Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (2024)

Whether you’re searching for a walking boots for weekend walks, easy rambles or more challenging multi-day hikes, our team of walking experts have put a selection of the best boots available to the test.

For lighter summer options, head across to our list of the best walking shoes could have just what you're looking for, and for non-leather options see our vegan hiking boots review.

We’ve concentrated on mid-height boots. These all feature a cuff to support the ankle, but are cut lower than full-height hiking boots.

How to choose the right walking boot for you

A good pair of mid-height boots should be more than adequate for most walks in most conditions. They offer some clear advantages. Mid-height boots tend to be lighter, less restrictive, and cooler in hot weather than full-height boots.

And mid-height boots trump hiking shoes by offering ankle protection, and better overspilling water.

If you plan to walk regularly in harsh weather or in tricky conditions ­– such as boggy, steep or rocky ground ­– full-height boots might offer more protection from ankle twists. This is also an advantage if you plan to carry heavy loads. The high cuffs also offer more protection from water ingress when you have to cross deep puddles or shallow streams. Look out for our review of full-height hiking boots later in the year.

Best walking boots: at a glance

Best walking boots tested in 2024

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Gore-Tex

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (1)
  • Uppers: 50% recycled synthetic
  • Outsole: Continental, rubber
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex membrane
  • RRP: £200

Offering instant comfort, confident styling and a sporty, walking boot trainers feel, the Terrex Free Hiker 2 from German sports gear brand Adidas is a 2022 update on the original 2011 Free Hiker line.

Good for lighter wear across most terrains, they have slim uppers but chunky tread and good grip. Unique to the brand is the EVA foam 'boost' midsole, which gives bounce-back with every footstep. Great if you like a cosseted training feel, but not for you if you enjoy the feel of the track you're walking on.

Pros: Comfortable; bold styling

Cons: Poor trail feel

More details in our full-length review of the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Gore-Tex.

Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (2)
  • Uppers: Textile/synthetic upper
  • Outsole: Rubber Mud Contagrip
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • RRP: £165

Grippy, lightweight and sporty, Salomon's latest mid-height hiking boot is built for pace over easy to moderate terrain. Fit doesn't suit everyone – it's narrow and the lacing system might need some fiddling. A Gore-Tex lining is very waterproof, and the styling sporty.

Pros: Grippy, waterproof

Cons: Narrow fit

Read our full-length review for more details

Columbia Peakfreak II Mid Outdry

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (3)
  • Uppers: Polyester mesh
  • Outsole: Adapt Trax, rubber
  • Waterproofing: OutDry
  • RRP: £125

Perfect for year-round walks in moderate conditions, the Columbia PeakFreak II Mid Outdry offers good grip, excellent stability, responsive cushioning and bone-dry waterproofing – as long you don't submerge them in deep muddy puddles. The breathability is good in hot weather, making these hiking trainer boots a great choice for most seasons on light trails.

Pros:Waterproof; excellent lacing system for a good fit

Cons:In deep puddles water may leak over the relatively low tongue bellows.

Interested? Then read our full-length review of the Columbia Peakfreak II Mid Outdry.

Helly Hansen Traverse Hiking Boots

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (4)
  • Uppers: Synthetic fabric, 60% recycled materials
  • Outsole: HH Max Grip
  • Waterproofing: HellyTech (including waterproof membrane)
  • RRP: £180

Stable, secure, grippy, robust, lightweight and waterproof – this is a high-performance hiking boot for all terrains from the Norwegian gear brand.

They'll keep your feet dry in all conditions with the 'Helly Tech' waterproofing, and feel lightweight – hence their confusing description among some retailers as a 'sneaker'. Rest assured, these are robust hiking boots. A dry-feel lining wicks moisture away from the inside of the foot, which prevents that sweaty feeling in hot weather. Its grip in slimy mud was impressive.

Pros: Lightweight, waterproof and grippy

Cons: Rubbery appearance of uppers

If you want to know more, read our full-length review of the Helly Hansen Traverse Boot.

Hoka Anacapa Mid Gore-Tex

Buy for men from Hoka (£111.99), Alpinetrek (£103.97)

Buy for women from Hoka (£111.99), Ellis Brigham (128.00)

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (5)
  • Uppers: Partially recycled polyester fabric; waterproof nubuck leather
  • Outsole: Vibram Megagrip rubber with 5mm lug
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex membrane
  • RRP: £160

In the market for a pair of trainer walking boots for 2024? French brand Hoka began life as a sports shoe brand, and this informs its hiking shoe making favourably. The Anacapa includes Hoka's trademark cushioned mid-sole, designed to reduce footfall impact for trail runners, while the Nubuck leather around the ankle and midfoot provide support without bulkiness. A superb boot.

Pros: Comfortable, grippy, supportive

Cons: Possibly, durability – time will tell. Tests continue...

Want more info? Then read our full-length review of the Hoka Anacapa Mid Gore-Tex

inov-8 Rocl*te Pro G 400 GTX V2

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (6)
  • Uppers: Synthetic Ripstop textile
  • Midsole: Powerflow Max EVA foam
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex XCR membrane
  • RRP: £210

These handsome boots are waterproof and grippy, with chunky 6mm lugs. The outsoles contain graphene, which should make them more hard-wearing than most. The lacing system is simple and effective, helping to achieve a close fit.

They are comfortable, too, with a foam midsole designed for ‘energy return’ – or ‘bounce’ to the layperson. This is the boot’s key feature – do you enjoy the tiny spring the midsole provides with each step, or would you prefer more ‘trail feel’? Our reviewer marked the G 400 down for this, but it's a matter of taste, and you might feel differently.

Pros:Grippy and durable outsoles, good lacing system, secure fit, waterproof

Cons:Foam midsole removes 'trail feel'

Intrigued? Then check out our full-length review of the inov-8 Rocl*te G 400 V2.

Scarpa Mescalito TRK GTX

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (7)
  • Uppers: Suede
  • Outsole: Vibram XS Trek Evo
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex membrane
  • RRP: £235

Lightweight, comfortable and sturdy, Scarpa Mescalito TRK GTX boots offer good protection for long hikes in wet conditions — a great investment for 2024. A suede upper and Gore-Tex lining offer excellent waterproofing, while Vibram's new XS Trek Evo outsole offers solid grip, if a little stiff.

Pros: Lightweight, waterproof, grippy

Cons: Cost, weight

Read more in our full-length review of the Scarpa Mescalito TRK GTX.

Sprayway women's Iona Mid HydroDRY

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (8)
  • Uppers: Suede and mesh
  • Outsole: Sprayway's own SW055 rubber compound
  • Waterproofing: Sprayway's down HydroDRY breathable membrane
  • RRP: £90

Comfortable, lightweight and responsive, the Iona Mid HydroDRY boot are a fantastic option for beginner hikers. Priced at less than £100, they'll appeal to those on a budget, and offered comfort straight out of the box.

Beneath the suede and synthetic mesh uppers, the HydroDRY lining stands up to moderate rain, but not prolonged soaking. Perfect for light hikes.

Pros: Affordable, lightweight, comfortable

Cons: Not waterproof in heavy rain; durability

For more info, read our full-length review of the Sprayway Iona Mid HydroDRY boots.

Haglöfs Duality AT1 GT

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (9)
  • Uppers: Leather approved by Leather Working Group
  • Outsole: Includes abrasion-resistant rubber on the outsole heel for durability
  • Waterproofing: GORE-TEX Extended Comfort
  • RRP: £240

The Duality’s contemporary looks belie their performance level. An apparently thin outsole features grippy lugs. The boots come with a double set of removable midsoles – one that supplies extra support on hard and rocky trails, especially when carrying a backpack, and another and lighter pair for more casual outings, when you want a relaxed fit.

Other features include a high-quality leather upper with an integrated Gore-Tex membrane. Made from responsibly-sourced materials, the Duality is expensive, but offers the functionality of two pairs of boots, and the midsoles can be replaced without buying new shoes.

Pros: Comfortable, versatile, waterproof, lightweight

Cons: Price

Find out more in our full-length review of the Haglöfs Duality AT1 GT hiking boot.

Keen NXIS Explorer Waterproof Boots

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (10)
  • Uppers: Premium nubuck leather upper
  • Outsole: Rubber outsole
  • Waterproofing: Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
  • RRP: €170

Keen's NXIS Explorer Waterproof Boots are an excellent choice for three-season walking in the UK, particularly if you’re someone who likes to move quickly and nimbly.

On test, the boots were comfortable straight out of the box, and we like the boot's natural appearance. The rubber outsole has 4mm multi-directional lugs, which offers decent traction, making these boots a solid go-to for steep inclines and wet conditions. DG

Pros: Good traction, light, well cushioned and spacious

Cons: May not suit tough winter conditions

Read our full review of the Keen NXIS Explorer Waterproof Boots.

Scarpa Rush TRK GTX

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (11)
  • Uppers: 1.6mm–1.8 mm suede and fabric
  • Outsole: Presa
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex membrane
  • RRP: £185

In the Rush boot, mountain-savvy brand Scarpa has used lightweight materials and technical innovations to make a boot that makes long hikes as comfortable as short strolls. The Presa outsole has high-performance grip thanks to its chunky lugs and the sole boasts five shock-absorbing areas and domes for additional support.

The boot is reliably rigid, with good toe protection for rocky terrain. The upper is made from abrasion-resistant leather, lined with a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing and breathability. And at 555g, it's nice and light. PK

Pros: Grippy, comfortable, lightweight

Cons: Some might find them bulky

Read our full review of the Scarpa Rush TRK GTX.

Keen Men’s Pyrenees walking boot

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (12)
  • Uppers: Waterproof, premium leather upper
  • Outsole: Rubber outsole
  • Waterproofing: Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
  • RRP: £160.00

The all-leather Keen Pyrenees walking boot performed well in our 2024 test, providing good protection and support around the ankle and toe on a range of terrains. They're a bit on the boxy side, and they could benefit from some additional cushioning, but these boots will suit anyone looking for a strong yet light (ish) boot for both day walks and multi-day walks. DG

Pros: Good ankle support, sound protection around the toes, light for its size and good traction

Cons: Feel a bit boxy, not as much cushioning as other boots on the market

Read the full review of the Keen Men’s Pyrenees walking boot.

Keen Targhee iii Mid WP

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (13)
  • Uppers: Leather and mesh
  • Outsole: Keen All-Terrain rubber, with 4mm lugs
  • Waterproofing: Keen.Dry breathable membrane
  • RRP: £140

If you're looking for an affordable fair-weather walking boot that's extremely comfortable, the Targhee iii might be for you. When tested in the Swiss Alps on a two-week hike, its All-Terrain rubber outsole offered excellent grip on wet paths, grass and scree slopes. Its dry breathable membrane allows vapour to leave the boot – welcome in hot weather, but not brilliant in the rain. The Targhee iii's comfort levels are thanks to its Metatomical Footbed, which supports the arches, and dual-density EVA insoles that soften the impact of the trail. PK

Pros: Competitive price, comfortable

Cons: Not fully waterproof

Mammut Ducan Mid GTX

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (14)
  • Uppers: Double Layer Engineered Mesh (synthetic)
  • Outsole: Vibram XS Trek
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex lined
  • RRP: £170

Sporty, comfortable and protective, the zippy Mammut Ducan Mid GTX boots are lightweight and grippy in the field. They have a substantial outsole and toecap and feel lighter than their 1.2kg on the trail, being responsive and stable.

The uppers are made of an engineered mesh, reinforced with padding. There's no separate tongue – just a single piece of upper that underlaps the lacing, and an elasticated layer of Gore Tex membrane that – very effectively – stops the rain soaking in. A highly versatile boot that's suitable for all manner of walks, including fast hiking and backpacking. PK

Pros: Waterproof, versatile

Cons: Weight, though they do feel lighter

Vivobarefoot Tracker FG

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (15)
  • Uppers: Leather
  • Outsole: Firm ground sticky rubber with 3mm lugs
  • Waterproofing: Hydroguard waterproof and breathable membrane
  • RRP: £190

If you’re looking for a walking boot with a trail feel, Vivobarefoot’s Tracker FG might be right for you. The sole is thin, flexible and completely flat, with no drop between the heel and toe, giving you a close connection to the terrain. There’s also plenty of room in the toe box for your feet to spread out comfortably.

Despite the multi-directional lugs, the sole can be a little slippery on muddy ground, so these boots are best kept for dry summer walks.

Pros: Trail feel, lightweight, durable

Cons: Limited grip and cushioning

Read our full review of the Tracker FG for more details.

Berghaus Fellmaster Ridge GTX

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (16)
  • Uppers: Nubuck
  • Outsole: Anti-clogging Vibram
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex membrane
  • RRP: £170

These smart walking boots are crafted with nubuck uppers, combined with a Gore-Tex lining for a 100% waterproof finish. They have a high collar for extra support at the ankle and while they have a bulkier sole than other boots we’ve tested, they feel pretty light and have a super soft footbed.

We found these boots to be fairly spacious, so they’d suit those with regular or wide feet.

Pros: Waterproof, lightweight, supportive

Cons: High collar may be uncomfortable

We've written more in our full-length review of the Berghaus Fellmaster Ridge GTX boots.

Keen Circadia Waterproof

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (17)
  • Uppers: leather
  • Outsole: Keen.Fusion rubber, 5mm multi-directional lugs
  • Waterproofing: Keen.Dry membrane
  • RRP: £114.99

Made with durable leather uppers and reinforced toe caps, Keen’s Circadia boots should stand the test of time - and as you can usually find them on sale for under £100, they offer good value for money when it comes to cost per wear.

Having tested the Keen Circadia in a range of different conditions, we were impressed with their highly waterproof membrane and the soft cushioning, which envelopes the foot when you first put the boots on. The substantial 5mm rubber lugs provide ample grip, but the chunky design does compromise the feel of the boot. It’s bulky and heavy, so can feel a little awkward on the move.

Pros: Substantial protection, well cushioned, spacious, competitive price

Cons: Bulky, heavier than average

Find out more in our full review of Keen's Circadia boots.

Brandecosse Capriolo

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (18)
  • Uppers: Italian suede
  • Outsole: Vibram Friction
  • Waterproofing: Sympatex H2Out linings
  • RRP: £199

Brandecosse’s Capriolo boot is instantly recognisable for its old-school looks. With its low-profile design, rubber toecap and Italian suede upper, it’s smart enough to wear to the pub and on the high street, as well as on countryside walks. Where the boot’s shallow lugs lend versatility, they do limit cushioning and traction on slippery mud. The Capriolo has a trail feel, so we’d recommend it for short to moderate walks, as opposed to five-mile-plus treks, especially if you’re carrying a heavy pack.

Thanks to the lacing, which stretches almost as far as the toecap, you can get a tight fit with these boots – they might be a little too snug for anyone with wide feet.

Pros: High-quality finish, retro styling, low profile

Cons: Shallow lugs, limited cushioning on the forefoot

Read our full review of the Capriolo walking boot.

Altberg Fremington

Buy for men from Altberg
Buy for women from Altberg

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (19)
  • Uppers: Full-grain Anfibio leather
  • Outsole: Vibram – hard-wearing and replaceable (Alberg will re-sole)
  • Waterproofing: Sympatex lining
  • RRP: £209.99

Hardy, watertight and surprisingly comfortable, the classic Fremington leather boot from Yorkshire copes well with even tough hill walks all year round. High-quality leather uppers and breathable membrane ensure its waterproofing, which the Vibram sole supply a tread that can handle any British hill and the padded ankle cuff reduces rubbing.

It's available in a range of widths to suit narrow and wide feet and while it's sold as a 2-3-season boot, I'd recommend it for British winters, too.

Pros: Durable, waterproof

Cons: Weight; leather uppers are tough but require maintenance

Also consider...

Here are some other walking boots we've tested for 2024.

Muck Originals Pull-on Short Boots

Buy from Muckboots (£130.00)

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (20)

These 100% waterproof boots are a great choice for short strolls, dog walks and days spent gardening.

Read our full review of the Muck Originals Pull-on Short Boots.

Palladium x Finisterre Pallatrooper Hiker WP boot

Buy from Palladium (£170.00)

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (21)

A chunky pair of boots with excellent grip - ideal for short walks in cold, wet weather.

For more detail, check out our review of the Palladium x Finisterre Pallatrooper Hiker WP+ boot.

Find more great footwear for hiking in our guide to the best walking shoes to buy right now.

Reviews by Fergus Collins (FC), Daniel Graham (DG), Patrick Kinsella (PK), Carys Matthews (CM), Joe Pontin (JP)

Best walking boots for men and women, tested in 2024: hit the hills in comfort (2024)


Which boots are most comfortable for walking? ›

Martens boots are not only stylish, they're also incredibly comfortable. In fact, we're surprised at how comfortable they are straight out of the box—which isn't always the case for leather boots. They fit true to size and have a roomy toe box with enough space for a thick sock on colder days.

What are the most cushioned walking boots? ›

  • Women. Altra Timp Hiker GTX Womens Hiking Boots Navy. ...
  • Women. Altra Timp Hiker GTX Womens Hiking Boots Black. ...
  • Men. Altra Timp Hiker GTX Mens Hiking Boots Black. ...
  • Unisex. VJ Sport Speedhiker Hiking Shoe Black. ...
  • Women. Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 WP Womens Waterproof Hiking Boots Ocean/Blue. ...
  • Men. ...
  • Women. ...
  • Men.

Can a woman wear men's walking boots? ›

So can a woman wear men's boots? Of course, women can wear men's boots! The only thing you need to consider is sizing because, as we all know, men's sizes are larger than women's equivalent - i.e. a men's size 8 is larger than a women's size 8. Keep reading to find out how to select the right size.

What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend? ›

Cushion Neutral
  • HOKA. Bondi. Stinson. Speedgoat.
  • Saucony. Ride.
  • TOPO. Ultrafly 5mm drop.
  • New Balance. 890. 990. 1080.
  • Mizuno. Wave Rider. Wave Creation.
  • Nike. Pegasus. Vomero. React Infinity Flyknit.

What brand of boots is most comfortable? ›

Waterproof Timberlands, which are wildly popular in the boot world for a reason. They're comfy, timeless, and super durable.

Is Merrell good for walking? ›

Merrell is a longtime leader in hiking footwear, and their recently updated Moab Speed 2 Low brings the much-loved Moab (above) into the modern era. The Speed 2 Low features a lightweight and cushioned design that will appeal to day hikers and weight-conscious backpackers alike.

What is the most comfortable women's walking boot? ›

Best women's walking boots 2024 | Tested and reviewed
  • AKU Trekker Lite III GTX.
  • Grisport Lady Glide.
  • The North Face Women's Verto GORE-TEX Alpine Mid Boots.
  • Oboz Women's Bridger Mid B-Dry.
  • Meindl Bhutan Lady MFS Walking Boot.
  • Hanwag Banks Lady GTX.
  • Vivobarefoot Tracker II FG Women's.
  • Muck Boot Women's Apex Lace-Up.
May 20, 2024

Should walking boots be a size bigger? ›

Your feet also change size and shape depending on the time of day and the seasons, so it's worth looking for a pair of walking shoes or hiking boots that are a half size larger to give yourself some extra room. You can always use thicker socks or a larger insole to fill up space.

Should walking boots be tight or loose? ›

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.

Which shoes are best for hilly areas? ›

In this instance, a lightweight walking shoe or trail runner will be more than enough. The other has steep rocky sections, snow-covered routes and even a glacier to contend with. Your lightweight shoes won't suffice here. You'll need stiff construction boots that offer a ton of traction and support.

Is Merrell or Keen better? ›

Keen and Merrell shoes both excel in different aspects. Keen prioritizes roomy, comfortable fits and robust toe protection, making them ideal for those who value foot comfort and durability. On the other hand, Merrell offers a wide range of styles, often with lighter designs catering to various preferences.

Is Hoka a good walking shoe? ›

HOKA walking shoes are a top choice for anyone—and lucky for you, they come in a wide range of styles that are ideal for just that. To show you what I mean, scroll on to shop our top picks and read more about what makes them the best for walking.

Are boots comfortable for long walks? ›

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 boots have the most cushion? ›

We highly recommend Topo's Athletic Trailventure 2 hiking boots for their ultra-cushioned footbed and just-right fit. The shoe is designed to have the fit of a running shoe with extra support in the higher ankle shaft, and we felt that as soon as we put on the lightweight boot.


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