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Leather vs. Fabric? Gore-Tex? Vibram? Don’t worry, we’ve picked out six of the best hiking boots to take care of your feet!
Hiking boots are essential when it comes to keeping you comfortable and on your feet when hitting the trails. The last thing you need are blisters and a case of trench foot when you’re halfway up Lugnaquilla. We’ve found six of the best pairs available today to cover all budgets.
When looking to invest in a pair of hiking boots you’ll have to make a number of decisions. One of the key differences in the pairs below is leather vs. fabric. The former is built to last and will give you many years of service. However, be prepared for a little discomfort as you break them in. Fabric hiking boots will be more comfortable straight away but have less durability when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
In terms of design features, look for things like Vibram soles (light and resilient rubber produced in Italy that can take a ton of punishment) in more high-end shoes, and Gore-Tex (sometimes listed as GTX). The latter is increasingly becoming standard so you shouldn’t have a problem keeping your feet dry.
The list below covers a range of budgets. Think about how long you’ll be spending wearing them when you consider how much you’re willing to spend. You will notice the difference in terms of comfort and stability. Fit is key so always look to try before you buy.
This boot is ideal for hiking, walks through the woods. Lots of effort has been put into creating a really comfortable, versatile yet hard-wearing boot. This three-season boot is perfect for Irish weather conditions and will offer you the confidence you need on even the trickiest of terrain.
Available from: Cotswold Outdoor in men’s and women’s version.
Columbia has a reputation for offering good mid-range options that punch above their price point. This pair is not a true all-year hiking boot but they are fully waterproof thanks to the company’s own OutDry system so you’ll be able to survive even the most torrential downpour. You’ll find traction is strong on these shoes, again thanks to Columbia’s bespoke design, so you should be able to tackle any surface going. Be aware that these boots do seem to run small so you maybe need to try a size up to find the best fit.
Available from: Cotswold Outdoor
There’s something reassuring about German engineering and Meindl has a few innovations up its sleeve to prove this point. These three-season hiking boots support your ankle perfectly thanks to a Memory Foam System that shapes to fit you. As a result, they’re more comfortable than many ankle boots. The Bhutan is largely an updated design of the popular Burma range and inherits many of the strengths of its predecessor. The Gore-tex lining will keep you dry and the boots are stiff and durable so you’ll be able to rack up the kilometres. Meindl products are built to last and as a result, these boots are a little heavier but you’ll be thankful for their robustness years down the line.
This European-designed waterproof hiking boot unites retro style and modern performance in premium, environmentally preferred leather.
The 4mm lugs provide ample grip to tackle a wide range of terrain while the leather upper will keep your feet nice and dry no matter how wet the conditions underfoot. Keen is an environmentally conscious company that can be relied on for great quality and style.
This lightweight hiking boot really packs a punch when it comes to quality. So much so, they come with a three-year warranty. The upper is made from suede with a waterproof Gore-tex membrane while the outsole offers unrivaled traction on almost any terrain. The boot is also breathable making it a great option for the changeable Irish weather.
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