Monday, 22 October 2012

Walking boots: 7 years on

Yesterday I braved a 12 mile walk around Leatherhead in Surrey, which turned into a washout due to the pouring rain, but my trusty 7 year old walking boots stood up to the bad weather as always. 
 
My chosen combination of boots and waterproof trousers were a complete blessing, after almost 5 hours walking in the pouring rain.  I was caked in mud but I was warm and dry in terms of my feet. 

Normally I don't plan for the rain in respect of my lower body and just venture out with my raincoat as a means of keeping the wet out.  That means I almost always get caught out by having non waterproof trousers and no gaiters, which leads to water getting in my boots; still no blisters though (touch wood!).

So now I'm looking for new hiking boots that will last me the next 7 years and honestly don't know where to start.

I purchased my current Columbia Vibram boots back at the start of 2005, ahead of my trip to Peru, Machu Picchu to be precise.  I trialled them out on a couple of lengthy walks in preparation for the trip and wearing them in... but even the first 10 miles (or so) they didn't give me blisters. 
 
To be honest, the only time I find potential blistering discomfort is when I wear normal (thinner) socks and not proper thick hiking socks, so I always ensure I have at least a couple of pairs of my hiking socks packed.
 
Experience has taught me that you really can't beat good footwear when it comes to hiking boots and parting with this pair is going to be really hard. 

Accompanying me on many a trip and on numerous walks as well as rescuing me in the bad snow during the winter... they will of course still have a place in my garage and make an appearance from time to time.

 
 
I will be scouting around for recommendations so all suggestions will be appreciated.  I have a straightforward criteria, as long as they are waterproof, support my ankles, are less clumpy and don't give me blisters, then I'm sure I will be just as happy with my new boots for the next 7 years. 
 
PS We clocked 43 geocaches so I'm now past the 1200 mark :).

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