The main feature to look for when choosing cheap hiking boots for New Zealand
Choose a waterproof hiking boot
If there’s one feature worth paying a little extra for when choosing a hiking boot for New Zealand, it’s a waterproof boot. Even in summer, it’s bound to rain at least once on your trip. Take a look at our New Zealand Weather section for typical weather in New Zealand month-by-month.
Rain cannot only damage cheap hiking shoes beyond repair, but it’s miserable to hike with soggy and cold feet. Choose a hiking shoe that has been waterproofed with GORE-TEX, Outdry and eVen technology. Budget hiking boot brands may have their own versions of these waterproofing technologies so it’s worth reading the specifications to see exactly how the boot is waterproof. Look for a boot with a waterproof lining and breathable/waterproof membrane. Avoid shoes which are simply described as “waterproof” or “water-resistant”, as they often mean they can only withstand a few small splashes – that’s not going to be enough for New Zealand rain.
All of the hiking boots and shoes recommended in this article have been chosen with this waterproof technology in mind.
For more considerations to take when choosing a hiking boot, see 10 Tips for Picking the Perfect Hiking Boots for New Zealand.
For short hikes or day hikes
For most of us travelling New Zealand, a pair of low-cut hiking shoes is more than enough to experience New Zealand’s awesome landscapes by foot. They are by far the most affordable kind of hiking footwear.
Low-cut hiking shoes provide the same durable material and deep outer sole tread of hiking boots, yet don’t come with the same hefty price tag. Hiking shoes are ideal for walking New Zealand’s day hikes and short walks. Because they don’t have the high-top design of a hiking boot, there is very little ankle support but this won’t really be an issue, as the vast majority of short walks in New Zealand are on well-defined tracks that are maintained by the Department of Conservation.
Best Cheap Hiking Shoes for New Zealand
All of these hiking shoes have been chosen with durability, tread, effective waterproofing technology and cheap price in mind.
For mostly day hikes and the occasional multi-day hike
If you’re planning on tackling a few day hikes and even a multi-day hike on your trip to New Zealand then consider choosing a mid-rise hiking boot. The main advantage of a hiking boot, rather than a shoe, is that they provide ankle support which shoes lack. Ankle support is essential when hiking with heavier backpacks weighing up to 12kg, which will be the case when hiking any of New Zealand’s multi-day hikes.
You may also want to get a mid-rise hiking boot if you have weak ankles or simply if you are unsure what kinds of activities you are going to be doing in New Zealand.
All in all, a mid-rise hiking boot is a safe hiking boot option. On the downside, they are usually a little more expensive than hiking shoes when looking in outdoors stores. However, we did find these very cheap mid-rise hiking boots on Amazon.
The Best Cheap Hiking Boots for New Zealand
For mostly multi-day hiking
If multi-day hiking is what you’re mostly going to be doing on your trip to New Zealand, then choose a pair of high-rise hiking boots. This type of boot will give you sufficient ankle support for carrying heavier loads (usually up to 14kg). While a good pair of waterproof high-rise hiking boots are not “cheap”, we have found some affordable pairs that will do the job if tackling multiple multi-day hikes in New Zealand.