I’ve had a pair of Hanwag leather hiking boots for a few years now - very comfortable and tough as er… old boots.
I was looking at some boots in Millets last week. They seem so lite these days, which isn’t reassuring to me. Other than stilettos, it’ll be interesting to see what’s suggested as I need a new pair.
I know this is a bit right field but for low level soft walks I wear wellies. Nothing expensive, currently a £35.00 pair from the sadly demised Countrywide. If you get a pair that fit well they work. I regularly do over 7 miles in these with no problem.
Mmmmmm… Toe Jam
I had a pair of these (or the equivalent model) for 30 years…
Only got rid because the sole couldn’t be replaced.
Many thanks for suggestions. Next up socks…
What is the current thinking regarding blister avoidance? Thin sock under a thick one? or just one pair? Every time I’ve gone a fair distance, I always seem to blister. Don’t like blisters.
I know these must seem amateurish questions…but all I’ve done in the past is get a pair of boot, sock up, tie them tight, suck up the pain and show my wife my sloughed feet at the end.
Got to be a better way.
As used by my sister and BiL who are DofE instructors.
Buy some well fitting boots and you won’t have to worry about socks. Can’t remember the last time I bothered with thick walking socks.
Zamberlans are nice and really comfy but the Vibram sole started to disintegrate on mine after a year or so.
Berhaus bought out Brasher who make the famous Hillmaster GTX but when I tried them (before the take over) I found them too rigid.
I love my Anatom Q1 walking shoes, they also do the Q2 boot.
Go to a specialist shop and get them properly fitted - your feet will thank you!
But first think about what you want your boot to do; winter walking with crampon ability? Mainly summer on easier paths? Scrambling on granite? Carrying a heavy sack?
I’ve got 3 (main) pairs of boots - one’s really heavy duty, fully stiffened and will take a step-in crampon, weigh 2kgs but will withstand a nuclear war. They’re Sportiva Nepal Extremes.
One’s medium stiff, will take a flexible crampon but are quite lightweight at 1200g. They’re Scarpa Marmoladas.
Then there’s my lightweight approach boots - excellent for scrambling, reasonable support but obviously won’t last as long as the others, but they are incredibly comfy which means they get most wear. They’re Sportiva Boulder X GTX Mid (not the ridiculous non-goretex non-waterproof shoe version!).
I found all were improved by putting in a decent gel insole as the OEM ones aren’t good enough - the Boots ones at about £12 are sufficient.
I think that factory insoles are getting better - or at least I haven’t replaced those in the last two pairs of boots that I have bought. When I do, I use the SturdyFoot ones below, a bit thick (so watch out for toe clearance) but very comfy and cheap enough to chuck if you don’t get on with them.
FFS,when i did the Himalaya’s in the mid 80s,i just put a pair of blakey’s in my flip flops and got on with it.
Agree with everyone who says “get the fit right” - if the boots are not wagging-about on your feet, you won’t get blisters. I found thick socks could make it worse, too.
Also, walk more frequently - I’m knackered if I do much more than 10 miles, cos I’m WAY too fat, but I can do it day in and day out and no sign of a blister.
Interestingly when I got fitted for mine I also discovered that in all probability I had been buying regular shoes that were a tad too small for me, and that had caused some of the foot problems I was suffering from.
Another vote for these. Some people certainly are more prone to blistering than others. But you can reduce the incidence of them by spreading the load on your feet, managing the foot’s sliding movement (in the sock or in the boot or even just the inner tissue shearing relative to the outer skin which ends up with the two of them delaminating) and then just callousing up the worst bits. I also find that if my feet are too hot and sweaty then the blistering will be worse, not that there’s much you can do about it if the sun comes out and you’re still 15 miles from today’s finish. I’ve tried 1000 mile socks. They’re comfy, if v thick, but on a hot day I blistered in them.
I will just add, when I got measured up at Alt-Berg they took circumferential measurements around my foot. That allowed them to determine my fit down to three “lasts” that they used on about half a dozen boots they made.
I tried the wide fit boots I had set my eyes on as a result of online reviews and advertising, but they were tight over the top of my foot and too loose around the heel.
As soon as i tried on one of the boots made from the right “last” it was an obvious improvement to fit. all I did was then choose the pair that had the features i wanted and bought them. For me that was, full rand, leather, bellows tongue, rolling gait to the sole, vibram sole. A good set of boots for Lakeland walking, 3 season but capable of use in light snow and some ice.
Thanks Bob, I’ll have a look at those as I suspect I may have a wide and high foot.