Budget friendly and Nike gets mentioned...? The Kaiju is not that stiff and if he's getting 50 days a year, he'll kill the boot in a year.
The Lashed is soft, don't bother. TM is a fair bet.
We stopped carrying DC's too, not impressed.
Honestly finding a cheap stiff boot shouldn't be possible. To make a boot stiff you should have to spend money. It's your first point of contact. To make it stiff and cheap you have to cut corners and durability will suffer. The cheapest, quality stiff boot I can think of is the K2 Maysis.
My advice, buck up, save, and spend some money on the most important aspect of your gear.
yikes... so what ended happening over the last few months was that first, i bought a pair of lashed for $120. EXCEPT... I bought half a size too big for myself (because of various stupid reasons from always buying size 8.5 in the past to not trying the boots in the store). Anyway... when I got the lashed, I noticed that not only was it soft but also gave me a lot of heel lift. So I'm going to try to sell these boots on craigslist during the winter time.
Then... I bought the Nike Kaiju's at a pretty big discount ($155). I liked the style and I figured heck, it looks nice, it's much stiffer than my old worn down DC park, and... it looks nice o,.O... I looked through the long Nike boots thread on this forum as well as the easy lounging one. I also tried the boots out in the store before I decided to buy online.
I took the Kaiju's up on Whistler glacier a few weeks ago and had no complaints. They were stiffer than my old boots so I felt a bit more tired wearing them and it also took me a bit getting used to on park features. However, I think I really enjoy them overall. I do feel that the stiffer boots give more control, and they seem to absorb impact much better off jumps than my old boots as well.
I guess they will wear down eventually after around one season, but I think I'm happy with my purchase and probably will stick to buying decent boots moving forward.