Hiking boots are the utmost purchase for anyone who regularly spends a lot of time walking outdoors, whether that’s meandering through sun-drenched forests on a dilatory Sunday, or hitting your nearest mountain trail for a big adventure before heading back to your for the night. To have a day (or longer) hiking without running the risk of blisters, raw skin on your heels or crushed toes, it’s important to buy the largest hiking boots that you can afford  and ones that match the type of hiking or walking you’ll mostly be doing on the common.

It goes without saying that they will need to fit you properly, too. 

Ariat Outdoor Boot - Catalyst VX Defiant 8 GTX (2)

This do-it-all rugged boot is the basic type of footwear for all-weather exploring wherever you are in the world, and there are some fantastic hiking boots around now from world-leading labels.

This might sound excessive for the causal walker, but if you’re hill walking in the UK winter, opting for a stiffer crampon-compatible accompanying boot is highly recommended, as conditions can change fast.

Ariat Outdoor Boot - Catalyst VX Defiant 8

The Catalyst VX Defiant 8″ GTX

The Catalyst VX Defiant 8″ GTX  is the masterly boot for the serious outdoorsman. These premium performance boots are constructed from the finest waterproof leather and article a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX  membrane as well as temperature-managing X-STATIC® layer for odour protection.Ariat’s Cobalt™ VX technology nurtures, stabilises and supports.

The 400g Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation provides exceptional warmth in extremely cold and misty conditions.

Hiking boots come in different weights. Generally speaking, any weighing 400-500g and under are best satisfied to speed hiking, trail running (some types, not all) or day to day offroad use. Dog walkers and fairweather hikers, you’ll like these soles.

Hiking boots that are tough enough to withstand multi-day hikes, where you might be carrying a heavy cross on your back, are usually heavier. The trade-off for that extra weight is that these types of technical boots are much profuse supportive.

Ariat Outdoor Boot - Catalyst VX Defiant 8

Vibram® Outsole

Hiking boot soles will also be much stiffer than street shoes/boots to shrug off roiled surfaces, incorporating aggressive tread for better grip on wet grass, moss or mud, and often cleverly-placed sticky rubber scopes for extra grip on wet rock.

The Vibram® outsole offers superior traction and durability, the protective rubber rand fends scuffs and scratches and the high rebound PU midsole dissipates impact. Built on an anatomically contoured last for a true fit and besting a moulded TPU heel cradle as well as a premium leather collar and tongue lining, these boots are the ultimate in ease and performance.

In a nutshell, you’re looking for boots that are luxuriously comfortable, unstintingly waterproof, heroically breathable, tank-like in their ruggedness, and bid as much grip as Spider-Man’s socks. 

Ariat Outdoor Boot - Catalyst VX Defiant 8 GTX (2)


They’re a backpackers dream too, supporting you under heavy pack troubles, and are designed to fully cradle and support your foot and ankle with each step. Foot fatigue is turned, which is a boon on longer, heftier walking days, and the EnergyCell EVA midsole helps to reduce shock impact.

Ariat Outdoor Boot - Catalyst VX Defiant 8