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Walking boots thread. (please merge if there is already one)

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I know we have one or two walkers on here who must wear real walking boots. (I'm assuming Sgt Hartman doesn't climb Sca Fell in winter in trainers :-) )

Mine are knackered -  though I think a competent cobbler could fix them, but in Geneva the cobblers are either artisans who know their job but would charge more than for a new pair of boots or morons who know nothing and make things worse.

So looking at buying new boots. Classic midrange UK walking boots are no good here, the terrain is just too steep, rocky and demanding - I've had the current boots since 6 months after arriving and reducing the Karrimors that I had (and my toes) to pulp.

I expect I'm just being a Dosbodderish tightwad but hardly any seem to be re-soleable(if that's a word) these days - so does anyone know of a boot that fits the following criteria :-

1. Waterproof but breathes at least a bit (do more summer and mid-season walking).

2. Light to medium weight.

3. Good in large sizes ie 12 or maybe 13.

4. Re-soleable.

5. High ankle boot - low boots are also useless on a long day  in tough terrain.

Thanks in advance for any informed replies

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27 minutes ago, swissy_fit said:

I know we have one or two walkers on here who must wear real walking boots. (I'm assuming Sgt Hartman doesn't climb Sca Fell in winter in trainers :-) )

Mine are knackered -  though I think a competent cobbler could fix them, but in Geneva the cobblers are either artisans who know their job but would charge more than for a new pair of boots or morons who know nothing and make things worse.

So looking at buying new boots. Classic midrange UK walking boots are no good here, the terrain is just too steep, rocky and demanding - I've had the current boots since 6 months after arriving and reducing the Karrimors that I had (and my toes) to pulp.

I expect I'm just being a Dosbodderish tightwad but hardly any seem to be re-soleable(if that's a word) these days - so does anyone know of a boot that fits the following criteria :-

1. Waterproof but breathes at least a bit (do more summer and mid-season walking).

2. Light to medium weight.

3. Good in large sizes ie 12 or maybe 13.

4. Re-soleable.

5. High ankle boot - low boots are also useless on a long day  in tough terrain.

Thanks in advance for any informed replies

 

Altberg, one of the few that still make a traditional alpine boot, and come in 1/2 sizes

the Yan Tan gets good reviews, my choice would be that for summer and the Tethera or Mallerstang for all season/winter. They meet all your requirements

or Scarpa

I wouldn't go with any other brands

Edited by Hopeful

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Mountain Warehouse do good boots that are actually WP and are great for those of us with big feet. They regularly have big discounts on them so also can be superb value for money. Choice of leather or material.

I have a pair of £150 Scarpas that I got for £60 in a sale - very good but newer models do not get such good reviews anymore.

Lots of makes are now manufactured in China so quality has gone downhill and many are not waterproof IMPO despite claims to be so. I would keep an eye out for a MW sale.

Edited by The Masked Tulip

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It's a bit of a minefield, walking boots. There are so many now that it's difficult to choose.  I use Scarpa myself though have found that they can be quite narrow if you've got a wider foot. The ones I use in winter are the 'Mantas' but they are mountain boots so very heavy, not flexible (for crampon use) and not much cop outside of snow and ice.

Salomon are good but I've heard varying reports as to their build quality with some people saying they've fallen to bits in a short space of time.

For mid-range you can't go too wrong with these, I owned a pair for ten years before selling them to a mate who still uses them and they are almost as good as new. I gave them a solid beasting as well:

https://m.blacks.co.uk/product/brown-scarpa-mens-ranger-ii-active-gore-tex-walking-boots/109971/?option=535330&istCompanyId=d92b362f-ac8a-4a8a-87ca-c56eafad7955&istItemId=raxlaamlw&istBid=tzri&gclid=CjwKCAjwiPbWBRBtEiwAJakcpGR0xzRzV3qVpWPWNBt0Bpe189U9pDgBQIfPPbiLLbXhkZgqK5gNbxoCPz8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Eta - That above price is pretty strong. You can do better if you shop around a bit.

Edited by Sgt Hartman

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Just to say that a good policy is not to buy any of the many Sports Direct brands.  They might be okay, but they're usually not.

Because of their aggressive brand accumulation, this will include brands that once were okay, but now they're not.  Like Karrimor.  If you want to buy something made by Sports Direct that's fine, but don't imagine that they'll actually be as good as the brand suggests.

It lies a little outside the thread topic, but for the sake of completeness, I think the brands are:

Agent Provocateur
Airwalk
British Knights
Campri
Carlton
Donnay
Everlast
Firetrap
Gelert
GoldDigga
Hot Tuna Clothing
Kangol
Karrimor
LA Gear
Lonsdale
Miss Fiori
Miso
Muddyfox
Nevica
No Fear
Slazenger
Sondico
SoulCal
USA Pro
Voodoo Dolls

They used to own Dunlop as well, but they've sold that brand.  I don't know if they're now any good -- I doubt that they're now going to be back in the 'winning Wimbledon' category, but I'd be happy to be surprised.

[I'd happily add that they can be great.  I've got a load of Slazenger branded t-shirts from there that are pretty decent for running in (and doing the gardening, etc).  I'd just not buy their branded 'specialist stuff'.]

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

Just to say that a good policy is not to buy any of the many Sports Direct brands.  They might be okay, but they're usually not.

Because of their aggressive brand accumulation, this will include brands that once were okay, but now they're not.  Like Karrimor.  If you want to buy something made by Sports Direct that's fine, but don't imagine that they'll actually be as good as the brand suggests.

It lies a little outside the thread topic, but for the sake of completeness, I think the brands are:

Agent Provocateur
Airwalk
British Knights
Campri
Carlton
Donnay
Everlast
Firetrap
Gelert
GoldDigga
Hot Tuna Clothing
Kangol
Karrimor
LA Gear
Lonsdale
Miss Fiori
Miso
Muddyfox
Nevica
No Fear
Slazenger
Sondico
SoulCal
USA Pro
Voodoo Dolls

They used to own Dunlop as well, but they've sold that brand.  I don't know if they're now any good -- I doubt that they're now going to be back in the 'winning Wimbledon' category, but I'd be happy to be surprised.

[I'd happily add that they can be great.  I've got a load of Slazenger branded t-shirts from there that are pretty decent for running in (and doing the gardening, etc).  I'd just not buy their branded 'specialist stuff'.]

Shame that. Hot Tuna used to make some really good clothes when I was in Oz.

Another brand to avoid like the plague is HiTec. It's terrible cheap Chinese shit and they've got some balls selling it as anything other than something to walk the dog with. Back in the day when all I could afford was such crap I went up a mountain in Scotland sporting my new HiTec walking boots when the entire sole fell off near the summit.

This made the descent about as enjoyable as you can imagine and I tapped into new realms of profanity as I limped back to the car.

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Just now, Sgt Hartman said:

Shame that. Hot Tuna used to make some really good clothes when I was in Oz.

Another brand to avoid like the plague is HiTec. It's terrible cheap Chinese shit and they've got some balls selling it as anything other than something to walk the dog with. Back in the day when all I could afford was such crap I went up a mountain in Scotland sporting my new HiTec walking boots when the entire sole fell off near the summit.

This made the descent about as enjoyable as you can imagine and I tapped into new realms of profanity as I limped back to the car.

:D Ever since this happened to me once I carry a pair of light walking sandals with tough soles in my pack unless I forget - not ideal even in summer but as you will know, better than a boot with no sole.  I had something like 1000m of descent left when the sole ripped off. O.o

To be fair that pair, Karrimors from memory, had done good service

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I bought a pair of Karrimor size 10 walking shoes mainly for work. British company & shoe design BUT made in China. Very comfortable. Only thing is that the inside soles are now slipping back. I think it started when I walked home from work in the rain.

 

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I love my German para boots. They're the mk6 manufactured by HAIX. I use them for work, motorbiking and walking in the hills. They are exceptionally comfortable, warm and hard wearing. I got mine second hand with very light wear for about £60.

Edited by whitevanman
Edit: new for 170 euros. I'll buy new when my current pair wear out. https://www.asmc.com/Clothing/Footwear/Shoes-and-socks/Boots/German-Army-Combat-Boots-p.html

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I think a lot of people buying boots today are searching for a unicorn. They have that good pair of brand boots that they paid a good sum for 10 to 20 years ago... and they think that still buying a brand... still paying a wodge of cash... will get them that same quality and will last another 10 years. Those days are long gone IMPO.

You only have to spend a few hours reading reviews of numerous brands to see that finding a waterproof boot these days is very difficult... then add on something that lasts a bit longer than a few months serious walking.... Unicorn time.

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1 hour ago, Hopeful said:

 

Altberg, one of the few that still make a traditional alpine boot, and come in 1/2 sizes

the Yan Tan gets good reviews, my choice would be that for summer and the Tethera or Mallerstang for all season/winter. They meet all your requirements

or Scarpa

I wouldn't go with any other brands

I was going to buy those, and probably still will, but find it a pain that you can't seem to buy them anywhere other than the factory. So it'll have to wait until I'm somewhere near Richmond. >:(

Obviously I could just order them, but with boots, I'd really like to try them first. 

Edited by Uptherebels

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15 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I think a lot of people buying boots today are searching for a unicorn. They have that good pair of brand boots that they paid a good sum for 10 to 20 years ago... and they think that still buying a brand... still paying a wodge of cash... will get them that same quality and will last another 10 years. Those days are long gone IMPO.

You only have to spend a few hours reading reviews of numerous brands to see that finding a waterproof boot these days is very difficult... then add on something that lasts a bit longer than a few months serious walking.... Unicorn time.

It's like anything outdoorsy. Everyone is searching for the Holy Trinity. Waterproof, Breathable and Comfortable.

Even the most expensive, top of the range stuff will only let you choose two of those. You have to do your homework to find which order you are getting too.

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I'm on a pair of meryls. Perfect for me. Waterproof as long as you wax them but breathable without.

Comfy for all walks/climbs. Theyve done several festivals (why people wear wellies considering how fucking uncomfortable they can be is lost on me), 2 of the 3 peaks and plenty of adventours in the peak district.

I go walking every day if I can. Probably got thousands of miles under their belt and still going strong

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1 hour ago, Hopeful said:

 

Altberg, one of the few that still make a traditional alpine boot, and come in 1/2 sizes

the Yan Tan gets good reviews, my choice would be that for summer and the Tethera or Mallerstang for all season/winter. They meet all your requirements

or Scarpa

I wouldn't go with any other brands

Thanks yeah the Altbergs look a good call especially their various width fittings but I'll have to wait until I visit the UK unless I'm prepared for potentially a lot of to-ing and fro-ing by post. Dosbods bonus they're made in Yorkshire!  9_9

Scarpas available here so might be easier. However @Sgt Hartman s comment that they might be narrow is a concern for me as am something of a Yeti. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Uptherebels said:

I was going to buy those, and probably still will, but find it a pain that you can't seem to buy them anywhere other than the factory. So it'll have to wait until I'm somewhere near Richmond. >:(

Obviously I could just order them, but with boots, I'd really like to try them first. 

Have you spoken to them. They can talk you through a purchase. They are also very accommodating re home trials.

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12 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

It's like anything outdoorsy. Everyone is searching for the Holy Trinity. Waterproof, Breathable and Comfortable.

Even the most expensive, top of the range stuff will only let you choose two of those. You have to do your homework to find which order you are getting too.

Breathable and comfortable

Waterproof doesn't worrkyme although I like water resistant, but eventually I'll cross a bog or river when water will come over the top, so waterproof really doesn't matter.

Walking with wet feet doesn't matter to me as long as my boots come off at night.

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16 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Breathable and comfortable

Waterproof doesn't worrkyme although I like water resistant, but eventually I'll cross a bog or river when water will come over the top, so waterproof really doesn't matter.

Walking with wet feet doesn't matter to me as long as my boots come off at night.

I used to do a lot of camping and walking, this was the eventual conclusion I came to. All waterproof boots are just a big expensive joke. Even the tiniest puncture in the waterproof membrane, gortex or such, will render them useless. Actually worse than useless as they'll then never drain so you'll end up with a bucket of water on your feet. They are also heavier.

In the end I started buying lightweight non waterproof low rise boots and never looked back. If it rains they'll drain quickly when it stops. If I was that bothered had a pair of cheap waterproof socks. Remember someone saying to me an extra 100 grams on your feet is like an extra 1 kilo on your back and they were right.

Edited by gibbon

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1 hour ago, Uptherebels said:

I was going to buy those, and probably still will, but find it a pain that you can't seem to buy them anywhere other than the factory. So it'll have to wait until I'm somewhere near Richmond. >:(

Obviously I could just order them, but with boots, I'd really like to try them first. 

As well as direct from the factory there are several stockists and if you're within travelling distance then Lockwoods of Leamington Spa have a very good reputation.

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Like most things outdoorsy....  I have a superb pair of leather boots from Decathlon. May not be resoleable, but hey...  they come in all sizes up to Clown and if I need to buy another pair after 5 years the new ones will fit just like the old ones.

in other news, shocked to hear that Agent Provocateur is now Sports Direct. The image of overpriced but very posh, fancy fuckwear for Sloan rangers just doesn't mesh with the Sports Direct brand identity of cheap polyester not-sportswear for chavs. Shouldn't they have bought whoever makes the scratchy cheap lurid lingerie you buy from market stalls instead?

Edited by Melchett

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