Looking for a new pair of walking boots? Finding the right option can be tricky with all the options out there. Whether you’re new to outdoor adventures or you’re a seasoned veteran, wearing the right footwear can make all the difference in your sense of enjoyment. Here are some factors to consider if you’re in the market for your next pair.
First, you should determine how you will use your walking boots because this will help to outline your budget and required shoe type. Walking boots are popular for hiking, but walking shoes and sandals may be worth considering if you don’t need anything too robust.
If you’re just starting out and want something basic, spending less could be an option but you should always look for quality. If you’re an experienced hiker or mountaineer, you’ll certainly notice the difference with more expensive products and they should last you longer. If you’re an NHS worker, it’s always worth considering NHS discount schemes that could save you money at Schuh and other shoe or outdoor retailers.
The way your walking boot fits your foot is so important for comfort, performance and endurance. Ideally, your toes should have some wiggle room and shouldn’t be pressing against the front of the shoe. But your foot and heel should feel secure with little movement.
Getting the fit wrong could risk you developing painful blisters which will sideline your walking efforts for a while. Make sure the fit is absolutely right in the shop, so take some thick socks that you’ll be walking in to get an accurate feel. Customer advisers can often give you more insight if you’re unsure of your exact shoe size or requirements.
Durability and performance
A quality walking boot should keep your feet warm and dry even in the most extreme weather. This is usually achieved with a waterproof yet breathable membrane – one of the most popular materials is GORE-TEX which does this very well.
Grip and sure footing are also essential, so find something with durable and robust tread on the underside. Shallower treads are more suited for easier trails, while in muddy, wet or rocky terrain it often pays to have more grip with a deeper tread pattern.
Comfort and durability don’t mean you have to compromise on style. In fact, the look and character of your walking boots are important to make sure that you feel good wearing them. You’ll be able to find many coloured variations which can be perfect if you’re looking to match them to your other walking equipment. Go as bold or discreet as you like!