Here’s the thing about hiking shoes: Love them or hate them, all it takes is one rocky, muddy, or otherwise treacherous trail to realize your running shoes just aren’t going to cut it.
Maybe you need more ankle support, better cushioning or even something to protect your knees from downhill impact. Whatever the case may be, we’ve got you covered.
With many of the high-end hiking shoes costing well over $300, we wanted to bring you a curated list of best hiking boots that don’t cost the price of a plane ticket. We asked foot doctors, shoe connoisseurs and trail experts about their favorite hiking shoes (on a budget) for each category listed below. Here’s what they had to say, and all the details you need on the seven best hiking boots you can buy under $200.
7 Best Hiking Shoes for Under $200
Before we dive into our seven favorites, it’s good to understand why spending a little more on hiking shoes is such a worthy investment.
“Hiking shoes differ from walking shoes or casual sneakers mainly by their support, stability, and durability,” said Derek Roach, owner of Flow Feet Orthopedic Shoes. “Hiking shoes generally include a durable, deep lugged outsole to withstand rough terrain and provide better traction in wet conditions or on loose gravel. They also typically have breathable, moisture-wicking interior linings to keep the feet dry, as well as supportive insoles to absorb shock when striking the ground and prevent fatigue.”
But not all hiking shoes do everything they claim to, according to Dr. Daniel Boyer of Farr Institute.
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of hiking boot features that aren’t worth the money,” he said. “For example, many hiking boots claim to be waterproof but don’t keep your feet dry, while others claim to have excellent traction , but don’t stick to surfaces very well.”
Which is why buying shoes that have been thoroughly vetted is so much better than just randomly splurging on a pair you…