I’m gonna come straight out and say it. Why are hiking boots so damn ugly? Do you really need them? Surely a semi-stylish pair of well- worn trainers can do the job. I’m not suggesting Isabel Marants but come on.
For our volunteer trip to Peru, my daughter and I have been given a list of suggested items to bring and one of them is the dreaded pair of hiking boots. While we are there, the plan is to go to Machu Picchu and possibly on a jungle tour, so its 50/50 if we are going to need them.
I began researching the damn boots and came across some interesting findings.
First of all, one problem is that is seems the hiking boot suppliers are anti-style. I found one site that confidently names itself ‘Best hiking boots pro’ and recommends NO STYLE to be considered at all. It says:
“The point when looking for your climbing boots, it’s extremely recommended that you don’t go for the stylish one rather than a durable and waterproof hiking boot.”
Did you know that women’s hiking boots are very different to the male boot de la hike?
“Apparently the distinction lays in the width and length and in addition the curve… An exceptional match of ladies’ trekking boots may as well keep your feet cosy and agreeable …”
Cosy and agreeable? I vividly remember the pain and suffering caused by new shoes, even the supposedly comfortable, safe options. I still have scars on my heels to prove it. Surely its as much of a risk buying a new pair of say, the Mammut T Advanced GTX® Women’s comfortable and secure all-day walking boots designed to suit the female foot and with the added fully-waterproof and breathable protection of GORE-TEX® Performance Comfort technology, as it is wearing a pair of comfy Converse One stars with a few holes in them.
However, I did find a subtle reference of style when I looked further but I would imagine the writer has been shot by now.
“When you were ready to select a couple that helps, you can feel free to pick a style and color that suits your temperament. Then again you can decide to match the color of your boots with your rucksack and other climbing apparatus. “
Don’t even get me started on rucksacks.
It seems that I am the minority, online anyway. Many ugly-shoe-loving consumers have taken the time to post gushing reviews about their trusty old footgear. Here are a few:
“Snug as a bug in a dug, warm, rugged, well made and look smashing on.”
“Very warm cosy”
“Well what can I say about these boots. Errm Fantastic, best boot iv ever put my foot in, to say they are leather, the brake in time is very very very good”
And this guy has his fashion finger on the pulse of the new seasons eyelet trends:
“Bought these boots today, very keenly priced, seems that the eyelets have been updated, I have applied wax before use and I will update as we go along.”
There even seems to be people taking special jobs to wear them more often:
“These are great boots. I have had 4 or 5 pairs over the past 10-12 years and wear them each day as I have an outdoor job.”
Here are a few interesting and “stylish” options from the more level-headed sites:
Independent top 10 best hiking boots:
Which.co.uk walking boot review:
Pinterest has a pinner who seems to trying to squeeze some style out of these boots – ‘hiking boots fashion’
Although this designer has gone a bit too far!
So, as far as hiking boots go its still a question mark for me. I will probably stick to a trusty pair of old trainers. The ones I walk the dog in everyday, bounce around in to the latest fitness craze and got me through that ten mile run years ago.
Saying that, a few images have got my attention so it’s not over yet. Maybe there is a new trend on the way.