How to choose the best pair of walking boots
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HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PAIR OF WALKING BOOTS

How to choose the best pair of walking boots?

  • There’s nothing worse than realising, mid-journey, that your feet are hurting and that you’ve clearly opted for the wrong shoes! It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a three-day hike or simply out for a stroll, it’s essential to have comfortable shoes that are adapted to the terrain beneath your feet. To avoid any missteps, follow our walking boots guide and guarantee yourself an enjoyable trek in the best walking shoes possible, free from aches, pains and blisters!

  • Walking boots for women or walking boots for men: the same requirements!

    Regardless of whether they’re intended for a man or woman, all walking boots need to conform to the exact same criteria when it comes to comfort and a snug fit. The one difference? Ladies walking boots are generally narrower than more wide fitting walking boots designed for men. With that in mind, don’t hold back from browsing collections primarily aimed at the opposite sex if you have particularly narrow feet for a man, or slightly wider feet than the average woman! That factor aside, the criteria for selecting the best hiking shoes is the same for everyone – read on and you’ll see!

  • Robust hiking boots with a strong grip

    Hiking boots are always endowed with rugged, anti-slip soles. Ensuring that your boots have a solid grip is key, especially if you’re planning to take on rough terrain or venture in humid conditions – both of which run the risk of the ground underfoot being slippery. On that note, if you’re anticipating wet weather (somewhat typical for the UK), then a pair of these and a decent water-repellent coat or windbreaker jacket are definitely a safe bet! A good-quality thick sole, which will serve to absorb shocks, is equally essential! As a general guideline, high-rise hiking boots have a thicker, sturdier sole to them compared with lightweight low-rise models, which should really be reserved for long walks across smoother terrain. So, for traditional hiking style, women's and men's black and chunky high-rise models are the way to go!

  • When it comes to men and women's hiking shoes, go for water-repellent or even waterproof!

    Keeping your feet dry is a non-brainer; we all know dampness is the UK hiker’s worst enemy! Therefore, choose a water-repellent model that prevents any water penetration or, for more extreme conditions, opt for fully waterproof walking boots. Where possible, prioritise hiking shoes that have rubber reinforcements on the front, sides and back to reduce the risk of water creeping in through the most exposed parts of the foot. It’s also a good idea to check the lining of the boot is made from a fabric that’s going to allow air to circulate and your feet to breathe, so as to limit perspiration. This should keep your feet cool and your shoes smelling a little fresher too…

  • Stretch your legs and wear your shoes in: how to prep for a hike

    Here’s a top tip like never-before: when trying on a pair of walking boots for the first time, ideally wear socks that are designed for hiking, and leave it until late in the day to test them out. How come? The answer’s simple – your feet swell throughout the day and, as it gets later, they become tired and more sensitive, which is exactly how they’ll feel after a decent walk. This innovative trick is the perfect way to tell if the hiking boots in question will hold up for the entirety of your adventure and if they’ll still feel just as comfy after you’ve trekked a fair distance. The same is true for socks; never wear a new pair for a day’s hike (let alone for a stint that’s any longer). You should also always test your footwear by tracing a shorter route first! Of course for gentler walks, a trusty pair of shoes and cushioned socks should be just fine – no trial run necessary!

  • Men and women's high, low, or mid-rise models: what are the best and which do you buy?

    For mountain treks – and even when hiking along rocky coastlines and sharp-edged cliffs – don’t hold back from investing in high-rise hiking boots. These rigid shoes, ideal for climbing, will ensure you keep your footing and that your ankles remain well supported – reducing the risk of sprains. However advanced your skill, these really are a must-have upon rough ground, on which it’s far easier to trip or slide! Needless to say, these shoes will have to be well adjusted, but luckily the laces on these models tend to be held in place by auto-lock hooks!

  • For gentler adventures, men's and women's lightweight, low-rise hiking shoes suffice!

    For those long Sunday walks across more favourable terrain, and for the more amateur and less consistent hikers among us, sporty trainers will do the trick. You will probably even have a pair kicking about under the stairs! However, if you can, why not treat yourself to a fine pair of low-rise walking shoes for men or women which promise to be kind to your feet and, unlike most boots, are light and flexible! More resistant than basic trainers and equipped with a rugged sole, they’re better adapted for walking. Speedy to tie – some of our lace-free men’s hiking shoes come with an elastic strap instead – these models can often be the best in terms of practicality too!

  • Mid-rise walking shoes for a middle-ground solution!

    If you find yourself somewhere in between avid adventurer and casual stroller, mid-rise boots are a particularly versatile option. They provide better ankle support than their low-rise counterpart and are much lighter than any high-rise model. For the middle of the road-hiker, they offer the best of both worlds!

  • Robust hiking boots with a strong grip

    To recap, when looking for the perfect pair of hiking shoes for men or for women, make a mental note to check the soles, water-resistance and practicality of the model in relation to the adventure you’re envisaging. Regardless whether you’re seeking a classic pair of black or brown hiking boots or wanting something a little bolder in terms of style, the same practical principles apply! Last of all, don’t forget to take your shoes for a test drive, trialling them on a shorter route first before tackling any big challenges. Once you’ve worn your chosen pair in, why not embark on some of the UK’s best walks! Don’t let a lack of appropriate footwear hold you back from memorable adventures: shop our range now!

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