8 Best Boots Under $200: Budget Friendly, Stylish, and Rugged

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

How hard can it be to find a great pair of boots under $200? Turns out, harder than you’d think.

I wasn’t happy with any of the “best of” lists out there, so I went and found the best boots under $200 myself. After hundreds of reviews, these are your best options.

Best Overall
  • Goodyear welted construction for durability and weather resistance
  • Huge variety of leather and sizing options
  • Great balance of dressy and casual
Best Leather
  • Italian full grain leather that’s buttery smooth
  • Blake stitch construction for a slim and traditional design
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Best Under $100
  • Canvas upper available in up to 10 different colorways
  • Heavy lug soles that offer a lot of traction
  • Removable insole so you can add your own custom support if needed
Most Comfortable
  • Soft crepe rubber sole for maximum shock absorption
  • Nice casual suede leather options
  • Classic stitchdown construction
Best for Travel
  • Zero-drop boot that’s great for lots of walking or travel
  • Available in leather, nylon, and waterproof leather
  • Flexible outsole that’s great for hiking
Best True Budget
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • Slip resistant and oil resistant crepe rubber sole
  • Rugged full grain leather that can take a beating
Best for Work
  • Iconic boot that’s 100% waterproof
  • Heavy rubber lug sole that offers a lot of traction
  • Huge range of leather and sizing options
Best Chelsea
  • Stylish boot under $100
  • Crepe rubber sole that offers a lot of shock absorption
  • Solid leather considering the price

If you have an unlimited budget, then it’s pretty easy to find a fantastic boot. 

But what about those of us who want exceptional quality without spending a small fortune? 

There are a lot of brands that claim to have rugged and high-quality boots for cheap, but they just don’t deliver. 

After doing 100+ reviews, I’ve found some truly exceptional boots that cost less than $200. And these boots aren’t going to fall apart on you after a year—you’ll get your money’s worth out of these, and look good at the same time. 

How Did I Come Up With My List?

I’ve done over 100 reviews here and on the BootSpy YouTube channel. Over the years, I’ve found a few brands that just make better quality boots than their competitors. 

I’ve read thousands of comments from our subscribers making recommendations, I’ve researched the boot world for hundreds of hours, and I’ve personally worn and reviewed most of the boots on this list. 

There are dozens of brands I’ve left off this list, usually because they use cheap manufacturing methods that’ll fall apart on you within a year. 

Let’s avoid that and get you a pair of boots you’ll still be loving years from now. 

8 Best Men’s Boots Under $200

Best Overall: Thursday Captain

1.
Thursday Captain
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The Thursday Captain is one of the best value-for-money boots ever. Even though I have boots that cost three times as much as the Captain, I still find myself wearing them often. 

Made with a Goodyear welt construction, a huge variety of stylish and rugged leathers, and a few options for either a studded or a lugged sole, the Thursday Captain offers a blend of traditional heritage boot making methods, and more modern materials for comfort. 

My personal favorite Captain is the Arizona Adobe Rugged & Resilient leather, but I’ve also been rocking the Tobacco leather with the Storm King heavy lug outsole. 

You’re getting 2mm of full grain leather for the upper, plus a 1mm glove leather lining, a steel shank for support, and a stacked leather heel. 

Plus, when the sole eventually wears down after several years, you can always have a new one attached, which isn’t something you can find for many boots that cost less than $200. 

In fact, I have a video of me doing just that after five years of wearing my Thursday Captains into the ground:

What I Like

  • The style of the Captain looks more sophisticated than most boots under $200—it’s slim and modern, but still rugged looking. 

  • The variety of leather options offer a lot of versatility—if you’re just getting one boot, I recommend a brown leather. 

  • Goodyear welted construction, glove leather lining, steel shank, and a stacked leather heel. There’s no other boot that offers this level of quality under $200. 

  • There are plenty of EE/EEE sizes, and the range of lengths runs from 6-16.

What I Don’t Like

  • Because they have a steel shank and lots of leather in the heel, they can start to feel heavy after a lot of walking. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Until Thursday Boots were around, it was nearly impossible to find a rugged boot that still looked slim and stylish. 

Now there are lots of imitators, but I still think Thursday leads the pack. At the time of writing, the Thursday Captain has over 22,000 reviews on Thursday’s site, and the average is a 4.9-star rating. 

The negative reviews are usually due to folks having difficulty finding the correct size. To avoid having to send your new pair back, I recommend going through my Thursday boots sizing guide first. 

The Verdict

The Thursday Boots Captain is the best boot you can get under $200.

There are no other options out there where you can find the level of quality in the leather with a Goodyear welt construction, steel shank, full leather lining, high quality rubber studded outsole, and a stacked leather heel. 

Trust me, I’ve reviewed over 100 boots and I still think the Thursday Captain is one of the best value-for-money boots there is.

Best Overall
Thursday Captain
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Best Leather: Beckett Simonon Elliot

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If you’re all about leather quality and still want to keep things budget-friendly, then check out the Beckett Simonon Elliot

I have a confession for this boot—it actually costs a little more than $200. But I got a special code for you that knocks the price down to just below $200, so I feel like it counts. 

Beckett Simonon is another one of my favorite brands because their quality is outstanding in general, and it’s even more impressive when you find out the price. 

There’s a big downside to ordering with Beckett Simonon though. They handcraft all their boots and shoes to order, so you should expect to wait anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks to get your new boots. 

This is how Beckett Simonon is able to make such high quality boots right around the $200 mark. Most brands have to make huge inventory purchases and mark up a lot so they can cover the sizes and leather options that don’t sell as well. 

But because Beckett Simonon only manufactures what they sell and don’t need to pay for all that extra inventory, they ship boots that look and feel like a $300 brand.

What I Like

  • The leather quality is the best I’ve found for a brand that costs right around $200. 

  • They use Blake stitch construction, which is standard for high quality dress boots and shoes. 

  • Each leather option is unique and versatile. Plus, while I recommend the Elliot, all Beckett Simonon boots are the same price, so you can get multiple styles.

What I Don’t Like

  • The waiting period can feel long and doesn’t help if you need new boots in a hurry. Plus it’s getting longer because Beckett Simonon is becoming more popular. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Beckett Simonon is growing a following, and throughout the reviews on their site, you’ll notice that many people are on their second, third, or even fourth pair of Beckett Simonons. 

I know I ordered my second pair of Beckett Simonon boots an hour after I opened my first pair.

The Verdict

If you’re interested in getting the best possible leather quality you can in a boot that’s less than $200, Beckett Simonon is the brand for you.

I hope you’re patient, because their shipping process can take up to 12 weeks (and it’s getting longer because they’re becoming more well-known). So that’s a bummer.

But I’m willing to bet that you’ll be impressed with the leather if you’re patient with the waiting period. 

The leather is buttery, rich, and makes Beckett Simonon boots feel more like a $300+ brand.

Best Leather
Beckett Simonon Elliot Balmoral Boot
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Best Under $100: Palladium Boots Pampa

3.
Palladium Pampa
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Palladium Boots were originally made for the French Foreign Legion, and since picking up their two most popular models, I’m convinced these are the best boots you can get for under $100

I have the Pampa and the Pallabrousse—I have to be honest, there’s basically no difference between the two, but I know I like the color of my Pampa boots, so they’re making the list. 

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These are canvas boots—not leather. But Palladium’s specialty is really in the mold-injected rubber sole. 

The Palladium Pampa has a heavy rubber lug sole with a rubber toe cap. They sort of look like if a Converse sneaker went Super Sayan. 

While I don’t think the canvas is a great option for fall and winter, my Palladiums were awesome throughout the summer. Plus, I really like the streetwear aesthetic they have, while still offering tons of comfort and stability. 

What I Like

  • They look super cool. The rubber toe cap give these a unique style that’s a bit military, and a bit streetwear. 

  • The rubber lug sole is durable in two ways: first, the rubber is very high quality and is abrasion resistant. And second, the sole is thick, so it’d take a long time to wear it out.

  • Palladium offers many simple, classic color options. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The lugs can pick up rocks in them fairly easily if you’re walking on dirt.

What Other Reviewers Say

Palladium has had some difficulty with scam sites in the past—this is something I’ve seen other brands face several times, so it’s not unusual. And because of this, you might find that some of their reviews online have taken a beating. 

I bought my two pairs of Palladium boots through their US site, and had absolutely no trouble with them. So I recommend going through our links to ensure you’re not landing on a scam site. 

But when people order from the legit site, they seem to be happy with the style, comfort, and durability. 

A lot of folks go hiking in their Palladium boots, which I can understand given how much traction you get with the outsole.

The Verdict

If I could only choose one pair of boots under $100, I would choose the Palladium Pampa. They’re canvas, and not leather, so I’d reserve these for more warm weather looks (or at least only wear them on sunny days). 

I love their streetwear/ military style, and I’m surprised at how durable and comfortable my Pampa’s have been. 

Best Under $100
Palladium Pampa
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Most Comfortable: Astorflex Greenflex

4.
Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boot
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If you want comfort, your best option is a crepe rubber sole. Now crepe rubber has its drawbacks: it can get dirty and wear down quickly. But dang, does it feel great on your feet. 

The Astorflex Greenflex chukka is a fantastic desert boot for under $200, and it’s my top pick if you want a comfortable, casual boot to wear to the office. 

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For style, I think the Thursday Scout chukka is more sleek looking, plus I know the rubber outsole and stacked leather heel are going to look cleaner three months down the road, but from a pure comfort perspective, it doesn’t get better than Astorflex.

Thursday Scout mocha weathersafe suede burnishing leather detail
Wearing my Thursday Scouts

There’s not a lot of sizing or color options, so you’re pretty limited on that front. But compared to the Clarks Desert Boot, the Astorflex Greenflex is in a totally different league.

What I Like

  • The suede leathers are soft, rich, and generally really high quality.

  • The crepe is unbleached, which gives the boot a more natural look.

  • The Greenflex is environmentally friendly and extremely comfortable.

What I Don’t Like

  • There aren’t many leather options.

  • The sizing choices are limited.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Astorflex Greenflex has over 400 reviews on Huckberry at the time of writing, and the average is 4.7 stars. 

Many reviewers say their boots fit a little large, so you should size down if you can. Chukka boots tend to spread out because of their stitchdown construction, so even if your boots feel a bit snug at first, there’s a good chance they’ll stretch out during the break in.

The Verdict

It’s hard to beat crepe rubber for comfort, and the Astorflex Greenflex desert boot is the most comfortable boot you can find for under $200. 

They’re Italian-made using traditional stitch down construction. 

Consider sizing down when you get these boots—like most suede desert boots, the leather will stretch considerably, so even if you get a pair that’s a little snug at first, they’re going to stretch out a good deal during the break in. 

Once they’re broken in though, they’ll feel like a pair of your most comfortable slippers.

Most Comfortable
Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boot
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Best for Travel: Lems Boulder Boot

5.
Lems Boulder Boot
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Have you ever heard of a zero drop boot? 

Zero drop basically means that your heel and forefoot are at the same height, which is supposed to mimic how our feet naturally evolved. 

If you stand on your feet a lot and struggle with knee or low back pain, or if you travel a lot and need a zero drop pair of boots you can put miles on, definitely check out the Lems Boulder Boot.

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It has a moc toe construction and you can get either a leather upper, nylon upper, and Lems even offers a leather version with a waterproof membrane.

The Boulder Boot doesn’t have many of the same features of anything else on my list, and that’s because they’re designed to interfere with the natural shape of your foot as little as possible. 

The toe box is wide so your toes aren’t scrunched, and there’s a minimal amount of materials in the heel to keep the height equal to your forefoot. 

Lems Boulder Boots are some of the most lightweight and flexible boots you can get, especially for leather boots. 

What I Like

  • The zero drop sole can be extremely helpful if you stand a lot throughout your day and that causes you lower back pain. 

  • These boots weigh 9 oz, which is so light, you can practically forget they’re there. 

  • A wide toe box allows your toes to spread out naturally, which a boot with a more structured toe wouldn’t allow.

What I Don’t Like

  • The instep is quite low, so if you have high arches, you might find the Boulder Boot rubs the top of your foot excessively.

What Other Reviewers Say

A common complain I found in the reviews is that the Boulder Boot doesn’t have a lot of volume in its height. While there’s plenty of room in the “waist” of the boot and at the toes, guys with higher arches and “higher volume” feet found that their Boulder Boots rubbed at the top of their foot. 

The zero drop construction leads to a boot with a little less vertical space than usual. So if you have high arches, you may want to size up to avoid this problem. 

The Verdict

Zero drop boots aren’t for everyone. But if you stand on your feet a lot every day and it causes lower back pain, you may want to give the Lems Boulder Boot a try. 

And for traveling, there’s no better boot than Lems. The Boulder Boot weighs 9 oz and can fold up and pack away easily so it only takes up as much space as a pair of pants. I’ve never seen a boot that could claim that. 

Best for Travel
Lems Boulder Boot
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Best True Budget: Golden Fox Boondocker

6.
Golden Fox 6" Boondocker Service Boot Pro

Look alike: Timberland Earthkeeper

Estimated cost saving vs look alike: $10

Best for: Low-cost stylish service boot

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A lot of the boots on this list are basically right at $200, which makes sense—you’re probably going to find higher quality at $200 than you would $100. 

But if you want a leather service boot but stay closer to $100, then check out the Golden Fox Boondocker

The Boondocker is made with Goodyear welt construction, a full grain upper, and a steel shank. 

I’m not going to lie: this isn’t a perfect boot. The Goodyear welt is plastic, it’s an unlined boot, and the crepe rubber sole leaves much to be desired. 

I think you’d get a much better value for your money if you paid a bit extra for the Thursday Captain

But still, for close to $100, the Golden Fox Boondocker is one of the better boots you can find. 

What I Like

  • The full grain leather upper is decent for the price. 

  • It features Goodyear welted construction, which has solid weather resistance. 

  • The pig leather collar and lining around the eyelets adds durability at the weak points of the boot. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The welt is plastic, which won’t hold up well over time. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Many reviews show that people don’t take care of their Golden Fox Boondockers. Whether it’s dousing them with cement, beating them up in the machine shop, or going on numerous hikes with them, the Boondocker can take its fair share of abuse. 

These boots can take one year of hard-wearing. While the leather is rugged, I have concerns with the plastic welt. I just don’t see plastic lasting as long as leather. 

But the reviews also speak to how much the leather can take over the period of a year.

The Verdict

Finding a high-quality leather boot near $100 is a difficult task—there aren’t many. 

But if you’re looking for a decent service boot that’s near the $100 mark, the Golden Fox Boondocker is the ticket. 

I still think it’s better to spend a bit extra and get the Thursday Captain because you’re getting higher quality materials throughout (especially the leather welt, compared to Golden Fox’s plastic welt). 

Best True Budget
Golden Fox 6" Boondocker Service Boot Pro

Look alike: Timberland Earthkeeper

Estimated cost saving vs look alike: $10

Best for: Low-cost stylish service boot

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Best for Work: Timberland 6” Premium Waterproof Boot

7.
Timberland Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boot
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The Timberland 6” Premium Waterproof Boot is one of the most iconic boots of all time. 

And it’s a pretty fantastic value-for-money boot, too. No wonder it has a good reputation. 

While a lot of guys like Timberlands for style, it’s important to remember that they got their start as work boots for a really good reason: they’re 100% waterproof, the nubuck leather is rugged, and they’re insulated so they can keep your feet warm through a cold and wet winter. 

I’ve tried both the Timberland Basic and Premium, so trust me when I say that the Premium is the only way to go. You get a much higher quality sole, which will last you a lot longer than the Basic. 

There are tons of different leather color options, but if you want my opinion, the classic Wheat Nubuck is the only way to go. 

What I Like

  • It’s 100% waterproof—water beads up and slides off the leather upper, and the sole is directly attached to the upper and sealed so no water can get into the boot.

  • The insulation makes these a fantastic option for cold weather.

  • The sole is durable and offers a lot of traction.

What I Don’t Like

  • Timberland has become such a huge company and not all Timberland Premium boots are the same—I don’t recommend buying from a mall retailer as that quality is lower than buying direct.

What Other Reviewers Say

There’s a reason why the Timberland Premium 6” Waterproof Boot is one of the most popular boots in the world.

A lot of reviewers don’t have much experience buying boots, so they get their sneaker size and find that their Timberlands are too big

Timberland sizes their boots like other heritage brands: you should order a half-size smaller than your sneakers. So for instance, I’m a size 10.5 in Nike, and I get a size 10 in Timberland.

The Verdict

The Timberland 6” Premium Waterproof Boot is an icon for good reason. With insulation, a 100% waterproof upper, Timbs are still one of the best work boots you can get for under $200. 

I know a lot of people wear Timberlands for street style, which is cool, but I think they stil crush it as a work boot because of that heavy rubber lug outsole and how much protection you get from cold and wet weather.

Best for Work
Timberland Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boot
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Best Chelsea: New Republic Sonoma

8.
New Republic Sonoma
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The New Republic Sonoma is a suede Chelsea boot that costs under $100, and there are a few things about this boot that really surprised me.

In terms of leather quality, you’re almost never going to find anything good under the $100 mark. But the New Republic Sonoma has decent leather. To be honest, it’s still pretty low quality, but the suede is a lot better than anything else I’ve seen at the same price. 

The Sonoma is basically a Common Projects Chelsea knock-off, and while I almost never think a dupe is worth it, the Sonoma is. 

It features a crepe sole, which will get dirty looking over time. The same is true for the Common Projects Chelsea, and having a dirty looking $500 boot is a lot worse than having a dirty $89 boot. 

Like I said, when you’re below $100, there aren’t many good quality leather boots. The Palladium’s are good quality, but they use a canvas upper—not leather. The New Republic Sonoma is the one leather boot I’d recommend below the $100 line.

What I Like

  • The suede leather quality is solid considering the price. 

  • They’re very comfortable.

  • They’re quite a convincing double for the Common Projects Chelsea boot. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Once the crepe rubber sole gets dirty, there’s nothing you can do to clean up the look of your boots. 

What Other Reviewers Say

The New Republic Sonoma is a style-forward boot. And for that reason, reviewers who know what they’re getting seem happy with their purchase.

If you’re getting this boot and planning to wear it a few times a week, then you’ll get a solid value out of it. If you’re going to wear it every day, you may find it wears out faster than you hoped. 

The Verdict

I wouldn’t get the New Republic Sonoma as an everyday boot, but if you want a suede Chelsea for under $100, the New Republic Sonoma is a fantastic find. 

It’s slim, stylish, and a convincing alternative to the Common Projects Chelsea. 

It’s not a perfect boot, but it’s inexpensive and the value is there.

Best Chelsea
New Republic Sonoma
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It’s Budget Boot Time

You can build an impressive boot collection for a lot less than you’d think. 

While I own several pairs of boots that cost double and triple many of the entries on this list, I still find myself wearing a lot of the boots I mentioned here. 

My favorites are the Thursday Captain—they were the first boot that got me into the world of high quality Goodyear welted footwear, and they’re still one of the best value picks you can get. 

Thursday Captain
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And Beckett Simonon is another brand that blows me away with their quality—but you have to be patient for their 8-12 week wait time. 

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No matter what you need your boots for, there’s at least one good option under $200. 


FAQs

What is a good price for a pair of boots?

You’ll find the most options that offer a great balance of affordability and quality in the $200-$300 range.

What makes a boot expensive?

Leather quality is often the biggest contributor to a boot’s price. Construction quality is the second-largest contributor. A good boot often has a Goodyear welted construction with a full grain leather upper. You’ll also often get a leather liner in a good quality boot.

How can I make cheap boots better?

Use mink oil on the leather to add weather resistance, and replace the thin insole with a custom insole. Swap out the cheap laces with leather laces for a more sophisticated look on your cheap boots.