Top 5 Walking Boots
Walking Boots 2010
Why not read our latest Top 5 Walking Boots 2011 article?
Walking boots are made by a wide range of outdoor brands, but with so many walking boots to choose from how do you know what’s best? Read our Top 5 Walking Boots 2010 Guide to find out!
Walking for fitness is one thing, but what kind of walking boots do you need for the job? Shopping for the right pair of walking boots can be overwhelming, especially when an over enthusiastic shop assistant is breathing down your neck.
After many kind comments and thankful emails for our recent Top 5 walking shoes and Top 5 walking sandals reviews, Walking.org has decided to continue the trend and satisfy our readers by offering more footwear advice with a Top 5 walking boots list as well as many other recommended products to meet your needs. Whether it’s a casual stroll with the dog or some long distance walking, it’s important that you wear the right footwear for the job and get some value for your money at the same time.
Why is a walking boot better than a walking shoe or outdoor shoe? Because of the higher cuff, walking boots give you greater ankle support while incorporating a number of technologies which allow you to walk further in greater comfort. Hiking boots are one step up from walking boots, offering even more support, moisture wicking technologies and waterproofing, but you’ll only need these if you’re spending a whole day marching up a mountain with heavy equipment strapped to your back.
At the moment the line seems to be blurring between hiking boots, walking boots, walking shoes and general outdoor shoes. Some walking shoes are exactly the same as their walking boot equivalent, but with a lower cuff for more freedom in the ankles while general outdoor shoes may be comfortable for short walks or walking about town, but can’t quite provide the comfort, support and protection required for long treks.
All the various outdoor brands do things different. So while a pair of Merrell generic outdoor shoes will be up to the task of long walks, shoes from other brands might not. But we’ll cover all the important outdoor brands in time.
So for now, let’s look at the walking boots in our Top 5, explain why we think they’re so good, why you might want them and if why you should want them depending on what you need them for.
Is it waterproof? Is it lightweight? Does it look good? How much does it cost?
These are the main questions when it comes to walking boots. There are other important factors which are often overlooked by the casual shopper, like: Is it breathable? How much underfoot protection does it offer? Is it anti-microbial?
Breathability is the most important of these, not only top prevent your feet from feeling hot and sweaty, but also to reduce the amount of moisture which can build up inside your boots and cause you to rub lots of painful blisters.
Underfoot protection is to prevent bruising to the foot as you step on rocks and other sharp objects. Although these features are more commonly reserved for hiking boots.
Anti-Microbial treatments prevent the build up of unpleasant odours and when you’ve been walking for a long time in your favourite pair of boots, the last thing you want is for them to hum when you take them off and wreak a week later when you want to put them back on for a stroll.
So to find out which walking boots are the best, we’ve thought about these essential features and taken a selection of shoes from a variety of outdoor brands at a range of price points. So while a £100 pair of walking boots may host a wealth of technology, there may be a more economical choice with the good looks and bare essentials for what you need.
As per our other reviews, we’re going to award 3 prices from our Top 5 for Best Value, Best Performance and Best Looks. Naturally, all the needs of a walker will be taken into account. After all, nobody wants a pair of handsome walking boots which fall apart after a day’s walk.
Our Top 5 Walking Boots
Brasher Hillmaster GTX
No top 5 walking boots would ever be complete without the Brasher Hillmaster GTX. The best selling walking boot of all time was pivotal in further revolutionising the way in which we walk. Brasher was the first walking boot brand to draw inspiration from the comfort, cushioning and lightweight performance of a training shoe. In the 1990s, the Brasher Hillmaster GTX was not only lighter than other leading walking boots, but was one of the first to feature the Gore-Tex 100% breathable and waterproof membrane. Combined with the good looks of the boot and leading technologies which have lasted to this day, the Brasher Hillmaster continues to win countless awards and is one of the most celebrated shoes in the outdoor community despite only being suitable for hillwalking.
Salomon Elios Mid GTX
Described as the ultimate mid-cut all weather hiking shoe, the Salomon Elios Mid GTX is a fully featured walking boot capable of crossing all terrains in all weather. The upper consists of waterproof nubuck leather, 3D fit padding and other features designed to provide ventilation, protection from the elements and an exceptional fit while the lining includes a Gore-Tex membrane for complete protection. Salomon are renowned for the quality of their footwear which comes with a style all of its own and produce some of the best outdoor shoes on the market today.
Hi-Tec Altitude IV
You have to love Hi-Tec as a no nonsense brand that makes good quality walking boots with the essentials. The Hi-Tec Altitude IV is a perfect example of this with its waterproof, full grain leather upper, good links, steel shank, well cushioned midsole and a rubber outsole. Offering all the essentials at a great price, these hi-tec walking boots provide the person looking to enjoy a casual stroll, walk the dog or walk further afield the opportunity to do so in comfort while providing the essential waterproof protection and good looks to ensure comfort and confidence throughout the trip. You certainly won’t be walking a dozen or more miles or hiking in these, but for the casual walker, they’re a great choice.
Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX
Better known for their outdoor jackets than their footwear, Berghaus make a wide range of walking boots using top of the line technologies. We expect to see Berghaus do equally well in the world of walking footwear based on their Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX boots. The Explorer Trek is their classic fell walking boot engineered from the inside out for comfort straight out of the box and has already received a recommended product award in the April 2009 edition of The Great Outdoors magazine. Featuring a suede and mesh upper with Gore-Tex membrane, the Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX is completely breathable and waterproof. Engineered from the inside out with an Ergonomic Holding System, this walking boot is all about offering comfort, durability, support and a fantastic fit.
Merrell Moab Mid Gore Tex XCR
Championed for hiking, biking, camping or working in hot weather, the Merrell Moab Mid Gore Tex XCR is the stylish outdoor boot that does it all with waterproof protection and exceptional breathability thanks to its Gore-Tex gasket construction. Designed to wick moisture away from the skin for a fresh, dry feeling in the most extreme temperatures, this multipurpose outdoor boot is all about keeping cool. For comfort, fit and grip, the Merrell Moab Mid features a Compression moulded EVA foot frame, Air Cushion Midsole and Vibram Multi-Sport Plus Sole with TC5+ Rubber. Fantastic features and equally fantastic looks at a price equal to the other leading walking boots in the range. The Merrell Moab Mid looks to be a hot contender as a walking boot and general all purpose outdoor boot.
Each of our favourite five walking boots has something different to offer for the casual walker, determined trekker, or all round outdoor enthusiast. You’ll already know whether you want to go hill waking, dog walking, or marching off into the distance, so to keep things simple, we’ve chosen three awards to help you prioritise what’s important to you in a walking boot.
Best Value: Hi-Tec Altitude IV
Retailing at under £60, the Hi-Tec Altitude IV may be of the most affordable walking boots that money can buy, but with its rich full grain leather, waterproof protection and solid sole, it’s got all the essentials for a great walking boot. So if you’re just expecting the basics from a walking shoe, but demand good quality, then Hi-Tec is the walking brand for you. Hi-Tec has brought out some amazing Hi-Tec walking shoes in recent years and will continue to do well with their philosophy of best price for best performance.
Best Performance: Salomon Elios Mid GTX
It was a tough battle between the Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX and the Salomon Elios Mid GTX, but with Salomon’s track record for exceptional footwear and extra features for pretty much the exact same price, there was a clear winner. The Elios gives you everything you need for a comfortable walking and all the additional technologies for marching up mountains in torrential rain or scorching heat. Salomon is a brand we would recommend for serious walkers or people looking for the finest quality outdoor footwear.
Best Looks: Merrell Moab Mid Gore Tex XCR
Not only is it cool and moisture wicking, but it looks cool too! The Merrell Moab Mid Gore Tex XCR was blatantly the best looking boot on offer here and will have a broad appeal to all manner of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s packed full of features and would make a better walking boot for the hot summer months when breathability would be your biggest priority.
So whether you’re planning on walking far and wide, looking for a cool summer boot or something more affordable, our top 5 walking boots should have something for everyone. If you’re interested in buying any of these or would like to browse a wider range of walking boots, then visit www.fitnessfootwear.com who offer the web’s widest choice of sports and outdoor shoes with Free delivery.