How to Buy Walking Boots

How to Buy Walking Boots

So you’re thinking of getting some walking footwear? How do you choose which walking boots to buy? With the chance of foreign holidays drifting further and further down the calendar; it may be just the time to take advantage of the stunning places that the UK has to offer. I can remember spending about £120 on a pair of hiking boots about 20 years ago and I still wear them today. Choosing the right boot, getting it fitted properly, and looking after them will see you enjoying walking and hiking for years to come.

And that’s just what they’ll do,

But make sure you don’t make mistakes

That walk right home to you!

It’s not always easy to pick the right boot/shoe even if you are trying to think about it in advance.  Here are a few things to consider that might help you choose the right product and the right supplier.

Where will you walk?

Getting the right footwear for a given job is important or you can end up wasting money or using footwear that is either bad for you or simply not comfortable or hard work if it’s too bulky and heavy.  You could also fill your shoe rack up with something that you never wear!

Consider where you might use them. When purchasing mine, I wanted something that would get me up the mountains in the Lake District and also great for a trudge across a muddy field. Considering where you will wear them; maybe for rough mountainous terrain, or something less challenging, robust enough for local “flat” walks or just walking the dog. I never wear mine for dog walking as they are too much hassle to lace up!

If you know exactly what the footwear will be used for, this will help you pick.  So try and think about this carefully, it’s possible that it might be multifunctional but don’t attempt to combine too many things.  Sometimes a trainer style or light boot (often referred to as approach shoe) may be suitable but for more serious hiking, don’t be scared to buy the bulky boots that you might see mountaineers wearing.  You don’t need to do the kind of climbing where you are dangling from ropes to need and benefit from chunky footwear. Trust me, in my walking boots, it feels like carpet (well almost) when I trudge across rocky terrain! I also love the ankle support I get from my boots; no twisted ankles for me thank you.


 This is an important area to consider. There are certain industry standards and brands such as “Vibram”. This is a very durable and supportive sole that will enable your footwear to be used in very challenging terrain and should prevent slips.  However, “trainer type shoes with Vibram soles are not ideal in rocky or mountainous situations as you do not get the ankle support needed.

“Gore-Tex” (and many equivalent technologies and brands) offer a membrane that is waterproof.  This can be useful but they retain heat so could cause discomfort.  Don’t feel you have to buy Gore-Tex and equivalents if you don’t need them as good quality products are often resilient enough without these membranes. Gore-Tex products could be more useful walking your dog around the park in wet grass in the morning than going out for an all-day hike in the mountains in good weather. Non-Gore-Tex can be significantly cheaper!

It’s important to spend some time researching the shoe material.  You could waste money either by buying something unnecessarily excellent,. I would tend to err on buying features that I think I might need when purchasing boot-type footwear that I plan to use for longer distances but for my everyday dog walking shoes, I just buy comfy, cheap, and replace them.

Nana Knows Verdict

Now you have an idea of how to buy a pair of walking boots, your thoughts may turn to where to buy them. How do you know you are in the right place to buy this kind of footwear? I have bought some great footwear for dog walking from Clarkes and the Gore-Tex lining has kept my feet dry.

Clarkes have an offer on at the moment. Click the link to browse their deals.

50% Off our best Adults and Kids Boots with free delivery £75 or over

When buying footwear for long distances I would always go to the shop, ask for advice and get them to fit the shoes. Any vendor that is serious about this kind of footwear will have a small bridge that you walk up, over, and down so you can see if your feet slip about inside the boot.  Believe me, you do not want slippage! They will also have a member of staff that is willing to spend a good amount of time with you and take you through all the options. Tell them what you want to use the product for and don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions.  DO not forget the socks either, a great pair makes all the difference! Great boots and great socks and you will go for miles. I have never had any blisters or sore feet. One last piece of advice, always clean your boots before you put them away. I use Nikwax on mine.

My 20 yr. old boots are ready to go for another season. Time to plan my next challenge. What will yours be?

Read more about Nana on my About page.


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