If you’re doing your expedition on foot, walking boots and socks are essential parts of kit. It’s important to get the right ones, as it’ll make your journey a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

When choosing walking boots and socks you can come across a huge range of brands, fabrics and styles, so here are a few important things to consider.

How to choose the best walking boots for me?

Choosing the best walking boot for your expedition is crucial. It pays to look around and work out what’s right for you. Get your boots early as they must be worn in and comfortable in time for your expedition practice.

Leather walking boots will cost you more than fabric boots, and are usually more sturdy and longer-lasting.

Fabric boots are lighter, cheaper, and a good option if your feet are still growing.

You should also consider how frequently you will use them after your expedition and how long for.

DofE recommended walking boots

All Duke of Edinburgh’s Award recommended boots are waterproof and have high ankle support and high grip soles.

Ideally, get a FREE professional fitting at your nearest GO Outdoors, Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors or Tiso store (Scotland only).

Hi-Tec Eurotrek Lite WP Boots

  • Comfortable, durable leather uppers
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • M-D Traction rubber outsole

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Hi-Tec Eurotrek III WP Boots

  • Comfortable, durable leather uppers
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Removeable moulded EVA footbed

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Hi-Tec Aysgarth WP Boots

  • Suede and mesh upper
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Carbon rubber outsole

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Hi-Tec Summit WP Boots

  • Rubber outsole
  • Soft foam collar for extra comfort
  • Cushioing EVA sole inserts

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Hi-Tec Bandera Lite WP Boots

  • Suede and mesh upper
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Padded collar and tongue

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Hi-Tec Bandera II WP Boots

  • Suede and mesh upper
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Removeable molded EVA footbed

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Hi-Tec Ravine WP Boots

  • Rubber outsole
  • Soft foam collar
  • Cushioning EVA sole inserts

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Hi-Tec Mount Lennox WP Boots

  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Suede upper with mesh underlay
  • Rustproof metal lacing system

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Hi-Tec Raven Mid WP Boots

hi-tec raven boots

  • Lightweight compression moulded EVA midsole
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Soft shell upper

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What are the best walking socks for me?

Along with your walking boots, getting the right socks for your expedition can make a huge difference. You should never wear cotton socks on an expedition. Walking socks are designed to minimise blisters with padding and moisture protection fabric.

Different weights of socks are designed for different weathers. A mid-weight sock will be suitable the whole year round, but a lightweight sock might be more comfortable in hot months. Liner socks are worn inside, and reduce rubbing even more.

DofE recommended walking socks

All DofE recommended socks and liners have technical fibres to support and absorb moisture from your feet.

Bridgedale HIKE Midweight Merino Comfort

  • Wool mix
  • Durable
  • All year round use

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Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Merino Comfort

  • Wool mix
  • Durable
  • For summer

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Bridgedale HIKE Ultralight T2 Coolmax Performance socks

  • Moisture wicking
  • Minimal heat retention
  • For warm weather walking

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Bridgedale HIKE All Season Junior Merino Performance socks

  • Wool mix
  • Soft and comfortable
  • All year round use

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Bridgedale HIKE All Season Junior Merino Comfort

  • Wool mix
  • Soft and comfortable
  • All year round use

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Bridgedale HIKE Midweight Merino Performance socks

  • Wool mix
  • Leg and underfoot cushioning
  • All year round use

VIEW MEN’S HIKE MIDWEIGHT MERINO PERFORMANCE SOCKS

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Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Merino socks

  • Wool mix
  • Underfoot cushioning
  • For spring and summer

VIEW MEN’S HIKE LIGHTWEIGHT MERINO SOCKS

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Bridgedale Coolmax Liner socks

  • Silk
  • Ultra-thin
  • Worn under hiking socks
  • Absorbs moisture and stops rubbing

VIEW MEN’S COOLMAX LINER SOCKS

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Tips and advice to get the most from your walking boots and socks
  • Take a spare set of laces in case yours break.
  • Take a blister kit and make sure it’s easy to reach when walking. Prevention is better than cure, so put some plasters on where you’ve had blisters before to protect your feet from the start of your expedition.
  • Try on boots while wearing expedition socks and walk around in them.
  • Look for moisture-wicking properties in socks.
  • Be sure your socks have padding where your feet need them.
How to look after your walking boots and socks
  • When you get home from your expedition, remember to fully clean your boots and let them dry naturally.
  • Clean your boots with footwear cleaning gel, and treat them regularly with waterproofing solution to make your boots strong and dry.
  • Make your socks last longer by washing them inside out, and don’t walk them over carpets.
Ways to save money
  • Don’t spend a vast amount of boots if you’re still growing or unlikely to use them again.
  • Often you can get last season’s boots in the sales and still get a professional fitting.
  • If you decide the boots don’t fit, some retailers will allow you to return boots if you have only worn them indoors.
  • If you need to, buy one outer sock pair and two liners. Liners can be easily washed and dried overnight, keeping fresh socks next to your skin.
  • Use your DofE Card to save at least 10% on expedition kit at our recommended retailers. Find your nearest store.

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Helpful resources

How to look after your feet for your expedition poster

No other piece of kit impacts the enjoyment of your expedition more than what you put on your feet.

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