The staple element to any outdoor lifestyle wardrobe is a good pair of walking boots. Boots give you extra support, specifically around your ankles, along with comfort and durability which is important for any length of hike or trek. Regardless of weather conditions, you need boots that will grip to your terrain, and stay dry whatever the weather, but different boots provide different technical features which can make finding the right pair daunting. It’s important to think of your terrain as cold weather specific boots will of course act differently to warm weather, and it’s important to decide whether you want classic leather boots or highly durable and ventilated fabric boots.
At walking.org, we’ve tried and tested different walking boots to pick our top five for 2017, allowing you to be better informed about which footwear to choose.
Walking.org Best 5 Walking Boots in 2017
Keen’s Feldberg WP Boots come in a classic leather style ideal for colder weather. With a direct inject folded PU midsole, and dual compound rubber outsole and integrated PU heel cushion, these boots we created with premium comfort in mind. The waterproof breathable membrane and breathable mesh and nubuck leather outsole will keep your feet dry With a metatomical EVA footbed and stability shank, these boots are ideal for bumpy terrains where comfort and fit is extremely important, along with the rugged, high-traction sole to keep your feet firmly on the ground. Toe caps and tight lacing reduces impact and abrasion, whilst also staying comfortable.
The Merrell Moab Mid GTX boots featured in last years selection, but have brought them back due to their warm weather attributes. The waterproof Dura leather feature with a GORE-TEX Performance Comfort Footwear Lining which keep moisture out, whilst the mesh elements allow ventilation for any inside moisture to easily escape. With an Ortholite footbed contoured to match the natural foot shape, an EVA footframe, nylon arch shank and Merrell’s Air Cushion, these shoes have plenty of support and stability ideal for different terrains. For further terrain support, the Multi-sport TC5+ insole grips on different terrains whilst holding brake power when you need it. Finally, toe caps and heel counters protect against abrasion and impact, ideal for any terrain.
The Kestward Boot has been designed to be stylish and comfortable at the same time. With a cushioned high-cut collar to cushion your ankles, the stability shank offers extra support along with the compression folded EVA midsole that contours to your feet. The suede and canvas combination is waterproof, and comes complete with the KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane to keep your feet fully dry yet ventilated. With an extremely grippy sole and front toe cap keeps your feet protected and scuff-free.
The Verto S4K Goretex boots are designed for challenging performance on alpine trails and cold weather persuits. With a high-cut protective design, these offer ultimate support and extra warmth, and the Gore-Tex membrane construction for breathable, waterproof style. The Smartlite PU mudguard and Vibram Mulaz outsole provide exceptional grip and protection on any surface, even snow. The Northolic Pro+ premium EVA footbed features a gel heel and OrthoLite forefoot-cushioning pads with TPU cradle support makes these boots incredibly comfortable all day long.
These boots come in different colours including a bright pink design for a more feminine take on otherwise dark and chunky boots. The Terradora boots are created with a lightweight flexible design that are created to fit like a glove with a cushioned ankle panel. The breathable mesh lining offsets the KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane, meaning this will keep moisture out and wick away any internal moisture. The dual density PU footbed comes with ESS stability shank for support. The non-marking rubber sole is suitable for hiking, city streets or fast trails, and these shoes come complete with Keen’s Cleansport NXT for natural odor control.
Any of our favourite 5 Walking Boots for 2016 will perform well on any type of trail throughout the year bar the TNF boots that are the only ones built for winter weather as they are built for taking on what the world may throw at you on a trail so you can step in plenty of comfort and confidence.
We have also awarded some special designations for three of out Top 5 in terms of value, overall performance and style as well as we know that these factors can play an equally important part in choosing a new pair of walking boots.
We’ve chosen our top 5 walking boots for 2017 with different variables in mind, varying on the type of trail, weather type and what technical features you require. The North Face boots were created for cold weather and alpine terrain, but the other 4 pairs are much more flexible in terrain. They all offer waterproofing and tough lacing, but vary in added features such as ventilation and contoured footbeds.
In terms of value, performance and appearance, we’ve chosen our favourite of the 5 for further clarification.
Best Value: Keen Terradora Mid WP Womens Boots
Aside from being the cheapest, these boots are also packed with features make them great value for money. With KEEN.DRY breathable membrane and Cleansport NXT for odour control, these shoes provide comfort and stability.
Best Performance: Salomon Quest 4D II Boots
The Moab boots come packed with various elements to keep your feet dry and comfortable all day. With a GORE-TEX lining, moisture is kept out, and the Ortholite footbed contours to the natural foot shape, and Merrell’s unique air cushion to absorb shock and increase stability.
Best Appearance: Keen Westward Mid WP Boots
These boots combine traditional suede styling with a modern canvas detail to mix classic and minimal style. With bright laces set on brown uppers, these boots will appeal to traditional and technical outdoor enthusiasts alike.