good value hiking boots?

Hi all -

I'm on the lookout for some new walking boots; mostly for walking around the brecon beacons here in Wales so they need to handle water and snow okay, but I'd like something lightweight.

There really seems to be a market gap however between all the cheap stuff that google throws up that all seems to be in sports direct, and then the really expensive designer brands.

Question is, is it worth spending a lot and getting something a pair of Timberlands (£150 plus) or spending a max of £50 and going to sports direct. I know SD have a bad rep, but is their stuff good still? I was looking at a pair of these for example:

Or, is there somewhere else that's worth a look? I'd like a pair that will last, but I really want to avoid spending a small fortune.



  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    Although the Sports Direct ones are described as 'snow boots' I can't see where it says they are waterproof.

    Do they have the tongue that keeps out water i.e. sewn in to the boot?
    They don't seem to have the right fastening hooks for laces that I'd expect in hiking boots. Would rain/mud come straight through the lace holes?

    The blurb says RRP was £139.99 but is that really true or is Nevica a brand that is exclusive to SD so they can put any RRP on they like?

    I've not really looked at Timberland for walking boots - are they 'proper' boots or just hiking-style for Saturday afternoons watching footie in the pub?

    I'd want a waterproof boot with a goretex membrane.

    I'd go to a proper outdoor shop - Tog24, Mountain Warehouse, Regatta etc - and see what they have in.

    When you try boots on, make sure that the fastenings nearest the toe don't dig into you when you bend your foot.

    My boots are 'Brasher', maybe Google them.
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    Without solid advice in person from folk who know, I hesitate, but I've done very well both at Go Outoors (as a chain) & in Kendal (Well, if you want decent hill boots, go to a hilly area with loads of competition was my logic).
    Personally I like a single piece of leather, but there are those who are proGoretex & if that's what they prefer - their prerogative!

    Brasher, Scarpa, Berghaus, Meindl, are all good brands & the other perk of Go Outdoors is the clearance shelf, which *May* have something you wouldn't otherwise have considered but can afford...

    HiTec & Regatta are the cheaper end but may be perfectly adequate depending on what where & how often you're out walking - Mountain Rescue will appreciate you tried to get the right footwear rather than go for a stroll in flipflops or trainers!
  • IlonaIlona Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    I have had two pairs of Trespass boots, perfectly adequate at around £70. Now I am on Berghaus at £100. I chose this one because they are wide fitting. I prefer leather, not a fan of fabric.

    My boots get some hammer on all terrains. We have a big Go Outdoors here, the staff seem to know their stuff. Best to try lots of boots on, and different sizes. Take socks with you.

    I have a couple of pairs of cheaper boots bought from charity shops, for local dog walking. They are ok for this job, but would be no good for longer walks.

    Correct fitting is very important. I would say you don't need to pay more that £100, but don't go for dead cheap. the soles wont last very long. Don't go for trendy pretty, fashionable, you need something sturdy and robust.

    I love skip diving.
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    I do a lot of hill walking and long distance walking and would not buy those boots for anything other than low level dry walks. The soles may slip on wet rocks if these are for snow underfoot and if leather should be waterproof but will need extra care to keep them that way. And Sports Direct do not have the easiest customer service if you need to return them.

    I'm a fan of Cotswold Outdoor and they have a sale on at the moment.
  • fairy_lightsfairy_lights Forumite
    9.2K Posts
    Honestly the pair you've linked to don't look like they'd be very good for hiking, they look more like fashion/work boots than something made for hours walking. I don't think Timberlands are what you're looking for either.
    Sports direct do have some pretty cheap hiking boots

    I think you really need to try them on before you buy though because what is comfortable for one person can be torture for someone else.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    I've had hi tec, regatta and karrimor (sports direct) for bog standard walking. False economy as the soles seem to wear down and lose their grip much more quickly than the better brands.
    I'd say paying more initially works out better value in the long run.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • MallyGirlMallyGirl Forumite, Senior Ambassador
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    You need to try them on - fit is really important. I have long skinny feet and have found a brand that suits me - I am on my 3rd pair of Asolo Fugitive GTX. I did actually get the current pair from SportsDirect but I knew exactly what I was looking for and they came up as cheapest in a search.
    I find leather too heavy but my OH prefers it. He has really wide feet so has Scarpa's at the moment.
    I wear walking boots for walking the dogs every day and then for more challenging walks at the weekend or on holidays (Hadrian's wall, Lake District).
    Timberland would not feature on my brand list. You seem to be going by look rather than function - most walking boots aren't that pretty but a decent pair will allow you to accidentally step in a big puddle and not end up with trench foot by the time you make it home!
    Take a trip to Cotswold Outdoor, or Blacks, or Go Outdoors, or anywhere else with a big range and try lots on. SportsDirect and Karrimor are the same company - beware ordering online from SD as returns are at your own cost (can't return in store) and boots are heavy.
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  • I echo what everyone else above is saying.

    Its a false economy (speaking from experience).

    I had cheaper type boots for years in my 20's.

    Made the jump to Scarpa Rangers and its a different world of walking.

    I cant recommend Go Outdoors enough, knowledgeable staff, not pushy, great range, and they do a price match on ANY internet store, and beat it by 10%, so you can get the above for about £115.

    they'll last for years and make 13miles a breeze up and down hill.
  • IlonaIlona Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    A quick note. If you buy from Go Outdoors, you can wear them around the house, carpet floor, for a couple of days, and if they aren't a good fit they will change them.
    I love skip diving.
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    Timberlands are fashion boots. Try Decathlon if you're near one. Salomon and Merrell also make good lighter boots.
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