Last updated on November 17th, 2023 at 02:21 pm
Whether you’re planning a hiking holiday with friends or a backpacking trip abroad, it’s vital you have the right equipment, clothing – and most importantly, footwear. As you verge off the beaten path or climb that steep hill, a sturdy pair of hiking boots or shoes can make all the difference.
The best walking boots offer essential comfort and support, while helping to prevent any accidents or injuries. That way, when you snap a triumphant photo at the peak, you do it with your soles intact and a smile on your face.
Comfortable and well-fitting walking boots or shoes are always worth the investment. You don’t need to be climbing Everest to reap the benefits – you’ll notice the difference even if you’re just taking the dog out for a few hours.
Read on as we explore the best walking shoes and hiking boots for your next outdoor adventure…
What’s on this page:
- What are the best hiking boots for walking?
- What are the best walking shoes?
- What are the best trainers for walking?
What are the best hiking boots for walking?
Hiking is all about preparation. Will it rain? Is it sunny or overcast? What kind of terrain are you crossing? The best walking boots will carry you every step of the journey, with a secure fit to keep you safe and comfortable.
Here are some of the top features to look for when choosing your hiking boots:
- Support and stability – High ankle support will keep you steady when going off-trail or walking across uneven ground. Snug ankle padding is a must for tackling longer hikes.
- Waterproof protection – Making sure your shoes are waterproof will keep your feet warm, dry and prevent any rubbing, which can lead to annoying blisters and foot ache.
- Durability and grip – Consider the level of grip you’ll need based on where you’re going to be walking. Most hikes often need improved tread for any surprise muddy encounters or slippery surfaces.
Regatta Lady Samaris II Women’s Brown Hiking Boot
These brown waterproof Regatta hiking boots are reliable and hardwearing for longer hikes and uneven terrain. Also available in blue and neutral grey, these boots have a breathable Isotex membrane with shock-absorbing heels so you can stay comfortable in all conditions.
Top Tip: Try your hiking boots on at the end of the day when checking the fit. Your feet naturally swell with lots of activity, including hiking, so this will give you a more accurate fitting.
Cotswold Sudgrove Men’s Leather Boot in Brown
These advanced hiking boots by Cotswold feature a brown leather upper with moisture wick lining and waterproof membrane to keep you dry, whatever the weather. Secure lace up fastenings ensure your feet stay snug while memory foam insoles and rebounding midsoles support you from below.
Top Tip: Always wear the appropriate hiking socks with your boots for added protection and comfort. Better yet, choose a fun contrasting colour to brighten up your walking wardrobe.
Trespass Finley Men’s Brown Waterproof Hiking Boot
Trespass delivers some of the best men’s hiking boots on the high street. Their sturdy brown waterproof hiking boots feature a breathable membrane to keep you comfortable and dry, with a thick, cleated sole for increased tread and grip. Fancy switching up your all-brown boots? This style also comes in a muted black – perfect for muddy walks.
Top Tip: Your hiking boots should have a snug fit in all areas, without feeling tight. Wiggle your toes to check you have plenty of room at the end of your boots to comfortably tackle any steep downhill slopes.
What are the best walking shoes?
If you’re trekking longer distances, you’ll need secure and supportive shoes. Walking shoes often provide the same benefits as hiking boots but without the high ankle support. A few of their main features include:
- Low-cut ankle – Ideal for light day hikes without lots of uneven terrain, such as well-maintained hills and designated paths.
- Breathable material – Often made with aerated mesh, walking shoes are great for keeping your feet cool and dry on the move without sacrificing fit and form.
- Sturdy soles – Walking shoes are comfortable, yet still offer plenty of tread and cushioning on the outsole for extensive walking.
XL Women’s Grey & Pink Lace Up Hiking Shoe
These grey and pink lace up hiking shoes by XL are some of the best walking shoes for women, especially if you’re planning a more casual hike with friends. Lighter than standard hiking boots, the mesh upper allows your feet to breathe on the go.
Top Tip: It’s a good idea to break in your walking shoes around the house before doing any actual hiking. That way you can make sure they’re fit for purpose when you need to use them.
Women’s Navy Lace Up Walking Shoe
These Jana Softline lace up walking shoes embrace a striking navy upper, along with a lace up fastening to help keep you secure. The padded insole and gripped outsole work harmoniously when out on all day walks. Choose between this fun blue hue or a chic grey.
Top Tip: Make sure to try on your walking shoes while wearing walking socks to give you a better idea of how well they fit you and avoid any nasty surprises.
Wychwood Men’s Hiking Shoe in Brown
Step into a pair of waterproof hiking shoes from Cotswold, in black or brown. The eco-conscious upper, which is made from 85% recycled plastic bottles, is stylish yet functional as it defends from the elements. Keep steady on the go with a sturdy outsole and protective toe guard.
Top Tip: Cotswold is a vey safe bet when it comes to hiking footwear. Check out our blog detailing more of their range.
What are the best trainers for walking?
Sometimes you just need a reliable pair of multi-purpose trainers to stay supported and get you on your way. The best trainers for walking are well-fitted and cushioned, great for lighter urban walking on city breaks or hiking across the countryside.
A few of their top qualities include:
- Lightweight design – Ideal for beginner-friendly hiking routes and dog walking, helping you stay light on your feet with plenty of support.
- Secure laces – Lace up walking trainers keep feet snug and stable while out and about.
- Chunky outsoles – Robust, medium-level walking trainers provide more protection and shock absorption than normal trainers, while also being sturdier than running trainers.
Women’s Lady Samaris Life Burgundy Shoe
The Isotex technology of these sleek burgundy women’s walking trainers keep you comfortable and dry from the inside. Outside, the waterproof upper and chunky slip-resistant sole offer extra stability and protection while still being lightweight.
Top Tip: If you run into some mud, use a stiff brush to carefully buff away any dry dirt. Then remove the laces and work into crevices with a damp cloth or sponge.
Samaris Life Mens Grey Lace Up Trainer
These stylish grey hiker trainers can take you from hillside hikes to pub lunch with ease. The grey upper offers extra defence from the elements while XLT outsoles give you plenty of support and stability.
Top Tip: A pair of versatile walking trainers offer more flexibility when you have to pack light. Choose a neutral colour and style that works for both woodland walks and city excursions.
Edgepoint Life Men’s Hiking Trainer
Grab a pair of men’s hiking trainers from Regatta, fit with deep padded collars and stabilising shank technology helping to ensure your safety and style on light walks. Their simple design makes them easy to throw on, while secure lace up fastenings ensure they stay snug and secure for hours on the go.
Top Tip: There are so many ways to tie your shoelaces to stay secure all day long. Check out our guide to shoelace styles for more inspiration.
The best walking boots make it easier to trek that extra mile to reach your destination. Explore our blog for more helpful hiking tips and style guides.