These walking boots from Boreal are great for active kids. Whether I've been out for a stroll in bad weather or scrambling up a rocky hill, I have had these boots for a couple of months and have worn them a lot.
I like the dark brown colour as it looks traditional and goes with everything, but I especially love the little spots of colour that really pop and make for a great combination.
Overall I find these boots are good on rocky terrain, scree, boggy marsh, bouncy heather and just plain grass. Also as a bonus they look really great so for picky teens or just parents who have style sense this shoe is a big hit looks wise. At £70 they seem like good value too [especially if the parents are paying - Dad]. You can get cheaper kid's walking boots but I don't think they would necessarily be as well made as these.
For leather boots they are not extremely heavy, weighing 820g for the pair (size 38, UK 5). I am usually quite happy to walk in these boots for long periods of time (4-5 hours) and find them to be a fine weight, they are not super light but they are not too heavy for me.
When I am wearing them I definitely notice the weight on my feet but in my opinion it is not any heavier than your average walking boot and I have not been complaining.
I find the boots very comfortable, and great for my foot type as they suit my broad, square toe. If your children have a wider foot it might sometimes be hard to find comfortable footwear for them, and then I would definitely recommend trying the Nevada.
I have quite wide ankles but the ankle cuff is made out of soft meshy material - not the brown leather - also the cuff is quite low cut and does not put any pressure on my heel or Achilles.
The wide toe gives you plenty of wiggle room, and, even though there is a lot of space, my foot does not slide around at all. On hot days your feet can swell but I find there is still loads of room in the Nevada for me. Of course you can wear them for too long and get a bit cramped, just like any boot.
The outer boot is made from flexible nubuck leather that is soft to the touch. In addition it is also waterproof thanks to a lining. The toe cap is rubber to make it more durable and so far the boots have not worn at all and are keeping their new shoe feel.
When walking on rough ground the toe cap will be great at protecting your youngster's feet on rocky terrain, or if they just bang into something or stub their toe. I have tested this theory many times by kicking multiple items of furniture and my foot is yet to be damaged [oh really? Let's talk about that - Dad].
This shoe is amazing for bad weather because of the waterproof outer and lining, and I have found water just rolls off the protective leather. In theory your little ones (or big ones - sizes range 28-38) should be able to walk through as many bogs as they like and not get soggy feet. [It would be a good idea to keep them clean and occasionally re-treat them with a product like Nikwax - Dad].
Although these boots have waterproof ability they are also nicely breathable on sunny days and I have never found my feet to be sweaty when I take them off. If you are in the shoes for long in really hot weather though your feet might start to get a bit warm and uncomfortable. We live in northern Scotland so that hasn't yet been a problem for me.
The tread is nice and chunky for wet ground and grippy for crumbling mountainside. I can easily scramble up the slippy side of a steep slope with these shoes on and I have not yet fallen. I'm sure even very small children will not have trouble staying upright on harsh terrain because the underside provides a lot of grip.
Yet sometimes I think the sole is a little bit too firm and clumpy and it is not flexible enough to provide much movement. I, like many other kids, love running ahead on walks and up hills but this shoe is not very good for running as the sole is quite solid, not springy and spongy like trainers. On the other hand its firmness provides you with balance and support on slippy bogs or bouncy heather. Maybe I'll just have to wear trainers on the days that I want to go fast.
The insole of the shoe is quite soft, and squishy so it doesn't really provide much comfort, I find I just sink through to the hard midsole underneath. This is not a great feature but I can't recall getting too upset about this or barely noticing it at all when walking; but if your child has delicate or sensitive feet it could be worth buying a pair of sturdier insoles.
If you're looking for sturdy leather kid's boots, the Nevada are a hit.