If you love more intense hikes and treks whether it’s on a nice sunny day or in the middle of winter then it stands to reason having a quality pair of walking boots is essential to help keep the feet comfortable and supported throughout miles of trails. A decent boot needs to provide a good amount of respite from the elements, while keeping stability on any type of terrain and allowing for complete control over movement and foot strikes even on unstable ground which is why for our Top 5 Walking Boots 2015 guide we have looked at a varied range consisting of bestsellers, well reviewed and even some hidden gems to not only tick those boxes but a few others as well.
There are always a number of factors to consider when choosing a pair which may not be things you normally think of if you are new to technical walking footwear like breathability, heel braking power and compatibility with items of clothing like gaiters which we have highlighted in each of our chosen boots to help you be better informed. Other options to consider are the time of year and potential weather conditions you may face as some pairs of trekking boots are more suited to warmer climates and others colder ones.
Our Top 5
The North Face Flow Chute Walking Boots
These are ideal for year-round wear but have been optimised primarily for winter use so that they perform extremely well in cold, wet conditions but are actually pretty lightweight. The North Face Flow Chute Walking Boots are a mid-height design so feature ankle support and have uppers that are a formidable defence against the weather made from synthetic leather, with a HydroSeal membrane and welded TPU shell for waterproof protection, durability and breathability. Primaloft Eco Insulation keeps them nice and warm throughout bitter cold and they even have both Gaiter and Snowshoe compatibility to make arctic conditions more bearable. Support and stability with plenty of comfort comes in the form of a Northotic footbed with a TPU shank and Eva midsole so they feel great while a tough TNF Winter Grip outsole with Ice Pick temperature lugs create sure footing on frozen ground. More Info
Columbia Bugaboot Original Omni Heat Walking Boots
Often featured in our Top Five guides, the Columbia Bugaboot Original Omni Heat Walking Boots are an extremely popular cold, wet weather boot. While the design may not be to everyone’s tastes in terms of performance they are exceptional. Their bootie construction is fully waterproof as is the oiled full grain leather exterior so there is no worry of moisture getting inside from rain or snow and the outsole is a non-marking Omni-Grip rubber that gives all the traction needed in wintery conditions. Internally the Bugaboot features not just 100 grams of insulation to help keep you warm but an Omni Heat thermal reflective lining as well so anything you generate while on the move. A Techlite midsole gives assurance that comfort and support will remain throughout all kinds of hikes and walks making them pretty reliable footwear overall with a great fit as well. More Info
Keen Targhee II Mid Walking Boots
The mid-height version of the popular Keen Targhee II has all of the great technical features of the shoe but added support, particularly in the collar and ankle area. One of the great things about the Keen Targhee II Mid Walking Boots is the metatomical EVA footbed and Keen S3 technology which combined cradle your feet with a precise and secure fit along with lasting support in the arches and dissipate shock from impacts so risk of strain and ankle problems are greatly lessened. The uppers are tough yet flexible Nubuck leather which is both waterproof and breathable much like the included Keen.Dry membrane which both work extremely well at keeping the feet dry whether from external factors or just being active. Similar to the previous pair the Targhee Two boots have non-marking soles to stop mud clumping onto them and multi direction lugs that give a lot a grip no matter where you place your feet. More Info
Jack Wolfskin Lake Tahoe Texapore Womens Walking Boots
The modern styling of the Jack Wolfskin Lake Tahoe Texapore Womens Walking Boots makes them pretty fashionable to look at but not to be fooled as they are also premium winter trekking footwear as well. You get full calf coverage from the water repellent suede and polyester exterior which is enhanced by a Texapore membrane to stop moisture getting inside the boot while also letting it escape. There are three insulating features to these boots; a Thinsulate 200 microfibre, synthetic wool thermal liner and an aluminium heat reflecting layer in the footbed which combined make for a consistent warm climate for your feet. Each pair has leather heel and toe caps to better protect areas at risk of impact and abrasion and a Freezer outsole that provides plenty of cushioning for the feet but also grips even on snow and slush covered ground. More Info
Meindl Burma Pro MFS Walking Boots
If you want footwear that will give you great performance throughout the year but doesn’t need to suit wintery conditions then the Meindl Burma Pro MFS Walking Boots are a great choice. They look like what most of us probably image a hiking boot to look and are designed to give you all the flexibility needed on any trail while supporting the foot and protecting you from the elements. Using strong leather in the uppers and Gore-Tex XCR technology ensures comfortable movement while preventing water getting inside yet allowing them to breathe as well. Like all good walking boots the Meindl Burma Pros have a lot of traction and stopping power in their soles which in this case are a Vibram high performance rubber construction so you can walk with confidence with plenty of comfort throughout. More Info
Hopefully one of our Top 5 Walking Boots for 2015 will be able to take you on a number of hikes during the course of the year that is best suited to your personal needs and to ensure great performance with every step.