The Ultimate Walking Boot Guide

It would be foolish to attempt to walk up Snowdon without a good pair of walking boots..

…but what makes a good pair and are they easy to come by?

If you’re thinking of booking a hiking trip to North Wales then one of the first things that you should be thinking of packing is a sturdy pair of walking boots. Although you could search online to find the cheapest pair possible – this would inevitably result in a serious amount of blisters and a hampered hiking experience.

Before you jump head first into a purchase that you don’t quite understand, take a look at our guide so that you can figure out what kind of boot you need:

Durability

You would think that durability would be one of the first criteria that you’d want fulfilled when buying your first pair of walking boot, but you should think twice before buying the most heavy duty pair possible. The sturdier the boot, the more expensive it will be and the longer they will take to break in. Consider a less sturdy boot, if you’re only going to be doing some relaxed hiking a few times a year.

Weight

So you’ve bought a pair of boots that will safely protect your feet from gale force winds and up to 10-ft of water, but did you consider how heavy they might be? Sometimes it’s worth opting for a lighter boot, especially if you’re going to be hiking in summer when the weather is (usually) much more mild. Don’t weigh yourself down unnecessarily.

Price

You don’t need to spend an absolute fortune on walking boots in order to remain comfortable and well supported for the entirety of the hike. For around £40-50 you can buy a decent, branded pair of boots that will serve you for a good few hundred miles. For the cheapest prices around either travel to an outlet shop or visit a wholesale sports retailer online.

Terrain

The type of terrain that you’re planning on tackling should be reflected in the type of walking boot that you purchase. If you’re intending on scrambling up a few of Snowdon’s trickier ascents, full of scree and rubble, then it might be wise to buy a hybrid climbing/walking shoe that allows greater freedom of movement, in addition to better grip.

Flexibility

Different shoes are required for attempting hills than are needed for simply having a ramble along lowland paths. If you’re not going to be attempting any serious inclines then you won’t need a shoe with a massive amount of rigidity. So if you’re thinking of visiting Snowdonia but not attempting to ascend the peak itself, then you’ll want to pick a shoe that is comfortable right out of the box. If the peak is your aim then you might want to consider buying a shoe with more rigidity.

Material

Walking boots come in many different shapes and sizes. Around thirty of forty years ago they were all designed and manufactured in the same material: leather. To some extent, leather is still a sound option to go from, it weathers well and is easily treated – however, it’s also heavy. Modern materials, such as Gore-tex, are much lighter but can be difficult to clean and treat. The choice is up to you!