Need help with walking boots! I have no idea!

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  • Need help with walking boots! I have no idea!
  • Premier Icon Cougar

    TBH, I think it’s the sort of think you’re best off trying on in a shop before buying anything.

    When I bought mine, I must’ve tried on just about every pair in the shop. Ended up with a pair of Berghaus Explorer GTX boots, and they’ve been fantastic; I can’t rate them highly enough.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Go to a shop and put some on your feet. FWIW (absolutely nothing, if they don’t suit your feet) I went from one extreme to another on my last change and went from heavyweight Scarpa Manta to lightweight Brasher Supalite and have found them fantastic, the light weight really makes a huge difference, my trainers weigh more. Have used them around the UK and NW USA.


    As above.
    Do you have any outdoor shops near you?
    They could give you some advice ,and may have some deals on.

    IME ,I think NF gear is a bit over hyped,and I have been disappointed in the quality of their kit.


    So what are you planning on using the boots for? Summer and Winter boots are quite differnet. Proper Winter ones are designed to take cramponsand are very stiff making them almost useless in the summer.

    I would follow the advice and go to a shop and try on as may as you can. It’s best to go in the afternoon as you feet swell durung the day.

    What cougar said. ^

    My advice would be forget about looking for boots and find a good shop first. Go in the week when they are less busy and be prepared to try on lots of boots. Recommendations for a particular boot will not be worth a great deal as fit is everything. If you live in or near any of the hiking centres (peaks, lakes, north wales) quality shops should be easy to come by if not then you might need to ask around. Roughly where do you live? Perhaps someone on here could recommend somewhere.

    Personally I prefer a leather boot even for quite tame walks as it seems easier to look after and gives good support but many people like a lighter weight fabric boot.

    As for the cost. They may seem expensive initially but they should last you for years so try and think about the price spread out over a longer period rather than being something you just need for the year.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    From experience, Karrimor are cheap, comfy, fine for general use and last well.
    Quite wide too.
    Zamberlan and Scarpa are pricey but last for years and you can resole them several times.
    Meindl and Brasher are comfy, but wear quickly and fall to bits, whilst Raichle are way too narrow for me, but are indestructable.
    Hi – Tech look the part but fall to bits and don’t grip.

    But really you need to try on as many pairs as you can.


    My current Asolo’s are my all time favorites.
    If you’re on that much of a budget, some surplus assault boots will do the trick. They won’t be completely waterproof (but I’ve had goretex’s that weren’t either) but they’ll last ages and be very comfy when worn in and polished a million times. I’ve done a lot of miles in these and there’s nothing wrong with them.


    I’m going to whistler for the year and I’ve been told it’s a good idea to buy some walking boots. I guess I need some sort of magical boot that is booth good for summer and winter? Does this exist?
    Any help appreciated!

    (I’m not a millionaire so nothing incredibly expensive)


    I’m in Hexham at the moment (near newcastle), but will be going back to Swansea this week. I’ll take the advice and find a decent shop and try some on.

    By winter I mean walking around in deep snow, not going to be using cramp ons or anything like that though.

    Premier Icon slowoldgit

    I’d suggest taking summer boots, and buying a winter pair there. For just how cold will it be? And find a good shop, try as many pairs as poss.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Go in TK Maxx and spend the £60 change on something nice. (or buy 3 pairs)

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore

    I am not sure that the mythical summer/winter boot exists! How about a pair of Salmon XA pros for walking in summer (and lots of other uses) and a pair of three/four season walking boots that can take simple crampon for the winter. Or could you be using snowshoes in Whistler? Maybe buy the latter locally as you may need super warm ones for Whistler?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    One mans nice is anothers crippling agony.

    Head to swansea via Keswick (needle sports/fishers) or Ambleside(lots to choose from) or try LD mountain sports on Grainger St Newcastle.

    Get more idea what your going to be doing then talk to the nice man/lady in the boot room.

    If not get to MEC Co-Op in Vancouver when you get there and do the same.

    Try them on walk round and see how it go’s


    I have a local Snow & Rock, I’ve spent a lot of time in there recently.
    I bought a pair of Salomon Cosmic GT40x8’s and they have been totally fab. I’m a fan of Salomon and have a couple of pairs of their trail shoes (XDA Pro’s and SportX) so these were a natural choice for me.
    Bit stiff at the start and the foam needed to settle in to my feet, but now they have they’re most excellent. £170 mind, but worth it.


    As said above, you really need to go for a proper fitting. Boot manufacturers seem to design for certain foot shapes ie Scarpa tend to fit wider fat feet, La Sportiva/Salomon tend to fit narrower slim feet. Don’t know about the rest, but you don’t want to find out half way up a mountain or halfway thru a holiday.
    I’ve always used a traditional mountaineering/winter boot (without thermal liner) because I like the high ankle cuff and solid feel, also the thicker leather and construction tends to keep your feet dry in the worst conditions, they also last longer.


    Wild Trak in Newcastle would be a most excellent port of call. They have always been a superb shop. You need to try before you buy as we’ve all got different feet and boots have different fits.

    jonah tonto

    stu, get a pair of the army surplus lowa ones that i got.
    best boots ive ever had by a long long way, been wearing them for nearly 2yrs and there is no wear on the sole. and at £60 you cant go wrong.
    in fact they are even cheaper on ebay. so you could try em on in town then order from ebay


    Hi – Tech look the part but fall to bits and don’t grip.

    I bought some Hi-Techs over 4 years ago now, and have used them on a regular basis walking the dog and whatnot (we go on some epics, I’m not talking about a stroll around the park).

    They haven’t been the greatest. Their claim to be waterproof is questionable. And after 4 years they’re becoming brittle and beginning to crack. But, they cost me £25. That’s £6 a year. They grip a hell of a lot better than my trainers, protect my feet a whole lot better, and they’ve been super comfy the whole time too. So for light use I’d happily recommend them as a budget option.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    IME ,I think NF gear is a bit over hyped,and I have been disappointed in the quality of their kit.

    I used to rate North Face, but I’m pretty much of the opinion now that they’re a fashion label first and a serious outdoors label second. They’re probably the ideal choice if you’re planning on trekking through darkest Runcorn.

    Premier Icon crispo

    You’ll want something pretty waterproof for the winter in Whistler. Whistler town itself isnt that high so whilst they get loads of snow on the hill it will often rain or turn quickly to slush lower down.

    If you are working out there and have a season pass you get 20% (I think) off at any of the shops owned by the resort, most of these will have a fairly comprehensive range of walking boots.

    From experience, Karrimor are cheap, comfy, fine for general use and last well.

    +1, £40 in sports direct gets you some mid weight ‘waterproof’ boots. I’ve worn mine all year round and while waterproof doesn’t mean wellies, they don’t get your feet wet if you have to stand in a puddle or peat bog.

    Also, for summer use have you considdered approach shoes rather than boots? Boot’s seem a European thing, Ammericans seem to use trainer style shoes a lot more.


    So, you dont really want a one boot does all solution imo.

    Get yourself a warm winter boot and a pair of boot that will let you do whatever hikes you fancy in teh summer.
    I’m guessing you’re not going to be doing any multi day hikes in teh summer.. as you’re on a bike forum, so you would probably tend to ride into locations.

    Sure Whistler has some awesoem hikes (Rainbow, Singing Pass, Rubble creek/Black Tusk/Garibaldi Lake..Squamish has Elfin Lakes, Stauamus Chief etc) but none of these are huge overnighters and don’t really need much more than a decent hiking shoe that you can also wear in teh spring/fall as your every day footwear.

    I brough my DofE hiking boots, never wore them.. brought some goretex salomon hiking boots.. waste of $$, I ended up just wearing goretex shoes in the winter anyway.

    My suggestion, unless I’m missing something about your planned activities would be:

    To be honest though, turn up in what you are wearing as a casual shoe right now (unless you’re a brown leather boat shoe kind of guy or are into winkle pickers) and figure out what your needs are when you get here.

    Whistler has a wealth of shops, and Vancouver has MEC


    p.s. these are just suggestions.. i’m not trying to dress you 😉



    Can’t recommend highly enough. from the mountains of ‘Ganners to the sandy wastelands.


    To be honest you are more likely to get a wider range and better priced range of footwear for your purpose in Canada than here. My brother picked up winter work boots in the local supermarket when logging in Canada and that was 30 years ago.

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