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Thread: Hiking/Walking boots recommendations

  1. #1

    Hiking/Walking boots recommendations

    I have used the search facility and found some threads regarding this subject but they are a bit old.

    Recently been looking to buy a decent pair of hiking/walking boots which are genuinely waterproof and offer good support.

    Having waded through the dozens of "Which is the Best" etc I am still really none the wiser as they all recommend different boots.

    I am a size 8 would like them to support/protect the ankle, are waterproof, good grip, brown in colour with a budget of approx £150.00

    Please help me wade through the different brands such as Scarpa, Merrills, Timberland, Salomon and oh so many others.

    Which brand do you prefer?

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
    Scarpa - with Gore-tex. I wouldn't bother with anything else.

    For me the other thing to keep in mind is the sole - I am firmly in the Vibram camp. I have had Salomons in the past and do not like their sole at all. So would avoid. So if Scarpa don't fit, the only thing I'd say is avoid Salomon.

    I would question the need for boots - frankly they're only necessary if you're carrying a heavy backpack to help with load support during multi day hiking. The trail trainers are otherwise superb and provide lots of ankle support and I gravitate to them for most day hiking.

  3. #3
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    Honestly - I wouldn’t bother reading up too much on it. All the brands you mention with the exception of Timberland make great boots. What matters so much more than anything else is that they fit you well. I’d recommend (if you can) getting to a shop that has a good selection and trying a load on. Brands like Scarpa can have a very narrow fit, so it’s easy to buy the wrong size if you haven’t tried a few on. Also, depending where abouts you are in the country, Altberg are very well a look - again they need to be tried on and compared if poss.

  4. #4
    Scarpa are very good but come up narrow in my experience.
    I prefer Meindl or Hanwag (which come a little wider) purely for that reason.
    Sometimes you can get amazing deals on sportpursuit
    Don’t forget to buy decent socks!!!!! They can make a huge difference
    Last edited by GOAT; 25th October 2020 at 10:55.

  5. #5
    Look at m and m sports. I got some karrimor for about £40. Very comfy and waterproof
    They do Berghaus and a few other brands at around £50

  6. #6
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    I've just bought my second pair of Altberg boots they are great.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Master
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    £150+ is way too much unless youíre going up Everest.

    There are **so many brands** if walking boots out there and theyíre all much of a muchness at the different levels. Look at the £80-100 mark at most and youíll get everything you need.

    Places like Blacks and mountain warehouse always have deals on.

    I wore an £80 pair of Jack Wolfskin boots (reduced from maybe £130ish) to spend 10 days hiking in chest high snow in the Eastern European mountains last year and they were perfect. A more expensive boot couldnít have offered me any more. I wore mini ice spikes over them, and gaiters too.

    Donít forget to buy a size up, and double sock.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GOAT View Post
    Scarpa are very good but come up narrow in my experience.
    I prefer Meindl or Hanwag (which come a little wider) purely for that reason.
    Sometimes you can get amazing deals on
    Donít forget to buy decent socks!!!!! They can make a huge difference
    I've just bought my missus her second pair of Scarpas, this time a pair of Rangers.It was a toss up between them and Hanwag.
    I've got a pair of Meindl that look like they'll last for years.
    👍agreed on the socks and twin skins are my favourites.

  10. #10
    For all day comfort in walking boots, at sensible money, Iíll either wear a pair of Scarpa (I prefer the lighter Cyrus, unless Iím going in the mud and then Iíll wear Terra IIís), or my trusty pair of Brasher (I believe they are one Berghaus) Supalite II.

    None of mine are full on stiff hiking boots, as Iím not into the hard core hill walking scene, but they are great for all day winter wear, even after a full weekend being traipsed around London shopping!

    Highly recommend getting in a few shops and trying on lots of different boots, as I only fit comfortably in a few brands, and Iím different sizes in most - including a half size bigger in my Scarpa compared to Brasher.
    It's just a matter of time...

  11. #11
    Try them on.

    There's only one rule. Try them on. One man's "like a pair of slippers" are another man's "might as well have worn the box".

    Don't buy any footwear because they are comfy on someone else. The concept is ridiculous.

  12. #12
    Master
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    I bought a second pair of Jack Wolfskin earlier this year based on the comfort the first pair had given me.
    Both my knees are shot, the worse one being bone on bone so comfort is more important than being waterproof.
    The downside was they're summer boots and didn't last lost as my mileage had gone up during covid.
    Most of my boots or approach shoes have been a half size bigger than normal shoes but Merrills have had to be a full size bigger, sometimes.

  13. #13
    Craftsman Nytol's Avatar
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    In contrast to one of the above posts, I own several brands, and the Saloman are by far the best for me.

    The boots I've had a few years now, done hundreds of miles, around the Lake District, Wales, Pen Y Fan etc, and they are still as good as the day I bought them, and when I need to buy my next pair, I'll likely buy a few so I have plenty for the future.

    But definitely try before you buy, not the kind of thing to buy online IMO.

  14. #14
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    you will only confuse yourself worse with this thread.

    go to a outdoor type shop and try them on.

    the £150+ ones are not necessarily better. they tend to be more for mountains at those prices

  15. #15
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytol View Post
    In contrast to one of the above posts, I own several brands, and the Saloman are by far the best for me.

    The boots I've had a few years now, done hundreds of miles, around the Lake District, Wales, Pen Y Fan etc, and they are still as good as the day I bought them, and when I need to buy my next pair, I'll likely buy a few so I have plenty for the future.

    But definitely try before you buy, not the kind of thing to buy online IMO.
    When my missus got her Scarpas at the Cotswolds shop in Keswick they had a walking test ramp that was smooth on one side and rocky on the other which came in handy for replicating walking down hill.
    A small independent shop we'd been in before had Hanwag and the customer service was 100% but Blacks were the opposite.

  16. #16
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    Alt-bergs every time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by StuS View Post
    I've just bought my second pair of Altberg boots they are great.
    100%

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytol View Post
    In contrast to one of the above posts, I own several brands, and the Saloman are by far the best for me.

    The boots I've had a few years now, done hundreds of miles, around the Lake District, Wales, Pen Y Fan etc, and they are still as good as the day I bought them, and when I need to buy my next pair, I'll likely buy a few so I have plenty for the future.

    But definitely try before you buy, not the kind of thing to buy online IMO.
    I had a pair of Salomon approach shoes a few years ago before my knee was totally shot.
    I could run as well as walk in them and the first time I wore them I did 16 miles over the West Pennine Moor.
    I'd had a pair of Meindl's before and even when the shoe needed replacing the soles still looked new.

  18. #18
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    Try them on.

    There's only one rule. Try them on. One man's "like a pair of slippers" are another man's "might as well have worn the box".

    Don't buy any footwear because they are comfy on someone else. The concept is ridiculous.
    The best post on the thread.
    ______

    ​Jim.

  19. #19
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwg663 View Post
    The best post on the thread.
    +1

    I went to Go Outdoors and Cotswolds. Well worth trying them on.

    Wear the socks you're hiking in, too.

  20. #20
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    I tried a whole range of boots from all brands but they were always too narrow for comfort.

    Evetually I found Salomon Evasion 2 Mid LTR GTX Boots and they've been perfect.






    It's not always easy to go and try boots on unless you live near the outlets, especially now I would have thought? I had to do a postal hit and miss but got there eventually.


    And I bought these Toms the other week Ė super comfy and waterproof:





    https://www.toms.com/uk/men/categori.../10014345.html


    They were from Sport Pursuit for half price though.

    For reference, I'm a size 8 in Clarks Originals, 9 in Adidas Originals and both the Salomon and Toms are 9.

  21. #21
    Master
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    Watching this as Iím off to Cotswolds outdoors next week.

    My Merrels have worn out after 18mths, leak and no grip on sole and even when there was grip they were still slippery

    I have some older Salomons with a Vibram sole which are now gardening shoes but still have plants of grip.

    Going to look at Scarpa and Mendl

  22. #22
    Craftsman Go Big's Avatar
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    Altberg here too.

    Previously Zamberlans.

  23. #23
    Alt-Berg.
    End of thread.

  24. #24
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    Scarpa for me and my wife, I am on my second pair, I walk 5+ miles everyday, they were comfortable straight out the box and 100% waterproof. I also recommend Altberg, have used their boots for 30 years in the Military and for motorcycling. Only downside with Altberg is you either need to go to the factory shop in Richmond Yorkshire or find a stockist to get the right fit, whereas Scarpa I buy from Cotswold. Mine are the top of the range though, so nearer £200.

  25. #25
    Master
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    Forget all the nonsense about specific brands, where people just advocate the brand that suits them.

    Go to a reputable outdoor shop. Somewhere like Cotswold Outdoors or a local independent.

    Explain the type of terrain, seasons of the year and frequency that you intend using them in. Also be upfront about how likely you are to look after them, as different materials require different levels of care.

    Try them on. Decent shops will have an area where you can replicate walking up and down an incline.

    You will also generally get what you pay for.

  26. #26
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    As others have suggested best to go try a few different pairs on if you can. Also don't forget socks both when trying and finding some that work for you too. Plus remember feet can swell somewhat the further you walk so something else to consider in the fitting proccess.

    Currently using Grisports and occasionally an old pair of Brashers (now branded Berghaus I believe) myself.
    Last edited by Ed875; 24th October 2020 at 15:15.

  27. #27
    Thanks for all the replies, I never expected quite so many in a short space of time.
    There are obviously many experienced and non experienced walkers on the forum.
    I tried on a pair of Brashers this morning which fitted ok.
    But I shall follow the consensus of the posts and visit a specialists to try them on.

  28. #28
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    I'm doing 3-15 miles a day in all possible weathers, through mud, and flood, 365 days of the years ('cos dogs...).

    If you walk that much, in those conditions, cheap boots (<£100) fall to bits in a couple of months, no matter what you do to 'em.

    Probably the best compromise is to get on the Altberg bandwagon - they're not flawless, but good VFM and offer a good range of sizes and widths (depending on model). The one thing I'd flag-up is they are short on foot length, I'm normally 10.5-11UK, but need 11.5 with Altberg

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, I never expected quite so many in a short space of time.
    There are obviously many experienced and non experienced walkers on the forum.
    I tried on a pair of Brashers this morning which fitted ok.
    But I shall follow the consensus of the posts and visit a specialists to try them on.
    And as I alluded to above, and another poster made clearer, don’t get blinded by ‘brands’. Honestly, at the £80-100 price point, they’re pretty much all identical, probably made in the same factories to the same designs but irrespective of where they’re made, they’re all using the same techniques and materials these days. A ‘no brand’ £80 boot will do everything a North Face £180 boot does. The only exception is Climbing Everest, which no-one giving advice here will do (one poster even said they wears theirs for shopping).

    One other thing I didn’t say before, is buy a good tin of aerosol type spray on shoe protector off amazon and spray them right away. Don’t use the waxy liquid stuff, just a £8-10 ish aerosol tin, and re-apply every time you rinse the mud off them, and it builds up a good protection.

    DOI: worn loads of boots, climbed loads of proper mountains, walked lots of desolate miles. Had the blisters, bleeding sores and lost toe nails to prove it. So my advice is based on hard won experience :)

  30. #30
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    I like these Scarpa shoes for dog walking across the fields. Good enough on mud and grass etc, unless you're climbing or something really serious.
    They probably aren't the best/most expensive around but the last ones lasted 2 years then I replaced them although they probably could have gone on longer.

    https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/1589338...shoes-15893382




    They do them in mids as well...

    Last edited by oldoakknives; 24th October 2020 at 15:09.
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  31. #31
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    Hiking/Walking boots recommendations

    I have loads of boots, I rate altberg highly ( for me) and still do over AKU etc. Out on the hills though in my own time I was a scarpa fan, however the best do all shoe I have found is the la sportiva TX4. You can get them in a shoe, mid and full boot (tx5). Choice of gore tex and non waterproof too, I would recommend you try a pair if you have a retailer nearby or can return.

    I would also say that depending on use, you may not need a full boot, all personal preference though.


    It all depends on what your planned usage is.
    Last edited by Middo; 24th October 2020 at 15:25.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    Try them on.

    There's only one rule. Try them on. One man's "like a pair of slippers" are another man's "might as well have worn the box".

    Don't buy any footwear because they are comfy on someone else. The concept is ridiculous.
    Spot on. I tried plenty and the Scarpa Pro GTX were the best for me.

    A decent retailer will also have a returns / exchange program that allows you a period to wear them around the house to check they are a good fit. A short "snapshot" in the shop won't always reveal problems

  33. #33
    Master raptor's Avatar
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    Hiking/Walking boots recommendations

    If you need to climb uneven surface look for a good gripping sole
    I went through all brands
    Salomon
    Crispi
    Scarpa
    Aigle
    Redwing
    Altberg - current pair
    Harkila

    They all have good models

    Fit and grip is the key for hunting/ climbing plus waterproof ness for winter
    Socks will need to be thick

  34. #34
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    Alt-Berg and if you're anywhere near North Yorkshire call into the factory and get "fitted". Great boots, my latest pair have lasted over 5 years with a bit of dubbin now and again.
    Last edited by wotsthecrack; 24th October 2020 at 18:19.

  35. #35
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    Assuming you're not looking for proper winter boots for crampons etc, the ubiquitous Scarpa are ubiquitous because they're very good, I have a pair that are just on the heavy side, Mrs M has just bought a pair and loves them.

    I have a pair of Keens for lighter use that after 6 years or so fit like an absolute glove.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wotsthecrack View Post
    Alt-Berg and if you're anywhere near North Yorkshire call into the factory and get "fitted". Great boots, my latest pair have lasted over 5 years with a bit of dubbin now and again.

    They look really good!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linocut View Post
    They look really good!
    Cheers, not bad condition given they are used at least twice a week at the beach in seawater and over 5 years old.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    I like these Scarpa shoes for dog walking across the fields. Good enough on mud and grass etc, unless you're climbing or something really serious.
    They probably aren't the best/most expensive around but the last ones lasted 2 years then I replaced them although they probably could have gone on longer.

    They do them in mids as well...

    Many thanks once agin for all your replies.

    Quite like these

    My use is primarily walking in fields and woods, with some social use, as I do also take into account the look of them and believe that a good pair of boots can be used for many different reasons.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linocut View Post
    They look really good!
    Iíve had a few pairs - my originals date Ď94 and having been looked after still very serviceable. Great company. Great staff.

    The personal touch at the factory is second to none. Highly recommended.

    Jim

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linocut View Post
    Assuming you're not looking for proper winter boots for crampons etc, the ubiquitous Scarpa are ubiquitous because they're very good, I have a pair that are just on the heavy side, Mrs M has just bought a pair and loves them.

    I have a pair of Keens for lighter use that after 6 years or so fit like an absolute glove.
    It's the weight of my Meindls that puts me off wearing them more often.
    I was looking at Keens for a pair of summer boots, which model are yours ?

  41. #41
    Meindl for me; but as others have said a visit to a proper boot store is invaluable

    If you are within 100 miles of Whalley Dry and Warm near Clitheroe I would highly recommend them. 2 hour fitting, in sole specialists etc. Great wine shop across the road as well


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandanthewatchman View Post
    Meindl for me; but as others have said a visit to a proper boot store is invaluable

    If you are within 100 miles of Whalley Dry and Warm near Clitheroe I would highly recommend them. 2 hour fitting, in sole specialists etc. Great wine shop across the road as well


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    👍somebody on a walking forum recommended that shop to me and said the service is second to none.

  43. #43
    Craftsman Go Big's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD200 View Post
    somebody on a walking forum recommended that shop to me and said the service is second to none.
    Both myself and Mrs GB have used the shop several times.

    The boot fitting service is excellent.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by E_2_Right-Force View Post
    Alt-Berg.
    End of thread.
    You cant argue with that and dont get a waterproof lining.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD200 View Post
    It's the weight of my Meindls that puts me off wearing them more often.
    I was looking at Keens for a pair of summer boots, which model are yours ?
    I think they are no longer made, the most similar I can see on the website is the Targhee range.

  46. #46
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I have used boots from many manufacturers, but the one thing I have stuck to is Vibram soles.
    I have found them to be excepionally long lasting, and grippy too.
    I have some olf KSBs that are over 30 years old, the tops are scuffed and ripped, the soles are still fine.
    And some Alico ones where the soles look new.
    Of course this means that I cannot really comment on non-Vibram soles (well, apart from Contagrip by Salomon which wore quite quickly).
    Dave

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linocut View Post
    I think they are no longer made, the most similar I can see on the website is the Targhee range.
    Ok thanks 👍

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Big View Post
    Both myself and Mrs GB have used the shop several times.

    The boot fitting service is excellent.
    Next time I need some boots I'll probably go there.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    I have used boots from many manufacturers, but the one thing I have stuck to is Vibram soles.
    I have found them to be excepionally long lasting, and grippy too.
    I have some olf KSBs that are over 30 years old, the tops are scuffed and ripped, the soles are still fine.
    And some Alico ones where the soles look new.
    Of course this means that I cannot really comment on non-Vibram soles (well, apart from Contagrip by Salomon which wore quite quickly).
    Dave
    I agree on the Vibram soles.
    I wore my Meindls today that have a very grippy sole which is important at this time of year when its gloopy underfoot.
    This time last year I had summer boots on for a walk in Keswick and was slipping and sliding everywhere....not good☹

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by wotsthecrack View Post
    Alt-Berg and if you're anywhere near North Yorkshire call into the factory and get "fitted". Great boots, my latest pair have lasted over 5 years with a bit of dubbin now and again.
    What he said

    Took my brother there last Xmas when he was over visiting. He wanted some new lightweight walking boots. He had a model in mind, but when he tried it on, the fit wasn't quite right. The guy spent an hour with him fetching various models and sizes until he got the perfect fit, a completely different model to what he was originally looking at.
    As a bonus, I needed some big winter mud wading, dog walking boots. I perused the sale/seconds/samples rack, spotted a pair of military issue defenders, similar to the pic, in an 11 for £50, probably too big for my 10-10.5 feet I thought, but no, perfect, fit like a glove, bargain.
    Last edited by Brighty; 26th October 2020 at 19:19.

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