EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated with a 1-year progress report.
In the spring and summer months, Aldi is all about camping. Come fall, the camping goods pass out of the stores, but that doesn’t mean life outdoors is over. Quite the opposite: as temperatures drop, the weather is perfect for getting outside.
Aldi has something for that.
The Adventuridge Men’s Hiker Boots, an Aldi Special Buy (ALDI Find), retail for $18.99, which is a lot less than most hiking footwear we’ve seen. These “boots” — they look and feel like hiking shoes — come in men’s and women’s varieties. The men’s version comes in sizes 9-11 and in either tan or gray, while the ladies’ model comes in sizes 7-9 with gray as the only color. We tested the men’s version.
These shoes boast several key features. The outside is made of genuine leather and mesh, with a TPR sole on the bottom. The outside claims to be water-repellent. Rounding out the outer part of the shoes are what appear to be nylon laces as well as pull tabs on the back of the heel.
On the inside, the shoes have a memory foam insole and an anti-microbial treated lining.
My first impression is that they’re pretty comfortable. The sizing is about right (something not true of all Aldi footwear) and the memory foam does the job well. These feel snug without being too cramped — about on par with other shoes I’ve purchased before being properly broken in. They feel a littler firmer and thicker on the underside than traditional tennis shoes, which gives them a little more support on uneven ground.
Helpfully, it rained pretty hard the day I bought the shoes, which gave me a chance to test out the water repellent claim. On that front, they did pretty good, actually: I stepped through some pretty deep puddles and my socks only got a little damp in a couple of isolated places. In dew or other milder water situations, I would expect them to stay more or less dry.
I also had a chance to do some preliminary testing at a nearby nature reserve. I wore them all day, and they were comfortable and well-suited for the day. The best compliment I can give them is that I eventually forgot I was wearing them.
I don’t have enough time with them to know about durability — my biggest problem with non-name brand shoes. It’s too early to tell how long these shoes will last, but I’ll be updating this review as time goes on.
UPDATE (November 2019): A little over a year later, the boots are still holding up reasonably well. They have a little wear from use, and the memory foam isn’t quite as springy as it once was, but on the whole the shoes are still in good shape after occasional outdoor use.
For a low price, Aldi’s Adventuridge Hiker
Boots Shoes deliver a comfortable ride and do a good job of supporting the feet and keeping the socks dry. Durability remains an uncertainty, but for a person looking for some cheap hiking footwear, these are definitely worth a look.