Walking boots - Recommendations Please.

andyrrandyrr Posts: 1,554
edited December 2013 in The cake stop
Very O.T. but since every subject here seems to find at least a few people that know something about it ...
Walking boots :
I need a new pair that will be worn, primarily, for taking our dogs out in all weathers - won't wear them for long distance treks - normally I'm out for between 20 and 60 minutes and unless it is/has just been raining heavily then I tend to avoid wearing wellingtons as these are not great for walking all that far in and also their grip on slippy surfaces is poor.
Current pair of Karrimor Hot Rock Mid boots were really good whilst they lastest - and 'while they lasted' has been, IMHO, not really long enough. They only cost about £35 from Sports Direct last Christmas (where they are still available) but about 5-6 weeks ago I noticed a slight peeling away of the sole from the upper. Didn't seem all that much but it was noticeable. Week or so ago I checked again and it had worsened so I applied some Shoe Goo glue which seems to be pretty good stuff but I'd be a bit surprised if that does much more than extending the life of the boots by a matter of a few weeks - so far the glues repair is holding up fine. I doubt that they will still be ok at the tail-end of this winter - could be surprised tho' but they might be 50% Shoe Goo by that time...
I'm not sure whether I could claim under an 'Unfit for Purpose' on the Karrimors as they were fairly cheap and have been used almost every day, albeit sometimes for only 30 mins in the evening but I am considering this now - depends if I can find my receipt also.
So, assuming I need to buy a new pair has anyone any recommendations for boots suitable for my use - max price approx £50 as I am not going to go mad and buy a pair of £100 boots just for dog walking.

I've an ancient pair of DM's that I might drag out of the cupboard - one of the nice thing about the Karrimors was that being synthetic material they didn't need the same care after they got wet, no white patches appearing on the upper that a leather upper would suffer from and no need to apply polish etc so the DMs would be at risk of becoming pretty scabby when I want to wear them on consectutive damp days.
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Posts

  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    Three piece's of advice.

    1. Go to a shop and try them on.
    2. Ignore labels.
    3. Refer to No.1.

    I went to a shop with the intention of buying a specific top end pair of boots.
    I came out with a pair that had as high a spec, were more comfortable and half the price.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • As above, go to a good shop with trained staff. Get a pair that fit you properly, ignore brands, styles and if possible price. I bought an online bargain once and ended up with huge blisters 15 mile from the car in the Cairngorms, not good.

    I went into a good local store, spent 2 hours trying boots until the assistant and myself were happy, ended up with Miendl Burmas and would swear by them, for my feet anyway.

    The assistant also ditched the insole that came with the boots, and recommended Smartfeet insoles, I've had no problems since, and if have covered hundreds of miles in them. One other thing, the assistant also recommended the NON Gore Tex variety as these would have slightly thicker padding inside and also allow better breathing.

    To sum up go to a good boot shop and let them sort you out.
    At the erse end o' a coo!
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Karrimor used to be a reliable brand but they were bought out a few years ago and their quality control went out of the window. The advice above is sound - go to a good shop and spend time trying on different boots and discussing your options. If the shop's any good they will help you select the right footware. Boots that feel really comfortable when you try them on and walk a few miles can wreck your feet after a decent trek.

    Normal common sense applies about upselling, of course, but don't be afraid to pay for decent kit (buy cheap buy twice etc., etc.) I had a pair of good quality boots that I assumed had worn out after five years' use but on my LBS's (local boot shop :) ) advice contacted the manufacturers who replaced them with an equivalent new pair at no cost.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,026
    I had a pair of Edmund Hillary walking boots. They were so comfy and lasted 8 years with dailly use. They cost £115 new but got given them free when I ran over this hill walker in my car.
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda
    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    That's a really sad story ...
  • ferriticferritic Posts: 120
    Can I suggest you listen to the very wise advice given here. I was given a free pair of 'good quality' boots by a member of the family. He didn't want them as they didn't fit. It turns out, as I found out yesterday, they don't fit me either.

    http://img62.imageshack.us/i/wnk1.jpg/

    :shock: :shock: :shock:
  • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
    £35 for boots that you've worn daily and have lasted a year? I don't think that's too bad!

    As said above, go to a decent shop, try plenty on and don't be afraid to spend a bit more money! Brashers are some of the comfiest boots I've worn, but they're not that cheap.
  • i think walking shoes boots, are worth splashing out on. i bought some north face walking shoes, almost trainer like, but lots of support and rugged, for about 100 quid as a late teen and they are still doing fine nearly a decade later. comfy and taken a lot of a pounding, only just thinking of replacing them as some of the rubber is coming off the toe.
  • andyrrandyrr Posts: 1,554
    I don't think that £35 is all that much to pay for a pair of boots but I'd hoped they would last at least 2 winters and they started to fail in about their 10th month.
    The fit has been good and they are comfy but their longevity has left something to be desired.

    Thanks for the comments.
  • I paid £150 for a pair of Echo walking boots.

    I do 5 miles a day walking the dog.
    I walk the dog about 300 times per year.
    The boots are now eight years old and show almost no sign of wear on the soles and the leather uppers have faded but not split of cut or leaked.

    Spend more money. It's cheaper in the long run.
    Specialized Roubaix Compact Sport Ultegra
    Moozes Boreas Ultegra
    Time Fluidity S VIP Ultegra
    Marin MTB
    Watch this space...... I have an incurable disease.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,508
    See above. BUT: went to a shop, took lots of advice and spent a bundle on some Salomon (sp?) walking shoes. Agony x 1 million (I have a funny sticky-out bit on my heel, some sort of bone) - dreadful, can't wear them.

    Bought some cheap Karrimor boots to replace my cheap Hi-Tec boots (which lasted 10+ years!!!!) and they are comfier than my slippers.

    Go figure.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    secretsam wrote:
    See above. BUT: went to a shop, took lots of advice and spent a bundle on some Salomon (sp?) walking shoes. Agony x 1 million (I have a funny sticky-out bit on my heel, some sort of bone) - dreadful, can't wear them.

    Bought some cheap Karrimor boots to replace my cheap Hi-Tec boots (which lasted 10+ years!!!!) and they are comfier than my slippers.

    Go figure.
    Funny that.
    It was Salomons that I went into the shop for.
    And rejected as uncomfortable.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,026
    I paid £150 for a pair of Echo walking boots.

    I do 5 miles a day walking the dog.
    I walk the dog about 300 times per year.
    The boots are now eight years old and show almost no sign of wear on the soles and the leather uppers have faded but not split of cut or leaked.

    Spend more money. It's cheaper in the long run.

    That's bloody terrible, I mean what does the poor dog do for the other 65 times a year? I'll have the RSPCA on to you...
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda
    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,001
    Fit is all important. Go to a good shop.

    I have a pair of well loved brashers that have probably done a couple of thousand miles.
    Insert bike here:
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    I'm also a fan of Brashers which I wear for fishing all through the year, as I tend to fish places with a lot of walking involved to and from the river, more often than not through wet grass :(
    Very comfortable and hard wearing, and unless you are stood still for hours, pretty warm with decent socks in the winter months.
    With a bit of polishing and reproofing thrown in for good measure I usually get 7 or 8 years from a pair. :wink:

    I'd still go and try a few pair on though, if only for fit!
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,508
    daviesee wrote:
    secretsam wrote:
    See above. BUT: went to a shop, took lots of advice and spent a bundle on some Salomon (sp?) walking shoes. Agony x 1 million (I have a funny sticky-out bit on my heel, some sort of bone) - dreadful, can't wear them.

    Bought some cheap Karrimor boots to replace my cheap Hi-Tec boots (which lasted 10+ years!!!!) and they are comfier than my slippers.

    Go figure.
    Funny that.
    It was Salomons that I went into the shop for.
    And rejected as uncomfortable.

    Glad it's not just me

    The girl in the shop where I bought them was very helpful, very positive about the shoes (she had a pair), and as fit as anything...which may have been a factor :oops:

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,026
    secretsam wrote:
    daviesee wrote:
    secretsam wrote:
    See above. BUT: went to a shop, took lots of advice and spent a bundle on some Salomon (sp?) walking shoes. Agony x 1 million (I have a funny sticky-out bit on my heel, some sort of bone) - dreadful, can't wear them.

    Bought some cheap Karrimor boots to replace my cheap Hi-Tec boots (which lasted 10+ years!!!!) and they are comfier than my slippers.

    Go figure.
    Funny that.
    It was Salomons that I went into the shop for.
    And rejected as uncomfortable.

    Glad it's not just me

    The girl in the shop where I bought them was very helpful, very positive about the shoes (she had a pair), and as fit as anything...which may have been a factor :oops:

    Where is this shop exactly?
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda
    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    Obviously you need to try in a shop and everyone will find different but in general Scarpa, Brasher, Meindl and Salomon are very good brands that specialise in proper walking boots.

    Go Outdoors have a wide selection of brands and generally good deals.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 2,235
    Spent a number of years selling them and as others have said, fit is the be all and end all. However, I wouldn't totally dismiss the concept of brands as a starting point... as long as you're prepared to dismiss them if they don't fit.
    Not at all surprised to see Brasher mentioned repeatedly. They aren't a brand that excites like a Salomon or some other younger brand, however, they are the easiest boots in the world to sell to general walkers because they are light, comfortable and good quality. They simply hit the mark time and time again for the majority of people.
    Being a British brand they tend to fit a bit wider like Karrimor. By far our biggest selling boots and we were a big shop selling a lot of brands and a lot of footwear right up to a technical climbing level.
  • I think this thread goes to show that buying boots is just like buying the right saddle. You have to try and find the right fit for you.

    The online bargain I mentioned in my earlier post was a pair of Brashers, I ended up in agony with them, YET they seem to fit everyone else just fine and are great boots IF they fit you.
    At the erse end o' a coo!
  • Try, try and try again. Ended up buying a pair of goretex Columbia trainers whilst in Canada last year and they are spectacularly comfortable, awesome grip, are wearing very well indeed and very breathable whilst being waterproof. They were amongst the cheapest in the particular Canmore shop that I was in.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    I a big fan of Teva riva Event leather boots. They are supremely comfortable, light, totally waterproof and have lasted very well.
  • carrockcarrock Posts: 1,275
    Don't buy Karrimor. The name has been bought by sports direct, along with dunlop, everlast, donnay, kangol, slazenger etc.

    sports direct churn out bad quality product at cheap prices using these brands to give a veneer of respectability. Go to an outdoors shop who will be seeking to get rid of last seasons kit. Or go to decathlon. You can get a good pair of boots with gore tex lining for about £70
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,250
    I had a pair of Brasher waterproof walking boots/shoes - very comfortable but I wasn't impressed with how long they lasted - if I'd paid full price they would have been very poor value. Prior to them I had a pair of Adidas waterproof boots which were superior despite not being a brand you'd associate with that kind of thing.
    Holbrook Sports FC Women - sign for us
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I'm in a similar position. Used to do a lot of proper mountain walking / backpacking, but now I'm a flatland dog walker. 2 years ago I made the mistake of choosing some £30 cheapo boots from Mountain Warehouse; they claimed to be waterproof but that lasted about 6 weeks. In less than a year the uppers had cracked, the tread had worn away, there were holes in both heels and a crack across the sole of each boot.

    So for my next pair I went into Cotswold Outdoors during the week when it was quiet and I had the undivided attention of somebody who knew what they were doing. I'd been looking for some Meindl Burma boots based on good reviews on the web, but after trying on several different boots ended up with some by Anatom. Leather uppers, Vibram sole, and as a bonus, a nice fleecy lining. Cost £116, but a year later they are still waterproof and there's barely a trace of wear. Splendidly comfortable from the outset too, but as with saddles, that information is 20p for the swearbox all use to you.
  • DesB3rdDesB3rd Posts: 285
    Lot of talk about getting an old-school continuous leather upper - once upon a time I would have poo-poo'd that but after a week in the Gobi desert with a pair of mixed fabric/leather boots started pulling apart at the seams I'm a convert (not to say things haven't improved since the 1990s...)
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Meindl have a great rep with the military for comfort and durability
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,320
    Like several others here, my main use for boots is dog walking with the occasional day walk in the mountains or on long distance trails. I live in the country and need something to keep my feet dry in mud and wet fields as well as giving grip in the snow and ice and steep off-road descents.

    My experience is that fabric boots with a waterproof membrane feel light and comfortable but the membrane breaks down from the repeated flexing of your feet and the fabric and suede uppers don't give any residual waterproofing. The result is that my feet get wet after a year or so of daily dog walking. So I've come to the conclusion that old school leather uppers, preferably thick one-piece leather, is the way to go as you can treat them with waterproofing creams or wax.

    I went to a local mountaineering and outdoor shop and tried on various boots to see which suited, including Meindl and Salomon, but most comfortable for me were Zamberlan Ultra Lite with Goretex liner. They were expensive - I think £128 with club discount - but have proved a great buy. They are still made in Italy and you can see the quality is better than, for example, the Far East made but still good Brasher boots. The Zamberlans have been comfortable for all-day walks from the start, grip really well in mud and wet grass, and have thick, waterproof and supple leather uppers.

    The OP is looking for boots costing around £50 so the Zamberlans are too pricey. One suggestion is Hi Tec Altitude boots. These have a thin leather upper and a waterproof membrane and are currently on discount at £50 at Cotswold Outdoor. I bought a pair for dog walking two years ago and they are pretty comfortable although they started leaking recently - which was why I bought the Zamberlans. But for an all-round dog walking boot they are pretty good. And light and supple enough to use for driving a car.
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    For what it's worth it might be worth a word or two on boot care. When I first started walking I was very much in the "why clean them, they'll only get muddy next time" camp :roll: and I think this contributed to boots, especially fabric ones wearing out prematurely.

    Now I try to clean my boots while they're still wet, and after every couple of long walks apply a light coating of the manufacturer's recommended treatment e.g Scarpa sell a cream (silicone based, I think).
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    For walking the dog up to a couple hours in the country In wetter conditions / winter I bought these :-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Karrimor-Mens-C ... B004PEIH3E

    They have been waterproof and comfortable since last year. For serious walking best to get properly fitted for your needs.
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