We have a dazzling array of walking boots on offer here on Webtogs, ranging from lightweight hikers to stiffer, more supportive boots for when the going gets tough. As a result we’re well aware that having a pair of ill-fitting or unsuitable ones is guaranteed to ruin your day. Most walking boots are made along the same lines; an upper designed to encase the foot and protect and support it, a stiffening or shank element giving the boot lateral stability and torsional rigidity, a mid-sole to provide cushioning, and an outsole of lugged rubber which provides grip and protection. Beyond those similarities though, walking boots can vary massvely! For this reason we’ve put together this page outlining our range, the brands and the technologies within it, to make it that bit easier for you to decide which one's right for you.
Meindl Borneo Pro MFS Walking Boot video
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Top Selling Walking Boots:
Trail Lite GTXMeindl
Borneo Pro MFS Walking BootMeindl
Men's Toronto GTX Walking BootsKeen
Men's Targhee II Mid Walking BootsKeen
Men's Targhee II Mid Walking BootsMeindl
Burma PRO MFS Hiking BootMeindl
Men's Bhutan MFS Hiking BootMeindl
Women's Bhutan MFS Hiking BootKeen
Men's Targhee II Mid Walking BootsKeen
Women's Targhee II Mid BootsZamberlan
Women's Ultra Lite GTXZamberlan
Ultra Lite GTXZamberlan
Women's Trail Lite GTXZamberlan
Women's Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
Gore-Tex are the makers of the well known waterproof and breathable membrane which is added to outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment in order to achieve high levels of weather protection and performance when it's most needed.
Keen.Dry is a proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane that lets moisture out without letting water in so keeping your feet dry from rain and snow while letting moist damp air escape from the boots or shoes.
Gore-Tex XCR Technology is the Gore-Tex eXtended Comfort Range, used where comfort and dexterity matter most, and designed to meet the challenge of keeping hands and feet dry whilst letting them breathe freely.
Lightweight products feature lightweight materials and constructions to reduce the user’s load and aid mobility. Lightweight clothing products are thin and provide very little or no cushioning and insulation. They are best used for high-intensity or warm-weather pursuits, or employed as part of a layering system.
Leather is a durable and hardwearing but also an elegant and flexible material. It is a natural product, so it breathes which means it is extremely comfortable footwear. It can be moulded, split, shaped and finished into numerous textures and patterns.
AEGIS Microbe Shield controls the bacteria and fungi that cause footwear odour over time. AEGIS causes no damage to the environment through pollution or production waste products.
Metatomical Footbed Design is an internal support mechanism that is anatomically engineered to provide excellent arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot for extra comfort.
KEEN S3 is other wise know as Shock, Suspension and Stability. Keen have engineered this technology to help support the foot on impact and dissipate shock to reduce the odds of twisting an ankle.
Scarpa use Vibram soles on their Walking Boots because they are the world leaders in high performance rubber soles. Scarpa and Vibram go well together because they are both very interested in keeping their products of the highest quality, performance, safety, innovation and design.
Made partly or entirely from man-made or synthetic materials. These enables the manufacturer to select materials to suit the objectives of their product, for example to achieve light weight, high breathability, or abrasion resistance.
B0 Boots and shoes are not crampon compatible. Intended for walking and trekking, whether in the hills or at low level; these are the ideal boots for 3-season comfort here in the UK. For winter mountain walking and mountaineering, a crampon-compatible boot (B1+) is better suited.
Walking Boot Rating Systems
To get an idea of a boot’s stiffness and support, consider its B Rating (B0-B3), and/or Season Rating (1-4 Seasons), as expalined in our Gear Guru guide to Choosing Walking Boots (link below), and look at the materials used in the midsole (e.g. high density foam, cork, PU). Much of the detail however, isn't visible and it's often these invisible aspects of boot feel, which give the better walking boot brands an advantage. You can only truly tell if a pair of boots is right for you once you have them on your feet, and there's tips on how to test them out in our Gear Guru guide to Fitting Walking Boots, here:
Walking Boot Construction
Walking boot uppers are usually made from one of two material groups, leather or synthetic/fabric. Here’s a quick explanation of the two types:
Leather is the original walking boot material. Leather boots will last for many years if correctly maintained, and shape to your feet in a way that only a leather boot can! Modern leather is treated during the tanning process so as to ensure good water repellency, ruggedness and breathability. An important feature of leather is that it needs to be ‘broken in’ by gentle use, before it softens up and reaches its optimum level of comfort. The degree to which a boot must be broken in depends on which type of leather is used in its construction. Leather can be split into three main categories: split grain leather, nubuck/suede leather, and full grain leather. Their properties are as follows:
Split grain leather is the lightest and most flexible of the leather types, as the leather has been split from the inner layer of hide for a more supple finish. Will shape to the foot easily after a few days of wear.
Nubuck and suede leathers have been sanded or brushed on the grain side of the leather to increase flex over full grain leather. This also results in softer, more textural and visually appealing leather for use in footwear where image is a factor. These leathers offer a good compromise between full grain and split grain leathers.
Full grain leather is the full thickness of the hide, and as a result is the strongest and most durable of all leather types. It is excellent for use in supportive 3-4 season boots. The downside is that full grain leather is heavier than other leathers, and takes a long time to ‘break in’: it will take several walks to soften up and shape to the foot. As a result, we recommend wearing full grain boots around the house/garden for a few days, before going on a few short walks: don’t charge straight into a 40 mile backpacking trip or your feet will be left in agony!
'Fabric', or synthetic boots tend to use a mix of Nylon or Cordura and suede leather, often including a waterproof liner. These boots will be lighter and more flexible at the outset than leather boots, necessitating very little breaking-in time.
Many fabric and leather boots feature a waterproof membrane. In more expensive boots these are likely to be branded, for example Gore-Tex and eVent, and you can be guaranteed that these will keep your feet dry and breathe well to boot. Excellent in-house alternatives are available from some brands, for example, KEEN.Dry, and these will usually perform just as well in real world conditions. That being said, walking boots with a membrane will not be as breathable as those without, so you should consider the intended use of your walking boots before you buy. If you’re planning on using them in warmer climates, or solely on low-level paths, you may decide that a waterproof boot is not for you, and that your feet will benefit from the extra comfort allowed by superior breathability (not to mention the cash you’ll save). Modern leather boots are highly water-repellent, even without a waterproof membrane, whereas fabric boots are less so, so there are varying degrees of water repellency even within non-waterproof styles. If you’re planning on going off path regularly in the UK, or want a boot for 4-season mountain use, a waterproof membrane is advisable.