Find the cheapest walking boots online
If you are new to hill-walking, or just want to see if it's for you, there's no sense in investing in all the top-of-the-range equipment that serious hikers recommend. A pair of the cheapest walking boots will be fine for your first dip into the world of the great outdoors, as long as you aren't trying the arduous trails.
If you find the high street mountain equipment shops a little intimidating with all that talk about wicking, permeability and the like, it makes sense to start your search online.
Experts might insist you have to try a boot on for comfort and fit, but actually a quick try in a shop fitting-room won't really give you a sense of whether a boot will be comfortable over the course of a strenuous walk. Online prices do tend to be the most competitive
The Outdoor Megastore (www.outdoormegastore.co.uk) is a brash site that promises some of the lowest prices online. Their choice of boots ranges from entry-level lightweight boots, to serious mountain equipment.
An ideal low-cost starter boot for men and women is the Regatta Guideway, which will keep your feet dry, comfortable and well-supported. The megastore price is a very reasonable £29.99. For something a little tougher, the Hi-Tec Ladies Eurotrek is a durable soft leather boot at £42.99.
Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk) is another useful site to explore for discounts. It also allows you to spend those gift vouchers on boots instead of books. They presently have great offers on Karrimor Bodmin boots for men and women, with prices marked down to around £35, depending on size and style. This represents a tempting discount of more than 50%.
If you are not fussy about wearing second-hand boots, an obvious place to look is ebay. Used boots are often available at very low prices, having been worn for just one hike that persuaded the wearer that the hills were not for them.
Your online searches are likely to find something suitable. That said, some of the cheapest walking boots can occasionally be found in the discount supermarkets. In recent years for example, it has been possible to find perfectly serviceable lightweight boots in stores like Aldi and Lidl for under £20. It's worth keeping an eye open next time you are stocking up on groceries.