As beautiful as autumn is with its misty mornings and golden leaves, it only means one thing: winter is coming. Start your prep for colder days from the feet up, and pull on a pair of hiking boots – AW18’s most practical footwear trend. No longer relegated to mountain adventures or muddy Sunday dog walks, you can now wear your pair to a bar, or perhaps even – for more creative types – to work. Maybe lose the suit in the process, but you get the idea. But, if you do choose to wear hiking boots in the city, don’t under any circumstances tuck your trousers into your socks. That should be kept for real country pursuits only. These five hiking styles showcase just how versatile, practical and stylish these boots can be. Which pair takes your fancy?
1. Clergerie ‘Callum’ hiking boots
Robert Clergerie discovered his love of footwear back in 1970, having been initially drawn to design and architecture. Almost 50 years later, Clergerie footwear is still manufactured in the same French factory, and the brand continues to push the boundaries of conventional shoe making with a host of new manufacturing techniques. These hiking boots are a case in point. On first appearance, they look pretty classic, albeit with a sense of heightened luxury with their black Toscano calfskin and lambskin uppers. But it’s the elevated soles that show the brand’s commitment to combining comfort with solid design: as well as looking cool and contemporary, the thick leather articulated soles facilitate the roll of the feet as your walk. Clever stuff. Wear these for a weekend stroll with rolled up jeans, a chunky cream Aran knit sweater and a navy wool covert coat.
£650, shop now
2. O’Keeffe ‘Austin’ walking boots
These solid Austin boots come with practical – yet slick – waterproof-waxed black uppers, while their padded cuffs have luxe cashmere linings. The commando soles not only nod towards a utilitarian theme, but also add height and weight to the boots, giving them a sense of reassuring sturdiness. The French calf lining adds to the comfort factor, as they will slide on and off easily, no matter how thick your socks. They’re the perfect hiking boots to wear both in inclement weather in the city and on windswept walks in the country. Wear them with black denim, a navy rollneck and a suede blouson jacket for a sharp city look.
£545, shop now
3. Veja ‘Roraima’ boots
If you’re not familiar with the story behind Veja, then now is the time to start. Its whole process from start to finish puts workers and materials first, with the sole aim of creating well-made shoes with as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. These hiking boots are a hybrid of comfortable trainers and robust boots, making them ideal as we transition into colder weather. The uppers are made in Bastille nubuck with the V logo made from recycled rubber. The soles are also made of wild rubber from the Amazonian forest, close to where the manufacturing process takes place in Brazil. The boots’ lining, in soft flannel and cotton, is also recycled, making them eco-friendly without compromising on design or comfort. Wear these with corduroy trousers, a denim shirt and one of this season’s overhead anoraks.
€165, shop now
4. Moncler ‘Peak’ hiking boots
Moncler is well-versed in making cold weather gear, so it makes sense it would come up with these aptly named ‘Peak’ hiking boots. Their Vibram rubber lug soles mean they’re hardy enough to tackle even the most challenging mountainous terrain or a wet cobbled street in London – this reassuring extra grip will be a welcome detail as the weather turns wet and icy. Practical solutions have been neatly teamed with scuff-resistant pebble grain leather uppers and Moncler’s trademark red, white and blue stripe design. Team with navy or grey wool tailored trousers, a bold striped knit jumper and one of Moncler’s signature navy down-filled jackets.
£535, shop now
5. Sorel ‘Madson’ hiker boots
Founded in 1962, Sorel was born out of the need for well-insulated and hardy boots that could face the elements head on. Based in Canada, it’s well-placed to put footwear through its paces with those sub-zero winters. Constructed from premium felt, wool and leather, on top of their favoured rubber soles, this pair will keep your feet dry and comfortable whatever the weather throws at you. The smooth nubuck is waterproof, while the ankles are nicely padded in soft black leather. The rubber lug soles, a key detail on authentic hiking boots, helps aid traction in the most challenging environments – which could mean your icy early morning coffee trip. They will compliment any number of casual trousers, from cargo styles with deep side pockets, this season’s chunky cord trousers or slim cut denim. Finish the look off with a white t-shirt, brushed cotton checked shirt and a workwear jacket, for an casual layered look.
£170, shop now