Is specialist footwear worth the extra cost?

rsh june spurts

rsh june spurts - Credit: Archant

Is it worth the extra money to invest in specialist footwear for stalking? Dom Holtam replies...

Q: I have always stalked in cheap wellies and am flabbergasted at the price of some hunting boots. Are they really worth it?

DOM HOLTAM replies: That depends. If your stalking consists of a 300m saunter along a grassy headland to a high seat then no, probably not. If you are planning to stalk on the hill then without a doubt they are. Likewise, if you are heading to the Alps or further afield.

The soles of good hunting boots are designed to clear mud and give traction on the slipperiest of terrains. The footbed is shaped for comfort and support, while the design of the boot and the high cut will save you from twisted ankles or worse. The breathable, waterproof lining will keep you warm and dry in the toughest conditions, and with care they will last for many years.

Admittedly, the outlay is not inconsiderable, and putting them on for the first time can feel like a palaver but honestly, it’ll be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.