3-4 SEA­SON BOOTS

Stiff enough to wear with cram­pons on snow, yet flex­i­ble enough to be comfy be­low the snow­line on scree, rock and moun­tain paths, 3-4 sea­son boots are the most ver­sa­tile you can buy. Let’s check out five of the best...

Trail (UK) - - GEAR -

AN­KLE CUFF

The an­kle cuff helps pre­vent mud and grit from en­ter­ing the boot. It also pro­tects the an­kle against scrapes on rocks. Stiff­ness in the an­kle cuff re­duces the strain on the an­kle on slopes and scram­bling by adding ex­tra sup­port, which makes it less tir­ing to wear on rock­ier ground or snow. But on eas­ier ground, smooth paths and moor­land, an­kle sup­port is less im­por­tant. Some also pre­fer the free­dom and eas­ier an­kle move­ment of boots with lower or softer an­kle cuffs.

FIT

No boot is worth hav­ing if it doesn’t fit. The in­side of the boot should be around 13-15mm longer than your foot, which you can gauge by putting on the boot with­out the laces tight­ened up and then plac­ing your fore­fin­ger down the in­side of the boot at the heel. Bet­ter out­door stores will mea­sure your feet. The up­per should be snug and com­fort­able across the foot.

DURA­BIL­ITY

If you want your boots to last as long as pos­si­ble, look for up­pers with min­i­mal stitch­ing and a rub­ber rand at the toe box. For max­i­mum dura­bil­ity look for a rub­ber rand that en­closes the whole boot. Durable de­signs are most im­por­tant for those reg­u­larly head­ing out onto rock­ier ground and ice-cov­ered moun­tains, but less im­por­tant if you walk less of­ten in the hills or tend to stick to paths or moor­land walks.

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