Best Budget Hiking Shoes From Decathlon
After 6-8 months of testing, I wanted to share my full in-depth review on these, Quechua MH100 budget-friendly hiking shoes, from Decathlon. I have done plenty of backpacking with them in the Pyrenees Mountains along the GR10 and GR78 trails. I even use them almost daily to go explore local forests and to collect my weekly groceries.
When it comes to testing the grip of these shoes, I’ve walked on a variety of different surfaces and in many contrasting climates, for example, in the deep snow of winter, along local muddy trails, in wet weather conditions, heavy summer rains, across rivers, wet slippery rocks, dry arid climates, and down steep gravel trails.
For context, my previous shoes were from Karrimor, they were a lightweight pair of trainers and my trusty leather Hi-Tec hiking boots, which will be useful for some perspective.
These Quechua shoes do claim to be waterproof but I will explain if this is true or false from my real-world testing.
Let’s start off with their features.
Quechua MH100 Hiking Shoes Specifications
Durability vs Weight
I have found the materials of these Quechua MH100 shoes to be quite durable for the price.
I've taken these shoes along densely packed bramble pathways, on sharp rocky unmarked trails in the mountains and personally, I find the materials are fairly durable.
The soles of the Quechua MH100 shoes could be improved because after several months of testing the souls have been starting to wear out, but again at this price point, you usually don't find long-lasting rubber compounds.
For the money, I think the shoes offer a great comprise on weight versus the cost, they are definitely lightweight shoes, especially when I compare them to my previous hiking boots.
I enjoy using these shoes for trail running and for mountain hiking because they have decent grip and they are lightweight.
Water Resistance and Breathability
The breathability of these shoes is adequate at most, but often at times, I find it could be improved.
When you have a hot humid day these shoes don't breathe very well, but they are nowhere near as bad as wearing fully sealed snow boots or rubber boots, on a hot summer day.
I noticed serval times when I went backpacking for either a week or a few nights. Whenever the shoes would eventually get wet from a full day of hiking in the rain, they didn't dry very well during the night while we were camping.
If we had a very dry evening then I would have dry shoes in the morning.
But on the contrary, if we had rain during the night even with my shoes in the vestibule of the tent, my shoes would more often than not, still be soaking wet.
If you are camping and backpacking with these shoes, I would highly recommend taking a pair of flip-flops or sandals.
For example, during the evening you can wear flip-flops and then let your hiking shoes ventilated during the night.
When I first bought these shoes, they were advertised as being waterproof. Several months later I noticed that decathlon changed the wording on their website and in their stores.
This is probably due to customer feedback.
They were marketed as being waterproof shoes but in my experience, I found that the water-resistant coating or materials that they use with these shoes are not waterproof.
They can however repel water for around 1-2 hours in heavy rain, and to increase their impermeability you can spray them with a water resistance coating, which in my experience did improve their impermeability.
When it comes to marketing and reality there is a big difference between waterproof and water-resistant.
In my opinion water resistance applies only when it might raining or if the product is exposed to water for short periods of time, for example, short river crossings or puddles.
Waterproof on the other hand literally by definition means fully water-resistant or fully impermeable against water.
Several months later I have purchased another pair of shoes from decathlon. They are snowshoes called the SH520’s from Quechua.
But these other shoes are advertised as snow hiking boots, which by definition should be, resistant against snow, so in my testing I found these other boots to be far more water-resistant, plus they are still semi-breathable.
It really depends on what you're looking for these days, there's a lot of choice on the market, for many different shoes ranging from super cheap all the way to extremely expensive.
I found in my testing these shoes do strike a good balance between low cost and good value for money.
Comfort and Cost
A major plus side with these shoes is the comfort. Personally, I find the padding inside the shoe is really comfortable.
The only downside with these shoes is that they don't have high tops. This means you are more likely to pick up small bits of gravel or debris that can impact your comfort level with these shoes.
I recommend using gators with these shoes to prevent sand or dirt from entering the shoes.
But it's important to remember that not all shoes have high tops, and it depends on if you are wanting a shoe that weighs less and provides no ankle support.
The cost of these shoes is decent for what you are getting, especially when you can find them on a special offer.
Pros vs Cons
For the price, I am impressed at what you're getting for the money.
Personally, I find Decathlon create great value products compared to many other brands on the market.
The Quechua MH100 hiking shoes are in my opinion comfortable for long periods of time.
But there are a few compromises to mention with these budget-friendly shoes.
I would recommend changing the laces.
Because many times I have found that the lacing seems to slowly unravel with each passing hour, even if I double knot them, and another budget cut with these shoes are the soles.
I think they aren't very long-lasting but this is probably due to the overall price.
On the flip side, I think the traction of the shoes on the first 4 months of ownership was fantastic.
But once I reached the 5th or 6th month of ownership, I noticed that the soles started to smooth out.
Keep in mind I don't only use these just for backpacking adventures, I use these shoes alongside my other daily life.
I run almost every week around 10 to 15k, and I go out for long walks almost daily.
The wear and tear of these shoes probably come down to the user and how often you plan to use them.
After several months of ownership, the shoe’s traction is slowly degrading, but they still provide adequate grip.
Much of the wear and tear could be from when I run down local tarmac roads.
But to be fair wear and tear does happen with most shoes on the market. Eventually, all shoes get smooth soles, it definitely depends on the compound that they've used for the sole of the shoe.
I do recommend these shoes, especially if you can find them on offer at Decathlon.
They are lightweight, fairly durable, can tolerate rain for up to 2 hours, you can wear them for a long period of time with minimal blisters and they offer decent traction for the price.
But it's important to remember that these are not completely waterproof shoes, and they take hours to dry out, the comfort can vary from person to person and the laces should be swapped out.
Even with these caveats I still think decathlon are making a good value pair of shoes for the money.
Decathlon stores are almost available worldwide, which means you can probably buy these shoes almost anywhere in the world.
The shoes do come with a 2-year warranty but it's hard to put a warranty on shoes, because if something goes wrong and it's a manufacturing error then you can generally get them fixed under your warranty.
But everyday wear and tear on shoes is treated as normal. It’s usually faster than other products on the market that come with warranties.
If you're looking for something even more budget-friendly, I highly recommend having a look at Decathlon's Quechua NH100 hiking shoes.
The NH100’s usually cost half the price of these shoes and they might do the job depending on what you're looking for.
If you're planning a backpacking adventure for several days or weeks I think these hiking shoes would suffice, especially for Spring, Summer and Autumn weather.
Also if you’re looking for a pair of shoes to do local walks in forests or up in the high mountains for the weekend, then I can recommend these shoes.
But in winter or wet weather climates with snow or perhaps ice, then I would not recommend you to buy these hiking shoes.
Alternatively have a look at the Quechua SH520 X-Warm snow boots, for better water resistance.