Leather vs Synthetic Walking Boots: Which Is Better?

The main differences between leather walking boots and synthetic ones are that leather tends to be heavier, harder to wear, and stiffer which probably means you’ll need to wear them in before they’ll be comfortable enough to wear for a long walk. 

When you’re enjoying a wonderful walk on one of the many stunning routes in the UK, the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether your boots are going to be comfortable. Finding the right type of walking boot can feel daunting if you don’t know where to start. Deciding on what material is best for your needs is key, whether that is leather or synthetic.

grisport fuse walking boot

The answer to whether leather or synthetic is best will depend on the types of walks you’ll be doing. Whatever material your boots are made from, they will wear out so it’s good to know what to consider when the time is right for you to replace your existing boots. 

What to look for

Firstly, look at the quality of the sole. The sole should be thick to manage the different terrains on your walking expeditions. The sole should have thick rugged cleats, with plenty of grip to help when on expeditions.

However, the thicker the sole, generally, the heavier the boot. This might be the right kind of boot if you’re doing a long walk over rugged terrains. But if you’re lowland walking, you’ll need a flexible boot.

A boot that would be ideal for this type of walking is the Grisport Inca Walking Boot. These are part of the lightweight trekking collection. They have a breathable lining and Spotex waterproof outer, perfect for lowland walking whatever the weather.

grisport inca walking boot

Leather walking boots

Leather walking boots are very hard-wearing, therefore, they will not need to be replaced as often. Real leather boots have been tried and tested over decades, so they’re widely known to be tougher and more resistant to abrasions

Whilst leather boots do tend to be heavy, some high-tech modern leather such as those made from Nubuck are lighter. If you’re walking long distances, you’ll need a boot that is lighter to avoid your legs getting tired quickly.

Men’s and women’s leather walking boots tend to be naturally waterproof and will have additional protection if a durable water repellent (DWR) is added. They’re easy to maintain using wax. Because leather is a skin it has breathable qualities which allow the moisture generated by sweaty feet to escape.

If you are looking for boots that will protect your feet as you walk up mountains and hills, more sturdy boots will offer support for your foot and ankle. Leather walking boots will be the best option for this, as the natural material creates a stable boot that provides a good level of support.

Our best-seller, the Grisport Fuse Lowland Trekking Boot is ideal for this type of trekking. Fully leather to protect your feet and ankles from the strain of hill trekking. They are waterproof and breathable making them ideal for more extreme hiking.

grisport fuse lowland trekking boot

Synthetic walking boots

Synthetic boots come in a wide range of styles and colours. They tend to be lighter and perhaps the more popular choice for those looking for something that’s comfortable and durable for shorter walks. They’re breathable and tend to be more lightweight than leather walking boots. They’re comfortable to wear straight from the box, but they do tend to have a shorter lifespan than leather boots.

Materials such as Polyester and Nylon are commonly used to make synthetic walking boots because of their lightweight and quick-drying properties. Some boots are made from a combination of materials and may include leather in reinforced areas. So if you are buying synthetic because you don’t agree with using leather products, make sure you check all of the materials used in the boots you are looking at before you buy.

Synthetic walking boots tend to be cheaper because the materials used cost less to make. However, whether they prove to be cheaper in the long term will depend on how often you use them and the type of terrain you are walking on.

Whatever your needs, Grisport has a wide range of different types of walking boots to suit all budgets and requirements.

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