Maybe you are just starting to take up walking as a serious hobby, maybe you have been doing a bit over the last few years but in ill-suited footwear or maybe you have been serious for a while and want to upgrade to a more technical product which offers better performance.
Sometimes you just don’t really know what you want to do and need a bit of advice, hopefully reading on will narrow down your choices and make selecting the right product easy.
We have come up with some examples of the type of walker you might be, or aspire to be, so that you can match the boots construction and performance characteristics to your own usage.
Dog walker – Not to be underestimated! You are probably the category that are doing the most mileage per year as you will be out every day come rain or shine.
We recommend looking at boots or shoes that are easy to keep clean and dry as you might wear them twice per day. Leather boots are easiest to clean and proof and will normally come with a deeper tread on the sole unit than a shoe so potentially last longer as well. Scarpa Ranger, Lowa Renegade, Meindl Peru and Altberg Fremington are all good places to start.
Casual walker – You like a nice walk at the weekend, probably in the spring, summer and autumn months when the weather is a bit more pleasant and the paths and trails are in better condition.
We recommend looking at lightweight fabric boots or shoes. They will keep your feet a bit cooler than a leather model, will feel lighter and slightly softer around the foot and quite often have a softer midsole to add even more comfort.
Weekend warrior – Committed to getting out there in any weather and looking for adventures off the beaten track, where the terrain may be more severe under foot.
We recommend looking at boots with a stiffer midsole and more ankle support to help control the foot and reduce movement when contouring and walking on uneven ground. A boot that comes up higher will also naturally add waterproofing.
Long distance walker – You like multi day treks. Missions like the John Muir trail, Tour du Mont Blanc, GR20, Wainright’s Coast to Coast and others interest you.
We recommend looking at lightweight boots, keeping the weight on the end of your foot to a minimum over a long distance will pay off by making your calves much less tired at the end of each day. You could also use trail shoes and add waterproof socks if the weather looks wet and you don’t need the ankle support of a boot. This is a great way to keep the weight down.
Technical ridge walker / scrambler – you are keen on finding Steep rocky ground with exposed traverses where the walking is committing and requires fitness and skill.
We recommend looking at either a stiff technical boot that edges well or a specialist approach shoe that has been designed for low grade scrambling or climbing.
Winter walker – It will be more likely that you are in one of the other categories above and want to add a more specialist product to your boot collection for the odd occasion we actually get a winter or just as a bad weather alternative.
Any waterproof leather boot has the potential to be capable of winter walking but certain models allow you to fit a Crampon to your boot for occasional use on frozen snow and ice and offer more protection and warmth.
Looking for expert footwear fit help? We would love to help you choose the right pair of walking boots or shoes - Click here to complete the contact form and we can discuss the options.