You can get good boots for under three hundred bucks.
It’s a real sweet spot, price wise, and I know because I’ve reviewed dozens of boots and gone through the trouble of making a list of the best boots for under two hundred bucks. I can tell you, it was way easier coming up with a lit of the best for under three hundred.
You can get seriously high quality footwear at the price point: full grain leather, Goodyear welts, robust construction, comfort — you can even get all of this and boots that are made in America. And that brings me to the first entry on the list…
- Vanguard – Thursday Boot Company
- Red Wing – Moc Toe
- Parkhurst – Delaware
- Grant Stone – Chelsea Boot
- Thorogood – Moc Toe
- Beckett Simonon – Dowler
- Oliver Cabell – Chelsea
- Taft – Jack boot
- John Doe Shoes – 420 boot
- Urban Shepherd – Original Natural
- Honorable Mentions
1) Vanguard – Thursday Boot Company ($265)
Thursday Boot Company isn’t the oldest boot company on Earth, but they’ve had stratospheric success in the industry by marrying quality and value in a way that no one else does. You might be acquainted with their Captain boot. I know I am; I’ve got two pairs of them.
Thursday Vanguard Highlights
But the Vanguard stands out from their product line because it’s made in the United States from start to finish. The laces are made in the US. The steel shank is made in the US. The eyelets are made in the US. Even the poron in the sole is made in the US — which means it’s slightly different from the poron used in the Captains.
It’s a little bit more old fashioned and less sneaker-like than Thursday’s other models, which are a bit softer underfoot and almost 70 bucks cheaper at $199. But the Vanguard has that home-field advantage of being made in the US, plus, it has that heritage look and feel that I think most guys crave with American service boots like this. You can grab them for $265.
Who should buy the Thursday Vanguard
- Men who want a versatile, quality crafted pair of boots
- Guys who are looking for a 100% Made-in-America boot
- Rugged dudes who want rugged leather — this stuff, Thursday says, needs no care at all
Who shouldn’t buy the Thursday Vanguard
- Budget-conscious guys who would do better with the $199 Captain
- Wide-footed men — the Vanguard doesn’t come in wide widths just yet
Thursday does a great job making great quality boots for a great price; I mean, their entire line is under $300. The most expensive pair they sell is the Logger for $285.
[Watch my Thursday Vanguard review]
2. Red Wing – Moc Toe ($280)
Who can make a list of great boots without mentioning Red Wing? You might think of Red Wing Heritage as a brand for boots that are over $300, but that mostly applies to their industry defining Iron Ranger. Most of them are under $300, and the most popular?
Red Wing’s Moc Toe Highlights
An absolute classic that’s famously worn by Ryan Gosling, Drake, and other celebrities, the Red Wing moc toe is often imitated, never replicated. The boot is made with a soft-but-sturdy crepe sole and tough-as-nails oil tanned leather from Red Wing’s own tannery, SB Foot Tanning Company. Owning their own tannery gives Red Wing a ton of control over their final product, and if you’re no fan of the moc toe, the company sells many other options for under $300 including their Weekender Chelsea and the famous plain toe Blacksmith — all made in the USA.
Who should buy the Red Wing Moc Toe
- Patina-loving guys who want boots that look great as they age
- Men who like wearing boots loved by Hollywood actors, warehouse workers, and everyone in between
- Freedom-loving Americans who want a boot that’s Made in the USA
Who shouldn’t buy the Red Wing Moc Toe
The break-in is not fun on a Red Wing boot, but once that leather softens up, you’ve got boots for a long, long, long time, and they’re American as all hell.
[Watch my Red Wing moc toe review]
3. Parkhurst – Delaware ($298)
Not a lot of people know about Parkhurst. They were only founded in 2018, but they make very solid boots here in the United States — upstate New York, to be precise. I’ve reviewed two of them and while one is over $300 their Delaware boot just slides into this list at $298.
Parkhurst Delaware Highlights
Why are they good? Similar to Thursday boots, they do a great job of combining the dress boot and work boot. It’s sturdier than one and slimmer than the other, so it’s a very versatile boot. It’s also totally made in the United States near Buffalo and they’re extra water resistant because they’re made with a split reverse welt, which is similar to a Goodyear welt: it’s still resoleable, but the welt curves onto the boot’s upper, doing a better job at keeping water out of the interior.
Resoleable, versatile, water resistant, made in the US, great leathers, water-resistant, and under 300 bucks. They’re worth checking out.
Who should buy Parkhurst’s Delaware?
- Guys who a versatile boot that looks good for most occasions
- Men who want a great boot that’s made in the USA
- Anyone who benefits from a very water-resistant boot
Who shouldn’t buy Parkhurst’s Delaware?
- People who are particular to the exact style and color they want, as Parkhurst as limited colors and stock.
- Wide-footed boot lovers who also might suffer from a limited stock
I managed to finagle a discount code for Parkhurst which usually works, when there aren’t too many people using it. Try “stride10” at checkout for 10 percent off of any of their shoes except for the made to order versions.
[Watch my Parkhurst Delaware review]
4. Grant Stone – Chelsea Boot ($280)
Grant Stone is a groundbreaking footwear company that is widely considered to make Alden-level quality shoes for about $200 less than you’d expect to pay for Alden. That’s because they’re made in China, and while I know that might bug some purists, 100% of people who have handled and worn their boots swear they could be made in Italy.
Grant Stone Chelsea Boot Highlights
While they’re made in China they use outstanding materials, including welts from Massachusetts, lining from Milwaukee, and leathers are all from really famous European and American tanneries like CF Stead and Horween.
Many of their boots are over $300 but if you get the Waxy Commander leather on these Chelseas, they’ll run you $280. Make sure you check out the rest of their boots, where there are a lot of options (like their suede boots) for under $300.
These Chelseas are sturdy and traditionally made with a leather midsole and insole, exceptionally rare at this pricepoint and a real hallmark of more expensive boots.
Who should buy the Grant Stone Chelsea Boot
- You want a solidly constructed boot at a very good value
- Guys who need good arch support
Who shouldn’t buy the Grant Stone Chelsea Boot
- People who have had problems with boots that are Made in China (if that’s an issue)
These boots are exceptionally well crafted, heavy-duty feeling boots, but they are still very modern and don’t look like they belong on a warehouse floor. Grant Stone is an exceptionally cool company.
[Watch my Grant Stone Chelsea review]
5. Thorogood – Moc Toe ($205)
But what if you want boots that belong on a warehouse floor? People have a lot of opinions about when a boot is good for work, and when a boot is more workwear inspired, but the best balance of form and function, it seems, is the classic Thorogood moc toe.
Thorogood Moc Toe Highlights
Any time I mention workboots on my YouTube channel, commenters jump in saying this is their favorite boot for warehouse work, roofing, plumbing, and everything in between.
The sole is the MAXwear Wedge Outsole, which Thorogood designed to be more resistant to wear than your standard Vibram Cristy soles. (25 percent more longlasting, in fact.) The sole is also resistant to a degree of electrical shock, plus it’s oil and it’s slip resistant — all important qualities for work. Adding to that tough outsole is a rubber midsole, a poron insole, and a removable Dual Density Ultimate Shock Absorption™ Insert, so the shock absorption is absolutely phenomenal.
It’s also got a storm welt and full grain leather, so, it’s water resistant, resoleable, and the boots look pretty good as they age. It’s not the best quality leather on Earth, but it’s a fantastic boot.
Who should buy the Thorogood Moc Toe?
- You want a good work boot that you can wear out on the town
- Anyone who wants a water-resistant, resoleable boot
- Guys who want great shock absorption
Who shouldn’t buy the Thorogood Moc Toe?
- Men who dislike the branding and flag
So, overall, it’s a good boot. It’s inexpensive, work-friendly, and it’s got a little flag on it.
[Watch my Thorogood moc toe review]
6. Beckett Simonon – Dowler ($229)
Beckett Simonon boots are made to order from Colombia, and with my discount code STRIDE, the price drops from $229 down to $183.20. But even without it, it’s very solid value.
Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots Highlights
My Dowler boots have a leather outsole, midsole, and insole, and when you’ve got all three layers of the sole made from leather it’s tremendously comfortable. The boot comes with a shank to further help stability and arch support, the leather is Italian calf, and I’m a big fan of the design: it’s a nice balance of dressy and casual, but it’s not as pointed at the toe as Thursday Boot Company or Parkhurst.
The main downside is that it takes two or three months for the boots to arrive at your door because they are made-to-order. This keeps the price low because it saves on manufacturing, storage, and so on. But if you’re comfortable with the wait, you can save serious green with Beckett Simonon.
Who should buy Beckett Simonon’s Dowler Boots?
- Guys who want to save as much money as they can on a nice pair of boots
- Men who need a versatile boot that works for most occasions
- Anyone who enjoys the comfort of leather outsoles and insoles
Who shouldn’t buy Beckett Simonon’s Dowler Boots?
- Impatient consumers who can’t deal with the lengthy order time
- Guys who only want Goodyear welts; these are Blake stitched, but they’re still resoleable
So you get a great price, but you have to wait a while to get them. That’s a fair tradeoff to a lot of guys.
[Watch my Beckett Simonon review]
7. Oliver Cabell – Chelsea ($248)
I have two pairs of Oliver Cabell boots and these are my favorites. As with most of the companies on this list, Oliver Cabell is a direct to consumer business, so they save money by not having any brick and mortar stores. But they’re not made to order like Beckett Simonon, so you don’t have to wait as long.
Oliver Cabell’s Chelsea Highlights
This is a great pick if you want a casual, slip-on-and-go boot. The Italian suede is soft and comfy, the boot’s lined with surprisingly durable vegetable tanned leather, and what really makes one think of these boots as casual and sneaker-like is the crepe outsole. Far softer than Red Wing’s crepe, this is spongy to the touch and almost slipper-like. You immediately get an imprint of dirt on the outsole but if you’re comfortable with that, these are the best boots from Oliver Cabell.
Who should buy the Oliver Cabell Chelsea?
- Men who appreciate Italian leather
- Guys who want a nice, soft outsole
- Customers looking for casual Chelseas
Who shouldn’t buy the Oliver Cabell Chelsea?
- Anyone who wants an easily resoleable boot
- Guys who don’t want to deal with suede that needs protecting
- Those with wide feet; these are a tad on the narrow side
These are fun, simple boots with soft suede, a soft outsole, and no break in.
8. Taft – Jack boot ($275)
Let’s get a little weird. Taft is a company known for its unusual, standout boots and while they are unusual, they have such a wide range of weird that you’re likely to find the kind of weird that you can pull off. (If I were running their advertising, I’d make their slogan “Find Your Weird.”)
Taft Jack Boot Highlights
Their signature boot is the Jack boot. It’s not a leather boot, rather it’s made of wool with leather toecaps and counters.
These are fun boots that are great with jeans, but I’ll also find myself reaching for them when I’m wearing a blue suit or blazer at not-too-formal event. I understand that woolen boots can be divisive, but these boots grow on you — and if they don’t, there are about a dozen different Jack boots on sale at Taft that will certainly be able to work for you.
If you want something a little daring, Taft will have something for you.
Who should buy Taft’s Jack boots?
- Fashionable guys who want an eye-catching pair of boots
- Guys looking for a boot with a soft outsole
Who shouldn’t buy Taft’s Jack boots?
- More traditional guys who prefer the simple look
- Wide footed men; Taft boots are definitely on the narrow side
The Jack boot and Taft’s second most popular boot, the Rome boot, are only 275 bucks.
[Watch my Taft Jack boot review]
9. John Doe Shoes – 420 boot ($217)
John Doe Shoes is a shoe company down in Mexico that do made-to-order shoes, so expect about a month’s wait. Many of their boots are under $200 and all of them are under $300.
John Doe Shoes 420 Boot Highlights
This boot is the 420 boot in Chromepak, a chrome tanned leather from Horween Leather Company in Chicago. It’s well made with a steel shank, leather midsole, leather insole, and leather lining.
But you can get boots from these guys with Red Wing’s SB Foot leather, in a huge range of Horween leathers (like green Chromexcel), calf leathers from Tannerie D’annonay, and even shark leather. All of these are under $230.
The two big downsides of these extremely inexpensive boots are they take about a month to arrive and their website is absolute garbage. It’s super hard to navigate, even though they’re an online company. But if you’re patient, it’s a good buy.
Who should buy John Doe Shoes 420 Boot
- Leather dudes who love a wide range of options, including exotics like shark hide
- Anyone who loves a good value
Who shouldn’t buy John Doe Shoes 420 Boot
- Guys who find it hard to use poorly designed websites
- Impatient people who can’t deal with a lengthy order time
John Doe Shoes have no marketing or web design budget but they do put all their money into making good boots with famous leathers. They’re worth the work you need to put in to get them.
[Watch my John Doe Shoes review]
10. Urban Shepherd – Original Natural ($225)
I own no boots that are like the Urban Shepherd Original.
Urban Shepherd Original Natural Highlights
They’re made in Portugal and while a lot of boots are made in Portugal, they really deliberately made them… Portuguese. They’re made a fifth-generation owned workshop in Benedita, the traditional home of Portuguese shoemaking, and they’re modeled after traditional Portuguese boots worn by shepherds and farmers and masons in the mountains of Portugal. Notice that the toe isn’t round or sleek. It’s kind of oblong.
The calfskin is undyed as well, which makes for a great patina. The sole is a super soft one from Vibram called the 2656 Cape Town Gumlite. It’s true that some guys don’t like the red stitching the boot uses, but I think this is a boot that’s a good balance of unusual and understated. If you want something a bit different but not weird, they’re pretty cool.
Who should buy the Urban Shepherd Original Natural Highlights
- Guys who want a unique look, but not an over-the-top, weird look
- Anyone who wants a soft outsole
- Men who appreciate a lightweight pair of boots
Who shouldn’t buy the Urban Shepherd Original Natural Highlights
- You fall into the group that dislikes the red stitching
- Guys who prioritize durability may be skeptical of this ultra soft outsole; a resole probably won’t be far away
If you really hate the red stitching and oblong toe, note this company also has a service boot called the Backroad Brown, but I dig these “Original” boots. And if you use my code “PROBTIMSW,” you get some free wax for waxing the leather, which ups the water-resistance and deepens the patina.
[Watch my Urban Shepherd review]
11. Rhodes – Dean Boot ($220)
Rhodes boots are made by Huckberry, an online men’s store that sells a wide variety of adventure- and heritage-focused brands. But, they do make a few things themselves, and one of those things in the Rhodes Dean Boot.
Rhodes Dean Boot Highlights
First off, the Dean boot has some nice rugged looking leather that appears to be designed to age quickly, which is great if you want a pair of rough, well-worn looking boots. Of course, it means you’re not going to wear these on formal or dressy occasions but hey, that’s how a lot of guys like their boots.
The Dean boots have a versatile silhouette and cool looking leather and they’re very inexpensive. The main downside is that they don’t have great shock absorption, but they’re not much worse than a Red Wing Iron Ranger or Blacksmith in that regard. They feel old fashioned.
[SHOP RHODES BOOT HERE]
Who should buy the Rhodes Dean Boot?
- Guys looking for great value
- Anyone who likes a rugged looking leather
- You need good arch support
Who shouldn’t buy the Rhodes Dean Boot?
- Guys who want boots that can dress up as well as down
- Heavier guys, or guys who walk a lot and will notice the lack of good shock absorption
These are decent boots for a decent price. Even with the slight roughness to the boot, I can’t fault them too much. I will mention again that I personally prefer the Thursday boots because they’re twenty bucks cheaper, but if you like a fast patina and a rugged look then you’ll be happy with these.
[Watch my Rhodes review]
12. Meermin – Country Calf ($250)
Meermin is a Spanish shoe company from Mallorca and is a well-recognized name among boot aficionados.
Meermin Country Calf Highlights
This is the company’s most popular derby boot, and the real standout feature is the leather. They use a remarkable French calf leather that has a really interesting pebble grain texture embossed onto it. Usually, pebble grain denotes an informal boot but the design of this boot is fairly formal, making for a kind of chameleon of a shoe.
It’s fully lined with calf leather as well and the midsole is vegetable tanned leather, which will conform to the shape of your foot over time.
Who should buy the Mermin Country Calf Boot?
- Men who want eye-catching boots with a unique leather
- Anyone who may benefit from the water-resistant, easy to resole storm welt
- Budget-conscious guys who want a decent price
Who shouldn’t buy the Mermin Country Calf Boot?
- The double rubber sole isn’t very flexible, so guys who prioritize sneaker-y comfort may not love these
- Conservative types who don’t want a funky pebble grain
[Watch my Meermin review]
These are inexpensive boots and if you already have a workboot and dress boot, these could round out wardrobe as a fun boot.
13. Mark Albert – Outrider ($259)
Mark Albert is a relatively new boot company and they’re notable for making most of their boots in the USA (some are made in Italy) and many, including the Outrider I reviewed, sell for under $300.
Mark Albert Highlights
Take their Outrider boot. It retails at $400, which isn’t bad for a boot sporting what they call “waxy distressed leather,” full 360-degree Goodyear welt construction, and Vibram 430 soles. But you can buy it for $259, which is a steal if they happen to have your size.
Who should buy Mark Albert Boots?
- People who want a high-quality, made in the USA boot
- Men who want a lot of bang for their buck
- Guys who are intrigued by the leather-poron insole, which adds durability to the shock absorbing poron
Who shouldn’t buy Mark Albert Boots?
- You may run into issues with limited sizes and availability
[Watch my Mark Albert Review review]
Mark Albert really does make some fantastic boots for the price point. The biggest downsides here are that it’s a small company so they don’t always keep every size and model in stock. Still, they’re under $300 and made in America with American leather.
14. Indonesian Boots
I couldn’t make a list of sub-$300 boots without mentioning Indonesian boot brands like Txture and Junkard that make so many amazing boots for under $300. To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, get our complete guide to the best Indonesian boot brands.
Here’s a summary.
Indonesian Boots Highlights
Boots made in Indonesia are amazing. The prices are fantastic. The craftsmanship is world-class. The selection and customization options are endless. I could go on and on about how much I like Indonesian boots, but I’ll just highlight a few here.
Take the brand Txture, which sells a wide variety of boots ranging from 270 to 410 bucks. Starting at $270, you can buy a pair of leather-lined, handmade, Goodyear welted Chelsea Boots. Their boots are a nice balance between dressy and casual, so you get a very well-crafted, versatile boot for a good price.
Then there’s Junkard, who makes just about everything under the sun: they have Shell Cordovan boots from world class tanneries for hundreds of dollars less than you’d pay in the US, but they also have dressy boots, fun and casual moc-toes, and everything in between. You can get made to order boots with a dozen different leathers but if you navigate to their shop you’ll see the NVM moc toe (below) plus Chelsea boots and their bestselling SC plain toe service boots for well under $300.
The major downside that these boots have to come all the way from Indonesia and are typically made to order, meaning you’ll wait months to receive your pair.
Who should buy Boots Made in Indonesia?
- Boot nerds who want to try something unusual and amazing
- Cost-conscious buyers who want to get a level of craftsmanship at a great price that’s nearly impossible to achieve with other brands
- Someone who doesn’t mind waiting for a great MTO boot
Who shouldn’t buy Boots Made in Indonesia?
- Anyone who is impatient or doesn’t have 6 weeks to 2 months to get a pair of very nice boots
- Those who are squeamish about ordering via Whatsapp; a lot of these brands (though not all of them) don’t actually have functioning websites. Again, check out our guide to Indonesian boot brands to find one you like.
Indonesian boots have come at a great price with tons of customizability. The best of them can keep up with the best heritage footwear from around the world. I’m looking forward to my next purchase.
Wrapping it up
We’re living at a pretty amazing time if you’re a boot lover. The world is a lot smaller, so it’s possible to buy handmade Indonesian boots made with American leather for less than 300 bucks. Or you can buy some fantastic Italian calfskin from Columbia, as with the Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots, or boots made in China with British leather, like Grant Stone. In other words, we’re lucky that there are so many great companies out there using innovative methods to keep prices low and quality high. I hope this list helps you find that perfect boot for you at a price that works.
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