NORTIV8 Armadillo 2 Boots

Nortiv8 Armadillo 2 Boots Review

The best hiking boots for under $100

October 10, 2023 – If you’re searching for the best hiking boots under for $100, we recommend the Nortiv8 Armadillo 2. This recently updated model is already a best seller on Amazon. It’s lightweight, tough, waterproof, breathable, and seemingly has no major flaws despite the impressively low price point.

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  • Price: $50.99
  • Weight: 22.4 oz (M’s Size 12)
  • Fit: Runs a bit large and wide
  • Pros: Very affordable. High performance-to-price ratio. Waterproof. Lightweight. Durable. No break-in required.
  • Cons: Shallow lugs. Hot and clammy when used in warm weather. Inexpensive gear is prone to losing its waterproofness.

side view of Nortiv8 armadillo 2 hiking boots

Construction, Features, & Fit

Performance and build-wise, Nortiv8 Armadillo 2 is in every way your standard issue hiking boots – only they costs about half to a quarter as much as what you’ll find from premium name brands like Merrell, Keen, Salomon, and La Sportiva. From their waterproof construction, to their faux-leather finish, they blends in with the best of the best.

Armadillo’s height is somewhere between mid-top and heigh-top. A waterproof/breathable barrier lines the boot, covered entirely by mesh fabric, and reinforced with large swathes of faux leather at high wear-and-tear spots. This increases durability and create a finished look.

Nortiv8 does not provide info or stats about their waterproof technology or how these shoes achieve this. A label on the boots themselves says waterproof, while the Nortiv8 website refers to them as water-resistant. This is likely an attempt at under-promising and over-delivering, which benefits customers. More on this in the testing section, but we have found them to be sufficiently waterproof.

The downside to all waterproof footwear, even the best of the best, is that it’s hotter, clammier, and sweatier than non-waterproof shoes and boots which breath and vent heat better. That’s why we generally prefer hiking in non-waterproof trail running shoes. As such we don’t recommend these for hiking in hot/dry conditions, as the build would just be overkill.

The rubber outsole has all the right patterns to grip soil, but the shallow lugs prevent it from truly digging in. We would describe the traction as good-not-great.

As noted in the intro, we found these boots run a bit large, though likely not in a way that requires buyers to change their sizing. But in terms of length, width, and volume throughout the boot, there is plenty of room to spare. The men’s size 12 I tested felt more like a 12.25. If you are exactly in between sizes, you might want to size down.

outsole tread


We’ve been testing the Nortiv8 Armadillo 2 boots to find out how waterproof and functional they really are. Thus far, we’ve been impressed. And as an aside, they were immediately comfortably out of the box, no break-in period required.

Through dirt, rain, mud, and jump splashing into 5″ deep puddles, they’ve kept our socks remarkably dry. This is surprising, because budget gear waterproofing is famous for falling short, and these have not yet failed us. That being said, at time of publication they’re new and we have no information or opinions on their long-term durability, or long-term waterproofness.

Traction has been okay, but it’s not their strong suit. Walking on most trails has been good, but the combination of steep + muddy has felt a bit treacherous, as it usually does in all but the grippiest of shoes. That said, these are plenty sufficient for most hiking scenarios.

The Armadillos are generally comfy to wear, though we noticed a hot spot begin to form as the back of the boot rubbed against the lower Achilles tendon. That’s common with boots, so no big surprise. But something to watch out for.

close up on mesh upper and laces

Nortiv8 Armadillo 2 Boots Review Verdict

The Nortiv8 Armadillo 2 offer a lot of hiking boot for only a little money. And everywhere we look, they seem to be on sale. With no major flaws or failures in our testing, we find these to be a really good value buy, perfect for anyone shopping to gear up on a budget.

Compare to more great hiking footwear in our guide to the best trail shoes for hiking.

NORTIV8 Armadillo 2
birds eye view of nortiv8 armadillo 2 hiking boots