So my faithful walking boots, the ones I bought from a friend aged 14 for £20 have finally died 18 years and thousands of miles later. They were leather Hawkins boots, I looked up the brand and they’re now described as ‘vintage’
Needless to say, I have no idea how to buy boots. What do I need to look for, technology, material, weight? Any recommended brands or shops?
You can sometimes find shoe repair places that specialise in repairing outdoor and climbing shoes - ours does. Might be worth a try.
Otherwise I’ve had Salomon for years now and they’re great. But really it’s like running shoes - so much to choose from and down to fit and comfort for you.
what sort of walking do you do?? all season? rocky trails? mountain tracks?
there are so many choices now you’d be best going to a specialist outdoor shop and see what they have. fit is variable between brands so you need to try various ones on.
a couple of givens. Vibram soles are almost de rigeur on good boots and Goretex linings if you’re using them in the wet.
ankle support is a variable depending on what sort of walking you’re doing - the rockier and gnarlier the trails the more you’ll need to go to ankle support but for many walks you can get away without as long as the footwear is good.
brands to look at - Salomon, Meindl, Scarpa, Merrell, Berghaus, Salewa etc. Decathlon and Cotswold Outdoor have their own brands and are good.
I have Meindl’s for the gnarlier stuff; Salomon for everyday
I used to be able to do more long trail walking holidays but young kids makes it impossible. For now, walking simple trails and then paths on days out with the kids but I expect that in time I’ll get back to more longer distance, multi-day walks.
Thanks, just had a look at Decathlon and I have one near me. They seem to stock a decent range of own brand stuff and higher end so I’ll go down and try on.
@awildt I think sticking them back together may work but I suspect that it’ll just be temporary. The rubber soles don’t seem to offer much grip on rocks anymore. I think the rubber has hardened over the years, so this is an excuse to get something more modern.
I bought a pair of Decathlon winter boots last winter. very light with a Goretex lining and whilst I wouldn’t want to use them in any very cold high mountain snow conditions, or expect them to last for many years, they are very comfy and absolutely fine in UK winter conditions. this is this year’s equivalent
For lighter trail walking, I would recommend the Salomons. The Ultra 3 Mid GTX is super light & comfy with decent ankle support. I’ve done dozens of weighted runs in them, and they are remarkably stable. However, the uppers won’t last anywhere near as long as a leather boot, especially ones with a rubber rand. I also have a pair of Altberg ‘Yan Tan’ which are a good alternative to a full leather boot; again I’ve done bergen runs in those too. Scarpa was always my go-to for mountain boots of all kinds; but that was 20 years ago and the choice now is mind boggling. I still have my Scarpa Mantas I bought in 2001; and a pair of the legendary El Cap from 2000.
You’ll likely be a whole size-up in Salomon.
you can still get Scarpa Mantas (now the Pro GTX) which is Scarpa’s top of the line boot (with top of the line price to go with that). great boot - if I was in the market for a good mountaineering boot that would be on my selection list.
Just did a search - yeh, I probably don’t need to spend that much for what I need it for. The Salomon’s look decent.
Meindl are the best I’ve had … some b@stard stole them off the back of my rucksack in Thailand
Personally, I prefer walking shoes but as has already been said, it’s very much down to personal preference and the type of walking you’ll do. I did the Circuito in the Torres del Paine (8 days with full kit) in old Salomon fell shoes and they worked fine.
The most important thing is the fit as you may well change socks at different times of year
I have the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX. They are great and yes you will need a size up. I have the 13.5 in those, biggest they did.
Seconded. Fantastic shoe.
I have a pair of Scarpas that I like a great deal. Thing is, of late it feels like the laces are getting stuck so I’m struggling to sort the fit out and not have them slipping.
Any ideas? I’m going to take the laces out and give them a thorough wash, but wondered about a bit of wax or something at the eyelets.
Are the eyelets damaged at all; sometimes you can catch one on a rock and it then folds-in a bit. Other than that, it might just be you need new laces as they’re not as ‘slippery’ anymore or have swollen with all the crud collected in them.
The eyelets are actually leather loops (wasn’t sure what else to call them).
New laces and cleaning the eyelet/loops with a pipe cleaner might be a good call
Just bought a pair of Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX.
Just did the first 5 mile walk in them this morning - they are going to be great
Lots of similarities with the speedcross, just a much beefed up version
The Mid? I have those; excellent stability for such a ‘trainer like’ boot. I’ve done a lot of bergen running in them. The only thing I would note, is that the upper (the outer nylon bit) wears through where it flexes (pic below). It’s only happened on my left boot. They’ve done about 400km of running carrying weight, and maybe 100km of walking. I now use my Altberg Yan Tans for bergen runs.
The Salomons I ran in pre speedcross used to wear through there too. Not expecting to do any expedition hiking for some time so unlikely to be a problem.
I may be missing something but don’t really “get” walking boots. They are heavy and clunky, I just wear running shoes. In the last couple of years we have walked in the Swiss Alps, the Jura mountains, Dartmoor, Brecons in the snow, and West Highland Way- never had a problem in trainers. Usually a pair that have been retired from road running
Unfortunately not all of us are nimble and stable on our feet. I prefer walking in trainer type shoes but I’m also a rather clumsy numpty. Walking boots have the wide solid base and the ankle support that people like me need to stay upright and keep our ankle ligaments intact