Walking is great for your health, but the last thing you want is sore feet or ankles. If you’re looking to invest in some new footwear, you should seriously consider investing in good quality walking shoes that offer excellent support. So we've put together a guide on a few of our favourites!
What better way to start the article off than with our best-selling hiking boots? The Scarpa Terra GTX boots are a favourite with not only our customers but also our Hollands team.
Scarpa footwear is a brand steeped in mountaineering history, which shows in the quality and durability of their products. The brand started in 1938 in Italy, where it remains headquartered today, with various family members still creating their boots in the factory. They have spent the last 70 years perfecting their footwear craft to ensure they create a supportive boot that doesn't lack comfort.
The Gore-Tex membrane will give you extra protection against wet weather and help keep your feet cosy through rough trails. The breathable membrane also makes it possible for vapour to leave the shoe, allowing good ventilation.
The ankle and tongue are fully padded, ensuring reliable support. Our Hollands team members have commended this product for the level of comfort when walking their four legged friends in the Peak District.
Size-wise, we would recommend trying your usual UK size. Try taking the insole out of the shoe and standing on it barefoot. Ensure your feet are not spilling over the insole and you have around half an inch of movement from the top.
Overall, a great investment piece. Quality Leather walking boots are much tougher than fabric ones, so they are able to cope better in more abrasive areas and are also much longer-lasting if cared for properly.
Alternatively ,the Cyrus Mid Gore-Tex boot is similar, but designed with nubuck leather. It's also worth noting that they're lighter in weight if you prefer something softer on your feet. The boots are still designed with a powerful Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable lining, but differ in material.
The Ariat Women's Skyline Low Waterproof Boot is ideal if you're looking for a stylish boot to accompany your outdoor adventure. The modern design shys away from traditional hiking shoes, with a striking blue and grey design. However, it still incorporates the technical features you need when looking for the perfect pair of hiking boots.
Crafted with a waterproof premium full-grain leather upper, these boots are not only waterproof but also durable, making them a great choice to wear on more rocky terrain. The sole of the boot features Ariat's DuraTread+ with a multi-directional traction design. This helps your feet grip onto more uneven surfaces, so you're less likely to take a tumble.
The inside of the boot has advanced torque stability which cushions your foot. Though the boots look heavily padded, they have a surprisingly lightweight feel, which makes walking your favourite trail a breeze.
Overall, a great walking boot if you're looking for something more versatile with a sporty edge.
Hoggs of Fife have been designing outdoor country wear since 1888 and have gradually built an excellent reputation across the field sports and farming fraternity for producing good quality, hard-wearing products that can withstand the elements and be comfortable and hard-wearing throughout the working day.
This year they have designed a traditional hiking leather boot with an innovative waterproof membrane and a dependable Vibram sole. Perfect for outdoor lovers who enjoy short and long walks, high hills, or strolling with the dog.
The Munro boot has excellent ankle support and a cushioned feeling underfoot. It features the ULTDRY waterproof breathable membrane which ensures the boots are fully waterproof, so you can be sure you won't get wet feet.
Though they're not as lightweight as the Ariat Skyline, they're a dependable boot with long-term durability.
Although we have already dipped our toes into Ariat within this article, we can't leave this product behind.
If you're looking for something with the same technical features as the Skyline Low but with more ankle support and a modern twist on the traditional hiking boot design, then we suggest you try the Skyline Mid.
Comfortable yet robust, these boots are designed with all-day wear in mind, making them the perfect companion for your next hiking trip. One of our best-selling hiking boot even comes in men's if you wish to match with your walking partner!
They feature advanced torque stability for extra added safety, as well as being fully waterproof. Overall, an excellent choice if you're looking for a boot that you can feel confident in supporting your feet.
Overall, when choosing a hiking boot, it's important to consider what conditions you wish to wear them in. If you want a robust boot that's going to be put through its paces, we would suggest going with a Gore-Tex product, whereas if you are looking for something to walk the dog with or take a casual stroll with, then something lightweight would be more suitable.
But remember, no matter the brand or quality of the boots, you must prepare and care for them.
Prepare : Invest in a thick and supportive pair of hiking socks. Look for something with an elasticated arch to keep the socks locked into position, avoiding the possibility of bunching, which could cause blisters.
Care: Caring for your walking boots properly will mean they perform better and, ultimately, last longer. Use a proofer such as Nikwax Leather Conditioner or Hoggs of Fife Wax Leather Balm to nourish the leather with tanning agents and lubricants to keep it in top condition. It will also stop the boots from becoming stiff, dry, and prone to splitting.
As tempting as it may be, don’t leave your boots next to a direct source of heat, such as fires and radiators. Allow them to dry in a well-ventilated area.
That's everything we think you need to know to get started. The next step is to fill up your flask and get ready to track those steps!