These Boots Were Made For Walking: A Hiking Boot Review

When you are travelling to lots of different places, or even just getting out and about on local hikes, one of the most important things to consider is what you put on your feet.

Your feet are (hopefully) going to carry you many miles and getting the right shoes is one of the most important things that you can do.

My first pair of proper walking shoes for travelling (excluding the big clunky ones that I had in school for an activity weekend trip) was a pair of Timberland Ledge Sport shoes. They cost around £50 and were a good sturdy shoe.

Lightweight and great for hiking in hot weather, they did the trick as a good, entry level pair of hiking shoes. As they were so light, they were great for not adding additional weight to any baggage allowance. With Vibram soles, they had good grip on slippy or rock surfaces, giving a little bit of extra traction when needed. Although they were incredibly comfy (walking on a cloud is the phrase that springs to mind), they are probably best for sticking to walks along well-defined trails as their soles aren’t as hard wearing or chunky enough to cope with anything too rocky.

You don’t need a complicated hiking shoe for long and sandy trails, just something comfy to help with the mileage.

I found that after a year or so, the soles had worn down quickly and the grip on the bottom was almost completely gone. They were also fairly low cut shoes, which didn’t deliver on the ankle support. If you are planning to walk around in places with lots of uneven ground, these are not the shoes for you. That being said, I still have my original pair and will drag them out on occasion for walks around local parks. You could say that this pair are in semi-retirement.

My current ‘everyday’ hiking boots are a pair of Anatom V2‘s. This was a brand that I hadn’t really heard of until I started to do my research. Located in Scotland, they test their boots on the local hills and fells, making them a sturdy choice for anyone aiming to do their walking on rough, uneven ground. The high supports on these boots have saved me from going over on my ankle too many times to count – something that was invaluable on the rocky paths through Zion National Park. You can read about our adventures in Zion here.

The rocky terrain of Zion meant that some sturdy ankle support was essential!

Again, these boots have Vibram soles which were a little thicker than my last pair. This meant that the grip has stayed fairly deep and they were perfect for hiking up the steep granite in Half Dome, Yosemite – even when it was covered in water and slippy as hell!

The waterfalls along the paths in Yosemite made the granite slippy, so Vibram soles Boots were a must.

It’s useful to note that these boots did take some time to wear in. They were fairly stiff across the toes (great for protecting the feet but not so great for bending toes!) and they took some time to really feel comfortable. They are fairly lightweight boots and this means that they are travel friendly.

Wandering Beeb favours the SCARPA R-Evo GTX boots. When I asked him what he liked in particular about them, I was told, “they are good for walking in”, which I took to mean that they were comfortable! (He’s a man of few words!). He did say that his toes sometimes go numb when he walks for some distance, but then again, he has a back problem and he is known to have a numb toe when sat on the couch so I don’t think that we can blame the boots for that!

Sometimes, an everyday pair of hiking boots aren’t always suitable for when the weather changes and the temperature drops. Hiking in snow or ice can be a challenge which requires a specific bit of kit. This brings me on to my favourite pair of hiking boots: my North Face Chillkat II Snow Boots. Let’s get one thing clear- these boots are heavy!! They are very chunky and your suitcase will not thank you for packing these on your next trip – it would be far better to wear them on the plane than let them add to your precious luggage allowance. The weight of these boots is probably their only down-side. These boots are incredible! Firstly they are lined with an internal sock which is fairly thick and serves two main purposes: the first being to cushion feet on long walks. I mentioned walking on a cloud earlier – this is like walking on a cloud, on a trampoline, with pillows on your feet. They are that comfy.

The second purpose to the inner lining is to provide a thermal layer to keep heat in, which works perfectly, making feet feel toasty on the coldest of hikes. They are actually designed to withstand temperatures of -32c and although I’ve never faced such extreme temperatures, I can believe that these boots would stand up to the challenge, given how warm they are.

Warm hiking boots were needed for snowy hikes - keeping your feet warm in cold temperatures is a must.

Vibram soles create a hardy, non-slip grip on the bottom of the boots giving great traction on icy ground. I actually dig these boots out each winter to wear on my walk into work – they make easy going of the ice / snow and keep me warm on my commute. The high-cut, thick padding on the top of the boot helps to keep warmth in and creates a cushioned edge, preventing any rubbing on long walks. The bottom of these boots is almost like a Wellington boot – great for wet weather walking. These boots have made sure that I’ve stayed warm, dry and safe on many snowy hikes (read about our hike in the snow-filled Lake District here) and after 4 years, they are still going strong.

Choosing a new hiking boot shouldn’t be difficult but there are some things you should consider. Our top tips might be handy to keep in mind:

  • Think about what you will be using the hiking boot for – cold weather walking? Snow and ice? Summer hikes? Trails or rocky surfaces? Know where you will be mostly hiking and then buy your boot to suit the terrain.
  • Think about comfort not style – I’m a bit of a magpie and often aim for the pretty item, however I’ve learned that the pretty boots in the shop might not be very comfortable after five hours of walking. Trust me, comfort must come first!
  • Look out for Vibram soles – nothing else really compares and you’ll be thankful for it when it stops you slipping on rocky paths
  • Where will you be using your boots? If you are planning to travel by air, lightweight boots might be more luggage friendly.
  • Try your boots on in a shop first before ordering. Good hiking shops often have little ramps and different terrain on which to try out your boots. This gives you a good sense of how the boot performs on different types of ground. Even if you are going to buy over the internet, try and visit a shop to try them on first.

Happy walking! Xx

Travel Tip: Get the Tent Out!

Travel tips from

When we first started to travel, I was not a camping fan. I dislike bugs, being cold and mud – so it was no surprise that I’d rather stay in a comfy, warm hotel. However, on our first trip to a National Park in the USA, I was persuaded to give it a go. I’m so glad that I did! It was the best part of our trip, with nights around the campfire firmly cemented in my memory.

One of the main reasons I was happy to give it a go was for the cost. Accommodation is one of the most expensive elements of travelling. Camping can help with that. With pitch costs of around $26 per night in Wawona, Yosemite, camping can cut your accommodation costs in half.


When we first travelled to Yosemite and Tahoe, we had no clue about what tent to get and we didn’t want to have to pay extra to fly the tent over to our destination. This meant that we visited Kmart on our first day in the USA and, after much deliberation, we ended up buying a tent that was probably more suited to a backyard sleep over than a week or so in a couple of National Parks. Our main selection criteria was that it was big enough for three of us and had a sewn-in ground sheet (I refused to camp of there was a chance that spiders could crawl into my bed – ugh). We also ended up with sleeping bags that were fairly thin, and in one person’s case – didn’t come up past their chest! To be fair, the tent and the sleeping bags did their job – they were cheep and cheerful (we were not going to pay to fly them back to England and so they would be given away at the end of our trip) and they kept us clean and dry, however, they weren’t really designed for the cold nights of Yosemite.

Learning from our first experience, the next time we camped, we purchased a huge four-man tent in the UK and counted this as one of our bags, splitting the rest of our gear between the baggage allowance for the remaining three people in our party. This actually worked out far cheaper and meant that we had a sturdy, well-made tent for our adventures. Although there was lots of room in this tent (we could fit in four large airbeds!), it took four people, a good thirty minutes and the tips of one of my fingers to put up.

The big tent is great, particularly for camping trips on the UK but it only works out cheaper to take abroad if there are a few of you with whom you can split the luggage. So what do we do if it’s just me and Wandering Beeb? We did a huge amount of research and purchased a much smaller tent. We ended up with a MSR Elixir 3 tent.


This little tent is a beauty! Firstly, it looks the business – it’s fairly low to the ground and has a curved design, giving you lots of head room whilst feeling really airy. The ground sheet is sewn-in and the two doors are well-sealed to prevent any unwanted visitors or rain getting in. Although there is a two-man version of the tent, we were sensible to go for the three-man option to get a little extra room as it’s a very snug inside. It’s small, geometric design made it really sturdy and it was unbelievably easy to put up. Usually there is a lot of swearing and sore fingers when we camp – not in this case as it’s easy enough for one person to put it up in about 10 minutes – winner!! Even better, as it’s so lightweight and can be split up into two small bags, we were able to fit it in with our usual luggage allowance, meaning that we didn’t incur any extra charges.


One of the best things about this tent had to be the option to remove the outer layer and look up through the mesh panels at the stars. The Yosemite night sky is one of the most beautiful sights we have ever seen and to be able to look up at the stars from the comfort of our sleeping bags was incredible – something you would absolutely miss out on in a hotel.

As well as incredible sights, camping brings you together as travellers like nothing else. There is something about a good campfire and nights huddled round a torch that bond you in a way nothing else can.

What tent do you use? Any good recommendations? Tell us in the comments!