; Hiking Boots buying guide, to buy boots that last the test of time. - FR Ramblers

Hiking Boots buying guide, to buy boots that last the test of time.

Traditional Hiking boots are generally mid or high cut boots. They are not as lightweight as low cut or trail shoes but will give you greater protection and last thousands of miles.

Our guide concentrates on boots suitable for walking in the north of England along Paths, Trails, Hills and Fells, in the Lake District, Peak District and around Lancashire.

1. Choose a boot that fit well.

The first rule is to choose boots that fit your well. Many specialist boot shops provide fitting services if your unsure what size and fitting of boot you require.

In the north of England try: Whalley Warm and Dry

2. Buying Boots Online

Wear your boots at home first. The best time to try on your boots is in the evening, as your feet will be at their largest. Walk up and down the stairs to make sure they do not rub. Your toes should not touch the front of the boot. Your foot should feel snug (not tight) from the arch back into the heel pocket.

If your heel lifts make sure the lacing is snug and not too loose. Your toes or sides of your feet shouldn’t feel tight. Choose the next half size up or a wider fitting, if too tight.

Catstycam, the Outdoor Shop in Glenridding, Cumbria, Tel: 017684 82351, offer a boot stretching & modifying service and will guarantee the fit of the boot for the life of the boot, if you need assistance to make your boot fit well.

3. Sustainable footwear

Choosing sustainable footwear is not only crucial for the planet and your conscience but also kinder on your wallet. Quality footwear that withstands the test of time instead of cheap mass-produced options will save you a large amount of money in the long run, whilst preventing unnecessary damage to the environment.

Ask questions such as can the boot be resoled or repaired ? If you decide to buy hiking boots that can be resoled, they need to have a durable upper half that can withstand sole replacements. It’s also therefore important care for your boots after walks, if you want to be able to repair your boots.

Lancashire Sports Repair , based in Burnley tel: 01282 439109 can repair all brands of outdoor gear, footwear and make your boots last as long as possible.

Online Quality Bootmakers Guide

scarpa terra hiking boot

Scarpa – Based in Asolo, Italy, Scarpa have been producing handmade boots since 1930. They offer a wide selection of leather and synthetic boots including a vegan friendly range of footwear.

Illustrated left, is the ever popular Scarpa Terra GTX. Known for its comfort, good ankle support and grippy sole. It is versatile as far as weather is concerned. In warmer temperatures, the Terra GTX provides enough ventilation, while in colder conditions, it still keeps the wearer warm. Leather uppers.

Vibram Energy II sole, and the PU cushioning layer now offers more stability and support for all day comfort.

Weight: 555g (each boot)

Fitting: Special women last – slimmer in the mid foot and heel areas. Larger sizes available over 12 1/2 UK and smaller than size 4 UK

Terrain: Paths, Trails, Hill and Fells

Sustainability: Re-soling is possible.

Additional Scarpa Info

Eco-friendly models made from recycled content: The Mojito Planet Family.

La Scarpa S.r.l is ISO 14001 certified. LWG (Leather Working Group) certification

Vegan option: Rush 2 GTX

Hanwag – Headquarters in Munich Germany since 1921, with manufacturing bases around Europe. They have specialised last boot fit to include wide, narrow and bunions (hallux valgus) shaped lasts to offer boots to fit all foot sizes.

Illustrated right is ever popular Hanwag Banks GTX being lightweight, comfortable yet supportive.

Features include highest quality Nubuck leather which is from a sustainable, eco-friendly leather manufacturing process, a Gore-Tex waterproof lining and a Vibram Endurance Pro sole. The 1.5-millimetre thicker polyurethane foam wedge in the midsole gives smoother roll-off, noticeably better shock absorbency and longer lasting comfort.

Perfect for low level walking as well as more challenging day hikes.

Weight: 625g – size 8 (each boot)

Fitting: The Hanwag StraightFit-Extra Last for extra comfort, for hikers with wider feet.

Terrain: Paths, Trails, Hills and Fells

Sustainability: Certified Nubuck leather, compliance with environmental standards and sustainable manufacturing. All HANWAG footwear can be resoled.

Additional Hanwag info

Eco-friendly: Hanwag EcoShell Footwear range which are PFCs, or perfluorocarbons FREE

Vegan: no products.


La Sportiva – Headquarters in Ziano di Fiemme, northern Italy, since 1928. Situated in a Unesco Hertitage Site which harbours a strong sense of responsibility for both social and environmental issues.

They offer some of the best lightweight hiking boots. The most innovative models are equipped with the waterproof Gore-Tex Surround membrane with Nano-Cells™ construction, made up of tiny breathable cells that wrap the upper to give it structure and to dynamically help dampness leave the shoe.

Illustrated left, The ever popular La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II for fast hiking and excursions with light loads. Waterproof and breathable

The foot hold thanks to the dedicated lacing elements: the eye-stay webbings are sewn on the inside of the upper and reinforced on the outside with a high frequency TPU skeleton, allowing the lace pull-force to be distributed equally over all areas of the upper.

The soles are Ultra-tight FriXion White with Impact Brake System and integrated anti-shock rubber toe. Ortholite inner sole for comfort.

Weight: 395 grams (each boot)

Fitting: Wide-fit comfort version, available in half size, 6-9 UK womens.

Sustainability: Due to their Resole Platform technology, it is possible to resole boots.

Eco-friendly: Headquaters operate under eco-sustainable certification ISO 14001, and Bluesign member. Carbon active filter system, water based glues and the recycling of 50% of production waste.

Vegan: Summer hiking boots

Alt-berg – Altberg have been making classic English leather hiking boots in Yorkshire since 1989. Their walking boots are comfortable and reliable, of high quality available in a large range of fittings (up to 5 width fittings) making them a comfortable fit for most walkers.

They use SympaTex lining, which is free of harmful PFC and PTFE chemicals.  This is a breathable 4 layer lining with military grade waterproof membrane interlayer

Illustrated leftt is the Fremmington hiking boot. Ideal for Dales and medium level Lakeland walks and hikes.

The Tri-Flex® 2L midsole is an Alt-Berg design and is only used in Alt-Berg boots. 3 season, graded flex control for each individual size, excellent torsional resistance. Suitable for lower level trail walking.

Sole is Vibram® Masai rubber and micro lightweight shock absorbing sole midlayer. Treat with Altberg’s Leder-Gris, a water-repellent wax-oil.

Weight: 584 g size 6 womens, 654g Size 9 Mens

Fitting: 5 width fittings and half sizes. 3-8 1/2 UK womens, 1/2 – 14 UK mens sizes.

Sustainability: All Altberg boots can be resoled at the factory on the original lasts

Eco-friendly: Waterproof lining is free of harmful PFC and PTFE chemicals


Meindl – Boots are handcrafted in Bavaria, Germany, since 1863. Many of the Meindl boots and shoes have an air active system, which draws moisture away from the foot, transferring it to the sides and moves it to the breathable area at the top of the boots where the moisture escapes, keeping your feet comfortable and dry.

Illustrated right is the Meindl Bhutan MFS GTX classic walking boot which has been their best sellers for over 10 years, suitable for demanding hikes in low level hills. A supportive boot made using high quality Nubuck leather.

The Bhutan MFS is equipped with state of the art technical features including; a Gore-Tex lining for waterproof protection, a Digafix lacing system to adjust for the perfect hold, an Air-Active footbed to rid of unwanted moisture, and a Memory Foam System (MFS) around the ankle to provide a compression zone for maximum comfort.

The Bhutan MFS is complete with a self-cleaning Vibram double density sole unit, allowing mud to fall from the lugs with each step thus giving excellent shock absorption and traction.

Weight: 650g (each boot)

Fitting: 6-14 1/2 mens, 3 1-2-9 womens, Comfort fit® wide-fitting range and Comfort fit® cork footbed offered in other ranges.

Eco-friendly: 100% upper leather from organic cattle from the Bavarian and Austrian Alpine region. Every pair has been embossed with an ID number, which you can use to access a detailed certificate of origin for the upper leather used. Known as Meindlt Identity

No chrome is used in the tanning process of the lining.

Lowa – Since 1923 founded in Jetzendorf, Bavaria, Germany. Designed for comfort and performance in mind.

Illustraded is the women’s Renegade GTX Mid range is their best-selling lightweight, flexible leather boot ideal for UK hillwalking and country trails. Especially designed for a women’s foot and built on a women’s last, everything about the Renegade is optimised for maximum comfort, from the highly cushioned sole to the supple nubuck leather upper, with a Gore-Tex lining for guaranteed weather protection. Standard fit model, as well as a narrow and wide fit.

Independently adjustable lacing zones, one on the forefoot and one on the upper, for an improved individualised fit and better adjustments for personal comfort and different foot anatomy.

Comfort and cushioning is further improved for specific uses with a complex injection-moulding process using various layers of PU-foam padding that are poured into a mould. During the process, the sole and upper are bonded together

Weight: 475g womens, 585g mens

Fitting: Standard, Narrow and Wide fitting. 2 1/2 – 10 womens, 6 1/2 – 15 mens

Eco friendly: LOWA uses only specially selected cowhides from Europe that are free of pollutants.

Sustainability: All Lowa boots can be repaired, whether replacing the sole unit or rubber rand, or giving the boot a full re-tread that offers renewed grip.

Vegan: Innnox and Trek Evo range.


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