At Simply Hike HQ our customer services and store teams are inundated with one question every year; ‘what’s the best walking boot?’ and with 35 choices for men and 27 choices for women you’d be forgiven for needing a little advice. So we’ve put together a kind of count down to the top 5 best walking boots for the season ahead.
5. The Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX Walking Boot
Starting at 5 is the Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX boot available in mens and womens styles. This hiking boot is built on a thinner last for narrower feet and has contemporary styling thanks to fabric and leather combination upper. It looks great and it’s more breathable than a leather and GTX combination so great for warmer climes and summer months. The sole is made from contagrip rubber which is sticky to provide optimatl traction on a variety of terrains and the lugs are self cleaning so mud won’t weigh you down. We like this because it’s not rigid or heavy like an all leather boot and feels like a comfortable pair of trainers but with great ankle protection and stability. It’s great for year round use.
4. The Berghaus Explorer Trek Walking Boot
In at 4 is the Berghaus Explorer Trek. How can we forget this fundamental boot in our best walking boot countdown? It feels like the Berghaus Explorer has been around since time began and we can certainly remember wearing it as young’ns. It’s an entry level boot thanks to its really low price but surprisingly it’s packed with some decent technology including Gore-Tex which not only offers waterproofing and breathability but a lifetime guarantee (restrictions apply). The great thing about the Berghaus Explorer Trek is it’s suitable for everyone of all ages and also great for DofE award use. The Great Outdoors magazine recommended this product in 2009 and it’s certainly a great seller for us.
3. The Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Walking Boot
3. Midway at 3 is the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV, a narrow lasted, Italian made full leather boot packed with some great, yet unique technologies. It’s a technical boot which is what we like and very solid with some real weight behind it at 1.5kg a pair. Although it’s not ideal if you have wider feet or if you want something a little lighter. It’s got a higher cut around the ankle for brilliant ankle stability and we love the innovative lacing system which uses a system of micro pulleys to get a great fit. You’re also getting a totally unique Vibram sole which offers shock absorption and stability as well as self cleaning lugs to shed any mud weight. It is great for backpacking if you have a heavy weight on your back as the midsole won’t compress. It’s really burly and rugged and its shiny black leather exterior can half take a bashing making it long lasting and a winner against rocky mountain terrains.
2. The Brasher Supalite II GTX Walking Boot
In spot number 2 is the Brasher Supalite II boot which has won Trail Magazines Best in Test award. This is light as the name suggests at just over a kilo a pair and just oh so comfy thanks to supple Pittards full grain leather and a memory foam ankle cuff. It’s our go to boot for all levels of hiker from just starting out to walking holidays and all budgets. Full grain leather is really easy to care for compared to a fabric or mesh/leather combination but it does mean when combined with Gore-Tex that it’s not as breathable as it could be.
1. The Meindl Bhutan MFS Walking Boot (Formerly known as the Burma Pro)
And at number 1, still the best even after a name change, is the Meindl Bhutan MFS boot (previously Burma Pro). This beast of a boot does come with a heftier price tag than the others but it really is the holy grail of hiking boots in our humble opinion. It’s jam packed full of technology to keep you comfortable on year round hikes and designed specifically for those wanting a stiffer sole for walking in mountains. Meindl have freshened the design with new speed lacing eyelets and added a softer ankle memory foam ankle cuff which is high to offer much needed stability and keep any grit out. Whilst the boot has been made around 100g lighter than the original Burma Pro it is still a heavyweight at around 1800g for a size 11. Meindl have added a full rubber rang which protects the base of the boot and a stiff toe box to protect toes against rocks. Also worth writing home about is the memory foam system which cushions the foot and is excellent at preventing fatigue when hiking for the day. The sole unit is firm and good for walking on loose rubble and the lugs really bite into mud for excellent grip. The Bhutan needs longer to break in compared to the other boots here but it’s definitely worth the wait and the boot will last and last.
So there you have it; our top 5 best walking boots which we hope will help you pick a boot to suit you. Let us know if you disagree with our choices and what your favourite boots are and why because that’s the thing with boots; they’re a personal choice! As much as we can advise you towards a certain style or brand it really does come down to personal preference and no two hikers feet are the same. So if you’re asking what the best pair of walking boots are then come down to our store, try on as many pairs as you can and you’ll surely find the perfect walking boot for you.