Most people who enjoy walking would say that the most important piece of kit that they in fact have is their shoes. Whether you go on the odd walk or enjoy regular walking holidays, finding the right sort of shoes is very important.
Walking boots don’t have to be expensive, but they do need to be comfortable and fit for the task at hand. So, where do you start and what should you look for when choosing walking shoes – we take a closer look to ensure you get the right boots.
The boots you buy will depend on the trek that you’re taking and if it’s a summer walking holiday then you’re going to be looking for a pair of shoes that are lighter and even without support for the ankles should the trail be quite easy.
If the walk is a little less demanding but not easy then you may be able to get away with a pair of lighter boots – these mightn’t even need to be waterproof if you plan on trekking in warmer climates. Choose breathable materials to help avoid your feet sweating and ensure the soles are grippy but not too stiff – more suited for winter walking.
Winter however will require sturdy robust boots that work well across testing terrain. Boots in this case should be waterproof and made to cope with snow and mud. Gore -Tex is a great material if you want something breathable but also sturdy and well-wearing.
Boots come classed in different versions depending on the sort of conditions they’re suited for. So, from the least demanding onwards you’ll find that they are classed as:
- Four Seasons
Things to Consider
There are numerous things to consider when purchasing these boots and Webtogs has come up with a couple of things to consider and why:
Leather or Fabric – the leather boot was the staple choice for decades, however nowadays modern fabrics offer strength and also great breathability. This has meant that there is a lot of competition. Although leather is still the sturdiest, modern fabrics have plenty of benefits.
Full or mid height
This is a question of support and mid-height boots tend to be more comfortable around the ankle, however they do offer less support. Higher height or full ankle boots are very supportive, although they do tend to be heavier and less comfortable. They do offer better protection from rain, mud and snow.
Other things to consider:
There are a number of other features to consider that you will see come commonly on these sorts of walking shoes. These include:
- Soles – different soles have different strengths and benefits – so ask
- Eye-locks – these keep laces tied and are able to ensure that the lace doesn’t loosen and stay firm.
- Bumpy laces – these are created to keep the lace firmly tied and to ensure it doesn’t slip
- Orthotic insoles – improved levels of comfort
- Cushioned tongues – soft on the foot and are there to aid comfort.
So, as you can see there are a number of factors to look out for and consider when purchasing a walking boot.