Shipping to
United Kingdom

The Edit

The Best Hiking Boots

Professional hiker or casual stroller, look the part with footwear from Moncler, Balenciaga and more

Urban appropriation of practical clothing is nothing new. From plaid shirts (tree felling?) to cable-knit sweaters (sea fishing?), men have long harboured a subconscious desire to wear things that identify with the masculinity of the great outdoors.

Footwear is no different. Sneakers made the short walk from the sports field to the high street decades ago. And you don’t need to know the difference between a big fly and a beat out to wear a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors. Now hiking boots are experiencing a similar transition, descending from snowy peaks and windswept moors to become a mainstay of many a gentleman’s wardrobe.

With the AW15 runways awash with criss-cross lacing, deep rubber treads and robust leather, it would be short-sighted of us not to make alpine boots one of our key trends this season. Below, we’ve picked our favourite examples. Clearly, some have been designed with appearance rather than practicality in mind, but there are also some that are tailor-made for serious trekking. So, whether you’re a committed hiker or a fair-weather city stroller, invest in the pair that appeals most, and use them however you see fit.

BEST FOR WINTER CITY STROLLING

With their rugged, rough-and-ready appearance, these boots from Italian artisanal brand Officine Creative look like they could have been worn by one of mountaineering’s earliest pioneers. Thankfully, these Kontra boots were not made in the early 20th century, and we have not recovered them from a frozen mountain top. Indeed, we would not advise a record-breaking summit attempt wearing suede. But with a durable lug sole and a cushioned calf strip, you could easily take them for a decent hike. Gut instinct tells us, however, you’re more likely to slip these on for a wintry city stroll.

WEAR THEM WITH

  • Beams Plus MA-1 Shell Down Bomber Jacket

  • Fabric-Brand & Co Doran Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans

BEST FOR A WALK IN THE WILDERNESS

Wear a tweed jacket with these boots – inspired by a classic alpine design – and you are just a short hike away from channelling the iconic mountaineer Mr George Mallory. Rejoice in the fact that unlike Mr Mallory you can benefit from O’Keeffe’s contemporary supple Italian leather and the comfort of a Norwegian welt, which allows extra movement and means the shoe will mould to your feet quickly. These boots are just the ticket for a brisk walk in the wilderness, but they’re also fitting for a relaxed weekend and look perfect with wool trousers and a cable-knit sweater.

WEAR THEM WITH

  • Tod's Alpaca, Silk and Merino Wool-Blend Sweater

  • Berluti Slim-Fit Wool and Cashmere-Blend Trousers

BEST FOR SNOWY PEAKS

With a history that dates back to 1952, Moncler – known for its down jackets – is a trusted brand in the field of hi-tech outdoor wear. Proudly taking its name from Monestier-de-Clermont, an alpine town in southeastern France, it would be rather disappointing if it weren’t. Moncler understands that if you want practicality, you don’t have to forgo style, so one needn’t escape civilisation and head for the hills before being seen in these handsome boots. It just so happens that this is precisely what they were designed for. Time to book a hiking holiday and put the water-repellent, full-grain leather and Vibram outsole to the test.

WEAR THEM WITH

  • A.P.C. Paolo Plaid Wool-Blend Flannel Jacket

  • Yuketen Canoe Leather-Trimmed Canvas Backpack

BEST FOR TOWN OR COUNTRY TREKKING

This family-run French shoemaker started life in 1934 when Mr Eugene Heschung wanted to create durable shoes to withstand the unpredictable Alsace climate. This sleek, traditional yet modern pair certainly alludes to the past, with its classic criss-cross lacing and timeless-looking leather, which will only get better with age and use (whether on or off a mountain). The contrasting suede has a contemporary air to it, and the addition of some straight, orthodox lacing reassures us that you need not be an intrepid outdoorsman to pull them off.

WEAR THEM WITH

  • Outerknown Evolution Reversible Shell Shirt Jacket

  • RRL Waffle-Knit Cotton Henley T-Shirt

BEST FOR COMBATING A COLD COMMUTE

The cutting-edge designers at Balenciaga have combined military and mountain influences to create a pair of boots that are as stark as they are robust. The deep tread and adjustable lace-up design certainly owe a lot to hiking boots, but, true to the Parisian brand’s aesthetic, there is an unmistakably futuristic feel to these (with a hint of punk thrown in for good measure). If you don’t purchase these to combat a cold commute, you may well decide to hit Europe’s famous Berghain nightclub in Berlin and test their durability on a dark dance floor.

WEAR THEM WITH

  • Lanvin Wool and Cotton-Blend Down Hooded Parka

  • Acne Studios Ribbed Wool Beanie

BEST FOR A WET WEEKEND

Despite the burnished, beaten-up look of Maison Margiela’s black leather combat boots, these are unlikely to see active service. The lacing – designed to fasten well past the base of the calf – and those buckled straps, however, will certainly add a military-influenced edge to your weekend wear as soon as you put them on. Rest assured, there’ll be no slip-ups in whatever winter throws at you with those reassuringly heavyweight rubber soles.

WEAR THEM WITH

  • Neil Barrett Tweed and Neoprene Sweatshirt

  • London Undercover Maple-Handle Collapsible Umbrella