Walks And Walking – Top 5 Walking Boots

Walks And Walking – Top 5 Walking Boots

Regular readers of Walks And Walking will know my favourite walking boots are The North Face Mens Jannu II GTX technical hiking boots. After nearly 3 years of walking they have started to lose some of their water resistance due to the rubber cracking around the toe of the boots so I have decided to buy a new pair of walking boots. No fault of the boot at all, it’s just the general wear and tear of me clambering over rocks, walking across marshlands and generally testing them to the full extreme in places like Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.

Here is my comprehensive guide to the top 5 walking boots suitable for all types of walks, walking and walking routes. In my selection process I researched walking boots online before getting professional advice by visiting in-store. For the different types of walks I do I need a robust leather walking boot that is waterproof with a vibram sole, outstanding grip and some flexibility for hill walking, coastal walks and with the occasional mountain ascents thrown in.

Here are my top 5 choices:

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots - The North Face Jannu II GTX

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots – The North Face Jannu II GTX

1. The North Face Jannu II GTX

If you are looking for a classic high cut leather boot that bristles with the latest technology, then lace up a pair of Jannu II boots. These boots are built for tough, demanding all terrain multi day expeditions. The one piece leather features Gore-Tex ® waterproof protection and breathability. This is paired with a rubber toecap, heel mudguards and a tongue that stops debris falling into the boot.

An X-Frame™ crib gives you the stability needed over any terrain you may come across, whilst Heal Cradle™ technology keeps the heal firmly in the right place in the boot. The Vibram ® rubber outsole, with its grippy, self-cleaning lugs, means that you can rely on these boots on even the most slippery surfaces.

A superior, beautifully engineered boot, the Jannu II will stay the course on the toughest paths in the toughest conditions.

Expect to pay between £100 – £150

Walks And Walking - Top 5 Walking Boots - Scarpa SL Activ (B1)

Walks And Walking – Top 5 Walking Boots – Scarpa SL Activ (B1)

2. Scarpa SL Activ (B1)

This definitive leather boot is part of Scarpa’s new Activ Fit range, which focuses on offering total reliability, optimum comfort and style for trekking and hill walking.

The new fit is ergonomically designed for even better foot hold and natural rolling action to make every step more efficient. A Memory Foam moulded foot bed offers essential support on the hill as well as under-foot insulation, and the Cocona® lining helps transfer moisture away from the foot. The SL Activ also features a new sole engineered for superior stability and maximum traction and grip.

If you are looking for a reliable, solid walking boot with excellent support and cushioning for your feet to ensure comfort on the hill, the Scarpa SL Activ has got it all.

Expect to pay about £220

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots - Haglofs Trail Mid GT

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots – Haglofs Trail Mid GT

3. Haglofs Trail Mid GT

The Trail Mid is a boot which, despite its low weight, offers excellent stability and ankle protection for more challenging walks with a pack.

Built on a stable Vibram Skeleton sole, the water repellent leather upper is augmented with a waterproof and breathable Gore Tex lining to keep the rain at bay. Toes and heels sport rubber reinforcements and embossed ribs support the leather, preventing deformation over time. As well as support, odour protection comes from the Polygiene treated SOLE mouldable footbeds.

Expect to pay between £100 – £150

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots - Berghaus Explorer Ridge GTX

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots – Berghaus Explorer Ridge GTX

4. Berghaus Explorer Ridge GTX

Tough and hard wearing boots for more challenging 2-3 season walks. A Gore-Tex lining keeps your feet at a comfortable temperature as well as keeping them dry and the high quality leather uppers are supple, with good support.

Expect to pay about £120

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots - Meindl Burma Pro GTX

Walks And Walking Top 5 Walking Boots – Meindl Burma Pro GTX

5. Meindl Burma Pro GTX

All the benefits of leather (durability, comfort and weatherproofness) with the added reassurance of a 100% waterproof Gore-Tex lining. Meindl DIGAfix lacing system helps to create a perfect fit, especially around the heel area. Memory Foam system(MFS) also gives an exceptional fit.

Expect to pay about £180

And the winner is!

After visiting a few different outdoor retailers I ended up in Cotswold Outdoor, Holborn London. The chap that helped me really knew his stuff and I had short-listed my selection down to an agonising two pairs; the Meindl and the Scarpa. Whilst the Meindl felt extremely comfortable it seemed a little too flexible and I thought that may mean they weren’t going to be quite up for a decent climb in the snow (which I am bound to do this year) whereas the Scarpa felt like I could kick down brick walls, let alone footholds in the ice!

It was a close call but I chose the Scarpa boots, quite expensive but they should last a lot longer than my The North Face boots, due to the construction of the boot and the option to get them resoled if need be. The extra-thick 2.8mm HS12 Sherpa Leather used in the boot’s upper is more durable, water resistant and breathable than standard leather, and also dries quicker.

They are not Gore-Tex lined but after serious consideration I thought the pure leather build would allow my feet to breathe more easily. I do get very sweaty when walking and although Gore-Tex means your feet don’t get wet from the outside elements, my socks are always drenched when I take my boots off defeating the object of having a waterproof lining. I’ll have to make sure I regularly waterproof my new boots to prevent cracks but I have always kept my boots in good upkeep so that shouldn’t be an issue. I look forward to breaking them in slowly with some short walks in Epping Forest over the next few weeks.

You can read an independent review of the Scarpa SL here: Trail Magazine Award – Best In Test

A good pair of walking boots are absolutely essential for all types of walks and walking so please research carefully and visit your local outdoor retailer and seek professional advice for the boots that best fit your feet size and width. Check out each of the retailers advertising on this website for special offers, new product launches or flash sales to get the best deal once you’ve chosen the right boots for you.  A really good set of boots should last you at least 10 years so making the right choice and investment will mean you won’t need to replace them for many, many years and after many, many walking adventures!

Please note: All images and product descriptions are from the Cotswold Outdoor website. For more information about Cotswold Outdoor please visit the Walks And Walking Shop

78 responses to “Walks And Walking – Top 5 Walking Boots”

  1. Tim Cooper says:

    Had the Burma Pro’s. Great boot, comfy, all day walking no problem. A little heavy ,but ok.


    I got through 3 pairs in less than 2 years. Each pair would only last about 8 months before cracking across the ‘toe crease’, when the flex is when walking. Exactly the same problem every time. I had to keep returning them and getting them replaced.

    The last time, after a bit of a fight with the shop, i got my money back and eventually chose the Salomen Quest 4d GTX. Much lighter, not quite as comfy as the Burma’s (no MFS) but have been holding up so far (about 6 months).

  2. I have a pair of them too but “keep them for best” ?!! I thought clambering around on the rocks and splashing through blogs might be a bit too much for them… great boots though and I have had them for 2 years but probably only worn them on a couple of walks when my normal boots are drying out. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Dave says:

    I thought I would explore this review site to see what you recommend as I have the Berghaus explorer ridge, which I am completely unhappy with. They are not as claimed, water proof. I use boots 5/6 times per week and bought these as they are comfy. Walk through water and they are okay but five minutes through wet grass and feet are ringing wet. This is my second pair in six months both exactly the same. As far as I’m concerned they have turned out to be almost useless for my purposes and are not as advertised – waterproof.

  4. Hi, thanks for your comment. I just had a quick look at the Berghaus Explorer Ridge and they do look a little basic. I had The North Face Jannu II which were great but the rubber rand perished and then they leaked. I now have a pair of Scarpa, which are made of 1 piece leather thick enough not to need Gore-Tex. I also bought a decent Nikwax leather cleaner and waterproofer. I walk about 4 or 5 times a month and splash around a bit so clean them every few months. If you walk 5 or 6 times a week I would recommend you clean and waterproof every month. Oh, and you might want to get some gaiters to stop the wet grass getting water in through the top of your boots? Thanks again, David.

  5. Emma says:

    Hi wonder if you can help… My hubby is doing the London to Brighton walk next year and is currently training… What kind of footwear would you suggest for a walk of that distance?

    Many thanks

  6. Hi Emma,

    That’s a really good question.

    I would go for a flexible lightweight walking boot, mid-height to give ankle support and keep any water out (although it’s May it should be fairly dry but you never know!) Have a look at Berghaus Exterra Trek GTX Boot or the Meindl Respond Mid XCR Boot.

    I probably wouldn’t go for leather as they take too much breaking in and the off-road route isn’t too demanding, mainly tracks and paths.

    I think an “approach shoe” would be better for this type of walk and I’ve got a pair of The North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR III Shoes which are brilliant and very comfortable.

    If he is going to walk and jog then a trail running shoe like The North Face Double-Track Shoe would be good, I recently bought these and they are like walking on sponges, really comfortable but you don’t get the ankle support.

    My top tip is tape feet up with zinc oxide tape. Tape it directly to the ankles and/or little toes and they stop blisters. Sadly, they don’t stop your feet from hurting but they are a life saver to help recovery. I would also take a pair of old comfortable trainers just to be on the safe side.

    I would definitely recommend going to a few outdoor retailers and get them to fit what boots they would think suitable for this sort of walk. (You’d be surprised how each retailer’s advice differs depending on what products they are trying to shift).

    If he finds they are all recommending the same type of boot then I’d go online and try and find them cheaper.

    I normally buy my walking gear from Cotswold Outdoor as they are trustworthy, deliver on-time and have some good deals.

    Good luck 🙂

  7. anthony says:

    Hi there im looking at a pair of boots to last the southwest coast walk (630 miles) if possible for around £100, can you help?

  8. Hi Anthony,

    Firstly, good luck!

    I think for £100 you’d be able to get a fairly decent pair of boots that should last for the whole trip.

    I would probably go for something lightweight with plenty of ankle support and a vibram sole.

    I wouldn’t worry about GoreTex because I don’t think the outside of the boots will get too wet.

    From the sections that I have done it’s mainly slippery rocks and steep uphill climbs and downhill descents so your feet need to be secure and not move around too much inside. You can now get memory foam insoles which help, although I haven’t tried them myself yet.

    Go Outdoors are the cheapest for walking boots and they do North Ridge Men’s Tower eVent Waterproof Walking Boots for £99.99 or for a little less you can get Berghaus Tarazed GTX Walking Boots for £79.97 or even Scarpa Ranger GTX Men’s Walking Boots for £89.97.

    I’ve got a pair of Scarpa boots and they are brilliant for coastal walks, although they take a bit of breaking in!

  9. anthony says:


  10. Al Hughes says:


    I do 5 or 6 mountain walks a year with the odd challange thrown in such as the three peaks. Me and some mates also make a point of doing one or two mountains a year when weather conditions are at their worst. This year we are doing Ben Nevis and my boots are not Crampon compatible. Last January I was told I would need crampons for Scafell & helvellyn (I risked it and never bought any, which turned out to be a good decision because we got along fine in very, very deep snow). Will I need crampons for Ben nevis next month? If so, is there a cheap option out there that could be easily broken in within a couple of weeks? Or, is there an alternative to crampons?

    Any help & clarification would be much appreciated.

  11. That’s a little bit out of my area of expertise! Do you use walking poles, you can dig those into the snow/ice…

  12. Daniel Winnard says:

    Hi, this is my first visit to the website. Very impressed with all the info. I am a novice walker at best, and myself and two friends are organising doing the three peaks challenge in July 2013. We are currently organising and preparing.

    What boots would you recommend for this challenge, and how long would you give to bed them in before doing the challenge?

    Obviously we have no experience so any help or advice on this challenge as well would be great.

    Thanks Dan

  13. It took me 6 months to break in my Scarpa boots and about the same for my The North Face boots. I went through the ‘pain barrier’ twice with each pair and just when my The North Face boots got really comfortable they fell apart! The Scarpa’s are made of 1 piece of leather and are thick enough not to need Gore-Tex lining. But because they are so rigid they took a good bit of breaking in. Definitely go to a few retailers (Blacks, Cotswold Outdoor and Go Outdoors) and hear what they have to say and which boots best fit your feet and your walking style. I’ve got wide feet, a dodgy ankle, like to splash around and tend to walk quite fast so the Scarpa’s are perfect for me, and they grip the rocks like glue but after 15 miles they do start to rub because my feet sweat. For the three peaks (which I haven’t done yet) I would also go for walking poles to help with balance, meaning you also walk a bit more evenly, which would also help…. and wrap your feet with as much zinc oxide tape as you can find!

  14. John Mackay says:

    Hi David
    I need some advice re waterproof walking boots. I average 7-8 miles per day and have tried several makes but still need to find the ideal boot. 90% of my walking is on muddy gravel tracks and heathland (Dorset) 10% tarmac.

    The only boot I found to be waterproof was the (leather) Raichle MT GTX but the soles and heel quickly disintegrated (6-9 months). The shop replaced them but I had the same problem a few months later. Apparently this was an inherent fault with this boot. Raichle swithed the name to Mammut but I’ve read the problem is still there.

    I now have 2 pair of fabric boots, Meindl and Salomon, both high end and priced to match…unfortunately they both leak quite badly. I do make a point of rinsing my boots after each walk as I’m told alkaline soil / gravel can attack the non fabric areas of the boot. Also reproof them at least once a month.

    I’ve read your report on the ‘5 best’ and am leaning towards the leather Meindl Burma Pro GTX and would appreciate your input. As I walk 50 miles+ per week a breaking in period would not be a factor for me as long as I end up with comfortable and waterproof boots.

    Kindest Regards


  15. Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I think for the 7-8 miles you do a week you could get away with a more robust pair of boots. Although the Meindl boots I tried were super comfortable they were a little too low around my ankle (I broke it a few years ago so need the extra support). Also, the rubber ‘rand’ around the outside of the boot on my The North Face Jannu II’s split on both boots (where the boot creases by the toes) and as the Meindl’s are also made with nubuck leather I thought that might happen again. I went for the Scarpa’s because they had much thicker Sherpa leather which has (so far) prevented the creasing. Like you, I also wash and reproof them every month.

    So, if you want comfort then I’d go for the Meindl but if you want durability then I’d go for the Scarpa. I think the prices have come down since I wrote the original post.

    Let me know which ones you go for and then let me know how you get on with them?!

    Thanks again,


  16. John Mackay says:

    Hi David

    Thanks for the reply. Re the Scarpa, do you think the SL Activ as shown above is the best model to try or is there another Scarpa you think I should look at?

    Many thanks.


  17. They also do a Ranger boot which is a little lower around the ankles, a Terra boot which looks fairly basic (too basic for me) and a Delta boot (haven’t tried these ones on before) that look a bit more rugged but not so high up the ankle. The SL was the best fit for me.

  18. John Mackay says:

    Thanks again. I’ll let you know how things work out.


  19. Matthew Wardle says:

    One of the best discussions on serious footwear I’ve read so thanks to all concerned. I wonder if the community can help I need a bit of help. I don’t my needs are unique but it feels like it!

    In the new year I’m starting work with young people (irrelevant) in a woodland education setting and also doing some bela qualifications. I need a boot in which I can go for a walk in snowdonia doing some decent miles a day but is also able to keep my feet dry and comfortable in wet, damp, boggy woods where I will be standing about.

    That’s not quite it either, I’m 6’4″ and 19 stone with size 13uk feet so either boots fall apart within 2 months or shop assistants look at me blankly when I ask if they do the boot I want in size 13! Please help I’m starting to loose the will to live!

  20. I think you need to speak to a manufacturer and get a pair of walking boots custom made?

    Even I’ve run out of ideas for this one!

  21. Andy Denning says:

    Have had a pair of Salomon Cosmic 4D GTX for nearly two years, estimated mileage of only 300 miles – very comfortable.

    HOWEVER, they now leak. Went out on the Brecons a couple of weeks ago, on wet, marshy ground and ended up with wet feet.

    Cleaned them, dried them and tested them by standing ankle deep in a tub of water and after five minutes one of them was leaking. They will have to now do as a Summer boot, as there is a lot of wear left in them.

    Am now looking for a sturdy waterproof boot that can stay waterproof until it is worn out.

    The Meindl Burma Pro boots look good, but would the Scarpa SL Activ boots (no goretex liner) be just as good and watertight if the leather is kept proofed. Which one can happily cope with walking in snow and through marshy mud and remain waterproof?

  22. I’ve got a similar pair of Salomons and I wouldn’t trust them on a big walk like the Brecons. The Meindl Burma Pro boots do look good and they are really comfortable but I don’t think they are as sturdy as the Scarpas. I always used to think the Gore-tex = waterproof and if it didn’t have it then it meant they weren’t (if that makes sense?) but the Scarpa boots use really thick leather and so don’t need the gore-tex lining. My Scarpas haven’t let in any water yet and, believe me, I’ve been knee deep in all sorts of stuff over the last year or so!

  23. marcus says:

    Hi Dave

    I bought a pair of North Face syncline gtx last xmas in the sale from Blacks. They were great, went to norway, handled the snow etc with no problem. For a long time afterwards I had a strange squeak from one of the boots, around the heal but could never see what the problem was. Just before this xmas I noticed that the heal/sole had split. Have done a few miles in them but It seems pretty poor return for the money,I paid £70 reduced from £120. I had expected them to leak before the sole gave in. Any one got any thoughts about what sort of time/mileage they would expect from a supposed decent pair of boots.

    as blacks no longer seem to have the boots I am trying to decide my best course of action, whether to just fix it myself. The similar gortex boots they have in store are £140, or £140 down to £90. I can see them potentially trying to give me back my £70 as no like for like available, obviously this won’t leave much cash for new gortex.

    any thoughts



  24. That sounds like the boots were faulty or maybe the cold weather and then drying them in a warm room may have affected the glue or even cracked the rubber soles somehow (which would cause the squeak). I would take them back to Blacks and see what they say, they might be covered by the manufacturers guarantee.

  25. Jill says:

    Hi and Happy New Year!
    Am about to hit the shops for a new pair of boots as left my last pair with a Kili crew member. I need a pair for general Scottish hillwalking but am also doing Tour du Mont Blanc and Everest Base Camp this year so would appreciate advice on what I should look at.
    Many thanks.

  26. I’d probably go for a decent pair of really sturdy boots for the big trips (Scarpa) and then for everyday walking something a bit lighter and more flexible (The North Face, Meindl, Berghaus, Salomon). I really like my Scarpa boots, they’re no nonsense, tough and extremely durable. Good luck on your trips 🙂

  27. Jill says:

    Ok many thanks.

  28. Andy Denning says:

    Bought the Scarpa SL Activ today from Go Outdoors for £161.10 as they did a price match minus 10% from their price of £199.99 (these boots can be found online for £179.90).
    They felt comfy straight away, a nice snug fit that will undoubedly improve once they are worn in.
    Am looking forward to having these boots a long time and to giving them proper care and attention.

    Interestingly I re-tested my Salamon Cosmic 4D GTX (after adding more proofing) by standing in a tub of water for ten minutes – water wicked up the exterior fabric and started wicking down into the boots! Could explain them ‘leaking’!

  29. Excellent! Good luck with your boots 🙂

  30. HFS says:

    Hi Al, With regards to crampon use, I’d say it depends which route you plan on taking. I went up Nevis in early February last year via Carn Mor Dearg and the CMD arete, and it would have been madness to do so without crampons – along parts of the ridge between Carn Mor Dearg’s peaks it was solid sheet ice for dozens of metres at a time. Also the final climb to the top of Nevis would have been pretty hair-raising (and maybe not madness, but foolhardy) without ice axe and crampons (and that was in rare, picture-postcard fine weather).
    Having gone up that way, we came down via the “tourist track” on the other side. This had a surprising amount of ice in places, though with a bit of thought was doable without crampons. However, we managed to save a lot of time on the descent by putting our crampons back on and walking down a large section of the snow and ice-filled pass next to the zig-zag “tourist track” – this would have been impossible without them.
    If you have crampons, take them. If you don’t – they’re cheap to rent from Tiso.com (who also rent ice axes).

  31. Great advice… appreciate your comment!

  32. Jeff says:

    Hi David – thanks for this useful review – I am preparing for the four peak challenge in June and am hoping to purchase a new set of boots very soon. I think you may ave swayed me towards the Scarpas (assuming they’re ok in the shop) – whilst this is a boot review – would you have any recommendations on socks?

  33. I strap up my heels with zinc oxide tape, then use a pair of thin cotton walking socks and then have a thick pair of merino wool walking socks. That normally does the trick for me. Good luck on your trip 🙂

  34. Jeff says:


  35. Rich says:

    Hi there loved your reviews and your q&a very refreshing to. See!

    My question is about walking shoes, not boots but wonder if you could help.
    I am returning to training following knee surgery and am on a programme of walking. I am walking 6 miles a day on pavements as I am a city dweller and am looking for the right walking shoe.

    I currently wear an old pair of merriils that are on their last legs. As I am walking upwards of 30 miles a week I am looking to buy a pair of shoes that are suited to walking on pavement and road and provide good comfort and cushioning. They do not necessarily have to be waterproof but as our weather constantly throws up snow, ice and rain a little bit of protection to keep the toes warm would be a bonus. Any advice would be most welcome!

  36. I have been wearing The North Face Mens Hedgehogs for about 3 years now. Absolutely perfect walking shoe and a good range – either with or without Gore-Tex lining and loads of cushioning. Have you seen my review here? My wife has also got a pair and she swears by them!

  37. Rich says:

    Many thanks David!

    I will read your review!

  38. Steve Kembery says:

    Just wondering if I could get some advice please. In June this year I will be completing the 3 peaks challenge with 4 other friends. Can I just ask your advice on footwear please. I have a pair of North Face Hedgehogs which served me well in New Zealand when I walked up Ben Lomond and I find them very comfortable. Can I ask do you think they will be OK for me to do the 3 peaks challenge? Or do I have to get a more traditonal walking boot. I’ve attached the link to show you the hedgehogs I mean.

    Kind Regards

  39. I’ve got the same Hedgehogs and find them great for walking but maybe for the 3 peaks you might want to go for the GoreTex version because of the wetter weather. I’d also be inclined to go for walking boots for the support, stability and muddier conditions. Good luck on your trip!

  40. Lesley Walker says:

    First off I’m female.
    I have been wearing a fantastic pair of leather upper Timberland hiking boots that I bought 16 years ago at about £200. I had a Dalmatian so daily walked about 3 miles, and at the weekend lots more, often in the wet as I live in the hills of North Wales. I cleaned them every week and put vaseline on every month. The uppers are scuffed, but still keep my feet perfectly dry, I have replaced the inner soles many times, but there is very little grip underneath, in fact they are almost smooth. Any recommendations, as I am so loath to give up my comfy boots.

  41. Wow!

    I think you should take a photo of them and write to Timberland and see what they say – you could also post your comment on their facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/timberland under ‘Recent Posts by Others on Timberland’

    I really like your tip about vaseline and the only other thing I can think of is if you try and get them resoled?

  42. Liza green says:

    Stumbled on this page while idly looking for ideas for new boots. I have had several pairs of Merrells which I discovered when living in the Middle East and loved, as they suited the shape of my foot, were lightweight and great for hiking in the rough mountains of Oman etc. however I have since returned to live in Scotland and have been disappointed with the two pairs I had here. The gortex linings have failed very quickly. My bug bear is wet feet, I can walk for hours with other wetness so long as my feet are dry, one thing I am certain of is that walking in Scotland is going to be wet. So any suggestions for ladies boots, I’m not in the Ben Nevis league, but do enjoy a good day out in the hills. Great page by the way.

  43. Thanks for your comment and compliment 🙂

    I think gore-tex is very over-rated in walking boots now that I own my Scarpas. I find that my feet stay much dryer because having such thick leather means there is a certain amount of breath-ability and using a thin sock and a pair of thicker socks over the top wicks away any moisture quite well. Obviously, although gore-tex keeps water out, in my experience it also keeps moisture in. I think you need boots that use one piece of leather rather than being stitched anywhere that’s likely to let water in – around the laces or the sole. The boots aren’t just made of one piece, that’s just the terminology they use.

    Good luck in your search and let me know which ones you go for!

  44. Caley says:

    Just bought my first real pair of waking boots, the brand Scarpa of course, I’m a walking novice…. Well as much as I can be having spent my childhood on the North Yorkshire moors and dales and wish to get back into walking seriously, I’ll let you know how I get on! Fantastic website and brilliant advise. Cheers!

  45. What a lovely comment. Thank you very much!

  46. lee jones says:

    Hi, i do alot of walking in the Brecon beacons, normally with a heavy pack on. I’m looking for a decent pair of lightweight boots with good ankle support to wear. I don’t want Gor-tex boots as staying dry isn’t really essential to me. Currently at the moment i’m wearing Alt-bergs but i’m looking for something a little lighter. Also i tend to suffer from pronation when i walk, but i know this can be fixed by decent insoles. Any ideas?

  47. Good question and I’m not sure if I can answer it! If you are looking for lightweight gear then I follow this blog http://blogpackinglight.wordpress.com/ and he has a few walking boot reviews that you may find useful.

    He recently reviewed Ecco Biom Hike Mid boots and I think they sound like what you may be looking for.

    I prefer a good set of sturdy Scarpa walking boots which give me excellent ankle support, don’t have gore-tex but do keep my feet dry….but I wouldn’t consider them to be lightweight.

  48. Robin says:

    David asked me to comment. It’s extremely difficult to find non-membrane boots, even lightweight ones.

    At the moment I use Ecco Biom Hike mids (leather) and Salomon Fastpackers (fabric). The Fastpackers are like a beefed up trail shoe, but a boot and I’ve found extremely comfortable. They have a GTX liner but I don’t overheat or sweat too much in them. Salomon have discontinued them, but you can still find them in shops.

    The Ecco Biom Hike mid boots look a bit more traditional. They are leather but also have a GTX lining. Again, I’ve not found this to be a problem leading to overheating or discomfort. For my feet, the Bioms are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn. They are very flexible, leading to a very natural feeling when walking in them. They are a higher volume boot than the Salomons and I used a volume reducer from Brasher to make the fit perfect.

    TBH, the best boot for you is the one that fits you. What suits my foot may not suit yours, so you need to shop around for one that has the right fit and the attributes you require. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell whether a boot or shoe really fits until you’ve done a few long walks in them.

    Hope that helps.

  49. Thanks Robin, good advice.

  50. lee jones says:

    Thanks alot for taking the time to help gents. After alot of thinking i went for a pair of Solomans. Still breaking them in but off to Wales next week so fingers crossed they will do the trick! Thanks again.

  51. No problem! Good luck with your new boots 🙂

  52. Matthew Phillips says:

    I purchased a pair of the Berghaus explorer ridge boots a year ago and the leather has now split right through and has started to let water in at the toe creases. I am currently in the process of getting the boots replaced.. They have been regularly used for dog walking but for them not to last a year was surprising as I have looked after them and ensured that they are always dried naturally and cleaned.

  53. I just had a look on the official Berghaus website and the Berghaus explorer ridge boots have mixed reviews. One person said they only lasted 6 months. I think when you buy a pair of walking boots that are built for comfort then they probably won’t last that long, if you buy a boots built for durability then you should be OK – although you might have to go through the pain of breaking them in!

  54. Bob Whitehouse says:

    I’m looking for a decent pair of walking boots suitable for walking in the Lakes/Snowdon/Peak District. Usually have a couple of weeks holiday walking plus the odd weekend each year plus odd days. Any recommendations? PS my present pair have finally given up (or I’ve got fed up with them leaking) after 34 years service so I guess Im not really upto date with the “boot” market! It would be nice to replace them with something that might last as long!!

  55. 34 years!!! Wow – what were they? I’m not sure if they make boots that last that long anymore 🙁

  56. Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m not that new to walking but only recently started to take it more seriously and I’ve signed up for the national three peaks. I wear brasher leather boots. I’ve had them about 10 years and they have been amazing, not one blister!. Only, having walking Snowdon recently (quickly!) I found they hurt my ankles and the tops of my feet on decent. I’m now worried about walking the three peaks in them. I’m after a good ladies boot. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    In addition, any suggestions on a decent ladies 30-35L rucksack. I’ve looked at the Womens Berghaus Arete 30l and I’m unsure.

  57. You may need a boot that gives better ankle support and are a bit more rigid so go for a pair of boots that have thick calves leather. I really can’t fault Scarpa walking boots, and I wrote this article a while ago now. For rucksacks, I like Berghaus too. I did buy one and the straps split so I returned it and the replacement has been fine. Have you seen this? http://www.walksandwalking.com/walking-boots-and-accessories/walking-accessories/how-to-choose-a-rucksack/

  58. Forgot to add… you can now get boots with memory foam insoles which also help stop slippage on ascents/descents or you can buy them separately.

  59. Nic w-p says:

    Hi There, newbie here
    I do a fair ammount of walking from trails to the mountains, I dont have a big budget but want a boot to last me and be ok for 12 mile country walks but also ok on the mountains and ok to use in the snow when climbing.

    any ideas? cheers

  60. You definitely need a vibram sole for a better grip in the snow – that’s also compatible with ice grips/crampons if you need them, don’t go for anything that feels immediately comfortable because they won’t be any good for mountain ascents/descents, either get boots with memory foam insoles or that leave enough room for memory foam insoles that keep your feet in place.

    I’ve got Scarpas because they do me fine for the same requirements you’ve outlined and you can get some good pairs for about £100 – £150 or cheaper at Go Outdoors. If you go for the latest boots then there are quite expensive but if you go for boots that have been around for a while you can get some good deals.

    Hope it helps and let me know what you choose!

    And when you’ve done your walks email me the route with photos and I’ll try and feature them on the website 🙂

  61. Dave says:

    Hi David,

    Firstly well done on the great review, it’s very hard to find good boot reviews like this from people who actually use boots!

    Two questions.

    I am hard on boots. My Meindles are already showing wear on the heels in under 9 months.

    How are your Scarpa heels doing?

    Also, my feet also sweat and I’m in the boots all day. No issues with Meindle. How are the Scarpa doing? Are your feet hot in them? Are your socks soaking wet at the end of the day?

    Again I’m in South East Asia with boots most of the time so heat is a killer. No issue with Meindle but the soles I go through. Considering Scarpa so I’d appreciate is you have any info on the above!


  62. I hear that a lot about Meindles – very comfortable but not very durable. With Scarpa there is a little sacrifice between early comfort and stability. Once they’re broken in they’re great. My feet also sweat but my feet don’t feel hot in them and I wear a pair of thin socks and thick socks that wick away moisture. Haven’t tested them in South East Asia though 😉

  63. Dave says:

    Thanks David. Hmmmm I might have to take a chance on these Scarpa Delta boots. Expensive but I need them to last a while longer than Meindle. If you’ve heard anything about the “Delta” Scrapa version could you give me a shout? Reading through reviews but mostly the same yadayad 😉

  64. Alfie says:

    I’ve stated walking and looking at boots, I’m currently using some old ones I’ve found at the back if the wardrobe but desperately need new ones. What boots would you recommend, I’ll be looking at doing 10-15 miles and walk over terrain such as Brecon Beacons, so I’m guessing waterproof

  65. Yes, waterproof and supportive for your ankles – you need something robust like the Scarpa walking boots or a good pair of The North Face – thick leather is best 🙂

  66. Michael says:

    David thanks for all the good advice , my 12 year old Solomon’s gave up this weekend and just sort of collapsed between the heel and sole , but they still remain waterproof , I’m liking the idea of thick leather so I think I’ll go for the Scarpa and see how they go 😉

  67. Great – thanks for the comment and good luck with the Scarpas!

  68. Andrew says:

    Hi David,

    ? tough one for you…..i am planning(very early stages) to do Camino Frances in june july 2014 and looking for advice on footwear to tackl this lengthy trek….. added problem is im size 14 (uk)

    any advice


  69. OK, so this is out of the realms of my (limited) expertise…. I would be inclined to go for a material boot which would be more breathable and offer good support for rougher terrains, and possibly a pair of good quality walking sandals for the long flat stretches of the trek.

    For the walking boots I’d go for something light like Hi-Tec or Merrells and Teva do really amazing sandals…. not sure about the size though!

  70. Andrew says:

    thanks David,
    I use merrell shoes so will look at them and sandals hmm good call

  71. Alex says:

    Hi David,

    Love the review. I’m looking at getting a pair of do everything walking/hiking boots and the scarpa are at the top of my list. Have read a few reviews about longevity (cracking leather/ problems with the leather in general). How have yours stood up to the test of time?

    As someone with a size 13 foot, my choices are slightly more limited and ability to try in store almost non-existant so any advice appreciated!


  72. I’ve had my Scarpa’s since February 2012 – and here’s what they look like after a week of walking in Weymouth last week http://instagram.com/p/gNLL1wRUyX/

    I don’t wear them every week but they certainly aren’t showing any signs of cracking yet as they are about 5mm thick and made of calves leather

    What I’ve learnt over time is that you shouldn’t try and break boots in, a good pair of boots breaks you in 🙂

  73. Tim Taylor says:

    Hi there – apologies if this isn’t quite the right place for this type of post but I’m scratching around online trying to find opinion on how long I might expect my Scarpa Delta GTX Activ Boots to last for. I’ve alighted on this discussion so just wondered whether anyone reading this might be able to help?

    Basically, these are my first “serious” walking boots and they’ve been a disaster. The first pair wore out on the sole on the outside of both boots within just over a year (and probably about 500 to 600 miles) of fairly gentle terrain – chiefly Peak District.

    Go Outdoors (yes, unfortunately) replaced these without quibble but the outside of the soles on the replacement pair has gone even more quickly, probably after nearer 350 to 400 miles and this time they’re saying they won’t replace because this is just general “wear and tear” (despite the fact that the wear is identical to that exhibited by the original pair). If this is all one can expect from a pair of boots of this stature then I’m deeply shocked and disappointed – I find these to have been absolutely terrible value for money having expected to be using them for several years, not a matter of months.

    I can see that I obviously favour the outside of my feet when walking (a fact pointed out by Mountain Boot Company in their letter refusing replacement or refund which accompanied the returned boots) – all my shoes wear down more quickly on the outer edge than the inner but absolutely NOT to this extreme extent. What I cannot accept however, is that a pair of supposedly very good walking boots can’t cope with a few hundred miles of this on gentle terrain. I would have thought that they’d have been much more hardy, not less! This is just totally illogical to my mind.

    If anyone reading this has any comments as to whether my expectations are just too high or indeed how to get Go Outdoors to sit up and take notice of a serious complaint (as opposed to passing me around the customer services reps – I get a response from a different one every time I try so they’re clearly not taking me very seriously just at the moment) I’d be extremely grateful.

    David, apologies if this isn’t the forum for this type of question but many thanks in advance if you or anyone else reading this can help in any way!

  74. Hi,
    No problem with you posting your issues here, and I hope you get some good advice.
    I broke my ankle years ago and found going to a chiropractor and osteopath has helped correct my posture, meaning I now walk properly.
    If you don’t walk straight (for want of a better way to say that!) then it’s not the fault of the manufacturer or the retailer.
    I do about 250 – 300 miles a year in my Scarpa boots and I weight 18 stone and there’s hardly any wear on the soles at all.
    I’m not an expert in walking boots but may be a harder compound sole may be another answer?
    Good luck and hope you find a good solution!

  75. Patrick Pallett says:

    Hi, I bought a pair of salmon Quest 4d gtx boots, I average 5 -10 miles a day year round. I walk mostly off trail. My boots instantly ripped due to brambles and have started leaking badly. Which would be the best boots to buy for hard core walking.

  76. Scarpa are the most robust boots I’ve ever had – thick calves leather means they don’t leak or absorb water. I’ve just come back from a week in Exmoor National Park and my feet were bone dry after an 11 mile hike across damp moors. They have scratched over time but it hasn’t affected the boots waterproofing or breathability. Hope it helps 🙂 David.

  77. Patrick Pallett says:

    Hi David, thanks for your reply. Which model of boot would you recommend from Scarpa. I definitely want to veer away from soft leather and fabric boots.

  78. This sort of thing: http://www.scarpa.co.uk/trek/ranger-2-gtx-activ/ Go Outdoors normally do really good deals on the slightly older versions.

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