Boot Recomendations

I know this is asking a lot and I’ll get conflicting advice, but I’m in need of some new boots.

The last 2 days activating have left me with blisters and sore feet.
On the rocky sections the sole was no where near stiff enough and conversely on the soft grassy descent of Corndon Hill I ended up on my rear end.

I’m looking for something all round that can cope with typical Welsh upland country.
That will include stony rocky paths, heather, bracken, tussocky grass, bog fests and mud baths.

They obviously need to be waterproof and tough.
I don’t expect to be doing anything that needs crampons, it’s outside my comfort zone, but they will be used in winter and should be OK for some easy scrambling (like getting to the trig point of Stiperstones).

I can feel a trip to Cotswold Outdoor coming on but has anyone personal recommendations, either make or model?


In reply to G4ISJ:

Hi Peter

You will probably get the best advice here:

I see that Elecraft does a good line of “boots”…

73 Richard G3CWI

In reply to G4ISJ:

I’ve had/have 3 pairs of boots since starting SOTA.

Berghaus Explorer IV: Lasted 18months till the Goretex failed. Very comfortable, tread quite hardwearing, not very stiff.

When they failed I got a pair of Meindl Burma Pro MFS leather boots. These are 4.5 years old and there is another 4.5 years wear in the sole. The Goretex is still fine. They were feet killers after 5km until I changed the insoles. Now they’re fine and I tend to use these only in the late-Autumn to late-Spring. Very stiff sole but only a 3 season boot.

I acquired a pair of Asolo Flames cheap. Supremely comfy and lighter than the Meindl. Summer/good weather boot of choice for me. But the tread is very,very soft and is just about gone after 2.25 years of use. Goretex is OK still. Stiff sole for a fabric boot.

I’d buy Asolo Flame again if they were cheap but they do not last. Not good value for money at the full price. Meindl’s are excellent but heavy and expensive and can be killers till you get the right insole.



In reply to G4ISJ:
Well, in the last few weeks I have been up to the trig point of Stiperstones (not SOTA related) in these:

I have also walked down Corndon in them without slipping! They are more waterproof than expected, as proven walking through the bog below Arenig Fawr.
(plus Moel Siabod, Arran Fawddwy etc etc)
So far, they have covered around 200 miles and are very comfortable, with little sign of wear. My last pair - can’t remember the make - lasted for 20 years and many miles, but although the tread didn’t wear away, it did harden over the years which made walking on hard surfaces less pleasant. I decided to go for cheaper boots and replace them more often…


In reply to G4ISJ:
Hi Pete

I’m using Lowa Gore-Tex but I can’t find a specific model name on the boot. It’s very lightweight, waterproof sturdy enough and never had any issues in GW/SW. Inside it looks like white sheep skin. It’s almost like walking in slippers :slight_smile:

shows a part of it.

73 de Dominik, HB9CZF (in GW/SW over XMAS/NY again)

In reply to G4ISJ:
Hi Pete, I am using Lowa Mountain GTX, they are superb winter boots & are very waterproof. When they were new it was like walking on 2 planks of wood but after suitable break-in I have found them extremely comfortable. I think these boots represent great value for money, they are used by a lot of military and police personnel & if you look online there are numerous reviews.


Victor GI4ONL

In reply to GI4ONL:
Altberg, excellent boots. Excellent fitting service or made to measure. Not expensive overall. Take a trip upto their factory in the Dales.

Need a pair of nailed boots for next winter.

In reply to G4ISJ:
My Meindl Borneo boots were bought around 2003 and I only threw them away last year after the soles came off. I used them extensively around Snowdonia in all weathers as well as day hikes on the Appalachian trail. I Found them very comfortable and water proof.

I’ll have a look in Cotswold Outdoor in Betws on the weekend to see what else there is, but will probably buy another pair of Meindle Borneo boots.

Roger MW0IDX

In reply to G4ISJ:
As others have said - Meindl are a good boot for UK upland conditions.

I’ve had probably six pairs of Burma’s over the years. No reflection on the boots, I just wear them a lot and when the sole is worn out I usually replace them. I’ve tried resoling once with limited success.

Interestingly I am now using a pair of Army Surplus (hardly worn) German Army Mountain boots made by… Meindl.

Quite heavy but sturdy and will take a step in crampon.

However, as has also been said the insole makes a big difference. I immediately bin the ones that come with the boots and put in a pair of Superfeet. Another £30 or so, but well worth it.


In reply to G4AZS:

Another vote for Scarpa - the Ranger GTX in my case. Heavy, but a really good mountain boot.

In reply to G4ERP:

Yes, Scarpa Ranger a very comfortable boot for average use. I’ve worn two pairs out (about 18 months use) before I tried Meindl with Memory Foam (I think Burma). The sole came away from the upper after 8 months - they were sent back to the factory for glueing but it didn’t last. Other folks I know swear by them.

I discovered Altberg who have factories in Richmond (North Yorkshire with factory shop) and Italy. I have Altberg Mallerstangs for winter / tough use and Altberg Fremington for summer more lightweight walking. Mallerstangs in their third year Fremingtons in their second. Both leather and lined with Sympatex - a cheaper version of Goretex. I swear by them. Mallerstangs wearing out now, but I will be buying another pair. They will take a crampon or similar as they have a lip on the back above the heel.

73 Phil

Meindl Borneo for me - still going but not much grip now and have got used to having dry feet when bog hopping after using GTX! The Burma GTX model didn’t fit me.

Had to change to lighter Scarpa Terra GTX post ankle fracture.

Recent outings I’ve been using Scarpa Delta GTX. I intended to get some Altbergs but found the Delta fitted well and I needed them quickly.

After trying every make & model in all shops in Chester & Betws-y-coed - the Borneo at the time was the only one that fitted me comfortably.

This time it was the Scarpa Delta - the Ranger didn’t work for me.

At the end of the day by all means listen to recommendations but get the ones that work best for your feet!


Goodness, I must be tight! I’m still on my first pair of boots that I bought when I started with SOTA in 2004.

I went to Ambleside and spent a day trying on boots and talking to shop staff. I ended up buying a pair of Scarpa SL M3s. The boots are heavy for summer use but there is no lining so they don’t feel over hot like some lined boots do. The boots fend off water very well, I can’t say I’ve never suffered wet feet in them, but then again I’ve had very wet feet in event lined boots too. The problem with lined boots is that once wet they seem to take weeks to properly dry out, much longer than unlined boots.

73, Colin

In reply to G4ISJ:
Likewise Peter. The Brasher Hillmasters that I’ve used throughout SOTA are wearing out so the tread is somewhat flattened and tending to let in water. My neglect of them does not help. Nor memories of a very bad fall in 2009 in them.
This is an excellent list of possibilities but my boot money went on a new washing machine instead! My son Tom M6GGZ has the same size feet as me at present and chose a pair of High Ridge Corrie boots in Go Outdoors for under £70. He lent them to me and I climbed the Glyders and Tryfan in them - most satisfactory.

Housebound tomorrow on my day off - drat - the forecast for heavy rain and poor visibility has deterred me from activating Cyrniau Nod. Not worth the Diesel for miserable conditions.

New boots next year!!

David M0YDH

In reply to M1BUU:

Goodness, I must be tight! I’m still on my first pair of boots that I bought >when I started with SOTA in 2004.

I have a pair of alpine boots that I bought somewhere around 1978, the type with a metal plate in the sole to help with climbing and cramponing. They are still good though I rarely use them now. They ought to be good, they cost nearly £100 35 years ago, but I have not lasted as well and rarely do anything harder than a grade I scramble.

For ordinary walking go for comfort, but for steep ground, scree or scrambling the stiffer the sole of the boot the safer you will feel. With a boot that has a full plate (not that many would go for that) you can lodge the tip of the sole on a ledge no more than 3 mm deep and stand up on it as if it is a step where ordinary boots will slide off. Admittedly you will have to learn to walk with such stiff boots but it is worthwhile!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G4ISJ:

For the nordics Haglofs boots. For example Haglofs Gryms. Though some hikers in OH-land prefer rubber boots (Nokia etc).

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

I started off in 2006 with a pair of unbranded boots from a local retail outlet. These were next to useless on upland hills and I suffered wet feet on many a winter outing. Definitely a case of you pay your money, you get what you get…

In March 2008 I replaced them with a pair of Kayland Contact 1000 boots, breaking them in on the walk up Plynlimon GW/MW-001 followed by two more summits during the day. From the start they were very comfortable and I have never had a blister from them. They are still going strong, though their waterproofing is much reduced on what it was and the soles are getting rather worn after over 300 summits and many local walks.

Currently I use a pair of Berghaus Kibo boots, selected partly for their high level of insulation. I suffer badly from cold feet, so I bought them a size above my normal boot size and I wear three pairs of socks for even more insulation. Again, these boots have never caused blisters and are always comfortable. I wouldn’t have considered Berghaus, but I read a report on these 4 season B2 grade boots and they came out highly recommended. The downside is their weight - a hefty 2.1 kg the pair (size 46). I don’t regard them as a replacement for the Kaylands, but as an alternative.

As to what I will buy when I replace the Kaylands, well Scarpa, Meindl and Brasher will all be front runners… but I’m always open to looking for a bargain. :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G4OIG:

" … bought them a size above my normal boot size and I wear three pairs of socks for even more insulation. Again, these boots have never caused blisters and are always comfortable. …"

I second that. Two (or even three) pairs of socks definitely help to avoid blisters, in particular if you walk longer distances, and I hold that you should always buy walking shoes a little (but not too) large.

If the shoes themselves are still good, and only the soles worn, you may want to consider having the soles replaced, instead of throwing away a pair of comfortably worn-in shoes.

LOWA hiking shoes (from Slovakia) seem to be good value for money, too, but I haven’t used mine often enough to be able to say how well they do in the long run (pun intended) …

73, Jan-Martin

In reply to DL2LFH:
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I’ve short listed a few options but I’m going to go into Cotswold Outdoor with an open mind and see what they recommend!
I’m swaying towards the Meindl boots at the moment but all that could change when I try a few different pairs on.

I’ll report back when I’m newly shod!

In reply to M1BUU:

Goodness, I must be tight!

Well, that’s the impression I got Colin! (-;

Ian, mm0gyx