From Decathlon’s in-house brand Quecha, the Men’s Waterproof Walking Boots – NH150 Mid were billed on the shop floor display as their “Cheapest Waterproof Walking Boots”. With a trainer look and feel but with a mid-ankle, could such a low-priced boot really withstand a wet, rainy, puddle-ridden November country walk?
Cheap Waterproof Walking Boots on Test
This was something of an accidental and unintentional field test. Following a week of walking in my older boots from another brand which weren’t the best fit for my feet, my feet were covered in blood blisters, especially my little toes, which had chafed against a reinforced toe box. Browsing the shelves in Decathlon, with a wide selection of walking boots on sale, I walked farther down the aisle to their “Country Walking” section.
The “Country Walking” section as I can see seems to be aimed toward the casual, occasional, and lowland walker, rather than high-performance footwear. Certainly, there were no boots for crampons.
The range features numerous walking shoes, then moves up to mid-rise boots. I am already a fan of Decathlon’s own brand trainers and running shoes, I wear their shoes daily for urban walking, to work, around town or dog walking in the park or local woods. My eyes were drawn to the NH150 boots, not least because of the low price. At just £34.99 they are certainly a discount walking boot, something that appeals especially in the current cost-conscious climate. The other thing that attracted me to them was their trainer-like appearance, looking and feeling much like my daily use shoes, with the addition of the ankle collar.
A Waterproof Walking Boot with a Trainer Feel
Looking and feeling so much like a training shoe with an ankle collar I was curious just how well these boots would hold up in wet weather. They didn’t look like typical waterproof walking boots. The combination of the low price and confidence that my feet would be comfortable, convinced me to give these boots a try.
A two-week holiday was approaching, in November. A perfect opportunity to take these boots out and see how they fared. Would they fail at the first deep puddle? There was only one way to find out! With trips planned up to North Yorkshire, to visit Aysgarth Falls and Goathland, in addition to more local forays into the Peak District, and a varied weather forecast, into the car boot they went for their first trip out.
Waterfall Walking in the Rain – Perfect Testing Climate
The first trip out for these boots was a planned walk around Aysgarth Falls, along the River Ure, crossing the river by the stepping stones of Slapestone Wath. Arriving at Aysgarth, the rain began to fall, heavily at first but soon slowing to an on-off drizzle through the morning and early afternoon. The waterfalls were in full spate and the river high – and the ground wet! The planned walk wasn’t possible as the stepping stones were unpassable. Being below the high water level and with a strong current, no boots would have solved that problem! A different route was followed on the fly.
With constant drizzle and already wet ground, boggy in places, the Quecha boots soon got their first testing. Squelching through waterlogged patches of field, and constantly walking through wet grass, would my feet stay dry?
Happily, after around 12 miles of exploration through wet fields and in rain, my feet were mostly dry. I also paired these boots with Pep&Co. boot socks from Poundland. The day was certainly a budget walking footwear testing day.
My socks were mildly damp, but certainly nothing to cause discomfort. My feet were comfortable and not at all sore with no feeling of chafing and no blisters! Having given the boots a good 6.5 hours outing, they had outperformed the rating on Decathlon’s own website. The retailer website suggests them to be suitable for a 2-hour walk in the rain
Further Trips Out
I took the boots out again on a number of walks in varied weather, standing in a few deep puddles, and found the waterproof membrane to stand up well. I daresay that deeper puddles would stretch their abilities. There is no noticeable prevention for water seeping in over the tongue. That said, any additional waterproofing would be beyond the remit for boots at this range.
The boots are light on the feet and the ankle cuff gives a modicum of support. They are intended for country walks but I’d be happy to take them on most non-scramble walks in the Peak District. A hilly trip around the Goathland area tested their support and stability on the moorland and I found them to be adequate for that level of walking.
Waterproof Walking Boots with Plantar Fasciitis
I do have a flat foot and suffer from occasional flareups of Plantar Fasciitis after an extended period of foot pain a few years ago. For that reason, the comfort and suitability of footwear are important to me. I also have a broad foot which can be pinched by walking boots with a narrow or very rigid toe box.
As a size 10 foot (generally), I found that, like Decathlon’s other house-brand footwear, their size 45 (10.5) allows a comfortable fit with the addition of my own insoles with arch and heel support. A day in these Quecha waterproof walking boots left my feet happy, with no pains or complaints.
A comfortable, light on the feet, and moderately supportive boot that feels like wearing a trainer. Waterproof enough for bad weather walking and walking quickly through puddles and soggy fields. I wouldn’t trust their waterproofness to stand in flowing water for a period, for instance, to take a photograph. The soft ankle cuff offers moderate support but something more supportive would be recommended for higher altitude walks or rocky terrains such as the mountains and hills of the Scottish Highlands or the Lake District.
All in all, excellent value-for-money walking boots to keep your feet dry in the rain.
The NH-150 Mid boots are also available in women’s sizes. Whilst I can’t comment on the fitment, the materials and build are identical.