Walking boots and socks

Why getting the right walking boots at the right time is essential expedition preparation.

/ Expedition Kit / Walking boots and socks

What are the best walking boots and socks for a DofE expedition?

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, 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

 vango-velan-mens  vango-velan-womens
Vango Velan Boots – Mens

  • Protex full bootie membrane
  • Traction system
  • Durable rubber

View Vango Velan mens

Vango Velan Boots – Womens

  • Protex full bootie membrane
  • Traction system
  • Durable rubber

View Vango Velan womens

 vango-grivola-mens  vango-grivola-womens
Vango Grivola Boots – Mens

  • Fabric waterproof upper
  • Waterproof lining
  • FlexBeam chassis

View Vango Grivola mens

Vango Grivola Boots – Womens

  • Fabric waterproof upper
  • Waterproof lining
  • FlexBeam chassis

View Vango Grivola womens

 vango-cervino-mens  vango-cervino-womens
Vango Cervino Boots – Mens

  • Fabric and suede upper
  • Dual-density midsole
  • rockered toe

View Vango Cervino Mens

Vango Cervino Boots – Womens

  • Fabric and suede upper
  • Dual-density midsole
  • rockered toe

View Vango Cervino Womens

All Duke of Edinburgh’s Award recommended boots are waterproof, and have high ankle support and high grip soles. They are available for girls and for boys. Ideally, get a FREE professional fitting at your nearest GO Outdoors, Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors or Tiso store (Scotland only).

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

bridgedale-hike bridgedale-hike-lightweight Bridgedale Coolmax Liner

Bridgedale HIKE Midweight Merino

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

View Midweight Men’s | Midweight Women’s

Bridgedale HIKE Lightweight Merino

  • Wool mix
  • Underfoot cushioning
  • For spring and summer

View Lightweight Men’s | Midweight Women’s

Bridgedale Coolmax Liner sock

  • Silk
  • Ultra-thin
  • Worn under hiking socks – absorbs and stops rubbing

View Coolmax Men’s | Coolmax Women’s

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

Looking after your boots and feet

When you get home after your expedition, remember to fully clean your boots and let them dry naturally ready for your next expedition or walk.

Clean your boots with footwear cleaning gel, and treat them regularly with waterproofing solution to make your boots strong and dry.

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.

Lifesystems blister kit nikwax-footwear-cleaning-gel nikwax-fabric-leather-proof

Lifesystems Blister First Aid Kit

  • Light and compact
  • Designed for foot blisters
  • Includes wipes and plasters

View Blister First Aid Kit

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel

  • Removes dirt and helps to release stains
  • Prepares the footwear for proofing
  • Maintains breathability

View Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel

Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof

  • Adds water repellency
  • Can be used on wet footwear
  • Prolongs life and performance of all nubuck or suede footwear

View  Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof

Download our ‘how to look after your feet on expedition’ poster for advice for before, during and after your expedition.

Ways to save money on your DofE expedition

Whilst buying good walking boots and socks might seem expensive, it’s really important to make sure you’re comfortable during your expedition. And there are lots of ways to keep your costs down:

*Full T&Cs apply

For DofE Adults’ discounts, click here.