Thinking of getting into some Winter walking but not sure which boots to get? Here is a rough guide to selecting the right walking boot.
Two things to bear in mind. Firstly, make sure there is some wiggle room for your toes. Your feet will expand as you walk so boots that are too tight may cause blisters or damage to your toenails. Secondly, bear in mind that you tend to wear thicker socks when walking in Winter, so make sure you have the right thickness of sock with you when trying them on
Obviously grip in the Winter is important, but that is a given for most Winter boots. If you are going full on hardcore and heading for the hills, make sure your boots are compatible with crampons.
The heavier the boot, the more protection offered. However, this can also increase fatigue in the feet and legs. If you are just looking to do local walks, then a light boot with decent insulation is probably more practical.
Waterproofing and ventilation
Again, this is probably obvious for the Winter, but poor ventilation in a boot can increase moisture from sweating inside the boot which can lead to wet feet even if the waterproofing keeps outside moisture from getting in. Gore Tex type boots usually cover both bases here.
It is important that your boots provide protection, not just against wet and cold, but also against damage from rocks stones and tree roots etc, as well as having a decent level of ankle support to protect against sprains and strains.