Walking boots come in a number of different varieties and styles. Some boots are made for mountaineering or scrambling, some might be designed specifically for hiking long distances comfortably while others might be best suited to just a casual walk through fields.

Although some options might cover a few bases, there isn't really one boot that will adequately handle every single type of situation or terrain, so when you're looking for the best walking boots to buy this year what you need to consider first and foremost is what you'll be needing them for.

If you're just going to be hiking along tow paths or along paved trails then you'll probably just need something light and flexible with a bit of cushioning. If you're planning to bag a couple of hills and take on some muddy paths you'll want something with a little more support, waterproofing and protection underfoot. For high terrain, what'll be needed will be something stiff enough to withstand sharp rocks and tall enough on the ankle to offer dependable support and protection – you might even need something that you can fit a crampon to. 

There are also the seasons to consider. Are you after something for year-round use in Britain or for either just summer or winter? 

"There's no universal shape or size for a hiking boot so buying your normal size doesn't always guarantee a perfect fit..."

The majority of the walking boots we've featured here are designed for three-season use, which means UK hills from the start of spring through to the end of autumn. Most of the options here are also probably best-suited to hiking or hillwalking rather than any high altitude stuff in tough conditions, but there are some here that could take on some more technical stuff. To help you identify these we've marked the activities that each pair are best suited to. 

Finally, we should point out that buying boots straight from the internet comes with a few risks, and we're not talking about getting conned into accidentally buying cheap knock offs. What we're talking about is the risk of getting boots that don't fit you properly.

There's no universal shape or size for a hiking boot so buying your normal size doesn't always guarantee a perfect fit. To avoid spending money on a pair of boots that end up giving you blisters or just generally feeling uncomfortable, the safest bet is to go to an outdoor store to try on a pair with a specialist boot fitter. 

If you're looking for some more options, have a look at our round up of the best walking boots from 2017, or if you're looking for something a little more nimble than a walking boot, check out our list of the best walking shoes of 2018.

Tecnica Forge

The Tecnica Forge could well mark the beginning of the future of walking boots. Through a clever thermo-moulding process, you can have the upper and the insole shaped right around your foot to give an anatomical fit. The immediate benefit is that there’s no need to ‘break in’ the boot before a hike and the lasting benefit is, well, having a boot that fits properly and comfortably. The fitting process, which can be done in selected stores (all listed on the Tecnica website), involves what’s essentially a mini oven and two big bags that inflate around your feet. As we wrote after a testing experience a few months ago, this process “feels a bit like having your blood pressure taken”. Aside from all this clever stuff, the boot itself has a good design, with a Nubuck leather or synthetic version to choose from and Gore-Tex waterproofing.

Use this for: trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
Price: £223
Sizes: 7-13.5 (men's), 4-8.5 (women's)
More info: tecnicasports.com

Full Review

Asolo Greenwood GV

Only one single piece of leather is used for the upper of this boot, giving it a lovely classic, clean look, and then lining it there’s a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproof protection. There’s some nice touches with the sole also, including a double density foam for shock absorption on rocky trails and deep, grippy lugs that are carefully designed to be able to shrug off any clingy mud.

Use this for: trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
Price: €214
6-13.5 (men's), 4-9.5 (women's)
More info: asolo.com

Full Review

Danner Adrika Hiker

Although they’ve been around in the U.S. since the 1930s, it’s only in the last few years that Danner have started to be seen on hikers’ feet in the UK. Our guess is it’s something to do with Reese Witherspoon wearing a pair of them in her portrayal of Cheryl Strayed walking the Pacific Crest Trail in the film Wild. This is one of the lighter, more casual options in Danner’s women’s range, combining a lightweight suede upper and waterproof liner with a springy sole – and there’s that classic-look of course. It’s not the grippiest of boots, so it’s probably better suited to gentle, easy walks rather than anything too testing. For a male equivalent take a look at the Mountain 600.

Use this for: short hikes, light trails, casual wear
Price: £132
5-10 (women’s)
More info: danner.com

Haglöfs Eclipse GT

This has got all the right ingredients for a good trekking boot: a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, fairly low total weight, protective toe bumper, a reliable sole and shock absorbing midsole. Swedish brand Haglöfs have taken admirable steps in recent years towards more environmentally-friendly production, and examples of this are clearly shown with this boot – no hazardous chemicals feature in the water repellent coating for instance. 

Use this for: trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
6.5-12.5 (men’s) 4-8 (women’s)
More info: haglofs.com

Full Review

La Sportiva Trango Trek Evo GTX

This is a boot that eats rocky trails and scree slopes for breakfast. Consider the abrasion resistant polyester upper for instance, or the oversized toe bumper, or the protective Vibram Mulan outsole. Despite all these features for durability, it’s still a lightweight boot that will be comfortable for hiking considerable distances in. There’s plenty more in the Trango family if you’re looking for something for higher altitudes.

Use this for: easy scrambles, alpine hiking, trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
Price: £190
EU 41-47 (men’s), 36-43 (women’s)
More info: rockrun.com

Full Review

Keen Targhee EXP Mid

This has all the right features of a good three-season hiking boot and at £114.99 (current retail price) it’s pretty good value. There's an upper made from a combination of mesh and stain resistant leather, a waterproof liner underneath amd then a sole that features comfy EVA foam. There's also a lightweight shank to protect the bottom of your feet while still allowing for enough flexibility.

Use this for: Use this for: trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
Price: £115
6-16 men’s, 2.5-8.5 (women’s)
More info: keenfootwear.com

Full Review

Meindl Bhutan MFS

A real classic this, and a best seller for Meindl. With its high, supportive ankle, waxed Nubuck leather upper and rubber rand to protect from scuffing, it has all those ingredients of a traditional hillwalking boot – one for the bog crossers. Oh and there’s also that sturdy, grippy sole with its straight heel step and deep lugs. At 1812g for a pair, that’s a fairly heavy weight, and it therefore probably makes this best for medium length tricky hikes rather than long distance walks on easy terrain.

Use this for: hillwalking
Price: £210
6-14 (men’s), 4-9 (women's)
More info: bramwell-int.co.uk

Full Review

Zamberlan 1000 Baltoro GTX

There’s something very Italian about this. Yes, obviously there’s an Italian flag on it, but also it’s the colour scheme and shape. It’s a great looking boot that’s excellently crafted, made with a quality Perwanger leather with super tough Cordura inserts and rubber bumpers on the toe and around the heel. This is one of those boots that’ll withstand anything and that'll also last a long time – take it to the Alps and it’ll be right at home on the rocky trails, scrambles and Via Ferrata.

Use this for: alpine trekking, scrambling, Via Ferrata
Price: £269
EU 40-48 (men’s), 37-43 (women’s)
More info: en.zamberlan.com

Full Review

Dolomite Tofana GTX

When you’re hiking through the tussocks of a typical Scottish moorland, here’s a boot you’d want to be wearing, and it’s got a lovely look to it as well, right? With it’s Gore-Tex lining, quality oiled leather upper, Vibram sole and protective rubber rand, plus a strong but still cushioned sole, it’s one to get you through some rough stuff. One of the flagship items from a brand with a long history.

Use this for: hillwalking, winter hiking, alpine trekking
Price: £130
6-12 (men’s)
More info: gaynors.co.uk

Full Review

Merrell Chameleon 7

This is a very clever boot, one that the Outdoors Magic team have been mightily impressed with over the past year. Merrell have managed to get everything right with it: it’s durable but not heavy, it’s protective but still flexible, and it will provide decent moisture protection while still being breathable. With its Nubuck leather, Vibram sole and EVA midsole, it certainly features all the right ingredients. It’s worth us mentioning that there are loads and loads of variations in the Chameleon range, with choices in colour, membrane types and ankle height.

Use this for: trail hiking and backpacking
Price: £160
7-15 (men’s) 2.5-9 (women’s)
More infomerrell.com/uk

Full Review

Keen Terradora

Over the past year or two it seems loads of brands are releasing shoes that crossover between hiking shoes and day-to-day kind of shoes – shoes that you can go from city to summit in. This women’s specific shoe from Keen is one such example, and we like it. It's not something you should be scrambling up Marmolada in, but for gentle trail hikes, its soft, comfortable sole, decent grip and light and nimble feel make it bang up for the job.

Use this for: short hikes, easy-going trails, fast hiking
Price: €140
EU 35-42 (women’s)
More info: keenfootwear.com

Full Review

Salomon OutPath Pro GTX

Yes, it’s kind of weird looking, but that’s because it throws all convention out of the window for the sake of performance. What you’ve got here is basically a kind of fusion between a hiking boot and a fast and light trail shoe. It’s light, it’s ultra grippy, and it’s also got the useful built-in gaiter to stop water or debris seeping in. On the Salomon website this is currently listed as £99, down from £165. If you can look past the quirky aesthetic, that’s a decent buy.

Use this for: fast and light hiking, backpacking, trail hiking, winter running
6.5-12.5 (men’s), 3.5-8.5 (women’s)
More info: salomon.com

Full Review

Aku Alterra Nubuck GTX

These trekking boots come with what Aku call an ‘Elica’ fit. What this involves is an anatomically shaped sole that’s engineered to suit the average person’s heel and forefoot flex and placement, ultimately reducing the amount of strain on the feet. It’s actually apparently proven to offer a more even distribution of foot pressure than traditional boots. Other things worth mentioning include the quality Nubuck leather upper, Gore-Tex liner, grippy Vibram sole and stretchy tongue and collar to give a nice close but comfortable fit.

Use this for: trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
Price: £240
Sizes: EU 35-48 (men’s), 35-42 (women’s)
More info: aku.it/en

Full Review

Oboz Bridger Mid

140 hands touch each pair of Oboz boots from the start of their production through to the finish. It’s a kind of weird thought, but also a reassuring one – showing that they’re not thrown together just by machines and that some genuine craft has gone into them. Another reassuring aspect of Oboz’s boots is that for every pair sold, they plant a tree through a foundation called Trees for the Future. This specific boot, the Bridger Mid, is one of Oboz’s best sellers. It features a waterproof membrane, a moderately aggressive sole and a leather upper that doesn’t require any break-in time.

Use this for: trekking, backpacking, hillwalking
Price: £150
7-13 (men’s), 3.5-8.5 (women’s)
More info: obozfootwear.com

Full Review

Treksta Guide X5: £90

This brand from Korea make some very useful boots. One of the most interesting aspects about this particular model, the Guide X5, is that its sole and upper is crafted around a last design (basically a model of a foot) that is based on measurements taken from around 20,000 feet. This, they say, results in a highly anatomical feel – but only for people with an average shaped foot mind. Features of the Guide X5 include a Gore-Tex liner, Nubuck leather upper and an outsole with an impressive lug depth. At £90 they’re pretty good value as well.

Use this for: trekking, backpacking and hillwalking
More infocotswoldoutdoor.com

Mammut Kento GTX

Crampon compatible and fairly stiff in the sole, the Kento GTX from Mammut might be a mountaineering boot but we’d say it’s light enough to be suitable for moderate hiking as well. It’ll definitely be right at home for hikes that involve a bit of scrambling or Via Ferrata. The upper is made from a dyed Nubuck leather mixed with a stretchy softshell to aid ankle flex, plus there’s a protective rubber rand to protect the lower parts of the boot from scuffing. Underfoot, there’s a Michelin sole designed to grip on anything from mud and rock to ice and snow.

Use this for: mountaineering, alpine hiking, scrambling, Via Ferrata
Price: £219
6.5-13 (men’s), 4-8.5 (women’s)
More info: uk.mammut.com

Berghaus Explorer Ridge Plus GTX

One of the best value boots featured on this page. The Explorer Ridge Plus from northeast- based brand Berghaus has a classic-look to it – that polished dark leather upper with minimal stitching – and also a classic feel, with a nice stiffness around the toe box, sturdy feel underfoot and good support around the ankle.

Use this for: hillwalking, trekking, backpacking
Price: £84
6-12 (men’s). 5-8 (women’s)
More info: berghaus.com

Full Review

Hanwag Tatra II GTX: 

When a business has been doing something for nearly 100 years, you can normally count on them getting things right. And that’s certainly the case with the Tatra II GTX. An update to one of Hanwag’s best selling boots, the Tatra II is a hugely robust but still remarkably light trekker, with a solid but comfortable sole, reasonably high ankle and quality materials – the Gore-Tex liner and Nubuck leather upper for instance. The lacing system is smooth as you like as well, thanks to ball bearings within the eyelets – and little cleats allow you to lock the lace firmly in place for a reliable hold. If you fancy a pair of these, it’s worth bearing in mind that Hanwag have a number of different versions of this boot to cater for people with wide or narrow feet. 

Here's a clip from when we took the Hanwag Tatra II GTX for a test run in the Cairngorms...

Use this for: alpine trekking, backpacking, hillwalking, scrambling
Price: €250
Sizes: 6-13 (men’s) 3.5-9 (women’s)
More infohanwag.com

Full Review

Scarpa Trek GTX

A smooth, oiled Nubuck leather upper with minimal seams, a Gore-Tex liner, cushioning right around the ankle and on the tongue, solid metal eyelets, a rubber rand around the base and an aggressively lugged sole – all features that make this option from Scarpa well suited to tough hikes over demanding terrain. It’s a powerful, sturdy boot.

Use this for: backpacking, trekking, hillwalking, scrambling
Price: £200
EU 41-48 (men’s), 37-42 (women’s)
More info: scarpa.co.uk

Columbia Terrebonne OutDry Ex Mid 

OutDry waterproofing, if you're not already familiar with it, is some clever stuff. It involves a kind-of inverted waterproof system where the membrane is toughened up to be able to sit on the outside of the shoe rather than underneath a leather or synthetic protective exterior. With that outer material gotten rid of, there's no risk of the boot 'wetting out' – a situation where a fabric is so saturated that all breathability is lost. In regards to the other aspects of the Terrebonne, expect a fairly high and supportive ankle, lightweight feel and a durable, reliable grip thanks to its all-terrain Vibram sole. 

Use this for: backpacking, trekking, hillwalking
Price: £145
Sizes: 6-14 (men's), 3-10 (women's)
More info: columbiasportswear.co.uk

Lowa Taurus Mid

At just 890g per pair, the Taurus is a light and nimble hiking boot that’s best suited to easy trails and moderate distances. It’s upper blends both leather and synthetics, there’s a Gore-Tex waterproof lining and a special wrapping construction to provide stability.

Use this for: paths and trails, easy hillwalking
Price: £120
6.5-14 (men’s), 3.5-8.5 (women’s)
More info: lowa.co.uk

Danner Jag

Initially debuted back in the 80s, for reasons unknown, the Jag was retired from service before it could make it out of the decade. It’s now back (that retro hiker look seems to be popular at the moment), and we’re glad it is.
Although it’s got a waterproof liner and a fairly grippy tread, this isn’t one to take up big rocky climbs, but it is, however, perfect for light trails and casual stuff – like a walk after a Sunday roast in a pub.

Use this for: casual hiking, easy trails
Price: £132
7-13 (men’s), 5-10 (women’s)
More info: danner.com

Full Review