand some raindrops and splashes, they’re not best for walking through wet terrain.
But, if you need quality walking shoes for dry weather and some minor rain, these are the most comfortable and affordable shoes on the market.
Mountain Warehouse Field Mens Waterproof Shoes: best men’s low rise shoes
The reason we voted them best-value low-rise is that these shoes are feature-packed and versatile:
They’re durable. The combination of suede and mesh is sturdy and flexible. These materials can withstand the test of time, while you’re getting light walking shoes. However, keep in mind that the Mountain Warehouse Field boots don’t perform well on strenuous hikes; they’re better for walking, sports, and mild trails.
They’re breathable. The suede and mesh combination plus the IsoDry lining wick moisture and promote air circulation. Although these boots are also advertised as waterproof, know that they’re not. Sure, they’ll offer a reliable barrier against rain, but they’re not best for day-long walks through marshes or even wet grass.
These boots are reinforced and, therefore, safe against impacts and bumps. The reinforcements on your heels and toes are made from rubber so that they won’t push against your feet. Besides, they protect both your feet and the boots against the bumps, reducing injuries and lengthening the Mountain Warehouse Field boots’ lifespan.
They’re grippy. These boots have Vibram soles which perform well on most terrain, but mostly dry, gravel ones. The lug pattern and the features above that recommend the Mountain Warehouse Field boots for mild treks will tell you that these outsoles might not be best for slippery slopes or icy terrain.
SALOMON Women’s Xa Pro 3D GTX W Trail Running Shoes: best ladies low rise shoes
Here’s why these ladies’ Xa Pro shoes are best for train-running:
These shoes are comfortable for long periods. The OrthoLite insole keeps your soles in a neutral, aligned position to avoid aches and pains, while the EVA foam adds extra support and cushioning to your arch. That means you can walk for hours with no foot fatigue. Apart from the anatomical foot support, these materials promote moisture-wicking so that your feet can stay dry.
They’re easy to slip on. The Quicklace lacing system and low-rise design ensure that you can put these shoes on in seconds. Besides, you can tighten your shoelaces quickly for a snug, secure fit. Another advantage to this snug fit is that no pebbles or debris will get inside your shoes.
These shoes have good traction. The EVA sole is light and grippy on most terrains, even on slippery slopes. So, you can hike through muddy forests or wet hills as much as you want. The Premium Wet Contagrip technology won’t let you slip.
Here are the downsides, though:
Firstly, these shoes aren’t entirely waterproof. The GORE-TEX membranes are water-resistant and allow your boots to dry quickly, but not best for walking through puddles. Besides, these membranes feel a bit stiff, so these shoes don’t have plush, soft interiors.
Secondly, while the outsole is light and grippy, it doesn’t withstand lengthy abuse for more than a couple of years. Therefore, if you’re walking for hours daily, expect these shoes to wear out within this time frame. That said, the SALOMON warranty for shoes is two years.
SALOMON Men’s Alphacross GTX Trail Running Shoes: best low rise shoes for men
These running shoes are comfortable for long periods. The mesh and ripstop uppers are breathable and flexible, preventing any blisters or pressure points. This material combines well with the GORE-TEX membrane, which can feel a little inflexible at first. However, this membrane promotes airflow and is water-resistant so that your feet can stay dry for longer.
They have aggressive grips. The Contagrip outsole allows you to tackle different terrains thanks to prominent rubber lugs. As such, you can use these shoes confidently on slippery inclined terrain, rocky slopes, or gravel roads.
The Alphacross are cushiony. The Ortholite insoles and EVA midsoles support your feet in an anatomically correct position. These ergonomic features ensure top cushioning and therefore prevent foot fatigue.
They’re water-resistant. Unlike some of the other hiking boots for men we discussed above, these SALOMON Alphacross shoes are very resistant to water. They’re not 100% waterproof like wellies, but you can walk through wet grass without any problems.
Regatta Women’s Holcombe Iep Mid High Rise Hiking Boots: best women walking boots under £50
The Isotex membrane and Hydropel coating ensure more water resistance than you would typically see with a textile-mesh shoe. So, while the Regatta Holcombe boots aren’t best for crossing streams or running through the snow, they’re good enough for rainy weather.
The toe and heel bumpers protect you against impacts by keeping both your feet and your shoes undamaged. And, although the heel hold is rigid, there’s plenty of room for your toes. This is the sort of feature you usually see with high-performance hiking boots rather than with affordable ones.
These Regatta Ladies’ Holcombe shoes allow you to tackle different terrains. The stabilising shank and EVA midsole ensure top support, plus they’re comfortable for long periods.
The outsole is high traction because it’s made with rubber, which is a grippy material by definition. Moreover, the angled lug pattern offers increased propulsion and braking capabilities. You can also thrust the large heels into the ground on slippery, soft terrains if you need an efficient brake.
The main disadvantage is that the Regatta Holcombe shoes aren’t as versatile as other shoes.
That’s because they offer very rigid support, which doesn’t fit people with feet pain such as plantar fasciitis. This type of support you get from the shanks and bumpers is also best for mushy ground, not pavement. So, if you plan to wear these boots for long walks on asphalt, you might get blisters.
Hi-Tec Men Storm Waterproof High Rise Hiking Boots: best mens hiking boots under £50
Here are some advantages:
The outer suede and mesh uppers are stylish, but also resistant to everyday wear and tear. Therefore, you can wear these boots for your hiking trips, but also work or school.
The boots are comfortable for long periods. The uppers’ materials promote air circulation so that your feet can stay cool even during long walks. Besides, the Dri-Tec waterproof membrane wicks moisture and therefore keeps your feet dry.
The Hi-Tec Storm boots are ergonomic. The EVA compression-moulded footbed reduces impacts so that you can walk pain-free for hours. You’ll get good ankle support, too, thanks to the versatile lacing system and generous padding. As such, you can tie your boots snugly, but you won’t get any blisters.
These boots have excellent grip. The rubber outsole boasts a multi-directional lug pattern so that you can wear these shoes even on rugged, wet terrain.
Now for the disadvantages:
As you can expect from a cheaper pair of boots, the Hi-Tec Men’s Storm won’t last you for years. However, many customers agree that they got good value for money out of purchasing these shoes, which lasted about a year of constant wear and tear.
Besides, these boots aren’t entirely waterproof. So, if you’re planning for a long trip through a wet, damp territory, you’d better choose one of the waterproof men’s boots above.
Now that you read this article, you understand that it’s essential to buy the right pair of boots for your needs. But to do that, you have to judge each feature through the lens of your needs.
For instance, hiking boots with rigid shanks and reinforcements are comfortable on mushy terrain, but they prove painful on the pavement. If you want versatile shoes for hiking and walking, we recommend trail running shoes.
You should also know which materials are genuinely 100% waterproof and which are not because, as you can see, many brands advertise their walking boots as waterproof, which sounds better than water-resistant.
Of course, figuring out these details requires research and expertise.
Hopefully we helped you to understand the features of the top hiking boots in this review so you’ll make the right choice.