James's guide to footwear for Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Ten Tors and the Exmoor Challenge.
Activities like DofE, Ten Tors and the Exmoor Challenge are great for young people in the South West as they teach them important skills like team building, leadership and navigation. It gets them outside and lets them enjoy the beauty of the British countryside. As well as this, it looks great on their CV and is an exciting adventure for them to experience with their friends. It is unsurprising that these activities get more traction every year with more young explorers signing up to take part.
I have completed all of these events and have a good insight into what kit is on the market; so I have compiled a list of the core pieces of kit, which I believe are at a good price point and will keep the young explorer comfortable and dry.
This is part of a series of kit lists for outdoor expedition challenges. The other blog posts in this series are:
- Guide to Waterproofs
- Guide to Rucksacks
- Guide to Sleeping bags
In my opinion, footwear is the most important item of kit to get right, as it can make or break an expedition due to its fit; because of this, I would recommend coming into one of our stores to have a pair professionally fitted by one of our trained staff. For a pair of boots to be accepted for a walk they need cover the ankle, be in good condition and have a good tread on the sole. I have personally found that leather boots have worked well for this intended activity due to them being easy to clean/proof and having a good level of support. Lighter weight, fabric boots will also be accepted and are popular. They have more of a trainer like feel and are easy to wear straight out of the box. The most important thing with boots is that they are the right size, are worn with good walking socks and are well looked after.
Anatom Q2 Classic Men's Walking Boots
The Anatom Q2 is a great entry level-walking boot due to its low cost and low weight. It has a very grippy and durable sole unit and has a Tri-Ari membrane to keep your feet a comfortable and dry. They have a standard width, which means that it will fit most young people, but does have more volume when compared to other boots which allows us to further customise the fit for you. We also stock the ladies version of this boot, which also works for people with smaller feet.
For more information about this boot see the product review here or click on the item below.
Scarpa Mistral GTX
The Scarpa Mistral is a lightweight fabric boot. It features a spongy sole unit which has a high level of grip, the mixture of materials used on the upper allows you to move comfortably in them and gives a trainer like feel. The internal Gore-Tex membrane stops water getting into the boot but also allows heat and sweat to escape. This boot comes in a Men’s and Women’s style and can be fitted to a range of different feet sizes.
Scarpa Terra GTX
This Scarpa Terra is a lightweight, Gore-Tex lined leather boot. Due to the leather upper it is easy to maintain but remains flexible and easy to wear. It has a spongy sole unit, which offers a high level of grip. The thin leather used for this boot keeps the weight down but also gives them a trainer like feel and means that you can wear them straight out of the box. This boot is available in Men’s and Women’s Sizes.
Footwear can also be refined with insoles like Superfeet. This provides more support and hold your feet comfortably in your boots. Cushioned walking socks, which wick away moisture are also recommended. They will help to support your feet, as well as regulating temperature and moisture. Smartwool, Meindl and Bridgedale offer a number of different options that are suitable.
James from our Taunton store has completed the Ten Tors Event multiple times, as well as the National Three Peaks Challenge and the Gold level in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. He is a keen walker, skier and runner and gets out as much as he can.