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Subject Topic: Hiking Boots Post Reply Post New Topic
09/1/2024 at 4:47pm
 Location: Greater Manchester
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Hi Ya
My son has started wild camping and is looking for a pair of hiking boots but unsure what to get.

Any advice would be fantastic and the price up to say £300
He was looking at Go out doors but i said Cotswold outdoor would be a better place to get them from.

Thanks


09/1/2024 at 6:29pm
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Everyone's feet are different, therefore it is impossible to recommend a particular make of boot. The only satisfactory way is to go to a specialist boot supplier who stocks various makes and has experience in fitting.
Shops such as Go Outdoors do not have that experience, apart from offering a limited range of budget boots.

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Bernie


via mobile 09/1/2024 at 6:59pm
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After many thousands of walking miles in all terrains and weather , I swear by Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boots. They've never let me down, never leak and are very well made.

https://www.lowa.co.uk/products/renegade-gtx-mid

And for me personally they don't need breaking in. So comfortable. As mentioned above everyone is different but I'd defo say it's worth at least checking them out and trying them on if you can find a store which has them

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09/1/2024 at 7:03pm
 Location: London
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Done a fair bit of hill walking, and long ago a very experienced walker and guide told me 'NEVER skimp on boots - if you can't walk, out in the wilds you are in serious trouble, they can be the difference between life and death in extremes!'.

What he meant was your boots need to be absolutely reliable, comfortable and a good fit so you don't get blisters, waterproof (and preferably breathable), and have good grip on all terrains, and oft overlooked, have cleats that are self cleaning, otherwise you tend to end up clumping about in 'platform shoes' as the muck accumulates and you lose good traction!
Too heavy and they will tire you out over distance, too thin and flexible soles will make your feet ache on rocky/stony ground. On uneven ground they need to give good ankle support otherwise you risk a twisted ankle!

Like most things 'one size fits all' when it comes to choosing is balancing opposing requirement to some extent, and you can only take that so far! I've got two different types of boot, one pair for 'general' hill walking the low and mid regions, and a heavier soled pair for traversing the rocky higher level terrain. You can use the heavy boots on low grassy terrain, but they are unnecessarily heavy, and the stiffness of the sole can make your feet ache quicker.

Socks can make the world of difference to how good or bad comfort of boots is, old trick was to wear two pairs of socks, a thin pair next to skin, and a heavy durable pair over top. Logic was, the thin socks grip your feet, the thick socks grip the boots, and the movement/abrasion is between the socks, NOT your feet and socks. You can get purpose designed walking socks that have an inner and outer layer that simulates the two sock arrangement. Pay great attention to seams, that's often where the blisters will get you! BUT you need to wear your chosen socks when buying boots, otherwise the fit may not be right!

I've used Brasher branded boots for years, and had a few pairs that have all served me well, and last couple of pairs are still going strong, their then claim of 'Comfortable out of the box' proved to be true for me. At first they were UK/Portugal made, then inevitably China. They were an independent company, but these days are just another in house brand of Go Outdoors/Millets/Blacks etc. and I can't vouch for how good they are any more.

'Vibram' was always the sole material of choice, reputedly giving the best grip on wet rock, not kept up to date, so may be good alternatives these days.

I always favoured leather uppers, and they are easy to keep in good condition with wax treatments, my Ex always went for woven fabric types, but I noted her boots often failed when the edge of the fabric panel let go around the stitching lines in highly flexed/stressed areas, that may have been no more than the difference in the way we walked and the demands we put on our boots, but my boots seemed to last longer than hers!

£300 is top end, you should have no trouble finding good quality boots at that end of market, but may be overkill, BUT every manufacturer occasionally turns out a less than perfect design, worth reading reviews from users and seeing if any particular short comings stands out. £150 area should get you decent enough boots unless you plan to trek the Himalayas or the like! Sub £150 RRP and you are edging into a variable mine field, some will be fine, others overpriced tat!

It's difficult to advise someone else, boots are a very personal thing, and the way they fit is critical, different manufacturers products suit different people for different reasons, I've wide feet with a high instep, some boots are a disaster even trying to get them on, whilst others are like carpet slippers in the comfort stakes.

Good luck.


via mobile 10/1/2024 at 8:44am
 Location: County Kildare Ireland EU.
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I have Salomon boots and shoes and do a lot of KMs a year backpacking. They haven't let me down in some challenging terrain. The Salomon Quests I have are excellent.
I also have a pair of Garmonts for winter but they are for crampon use so not suitable for walking.
If a more traditional boot is required, have a look at Grisport. I have a pair of their crusader boots. Leather uppers and Vibram soles and bombproof. Lovely boots. Heavy compared to the Salomon's though.
However, I can recommend but it is just my personal preference. Really he needs to go to a good outdoors shop to try them on. Take socks that would be used for the walk. I usually wear a thin wicking liner sock and a thicker pair over them. I don't get blisters. The shop should have ramps to try them on etc and should know their stuff.
Most boots won't need breaking in but wear them a bit before the first walk. As has been pointed out, sizing is a hit and miss. I take a size 9 in done, a 9.5 in others and a 10 in others. A good idea is to be a bit cheeky and try them on in the shop and then order that size online as it is usually cheaper.
If getting leather boots, then some boot wax is a good idea as well. (Not dubbin) Fabric boots usually just need a brush.
Previous comments have summed it all up really. I'd avoid your berghaus and karrimor sports direct tat. Sadly those manufacturers are just a shade of what they were. I'd agree that £150 RRP is base level but you will get some deals below that, especially as manufacturers bring out new models.
One final tip. Even on the best boots the footbeds can be rubbish. Sometimes it is best to buy new insoles. I always replace the manufacturers ones with sorbothane. I've been doing that since the 80s and it works

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Hypercamp Alaska
Vango Force 10 mk3
Vango F10 Helium 1
Coleman Cobra Pro 3
Coleman Cobra 2
Naturehike Star River 2
Eureka! Solitaire
Dutch army goretex bivvy bag


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via mobile 10/1/2024 at 9:20am
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Find a shop with a trained fitter rather than just a sales assistant, some Cotswold branches have them.
Depending where you live you could try a specialist shop like Whalley Warm and Dry in Lancashire. I got my boots there and they were able to stretch tight spots to give a perfect fit (even making further adjustments after I had tried them on the hill).
Have a good walk round in the shop, they should have a slope to try them on. Once you have chosen it's a good idea towear them around the house to check what they're like for longer periods, many shops will let you return them within a few weeks if they haven't bought worn outside.


10/1/2024 at 9:32am
 Location: Greater Manchester
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Thanks everyone and excellent advise.
at Ewen C I loved your last post on your west highland way and noticed you mentioned Salomon Quest boots in that.


via mobile 10/1/2024 at 9:40am
 Location: County Kildare Ireland EU.
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Oh, that's a nice mention, thanks.
I do like my Salomons and also use the shoes versions for long distance walks in France but it is all a matter of preference and we all have different feet. It is just that Salomon suit my feet
The quests are very comfy for me and they are waterproof until you go up to your knees.

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Hypercamp Alaska
Vango Force 10 mk3
Vango F10 Helium 1
Coleman Cobra Pro 3
Coleman Cobra 2
Naturehike Star River 2
Eureka! Solitaire
Dutch army goretex bivvy bag


10/1/2024 at 11:40am
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For what it's worth my tick list is: leather, Goretex (waterproof) and Vibram sole to narrow down the choice. After that it's down to fit/comfort/price.

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Grahame


via mobile 10/1/2024 at 12:54pm
 Location: County Kildare Ireland EU.
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I'd also include a good pair of goretex gaiters in the budget. Help to keep you dry, keep the ticks away and stops gravel and mud getting in the tops of the boots. Trekmates make good goretex ones at decent prices.

-------------
Hypercamp Alaska
Vango Force 10 mk3
Vango F10 Helium 1
Coleman Cobra Pro 3
Coleman Cobra 2
Naturehike Star River 2
Eureka! Solitaire
Dutch army goretex bivvy bag


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via mobile 14/1/2024 at 5:45pm
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When I was working with a job outdoors, the boots were our PPE. After a warden slipped on a steep wet path & fell to his death, the inquest found he had slipped because his boots had a chamfered heel - cut away at an angle, theoretically easier to walk on. It meant when he tried to dig in his heel to stop himself, he just slid as there was no corner / sharp edge to grip the path surface.
So we had to spend our equipment budget on boots with a heel that went straight down from the boot to the ground.
We have Tiso & Nevisport shops up here, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Both have big range of boots & staff who know their stuff & can advise on the boots for the type of walking that’s planned: going Munro bagging in winter needs something different. Take the socks you’ll be wearing - we all wore one thin, one thick pair, the thick ones fold down over the top to keep out the seeds & dead bracken.

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2024 = 2 sites / 4 nights. 2023 = 9/23. 2022 = 13/35. 2021 = 11/29. 2020 = 4/20. 2019 = 13/35. 2018 = 20/33. 2017 = 10/22. 2016 = 19/33. 2015 = 15 sites / 27 nights. Didn't count 1976 to 2014.


15/1/2024 at 10:08am
 Location: Greater Manchester
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Thanks Everyone <3


15/1/2024 at 12:46pm
 Location: Devizes Wiltshire
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The budget is healthy and should be able to get a good pair.

I would strongly advise to visit a store to try them on in person due variations in people's feet.

The GO stores I have visited have small ramps so that one can walk up as well as down when trying on boots.

Some brands advise getting half a size bigger to allow for feet expansion, some don't.

Some has wider fittings and some don't.

I chose Salomon, water-proof boots with Gortex.

The first pair was too small as I ignored the sales assistant's advice to get half a size bigger as they felt really comfortable when I tried them on in the GO shop compared with the cheapo boots I bought from Mountain Warehouse, DOH!

The next pair was the same model but half a size bigger and lasted a few year until my feet became wider due to lack of exercise due to having to give up tap dancing.

The current pair is wider fitting and half a size bigger than my normal shoe size, and I like them.

Hope this helps.

DK

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11/2/2024 at 10:34pm
 Location: NE England
 Outfit: Citroen Dispatch Campervan plus tents
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Go & get fitted.   Recommendations are useful to a point but not if your feet are at the other end of the width spectrum to the person recommending! Different brands have different standard widths, some offer multiple widths. Outside of intended use the width measurement is the main determiner of brand & model.   Length is just a guide & a fitter will also do manual checks to confirm fit - it's not always a half or full size up from your measured size!

Lacing is also important - a heel locking method (google it) makes a big difference.

Trust me - I'm a boot fitter

Post last edited on 11/02/2024 22:57:33



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