Best walking boots for trekking?
Best walking boots for the West Highland Way, which will not rub and are good for your feet.
There is so much choice in walking boots these days, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This is a list of things to look for when getting boots suited to your feet and terrain.
1. Look for a good base.
A good outsole (or the bottom of the boot) will have cleats, plenty of grip with plenty of depth. The sole should also have a good hard edge to dig into the earth.
2. Shock absorbent edge and base
A solid edge of the boot helps to protect your foot. The wedge between sole and upper should be suitably shock absorbent and ready to take on your walk.
3. Leather or Synthetic?
The upper of your boots will be made of leather or a synthetic material. Synthetic boots are lighter and are a popular choice for those who don’t agree with leather. Leather boots are harder wearing. The most important aspect of the upper is that it fits to your foot shape, this is the key to comfort. Some brands may not be right for your foot.
4. What type of walking will you be doing?
Lowland walking boots are flexible, comfortable out of the box. This type of boot isn’t meant for tackling steep slopes. This type of flex is ideal for a walk on the lowland walks like The West Highland Way, Ochils and Peak District, but isn’t advised for climbing Munros in Scotland like Ben Nevis.
Hill walking boots have a much stiffer midsole, offer less flex and are ideal for steeper walking (such as mountain walking) and will offer the stability your foot and calves need. These boots are tougher and stronger than a low level boot.
You’ve picked out a few boots – What size do you get !!!!
We recommend a half size larger than your biggest foot – see below note
Note: We recommend if you’re right handed, doing these tests on your left foot. If you’re left handed, do the tests on your right foot. Often the opposite foot to your strong hand is slightly bigger.
Why we suggest this is your foot will expand a little with the heat and use of the foot and when going down hill will help stop your toes butting against the front of the boot.
5. Keep the tongue central in the boot when lacing up.
When lacing your boots, ensure the tongue is fixed centrally. For many the tongue will want to drift to one side, when you sweat it will train the material to fall this way which can be quite uncomfortable.
6. Walk up a slope, exaggerating the movement through your toes
Pushing the weight through your toes on a slope will encourage your heel to lift in your boot. What you are looking for here is, how secure is your heel? You’re looking for minimal or no movement at all. If your heel slides up and down the back of the boot, this will cause rubbing, blisters and discomfort.
7. Where does the boot crease happen?
Focus on where the boot creases. Does it feel normal? Is there a feeling of discomfort? If the boot is uncomfortable it can mean the boot is too deep for the shape of your foot, and the material is gathering in an airpocket and creating a sharp V. If that is the case, it may be best to try another brand/style of boot.
8. Stomp your feet – test
Stomp your foot down, your toes shouldn’t touch the end of the boot if the boot fits and you have it secured. If your toes do touch the end, this can lead to discomfort on long descents. It may be worth trying a larger boot.
9. If you are still not sure?.
I recomend you visit your local Go Outdoors shop and they can give good free advice and you can test boots unntil you find one which is comfortable – it will save you so much greif.