Forum Home» Sports and Fitness MoneySaving

Walking boots - leather vs fabric

New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

Walking boots - leather vs fabric

14 replies 369 views
Hi guys, 

I’m looking to buy some walking boots and can’t decide on whether to get fabric or leather? I’d preferably want some that are waterproof-ish, and I would be looking to do most of my walking / hiking during summer (or just when it’s not absolutely pouring down in rain)

Can you guys recommend any and if so why?

Also, any brands which are good and which to avoid 
«1

Replies

  • edited 7 January at 1:03PM
    in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    edited 7 January at 1:03PM
    Leather every time for me. I'm still walking regularly in the ones I bought whilst at uni. And I'm 64 this year. So I can't tell you about makes, etc. My daughter got hers from Go Outdoors where they have a good selection. Hers have an 8 year warranty. 

    I read this somewhere: A man bought a pair of boots for £50 his friend laughed at him for spending so much. He bought his for £10. After a year the friend needed more boots and spent another £10. And the next year and the next and so on. After 10 years the first man was still wearing the same good boots. His friend had spent £100

    Love living in a village in the country side
  • Arsenal2019Arsenal2019 Forumite
    162 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    I like that story! It is very very true!!! 
    I’m looking at Go Outdoors too- hopefully they’ll still offer the guarantee as I think ill
    get from there too 
  • danandjens_worldtravelsdanandjens_worldtravels Forumite
    316 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    ✭✭
    You could look at second hand on eBay - can get a good/more expensive pair for a reasonable price.  Unfortunately I’ve never been lucky enough to find a comfy pair this way and had to resell a lovely pair of leather Brasher’s earlier this year.  It’s always possible to resell them (and not for a loss if you’re lucky) and maybe a cheaper way to find your brand and fit. 

    I bought a pair of Salomon boots a couple of years ago on sale from Wiggle, the comfiest boots I’ve ever owned - not one blister! They’re fabric, are dry and I’ve not found them too heavy or hot in the summer months. I wouldn’t go out in the wettest of weathers and have had mud seep through recently (maybe they need a treatment). 

    I’ve also bought some Scarpa approach shoes recently on sale, and although not tested outside seem very comfortable.  OutdoorGB were the website and all was good. 

    Keep your eyes on the sales and once you think you’ve found a bargain, Google the name and brand of the shoe/boot as a specific search will bring up other sellers to compare prices more easily.  
  • kuepperkuepper Forumite
    950 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    I'm old school and for leather too but i've never had fabric. I'm on my 2nd pair of Brasher (my previous pair lasted about 15 years inc one re-sole) who were taken over by Berghaus so you might find exactly the same boot with a different brand. Essential to try on in shop (and decide to buy what you like online later maybe cheapest) and expect to pay £100+
  • edited 7 January at 8:58PM
    princeofpoundsprinceofpounds Forumite
    9.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 7 January at 8:58PM
    This may be a slightly controversial comment, but you may want to consider trail runners (or given you aren't likely to be going at pace, the more boot-hybrid end of them). 

    A majority of serious hikers on e.g. the Appalachian trail actually wear them these days in preference to boots. A lot of casual hikers actually end up with unnecessarily clunky and heavy footwear - especially if you are a fair-weather hiker. That's tiring - more than people generally realise - and can be uncomfortable, with more points of friction and restraint of natural motion. The old idea that a big high and heavy boot protects your feet and ankles better is also not universally accepted these days. Just visit any thru-hiking forum or website to read about the debate.

    See for example here, with some useful data: https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/top-footwear-appalachian-trail-2018-thru-hiker-survey/ People actually give up classic hiking boots the more walking they do!

    I'm not endorsing the article but you can see how varied the spectrum of runners - boots in nowadays looking at links like this: https://us.cnn.com/2020/03/12/cnn-underscored/hiking-boots-guide/index.html

    As for leather vs. synthetic - 10-20 years ago I would have said leather. Nowadays, synthetics are great - arguably better in many characteristics but not as durable - so it's matter of personal preference. Comfort is usually in the eye of the beholder - leather is usually far less comfortable initially but can shape to your feet really well with continued use.
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
    30.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    kuepper said:
    I'm old school and for leather too but i've never had fabric. I'm on my 2nd pair of Brasher (my previous pair lasted about 15 years inc one re-sole) who were taken over by Berghaus so you might find exactly the same boot with a different brand. Essential to try on in shop (and decide to buy what you like online later maybe cheapest) and expect to pay £100+
    Mine are Brasher and they've been really good.
    I like the strong support round my ankle that leather gives.

  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
    5.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    I got rid of my leather boots a couple of years ago - they were nearly 50 years old.  Clunky and heavy.  I replaced them with a cheap(ish) pair from Decathlon that are a mix of leather and fabric.  Lightweight, hard wearing,  waterproof and comfy; no need to break them in.  They might not last for 50 years but then neither will I.
  • parcivalparcival Forumite
    791 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    I have several pairs of both leather and fabric.  These days I would go for fabric with a gore tex type liner. Easier to maintain and a bit lighter on the feet especially for mainly summer walking. 
  • JosephKJosephK Forumite
    139 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Years ago (many years ago), I'd have said leather but now the modern fabric, Goretex lined, are much lighter, more comfortable, waterproof and durable. Main consideration is comfort, what suits one person's feet may not suit another's, e.g. many love Brasher boots, they are quality but they just don't feel comfortable on my feet.
  • ripplyukripplyuk Forumite
    2.4K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Over the last 2yrs or so, I’ve tried the majority of the big brands, along with some cheap ones, including Ariat goretex boots, Berghaus, Saloman, Keen, Merrell, Hi-Tec, Karrimor and Scarpa. All of those were returned within weeks due to leaking. I finally settled on another pair of Anatom boots. My previous pair lasted almost a year before leaking, with almost daily use so out of all the brands I tried, they were by far the best. 

    However, if you’re only wanting to have an occasional summer walk, fabric boots are lighter and less maintenance. Mud should not be left on leather boots and they need re-proofed regularly (I do mine weekly). Walking shoes may even be more suitable depending on where you walk. If you aren’t walking daily and these boots will get a chance to dry out if they get wet, then I would go for a fabric boot from any of the top brands. Whatever is most comfortable. 
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support