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Hitting the trails: Hiking watches, hiking shoes

by Michael Weare
21 August, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email:


In Europe and throughout North America this is the time of year when many people take a break from having their noses pressed hard against their computer screens and head for the fresh air and invigorating freedom of the open trails. Electronics such as watches can be an invaluable navigational and safety tool in the wilderness, as there are no convenient water coolers in the wild. Watch companies include several features in their hiking watches such as a compass, altimeter and barometer. The best hiking watches include these features while serving as a multifunctional device to enhance your hiking experience.

Hiking watches

Suunto Core

Suunto Core Sahara Yellow

Suunto often refers to its watches as wrist computers because of the numerous features. One of the best hiking watches is the Suunto Core. The Core is waterproof, lightweight, just 60grams, and comfortable with a vented rubber strap. Features include an altimeter to determine elevation, barometer to predict weather patterns and a compass for navigation. The barometer includes a storm alarm by tracking barometric pressure trends. Other features include an alarm, stopwatch and timer. You can pick up the Suunto Core Sahara Yellow for around £235.00

Casio Pathfinder

Casio Pathfinder

Casio has produced watches since 1946, and its Pathfinder, according to the Watch Report, is among the best with the combination of features, including a compass, barometer, altimeter and thermometer. The Pathfinder is resistant to shock, water and low temperatures, making it suitable for extreme weather conditions. Casio has also focussed on “going green” by using solar power to operate the watch and using recycled packaging. The Casio Pathfinder PAW1100T-7V pictured here retails for around £280.00

Tech4o Traileader Pro Performance

Tech4o Traileader Pro Performance

Serious athletes and hard-core adventurers agree – monitoring your heart rate is a must for achieving peak performance. But, whatever activity makes your heart beat faster, you want your focus on building speed and endurance – not programming your technology. Wired for adventure, the Traileader Pro will never slow you down. The Tech4o Traileader Pro accurately monitors heart rate and measures speed and distance. The Traileader Pro digital compass guides you through the densest cover, and the barometer helps you monitor changing conditions. Outstanding value at around £76.00.

Timex Expedition WS4

Timex Expedition WS4

The Expedition WS4 is a sensor and function-laden wrist-top tool made for pro explorers and urban dwellers alike. This is the first watch of its type from Timex, and the company took its time to make it stand out from the competition. The large face on the rectangular case offers a lot of information at a glance, while the menus are easy to use given everything that the watch does. With a combination of aggressive pricing, attractive utility and admirable design, you can expect to pick one up for around £149.00

Oregon Scientific Watch + Compass RA 122

Oregon Scientific

Equipped with digital clock, stopwatch, backlight, and reverse LCD display, this versatile Oregon Scientific watch can be used while hiking or exploring the city with the built-in digital compass. This watch makes it the perfect companion when venturing in the great outdoors, and its timeless design makes it wearable in any casual situation. Thanks to its modest proportions, it fits well on any size wrist.

Hiking shoes

Walking shoes are an ideal lightweight alternative to the traditional walking boots. From a technical perspective, walking shoes are pretty much the same as walking boots, but with a lower cuff. This means that while they offer less ankle support for long treks, they are lighter and help to maximise movement whilst walking. Walking shoes are perfectly waterproof as well with the more advanced designs sporting all manner of moisture wicking and porous technologies including Gore-Tex membranes, rich full grain leather uppers.

While walking shoes may not supply the same full blown ankle support as hiking boots, a good pair of walking shoes will be perfectly fine for all manner of treks from long walks to casual strolls with Mr. Woofles.

Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam Gore-Tex XCR

Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam Gore Tex XCR

Merrell makes some of the most comfortable shoes in the world and their walking shoes are no exception. The Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam Gore-Tex XCR – Teak is the finest example of the Merrell outdoor range, featuring great looks, a Gore-Tex XCR gasket construction from which it takes its name as well as Gore-Tex XCR fabric lining and a breathable mesh upper. Suffice to say that any excess heat or sweat is going to get wicked away in microseconds and not a drop of wind or water will be getting in either! From the price, it’s clear to see that you’re paying for a lot of technology wrapped in good looks for exceptional comfort and premium quality performance. Priced from around £62.00

Salomon Exit Peak

Salomon Exit Peak

These best selling Salomon walking shoes have a wide range of features and fine quality materials making them an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend no more than £70. Crafted from nubuck leather and slit suede leather, they’re lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking, but only water resistant, not waterproof. The attention to detail has been put into the little extras as well as good looks like the heel foam, mudguard, protective toe cap and Contagrip outsole. A great pair of walking shoes for high performance on a warm, dry day, but not ideal for wet weather. You should be able to bag a pair of these for around £70.00.

Brasher Country Master GTX Walking shoe

Brasher Countrymaster GTX

Brasher make this excellent boot alternative for those who love to take a more casual approach to the outdoors. The country master boot provides waterproof protection with a sturdy durable sole that is ideal for countryside wanders. This Walking shoe features GORE-TEX lined shoe which offers waterproof performance and comfort that is still a lightweight footwear that offers support and protection. Water resistant  with breathable full-grain leather and GORE-TEX top dry breatheable waterproof membrane. Available online for around £87.00

Hi-Tec Auckland WP

Hi Tec Auckland

Definitely among the best walking shoes that money can buy. Hi-Tec’s offering to the walking world has it all. Waterproof protection, suede leather, moisture wicking lining, athletic trainer inspired last and a great gripping outsole. While not as technically perfected as the Merrell or Salomon, Hi-Tec Auckland WP walking shoes offer all the essentials and some very good looks, making them an ideal choice for a wide range of trail blazing adventures. Outstanding value at around £29.99


New Balance – MO1520GT

New Balance MO1520 GT

The New Balance – MO1520GT walking shoe takes its design from the long history of New Balance running shoes as a sleek and durable multi sport shoe incorporating athletic features with outdoor styling. This shoe also takes its name (GT) from the Gore-Tex XCR membrane integrated into the upper, providing cool, dry comfort as well as both wind and waterproof protection. Meanwhile the split suede/mesh upper is lightweight, but hardwearing. An ideal shoe for trail running, walking or simply relaxing. Vibram outsoles provide a versatile grip outdoors. These are competitively priced at around £67.00.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email:

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