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Best footwear for hiking in Scotland

Posted on Mar 14, 2017 by Tim Willis

If I had a pound for every time I have been asked for advice on the best footwear for hiking in Scotland, I’d be a rich man.

Each hiking trip and location will bring different factors to consider but the most important will always be safety and comfort. So what footwear do you need to hike in Scotland?

Durable for rugged terrain

In the Scottish Highlands the terrain is pretty rugged and we often go off the trails and over rough, uneven and sometimes wet ground. Never underestimate the importance of keeping your feet dry, warm and comfortable.

Most of our walking trips are a week long so you need to ensure that your feet are well protected from the elements and your boots will keep you upright on slippy trails. Scottish weather is renown for offering up four seasons in one day so be prepared with good waterproof boots and you’ll never have soggy feet.

We offer a range of trips but even on our easy trips you are likely to encounter wet and rocky terrain so good ankle support and waterproofing are musts. We’re adamant about finding the best views for you and sometimes that means a little bit of extra effort through muddy terrain to gain access to them but it will all be worth it – we promise!

Click the Links Below for the Ultimate Walking Articles

  1. Top 5 Walking Routes in the Cairngorms
  2. Learn to Navigate – How not to get lost in the woods
  3. The Most Dramatic Hikes in the Highlands

Where to start

Go for boots that provide enough cushioning to withstand the impact of a week’s worth of hiking. We always recommend sturdy, fully waterproofed boots with good ankle support and a decent grip on the sole. Good examples of these are:

Break in new boots

A good set of boot still need to be broken in before a long hiking holiday.  Don’t be fooled by how comfortable they feel in the shop when you try them on to break a set of boots in can take a good few weeks. Try these tips to make new boots your own:

  • Go boot shopping in the afternoon because your feet naturally swell during the day.
  • Invest in a pair of snug fitting smartwool socks, they come in different weights for different seasons. Avoid cotton socks – they rub and can create blisters quickly.
  • For starters you should wear your new boots around the house and down the street.
  • Get out on a day hike with your new boots you’ll soon notice any hot spots on your feet that might need attention.
  • Try to wear your boots on a regular basis before your Wilderness Scotland trip to help the boots get softer and mould to your feet,

If you invest the time to select the best boots and break them in by the time you arrive in Scotland for one of our Wilderness Walking trips, your boots will be super comfortable.

So, there you have it – there are a range of footwear options for walking and hiking holidays in Scotland – it may take a few test sessions before you meet your perfect match, but if you follow the guidelines above and you’ll surely find your perfect footwear option in no time.

Give Your Boots a Break – A Walking Break in the Highlands

We run walking and luxury walking holidays right across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Year after year we receive outstanding feedback from our travellers telling us just how we helped transform their perspective.

Watch this video of Catriona MacKenzie who we arranged a surprise tour for after she unexpectedly took ill her original tour to the Northwest Highlands. She sums it up perfectly.

Below are a selection of our scheduled Wilderness Walking trips.  Why not have a browse and find your perfect walking adventure?

Trip Date Name Price Availability Book
23rd Sep - 29th Sep 2017 Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside £1,2951 place(s) leftBook Now
18th Oct - 22nd Oct 2017 Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands £9951 place(s) leftBook Now
14th Apr - 21st Apr 2018 Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula £1,375Places availableBook Now
28th Apr - 4th May 2018 Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands £1,3955 place(s) leftBook Now
5th May - 11th May 2018 Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands £1,3956 place(s) leftBook Now
12th May - 18th May 2018 Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands £1,395Trip Full
19th May - 25th May 2018 Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside £1,295Places availableBook Now
2nd Jun - 8th Jun 2018 Wilderness Walking - High Points of the Cairngorms National Park £1,495Places availableBook Now
9th Jun - 15th Jun 2018 Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside £1,2955 place(s) leftBook Now
16th Jun - 22nd Jun 2018 Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands £1,3952 place(s) leftBook Now
23rd Jun - 29th Jun 2018 Wilderness Walking - High Points of the Cairngorms National Park £1,495Places availableBook Now
23rd Jun - 30th Jun 2018 Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula £1,375Places availableBook Now

About the author

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Tim Willis

Having travelled and enjoyed adventures in much of the world, for Tim there is nowhere more beautiful, dramatic and captivating than home in Scotland. Travel has made Tim realise just how lucky he is to live in a country with so much history, tradition, scenic beauty and incredible accessibility. In his words "It is a total pleasure and a great privilege to host and guide visitors to Scotland each year."

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