Walking boots and socks

Why getting the right walking boots at the right time is essential expedition preparation.

/ Expedition Kit / Walking boots and socks

What are the best walking boots and socks for a DofE expedition?

How to choose the best walking boots for me?

Choosing the best walking boot for your expedition is crucial. It pays to look around and work out what’s right for you.  Get your boots early as they must be worn in and comfortable in time for your expedition practice.

Leather walking boots will cost you more, and are usually more sturdy and longer-lasting. Fabric boots are lighter, cheaper, and a good option if your feet are still growing. You should also consider how frequently you will use them after your expedition and how long for.

DofE Recommended walking boots

Berghaus Explorer Trek Berghaus Explorer Ridge

Berghaus Explorer Trek

  • Suede
  • Goretex lining
  • 1120g

View Explorer trek boys | Explorer trek girls

Berghaus Explorer Ridge

  • Leather
  • Goretex lining
  • 1120g

View  Explorer ridge boys | Explorer ridge girls

 vango-cervino-boots  vango-grivola-boots  Vango-Velan-Mens

Vango Cervino

  • Fabric and suede
  • Protex waterproof membrane
  • Dual-density midsole

View Vango Cervino boots 

Vango Grivola

  • Fabric and suede
  • High ankle support
  • Protex waterproof membrane

View Vango Grivola boots 

Vango Velan

  • Fabric and suede
  • Protex waterproof membrane
  • Specially designed insole

View Vango Velan boots

All Duke of Edinburgh’s Award recommended boots are waterproof, and have high ankle support and high grip soles. They are available for girls and for boys. Ideally, get a FREE professional fitting at your local Cotswold Outdoor store before you buy.

What are the best walking socks for me?

Along with your walking boots, getting the right socks for your expedition can make a huge difference. You should never wear cotton socks on an expedition. Walking socks are designed to minimise blisters with padding and moisture protection fabric.

Different weights of socks are designed for different weathers. A mid-weight sock will be suitable the whole year round, but a lightweight sock might be more comfortable in hot months. Liner socks are worn inside, and reduce rubbing even more.

DofE recommended walking socks

 Bridgedale WoolFusion Trekker  Bridgedale WoolFusion Trail  Bridgedale Coolmax Liner

Bridgedale WoolFusion Trekker Midweight

  • Wool mix
  • Leg and underfoot cushioning
  • All-year round use

View Woolfusion Trekker boys | Woolfusion trekker girls

Bridgedale WoolFusion Trail Lightweight

  • Wool mix
  • Underfoot cushioning
  • For spring and summer

View Woolfusion trail boys | Woolfusion trail girls

Bridgedale Coolmax Liner sock

  • Silk
  • Ultra-thin
  • Worn under hiking socks – absorbs and stops rubbing

View Coolmax boys | Coolmax girls

All Duke of Edinburgh’s Award recommended socks and liners have technical fibres to support and absorb moisture from your feet. They are available for girls and for boys.

Ways to save money on your DofE expedition

Whilst buying good walking boots and socks might seem expensive, it’s really important to make sure you’re comfortable during your expedition. And there are lots of ways to keep your costs down:

How to look after your walking boots

Walking boots are made to get dirty but will last longer if looked after properly.

Nikwax products are easy to use, apply by hand and your boots will be clean, breathable and waterproof.

1. Clean them with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel which gently removes dirt and revives breathability.

2. After a walk or expedition, apply Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof to combination boots or Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather to leather boots; both restore water repellency.

Find the right Nikwax waterproofing product for your boots at Cotswold Outdoor.

  • A piece of newspaper can help to dry out wet boots
  • Treat your boots regularly with Nikwax waterproofing to keep your boots strong and dry
  • Take a set of spare laces in case yours break
  • Wipe down your boots with the right cleaning gel for your boot material

Boots and socks

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DofE Recommended Kit

Videos: Tips and info

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An expert boot-fitting service - Cotswold Outdoor

An expert boot-fitting service - Cotswold Outdoor

How to choose the right walking boots - Cotswold Outdoor

How to choose the right walking boots - Cotswold Outdoor