How Much Should You Spend On Hiking Boots? (Full Guide)

The options for hiking boots can be a little overwhelming. Your footwear is critical for a safe and successful hike, and the range of boots out there covers different hiking styles and terrains. There are so many options, so it’s okay to wonder how much you should spend on a pair of boots.

How much you should spend on hiking boots is dependent on the type of hiking you do. A pair of hiking boots can range from affordable to very expensive. The more expensive the hiking boot, the more features it will usually offer, such as increased sturdiness, stability, waterproofing, and support.

The price of hiking boots can vary greatly, and you will want to find the best value boots for the hiking you intend to do. In the article below, we’ll look at how much beginners and more experienced hikers can expect to pay for boots and consider whether expensive boots are worth the price.

How Much Do Hiking Boots Cost?

Hiking boots generally cost between $75 and $250. There is a wide range of options available for purchase and the cost will depend on how much hiking you plan on doing and how intense each hike will be. You can find both good and bad products at either end of the price range.

This is still quite a variation, but the range of hiking boots reflects the different boot designs for the various types of hiking and terrain encountered. The sturdier the boot, and the more waterproofing provided within the design, the more expensive the boots are likely to be.

Your hiking boots need to offer protection and comfort to your feet, and different hikers will have different requirements. The material the boot is made from, the thickness of the sole, and the tread and ankle support are further features of hiking boots that can mean price variations between different brands and models.

There is no point overspending on a pair of boots when a cheaper pair will do the same job for you. Value applies here, as in most spending decisions, although you don’t want to skimp on safety. Be honest with yourself and your budget. You want to buy the best pair of boots for the hiking you intend to do. Newbies can expect to pay less than experienced hikers.

How Much Should You Spend On Hiking Boots As A Beginner?

A beginner should generally spend between $75 and $150 on a pair of hiking boots. If you are heading out with more experienced hikers over more technical terrain, you may have to spend more for sturdier boots to cope with the conditions underfoot. Most beginners, however, stick to easy trails.

If you are a beginner, the likelihood is you will only be going on shorter day hikes to begin with. However, you will still need a hiking boot that protects your feet and offers the comfort to prevent soreness and blisters. Nothing will put you off hiking as a beginner faster than walking for miles with painful or blistered feet.

While more experienced hikers might not understand how you could not fall in love with the trails immediately, there is always the possibility hiking is not for you after all. You do not want to buy unnecessarily expensive boots you use just once or twice.

What To Look For

Although online shopping is highly convenient, as a beginner there’s a lot to be gained by visiting specialist outdoor pursuit stores and talking to the experts. Advice from a store employee with expertise in hiking will help point you toward the best and most suitable pair of hiking boots at a price you can afford.

A new pair of hiking boots needs to support the ankle and feel comfortable. Therefore, be sure to try them on before buying and wear them in around the house, as well as on short errands such as to the shops, before you go hiking in them. This will break them in to your feet for a more comfortable first-time hiking experience.

It can be hard to find a decent pair of boots with the features you require at the lower end of the price range. It may require more searching around, but ultimately you don’t want to concede on safety and comfort for price. Take advice from those who know, discuss the trails you will be hiking and the duration of the hike, and get the best boots for the job that you can afford.

How Much Should Hiking Boots Cost For More Experienced Hikers?

A good quality, durable, waterproof and comfortable hiking boot for multi-day hiking can cost up to $250+. The price you can expect to pay is dependent upon your style of hiking and what you need from the boots. Technology has improved over the years and has helped make hiking boots more affordable.

While more experienced hikers will also be day hikers, they may also be undertaking multi-day hikes, covering many miles over varied terrain. This type of hiking will require sturdier boots that offer more waterproofing properties. This means a more experienced hiker is likely to pay more for boots than a beginner.

Different Hiking Styles

If you are an experienced hiker who predominantly day hikes, a pair of hiking boots that sit in the medium-priced range will likely suffice. Just remember that all day hikes are not the same. More experienced day hikers could cover 10 miles or more in a day across technical terrain, for which they may need sturdier boots, which will cost more.

For those on a hike involving an overnight stay, the cost of their boots should not be much different than for day hiking. However, the extra mileage you hike may mean you need a slightly more durable and waterproof boot, and you could be looking at paying between $100 and $200 for a decent pair of hiking boots.

Once you start hiking over multiple days, the boots will get more expensive, as you look for extra durability and waterproofing to cope with the demands of the hike and the possibility of changing weather. You may prefer full-leather boots over more breathable synthetic options, which will be more expensive. Multi-day hikers can expect to pay between $125 and $250 at least for their boots.

If you are a hiker who prioritizes speed and light hiking, then you will be looking for a more lightweight boot to match. You will not want a sturdy boot adding weight around your feet, and therefore you should find your lightweight boots cost less than a sturdier pair of boots worn by someone looking to hike long distances over many consecutive days.

Climate Considerations

The time of year you hike is also an important consideration, as winter hiking requires a boot with more padding for added warmth and more waterproofing to cope with rain and possibly snow. This could mean you will pay more compared to a boot primarily worn in warmer climes, which will be lighter and with more meshing to aid breathability.

With experience, you will come to understand your needs and which boots seem to suit your feet best. But taking advice from an employee who is a hiking expert at an outdoor pursuit store can still be beneficial. You may even buy more than one pair of boots for different hiking styles and conditions if your budget allows.

How Much Is Too Much For Hiking Boots?

The real answer to this depends on your budget, but there is no point buying a pair of $250 hiking boots designed for durability and miles of technical terrain if you only intend to day hike every now and then for a few miles on easy trails. Buying more than you need can be too much.

The right price for hiking boots is about buying the right boots for the conditions. Although budget will be the top consideration for most people, you should not forego the safest and most suitable hiking boots for the conditions to save money. It’s better to save up and buy the best pair of hiking boots for the job than wear boots not suited to the trails you hike.

Looking after your feet is one of the most essential elements of hiking and you don’t want to cut corners for the sake of saving a few dollars. As mentioned, you could find a cheap pair of hiking boots online for $50 or less. Apart from safety concerns over their practicality for your hike, you may end up having to buy another pair soon anyway because they’re less durable.

Therefore, try to buy the best boots for your hiking style at a price you can afford. The price only becomes too much if you cannot afford it or if you buy a pair of boots that are clearly designed for more technical hiking than the hikes you plan on undertaking.

Are Expensive Hiking Boots Worth It?

Expensive hiking boots may be worth it if you spend a lot of your spare time on the trails, particularly if hiking on technical terrain. The additional cushion and support from more expensive boots will protect your feet from blisters and your ankles from injuries.

Some hiking boots can cost in the region of $300 to $500, while professional hikers may pay up to $700 for a pair of boots. This pricing bracket will place such boots well out of many people’s reach before we even consider whether they are worth the money.

Benefits you should expect from more expensive boots include:

  • More durability
  • Made from better quality materials
  • More waterproofing
  • More breathable
  • Better insulation
  • Resistance to abrasion
  • Superior tread

Of course, you may not require all these additional features, in which case buying a premium boot will not be worth it. You should also be aware of brands setting their price range high to appear stylish and high-end. Once again, you need to consider what you need from your hiking boots to determine if higher prices are worth it.

A casual hiker, sticking largely to less-technical terrain, will not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of hiking boots. However, someone who is constantly hiking the great outdoors come rain or shine, across all manner of terrains, may well find the extra durability and protection form more expensive boots completely worth it.

Final Thoughts

Most hikers will spend between $75 and $250 on a pair of hiking boots. The quality of the boot will be better at the higher end of this price range and should offer a more sturdy, waterproof boot. What you pay for a hiking boot should depend on the hiking you will be doing.