In the past all walking boots were made from thick, heavy leathers using traditional techniques and these required gradual breaking in before they could be reliably worn for long distances in comfort. The 1970’s saw the introduction of lightweight synthetic materials by brands such as Cordura, Schoeller, Gore-Tex and Vibram, together with technological advances in manufacturing that enabled materials to be combined in new ways. The new materials significantly reduced weight and required next-to-no break-in period. These advances aided revolutionary new concepts in hiking footwear to emerge as ‘fast-and-light alpine-style’ mountaineering became popular and demand grew for ‘out-of-the-box’ comfort. Synthetic materials and lightweight leathers are widely used in modern hiking footwear today but like all things the quality of the materials varies and some will feel a little stiffer than others, hence you might need to wear them in a bit. Traditional leather boots are still popular for their durability and longevity and the thickness of the leather will give an indication of how much breaking in they might require. We still recommend you wear boots for short local walks to be confident of their fit before committing them to longer hikes.
Ask the Expert with Asolo’s Marco Zanatta, Product Manager