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Can anyone advise on walking boots / shoes?

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Hi all,

 

I'm looking for some footwear - basically I'd like a pair of walking boots to replace the 25 year old pair that fell apart last year, and possibly a pair of shoes that will double as 'casual' walking shoes for being a 'tourist' rather than a hiker, so to say. I don't want to wear my boots when I'm walking to work, for example. :)

 

Now, I tore a cartilage earlier this year which is mending itself with physiotherapy and excercise, but I'm aware of the fact that my knee is now a bit 'iffy', so I want to make sure that any shoes and boots I do get will give me as comfortable a walk as possible.

 

Any makes / models to recommend or avoid?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Joe

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To be honest I need advice also. I did the 7 hour walk yesterday in a pair of bog standard Hi-tecs from Winsors World of Shoes at about £20. I also use them for day to day use but I know they will last 18 months at the most before the sole collapses. I like them because they are comfy and well worn in but they are insubstantial.

 

I know some of the people who came out on Saturday had some top notch boots and Tamarind used to work at CCC so there are people who know their stuff.

 

I suppose I've always "made do" in the past, plus I'm a cheapskate but if a pair of boots can last 20 years then logically they will be worth the price you pay.

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Hi all,

 

I'm looking for some footwear - basically I'd like a pair of walking boots to replace the 25 year old pair that fell apart last year, and possibly a pair of shoes that will double as 'casual' walking shoes for being a 'tourist' rather than a hiker, so to say. I don't want to wear my boots when I'm walking to work, for example. :)

 

Now, I tore a cartilage earlier this year which is mending itself with physiotherapy and excercise, but I'm aware of the fact that my knee is now a bit 'iffy', so I want to make sure that any shoes and boots I do get will give me as comfortable a walk as possible.

 

Any makes / models to recommend or avoid?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Joe

 

I reckon that if you get 10 recommendations, you will get 10 different recommendations. I advise you visit a decent shop. Personally I'm fond of Blacks - the staff at the shop in Leeds are always helpful, happy to let you try out numerous makes and models without applying any pressure on you to buy. I’ve spent nearly half an hour trying out stuff there and walked out without buying anything, and not felt guilty! I’m don't know what the Sheffield shop is like, but hopefully it’s similar. The Leeds staff are enthusiastic, obviously ‘outdoor types’, and more than happy to give advice, though being a cynical type of person I don't rely on advice from staff.

 

Walking boots do seem to be more ‘user friendly’ these days. The fabric boots don’t need to be applied with dubbin, and worn for months, until they become comfortable. For what it’s worth, I’ve always been happy with Karrimor boots and rucksacks. I have Karrimor KSB walking boots, Karrimor KSB walking shoes, and Karrimor ‘rugged’ sandals, and I love them all, so comfortable and faultless quality. Karrimor no longer use Gore-Tex (allegedly for financial reasons), but maybe the eVENT waterproofing is just as good, I don’t know. For day-to-day wear I have Merrell walking shoes, which are very comfortable, being rugged but much lighter than the KSBs though I’m not convinced by the quality – they seem to have worn out much quicker than I expected.

 

Finally, when you do buy a pair of boots confirm with the shop that you can exchange them if you’re not happy. I’ve noticed that Blacks always make a point of saying this to me, though presumably you can’t go walking in the Peaks for a week and expect an exchange. Perhaps all you can do is walk around the house, up and down the stairs for a couple of miles…

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Expect to pay about £50+ for a decent quality boot. You will find the life expectancy of these are much greater than the cheaper boots.

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I too am at the 'cheap' end of the spectrum, though my own standards decree that there is plenty of grip and ankle support. I bought Decathlon's cheapest own-brand walking sandals this summer and they were so comfy and tough I couldn't understand why anyone would pay five times the price (long term wear, I suppose.)

 

Joe, I would recommend that you go to one of the 'serious' outdoor shops with properly knowledgable staff who'll know about which boots have the best shock absorbsion etc for your knee. (I don't know what the specific weakness of your knee is, but you know what I mean.) There are 'deep' technicalities to decent boots that go beyond what most people need, but it would be well worth getting an expert to advise you.

 

Try PMing tamarindl. She knows her stuff - or knows other people that do.

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For casual walking on paths and mostly level ground go for a flexible midsole, you'll find them more comfortable, a medium to stiff is best for an all-round walking boot.

you can also get sorbothane insoles which will give you a bit of spring or cushion your step to help your iffy knee recover.

 

Zamberlan munros are a nice low ankle, lightweight boot and don't look too hardcore, they are pricey at £70-£80 but they are full grain 'hydrobloc' leather, but there are plenty to choose from.

try as many as you can but i do find the more expensive ones fit best straight out of the box.

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I went to CCC on John St. You get good advice and can take boots back even if worn in a kind of part exchange if they are not right. This means that they have a "second hand section".

 

My friend had recommended I buy Contour boots but since they didn't have my size the staff reccommended I look in the second hand section. I got a pair of Contour in my size at £35 they looked as new. The full price if I had waited a week for my size to be in stock in the new section would have been £115.

 

I have walked my dog through Ecclesall woods or up over Ringinglow every day for the 3 years I have had them and they still fit perfectly and scrub up like new.

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We're going to give CCC another vote here :thumbsup:

 

Their staff all seem to be 'outdoorsy people' rather than 'shop staff' like you find in some outdoor shops :suspect: (and if what Tamarindl told us, they are very well trained in boot fitting :thumbsup: )

 

Don't be lured by the prices of some of the clearance stock ;) I have a pair of Regatta trainer style boots for dog walking. These usually only get to do park walks, but I wore them for our hike on Saturday. My feet were killing on the footpaths round Whirlow :(

 

Don't forget, you can read things like Trail magazine 'til you go crosseyed, but there is no substitute for actually going in and trying the things on. Apart from the obvious width/length fitting, the balance of the boot and it's weight will play a part in your choice, and don't forget to make full use of the test slope, no matter how silly you feel!! (If it's an issue, or you hate having to elbow kids out of the way, go in mid week ;) )

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I personally have always prefered a good sturdy pair of trainers to walking boots, I find the boots can restrict your ankle movement which often makes mine start to ache if we're on a long walk

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I've bought 3 pairs of Karrimor Textile/Suede boots in the last 5 years. I have worn them every day in winter, spring and autumn, and they get taken over stanage, burbage, etc quite regularly too. And I don't clean them or 'take care of them'. Each pair lasts me a year under all conditions, but after that the soles are a bit smooth to be scrambling up rocks and hills and they get relegated to ashphalt duty.

 

Waterproof up to the ankle bone, with lots of arch support and good gripping soles, I'd recommend them to anyone. They're not the cheapest, not the priciest either, although they are made in the far east, and they take some punishment. Perhaps lately the build quality has slipped a little, mostly cosmetic.

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I forced Mrs Grinder in to an outdoor shop about two years ago to get a pair of well fitting, water tight hiking boots, we spent maybe an hour trying diffent boots, with a pair of new walking socks. No point trying boots with "fashion" socks!

 

She hasn't looked back, bearing im mind Mrs Grinder get blisters on her feet walking to her car on the drive!

 

And hour well spent, the boots she got cost maybe £60, so by no means top of the shop.

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I personally have always prefered a good sturdy pair of trainers to walking boots, I find the boots can restrict your ankle movement which often makes mine start to ache if we're on a long walk

 

Leaving the top hook on the boot unfastened allowes ankle movement, but still offers a degree of support.

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