Best boot for everything?

hi, whats the best type of boots? ive heard it was aku, aqua, aqu or something? pls help thx idm price range

If price isn’t an issue then surely it has to be Alt-Berg?


No one boot will be best for “everything” a fully waterproof boot would be great in the cold wet but likely to get rather warm in the summer.

However I’d recommend AKU’s as a good all round boot and have had no issues with mine.


I would always reccomend the LOWA Combat GTX.

I have had mine for many years. Used frequently as walking boots when required, outside of the cadet environment. Had them resoled twice. I’ve worn them on multi-day hikes in the UK and overseas. Fantastic boots!

(They do a shorter version too)

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I love my altbergs


I never got on with my altbergs.

Lowa Recon but they have stopped making them.

I would recommend the service issue Aku Pilgrim GTX with supafeet insoles.

And you don’t have to polish them.

Another vote for AKU here, done a lot in mine and they are lasting very well.

I don’t wear anything except AKUs in kit anymore. Pilgrim HL for most of the year, but in winter it can get a bit nippy in them, so I switch to Griffons.

Money no object?

These are single handedly the best boots I’ve ever been issued. Should never have got rid of them and I regret it every single day.

AKUs are awesome, very comfy, like trainers.

The Iturri High Liability boots are very comfy. I wore them down to the point they were like slippers in shader. And their cold weather leather boots are also great.

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What are you intending to wear the boots for? If possible, it’s worth having different boots for different things.

Shooting? Something cheap so it doesn’t matter when you scuff them on the range floor.

General activities? Magnum zip-ups. They feel like trainers and are easy to put on/take off. These were my everyday boots in the army.

Road Marching? Alt-Bergs. Comfy, hard-wearing and good ankle support.

But truthfully, a lot of it comes down to what you can afford. If you can only afford Highlanders, then Highlanders are the best boots. Whatever boots you get, they’re only ever as good as your maintenance routine; if you don’t look after them they will fall apart.

As a side note; the chaps in the Alt-Berg factory are brilliant. Really helpful with their customers and actively look at ways to make sure you’re not paying more than necessary. They gave me a custom-made pair of boots for the price of the standard ones because the person who ordered them never bothered to come back and pick them up. Saved me around £80 over me ordering the same spec.


Bit like asking “what’s the best car?”

Best boot to do what in - where - for how long - available budget - colour / material preference - shape of your foot…:

Are you buying brand new - or used?

Is it for parading, Adventure Training, road marching or just messing about in?

To be worn with uniform, or civvies?

How water resistant do they need to be?

How warm, do they need to be in cold weather?

I’ve worn Haix Cold Weather, Altberg Defenders (and Tethereras) and AKU Pilgrims.

The foot shape of the pilgrims is very narrow and made my feet feel like they were rolling abojt all over the shop.

The Haix Cold Weather, were lush in winter and in the wet.,

Despite being more expesnive than my Defenders, the Altberg Tetheras are a very durable boot, but have a heavier bias towards Rocky / uneven ground, evidenced by a greater level of ankle support…

But overall, my Altberg Defenders are on balance the most comfortable for me…

I have large, broad feet. The Defenders are available in a size 13L Wide.

The insoles of pretty much EVERY boot on the market is really only suitable for the first few weeks / months of use and will compress down into something f that offers zero support or cushioning.

In my first couple of years of doing Nijmegen, I went though all sorts of different insoles / sock combinations / before discovering that for me, the best option was to replace my factory fit insoles with heat mouldable ones from Sole; and wear two pairs of socks - a thin cotton pair( with thick woollen ones over the top…

The toe box of the defenders provides LOTS of room to allow for your feet to swell / move naturally and the lacing system allows for different amounts of tension for lacing up to the bridge of my feet - compared to around the ankle.

Whereas, the pilgrims feel ideal for mooching about with a pair of regular socks…

And finally my OLD British Army, hi-leg, DMS
Sole boots, were great for bulling!



I am on my third set of Magnums, my current and previous were zip ups. they are perfect for me, where i am seen on a shooting range or IWT class, and spend 2 weeks in them at RIAT. I am not a road marcher or often seen on Fieldcraft exercises but for the price, comfort and practicality they are perfect for me.

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I’ve always loved the german para boots. You can get them new Here.

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As @Dad2james says, there’s no such thing as 'the best boot*, and tbh, an ‘all-rounder’ is subject to so many variables to be pretty much worthless as a concept.

It can only be about what you need it to do - activity, terrain, weather etc… and about what fits you. The perfect boot that makes your feet bleed isn’t the perfect boot…

What’s the thing that’s going to put your boots under the greatest strain: fieldcraft, in winter, at Sennybridge/Otterburn/Garelochhead, 72 hours in the field carrying all your gear - take that as your baseline (and if that’s not what your Sqn does, work from what it does do, and work out what you need the boot to do based on that.

Personally I like the Aku’s, I think they pretty good but if you tell us that you also need then to take you on a week’s hillwalking trip through the Cuillin in October, then that might change the equation…

They look good for nijmegen, but that mesh?

Canal Section at Cosford would wreck them no?

Nah, it’s fine. Mine have been through significantly worse and a good brush up gets them clean quick.

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Not the Altbergs now issued by the MOD. They’re the same in brand name only. Absolutely awful and nothing like the boots that earned Altberg their prestige.

Agreed, take a trip to Richmond and the AltBerg factory instead - they’ll look after you.


Acu’s are really good, over the last 20yrs of wearing boots all day at work I have worn most,
Salomon quest forces are really good, haix boots good, altbergs as mentioned are good.
The acu’s would be my vote for a single pair for everything!!

I have a pair of altberg defenders which I consider winter boots or field craft boots. I also have a pair of aku boots which I wear in summer due to the breatheability . I worked with regulars for quite a while when aku were issued and they were considered as “base boots” or “barrack boots”. As for price there really good deals on used or new boots on internet. Getting used are a good way of getting good quality boots for cheap. Just go for grade one or super grade.

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