In this article, I will cover the best cheap hiking shoes. A good hiking shoe is obviously very important for every hiker. However, should a hiking shoe always be expensive? The quick answer is no. There are plenty of cheap hiking shoes & boots that are very high quality. I will discuss some of the best budget hiking shoes and explain my picks.
As you can see in the image, I have done my fair share of testing cheap hiking shoes and cheap hiking boots.
Covering a big topic like the best cheap hiking shoes usually results in long posts. Everybody is different and is looking for different things in a hiking shoe. To make it as easy as possible to find the right shoe for you I created a quick overview. Simple click on a link to get more information.
The best cheap hiking shoes
I have done some in-depth research and came up with a list of the best cheap hiking shoes. At the end of this article you can find more information about what’s important in a hiking shoe and how much you should spend on a pair. Also interested in cheap hiking sandals? Check out this article: Best cheap hiking sandals.
1. Columbia newton ridge plus
The columbia newton ridge plus 2 would be the pair of hiking shoes I would buy if I were on a very tight budget.
You get a quality hiking boot for a very acceptable price. This is the reason that I place these shoes at the top of this list.
These shoes are regular leather hiking boots. They are completely waterproof, but not very durable. Just like most other regular leather hiking boots.
The main advantage of the Columbia newton ridge plus 2 is obviously the price, but there are plenty of other pros.
- Lighter than most alternatives
- Completely waterproof
- Shorter breaking-in period than most alternatives
- Good arch support
- Not made for people with wide feet
- Less durable than most alternatives
These shoes are available for both men and women and you can find them on amazon.
2. EYUSHIJIA hiking shoes
These hiking shoes might be a downgrade on every level in comparison to the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus shoes. However, the price really blew me away. These hiking shoes are amazing when it comes to value for money! Definitely one of the best extremely cheap hiking shoes at this moment.
The shoe is made from a mixture of leather and textile and comes with a rubber sole. Additionally it has a rubber toe cap for additional protection.
The shoe is remarkably breathable and very comfortable. Also, for the price they are extremely durable! The grip isn’t bad -especially considering the price- but it could be better, especially for dangerous mountain hikes I would consider a more expensive alternative.
Also note that, even though these shoes are marketed as waterproof, they are not. These shoes might repel some rain, but don’t expect your feet to stay dry once submerged in water – water will seep in at the tongue of the shoe.
So, should you buy these shoes? Well, if you are looking for a dirt cheap shoe, this is the one to get. However, if you are planning on going on a lot hiking trips and often on difficult terrain, a slightly more expensive shoe (like the Columbia Newton Ridge) is still recommended. This shoe is decent overall and is great considering the price, but it still can’t compete with the overall quality of certain other hiking shoes on this list. So depending on your budget and your needs, the Newton Ridge is a better alternative.
- Dirt cheap
- Best value for money
- Not waterproof
- Mediocre overall quality
Even though amazon lists this shoe as a men’s hiking shoe, it has been tried and approved by many women who said that these shoes fit like a glove. So i’m going to call these shoes unisex.
Men & Women: EYUSHIJIA hiking shoes
3. Columbia Crestwood
The next shoes are also from Columbia, these are the Crestwood hiking shoes. Once again, these shoes are pretty affordable, but good quality.
It’s another very versatile and allround shoe. It has good traction, very comfortable, lightweight and breathable.
They might not be equally high-quality and durable as a much more expensive shoe, but when it comes to value, these are pretty difficult to beat.
Also, these shoes are available in a regular and a waterproof version. Keep in mind that the waterproof version will be heavier and less breathable, a tradeoff you have to be aware off.
- Great overall
- Waterproof and non-waterproof version available.
- Not the most durable
- Some complaints about sizing
Men: Crestwood men
Women: Crestwood women
Men – waterproof: Crestwood waterproof men
Women – waterproof: Crestwood waterproof women
4. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
If I would buy a low top shoe, I’m still not 100% sure what shoe I would go for, but this one would definitely be a possible winner.
The Merrell Moabs 2 Vent’s are not waterproof, but they make up for it in breathability. Additionally, if these boots do get soaked, they will dry a lot faster than a shoe like the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus.
Note that this shoe also has a waterproof version, if you would be interested in that.
These shoes offer everything that you would expect from a good hiking shoe. Even on a regular list of hiking shoes (not “cheap hiking shoes”) this shoe would probably be listed.
- Comfortable shoes
- Good overall quality
- Also for people with wide feet
- Not always a perfect fit, which can lead to heel slippage
These shoes are available for both men and women on amazon:
5. Merrell Moab 2 GTX
The Merrel Moab 2 GTX is basically the waterproof version of the merrell moab 2 vent. This shoe uses GoreTex to make it waterproof. GoreTex is a lot less breathable than non-waterproof materials, but it’s still a lot more breathable than hard leather.
If you liked the moab vent, but you didn’t really like the fact that they were not waterproof at all, the moab 2 GTX should be perfect for you.
The only negative I could find about this shoe was that some people complained about the durability. However, I should add that a lot of people also applauded the durability of this shoe.
All in all, this is a perfect example of great hiking footwear designed for rocky terrain and provides excellent support for both your feet and ankles during long hikes.
- Comfortable shoes
- Waterproof without losing all the breathability (GoreTex)
- Good arch support
- A few people complained about the durability
These shoes are available for both men and women on amazon.
Women: Merrell Moab Women’s 2 GTX
If you liked these Merrell Moab shoes, you could also take a look at the Merrell Moab Edge and the Merrell Moab Fst.
6. Tarelo hiking boots
Another pair of hiking boots that are cheaper than you would expect are the Tarelo hiking boots.
The main benefit here is that the boot is perfect for cold weather and snowy conditions. This is not something that you can easily find when you are on a tight budget. Especially because these are one of the cheaper options on the list.
The only complaints are about damages after usage (which can be expected) and that the boot does look and feel cheaper in real life than on photo. All in all, people have been pleased with this shoe. Especially when you keep the price in the back of your mind.
These are the ones to get if you are looking for a dirt cheap winter option. However, if you intend to go hiking really often and in various conditions, I would still recommend the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus.
- Very warm
- Good quality
- Mediocre durability
- Cheap looking
These shoes are available for both men and women on amazon:
Women: Tarelo women’s hiking boots
7. RAX Quick Drying Slip-Resistent Aqua Water Hiking Shoes
Another very cheap high quality shoe is the RAX Quick drying shoe. These shoes are optimal for hiking in a wet environment. Especially if you have to cross a lot of streams, you will be glad to wear these shoes.
They offer more feet protection than most other water shoes and they come with a slip-resistant rubber outsole. This is why they are not only great for hiking through streams, but also for hiking in warm weather.
That said, if you compare them to real hiking boots, these shoes do not really offer that much protection. They are great for hiking as long as the conditions are rather mild. I wouldn’t bring them on a technical mountain hike. Especially not with cold temperatures.
These shoes are absolutely amazing as long as the conditions are right.
- Good grip
- Optimal for passing streams
- Breathable + dries very fast
- Offers less protection than other shoes on this list
Sadly, these shoes are only available for men.
8. adidas outdoor Terrex Tracerocker Trail Running Shoe
This shoe is amazing for trail running and hiking. Trail runners have become a lot more popular over the years to use as a hiking shoe.
Trail runners are generally less durable and offer less protection, but they are very lightweight and comfortable. Especially people who make a lot of miles in a short amount of time prefer trail runners over the heavier hiking boots.
The adidas outdoor Men’s Terrex Tracerockers are surprisingly cheap. Before I did my research, I did not expect to have an adidas shoe on this list. When I think about cheap hiking shoes, adidas does not really pop in my mind.
But hey, these shoes simply provide everything you need in a trail runner. They are lightweight, breathable and comfortable. Additionally, they are rather durable shoes, considering they are trail runners and not real hiking shoes.
If you want more options for budget friendly trail running shoes, make sure to check out my article best cheap trail running shoes.
- Very lightweight
- Barely any complaints
- Not optimal for wide feet
Once again, these shoes are available both for men and women on amazon.
9. Columbia Men’s Granite Ridge Hiking Shoe
Another great affordable hiking shoe by Columbia – I absolutely love Columbia for budget hiking gear btw. Sadly, the Granite Ridge shoes are only available for men.
The main difference between the Granite Ridge and the Newton Ridge series is that the Granite Ridge is made from a combination of leather, textile and mesh webbing. Note that these shoes are not waterproof. For some hikers this can be an issue, other hikers embrace this. The shoe is optimized for drying quickly, so when they do get wet, they won’t stay wet very long.
The Granite Ridge hiking shoe also comes with an omni-grip traction rubber. The grip won’t be as good as some of the most expensive shoes out there, but it’s definitely decent. Especially when considering how cheap these shoes are.
Where it lacks in waterproofness, it makes up in breathability, these shoes have great are flow and will rarely result in sweaty feet. It’s also a lot more lightweight than the waterproof alternative.
- Barely any complaints
- Not waterproof
If you are interested in the latest price, this can be found on amazon:
10. Salomon X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoes
The Salomon X Ultra 3 hiking shoes are not the first pair that came to mind when I started to write about the best cheap hiking shoes. The reason for this is simply that these shoes are not as cheap as the other shoes on the list.
So why did it still end up making the list? It’s actually one of the most budget-friendly options if you are looking for a high quality shoe. The X Ultra 3 is a very solid hiking shoe, praised by many hikers.
Also, it’s a durable shoe, which means spending a bit more today might save you money in the long run.
If you go hiking on a regular base and you can afford it, the salomon X ultra 3 is a very good option and it’s definitely worth the additional cost.
- High quality
- Good grip, comfort, weight
- Not as cheap
Women: Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3
11. Timberland white ledge
The Timberland white ledge make great cheap hiking boots, if you can find them on a nice promotion. Without a promotion, they are still not very expensive, but slightly too expensive to consider them budget-friendly.
They make a pretty nice all round hiking boot, similar to the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus.
I would prefer the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus when going on a long, intense hiking trip. However, the Timberland white ledge would be preferred if I was going on vacation (and plan on doing multiple shorter hikes) and could only bring 1 pair of shoes. The fact that these are great for everyday use and also look somewhat stylish for a hiking boot is what makes the decision.
- Light and breathable for a full-leather boot
- Good-looking shoe
- Also good for everyday use or as a working shoe
- Not as cheap
- Not that suitable for long intense hikes
These budget-friendly hiking boots can -as usual- be found on amazon, be on the lookout for promotions: Timberland white ledge.
Want to learn more about whether timberlands are good as hiking boots? I did a complete seperate article on the topic: are timberlands good for hiking?
How much should you spend on a hiking shoe
The amount of money you should spend on a good hiking shoe is different for everybody. I would say it depends on your budget and how often you are going to use them.
If you do 1 day hike every year, it’s not really worth it to spend €300 on a pair of hiking boots.
If you are on a tight budget I would recommend buying a pair of hiking boots around €70 (80 dollars). I feel like you can find a very decent pair of cheap hiking boots for this amount of money. I might be wrong here, but I wouldn’t really trust hiking boots that are cheaper than that (there are a couple of exceptions => check the list). That said, you want to be careful with cheap hiking shoes, make sure to do proper research. Or just choose a pair from this article (since I have already done the research for you).
If you have a good experience with even cheaper boots, please let me know, I’m very interested.
Note that I would recommend hiking boots over low top hiking shoes if you are on a tight budget. The reason for this is that hiking boots are generally more durable and will last a lot longer. In the long run, this means a lot of money saved. Especially when you only have to spend €70 to begin with.
There are obviously some advantages of a more expensive hiking shoe. A higher quality shoe will have a better grip, will be more durable, offer more protect, etc. However, I would say that these advantages do not justify the price if you are on a budget.
If you can afford it and you are going to use it a lot, you should spend around €200-€300 (230-344 dollars). This might seem like a lot of money for a pair of boots, but they are very durable. A lot of hikers use their hiking boots for more than ten years. They might need a sole replacement after a couple of years, but the boots itself are still perfectly fine.
Also, your feet are your most valuable asset when you are hiking. If you can afford it, why not treat your feet as good as possible.
What’s important in a hiking shoe
Weight and protection
Weight is always a big factor for hikers, but it becomes even more important when that weight is attached to your foot. Heavy footwear makes it a lot harder to hike great distances.
According to howstuffworks carrying an amount of weight on your feet requires between 4.7 and 6.4 times as much energy as carrying that same weight on your back.
If this is true, then why are those old school heavy hiking boots still so popular?
Well, this additional weight will help to protect your feet, keep them dry, keep them comfortable, etc.
There is a lot of discussion about hiking boots vs lightweight alternatives like low top shoes. I do not intend to join that discussion in this particular article, but if you want to read more about the subject I would recommend this article from REI.
In general, it seems to come down to how important making a lot of miles is. If that is very important, people tend to prefer lightweight footwear like trail runners. Now, this is not the only difference, but it seems to be the key factor.
Waterproofness and breathability
Waterproofness is another highly discussed something. Some people prefer full waterproof shoes (like regular hiking boots), others prefer breathability and sacrifice waterproofing.
It might seem silly to value breathability over waterproofness at first. However, once you start hiking in full waterproof boots (leather), you will soon notice that your feet are wet because of sweat. This means that a waterproof boot does not equal dry feet.
Sure, there is a difference between wet feet from sweating and actual soaked shoes, but the point is that keeping your feet dry is almost impossible anyway. Additionally, breathable shoes tend to dry faster.
It takes a lot of rain before your hiking boot will get wet. But once they are soaked, it’s going to stay wet for a very long time. Especially if you cannot make a fire.
Once again, there is no right or wrong here, it all depends on the situation and personal preferences. Simply now that there is always a compromise to be made. If you want something to be completely waterproof, you are going to sacrifice breathability. Gear that is both very breathable and completely waterproof tends to be a lot more expensive.
If you are interested to learn more about the matter, I found this article rather helpful: Do you really need waterproof hiking boots?.
A good grip is another important factor. Especially in more technical terrain. A good hiking shoe should always have at least a decent grip. However, a grip can easily wear off if the quality is poor. Therefore, I always keep an eye out for complaints about the grip.
Can you use sneakers for hiking
Since you are reading an article that is titled “Budget hiking shoes: The best cheap hiking shoes”, I’m assuming you care about your budget.
If you care about your budget, you might be thinking: “Can I not use my regular sneakers for hiking?”
The answer is probably as you expected, sure it’s possible, but it’s definitely not optimal.
If you are serious about hiking, I would definitely buy a pair of decent hiking shoes. As you can see in the list, a decent hiking shoe does not have to be very expensive.
If you are just going on a day hike and you might never hike again after that trip, you could use a pair of regular sneakers. Just make sure that they are a perfect fit and that they feel comfortable on your feet. Even after walking a couple of miles.
For more information about this subject, check out this article about Hiking sneakers.
Looking for more budget hiking gear?
Spending less on hiking gear means having more money to spend on actual hiking trips. I really like that trade-off. This is the reason why I have spent hours and hours on researching gear. After a while I started thinking, “why do I not share my research and conclusions with the world”? This is why this post exists.
I summarized all the budget gear article in another article called Where to buy cheap hiking gear online. If you are sill looking for some budget-friendly hiking gear, there is a big chance that it will be covered in that article, if not, feel free to let me know.
I’m a big supporter of buying cheaper products, but you can also end up with a lot of troubles if you don’t do proper research. However, doing proper researching takes a lot of time, therefore, these articles should really come in handy.
As a hiker, your feet are your most valuable assets, therefore, you want to treat them right. That does not mean, however, that you have to spend a fortune on shoes. You want to make sure that your shoes are comfortable and that they provide plenty of protection, but even cheap hiking shoes can provide this.
If you are on a tight budget, you should not only care about the price, but also about the durability. Buying non-durable cheap items will result in more money spend in the long run. All the shoes on this list are rather durable, unless I specifically mentioned this. I would only consider buying less durable shoes, if you are not going to hike very often.
The rest basically comes down to personal preferences: do you prefer waterproofness or breathability? Do you prefer lightweight shoes or shoes that offer more protection? Do you prefer low top or high top shoes?
If you can afford it, I would still recommend more expensive, higher-quality shoes. Something like Salomon Men’s Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots are a great option. However, if money is an issue, there are plenty of options to choose from. These options might not be as good, but they are definitely decent hiking shoes.