All girls love shoes right? Well my love for shoes is a little bit different to the average girl.
I love all things walking, running, waterproof and mud stomping shoes! Give me a pair of chunky kick-ass leather boots caked in mud over some sexy sandals any day.
The thing is though a pair of converse is no good for a water-logged field, and whatever the weather I think all dogs deserve a good run, so I’m not going to avoid places just because they’re muddy. Plus if you’re going for a long walk it’s so much safer to be in a pair of walking boots with good ankle support, good grip and will keep your feet dry all day.
So here is my list of favourite footwear that I’ve found work for me, as someone who likes to go on muddy and sometimes long, hilly walks with an active dog. Of course everyone has different feet and mine are quite wide, so these brands may not suit everyone, but they’re what I’ve found work for me.
These tall, leather equestrian style boots crept into fashion a few winter’s ago and you’ll see a lot of people walking around cities in varies styles. Most of them don’t have a spec of dirt on them, a bit like the pristine white Range Rover the wearer of the boots climbed out of, however the ones I buy and wear will survive a tramp through a muddy field and a shallow stream. Whether you’re mucking out horses or walking the dog I find these kind of boots great for keeping your feet and trousers dry, plus they are pretty stylish too! Practically stylish.
My first pair of country boots… I popped in to my local equestrian store and after trying a bunch of boots on these were what I came home with. They are so comfy, waterproof, strong and quite wide fitting which is good for my chunky calves. I had them for about 2 years before the lining wore out and they started leaking.
After 2 years of my Dublin boots I decided to replace them with some Ariats. My friends Ariat boots have survived for so much longer than my Dublin ones so I’ve gone for them this time. At first they didn’t feel right for quite a while, not uncomfortable, but just not quite right. However now when I put my feet in my Dublin boots they feel awful. They’re a little narrower (or maybe my legs have got wider) but they look great with a pair of comfy skinny jeans and so far they’re been waterproof and tough. I think they’re a little smarter than the Dublin’s too which makes the great for those occasions when you want comfort and protection but a bit of style also… such as a music festival held on a working farm.
Country boots are great, but if you are getting a bit more than mud of your shoes, such as cow muck, then something easier to wash off than leather is better. Plus the smell tends to linger.
I tried a lot of pairs of wellies on before taking home some Ariat Mudbusters. They are so comfortably and the neoprine lining keeps your feet warm even in the snow. I’ve had mine for 2 years now and one of them has just split, so I’ll be looking for a replacement pair. Unfortunately it seems that Ariat are not doing the mudbuster so I’m not sure which ones I’ll get next.
These Karrimor walking boots were my go to brand of walking boots for about 6 years! I wear boots at least 5 days a week so they only used to last me about 6 months before they’d be splitting at the seems, but they’re not hugely expensive and they are SO comfy. I’ve found the high leather boots are the best for ankle support and ‘waterproofness’. They take a little bit of getting used to if you’ve not had high ankle boots before, but once you’re used to them you won’t go back!
Meindl Gomera GTX
Like I said I’ve been using Karrimors for aagggeesss, however Ash has been telling me to get Scarpa boots for a while as you get so much more out of them. It turns out Scarpa boots are too narrow for my feet but what I have found instead are these Meindl boots!
They are mega mega comfy and hard wearing. They claim to be waterproof, and I think they are, however because they’re a soft leather they do absorb the water and the outside stays damp for quite a while, although I’ve not found the water to seep inside yet. Regardless they are so far surviving much better than my karrimors and they took me up and down Snowdon recently.
Becoming more popular are walking type trainers, a sort of mid-way between big chunky walking boots and lightweight, flexible trainers. From my experience they tend not to be waterproof and provide less ankle support, but have good grip and good stability, perfect for dry, rocky terrain. I have a pair of Salamons.
I have two pairs of trainers; trail shoes for off road terrain such as rocky tracks and fields and road running shoes for pavements.
My first pair of trail shoes, I picked these up in GoOutdoors for a decent price. They are comfortably and provide decent grip in the sand agility arena and on a dry field but I still slip in the grass is wet.
Saucony Peregrine 8
As I was increasing my miles I decided to invest in a new pair trail shoes. After trying quite a few pairs on in a running shop I opted for the Saucony Peregerine 8s, they are SO comfortable. They are extremely cushioned and have a big, chunky tread providing immense grip in snow, mud and grass. They look very similar to the Salomon Speedcross trainers they are extremely popular with agility and canicross competitors.
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 11
Just a few weeks ago I updated my road runner trainers as my old ones are ooooolllldddd and aren’t that comfortable. The cushioned feel is definitely my preference and these are described as some of the comfiest in reviews. The Vomero 11s are an older model now which meant these weren’t too expensive but are still a great shoe, from what I can tell so far. I wore them in around the house and on short walks for the first week then did a parkrun in them and they felt amazing.
I may not have tried hundreds of brands but what I have tried I have worn to the bare bone and further, and when I say they are comfy I mean they are comfy for a 7 hour walk or for a 30 minute jog, up mountains, through streams and mud and soggy equestrian centres. So they really have been put through the mill and come out on the other side.