Best Value Hiking Boots 2021 | Top 10 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Value Hiking Boots 2021 | Top 10

Whether you’re new to the outdoors scene or a seasoned hiker on a tight budget, here are bargain boots that will do the job for anyone

Have you ever walked into an outdoors shop and felt that you’d need to re-mortgage the house to afford the kit you’re eyeing up? We’d hazard a guess that you might well have. It’s true: although spending time outdoors is free, buying adventure gear can break the bank. But fear not. We’ve already produced a comprehensive best value budget outdoor gear list, which is well worth checking out. And to add to that, we’ve done even more of the legwork for you here, by pulling together a list of the best value walking boots.

Ranging from approximately £50 to £150, these boots are sturdy, comfortable and reliable.

They’re all waterproof too, so should have enough to cope with whatever you throw at them – and, best of all, getting your hands on them won’t empty your wallet.


The Best Value Hiking Boots Reviewed

With dozens of boots out there, what should you look for? This group test includes ten of the best value hiking boots around, comparing features and performance. We’ve picked out an overall best buy and highlighted our top picks under £100 for those on a particularly tight budget. If you’re not concerned about prices, head over to our full list of the best walking boots we’ve reviewed.

Note: Prices and weights are given per pair.

BEST BUY: Hi-Tec Ravine WP Hiking Boots

Price: £120
Weight: 1,500g

The Hi-Tec Ravine WP boots are high on performance and low on price. They are, in fact, easily the best all-leather boots on test here. Featuring a full grain oiled 2.2mm nubuck leather upper, the Ravine boots have a reassuringly traditional look and feel. Where other modern fabric boots have a tendency to leak over time, this simple, classic leather design – with minimal weak points for potential water ingress – is great at keeping your feet dry.

“The Hi-Tec Ravine WPs are one of the best value hiking boots around”

The boots utilise Hi-Tec’s own Dri-Tec waterproof and breathable membrane. As such, the Ravine WP boots stood up to the worst weather the Scottish Highlands could throw at us during our field tests. The moisture-wicking liner meant our feet didn’t get overly sweaty. The shock-absorbing rubber outsole provides good traction on all terrains. The soft foam collar provides comfort around the ankle, avoiding any unwanted rubbing or friction. The soles provide good support and cushioning. Admittedly, the boots are rather heavy and feel somewhat cumbersome compared to the lightest boots on test. But if you prefer a classic leather boot and dry feet are a priority (of course they are!), then the Hi-Tec Ravine WPs are one of the best value hiking boots around.

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Tog24 Ingleborough Vibram Waterproof Boots

Price: £90
Weight: 1,000g

These vintage-style walking boots from British high-street brand Tog24 have classic, no-nonsense styling. In fact, they look like the sort of boots that Wainwright would have worn. However, the full-grain leather uppers are lined with a wicking, waterproof membrane, while underfoot there is a high-quality Vibram rubber outsole. An EVA heel cup also provides additional cushioning. These are all high-quality, modern features that you’d expect to find on a much higher-priced boot.

“They look like the sort of boots that Wainwright would have worn”

On test we’ve actually been really impressed by the Ingleborough’s understated performance over long days on the trail. They may reach their limits on more technical terrain, but if looked after properly, this is a pair of boots that is built to last and which should serve you well for years to come. As such they are one of the best value hiking boots at £150 RRP. At time of writing, they are even on sale via the Tog24 website for just £90, which makes them an absolute bargain.

Read our full review of the Tog24 Ingleborough walking boots.

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Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Price: £140
Weight: 1280g

The third iteration in the popular Quest series, this is a boot designed for fast and light hiking on technical terrain – think trail walking in the Pyrenees or scrambling in Snowdonia. Salomon say it was developed with running shoe-adapted technology, the evidence of this being a slightly flexible chassis and a low-ish overall weight.

The ankle is cut quite high for a fast and light boot, measuring about 6 inches from the insole to the top of the collar, and this gives a decent amount of support without feeling too constricting.

The smooth lacing system provides volume adjustment flexibility, and the lacing eyelets are all made from a solid metal which are shaped to capture the laces securely – the middle eyelet even has little gripping teeth.

The upper is made from suede nubuck leather and a heavy Cordura-type fabric and both materials combine to provide a dependably thick and protective feel round the foot. There’s also extra protection at the toes thanks to the rubber bumper, and a standard Gore-Tex waterproof membrane lines the walls.

The outsole is aggressive and gives plenty of reliability on any slippery stuff, while it’s also able to shed mud. As for the midsole design, a thick layer of EVA foam gives a nice bit of shock absorption.

For hot summer days, it might run a little hot, but still this is a real all-rounder of a boot.

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Jack Wolfskin Vojo Hike XT Texapore Mid Boots

Price: £120
Weight: 960g

Part of Jack Wolfskin’s popular Vojo Hike footwear range, the Vojo Hike XT Texapore Mid is a waterproof hiking boot with a sporty look and feel. Its key feature is a rugged, anti-slip tread with aggressive lugs for added purchase and grip on all terrains. That makes them ideal for wet and muddy paths, loose scree, and wet rock.

The Texapore O2+ membrane (a Gore-Tex-like material developed in-house by Jack Wolfskin) is both waterproof and breathable. Both the grip and the waterproofing performed excellently on test out climbing mountains in Torridon. The Vojo Hike XT Texapore Mid is comfortable straight out of the box. That’s probably down to a cushioned insole and stabilising pads in the mid and heel.

“The Vojo Hike XT Texapore Mid is a waterproof hiking boot with a sporty look and feel”

The top hook and webbing lace loops further enable fine tuning of the laces for an ideal fit. Stitched overlays provide added protection for the toe and heel, and the boot’s composition – mid-cut suede leather and a light, synthetic upper – is supple, snug and extremely comfortable. For some, the synthetic soft upper might not provide solid enough ankle support or protection. But for the average hillwalker, the Vojo Hike XT Texapore Mid is an excellent choice for an everyday, best value hiking boot.

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Quechua Trek 500 Boots

Price: £79.99
Weight: 1,292g

The Quechua Trek 500 boots from Decathlon are a bona fide bargain, offering pretty much unrivalled performance in this price bracket. Comfortable, rugged, waterproof, grippy – and priced at just under £80. You can’t ask for much more than that from a best value hiking boot. The Trek 500 boots boast a 4.1 out of 5 rating from over 700 buyer reviews on Decathlon’s website.

“The Quechua Trek 500 boots are brilliant value in anyone’s book”

They have 100% leather uppers with a classic design. Made from hard-wearing, full-grain leather, they feel tough and durable. The simple design – combined with a waterproof membrane – ensures they are resistant to leaking water. The CrossContact sole, meanwhile, provides firm grip on challenging terrain. This applies even if it’s wet and slippy, thanks to deep, tri-arrowed lugs.

On the negative side, the Trek 500 boots are a tad on the heavy side. For me they took a little while to bed in too. And, of course, they aren’t blessed with the premium materials and build quality of some of the other pairs on test. But who cares? At this price you can’t complain – the Quechua Trek 500 boots are brilliant value in anyone’s book.

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Haglöfs Skuta Mid Proof Eco

Price: £120
Weight: 950g

While this might be one of the more expensive pairs of boots in this round-up, they’re still incredibly good value considering everything they offer. We actually liked these so much that we chose them as the best boots for the whole of 2019. What do they offer? A lot. They’re comfortable over long distances, protective but still breathable, and they boast some impressive eco credentials.

For day hikes and even long backpacking adventures, the Skuta Mids get out stamp of approval.

Absolutely zilch nasty chemicals have been used in its creation. What we’re specifically referring to are those PFCs or perfluorinated compounds, which have been proven to be environmentally hazardous. Plenty of brands have stopped using these in the water repellent treatment that’s applied to the outer fabrics of their footwear – the DWR that makes water bead off – but not many have taken the extra step of removing all the nasty stuff contained in the waterproof membrane as well. Haglöfs have removed the lot here so kudos to them for doing that.

For day hikes and even long backpacking adventures, the Skuta Mids get out stamp of approval. Our editor Will has been wearing his pair for the past 15 months and he says they’re still holding up well without any issues.

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Columbia Peakfreak XCRSN II Xcel Mid Outdry Boots

Price: £80
Weight: 720g

Designed for people who are freaks for the peaks (see what they did there?), Columbia’s Peakfreak Mids – or, to use their full name, the Peakfreak XCRSN II Xcel Mid Outdry – are ultra-lightweight, waterproof and attractive-looking boots. They are primarily designed for fast and light mountain adventures.

“I enjoyed wearing them out and about post-adventure”

For once, let’s start with the downsides: with more of a trainer than boot feel, the Peakfreaks don’t offer especially firm protection or stability for the ankle, and the lightweight materials aren’t as tough or rugged as all-leather boots. But, with the Peakfreaks, the numerous positives far outweigh the negatives. Columbia’s Outdry technology is a one-piece membrane that seals the stitching and any other water ingress vulnerabilities. This ensures excellent waterproofing and breathability for these lightweight boots. Meanwhile the Omni Grip outsoles have multi-directional lugs for good grip out on the trail.

The springy Techlite midsole provides good cushioning and impact absorption. I found the Peakfreaks extremely comfortable straight out of the box, so much so that I enjoyed wearing them out and about post-adventure. I felt extremely light on my feet, testing them out during fast, energetic Munro-bagging trips in Scotland. So, if light and fast is your thing – with the added bonus of reliable waterproofing – Columbia’s Peakfreak Mids are the ideal choice for any of you peak freaks out there.

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Merrell MQM Flex Mid GTX Boots

Price: £125
Weight: 712g

Merrell’s MQM Flex Mid GTX is a lightweight, protective, and waterproof boot designed for ‘moving quickly in the mountains’, as the brand puts it. A lot of technology has been poured into these boots. The American firm employs a lexicon of scientific-sounding terminology to describe the MQM Flex Mids, one of their headline products.

“A Gore-Tex membrane provides top-of-the-range waterproofing and breathability”

Let me run you through some of the tech now: first up, a Gore-Tex membrane provides top-of-the-range waterproofing and breathability. The M Select GRIP outsole serves up durable, slip-resistant traction through 3.5mm deep lugs. The firm Hyperlock heel provides stability and protection during descents and sharp turns. The Merrell Air Cushion and TrailProtect pad offer shock absorption and support on rugged terrain. Finally, the FLEXconnect midsole ensures natural, flexible movement of the foot for agility and stability. That’s a lot of trademarked, branded features – but all this shoe-geek goobledygook results in a top-notch pair of boots.

The Merrell MQM Flex Mids are extremely comfortable (no blisters or pinch points here), grippy and waterproof. I found myself, as predicted, moving quickly and efficiently through the mountains with these on my feet during a 14-peak expedition in the Cairngorms. Merrell says the MQM range was designed as a hybrid to combine ‘hiking, trail running, scrambling and climbing into one shoe’ – and I certainly found them versatile over mixed terrain of grass, scree, mud, bog, boulder fields and rocky ridges in the Eastern Highlands. So if you want to go light and fast over mixed terrain, and require something a little more technical than Columbia’s Peakfreaks, these are the best value hiking boots for you.

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Keen Targhee III Mid WP Boots

Price: £85
Weight: 980g

These are the latest version of Keen’s award-winning Targhee range of boots. The Targhee III Mid WP builds on the fit, durability and performance of previous models, but with an updated look and new materials. Let’s not beat around the bush. This isn’t a boot for major expeditions or hardcore thru-hikes. But if you’re looking for a well-priced boot for rugged mountain day hikes or short backpacking adventures, the Targhee is undoubtedly a great choice.

“If you’re looking for a well-priced boot for rugged mountain day hikes or short backpacking adventures, the Targhee is undoubtedly a great choice”

I tested the boots out climbing Munros in and around Fort William and found them to be immediately trail-ready, providing a comfortable fit straight out of the box. They strike a nice balance between durability and toughness for rough terrain. They’re also light and flexible enough to avoid blisters and move quickly through the mountains.

The 4mm multi-directional lugs on the rubber outsole provide good traction and grip on wet ground. Other tidy features include Keen’s in-house Keen Dry waterproof membrane, which effectively keeps your feet dry and wicks out sweat and moisture. A strong toe rand and a TPU heel-capture system offer protection and stability on uneven terrain. The boots also feature sturdy and well-built uppers, made from durable leather and rubber. So if you’re ‘keen’ (see what I did there?), to get out more, climb more mountains, and have more epic outdoors adventures, the Keen Targhee III Mids will help you achieve your goals.

Read our full Keen Targhee review.

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Hi-Gear Snowdon II boots

Price: £60 (with discount card)
Weight: 1,160g

The Hi-Gear Snowdon II boots from Go Outdoors are just £60 with a store discount card, making them easily the cheapest pair on test. And, of course, as with much in life, you do get what you pay for.

The Snowdon II boots – an update on the superstore brand’s popular Snowdon boots – are, perhaps, a step-down from the other two budget leather boots here. If you’ve got the money go for the Hi-Tec or Quechua offerings, as each increase in price point does come with added quality. But let’s not do the Hi-Gear Snowdon II boots a disservice. At just £60, they are a great starter boot for beginners undertaking less rigorous countryside or mountain walks in better weather, or adventurers on a shoestring.

“At just £60, they are a great starter boot for beginners undertaking less rigorous countryside or mountain walks”

Made from tough full-grain leather, with a cushioned footbed and CMEVA midsole, gusseted tongue and metal lace eyelets, the Snowdon IIs are designed to ‘keep your feet dry and comfortable on all-day treks’, according to Hi-Gear. I found them surprisingly comfortable, with the leather build proving soft and supple where I wanted it to be, but reassuringly strong and sturdy at the toe and heel, while the rubber outsole had decent traction on some pretty wild mountain terrain.

All in all, I was pretty impressed for the price. I wouldn’t take them out on longer expeditions or in gnarly weather, but they have plenty to offer for such a small price-tag. Alternatively, why not go for the original Hi-Gear Snowdon boots. These are still available from Go Outdoors and are only £40. Arguably that makes them an even better bargain as a pair of best value hiking boots.

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