Walking Boots 101

All of our treks, from the Three Peaks to Mount Kilimanjaro, require a sturdy pair of walking boots to make sure you reach your goal and have an incredible (and comfortable!) time.

If you’re a first time buyer of walking boots, or you haven’t purchased a pair in a while, buying walking boots can seem like a daunting experience. There’s a lot of technical jargon to wade through, and the market is saturated with hundreds of pairs of boots that all look the same.There is a lot of pressure in getting the ‘right’ boots, so we’ve put together this handy guide of things to consider when your new purchase.

Ankle Support

It’s important to make sure you purchase a pair of walking boots for your trek, as opposed to walking shoes, which are cut below the ankle. All our treks are multi-day and the average day’s trekking will be 7-8 hours. With this in mind, it’s important to get some pretty resilient boots that are going to be able to support your ankles properly over these long periods of walking. They’ll also keep your feet warmer, so when temperatures drop during early morning starts and summit nights you won’t be uncomfortable.

Leather v Fabric

A good pair of walking boots will either be leather or fabric with gore tex, as these are both waterproof materials. Leather boots can be a little more sturdy and are longer-lasting, but are also take longer to break in and may be a little more expensive. Fabric boots will offer you a more flexible sole and comfort, but be less durable. We'd suggest trying on both leather and fabric boots and seeing which suit you better. Breaking in your boots before your trek is absolutely crucial. Once you’ve purchased your boots, we recommend a few long walks wearing them to ensure you don’t get any blisters whilst you’re trekking, as this can ruin the trip for you!

Getting the Right Fit

Walking boots aren’t something you should order online, as you need to try them on to ensure you get the perfect pair for your feet. Head to an outdoor shop, like Millets or Cotswold and try on a variety of different boots to see which suit your feet the most. Make sure you’ve got a good amount of wiggle room for your toes but are snug around your heel and ankles. If they’re too loose, they won’t offer you the appropriate support you need for trekking, but if they’re too tight they will rub and you can end up with nasty blisters and bruising. Take a walk around in the boots you’re trying on and try and walk up and down stairs in them if possible. Ultimately, you're the only one who will know which boots feel like they are best for your feet, and trying on a few pairs is the best way to find out. 



When trying on boots, make sure you’re wearing a good pair of walking socks. Don’t underestimate the importance of your socks - your boots are only as good as the walking socks you wear! You should pick up a several thick pairs of walking socks for your trek, as well as lots of thin inner socks. Layering up socks will not only keep your feet nice and warm whilst you trek, but they'll also help prevent blisters.


After you've purchased your dream pair of boots, it's important to think about the way you're lacing them up. Different styles of lacing can help alleviate different foot pain throughout your trek. Check out Mountain Warehouse's guide to lacing boots for your foot type to ensure you're getting the most out of your boots!


Walking boots can be quite expensive, so try and pick some up during seasonal sales. We off all our participants a discount code to get 15% off purchases in Cotswold. Please email team@chooseachallenge.com and we can send it over! Happy shopping!

Molly Downestrekking, kitComment