I'm not too sure any of the name brands are "cheap boots" even with their $100 specials. It is more about the comfort, quality of lining, removable washable booties, etc. The plastic reinforcement is on par to the most part. In addtion, think about it, motocross riders for years wore the old heavy leather boots with some reinforcement and survived pretty well.
What I'm saying is that even a $100 pair of MSR or whatever will provide excellent dual sport and recreational off road protection. They will keep you out of the emergency room for destroyed ankles and such. Check them out and compare with the three hundred dollar ones. You will see it is more about features. Fact is one thing the lower buck ones will give is probably easier ability to walk in them, the high buck ones are made for banging on motocrossers doing 80 ft triples and all.
Anything is better than a pair of work boots though.
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!
Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, 90 Zephyr 550