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The Hiking Boot: From Mountain Trail To City Streets

by David Hart
3 March 2012 17 Comments

Ever fancied going hiking before realising it's all a little bit too much effort? Well now you can look the part, without actually putting in any of the hard work...

The summer is barely a distant memory and already I’m cavorting with the idea of pulling on a big pair of boots until next May. I’ve been pining after a new pair since this time last year – a desire no doubt helped by the overzealous daily dose of web store window-shopping that I conduct for hours on end after a day at work. Reading this you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m talking about drugs, not the alluring curves and textures of quality footwear – though with traditional footwear and work boots on display in shops as far as the eye can see, it can be difficult not to get caught up in it all.

Luckily I’ve been through this seasons offering’s with a fine toothcomb so that you don’t have to, and the hiking boot has come out on top. Yes the mountaineer look is here to stay, and if the windows of the high street’s biggest chains are anything to go by, it’s gone viral. The boot originally used for scaling mountains and hiking in the nether regions of the world has now been transformed for those of us too suave to be seen up a mountain on a saturday afternoon – and no they’re not the clunky versions seen on ramblers strolling through the country side; but sleek, contemporary styles for well, a whole different type of terrain.

Italian shoe maestro’s Diemme know a thing or two about sturdy footwear. Located in a small town in the Montebelluna district of northeast Italy, the brand is operated by two brothers: Maico and Dennis, each have a broad knowledge and understanding of boot manufacture after growing up around the industry and still work on the production floor today. Their Roccia Vet boots are sure to turn some heads in the city – coming in more colour variations than a packet of skittles, you might find yourself struggling to side with a single pair. Constructed from quality materials and utilising the traditional criss cross (not necessarily not the technical term) lacing system, the Vibram morflex sole provides ideal flexibility for lighter use as apposed to the more rigid soles suitable for actual hiking.

Diemme aren’t the only brand knocking out hiking boots these days, but they do offer a contemporary style coupled with sublime comfort from their superior ankle support. If you’re looking for a more authentic boot you can’t go far wrong with Fracap (also made in Italy) and for a more unorthodox look – the Fitzsimmons boot from Native should do the trick (imagine ‘crocs’ in the shape of a boot, if you will). Ultimately these are the marmite of the boot world, while many will consider them to be on the periphery of costume, they should rightly fit in alongside your casual footwear rotation.

Saying that, if you want to achieve the action man look whilst down the pub for a few bevvies, you can throw them on with your parka, canvas back pack and bobble hat and be on your way – Just don’t go climbing any mountains in them anytime soon.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Adam 1:55 pm, 17-Oct-2011

Mental. I was talking about those boots t'other day. One mate said I was a "Mincer" and the Mrs said "I was having a crisis" I am a fashionista cunt. Get In.

Harold Shand 5:52 pm, 17-Oct-2011

Was this piece written in 2009 ?

Keith Hall 11:42 am, 18-Oct-2011

Fuck Off, they will only be worn by total knobs.

Noel Lavery 7:04 pm, 19-Oct-2011

I like them, but the worry of topman or some other highstreet shit hole spitting out copies puts me off buying a pair at full price.

Brad Scoffin 8:51 pm, 19-Oct-2011

Places like Topman will be copying em. Fracap and Diemme were knocking these out years ago, now most brands have started producing they're own versions, not for me am afraid.

Henry Hill 8:34 am, 20-Oct-2011

I love these styles. I know the boots will last much longer than the fashion for them but last winter was bloody murder so I think I'm up for these. Good article fella and you have just convinced me so down the shops on Saturday....wonder if Smithy does a version.

V 12:24 pm, 20-Oct-2011

Topman were doing hiking-style boots 2 years ago.

Tom Okker 5:27 pm, 23-Oct-2011

Just buy a pair of Timberlands.

Rob Crampton 10:49 pm, 6-Nov-2011

I bought a pair today and love them. They are fashionable and thats why I like them...they are expensive mind but the will last for ages! The article as well. Cheers

David Hart 7:20 pm, 7-Nov-2011

Good choice Rob. Veras have just released their take on the boot - and they are smashing. Decent price too, you can get them at

Paul 5:58 pm, 26-Nov-2011

Got the Fracaps. Classic design and comfortable (don't need breaking in) which becomes a greater priority as the years pass by.

Jim 7:27 pm, 9-Jan-2012


Seth 3:33 pm, 5-Mar-2012

So basically they are not hiking boots at all - just expensive shite for poseurs.

Lord Creator 11:03 pm, 12-Mar-2012

"too suave to be seen up a mountain" - what does that even mean?

gavin begg 7:50 pm, 9-Apr-2012

they r smart lokking boots but not at them prices. Its crazy money. ou get a air of nice enogh looking timberlands,these days, for &60. I'll stick to hat than giving end or oipolloi £300/400 a pair. aalo,as said, these boots are not for the hills,which i do do once a month, why would you wear a pair of boots that dont do the job but cost £350 utter nonsene

pete 5:09 pm, 5-Sep-2012

Anyone know the origin of red laces?

Collins Kwadwo Agyapong 10:01 pm, 10-May-2014

please i need this boot.what can i do? thank u.

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