If you’ve ever taken the kids on a proper walk to be met with cries of soggy feet and painful blisters, you’ll know the value of a decent pair of kids’ walking boots.
After all, nobody wants to be stuck with a little person on their shoulders – or a grumbling pre-teen on their heels – so it’s well worth leaving the trainers at home and investing in some hiking boots that are up to the job.
Depending on the age of your kids, you’ll want to consider things like fastenings – can they do up their own laces, or do you need something elasticated with a Velcro fastening to speed up the job?
The rise on the ankle often comes down to personal preference, but younger kids may prefer something that sits a little lower. And of course, if you’re walking in the UK, you’re going to want to consider whether or not the boots you’re buying are waterproof.
We’ve put a range of kids’ walking boots to the test and found the best in various categories, from those that offer the greatest comfort to the most stylish pair.
The best kids’ walking boots for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Regatta kids’ Holcombe waterproof mid walking boots: £48.95, Regatta.com
- Best for durability – Peter Storm kids’ Snowdon II walking boots: £35, Gooutdoors.co.uk
- Best for serious walkers – Mountain Warehouse Edinburgh vibram youth waterproof walking boots: £39.99, Mountainwarehouse.com
- Best for summer – Reimatec kids’ keveni boots: £60, Reima.com
- Best for keeping clean – Regatta kids’ edgepoint waterproof mid walking boots: £34.95, Regatta.com
- Best for younger kids – Mountain Warehouse drift junior waterproof boots: £34.99, Mountainwarehouse.com
- Best lightweight walking boots – Cotswold kids’ ducklington walking boots: £28, Gooutdoors.co.uk
- Best for active kids – KEEN hikeport II sport waterproof trainer boots: £59.99, Keenfootwear.com
- Best stylish walking boots – Mountain Warehouse asteroid casual waterproof kids boots: £29.99, Mountainwarehouse.com
- Best for ankle support – Mountain Warehouse kids’ samaris waterproof mid walking boots: £48.95, Regatta.com
Regatta Holcombe kids’ waterproof mid walking boots
These were our youngest tester’s favourite boots – she declared them “the comfiest boots ever”, which is high praise indeed from a six-year-old who doesn’t really like walking. They have a nicely cushioned footbed and are fairly easy to pull on, so long as you don’t mind loosening the laces every time. There are six colour combinations to choose from and our tester chose “steel tulip”, aka grey with just enough pink to make them slightly feminine but not overly girly. They’ve survived lots of muddy walks and some serious scrambling, and still somehow look relatively new. We liked the fact the mid-height gives little ankles an extra bit of support and they survived multiple puddle tests. The materials are vegan and the boots range from an infant 10 to an adult size 6, so you could get away with a pair as a grown-up.
Peter Storm kids’ Snowdon II walking boots
Best: For durability
If you’re looking for long-lasting boots at a decent price, this leather pair is ideal. Leather walking boots for kids are often harder to find than fabric versions because they can be quite heavy. These, however, benefit from the durability of leather – they still look pristine after lots of use and they clean up a dream – while managing to be just as light as the fabric boots we tested. Our tester did find them a little rigid on the first few wears but the leather soon relaxed and his socks stayed dry despite the wet weather. The rubber sole has a great amount of grip and the only things these boots lost points for was appearance, which our testers deemed just a bit too sensible.
Mountain Warehouse Edinburgh vibram youth waterproof walking boots
Best: For serious walkers
This is an excellent pair of walking boots if you’re planning some rugged adventures and want a traditional looking hiking boot. Solid and sturdy, they’re a little bit heavier than most boots in our list but they’re ideal for slightly older children who can cope with a bit more weight, and as such they’re available in adult sizes 1-5. The waterproof upper is suede and textile, and the laces are looped through metal eyelets and finished with speed hooks at the ankle. The sole is what really sets them apart though – it has a moulded ergonomic shape unlike the flatter design of the other boots we tried, which makes these perfect for longer distance hiking and mountaineering.
Reimatec kids' keveni boots
Best: For summer
Finnish brand Reima designs functional kidswear to get children playing outdoors in all seasons, and these waterproof boots are ideal for the sun-today-rain-tomorrow UK weather. Our tester tried the light grey version with a pink sole and laces, and really liked the sporty, slimline appearance and the fact they felt nice and light on warmer days. These boots start in an infant size 10.5 and go up to an adult 7.5, plus there’s also a black, navy blue and red version to choose from. Getting them on and off is easy – the laces are elastic and there’s a good bit of stretch – although it took our tester a while to get used to the high rise on the ankle. The grip on the sole was a pleasant surprise given that these boots look more like fashionable high-tops than hiking boots, and we love the fact you can pop them in the washing machine on a 30-degree wash when they inevitably get grubby. Just remember to remove the soles first.
Regatta kids’ edgepoint waterproof mid walking boots
Best: For keeping clean
These have become our eight-year-old tester’s go-to boots for Cubs expeditions and very nearly made our best buy spot. They’re a mid-height on the ankle and the upper is quite flexible, which meant it was easy to adjust the laces and get quite a narrow, snug fit. Padding around the ankle and tongue means they’re nice and comfy on longer walks, and our tester particularly liked the unfussy design. They’re waterproof with a breathable mesh membrane and the outside actively repels splashes and raindrops, which you can visibly notice sitting on the surface. This also meant the boots were nice and easy to clean when we needed to, making them a great all-rounder.
Mountain Warehouse drift junior waterproof boots
Best: For younger kids
These chunky boots are lighter than they look and really very durable. They cover infant sizes 6-13 and there are no fiddly laces, so these are great for younger kids. The Velcro fastening allows you to adjust the fit around the ankle and meant our youngest tester could get them on and off independently, although they do come up quite wide, so you’ll need some chunky socks for narrow feet. They’re totally waterproof and make a great alternative to wellies, meaning you can get a much longer walk out of those little legs.
Cotswold kids' ducklington walking boots
Best: Lightweight walking boot
These were some of the lightest walking boots we tested, so they’re another good option for younger kids. Design-wise they combine the structure of a traditional mid-height walking boot – with laces and speed hooks – with a much more modern design on the sides of the softshell upper, which our testers loved. There’s a blue and black option, and a pink and grey option, and they range from an infant size 10 up to an adult size 5. They’re soft and flexible, and our tester wore them straight from the box with no need to break them in, plus her feet stayed nice and dry despite her best efforts.
Keen hikeport II sport waterproof trainer boots
Best: For active kids
These walking boots take their design cues from comfy trainers, which means they’re flexible enough for active kids to run around in all day but tough enough to get them through rugged walks. The waterproof upper is leather with a breathable mesh section and the sole is pleasingly squishy inside. We liked the fact the elasticated laces have a drawstring toggle so you can get the perfect fit without faffing around tying up laces, and our testers were able to get them on and off themselves thanks to the Velcro strap. The younger kid versions start from an infant size 7 and the older kids’ boot goes up to an adult size 6. They’re marketed as unisex with three colourways to choose from, although our six-year-old girl tester thought otherwise.
Mountain Warehouse asteroid casual waterproof kids boots
Best: Stylish walking boots
Looking for a walking boot that doesn’t look anything like a walking boot? These are just the ticket. They look more like trainers crossed with high-tops, but they come with all the features of a proper hiking boot. That includes full waterproofing, foot cushioning, and a chunky sole with a medium grip. The suede upper gives these a less plasticky look than some of the boots we tested, and the navy and pink, or khaki and orange designs both look pretty cool. Our testers agreed they’d happily wear these “in normal life” as well as on walks, which tells you everything you need to know.
Regatta kids’ samaris waterproof mid walking boots
Best: For ankle support
Regatta does lots of variations of its samaris boot, which makes it nice and easy to find the style and fit that works best for you. We tried the mid-height offering with traditional laces and found they gave just the right amount of ankle support, but there’s also a version with elasticated laces and a Velcro strap, as well as a low walking shoe version. All the styles are waterproof with a breathable mesh upper and a streamlined sole. They come up fairly wide, so our narrow-footed tester padded them out with thick socks and had no complaints about comfort once he’d worn them in. There are adult versions of the samaris available too (£49.95, Regatta.com), so you can make it a family affair.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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