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Walking Boots

Best Walking Boots Reviewed 2017

We've tested 15 of the best hill and mountain walking boots, both leather and fabric, to help you decide which works best for you.

We’ve tested 15 of the best hill and mountain walking boots from top outdoors brands to help you choose the best walking boot for you. We’ve included full leather, suede and fabric boots suitable for everything from straightforward hill walking on paths through to more technical scrambling.

In most cases we’ve also linked through to a more extensive full review of each boot if you want more detailed information.

Try Before Buying

Our reviews should help give you an idea of the pros and cons of each of the boots, but it’s vitally important that you try boots before buying and look for a pair that match the shape of your feet well with no tight spots or overly loose ones. A good outdoor shop will help you choose the boots that work best for you.

Even if existing boots from a brand fit you, there’s no guarantee that a different boot from the range will have the same shape. Specialist brands like Scarpa will use different lasts – foot shapes – according to the boot’s function for example, with mountaineering shoes often being cut more closely than pure walking ones.

Navigation

You can simply work your way down the page or click on the links here to jump straight to the boot review of your choice. We’ve also put together a verdict section with our top picks.

AKU Super Alp GTX |   Anatom Q3 Braeriach  |  Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid GTX  |
Asolo Power Matic 200 GV | Berghaus Fellmaster GTX |  Hanwag Tatra GTX |  KEEN Aphlex Boot  |
La Sportiva Trango TRK  |  Mammut Ayako High GTX  |  Meindl Bhutan MFS  |
Salomon Evasion Mid GTX |  Salomon X-ALP MTN GTX |  Scarpa Marmolada Trek OD  |
Scarpa Peak GTX |  Zamberlan 1006 Vioz Plus

Verdict: Our Top Picks


AKU Super Alp GTX: £200 / 1540g

AKU’s alpine-styled Super Alp, solid, but superb comfortable at the same time – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘A beautifully made, sturdy, supportive mountain walking boot, but the SUPERALP GTX is still reasonably light and superbly comfortable too’

Outdoors Magic: Underfoot stiffness, solid feel, full rand, durable PU midsole cushioning, grippy Vibram sole, understated good looks, sleek fit.

Outdoors Tragic: Reasonably light rather than ultra-lightweight.

Outdoors Grabbit? The SUPERALP GTX is a sleek-fitting, reassuringly stiff and supportive soled boot, that’s still reasonably light and comfortable. Plenty of flex and cushioning in the ankle cuff makes it unrestrictive, but if you prefer a stiff sole unit for mountain terrain or carrying heavier backpacking loads, the AKU IMS3 chassis delivers. It’s still comfortable for walking thanks to a pronounced rocker to the sole unit, the PU cushioning underfoot should last for years and AKU’s slimmer than average fit makes it a good call for those with narrower feet. Beautifully made too. A really nice mountain walking boot.

Full Specification

Lightweight mountain walking and backpacking boot / suede and Air 8000 uppers / full protective rubber rand / Gore-Tex liner / double density PU midsole / Vibram Foura outsole

Full Review

 

Anatom Q3 Braeriach Boot: £145 / 1490g

Handsome full-leather looks give traditional charm – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Roomy, great value, modern take on a traditional leather hillwalking boot that mixes underfoot support and stiffness, with sturdy comfort elsewhere. Good UK hill and mountain all-rounder’

Outdoors Magic: Solid, supportive chassis, Vibram sole, build quality, comfortable, waterproof, good value.

Outdoors Tragic: A little weighty, could use a locking lace hook at the ankle.

Outdoors Grabbit? The Scottish-developed Braeriach is good mid-point compromise between traditional, solid mountain boots and more modish outdoors footwear. It’s supportive and dependable underfoot, but still decently comfortable in a solid, dependable sort of way with a broad, UK-friendly fit and nicely-padded ankle cuffs. It works well on uneven terrain and the sole stiffness makes for a dependable platform on scrambly terrain too. Build quality is admirably solid too and the own-brand try.aria membrane adds bonus waterproofing to the thick leather uppers.

Full Specification

Leather hill and mountain walking boot / 2.6mm anfibio leather uppers / rubber toe-bumper / tri.aria waterproof membrane / Hydrophobic Interface One / Anatom Bioform Ultralite Footbed / calibrated nylon midsole /  Vibram® Serapis outsole with cushioned PU midsole

Full Review

 

Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid GTX: £280 / 1220g

Unusual double boot construction makes the Bora2 unique here – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘The innovative, lightweight double-boot construction might seem gimmicky, but the result is a cracking all-round hiking mid’ with distinctive looks’

Outdoors Magic: Deceptively comfortable, grippy Vibram sole, net fit, super fast drying, light, liner can be used as hut slippers, very ‘Arc’teryx’

Outdoors Tragic: Price, distinctive looks divide opinion, a faff to take on and off.

Outdoors Grabbit? The concept of a lightweight boot with a removable liner made from synthetics that don’t absorb water might sound gimmicky, but in practice it works really well. The stretchy, Gore-Tex foam liner is super comfortable even with thin socks, the fit is neat and precise and there’s decent grip and cushioning. They are a little fiddly to take on and off, but the removable liner conveniently doubles as a hut slipper. We like them.

Full Specification

Lightweight hiking boot / one-piece thermo-laminated synthetic upper / removable Adaptive Fit Gore-Tex liner / Vibram Arc’teryx hiking outsole / moulded EVA mid-sole / front and rear pull tabs

Full Review

 

Asolo Power Matic 200 GV: £210 / 1630g

Serious engineering here. The entire upper uses leather, no fabric panels or mesh – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Super solid, seriously supportive boot from the outdoor footwear hot-house of northern Italy with top-notch components and impressive build quality’

Outdoors Magic: Solid, supportive and beautifully made, pulley-type lace hooks, all leather uppers, Vibram sole, deceptively comfortable.

Outdoors Tragic: Slightly heavy, stiffness won’t suit all.

Outdoors Grabbit? The Power Matic 200 GV is a beautifully made, stiff-soled, high mountain backpacking boot. The solid construction is reflected in the slightly weighty feel, but the boot manages to be deceptively comfortable with a medium volume fit. Small touches like the easy-running pulley-type lace hooks really do make a difference, artful ankle cuff design improves comfort and mobility and there’s good grip from the Vibram outsole. Not everyone wants stiff soled boots, but if you want a lot of support and these fit, they work very well indeed on mountain terrain. OTT for lower paths though.

Full Specification

Full keather hill and mountain walking boot / 2.8mm full-grain  leather uppers / rubber toe-bumper / Asolo Vibram triple-density PU sole construction / Micro Pulley lacing system / Gore-Tex waterproof lining

Full Review

Berghaus Fellmaster GTX – £140 / 1340g

Berghaus Fellmaster GTX, super comfortable all-round hill-walking boot – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘The combination of comfortable de-luxe padding, bespoke Pittards leather and a classic broad Brasher fit makes the Berghaus Fellmaster GTX a solid, armchair plush hill-walking boot’

Outdoors Magic: Plush feel, memory foam cushioning, super generous fit, Pittards leather, handsome dog looks.

Outdoors Tragic: High volume forefoot won’t suit everyone, not great on scrambles, a tad weighty.

Outdoors Grabbit? If you’re after what was a classic Brasher boot with a characteristically broad, high volume fit, the Fellmaster is just that with a Berghaus label on it. The whole boot has an air of plush quality thanks partly to the gorgeous Pittards leather and has an instant feeling of sofa-level soft comfort when you slip it on. Memory foam ankle padding moulds to your shape, there’s plenty of padding underfoot too and a mix of longitudinal flex and lateral resilience makes it a happy hill-walking companion.  The sole’s a little soft for scrambling though and the broad fit won’t suit everyone, but if you’re after a plush, wide, hill-walking boot, it’s hard to beat.

Full Specification

Classic leather hill and fell-walking boot /  2.2-2.4mm Pittards® oiled nubuck leather upper / Gore-Tex waterproof liner / Memory foam in the collar and tongue / lightweight three-part trek outsole /  torsional support shank /

Full Review

Hanwag Tatra GTX: £200 / 1660g

Classic traditional mountain walking looks – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Characteristic, high-ankled Teutonic, stiff-soled character is softened slightly by the cut-away ankle cuff, but the Tatra is all about reassuring but comfortable solidity and support with a great medium fit’

Outdoors Magic: Solid feel and build quality, great medium last, rolling gait, Vibram sole, reasonable weight, lots of ankle protection and support, different versions available.

Outdoors Tragic: A little heavy and stiffness underfoot won’t suit everyone. Your call.

Outdoors Grabbit? The Tatra’s a modern riff on the classic German-style mountain boot. High ankled, stiff underfoot and made from beautiful waxed nubuck leather. The ankle cuff is soft and supportive though and slants away at the rear so it feels comfortable rather than stuff and restrictive. We can’t fault the build quality and the medium forefoot / snug heel combination works well for us and many others. If you like your hiking boots solid, but comfortable, check it out. There are also wide, narrow and bunion versions in the range.

Full Specification

Classic leather hill and mountain walking boot / waxed nubuck leather uppers / Gore-Tex waterproof liner / padded soft leather cuff with vent holes / smaller sizes available with two hooks above ankle lace-hook / protective heel and toe caps / Vibram AW Integral sole / stiffening shank in midsole / ball bearing lace-hooks

Full Review

 

KEEN Aphlex Boot: £120 / 1100g

Interesting looks for KEEN’s usual lightweight waterproof hiker – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Odd looks from the kings of quirk, but the Aphlex is a comfortable, cushioned lightweight hiker for those who like a softer feel underfoot.’

Outdoors Magic: Light, comfortable, cushioned, waterproof, plenty of reinforcement for uppers.

Outdoors Tragic: Won’t suit lovers of traditional stiff soles, waterproof liner ends below ankle. Lightly treaded sole.

Outdoors Grabbit? The Aphlex looks like nothing else out there thanks to the plastic exoskeleton overlying the fabric upper, but get beyond that and it’s a super comfortable, cushioned and flexible lightweight hiker with a medium broad forefoot fit. That might disappoint those who love the original super high volume US forefoot fit, but makes them suitable for more people overall. The boot’s waterproof, but the liner stops below ankle bone level, so mind those streams, plus the lightly treaded outsole is happiest on firm to medium ground. Not one for traditionalists, but great if you like light and flexible.

Full Specification

Lightweight walking and hiking boot / fabric mesh upper with reinforced overlay and exoskeletal heel holding thing / KEEN.DRY waterproof liner / Dual density compression-molded EVA midsole / Cleansport NXT™ odour control / Molded TPU heel and toe protection

Full Review

 

La Sportiva Trango TRK: £175 / 1200g

Handsome alpine-stye looks and technology with a sleek ft, but aimed at walking not climbing – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Like the rest of the La Sportiva Trango clan, the TRK is aimed at climbers, but in this case it’s a hiking boot with added mountaineering DNA and seamless lightweight comfort credentials’

Outdoors Magic: Light and super comfortable, decently tough, seamless tech, good grip, ankle flex, alpine good looks.

Outdoors Tragic: Snugger forefoot than some, garish colour scheme won’t suit everyone.

Outdoors Grabbit? Despite the signature Trango alpine looks and colour choice, the TRK is a pure hiking boot with some scrambling ability thrown in. Neat technology includes seamless uppers with a protective, but light TPU overlay, a Gore-Tex liner and flexible ankle cuff. It all adds up to a superbly comfortable lightweight mountain hiking boot that hits a sweet spot between underfoot support and comfortable flex. Fit is based on La Sportiva’s Trango mountaineering boot and while the styling won’t suit everyone, its target market is climbers who also walk a bit. If that’s you and it fits, this is a cracking lightweight boot.

Full Specification

Lightweight mountain walking and scrambling boot / TPU Thermo Tech Application™ reinforcements / Rubber toe rand and heel rand / AirMesh insert (tongue only) / Gore-Tex waterproof liner / Trango 2 last / Dual-density MeMlex EVA midsole / Vibram® Mulaz outsole

Full Review

 

Mammut Ayako High GTX: £160 / 1250g

‘The Ayako High’s via ferrata capabilities translate into a low-slung and very capable scrambling and mountain walking boot in UK hills and the overall quality is as impressive as you’d expect from Mammut ‘

Outdoors Magic: Light and supportive, excellent build quality, enough flex for walking, enough stiff for scrambling, low and stable, grippy sole, reinforced uppers.

Outdoors Tragic: Best on more technical ground, slightly roomier than we were expecting.

Outdoors Grabbit? The Ayako High’s via ferrata origins give it excellent scrambling and lightweight mountain walking credentials with enough flex for comfort, but plenty of underfoot grip and stiffness. Memo Foam adds support to the high ankle cuffs and down-to-toe lacing and Base Fit technology give a close, technical fit. We wouldn’t buy them for general walking, but as a stiffish scrambling-orientated boot with reasonable ‘in between’ comfort, they work very well indeed. Finally, build quality is excellent as ever.

Full Specification

Via ferrata, scrambling and mountain walking boot / suede leather and fabric uppers / Gore-Tex waterproof lining / Memo Foam padding / Base Fit heel anchoring system / Heel Support heel reinforcement / rubber toe-cap / strategic Liquid Rubber reinforcement for uppers / three-zone lacing system / triple density EVA cushioning / Vibram Mulaz outsole with Climbing Zone toe area.

Full Review

Meindl Bhutan MFS: £199 / 1660g

The visual heritage is obvious, new touches include cosmetic slashes on the uppers – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Following in the boot-prints of the legendary Burma Pro, the Bhutan MFS is a solid-feeling, traditional, 3-season boot with excellent comfort and impeccable build quality’

Outdoors Magic: Great build quality, stiff sole, Memory Foam System padding, smooth Digifix lacing, Gore-Tex liner.

Outdoors Tragic: Slightly heavy by modern standards.

Outdoors Grabbit? Meindl’s build quality and attention to detail has always been impressive and the Bhutan is no exception. Underfoot it’s relatively stiff but supportive, up top Memory Foam padding, a soft ankle cuff and a medium volume fit give instant comfort. It’s not a lightweight, fast and nimble boot, but the full rand and top notch leather should mean it lasts well and the solid chassis is happy on rough ground if you’re the sort of person who prefers a very supportive boot on that sort of terrain. One of the very best boots of its kind available, if that’s your bag and it fits, you won’t go far wrong.

Full Specification

Full leather hill and mountain walking boot / Nubuck leather uppers / Gore-Tex waterproof lining / MFS (Memory Foam System) internal padding / Digifix lace system / full rubber rand / Vibram outsole

Full Review

Salomon Evasion Mid GTX: £120 / 980g

The Evasion’s high enough to give some extra ankle protection but as light as many shoes with decent mobility – image: Jon

‘Great choice for walkers who want more ankle protection than you’d get for a shoe, but don’t feel the need for one of Salomon’s classic  higher-ankled boots’

Outdoors Magic: Light, magic fit, just enough support, decent grip on dry to medium terrain, Gore-Tex liner, and did we mention light?

Outdoors Tragic: Less sophisticated than Salomon’s more expensive models, less durable than heavier boots.

Outdoors Grabbit? Salomon’s built a great reputation for lightweight outdoor footwear that’s still decently supportive and the Evasion Mid is right on message. It’s a great choice if you want a little more protection than a shoe, but not a full boot. The fit works well for us with great ankle hold and a medium forefoot and the Contragrip sole is grippy enough for most conditions bar full-on slop. It won’t suit more traditionally-minded, stiff-sole aficionados, but if you want light and nimble and it fits your feet, it’s a great choice.

Full Specification

Lightweight hiking and backpacking mid / waterproof split suede leather upper / Sensifit cradle / protective rubber heel and  toe-cap / Gore-Tex waterproof lining / injected EVA mid-sole / Contragrip outsole

Full Review

Salomon X-ALP MTN GTX: £140 / 1260g

A walking boot that’ll edge on small scrambling holds? You bet… – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘As comfortable as Salomon’s lightweight hiking boots, but with the lateral stiffness to stand on small edges while climbing or scrambling – genius! ‘

Outdoors Magic: Mix of flex and edging ability, comfort, Gore-Tex lining, locking lace-hook, reasonable durability, lockable lace hooks.

Outdoors Tragic: Not the most aggressive sole, not as tough as a full-weight leather mountain boot.

Outdoors Grabbit? Think of the XALP MID as a comfortable hiking boot with hidden super powers and you won’t go far wrong. It’s super comfortable when walking, but stick it on a technical scramble and it edges where normal  hiking boots simply fold. Not as durable as a traditional leather mountain boot, but we’ve found it a brilliant all-round compromise that mixes all-day comfort and technical performance.

 

 

Full Specification

Lightweight approach and mountain boot / waterproof split-suede leather upper /  gusseted tongue / protective toe and heel-cups / self-locking lace eyelets / molded EVA mid-sole / Ortholite sock liner / Mud Guard reinforcement to uppers / High Traction Contracgrip outsole / 3D Edging Chassic

Full Review

 


Scarpa Marmolada Trek OD: £200 / 1260

Great mix of lightness and toughness from the Marmolada Trek – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘Scarpa’s Marmolada is a superb mix of all-mountain walking and scrambling ability, and blends lightness and comfort with alpine good looks. The excellent OutDry waterproof membrane is an added bonus.’

Outdoors Magic: Light, supportive, comfortable, walks and scrambles, OutDry waterproofing rocks, good all-round grip, slick alpine-style looks. Good value too.

Outdoors Tragic: EVA mid-sole cuts weight, but won’t last as long as a PU equivalent. Too garish for some tastes.

Outdoors Grabbit? We’re huge fans. The Marmolada is a stable, supportive, but deceptively light boot that’s great for both mountain walking and scrambling. It uses Scarpa’s benchmark technologies for great fit and comfort – think wide, but lower volume forefoot – plus the excellent OutDry waterproofing technology works better than anything else we’ve tried. Uppers have proved surprisingly tough so far, but the lightweight EVA midsole cushioning won’t last as long as PU equivalents if you’re bothered about ultimate long-term durability. Great boot if it fits your foot shape.

Full Specification

Lightweight mountain walking and scrambling boot / Suede and Schoeller L-Tech synthetic fabric uppers / OutDry waterproof membrane lining / SOCK-FIT XT technology /  Scarpa Pro (4.5mm) midsole / Vibram Mulaz S outsole / Cocona 37.5 fabric lining fabric / B1 crampon rating

Full Review

 


Scarpa Peak GTX: £160 / 1300g

Looks are vaguely classic, but the boot has a super sturdy feel for a sudden and fabric one – Photo: Jon

‘A proper sturdy, three-season fabric boot  makes an ideal hill and mountain walking all-rounder with a narrower fit than Scarpa’s other boots’

Outdoors Magic: Sturdy feel, strong build quality, grippy Vibram sole, stiff-ish underfoot, narrower fit.

Outdoors Tragic: We experienced a little heel lift on steep ups. Possibly vulnerable to scree damage.

Outdoors Grabbit? ThePeak GTX is a bit of an old school, three-season fabric boot with a decently stiff, supportive sole and chassis and reliable Scarpa build quality. Its USP is a narrower than usual fit for the brand with a slimmed-down forefoot and instep and narrower heel, so even if Scarpa don’t normally fit your foot shape, these might. Our only misgiving was a little heel lift on steep climbs, so check the heel fit carefully before buying. Otherwise a good all-round hill walking boot, though personally we find the slightly more expensive R-Evo more comfortable.

Full Specification

Three-season hill and mountain walking boot / waterproof suede leather and Cordura uppers / Gore-Tex waterproof liner / Biometric trek Vibram sole / locking instep lace-hook

Full Review


Zamberlan 1006 Vioz Plus GTX: £220 / 1732g

Solidly engineered with full-leather Hydrobloc uppers – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

‘A proper traditional tank of a super-solid walking boot, albeit with added refinement to the ankle collar and top-notch build quality’

Outdoors Magic: Great build quality, stiff sole, good all-round grip, full-ish rand, slightly narrower fit, solid, reasonable comfort. Wider lasting in forefoot.

Outdoors Tragic: A little heavy and clumpy. Not cheap.

Outdoors Grabbit? The Vioz Plus is aimed squarely at folk who want a proper, traditional, solidly-engineered boot with lots of underfoot stiffness, but with decent comfort levels. If that’s you, it hits the marks nicely. The chassis is comfortable enough for walking thanks to a curved rocker, but properly stiff making it a little clompy, but stable on uneven terrain. It works well with heavy loads too. And while the leather uppers are quite solid, the flex-zone ankle cuff and internal padding keeps things comfortable. It’s not a light boot either, but the full rand should help it last for years of normal use.

Full Specification

Full leather hill and mountain walking boot / Hydrobloc full-grain  leather uppers / full rubber rand except at heel / Flex System ankle zone / Gore-Tex lining / Zamberlan Vibram Darwin WL outsole / Double Density PU Wedge midsole / Wide last for extra forefoot space

Full Review

All-round rubber rand helps to protect the Schoeller fabric upper from rock abrasion - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
- Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
- Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

Best Walking Boots 2017 – Our Verdict

It might sound like a cliche, but the best walking boots for you are the ones that fit your fit and do what you need them to do. We’re all different, with different shaped feet and different preferences. Some people are happy on the most rugged terrain in fell shoes, others prefer a really stiff, traditional sole for more support.

There really is no ‘right’ answer with boots, it’s very much personal choice. That said, here are some of our favourites.

Lightweights

We tested the Salomon Evasion Mid GTX here, but you could choose any one of Salomon’s wide range of lightweight hiking and trekking boots and be sure of a light but supportive trail walking side-kick. The use of lightweight trail running technology in fabric boot form really does work.

– Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

We also love the eccentric Arc’teryx Bora2 Mid for its precise feel, surprising comfort and ability to dry out fast and often. It looks a bit different, but it really does work for us.

Lightweight Mountain Boots

Probably our favourite category, we’re talking boots with a stiffish chassis that aren’t going to destroy your digital scales or tire you out over a long day in the hills. As ever, it’s a very personal call, but we like Scarpa’s Marmolada Trek with its OutDry liner and, if you want a tougher boot, the excellent AKU Super Alp.

 

It walks and it scrambles… the amazing Salomon X ALP MTN GTX – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

For sheer genius though, we’d opt for the amazing Salomon X-ALP MTN, a boot that walks like a comfortable hiking boot, but locks laterally solid when you need to edge on a small scrambling hold. It might sound improbable, but these things just work.

Also worth a look if you’re into your scrambling is the Mammut Ayako High GTX which is at home on scrambles as well as via ferrata.

Traditional Stiffened Leather Boots

If you like your boots full leather and traditionally stiff underfoot, there’s a huge choice to go at and much of it is very good indeed. As ever you need to choose carefully to make sure they fit your particular foot shape – stiff-soled boots tend to be unforgiving so take some time out and check fit carefully.

Of the boots we’ve used recently we like the ones from Hanwag, Asolo and Zamberlan, but our personal choice comes down to the iconic Meindl Bhutan or the new Scarpa R-Evolution Active GTX with its excellent Sock Fit technology as used in the excellent R-Evo hiking boot.

Wed like to say that all these boots are so good that you can’t go wrong, but you can. You really must make sure that the boot you buy fits your foot shape or the result – no matter how good the boot – will be abject misery. And you don’t want that…

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