Choosing Walking Shoes

We’ve got a great selection of walking shoes to choose from at Webtogs, every one designed with one aim in mind; achieving optimum comfort for the wearer whilst on the trail. A good alternative to walking boots in many circumstances, walking shoes keep the wearer in-touch with the ground beneath their feet in a similar way that a trainer or running shoe would, yet provide the support and protection that your soles need on rough terrain. We’ve put together this guide to help you find your ideal pair, so that in no time you’ll be feeling the benfits yourself.

Should I Choose Walking Shoes or Walking Boots?

Many walkers prefer the additional freedom that walking shoes afford them, as their low-cut ankles and less cumbersome designs enable greater maneuverability and precision, especially when moving fast and light.  If you’ve no history of ankle weakness and like to cover the miles at speed, you may find that you fall into this category. However, for those walkers who prefer the additional security that a high-ankle boot provides, walking shoes may not be the correct option.

Many outdoor enthusiasts with a penchant for easy to moderate scrambles, a.k.a. routes that fall between hillwalking and rock climbing in terms of technical difficulty, also prefer to wear walking/approach shoes to boots, as they enable the wearer to stay in greater touch with the rock beneath their feet. When choosing shoes for this purpose though, it’s important to select styles with appropriate features, such as high-traction soles and suitably abrasion resistant uppers. And of course, don’t embark upon any route that’s beyond the capabilities of your footwear, or yourself.

Walking shoes are not advisable for traditional backpacking use, or when carrying a heavy load, as their more flexible soles will not provide the necessary stiffness required to support your foot through the gait cycle. Greater flexibility in the uppers and the absence of support in the ankle also increases the risk of twists and sprains. When used for single-day hikes, however, or ultra-lightweight backpacking with a light or moderate daypack, walking shoes are a great option. They’re also invaluable for shorter walks in and rural setting, and make great travel footwear for those who like to venture out beyond the resorts! For these reasons walking shoes are the go-to outdoor footwear types for millions of outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.


Walking shoes, like walking boots, are available in both leather and fabric varieties. Their properties are as follows:


Leather is the original outdoor footwear material. Leather walking shoes will last for years or even decades if correctly maintained, and will mould to the shape of your feet with wear. Modern leather is treated during the tanning process to ensure good water repellency, toughness and breathability. As with all leather footwear, leather walking shoes need to be ‘broken in’ through gentle use, before they soften up and reach their optimum comfort level. Split grain leather, nubuck and suede are most commonly used in walking shoes doe to their lower weight and increased flexibility over full grain leather.


‘Fabric’, or synthetic boots tend to use a mix of Nylon or Cordura, sometimes with synthetic or real suede leather sections. They will often include a waterproof liner. These boots will be lighter and more flexible from the first wear than leather boots, necessitating little breaking-in time.

Waterproof Membranes

As with walking boots, walking shoes will often feature waterproof membranes. These can be from independent manufacturers such as Gore-Tex and eVent, or made in-house by the shoe manufacturer, Keen.Dry for example. All of the waterproof footwear sold on Webtogs will maintain its properties for many years if cared for appropriately, and perform well in the breathability stakes. That being said, walking boots with a membrane will still be less breathable than those without, so you should think carefully about how you’re going to use your walking shoes before you invest. If you plan on using them mainly in warmer climates, or on low-level paths only, then you may decide that your feet will benefit from the extra breathability and comfort of a non-waterproof shoe (not to mention the cash you’ll save). If you’re planning on using your walking shoes regularly in the UK, in all weathers, then a waterproof membrane is certainly advisable!

If you feel ready, feel free to follow the link below to browse walking shoes on Webtogs. Alternatively, if you’ve stil got unanswered questions on any of our walking footwear, drop us an email to [email protected] or call us on our customer service numer at the top of your page. We’ll do our best to answer as quickly and helpfully as we can!