Hiking boots are the ultimate purchase for anyone who regularly spends a lot of time walking outdoors, whether that’s meandering through sun-drenched forests on a lazy Sunday, or hitting your nearest mountain trail for a big adventure before heading back to your for the night. To enjoy a day (or longer) hiking without running the risk of blisters, raw skin on your heels or crushed toes, it’s important to buy the best hiking boots that you can afford and ones that match the type of hiking or walking you’ll mostly be doing on the regular.
It goes without saying that they will need to fit you properly, too.
This do-it-all rugged boot is the ultimate type of footwear for all-weather exploring wherever you are in the world, and there are some fantastic hiking boots around now from world-leading brands.
This might sound excessive for the causal walker, but if you’re hill walking in the UK winter, opting for a stiffer crampon-compatible walking boot is highly recommended, as conditions can change fast.
The Catalyst VX Defiant 8″ GTX
The Catalyst VX Defiant 8″ GTX is the perfect boot for the serious outdoorsman. These premium performance boots are constructed from the finest waterproof leather and feature a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX membrane as well as temperature-managing X-STATIC® layer for odour protection.Ariat’s Cobalt™ VX technology protects, stabilises and supports.
The 400g Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation provides exceptional warmth in extremely cold and damp conditions.
Hiking boots come in different weights. Generally speaking, any weighing 400-500g and under are best suited to speed hiking, trail running (some types, not all) or day to day offroad use. Dog walkers and fairweather hikers, you’ll like these ones.
Hiking boots that are tough enough to withstand multi-day hikes, where you might be carrying a heavy load on your back, are usually heavier. The trade-off for that extra weight is that these types of technical boots are much more supportive.
Hiking boot soles will also be much stiffer than street shoes/boots to shrug off rough surfaces, incorporating aggressive tread for better grip on wet grass, moss or mud, and often cleverly-placed sticky rubber areas for extra grip on wet rock.
The Vibram® outsole offers superior traction and durability, the protective rubber rand prevents scuffs and scratches and the high rebound PU midsole dissipates impact. Built on an anatomically contoured last for a true fit and featuring a moulded TPU heel cradle as well as a premium leather collar and tongue lining, these boots are the ultimate in comfort and performance.
In a nutshell, you’re looking for boots that are luxuriously comfortable, unstintingly waterproof, heroically breathable, tank-like in their ruggedness, and offer as much grip as Spider-Man’s socks.
They’re a backpackers dream too, supporting you under heavy pack loads, and are designed to fully cradle and support your foot and ankle with each step. Foot fatigue is reduced, which is a boon on longer, heftier walking days, and the EnergyCell EVA midsole helps to reduce shock impact.