Best Men’s Boots Under $300: Premium & Rugged Footwear 2018

Best Men’s Boots Under $300: Premium & Rugged Footwear 20182018-10-11T11:05:07+00:00

It’s very exciting when you have the opportunity to splash out on a pair of luxury boots. However, investing $300 into footwear is a commitment and you want to make sure that you don’t waste your money!

As such, we’ve compiled this list featuring the very Best Men’s Boots Under $300:

  1. Insulated Boot: Johnston & Murphy Shearling
  2. Made In USA: Danner Bull Run Christy
  3. Blucher Boot: Johnston & Murphy Bryston
  4. Wingtip Chukka: Wolverine Harwell
  5. Wingtip Boot: Ecco Vitrus
  6. Moc Toe: Red Wing Heritage

If there’s a boot listed above that you like, use the links to jump ahead. We’ll also be covering what to expect from boots in a $300 budget.

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Quick Buyer’s Guide

Short on time and just want to buy the boots? Use the Quick Buy Guide below to head to the retailers. However, we’d recommend that you read about them further down first.

Blucher Boot

Johnston & Murphy Forrester Shearling Boot

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Work Boot

Danner Bull Run Christy Winter Boot

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Blucher Boot

Johnston & Murphy Bryson Cap Toe Boot

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Wingtip Chukka

Wolverine Harwell Wingtip Chukka

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Brogue Boot

ECCO Vitrus I Wingtip Boot

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Moc Toe Boot

Red Wing Heritage Moc Toe Boot

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What Are The Best Men’s Boots Under $300?

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1. Johnston & Murphy Shearling [Blucher Boot]

Johnston & Murphy Forrester Shearling Boot
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Overview

Now here’s the perfect boot for the colder seasons. Made from burnished Italian calfskin leather, the shaft and tongue are lined with genuine shearling. With its storm welt construction, this addition to Johnston & Murphy’s 1850 Collection is notable boot.

How To Wear

As we mentioned above, these are boots for the colder months. They’ll look great in both casual and business casual settings. However, throw on some tweed with a wool overcoat and they’ll fit right in with vintage-inspired business attire.

Best Colors

Although only available in brown, we find that it’s an ideal leather colour for the design. The balmoral cap toe adds an element of formality to make it more permissible for dressier circumstances.

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2. Danner Bull Run Christy [Made In The USA]

Danner Bull Run Christy Winter Boot
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Overview

A delightfully retro workwear-inspired boot, these are great for casual use. Danner was founded in 1932 and continues to produce much of its footwear from its Portland, Oregon factory. These are a wonderful specimen of old Americana style.

How To Wear

As a F2892-11 approved soft toe safety boot, you could wear these for work. However, we think that they’re so stunning that they’re perfect with jeans and a check shirt for casual wear.

Best Colors

Despite being only made in brown, you can add a little flair to these boots by treating the oiled leather. Treating them with polish or oil will darken them but you can let them age for a vintage distressed look.

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3. Johnston & Murphy Bryson [Blucher Boot]

Johnston & Murphy Bryson Cap Toe Boot
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Overview

Another boot from Johnston & Murphy’s 1850 Collection, the Bryson makes an excellent alternative to the lined shearling Forrester boot. If you want an artisanally-styled boot for throughout the year, these are a great pick.

How To Wear

The handcrafted Italian leather has been dip-dyed and washed to create its unique artisanal appearance. The resulting vintage aesthetic makes them ideal for casual wear but they could be made somewhat dressier with a tweed sport jacket and chinos.

Best Colors

For something slightly dressier, there’s a matte black leather finish, which appears closer to grey in colour. However, we prefer the brown’s burnished finish that is a much more versatile boot.

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4. Wolverine Harwell [Chukka Boot]

Wolverine Harwell Wingtip Chukka
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Overview

The Hallwell’s are a unique specimen from Wolverine’s 1000-Mile Collection. Its unusual marriage of brogues and chukka boots renders them stylish and eye-catching. Made with a Goodyear welt construction, they’re a very affordable high-quality boot.

How To Wear

As they’re made from full-grain leather, these are boots that can be worn relatively formally with the right attire. However, they lean closer to the business casual end of the spectrum. Consider sporting them in more casual working environments or when going out.

Best Colors

Due to brown accents in the black boot’s midsole, it’s always going to be more casual than formal. We prefer the brown boots but they look great in either shade.

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5. Ecco Vitrus I [Wingtip Boot]

ECCO Vitrus I Wingtip Boot
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Overview

Featuring Ecco’s proprietary Fluidform technology, these are very comfortable boots indeed. They’re made from unfinished calf crust leather that’s hand-buffed and polished for a distressed and vintage look.

How To Wear

With its artisanal look, these wingtips boots remain relatively casual. However, you can effortlessly sport them with business casual attire if you adjust your wardrobe accordingly.

Best Colors

There’s a somewhat more formal black boot that’s wearable in dressier situations. However, we prefer the versatility of the “nature” brown leather.

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6. Red Wing 1907 Heritage [Moc-Toe Boot]

Red Wing Heritage Moc Toe Boot
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Overview

From Red Wings Heritage comes another US-made boot. Made in Minnesota with SB Foot Tanning Company leather, they exude a wonderfully old-school style that looks great with the right wardrobe.

How To Wear

With its artisanal look and moccasin-style toe, these are very casual boots indeed. We’d wear them with jeans and a wool shirt. However, they’re well-adapted to outdoor activities such as hiking.

Best Colors

There’s a pebbled black leather, which although more formal, will be hard to wear. Otherwise, there’s a mid-brown suede and dark briar brown. However, we really do like the Copper & Tough leather thanks to the contrast in the uppers, welt and sole.

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What To Expect From $300 Boots

As we outlined in our other boot guides for various budgets, investing in premium boots may feel expensive in the short-run. However, it provides long-term value for money.

Allen Edmonds Dalton Wingtip Boots

As your boots will last considerably longer, you’ll actually spend less over time. Superior boots should also require less maintenance and will unlikely need to be replaced over many years.

Meanwhile, boots under $100 risk being made using construction methods that prevent you from recrafting the soles. Similarly, the quality of the materials may cause them to wear down faster.

By raising your budget to $300, you are able to access a much greater range of materials and construction methods. Furthermore, you may be able to buy boots made in the USA rather than imported from Asia.

Therefore, without further ado, let’s take a look at what you can expect from boots under $300.

Quality Leather Uppers

Rolles Of Horween Leather HidesOnce over the $200 threshold, your budget will grant access to high quality leathers. At this point, you’re in the medium to high-end market.

Therefore, you can expect to see more boots made from full-grain leather, which is one of the highest grades. Since its from nearer the leather hide’s back, it features fewer veins and blemishes.

Furthermore, the tighter fibres of the leather means that it will take many years to wear down and will be more resistant to the elements.

You’ll also be able to afford nicer leather types such as calfskin, which has a supple quality and smooth texture.

As the leather is the most expensive material used to make boots, you’re unlikely to find these on lower budgets. If you do find a pair, it might be worth asking its origin!

Better leather isn’t just a luxury item. In fact, it’s much more comfortable and allows the feet to breathe.

Shoe Construction

Goodyear-Welt-Shoe-Construction-Graphic

Furthermore, a $300 budget means that you can buy boots made using more labour-intensive construction methods.

Rather than cemented soles and superficial stitching, you’ll be able to get boots made using at least a Blake Stitch but ideally a Goodyear welt.

Blake stitching is quite a common construction method but is quite reliable. While cheaper boots under $200 will feature the more economical McKay method, the $300 budget usually consists of Rapid Construction footwear.

The Rapid Construction method is a hybrid of the Blake stitch and Goodyear welt. It’s quite durable and allows you to recraft the soles several times over.

However, Goodyear welts become more common in this price range. This costly process is often regarded as the best method for constructing boots.

Therefore, if you find a pair of Goodyear welted boots for under $300, they’re likely worth it.

You can learn more about these different techniques with our shoe construction guide.

Sole Quality

Sole Of Bison BootAs we mention in our other guides, the type of sole used for a boot will often be a question of personal preference. There are men that prefer the traction offered by rubber while the elegance of leather is often admired too.

Nevertheless, not all soles are made equal and some are more expensive to make than others. Naturally, rubber soles are the cheapest to make but they’re also more durable.

Meanwhile, leather soles require several layers that are glued, stitched or nailed together. This is most noticeable in a stacked heel where you can see the layers of leather.

Cheaper boots will often make rubber heels with lines to give the illusion of stacked leather. Of course, this will be the cheapest approach.

However, there’s also a compromise that gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll sometimes see boots with leather soles featuring rubber inserts.

These rubber inserts will provide traction and protect the leather from wearing. Yet, you’ll still benefit from the aesthetic and breathability of the leather sole.

Handcrafted Components

Tan-Shoe-Being-Machine-BuffedWhile there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to buy handmade boots with this budget, they become much more common.

Although the boot might not be made by hand in its entirety, there may be components that feature hand-stitching or finishing touches at the very least.

Not only is this a luxury but the shoes will likely be of better quality. For instance, hand-stitching is slower and more costly than machine stitching. However, it’s tighter and more robust with closer stitches.

Furthermore, the quality control with handmade shoes is much more attentive. Therefore, it tends to be quite reliable and reassuring.

As handmade boots require skilled artisans to make, the shoes you wear will be authentic and the product of a tight-knit workshop rather than a huge factory.

Are Sub $300 Boots Worth It?

As we stress time and again, the amount you invest in boots tends to be proportional to the number of miles you’ll be able to walk in them. While there are indeed some fine boots under $200, $300 boots tend to be a cut above.

This is because the price point is a veritable threshold and a gateway to the luxury market. If you’re careful in selecting your boots from reputable brands that offer both style and quality, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed in your choice.

However, what about the budgets beyond $300? Regular boots over $300 are rarer but we have covered luxury dress boots. If you’re curious to learn what you can get for this budget, head to our dedicated guide to the best dress boots under $500.

What Next?

Now that you have read about the best men’s boots under $300, consider checking out some of our other related shoe guides:

Best Boots Under $300 Guide
Reviewed by Nicholas J.., on .
"Fantastic boots. Love the selection of boots that I can pick up for less than $300."
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

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