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Walking Boots Guide: Choosing The Best Walking Boots For You

Walking Boots Guide: Choosing The Best Walking Boots For You

25.07.2017 | Hiking Buying Guides

Walking boots are arguably the most important consideration when walking or hiking. The right walking boots and walking socks can mean the difference between an enjoyable walk and an uncomfortable, even dangerous one.


1. Walking Location

You need to consider whether you’ll be walking in the hills, on uneven ground or on a flat surface, as this will affect the type of walking footwear you buy.


Walking Boots

If you’re going to be walking in the hills/mountains or on uneven ground a walking boot is recommended over a shoe. It will be very easy to twist your ankle on uneven ground and a walking boot will provide better ankle support than shoes.


Walking Shoes

If you are walking on flat, even ground then you may prefer a walking shoe. Walking shoes or trainers can be less obtrusive on the ankle and provide more flexibility in the foot over boots. However, they will not provide the same levels of support and protection that boots can offer.

2. Leather Or Fabric Walking Boots?

Walking boots can be made with suede, leather or fabric which will normally be mesh. Fabric boots are lighter and more breathable than traditional leather uppers.

For many, the choice is often down to personal preference but here are some pointers to help you decide between the two.


Leather Walking Boots

Pros Cons
Tougher material so will cope in more abrasive areas Heavier
Fully covered so will protect from elements well Often more expensive
Long lasting if cared for properly Takes time to wear in
Easy to clean Less breathable than non-leather


Fabric Walking Boots 

Pros Cons
Lightweight Doesn’t give as much protection against the elements
Breathable Not as good in abrasive areas as leather footwear
Can be cheaper than leather Can be harder to clean
Less breaking in required May need reproofing more regularly

Mountain Warehouse Walking Boots Range

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3. The Anatomy of a Walking Boot



Virtually all outsoles on walking boots or shoes will be made of rubber or thermoplastic rubber (TPR).


Vibram Soles

Vibram® is probably the most recognised brand of high performance soles on walking boots. Vibram soles are made from a mix of rubber, carbon and silicone and are stiffer and denser than other types of rubber. Vibram soled boots are renowned for providing exceptional grip thanks to the tread patterns designed for enhanced performance.



The upper refers to everything on the outside of the shoe, above the midsole. The upper can be made from a variety of materials but the most common would be leather/suede or fabric, usually mesh.



The insole is the inside part of the shoe and will sit underneath the foot, it’s also referred to as the footbed.

Insoles are often removable and can be replaced to improve comfort and fit. Take a look at a range of different insoles in our footwear accessories.



The midsole is a layer of material between the inner soles and outsoles. It provides support and is important for shock absorption and, along with the outsole, protects the wearer from sharp objects under foot.


Heel & Toe Bumpers

The purpose of heel and toe bumpers is to protect your toes and heels from knocks, which is particularly important on rocky terrains. Heel and toe bumpers also protect the boot from damage so they last longer.


The Tongue

The tongue should be thick enough to protect the top of the foot from the pressure of the laces. Padded tongue and ankles provide comfort and support as well as providing impact cushioning for tackling tough terrains.

4. Mid & High Cut Walking Boots

There are generally two types of cut for a walking boot- mid and high. There is no such thing as a low cut walking boot, this would be a walking shoe.

Mid cut boots, opposed to shoes, protect your ankles and offer support,  ideal for shorter day walks. Higher cut boots offer more ankle support on rougher terrains but do not allow the same flexibility as a mid-cut boot.

Now you know how to choose the best walking boots, why not use the links below to check out the Mountain Warehouse range.

Check Out Mountain Warehouse Walking Boots Range

Mens Walking Boots

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Womens Walking Boots

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Kids Walking Boots

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