Hiking gear can get expensive, and for those just starting out it can be difficult to determine where you want to spend a little extra for quality gear or where you can save a bit and go for the cheaper option.
Hiking boots are an area you don’t want to sacrifice quality, but if you’re just starting out you likely don’t want to spend $400 on new boots before you’ve even set foot on a trail. In this post, I’m going to cover the top options for women’s hiking boots under $100, as well as some alternatives on how to save some money when boot shopping.
Purchasing New Boots
There are two main options for hiking boots under $100 that, in my opinion, are far superior to most others.
Option 1: Columbia Newton Ridge Boots
The Columbia Newton Ridge boots are some of the top selling hiking boots on amazon, and with good reason. They’re made of high quality materials with a leather upper and rubber sole. They’re waterproof, making them the perfect all-weather boot for newbies just getting into hiking.
Option 2: Merrell Moab 2 Boots
The Merrell Moab boots have an almost cult-like following in the hiking community. At one of the most affordable price points, you’d be surprised at the quality that you get with these boots.
These boots have a leather/mesh upper with a rubber sole by Vibram, making it a high traction shoe that will keep you secure on the trail. The Merrell Moab 2’s are also waterproof, and will keep your feet dry no matter the terrain you’re on.
Other Ways to Save
Aside from looking for hiking boots under $100, there are a couple of other ways to save money when shopping for boots.
Wear What You Have
While many think that hiking boots are essential, you really can do a lot of hiking in the tennis shoes you already have. If you’re just starting out, this is likely your best option for the first few hikes.
If you’re a total beginner you’re also likely hiking relatively short and easy hikes that don’t require much traction, support, or protection from the elements. The sneakers you already own will work just fine until you have hiked enough to decide you want to upgrade.
Buy Second Hand Boots
The first option is to explore buying boots second hand. Since most second hand marketplaces don’t have a lenient return policy, I’d recommend trying on boots in a store that you’re considering before making the purchase. This gives you a chance to try the shoe on and make sure it’s comfortable before committing to anything.
REI Used Gear is a great second hand marketplace that does offer a 30-day return policy. While their prices might be a little higher than what you’d find on say, Poshmark, you get the security of purchasing with the potential to return what you don’t love.
Wait for Sales
REI, Amazon, and other retailers often offer steep discounts around holidays such as Labor Day, Christmas, etc. If you’re able to wait for one of these time periods you can shop for hiking boots and get a typically higher priced boot at a discount.
Finding Hiking Boots under $100
As mentioned, there’s two great options for hiking boots under $100 for those just starting out. However, if neither of these seem like good options for you, you can also explore second hand marketplaces or use the tennis shoes you already own to start hiking.
The most important lesson here is whatever route you choose, don’t let the roadblock of feeling like you need expensive gear stop you from getting out on the trail.
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