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Walking Boots - General

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What are the factors you should consider when choosing walking or hiking boots?

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      06.10.2013 14:46
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      This walker's best friends.

      INTRODUCTION

      I've been a keen walker for many years. I've clocked up countless miles trekking through towns, countryside, beaches, dried riverbeds, hills and even (very small!) mountains. From all of this I've learned the most important piece of equipment is appropriate footwear.

      I walk everywhere as I don't drive and it adds up to 5-10miles on an average week. That's a lot of steps so I need footwear to protect and support my feet as they perform such a repetitive movement.

      For light walking on good terrain I generally wear good, sturdy trainers, but for any demanding rambling or hiking I always make sure I'm wearing a good pair of walking boots.


      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION / USER EXPERIENCE

      There are many variations in hiking boots. My review is based upon the types I wear myself, and therefore know the most about.


      RETAILERS

      I generally buy my boots from specialist outdoor shops. I used to purchase them from Millets (when they still existed) but now it's generally Mountain Warehouse. I choose to use specialist stores as there is a much wider choice of hiking boots; most general shoe stores don't carry much of a selection and usually focus more on the looks of the shoe than the practicality and durability.

      PRICE

      My hiking boots normally cost me between £80 and £150. It's easy to spend several hundred pounds on a pair of boots but I don't have that sort of budget, so I buy
      the best that I can afford.


      SIZE

      I generally try on a whole bunch of different boots, both male and female designs and in both my 'official' shoe size, one bigger and one smaller. This is because I need a boot that will support my foot and not let it slide around, particularly on steep slopes, but I also need to allow room for my long first toes (they're
      longer than my big toes) and for a pair of thick hiking socks.

      I also aim to buy a pair that are light enough to forget I'm wearing them, and that will support my ankles (which are weak and twist easily) but not dig into my ankle bones.

      As I'm quite flat footed I also aim for a pair with a good, supportive instep, but again, something with soft support that won't make the arches of my feet ache.



      FABRIC

      I generally go for leather boots with a big tongue attached to the shoe all the way up (for preventing wet feet), strong, visible stitching, metal eyeholes for the laces and a slight heel of around 1-2cm. This selection of features gives me maximum protection for both my feet and my posture.


      TREAD

      I purchase boots with the deepest treads possible as I know that a good tread can make all the difference in maintaining my grip in slippery conditions. I also aim for a medium-hard sole: too soft and the tread wears down too quickly; too hard and it won't gain purchase on slippery surfaces.


      LACES

      I generally aim for a good, long pair of wide laces that won't take up too much water. Wet laces are miserable to both tie and untie. Lengthwise, I want laces that will be the right width for the eyelets on my boots and that are long enough to thread through and easily tie in a double bow, without leaving so much excess length that they trail on the ground. I also want laces that will not untie by themselves! There's nothing worse than yomping along on a wet, cold day and having to stop somewhere with no shelter to re-tie your boots!


      MAINTENANCE

      I've learned the value of a good maintenance regime over the years as it can really add to the life of the boots. As I always choose leather uppers regular waxing is important. I usually purchase a tub of Nikwax (or a generic equivalent) and wax/polish my boots every month or so - every fortnight in winter. This keeps the leather conditioned and provides a waterproof seal over the stitching.

      If the boots get muddy I allow them to dry and then knock off the caked-on mud by tapping the boots together gently over a BIG sheet of newspaper. Caked mud can fly everywhere so a big covering is important, especially since mud is often not *just* mud, if you know what I mean! I've learned the hard way not to scrape my boots as I ruined the finish of an almost-new pair by doing this once.

      If I look after a pair of boots it's not unusual for me to completely wear out the treads. Again, if they're a good pair, I've found it worth spending out to get them resoled. I did this with a pair of boots two or three years ago and got another winter of heavy wear out of them.

      CUSHIONING

      I always make sure I have thick innersoles in my boots for maximum comfort. This minimises the development of calluses and hard skin on my feet.


      GENDER

      Hiking boots are often marketed as being specifically for men or women, but I always ignore those labels and go for a pair that is comfortable and practical for me. Most of my pairs have ended up being 'male' boots, but when you're out and about and they're caked in mud who is going to know or care? Not me!


      LIFESPAN

      If I take good care of a pair of boots I expect them to last five or six years. That will involve wearing them every day in wet, wintry or muddy conditions, so it can be up to six months of daily wear every year.


      SUMMARY

      A good pair of boots is an excellent investment for me, and has allowed me to walk countless miles over the years. A good pair of boots can be a very good friend!

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        11.02.2013 13:21
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        You need well fitting, waterproof and preferably fabric walking boots for most occasions.

        Making sure your walking boots are comfortable and fit for purpose is, in my opinion, the most important factor to consider when you plan on going for a hike. Especially if this hike is to last over a day and you have no way of stopping to change them. This was the situation I was in when I did my Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) expedition; two days of solid hiking without any supplies other than what we could carry - this meant that we couldn't take any spare boots!


        There are three main factors regarding the boots themselves which you must take into account.

        Firstly, and hopefully most obviously, do they fit?
        Having boots which are too small will cause you major discomfort when you are walking and you will absolutely hate yourself for choosing them afterwards as your toes will be cramped, you could get pins & needles in your feet and every step will make your leg ache. Having boots which are too large will make them slide around and cause blisters. This isn't too bad for the first hours but once you notice them, you will not forget about them and once again, you will hate yourself for choosing those boots.

        Secondly, are they waterproof?
        On my expedition, we had torrential rain (And I really mean torrential!). I was literally soaked from head to toe. I wasn't prepared for this in terms of boots. My walking boots were not waterproof in the slightest. They were fabric boots and had no protective treatments to make them aqua-phobic, therefore the water seeped in and stayed in there. The worst thing about this? It happened on the first day and I had to walk in soaking boots for the rest of the day and them an entire day after that! If only I had bought waterproof boots, I would have saved a whole lot of suffering!

        Lastly, leather or fabric?
        Leather has the main advantage of being pretty much 100% waterproof and therefore you will not have the same fate as I did. However, although moisture cannot get in, it cannot get out either. Therefore sweat builds up if you wear these boots for a long time and this can make them uncomfortable. It can also lead to skin peeling due to damp feet for long periods of time.
        Fabric has the opposite effect. It is breathable but it isn't waterproof generally unless treated - however this adds to price. Another advantage of fabric is that they are generally more comfortable as they mould to your feet better due to not being a ridged material, reducing the chance of blisters.
        Overall, I would opt for a fabric pair which are proven to have been treated with a very good waterproofing solution - reviews of specific boots will be best deciders for this.

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          27.06.2012 17:39
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          Get ones that are Goretex, slightly big, and grippy

          When choosing some hiking boots I like anything with Goretex. Since I am not likely to be seen in public and around town with them, I don't care about design and look, I put 100% consideration into comfort, fit and durability. The shoes need to be breathable and I would recommend that you choose something not too heavy, feet tend to get cramped and injuries can occour from walking for long periods, thus you should put comfort at the forefront of choosing hiking boots too.

          The main comfort from the shoe should be about space, making sure your foot is not rubbing up against the sides, making sure its not catching on any thing inside the shoe. The right size might be a good idea and I even have mine 1 size too big for those that like extra space, it feels more comfortable for me.

          It may sound silly right now but trust me when you've been walking all day up a mountain it's worth having that extra space to stop getting blisters. After all there is no way back down but to walk that enormous journey again, which in bad boots is just going to ruin your experience.

          The durability of a shoe would be another huge consideration because shoes that rip open when you step on a small pile of jagged rocks is no good, but equally thick and heavy boots are uncomfortable and will just tire you out, and leaving your feet feeling uncomfortable. I would recommend some GoreTex shoes that are durable, breathable and possibly slightly bigger than what you normally buy, or at least something with a couple centimeteres either side of your foot.

          Grip is another concern, which is particularly a concern when running up a muddy hill in Scotland. Pretty much inevitable at some point because it may not rain or be muddy but there are plenty of marsh patches and wet grassland whatever the weather. Sometimes there are streams with strong currents, wading into them knee deep in slippery shoes with no grip is not recommended and sliding down the hill side covered in marsh is equally a concern.

          Choose wisely!

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            30.12.2010 12:15
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            Walking is great exercise

            I love to go out hiking and we are regular visitors to the Lake District and also Snowdonia as well as the coastal paths of the south coast. A good quality walking boot is essentail and I recently reviewed my own pair of Berghaus Explorer hiking boots which have been an excellent purchase for me. So what makes a good quality walking boot?

            Well the first thing is that quality is not something you can scrimp on, sure you can get the occasional bargain in the sales however a good quality walking boot is not likely to be cheap, expect to pay upwards of £80 to get a good quality boot that if cared for will last a long time. There are essentially two types of material used to make walking boots, there are the heavier but more supportive leather boots like the Karrimor GB range that are very sturdy and hard wearing however they are also quite heavy as well and especially when the ground is heavy under foot and mud is clinging to your boots then you might notice this on tired legs.

            The other type of boot is made from a man made fabric like my own Berghaus pair, these are lighter but still provide good support to your ankle, they also do not take as long to walk in as the leather ones can. All boots should have some breaking in period however it does vary by boot.

            The most important thing is to make sure the boot is a comfortable fit and does not rub your feet, remember when hot your feet will swell up a little so the boots need to be very comfortable and able to also give you both support and grip when walking. I would recommedn spending a fair bit of time with the boots on before buying and walk up steps and if possible on a slope if there is one in the shop.

            After use you should always clean your boots, I treat mine with nirwax products which are very good to make sure they stay waterproof, the shop can advise you on the most suitable one to use. My other top tip is to always carry a spare pair of laces as well just in case you have a breakage while walking.

            I hope this advice has been useful.

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              23.12.2010 18:15
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              Hiking boots are rather imporatnt don't you think.

              There are many pieces of important kit when you are hiking and one of the most important are the boots you choose to put on your feet, after all by the very nature of hiking you are reliant on your feet to get you from A to B safely and in comfort and therefore the choice and care of your boots is very important.

              There are a massive range of boots to choose from a multitude of producers and retailers and if you get it right then you will have many years of comfortable hiking and walking ahead of you. My current pair of leather Karrimor have been with me for four years now and they have been up mountains, through the jungle, across rivers and around the wilderness that is Northampton town centre, in summary they have been everywhere and coped in many different challenging conditions.

              The starting point has to be an understanding of the type of hiking you will be doing, if it is just flat short walks then it seems hardly worth the outlay on an expensive pair of hiking boots, plus if it is summer time only walking then lightweight hiking sandals may be the best option however if it is going to be places like Snowden or the Moors then you are looking at needing a quality pair of hiking boots.

              For me boots have to be as comfortable as possible and this all starts with the purchase process, I always take with me the types of socks that I will be wearing to do my hiking, that means a pair of under socks and a thick pair of outer ones and I always try boots on wearing both as your foot is a lot wider with these on, plus I have quite wide feet to start with so not all boot makes are suitable. I will also spend at least ten to fifteen minutes in the shop wearing them and I only buy from retailers that have a raised platform in the shape of a bit of rough sloped terrain which allows you to see how they feel while you are climbing, Cotswold Outdoors often have this piece of kit and it is very useful as you can stand in a climbing walk to check there is no rubbing on the heel or across the top of the boot.

              Fundamentally there are two types of boots, those made from leather and those made from fabric, certainly the ones made from fabric and probably the most popular, fundamentally this is because they are lightweight and very flexible, further they require less time to break them in, my previous pair were fabric but to be honest I never got on with them, probably more to do with being a poor fit than anything else. The other benefit with a fabric boot is that they are good in warm climates as they breathe a little better and can look more like a training shoe.

              The benefit of a leather boot is that it is sturdier and provides better support to the ankle, for me this is of paramount importance as it is very easy to turn an ankle over uneven ground especially in the jungle and the solid form, of my leather boots helps me to continue walking. They are heavier which is a downside especially on treks lasting a few days. The other downside is that they take longer to break in and this should be done gradually and on a regular basis. Going straight into a day's hiking with new leather boots is likely to be an uncomfortable experience for a few days afterwards with sore or blistered feet. One of the advantages for me is that they are a little more solid and thus can double as a work boot when abroad when we do any charity work as that sometimes involves small scale building work. They are not work boots but they give a bit more protection.

              All good quality hiking boots are waterproof with the use of such materials as Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry so care and maintenance are an important part of prolonging the life of your boots. They should be treated on a regular basis with a waterproofing and conditioning cream; my personal preference is Hydrobloc which can be applied to the boots when dry however some of the Nirwax products are also really good as they can be applied to the boot when wet. Before any water proofing it is important that all dirt is cleaned from the boots.

              Prices will vary hugely however for me personally price is not an issue when it comes to such an important piece of kit, I have seen boots for as little as £25 in the sales rising up to £140, my own pair were £80, reduced from £120 however to be honest I would be happy paying the higher amount to replace them as I have had such great use out of them.

              I hope this advice has been useful, thanks for reading and rating my review.

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                25.10.2010 21:52
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                A good pair of boots will last many, many years! Enjoy your walking.

                It is a little while since I went on a 'proper' walk in the countryside. By walking, I mean covering mile after mile on the way up Ingleborough, or a long walk in the Yorkshire Dales. In Yorkshire we have an embarrassment of choice when it comes to the decision on where to walk. Popular among serious walkers is the Three Peaks Challenge, which is a 24 mile 'walk' up Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent one after the other. This is quite a challenge, but one for which you must have a good, strong pair of walking boots.

                Walking boots are an essential on any walkers' kit list when it comes to spending a day out exposed to the elements. Not only do they keep your feet nice and warm when acoompanied by a thick pair of walking socks, they also protect them for adverse weather conditions and give good support when encountering rough terrain. They are invaluable for these reasons, and because your feet are the point of contact with the ground, it is essential that you look after them and make sure the ones you choose are suitable for your feet.

                Any decent quality walking boots offer good support to your ankles and have a tough sole and plenty of grip underneath. Some boots are leather, some are suede and mesh, and as long as they are completely waterproof and have a cushioned midsole then they will suffice for making your feet comfortable. I have a pair of 'Karrimor Weathertite hiking shoes' and they are suede with mesh on the upper. A rubber outer sole ensures grip in all conditions, and breathable lining allows my feet to breathe and not become damp and sweaty.

                I believe that the only way to pick walking boots is to wear them on in a shop. With other footwear you can pick them online etc. but with walking boots they need to fit well and be comfortable, as there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable pair of walking boots which give you blisters and aching feet for the whole day. I also recommend that when you go to the shop to try them on, always take a couple of thick pairs of boot socks with you and wear them when you try the boots on, as if you dont then the boots wont fit when you put the socks on for walking.

                A decent pair of walking boots can cost anything from £20 up to £100 and more. My biggest peice of advice, however, is to try the boots on and wear them in before waiting until you are at the top of one of the Three Peaks before realising they are causing you pain!

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                  25.10.2010 19:44
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                  great piece of kit

                  I have only recently, over the past few years become a 'walker' and a part time one at that but wanted to discuss some of the factors that were important and are now important when purchasing walking boots.

                  I bought my boots ironicly with my dooyoo Amazon vouchers. They were Karrimor boots and I paid just £23.99 for them. I was a little unsure of what I was purchasing at 1st as I hadn't purchased walking boots before and I hadn't tried them on.

                  I knew I wanted something reasonably stylish even though they would just be used for walking. I also wanted a grippy bottom as they were for our upcoming ski trip. Apart from this I was pretty open as to brand, type etc. The Karrimor boots were reasonably priced on Amazon and so I chose them. I didn't want to pay too much as I thought they would be used so infrequently. As it turns out I have ended up using them much more than I thought as they are so comfortable.

                  Although I am more than happy with the boots I have, I would like a few extra things on my wish list next time.
                  1. I would like them to be waterproof. I have noticed I often have wet feet when I come in from walking in very wet areas. Prehaps a more expensive pair would be waterproof.
                  2. I would like more ankle support as I feel my boots are lacking in this area.
                  3. I would like longer laces as they often unfasten themselves as they can't be double knotted.

                  Overall I think the walking boots I bought are a great buy and would recommend them to anyone looking for their 1st pair of walking boots.

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                  14.10.2010 17:37
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                  Years of design to get to the ultimate walking boot.

                  Through the years I have done a vast amount of walking and hiking with my dogs through the hills and fields around the UK, and the one thing that that has taught me it that it is essential that you have a decent set of walking boots and currently I'm on my fifth set. I've seen so many people wearing simple training shoes trying to cross rocks and muddy fields and I think one day they'll learn why you need decent walking boots.

                  Why is it so important to have the correct footwear? Well it is all to do with protecting your feet and ankles. You wouldn't wear a pair of slippers to go rock climbing. Conversely, thick wellington boots might seem a bit excessive to walk around the house in, and wearing open toed stilettos through muddy fields would be a no no. The whole idea is to think about the terrain you are likely to be walking over or crossing, and then selecting footwear appropriate to that scenario.

                  Which is where the concept of walking boots comes in. Walking boots are generally designed to be used on rough, often uneven terrain, which may also be wet and slippery. Hence, they tend to be made a little stiffer than ordinary boots in order to stop the foot twisting and you spraining your ankle in the process. The leather may be a little thicker to protect your foot from knocks and scrapes and often there is a steel bar in the sole to give it a little more rigidity as a whole to the boot. Now having thicker leather outer may seem to be uncomfortable to wear, but the inside of these boots are often well padded to provide a safe environment for your feet, and hence that thickness aspect is countered for with the extra padding. You will also often back this comfort angle up by wearing thicker socks, where you can get special socks that are padded in keys areas like under the heel and the ball of your foot and that are specifically designed for using with walking boots.

                  This stiffer protection element of the boots is also reinforced with the higher ankle cut of the boot which is often well padded and quite a snug fit around the ankle to prevent that spraining process. So overall when you wear the boot, it is meant to be a snug fit around your foot and ankle in order to provide protection.

                  Again, thinking of the terrain when hiking, it can often be loose and even muddy underfoot. Hence, the soles of walking boots tend to have a very deep tread which is designed to provide maximum grip on whatever surface you happen to be crossing or walking upon.

                  Another key element of a walking boot is the waterproofness it gives, and this is probably a hidden factor to many, but the last thing you want is you feet getting wet when you are miles from anywhere. The dampness will not be good because it will make your feet uncomfortable, possibly causing friction that then leads to blisters developing on your skin. But how do they keep your feet dry and yet stop your feet getting all hot and sweaty?

                  Basically this waterproofness is achieved with a special membrane which is effectively stitched into the boot between the outer surface and the inner lining. People may sometimes refer to it as Gortex, which is one of the brand names for the concept, but it may equally be called HydroShield or Aquashield or some other brand name depending on what the particular manufacturer wants to call it.

                  So what is this Gortex type stuff that keeps your feet dry? Well firstly, it is designed to keep water out and away from your feet, in turn keeping them dry. OK, so you just wrap your feet up in plastic bags and that should do the trick. But then your feet overheat and get sweaty and uncomfortable. So to avoid that, your feet need to be able to breath. So you need holes in the bags, but won't that then let the water in?

                  To understand how this magical waterproofing membrane works, you need to understand the chemical aspects of the moisture elements that it will work with. Firstly, think of the membrane as actually being a sheet of plastic with loads of microscopic holes in it, something in the order of a few billion per square inch. Got that? Right, now the science bit. Water tends to be in the form of droplets in its' basic form, be it in a puddle or in the form of rain. Either way, these droplets are too big to fit through the holes in the membrane and hence the water can't get through to your feet. Still with me?

                  OK, so how do your feet keep cool? Well, sweat droplets (or water vapour droplets since your feet will be hot as they sweat and that slight heat will turn the water into a vapour) are a great deal smaller than the water droplets discussed above, something in the order of 700 times smaller. Hence, the microscopic holes in the membrane are just large enough to allow these water vapour droplets to pass through from your feet to the outside, and hence your feet remain cool and snug. And that is basically the science behind the waterproofing membrane - it allows the water vapour droplets from your feet to escape, but keeps the rain and puddle water droplets out. This technology has proved to be so effective that you now see this waterproofing membrane design included in many other forms of everyday shoes and boots.

                  So you now understand a lot of the basic elements of the design technology around why walking boots are as they are. So what else do you need to know? Well, for a really good pair, you would probably be paying upwards of £100 for a decent leather pair, and possibly much more depending on what you want. But again, if you know what sort of terrain you will be intending to walk upon, you can select a boot to accommodate your intentions, because there are numerous variations on the designs of walking boots in terms of outer fabrics (be they leather, nubuck or fabric) and overall weight. A more lightweight boot is less tiring and maybe more flexible, but may provide less support than a more heavyweight boot.

                  In summary, hopefully you'll now see why it is so vitally important to wear a decent set of walking boots if you intend to go out trekking across fields and hills. A lot of thought and effort has gone into the walking boot design for a reason, where the design has normally been honed through years of experience of trial and error in the process of developing the final ultimate walking boot.

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                    25.09.2010 22:33
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                    You get what you pay for

                    I bought my first pair of walking boots as a student around ten years ago (yikes!). I was studying in Sheffield, and so liked to go for long walks in the Peak District usually culminating in a few drinks and a tasty meal at a country pub. My financial situation then dictated that I could only spend around £50 on a pair of walking boots and so headed to CCC ( a large outdoor superstore) to see what my money could get me.

                    I found a pair of Merrell Gortex walking boots which fitted my budget and my feet. They were comfortable and felt lightweight and flexible. I was worried that they wouldn't be waterproof, but was reassured by the sales assistant and the little metal 'waterproof' badge on the side of the boot that they would be.

                    I first tried my boots out in Sheffield city centre on one rainy afternoon (not great look!), but it didn't take long before the water started leaking in to the boots. I was obviously disappointed but was pleased I'd tried them out before discovering their faults halfway through a long walk. The shop reimbursed my money and I decided to double my initial budget.

                    My next pair of boots are possibly the best investment in footwear that I have ever made. They were around £110 which seemed like an enormous outlay at the time. They are made by Meindl and of leather. I have used them for long distance footpath walks and camping weekends and never had a blister from them. They have also been amazingly snug and comfortable during snow and whilst manning stalls during our town's winter festival. Most importnatly, they have never leaked, even though I have really put them through their paces by walking through puddles of all sizes. On a long walk, sometimes going straight through the middle of a puddle rather than walking around it just saves you a few precious steps!

                    The moral of the story is that if you're going to buy some walking boots, you may as well spend more and get some which actually do the job. Leaking, uncomfortable boots may save you £50, but you'll never actually wear them! I have found my Meindl boots to be excellent and still going strong after eight years.

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                      25.09.2010 21:59
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                      Invaluable for hiking and icy conditions

                      The first proper pair of walking boots I owned were bought for me the Christmas before last. My parents in law were stuck for a present, and as it was an icy winter and I did not own a pair of walking boots I was taken to the large outdoor-wear shop near where I live to select a pair I liked. Given that the boots were a gift I did not wish to abuse the generosity of my relatives, and so I selected a low- to mid-range pair.

                      Given that the outdoors shop in question stock goods at competitive prices, the boots should actually have cost £80, but they were on sale for just under £50. The boots in question are a Hi-Tec pair, and while I am not altogether au fait with sports brands, I could see the boots were of a high quality and would prove to be very durable in the winter months and beyond. The boots are a mid-brown, with round toes and black lace-ups, and are also waterproof. The boots are surprisingly heavy, and weigh 2 - 3 times that of a regular pair of shoes. However, I discovered that when I wear the boots the additional weight is not particularly apparent, an in fact in the cold months the extra material is welcome as it tends to keep my feet more snug and protected from the cold.

                      I bought a pair of boots that were just a little on the large side. I usually take a size 5.5 - 6 in footwear, and chose a size 6 so that the boots would readily accommodate my feet should I don some thick socks too. I tried the boots on prior to purchase, of course, and much to my satisfaction the boots are ideal without thick socks, yet not at all uncomfortable or too tight when I do decide to don such footwear. My boots came with long laces, and five pairs of lacing hooks for fastening the laced up over the tops of my feet and up my ankles. Because the boots are so heavy it is important that they are well secured over the length of my feet, and when I wear them my feet feel secure and sung within them. Additionally, the rubbery, chunky grips have proved fantastically successful when steadying me over icy and uneven ground, and last winter especially I could not have been without them. I am the kind of girl who must be prised out of her heels, but even I could not have been lured into silly footwear when it came to the especially icy weeks of January 2010.

                      I have used my boots not only during the colder months, but also as they are intended, for long treks. Despite selecting a slightly larger size to that I ordinarily take, I have found that my boots rub slightly when I wear thick socks. However, they have proved invaluable for long and short expeditions, and even I walk through muddy fields the dirt will remove from my boots even before I properly clean them. My boots feel secure on my feet and I have never sustained wet feet even when I have been walking in showers. I highly recommend investing in a pair of walking boots, even if you are not a seasoned hiker. They are ideal for the winter, and even having owned my boots for nearly two years they show few signs of wear. Walking boots are designed to be very durable, and I could not be without mine now. Highly recommended.

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                        20.12.2009 14:55
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                        Great boots for walking on snow-covered terrain.

                        Walking in the air / snow


                        Winter wonderland outside. All is glistening and white, pristine snow. Beautiful to look at, fun to play. Brings out the child in all of us. Out come the sledges, warm coats, colourful hats, scarves and gloves.

                        But there is always the question: what to wear on your feet? Wellies make your feet feel cold, even when you wear thick socks. Sensible shoes are ok but your feet soon get wet. Walking boots, especially those designed for walking on snow-covered terrain, make ideal footware.


                        What are the factors you should consider when buying walking boots for snow-covered terrain?

                        1. They should be fit for the purpose.
                        2. They need to be comfortable.
                        3. They need to be roomy enough to allow you to wear thick, warm socks
                        4. They need to be waterproof.
                        5. They need to have a good grip so that you won't slip on the snow.
                        6. They need to be adjustable, so that you can easily loosen them to put them on / remove them.
                        7. If possible, there should be a pull-string round the ankle, so that a snug fit can be achieved, preventing snow from slipping inside your boots.
                        8. If possible, they need to look stylish, smart enough to wear round town as well as when striding across snow-covered terrain.
                        9. They need to be affordable, good enough to meet the purpose without breaking the bank.


                        My solution?

                        I have invested in a pair of Hi-tec St. Moritz 200 brown / cream boots, which I bought at the local Outdoor shop. I recommend that you buy them at a specialist outdoors shop, so that you can try them on with suitable socks, to check their fit and level of comfort. It is a good idea to try on a pair one size larger than your normal shoes.

                        They can also be purchased online from:
                        http://www.hi-tecdirect.co.uk/product.php?id=229&category=
                        for approximately £50.00 - £60.00


                        What are these boots designed for?

                        These boots are designed for serious winter activities - hiking, snow-shoeing, etc. But they do not look out of place in town as they are so stylish. Having wide feet, I struggle to find really comfortable, waterproof boots. But these slipped on effortlessly, then virtually flew into my shopping bag.


                        What are they made of and what do they look like?

                        The boots are brown, fashionable, and warm. They have waterproof, suede leather uppers, and a faux-fur lined collar. The boots are fleece-lined with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, which keeps your feet lovely and toasty, even in the coldest of conditions. But the boots are roomy enough for you to wear extra thick socks if needed.
                        The sole, made of carbor rubber, is moulded and resistant to scuffs and abrasions, with a 'winter lug design'. There are thin slits on the treads and also some slightly raised rubber knobs (like studs on football boots). This makes walking much safer as the boots can get a better grip on the snow and ice. Though you still need to use care and common sense when walking on compacted snow.


                        Can you adjust them? Are they easy to put on / remove?

                        Having a drawstring, the boots are easy to loosen, put on and adjust again, ensuring a snug fit without the discomfort associated with many boots. An additional feature is the separate drawstring that you can use to tighten the collar of the boots. It has a special toggle that you press down to be able to adjust the string, then release when you want to lock it into position. This enables you to stop snow sliding down inside your boot. How cool is that?!


                        What do I think about these boots?

                        They areWONDERFUL! Comfortable and smart. At last my feet are toasty warm whilst tramping through the snow. At last I can walk through the snow with a much reduced chance of slipping (a significant danger to the 'mature' person.) These boots are great winter footwear. You may not be able to drive in them but for walking, they are ideal.


                        I was the first out into the snow today, striding confidently down the road in the pristine snow. After a long walk, my feet were still lovely and warm and I hadn't slipped once.

                        This review may be posted on other sites under the same name.

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                          27.05.2006 11:06
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                          Well Worth The Price

                          Berghaus boots range from £50 upwrads and can be expensive. However, it is felt the quality provided is well worth the price. The boots are strong on the outside and offered in a variety of colours. The inside is comfortable and even snug - especially once worn in. The gortex variety are particularly usefull especially during the winter months - keep those feet snug and dry! The price is possibly the only bad point - however as they are so durable - have had my pair for over five years and still going strong they are well worth it.

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                            26.11.2003 01:55
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                            Meindl Burma Walking Boots, fit for the mountain Gods Time to Bite the Bullet. The time had come, we wanted to go climb mountains again, had Pen-Y-Ghent in mind and my wife's old walking boots had seen better days. So with a budget in mind we took off to the outdoor shop to look for new ones. Simple enough job eh? Think again. These boots have become very technical (expensive) since I last shopped for a pair and my mental budget figure was soon looking a little shy of the mark. After 3 shops in 3 towns and lots of different brands I left my wife with yet another assistant to look for a good pair of socks to go with them and returned to find her walking about in a great looking pair of Meindl Burma boots. Fitted perfectly, comfy, leather despite her wish to get fabric as she doesn't normally like leather, but the fit was so good she went for them anyway. The icing on the cake was the Gore-Tex lining to keep all the water out, nothing like nice dry tootsies to keep you happy on a long trek. Casually looking around trying to spot the empty shelf to check the price, I couldn?t really see it and had to ask......well they do look good, you're sure they're really comfy? Reeally sure? The socks are another tenner and "do you want these liners as well?" asks the assistant. Mental arithmetic cells overloading, we run for the till to limit the damage and get away with a paltry £145. Sigh....... The day after our first trip, my wife was incredibly pleased with her new boots, my dogs were barking. We decided we needed other bits and pieces, and there, in yet another outdoor shop were the same boots, in my size........I made a terrible mistake and tried them on.........another wallet lightening trip to the till and they were mine! The Booties Themselves Break in period? If you're of a certain age and have ever bought a pair of walking boots, you may remember the dreaded and often agon
                            ising 'break-in' process, where your feet were bullied into the shape of your new boots. There were many tales of the best ways to do this to a new pair of boots varying from wearing multiple pairs of socks to peeing in them and walking in them still wet! Never did figure out whether that option was a wind up but I DIDN'T try it! Fits right out of the box. Thankfully with the Meindl Burmas' you can forget these options, buy a nice comfy pair of Bridgedale socks to wear, lace them up and go! They really are that comfortable. Plenty of toe room for my wide plates and padding around the cuff so your ankle doesn't take a beating. The cuff is also ventilated and apparently pumps air from the bottom of the boot and out of the holes to keep your feet fresh and cool. Seems to work! Boot Categories. Meindl have a category system so you can identify which type of walking you're going to do over which type of terrain and match the boot to the needs. These are category B classic walking boots, mostly meant for extensive walking and moderate trekking on long trails, so perfect for British conditions. Sole The heart and sole (sorry) of the boot is the Vibram sole. These soles have been world renowned for many years as the best and although there are various types now they are still your guarantee of quality. The sole isn't flat and sort of propels you forward with each step, very nice once you get used to it. According to the website, "the sole has soft wedges, integrated pronation and supination zones and the heel is a little higher giving improved comfort" so there! The particular Vibram fitted to these boots is called the Karasimbi multi-grip sole; presumably some name conjured up from Nepal or the like, to make you feel as if you're on your way to Everest base camp. Sucker that I am I always like those little details. Uppers The leather is silicon treated nubuck and can
                            be waterproofed to some extent with Nikwax or Meindls' own sportwax if you can find any but the Gore-tex lining takes care of any water in any case and is guaranteed for life. Proofing the leather is really just to protect it, not really to keep water out at all, there's no way to keep water out of leather! Lacing The laces use a system called DigaFix, something to do with diagonal fixing of the foot as far as I can gather but it means you are able to tighten up the lower part of the boot, loop the lace round the first cleats and it seems to lock allowing you to have the top part of the boot a little looser so you don't cut the blood supply to your feet! Not recommended. Foot bed This is a little thin for my liking bit but having said that, a good pair of socks with plenty of padding has proved to be fine and I haven't had a sniff of a blister even when they were brand new. Whatever you do don't wear cotton socks, they will get wet and stay wet, you need proper wicking socks to get the moisture away from your feet, and, thanks to the Gore-Tex, out of the boot. Meindl recommend Bridgedale and so do I. Overall These boots really are the dogs' wotsits. They are light, 770gr for the size 8 I bought, incredibly well put together (German engineering), comfortable from the word go and although the £125 tag is a little steep, if you're serious about toddling round this green and pleasant land and its high bits, you won't go far wrong with these. Have since found them online for a little less AND with free socks, but you do need to be there in person when buying boots. The salesman got me to buy a size bigger than I normally take and to wear the socks I use for hiking so as to make sure of the fit, and in comparison to my 16 year old Daisy Roots they're an absolute dream. Tech Spec. (For boots? Told you they were complicated things.) Upper-Sil-Nubuck Leather Lining-GORE-TEX 10
                            0% Waterproof Footbed-Air-Active drysole Shank- Orthotic Nylon Polymid (Soft/Med) Sole-Meindl Karisimbi Multigrip by Vibram Weight-770 g (size 8) Height-15.25 cm (6 in) Sizes 6-13 in ½ sizes mens 5-11 in ½ sizes ladies Thanks for reading Chris

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                              27.03.2001 23:45
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                              You've been to the outdoor shops, tried on the boots, got all the advice,collected the manufacturers bumpf, read the boot reviews on dooyoo, and come home with a nice shiny pair of new boots. Full of enthusiasm on the first sunny day of spring you set out for a tramp around the fells, nothing too strenuous. But shock, horror, an hour into the walk and you feel the first tell-tale twinges of an on-coming blister. Before you go marching into your local store and accosting the poor unfortunate sales assistant that soled you the boots, consider the fact that there may be another simpler culprit - your socks. Why is it that when it comes to things like jackets, we all recognise the need to have different types for different occasions - work/mountains/clubbing, but when it comes to socks, a 'one sock for every occasion' policy prevails. Here's my advice - there is no point in spendng £80 on a pair of boots if you insist on wearing a pair of old cotton socks with them. Nothing will be a more sure guarantee of blistered feet. When choosing socks: 1. Make sure they fit (borrowing your brothers or dads wont do unless you wear the same size) 2. Look for a 'high wicking' knited sock. This means a sock which actively pushes moisture (sweat) away from the foot. 3. make sure the cuff comes up higher than the cuff of your boot, and ensure that it is tight enough to stay there not work its way down into the boot. 4. If at all possible, buy your boots and socks at the same time, trying one on WITH the other to ensure a perfect fit. 5. Get a sock with extra padding on the foot bed for shock absorbsion, but a thinner knit over the top of your foot to allow moisture to evaporate more easily. And finally... 6. When they start to wear out - REPLACE THEM All this said, my recommendations are for 2 different socks. With my summer boots I wear a Thorlo Coolmax liner(£7.99), a lightweight, high
                              wicking sock that is very soft and holds excellently to your foot. (I also wear this sock for running marathons). With winter boots I wear Thorlo Hiking (£11.99)which are much thicker, woolier feel, with excellent under foot padding. Bridgedale do a very similar sock.

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                                16.03.2001 23:34
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                                Being blessed with feet that don't quite match what the manufacturers designed for ( I appear to be size 11.5 around the heels and 12.5 across the toes according to some of the!) I have found the following useful. 1. Petroleum jelly e.g. vaseline rubbed onto my feet before putting my socks on. I find this reduces the likelyhood of the 'hot spots' forming where blisters start. Iuse it both with new footware and with well run in items. 2. For any especially vulnerable spots rather than use moleskin a friend (cheers Tony)suggested using Boots Adhesive Knit (if they haven't change the site there is a picture of the packet at http://www.wellbeing.com/shop/product_details.jsp?productid=1004412). Not only is it better value, it is thinner than moleskin which helps. I find it best to stick it on before setting off though as getting anything to stick when your foot is hot is much harder. 3. I've tried 2nd Skin by Spenco on blisters and I think it is better bthan some of the other blister treatments because you can easily cut it to size. (There is a report about 2nd Skin at http://www.smtl.co.uk/WMPRC/DataCards/HTML/spenco.2sk.html ) 4. Another recommendation that I would like to pass on is Hydrophane (there was apicture on the tin at http://www.battles.co.uk/hyd1.html ). This is designed for bridal leather but I use it to help soften new leather boots and to treat boots that have had a rough time especially if they got soaking wet when gill scrambling. After cleaning and drying the boots, poor some Hydrophane into a small jam jar and then use a clean paint brush to paint it on to the leather. I've only seen Hydrophane sold in tack shops i.e. where hosre riders get their supplies.

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