How to choose your walking boots
If you’re doing your expedition on foot, walking boots are an essential part of kit. It’s important to get the right walking boots, as it’ll make your journey a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.
When choosing walking boots you can come across a huge range of brands, fabrics and styles, so here are a few important things to consider.
Am I still growing?
It’s key to think whether your feet are still growing. If they are, it may be better to opt for fabric boots as they’re lighter and cheaper, such as the Hi-Tec Aysgarth WP walking boots. However, if they’re no longer growing you might choose leather boots as they’re more durable and last longer – the Hi-Tec Eurotrek Lite WP boots are a great leather option. Leather boots will cost more, but you’ll get the value back over time.
Whether you choose fabric or leather boots, the most important part of your decision should be the fit for you.
When should I get them?
Get your walking boots weeks or even months before your expedition, so you have time to break them in and ensure they’re comfortable. Wear your boots regularly on your expedition training and walking to and from school or weekend walks with family.
Are they waterproof?
It’s essential your boots are waterproof, as you don’t want wet feet during your expedition. Wet feet will increase your chances of blisters. All DofE Recommended walking boots from Hi-Tec are waterproof and have a Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane that keeps your feet dry.
Do they have ankle support?
DofE recommend walking boots, not walking shoes, for expeditions on foot to ensure vital ankle support. This will protect you while walking with a heavy rucksack and prevent any damage. Look for high ankle support and high grip soles – all DofE Recommended Hi-Tec walking boots on the DofE Kit List have these features.
Do they fit?
Getting boots that fit correctly is essential when picking your walking boots. We recommended a professional fitting to get boots that’ll last and fit properly. GO Outdoors, Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors, or Tiso store offer a free professional boot fitting at their stores. Staff will help you find the right boot for your expedition and you can also try them out on the in-store slopes and dips.
It’s important to wear the walking socks you’ll be wearing on your expedition when trying out your boots, so you know the fit won’t change. A good pair of walking socks, such as DofE Recommended Bridgedale HIKE socks, will increase the comfort of your boots.
How much should I spend?
You need to consider how often you’ll use the boots and what else you’d use them for. Will you wear the boots walking the dog or on a school trip? It may be worth spending more if you’re going to wear them regularly.
Walking boots don’t have to be expensive. Our boots expedition kit partner, Hi-Tec, offer high quality, durable boots at our recommended retailers. The Hi-Tec Eurotrek Lite WP boots RRP is £80 but with your DofE Card you can get them for £49.50*.
*Price as of 28 Jan 2020 on GO Outdoors
Where should I buy my boots?
Walking boots are available from nationwide outdoor retailers. However, don’t forget you can save at least 10%, and often more, by showing your DofE Card at the DofE Recommended Retailers of Expedition Kit – GO Outdoors, Blacks Outdoors, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors, and Tiso.
- For more tips and advice about walking boots, visit our Expedition Kit Resources.
- Read our boot care blogs to find out how to look after your boots during and after your expedition.
- Download our free poster to help you further in looking after your feet.
- Find more information on all your expedition kit in the DofE Expedition Kit Guide, and the full list of our recommendations in the DofE Recommended Kit List.
- Always show your DofE Card or digital DofE Card at our recommended retailers. You’ll get the best savings and help support young people doing their DofE. Find your nearest store.