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Best Hiking Shoes Review – Under 30 Dollars

The best hiking shoes I have found for less 30 dollars

This is a review of the best hiking shoes I have found for less than 30 dollars.


How do I asses hiking shoes?

These are the key areas I look for when I asses hiking shoes.

Grip

Above all else by a massive margin, the best hiking shoes will give excellent grip on steep hills whether the hills be covered in

  • Grass (wet and dry)
  • Stoney grassy slopes
  • Dirt (loose and packed)
  • Damp dirt
  • Rocks
  • Mud

Comfort

Hiking shoes need to be comfortable no matter the price

Build Quality

They could be the best hiking shoes in the world for less than 30 dollars but if they only last a couple of months the cost of replacements will mean we would have been better off spending three times as much on a pair of high end hiking shoes.

Hiking shoes need to last a minimum of six months ie be performing the same after 6 months as they did when they were new.

Looks

No man is an island, they need to look good.

Support

Its all very well for the sole to give outstanding grip but if my feet are sliding over the soles it pointless. My feet need to be fixed securely over the sole at all time.

Lightweight

I don’t want to be trudging a heavy set of shoes around the mountains. I want the lightest shoes possible.

Water

I don’t want or need waterproof hiking shoes. What I do need is a set of hiking shoes that don’t turn into heavy, soggy sponges if I have to wade through water.

When the shoes get wet I want them to remain light and supportive and to be able to dry relatively quickly.


Best Hiking Shoes Review

Below is a list of each of the conditions listed above with a rating for each condition

Steep Slopes (Wet & Dry)

These hiking shoes are faultless on steep grassy slopes, wet or dry. Can’t fault them for any price. Total grip and remain comfortable.

Score: 5 out of 5

Stony Grassy Slopes

Again, faultless. Plenty of grip and good support of the foot. At no time did I feel like my feet where going to roll over the sole. Grip seemed total.

Score: 5 out of 5

Dirt Slopes (Loose and Packed)

Again, fantastic grip, massive confidence that when I put my foot down it was going to stay where it was.

Score: 5 out of 5

Damp Dirt

Again, fantastic. Plenty of confidence inspiring grip.

Score 5 out of 5

Deep Water

Shoes stay on the feet. Shoes give support even when soaking wet but shoelaces need to be tightened slightly

Score 4 out of 5

Mud

And this is where we come to the biggest negative with these hiking shoes. The soles are good, plenty of spiky contours to give grip in the conditions listed above but when things start to turn a bit muddy the grip goes away.

I think there are a couple of reasons why these hiking shoes are not so great when things start to get muddy.

One.

Although the soles have the spiky contours on the soles the spikes are not very long. Nothing like you would see on Salomon Speedcross or Karrimor Aqua Fusion for example (see the Karrimor review here). With a relatively shallow profile on the sole there is only so far these shoes can penetrate into the surface. Most of the time this is not an issue but with mud it is.

Two.

The number of spikes/ripples in the sole. There are loads of them and this means they are close together. This leads to the sole getting chocked with mud especially on clay type soils. And it also means it can take a while to clear the grips once you have passed the muddy section.

In short, if you are looking for a hiking shoe that can perform in muddy conditions you either need to set of hiking shoes specifically for those conditions or just get hiking shoes with the cleat type soles.

If you the terrain where you are going and you know the weather it has had and that it won’t be muddy, these hiking shoes should be fine but if you are going into an unknown area it is definitely better to take hiking shoes with the biggest cleats possible. Although this is a general rule for me and not something specific to the hiking shoes in this review.

Powder Snow – Shallow Gradient

Surprisingly good grip but they won’t keep you feet warm.

Score 5 out of 5

Snow/Ice Steep Gradients

These shoes are not suitable for steep muddy conditions, steep snow and steep icy snow.

Score 1 out of 5


Other factors not grip related

The other stuff.

Comfort

These are some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, hiking shoes or not. Really, really cushy while are the same time giving good support for the insole and they give a good location for the heal. Exceeded my expectations here massively.

The uppers have a slight stretch in them but not excessively so. Enough to make them comfortable without losing the support. They absolutely nailed the upper material in my opinion.

Build Quality

Without having to look to closely you can see that these trainers are not made by Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok etc.

Around the sole you can see small areas where the glue has run out between the layers, where plastic has not be cut/folded quite right, where the ends of layers on the upper have not been finished with the care you would expect from the big manufacturers. The filling around the ankle, the alignment of the tongues might not be 100% symmetrical.

However having said all that, in the time I have I had these hiking shoes nothing has fallen apart and none of these things has detracted from the performance of the shoe.

And to be fair, we are not talking glaring errors, you do need to analyses the shoes quite closely to notice the less than perfect cosmetic appearance.

Looks

Cosmetic defects aside, from a normal distance I (personally) think these shoes look great

Support

Pretty much covered this in the other points but to reiterate, support of the foot over the sole is really good, I don’t even have to do the laces up properly.

Lightweight

Compared to the Karrimor Aqua Fusion hiking shoes, these shoes are noticeably lighter. In short, can’t complain, pretty much perfect for me.

Water

Fortunately I havent had to ford any streams/rivers as yet but I have had them through the washing machine

This page was last modified Jan 17, 2022 @ 6:56 pm

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