Footwear for Mild/Moderate Hiking in the Lake District, England - September

Hi! Eyeing a pair of North Face water-resistant boots with insular down for an upcoming trip to the Lake District. Am not planning on any very strenuous hikes, so I'm not really in the market for buying full-on hiking boots, but have been told the environment can be very soggy. Thoughts? Thanks!!

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7959 posts

Waterproof is smart. Insulated is dumb. Even sock liners will be too hot.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
548 posts

Have hiked the Lake District many times. Count on being soggy - it comes with the territory there! You will die of heat if you buy the boots with down. Although it can be cool, as long as you're not hiking in the winter snows you won't need it. I usually wear a pair of moderate weight, leather hiking boots with the lightest socks I can get away with and layer my clothes. Definitely invest in a waterproof jacket with a hood because it will rain on you. I wear shorts or calf length, lightweight canvas pants. You will LOVE the Lakes!

Posted by VS
Palo Alto, CA, United States
556 posts

I recommend looking at the lighter weight ones as you suggest. I bought some heavier hiking boots many years ago, and they have always been too big an clunky. For our spring 2013 U.K. trip we went hiking in Dartmoor, and in anticipation I got some hiking shoes. Heavier than regular shoes, but much lighter than a full on boot. Your instincts are right in that regard. I would also say, the waterproofing tends to make them a little less breathable, which has the side effect of being warm (also known as making your feet sweat a bit when it's warm). So I agree with the person who said forget the lining. Also, get water proof not just water resistant. I am very happy with the purchase, and recommend that you go for it.

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2006 posts

Before buying the Northface boots checkout the Keen brand. Lightweight yet sturdy and most are waterproof. You will find no better sock than the-worth-every-penny-spent, SmartWool brand.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
234 posts

Lake District trails are not rugged in the sense of scree and talus, but challenging in terms of pitch and weather. That translates to light weight ankle-high hiking boot with a firm toe cap and traction sole being what you need. A water resistant but"breathable" liner is also good. Water resistant low gaiters to attempt to create a seal between you rain pant and boot top helps in light rain. Key to boots is picking a boot and sock combo, and breaking in the boot and foot before the walk. On a separate note I am partial to trekking poles. Arm strength aiding asscents and shock absorbers on descents.

Posted by J.
New York
11 posts

Thanks so much for the great thoughts everybody! Ended up finding a nice pair of ankle-high, waterproof leather Vasque hiking boots (only one pair left, in my size and on massive sale!).. I think it must be destiny. Also, bought a pair or two of SmartWool socks and am loving them, too. Thanks again, I'm excited!

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
869 posts

I just bought a second pair of Vasque Breeze hiking shoes; one for "clean" hiking...one for "mudding"), and my wife bought a pair. I used them for two weeks while we were in London! (awesome on the streets...and the trail), and hiking/ walking in Ireland. I have used them to hike thru ankle deep mud/water, on hot streets; and they were really comfy on the plane. A good friend recommended them, after he was told about them by our podiatrist. I had a problem with plantar fasciitis two weeks before our EU vaca, and my podiatrist told me to bring in all the shoes that I was contemplating using on the trip. He told me that the Vasque Breeze' would be my best bet. He was right on the money! Make sure that you get them on the large side. I really enjoyed using some Columbia hiking socks with them. The Costco hiking socks were second best.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
234 posts

The Vasque Breeze that Steve recommends comes in two versions. The GTX version has the Internal Gortex membrane that is sort of breathable.