15 hiking boots for walk and play.
I absolutely love it when the high fashion world decides to really get on board with a 100% practical footwear trend. Because what could be more practical as the winter months encroach than a pair of sturdy hiking boots? Not much, is the answer. At London Fashion Week last week, they were everywhere on the feet of attendees (including me! See above), and I loved that people were pairing them with pretty floral skirts and dresses (see also me!). This is a look that debuted at Prada two years ago, and that I was so taken with in the Milan showroom that I fell off a platform and landed on my back in front of the world’s most glamorous fashion editors, all to try and get a decent picture of the boots. Lol.
Anyway, embarrassing fashion week moments aside, how great is this look? It feels a little grungy, but is more polished and grown-up. I’ve gone for beige boots, but I also love luxe finishes and pretty pastel colours as well as the standard brown and black. See these Angulus lilac boots (2) and Shoe The Bear’s crepe soles (3), which are also available in pink. If, like me, you feel most at home in jeans and trainers but sometimes get the urge to dress up a bit, it’s a brilliant way of toning down a dress so you don’t feel OTT. I fully admit to feeling a million dollars when I went to fashion week in this get-up.
If you do want your hiking boots to double as a fashion piece AND a practical pair of boots, I would avoid the high street and go for something built for purpose that also looks fantastic, such as Sorel’s ‘Ainsley Conquest’ (9) or Penelope Chilvers’ ‘Pioneer’ (7), but don’t hang about as many sizes have already sold out – the same goes for Grenson’s ever popular ‘Nanette’, which I am wearing. They completely sold out last year too, so probably best not to wait for the sales in this instance if you really want them.
READ MORE: 5 WAYS TO BREAK IN NEW SHOES
Of course, those are at the pricier end of the spectrum, and there are more affordable designs that will give you a trend kick and look just as great, even if they aren’t necessarily as waterproof. Topshop, Marks & Spencer and Urban Outfitters all have a good offering. That said, if you are spending more it is a good investment as there were hiking boots on the catwalk last week for next season too at Preen (they were GORGEOUS; read more about them here), so the trend should carry through.
For those on a tighter budget, you could just do what I did last fashion week after seeing Henry Holland’s amazing collaboration with Grenson on the catwalk, and simply change your laces in an existing pair of lace-ups for something with a hiker vibe. I have a drawer full of laces as it’s a brilliant way of switching up your look for a minimal cost. I like Mr Lacy (they have a whole section of laces called ‘hikies’; mr-lacy.co.uk) and Big Laces (biglaces.com).
A pretty dress
Back in 1994, I used to wear hiking-style boots with a long skirt which had thigh-high splits. HELLO 1994 HANNAH! This look is totally back. I love the juxtaposition of the sexy dress with the clompy boots. Easy to achieve this look with a skirt, too.
A floral skirt
I love a pretty skirt with a chunky knit – unfortunately this doesn’t look great on me since I have surprisingly big boobs which become distinctly matronly in this attire. But I’d say it’s worth a go, because when it works, it’s fab. This skirt is a dream – look out for gorgeous Laura Jackson’s collaboration with Rixo which launches on Monday (if you don’t already follow her on Instagram, GO! HERE!).
Of course, the joy of the hiking boots is that it ticks the practical box, too. So here is what I will be wearing mine with at the weekend/for dog walks/down the pub…