Best walking boots 2022 – and the ones to choose if you’re on a budget - Which? (2023)

Whether you’re heading out for a country stroll or a mountainous hike, a pair of sturdy walking boots will protect ankles from sprains, provide grip on all terrains and keep feet dry.

A great pair of walking boots will keep you comfy and go the distance, too. However, not all brands are up to the challenge. We asked Which? members to rate walking boots they’d owned and 3,118 of you responded.

According to the survey results, some of the most famous brands didn’t live up to their names. Several scored just two or three stars out of five for comfort, flexibility and even water resistance – and nobody wants a soggy shoe. Meanwhile some lesser-known labels climbed the ranks.

In other words, opting for popular brands doesn’t always ensure you’ll get a brilliant set of boots – and neither does splashing out, it seems. While two of the more expensive boot brands did find themselves at the head of the table, several cheaper options weren’t too far behind.

So whether you’ve got a big budget and are keen to make a long-term investment, or you’re hoping to pick up boots at a price that won’t dent your bank balance too heavily, we’ve outlined the best options below, plus the ones to steer clear of, according to Which? readers.

We’ve linked to the homepages of all decently rated brands in the top 12, or to a well-rated shop that sells its products. Read more about best and worst shops.

Best and worst walking boots

Walking boot brandCustomer score
Average price paidBreathabilityComfortDurabilityFitShock absorptionFlexibilityGripWater resistanceValue for money








(Video) BEST HIKING BOOTS: 10 Hiking Boots (2022 Buying Guide)

Using the table

  • Survey (conducted in March and April 2021) is based on data from 3,118 Which? members who own walking boots bought since 2016.
  • A ‘-’ = there isn’t enough data.
  • Average price paid is based on the mean amount members paid for their footwear.
  • Customer score is based on satisfaction and whether members would recommend the brand.

Best walking boot brands


Zamberlan topped our walking boots survey. The brand was founded near the Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites) mountain range in northern Italy and, according to its customers, its boots would stand up to alpine terrain. Zamberlan’s boots, including many made from Italian leather, get the full five stars for comfort, durability, fit and water resistance.

According to one Zamberlan customer, the boots are ‘perfect for extreme weather’. You can normally buy them on the Zamberlan website, but the brand has temporarily suspended shipping to the UK. Meanwhile, you can find them via specialist retailers or Which? Recommended Provider: Cotswold Outdoor.

Verdict: Not cheap, but seemingly indestructible. You won’t find better walking boots than these.

Shop Zamberlan boots at Cotswold Outdoor

Browse Zamberlan walking boots on the Zamberlan website


Altberg is another top-scoring boot brand from our survey. Its roots were laid in Richmond, North Yorkshire, in 1989 and its factory is still there today – as well as a second in Italy. The boots are handmade and the fit is something members seemed to like, awarding Altberg the full five stars in this category. Survey respondents loved that they could buy boots in half sizes, as well as various widths - suiting those with both wide and narrow feet.

It doesn’t just perform well in this area though. Altberg gained four or five stars in every category, from comfort to breathability and water resistance. It even scored four out of five for value for money, which considering the price point (an average of £170 per pair), is impressive.

Verdict: Expensive boots that are worth every penny

You cannot buy these boots direct, but you can find stockists via Altberg's website

Looking for a decent waterproof jacket for your next hike too? Take a look at the results from our best waterproof jackets survey to find a well-rated one

(Video) Top 5 Best Hiking Boots Review (and a hiking shoe) 2021

Best cheap walking boots


If your budget rules out Zamberlan and Altberg, Grisport is an excellent alternative. Like Zamberlan, the brand is based at the foot of the Dolomites, where robust footwear is essential. The brand gets four stars for comfort, flexibility and fit, so you needn’t worry about hobbling home with blistered feet. It only gets three stars for shock absorption, however, so there are better options for hardcore mountaineering.

Verdict: Another fine Italian choice

Shop Grisport walking boots direct


Timberland boots are worth checking out if you’re on a two-figure budget. The brand gets the maximum five-star rating for durability, so they shouldn’t wear out easily. Several survey respondents commented on how comfortable Timberland boots are too. One said: ‘Very comfortable and about as light as you could get with real support.’

Verdict:Budget-friendly boots that won’t weigh you down

Shop Timberland walking boots direct

(Video) Most COMFORTABLE Work Boots | BEST Boots of 2022

Shop Timberland walking boots at John Lewis

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Best cheap walking boots under £70


Survey respondents praised Clarks’ walking boots highly, awarding them four stars in various areas, including water resistance, fit and breathability. On average, members paid £69 for their footwear – so it’s no wonder the brand was also well-rated in the value-for-money category. When asked what they liked about their boots, most commented on how comfy they are, and the brand scored four stars in this area.. The high street store did gain just three out of five in areas such as shock absorption and durability however, so for more serious hikers, you may want to shop around.

Verdict:Great value for money

Shop Clarks walking boots direct

Shop Clarks walking boots at John Lewis

Other walking boot brands that performed well in score order

Best walking boots 2022 – and the ones to choose if you’re on a budget - Which? (2)
(Video) Best Boots of 2022 + My Favorite Boot

Brands to avoid

Cotton Traders

Cotton Traders performed least well of all boot brands featured in our survey and left our members unimpressed. It scored just two out of five stars in every category (where enough data was collected), except value for money, where it gained an extra star. At £37 on average per pair – the cheapest in our survey – this seems to be a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.

Verdict:Very cheap, but not quite so cheerful

Mountain Warehouse

According to our survey, Mountain Warehouse boots are a poor choice even for walking over gentle lowlands, never mind treacherous mountain terrain. Awarded just two stars for water resistance, readers think you can’t count on Mountain Warehouse boots to stop your toes from getting damp. And with three stars in most other categories, its boots could still spoil your stroll on a dry day.

Verdict:With poor water resistance and fit, Mountain Warehouse walking boots should be avoided

Choosing the best walking boots: what to consider


Don’t let fiddly laces or ones that constantly come undone put you off an otherwise good pair of walking boots. Most retailers that sell walking boots will also stock spare laces, which you might prefer to the ones that come with the boots. You can also get spares online.

Ankle support

Walking boots should protect you from sprains. When trying on a pair, you should gently flex your ankle to test the support – the best boots are neither too rigid nor too loose.


Walking boots are harder to break in than walking shoes. Don’t assume that they will eventually adapt to your feet; the fit should be right before you leave the shop.


Walking boots can be heavy, and will get even heavier when wet. So it’s essential to think about this when trying them on; especially if you’re planning on wearing them over long distances.


Should you buy walking boots half a size bigger? ›

There needs to be enough room in your boot as your feet are likely to swell on long walks. If there is too much room to move your finger, a smaller size is needed. If there is too much room the boot will remain loose no matter how tight you tie your laces.

What should you look for in walking boots? ›

The tread on an all-purpose walking boot should be deep enough to get grip on wet and muddy paths, but not too aggressive as they may wobble about on rocks. Look for a walking boot with some sort of reinforced protection around the toe and the heel – there will be a time when you'll be glad you did…!

Which brand is best for walking shoes? ›

List of 17 Best Walking Shoe Brands in India
  • Derby Kicks.
  • Puma.
  • Nike.
  • Red Tape.
  • New Balance.
  • ASICS.
  • Skechers.
  • Sparx.
21 Sept 2022

Are Berghaus good walking boots? ›

Berghaus Hillmaster II GTX Women's

The boot is well-cushioned underfoot with a very flexible ankle area, so comfort is great from the box. The fit is spacious and I found them ideal for walking on easier terrain.

Should walking boots be tight or loose? ›

Walking boots should be snug and comfortable, with no space for the feet to move around in, but not too tight in order to allow them to remain breathable. When trying on boots, perhaps wear thicker socks than usual to keep in mind that you'll need additional space for hiking socks.

Should walking shoes be a size bigger? ›

Your walking shoes should be larger than your regular shoes because your feet may swell up to a full shoe size when you walk for over half an hour. Give up on shoe size shyness and get fitted correctly. You may find that your walking shoes are too big to wear around the office or home when you aren't walking.

Is it better for boots to be bigger or smaller? ›

As a basic guideline, it's preferable to get a slightly larger shoe-size boot than smaller shoe-size boots With the right pair of any boot type, your feet should feel snug.

Are Uggs good for walking? ›

Despite the incredible warmth and initial comfort the boots provide on a cold winter day, they provide little support for your feet. In fact, traditional UGG boots have no arch support at all. They are fine for lounging around the house, but not so comfortable for walking or standing for longer periods.

What is the difference between mens and womens walking boots? ›

The boot's width is the main difference between men's and women's hiking boots. Compared to the same men's boot, boot makers make women's boots wider in the forefoot and toe area. They make women's boot narrower in the heel. Usually, women also have shorter and narrower feet than men's feet.

What is the difference between a walking boot and a hiking boot? ›

Hiking boots are usually much sturdier and more durable than walking shoes. These boots have reinforced extra padding and may even have metal bars in the soles. This gives plenty of foot support and also reduces the chances of strain or bruising when hiking over rocky, rough or uneven terrain.

What size should you get in walking boots? ›

The rule of thumb when buying walking boots is that you should be able to fit a good finger width (1/2 inch) between the back of your leg and the shoe. Your footwear should not slide at all and there should be a bit of wiggle room at the front of the shoe for your toes.

What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend UK? ›

Podiatrist shoes recommended
  • Brooks.
  • Asics.
  • New Balance.
  • Rockport.
  • Merrell.
  • Ascent.
  • Mizuno.

What is the difference between walking and hiking shoes? ›

When it comes down to it, the main difference between hiking shoes and walking shoes is the level of protection and weight of the shoe. Typically, hiking shoes are meant for rough terrain. That means these types of shoes have thicker material, thicker soles, and more protection than walking shoes.

Should I size up in Berghaus walking boots? ›

They are easy to loosen up quickly. The grip and sturdiness was praised by many customers. While other shoes from Berghaus such as the Hillwalker II are said to run big, these are true to size, according to many happy users.

Are Brasher and Berghaus the same? ›

There are still an awful lot of people that either ring us or call into our showroom here in Somerset in search of the good old Brasher boots and shoes. It was a complete tragedy when, back in 1996, some bright spark decided to merge the Brasher brand with Berghaus and all of the lovely Brasher products disappeared.

Are Berghaus any good? ›

Berghaus jackets are worth buying if you are looking at hiking, camping and general outdoor activities. They are made with high-quality materials and have a number of technologies to keep the warmth in and the cold out along with waterproofing technologies.

How far can I walk in a walking boot? ›

How far can you walk in a walking boot? For some injuries, no weight-bearing is allowed with the walking boot (at least at the start of the rehab). But if your injury isn't too bad, you may be allowed to walk as much as you want with the walking boot.

How do you measure your foot for walking boots? ›

How to Size Your Foot and Find Hiking Boots Online || REI - YouTube

How many miles should walking shoes last? ›

"Many running and walking specialty dealers offer a rough guideline of 300-500 miles for a pair of shoes, but that's just a suggestion. Some people will find they can get 1,000 miles out of a pair of shoes, while others might prefer replacing them with 150 or 200 miles."

How tight should walking boot be? ›

It should be tight enough to restrict foot and ankle movement, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation.

Is it OK to use running shoes for walking? ›

Can running shoes be used as walking shoes? The short answer: yes. Running shoes and walking shoes have similar qualities that make them ideal for being active. While running shoes are designed to be durable for the rigorous demands of running, they are excellent as walking shoes, too.

Should you wear shoes half size bigger? ›

The only time that you could wear a shoe in a bigger size is when purchasing a sneaker but you should only go up about half a size. The reason for this is that our feet tend to swell because fluid accumulates due to gravity with prolonged standing and weight baring activities.

What is the difference between D and EE width? ›

What's the difference between D and EE boot width? D boots are considered standard men's boots, and EE are considered wide men's boots. E width is typically 1/4” wider than D, and EE is another 1/4” wider than that. So EE boots are generally 1/2” wider than D boots.

Is your boot size the same as your shoe size? ›

Your boot size will often not be the same as your shoe size, though for some people it will be. There are a few reasons for this. Partially, it has to do with the way that sizes are measured. Partially it has to do with the lasts that shoemakers use to make shoes.

Should you get work boots half size bigger? ›

Safety Toe shoes need to be fit about a half size larger than normal footwear. Since there is hard cap in shoe there is no stretch in toe box area. You do not want your toes touching the end of the safety shoe.

Why should you not wear socks with Ugg boots? ›

Wearing a sock can inhibit the wool from moulding effectively to your feet; thereby, somewhat limiting the effectiveness of weight-distribution, and decreasing support and cushioning levels.

Why do UGGs hurt my feet? ›

They lack structural support. Uggs have no arch support so it's likely that your feet will flatten inwards and change your gait. The strain in your feet from trying to not slide around in the wide toebox may cause pain in the sole of your feet and heels. It could even cause pain in the Achilles tendon.

Are mens boots wider than womens boots? ›

This is why a standard women's 8 is about 1.5 sizes smaller than a men's 8 and is normally made on a more narrow B width last, as opposed to a D width which is the standard men's “regular” width, and two widths wider than B.

What is the difference between mens and womens western boots? ›

What's The Difference Between Men's And Women's Cowboy Boots? Typically, women's cowboy boots come with a narrower heel as well as a taller arch than their men counterparts. Nowadays, cowboy boots are worn by both genders (men and women).

Do Salomon sneakers run true to size? ›

Salomon US sizes run true to size for a perfect fit right out of the box. No need to go up or down a size.

Are walking boots better than trainers? ›

As a general rule, if you're doing more casual, lightweight walking, then a pair of walking shoes should do the trick. However, if you're doing more intensive, longer-distance walking over challenging terrain, then walking boots are certainly the choice we would recommend – especially for the colder months.

What is the difference between trainers and walking shoes? ›

A flexible shoe means that it can move with your foot, allowing you to execute your workout with better form and posture, Marlin says. Another key difference between walking and cross-training shoes is lateral support, which keeps your ankle from rolling during side-to-side motions.

Should your toes touch the end of your boots? ›

You should be able to wiggle your toes inside the toe box (the front of the shoe). To see if you have enough room, slide your foot forward so your toes are just touching the end of the unlaced boot. In this position, you should have a finger's width (about ½") between the base of your heel and the boot.

How do you know if boots fit well? ›

How are boots supposed to fit? Boots should not be too loose or too tight on your foot. The best fit should be snug (but not tight) around the whole of your foot, with enough room to move your toes and a maximum of a quarter to a half-inch of slippage at the heel.

How do you know if your boots are too snug? ›

Generally speaking, there should be about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Another way to check this is to slip a finger between the heel of your foot and the heel of your shoe. There should be just enough space for your finger to fit nice and snugly.

Should you buy a size bigger in walking boots? ›

There needs to be enough room in your boot as your feet are likely to swell on long walks. If there is too much room to move your finger, a smaller size is needed. If there is too much room the boot will remain loose no matter how tight you tie your laces.

Should walking boots be tight or loose? ›

Walking boots should be snug and comfortable, with no space for the feet to move around in, but not too tight in order to allow them to remain breathable. When trying on boots, perhaps wear thicker socks than usual to keep in mind that you'll need additional space for hiking socks.

Should walking shoes be a size bigger? ›

Your walking shoes should be larger than your regular shoes because your feet may swell up to a full shoe size when you walk for over half an hour. Give up on shoe size shyness and get fitted correctly. You may find that your walking shoes are too big to wear around the office or home when you aren't walking.

What walking boots are made in the UK? ›

Altberg Walking Boots & Shoes

Altberg is the last remaining British Bootmaker manufacturing walking boots in the UK.

Is Merrell shoes a good brand? ›

Merrell hiking boots and hiking shoes also may be good-enough for budget-oriented hikers and casual hikers who mostly stick to well-maintained trails. But Merrell is not a good brand if you're after solid ankle support, reliable waterproofing, and overall quality.

Are Doc Martens good for walking? ›

Doc Martens are good for your feet thanks to their cushioned “AirWair” soles. They are comfortable and supportive when walking long distances. After the initial break in period (4 to 6 weeks) they are good for the comfort of your feet as the smooth leather molds to the shape of your feet.

What walking boots does Julia Bradbury? ›

Julia revealed she wears all kinds of boots due to the amount of walking she does, and recommends that people get theirs professionally fitted. One of the type of boots she wears is Salomons, which can be bought for around £100, with hiking boot prices ranging from £56 to £170.

How do you walk in a walking boot? ›

How to Wear & Walk in a Walking Boot - YouTube

Where are Merrell walking boots made? ›

During it's time with Karhu Merrells production factories were moved from Italy to Asia which reduced costs to make Merrell even more affordable, in 1988 Merrell topped $4 million in sales.

What are the best altberg boots? ›

The Warrior's are Altberg's flagship and best selling lightweight combat boot. The firm say the boot is ultra breathable with excellent drying out properties. They're made using Anfibio full grain leather, which makes them water repellent but not waterproof.

How long do Merrell hiking boots last? ›

How often should I replace my Merrell hiking shoes? In general, most hiking shoes should last you about 350-500 miles. Here are a few signs that let you know you're due for a new pair: If the traction isn't what it used to be because the tread and lugs are worn down.

Do Merrell boots run big or small? ›

A: They run large. I normally wear a size 7. With my Merrell shoes I wear a size 6. I have two pairs that are size 6 and they fit very well, they are not narrow.

What is the difference between Merrell Moab and siren? ›

For $5 more than the Siren Edge, the Moab gets the edge in durability with suede leather along the upper, wins out in grip with a similar Vibram outsole and deeper (5mm) lugs, and is more comfortable and well cushioned with a thicker and softer EVA midsole.

Are Doc Martens walking boots? ›

Are Doc Martens Good for Walking All Day? Doc Martens are okay for a full day of walking in the city so long as they're thoroughly broken in. But the tough leather that's used in Docs takes a long time to break in and your boots won't be very comfortable until that happens.

Should Doc Martens be tight or loose? ›

The boots should feel tight, but not uncomfortable. If the boot feels uncomfortable when you try it on, especially in the width, then it is too small. Docs will soften and stretch as you wear them in - You can check out our size guide for more information.

What jumpers does Julia Bradbury wear? ›

These treasures are clothing 'heirlooms'.
  • Eribe Alpine Sweater in Piccalilli.
  • Eribe Alpine Sweater in Lillypad worn by ITV's Julia Bradbury.
  • Eribe Alpine Hoody in Sugardrop worn by ITV's Julia Bradbury.
  • Eribe Alpine Sweater in Moonflower.

Who is Julia Bradbury husband? ›


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