When buying a walking boot, there's a lot to consider. For example, do you want a leather walking boot or a non-leather walking boot? The benefits of a leather walking boot are well established. They're often far tougher than non-leather alternatives, naturally water repellent, easier to clean, and longer lasting if cared for properly. The downsides of a walking boot made from leather are that they're usually heavier, often more expensive, less breathable than non-leather walking boots, and also more time consuming when it comes to wearing-in.
If you're committed to purchasing a leather walking boot, you then need to weigh up what kind of boot is right for you. Style, comfort, versatility, functionality, seasonal adaptability; the list of factors goes on and on. To help get you started on your mission to buy a leather walking boot that's right for you, we've compiled together the following products in an orderly collection.
Scarpa Delta GTX Activ
For a leather boot that combines optimum levels of comfort with first-rate hill and fell performance levels, the Scarpa Delta GTX Activ could be the way to go. Jumping straight right to the point, it's a three-season boot that offers straight from the box performance to both casual and dedicated outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Put your feet in these and walk safe in the knowledge that your foot will be supported and secure at all times. Aided by new auto fit foam inserts in the heel area; the Biometric sole, which isn't as terrifying as it sounds, provides the wearer with a state of the art sole upon which they can rest their feet. The dual density on the sole of this thing adds all-important versatility, durability and comfort underfoot; with the mid-sole reinforcements and Vibram outsole serving to strengthen the boot further. If you plump for the Delta GTX as your leather boot of choice, it's unlikely you'll be disappointed.
Keen Men's Liberty Ridge
The Liberty Ridge, from KEEN, featured in our walking boots group test for 2016. And, in all honesty, we liked it. We liked it a lot. It's great for general hill usage, and not a bad option for mountain walking. The build quality on this thing is utterly superb, with the full grain leather uppers really looking and feeling the part.
A few question marks linger over the underfoot gripping on this boot but, putting minor quibbles to one side, we think this boot is a winner. Your feet will love how comfy they are, and love you for purchasing them. Presuming, of course, your feet are capable of feeling emotion.
Durable, comfortable, winter-friendly; if you're a hiker looking for a good leather hiking boot, the KEEN Liberty Ridge is definitely worth a look.
Anatom Q3 Braeriach
Designed in Scotland with British terrain at the forefront of its thinking, the Anatom Q3 Braeriach are nicely made no-nonsense boots perfect for adventuring in and around the UK. It's not going to blow people away stylistically, but there is something cool about its simple and clean aesthetic.
A wide and generous fit with reassuring levels of ankle padding, the Q3 Braeriach is also packing a nice level of support and an appropriate level of flex for the hills. If you're more South Downs than South America, and want a leather hiking boot that won't cost you a small fortune, this might just be the product for you.
Asolo Powermatic 200 GV MM
The Powermatic might sound like an energy saving lightbulb, or a mid-range caravan, but it's actually a highly recommended leather boot from Asolo. Italian made with a solid feel, you'll enjoy how much support this product gives you underfoot. And while its beefier-than-a-beef-roast-dinner-with-additional-servings-of-beef appearance might lead you to judge this book (or should that be - boot) by its cover, as outdoor footwear goes it's actually surprisingly comfortable and versatile thanks to the well implemented internal padding and flexible ankle cuff.
As we said in our group test of 3-season walking boots, the Asolo Powermatic is a "solid little tank of a boot." The strength underfoot means it can really roll with the punches and the mid-sole, constructed from PU of three different densities, really helps with cushioning; meaning that whatever your gait - you'll find that the boot is capable of responding well to the terrain. Our only real criticism of this boot is that it's a little on the heavy side. All in all, though, our thumbs and big toes are pointing upwards for this one.
Zamberlan 1006 New Vioz Plus GTX RR
If you're a hiker who likes your footwear done a certain way, this boot from Zamberlan could be the one for you. It's got a traditional vibe, and is one of the stiffest-soled boots on the market. The Zamberlan's waxed leather uppers are difficult not to love, and it's only the product's heaviness that might put some people off.
Hard as nails with a top of the range build quality, they've got the kind of durability that will tackle your rough ground stomping like its a walk in the park. Super solid, traditional, and with a stiffness in the sole that won't let you down; this three-season leather mountain walking boot is a serious piece of gear for people who feel that neon yellow boots are the worst thing about professional football in the modern era. Oh and, one more thing, these boots are crampon compatible meaning they've got the required beans for wintery conditions.
Meindl Bhutan MFS
The Meindl Bhutan has the look and feel of an old, old, friend. You look at it, and you instantly feel like you can trust it to do what needs to be done. The boot has undergone only a handful of minor changes from previous Meindl editions. Ankle cuffs with a softer feel and memory foam padding, an improved heel shape, a classy lacing system, and a couple of aesthetically pleasing slashes on the leather upper. Other than those nifty little updates, and decorative flourish, this is a down-to-Earth kind of boot that knows what a boot's supposed to be.
The Bhutan MFS, for those with a good knowledge of walking boots, is essentially a revamp of Meindl's popular three-season boot - Borneo. Contemporary, yet old school. Historical in appearance, with tech features perfect for future adventures. In a nutshell, it's a modern reimagining of a classic brown leather mountain walker. And, seriously, we think you'll love what it's got to offer.