I’m not excited for colder weather, but I am excited for boot season. Boots are generally more supportive and solid than flimsy summer flats, so they tend to hold up better when you travel and spend lots of time walking. I’ve rounded up my top 10 pairs of comfortable walking boots for the fall.
I love booties for travel—they’re much easier to pack than tall boots, but still offer more warmth and protection than regular shoes. Plus, they give any look, from dresses to jeans, a fashionable lift. My favorite pair of booties are Rockport’s Christine model. They’re waterproof (an essential feature for rainy fall), and the 1.25″ heel gives me just enough separation from the ground to prevent heel pain without making me feel like I’m wearing high heels.
Timberland Chocorua Trail Mid Hiking Boo
Fall is definitely the best time of year for hiking, but you’ll want a pair of boots that’s really waterproof if want to stay comfortable. Timberland’s Chocorua Mid Hiking Boot has a GORE-TEX waterproof membrane that will keep you totally dry (even from sweat, since it’s breathable). These are also insulated, which you’ll appreciate since it gets chilly up at the summit!
Pack these boots by DailyShoes and go purse-free, thanks to the secret wallet pocket that’s built in. This 2.5″ x 4″ zippered pouch can hold your cash, credit card, keys, and more. Plus, these comfortable walking boots come in colors to match any outfit.
LOWA Innox Mid
I’ve been packing my LOWA Innox boots (available for men and women) ever since I got them—they’re so lightweight that it seems silly not to. (The women’s pair weighs about 1.6 lbs.) Not only are they breathable and waterproof, but they’re such comfortable boots for walking that I didn’t need to break them in. I wore them on a five-hour hike the very first time I put them on and didn’t get any blisters or suffer other ill effects.
When rain or snow is in the forecast, I pack Rockport’s Christy boot. This 13″ boot covers most of your leg, and is waterproof and seam-sealed to keep you warm and dry. The microfiber lining inside is super cozy, so these are perfect boots for walking in the snow when you want to look more presentable than you would in bulky snow boots.
Cole Haan Air Petra
Boots that feel like sneakers—what more could you ask for? Cole Haan fulfills your wish with the Air Petra Strap Boot, which has concealed Nike Air technology built in to the sole. You’ll look like you’re wearing normal boots, but your feet will know the difference.
Baffin Packables Rain Boot
Are you traveling light but want to be prepared for rain? Baffin Rain Boots roll up into their included storage bag and take up barely any space in your carry-on. They don’t sacrifice on features either, with great waterproofing and a slip-resistant sole.
Sanuk Drop Top Boot
You need to try on a pair of Sanuks to believe how comfortable they are—every pair has an awesomely squishy foam footbed that makes walking on even the hardest concrete feel easy. The Drop Top Boots are no different, plus they have an easy-to-clean twill outer fabric.
Vionic Orthaheel Storey Boot
With “Orthaheel Technology,” these boots will naturally align your feet and help relieve heel pain, thanks to the built-in orthotic footbed. Bonus points for the full-length zipper that makes the Storey easy to take on and off, even at airport security.
Brinley Co. Boots
Over-the-knee boots, like this pair from Brinley Co., keep you warm even on the chilliest of fall days. These comfortable walking boots hide a cool secret feature as well: an interior pocket that’s big enough to hold your phone and ID.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Stylish Shoes You Can Wear Without Socks
- 7 Slip-on Shoes for Speeding Through Security
- Foldable and Collapsible Shoes Perfect for Your Carry-On
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.