With the change in season and a shift to wetter conditions, walkers often look at their trusty summer boots and wonder if they’ll be up for the job. Having comfortable, warm, dry feet is a wonderful thing at the end of a walk, and choosing the right footwear means you can enjoy safer hiking with fewer slips and trips. Here are a few ideas for making sure you have the right boots on your feet:-
Leather or fabric?
Even if your boots have a built-in ‘waterproof’ breathable membrane, this can still break down and leak, even after only a handful of outings. Fabric boots are lighter, but they are generally more flexible and so this waterproof layer suffers more trauma than it would in a stiffer boot (and leather boots tend to be stiffer). Of course, with any boots, you can re-apply a waterproofing coat to the surface, but in our own experience, this is more effectively done when using a leather boot.
A stiffer boot also has the advantage that it holds its shape when you are trying to get traction in muddy conditions, which means the sole ‘bites’ more effectively.
Our own preference, then, is for a lightweight fabric boot for summer, and a ‘3-season’ leather alternative for when damper conditions prevail. It does mean having to splash out on two pairs of boots instead of one, but over time this will save you money as you won’t trash your summer footwear.
(photo Dave Willis). https://www.skylinewalking.co.uk/autumnwalks