Like some ancient prophet rediscovered by a throng of new believers, the hiking boot has come down from the mountains lately, adopted by urbanites who have fallen for its sturdy, reliable construction, all-day comfort and reassuring air of manly authenticity.
Danner, Diemme and Columbia are the best brands to explore if you are looking for backpacker legitimacy. Danner’s Free Spirit boots are a modern hiker with a retro heart; featuring a dual-density midsole that offers both targeted traction and stability. Diemme has rekindled its partnership with preppy fashion brand Gant, in an exclusive remake of its iconic Roccia Vet boot that features a rubberised trim in a flash of magenta or industrial orange. From Columbia, I would recommend the 100MW Titanium OutDry boot; a lightweight and versatile trail shoe with a breathable and watertight construction.
Khaki Green Hiking Boots £69.99 by Zara; Duved Navy Suede Boots £239 by Myrqvist; Lace-up Boots £29.99 by Pull & Bear; Free Spirit Boots (Monk’s Robe) £190 by Danner; Heddon Boots (Dark Brown) £125 by Barbour; 6: Black Lace-up Walking Boots £55 by River Island
Heritage brands aside, the high street has responded to this recent spike in the popularity of boots that were made for walking. Zara’s trek-style boot, in a patchwork of tonal khaki materials (cow leather, polyurethane and polyester), and River Island’s lace-up walking boot with traditional metal hardware and contrasting red laces are accessibly-priced personal favourites.
Whether you go for sportier, sneaker-inspired styles (more comfortable for the day-to-day) or more robust designs that have a suggestion of the Tyrolean about them, the way to wear hiking boots is simply to switch them in to any outfit you would normally wear a chukka boot with: dustbowl denim, lumberjack shirts and workwear that is rooted in military styles.
Brady Hiker Boots (Tan) £325 by Grenson at John Lewis; 100mw Titanium Outdry Boots £155 by Columbia; Vegan Loaded Hiker Boots £119 (Now £79) by Kg Kurt Geiger; Roccia Vet Hiking Boots (Orange) £350 by Diemme X Gant; Sand Leather Ankle Boots With Hooks £126 by Massimo Dutti; Storm M Faux Fur Lined Boots £245 by Russell & Bromley