The Best Shoes for Scotland & Ireland


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Travelling to Scotland and Ireland is a dream holiday for many, with images of the emerald countryside, historic towns and cities, and stunning natural scenery charming millions of visitors year after year. Known for being one of the most ideal destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, it can be difficult to know what to bring with you on your trip to these beautiful countries. As they’re both notable for being rainy and chilly, it is obvious that a good jacket is of paramount importance. But it is also of equal importance to make sure you have the proper footwear for your trip. Finding the best shoes for Scotland and Ireland can be a difficult task when you consider all of the options out there, however, it is not impossible!

If you’re struggling to figure out just what shoes or boots for Ireland and Scotland are the best to bring with you, then check out these top suggestions to make sure that your feet are warm, dry and happy through your entire trip to Scotland and Ireland!

Cliffs of Moher Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast

Best Shoes for Scotland & Ireland Comparison

Shoes Description Prices
Ecco Soft 7
Type: Walking Shoe
Sex: Female
Material: Leather
Check on Amazon

Check on Zappos

Check on Ecco
Ecco Byway Tred
Type: Walking Shoe
Sex: Male
Material: Leather
Check on Amazon

Check on Zappos

Check on Ecco
Adidas Gazelle
Type: Walking Shoe
Sex: Unisex
Material: Textile
Check on Amazon

Check on Zappos
Clarks Muckers Ruck
Type: Walking Boot
Sex: Female
Material: Leather
Check on Amazon
Clarks Un Map
Type: Walking Boot
Sex: Male
Material: Leather
Check on Amazon
Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot
Type: Hiking Boot
Sex: Male/Female
Material: Suede Leather & Mesh
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on REI
Columbia Newton Ridge
Type: Hiking Boot
Sex: Male/Female
Material: Leather
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on Zappos
Timberland Chocorua Trail
Type: Hiking Boot
Sex: Male/Female
Material: Leather & Textile
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on REI


Best Shoes for Scotland & Ireland: What to Look For

Before I dive right into what the best shoes to bring for a trip to Scotland & Ireland, it is worth discussing what attributes to look for when shopping for your shoes. Because, depending on your itinerary, you may need different shoes for whatever various activities you may be undertaking.

For instance, if you are not into hiking and don’t plan on doing anything more than a mild walk through the countryside, then bringing (and buying) a pair of heavy-duty hiking boots isn’t really a good idea. They are bulky and heavy and it is likely that you would more likely come to resent them if all you plan to do is leisurely stroll through the streets of Edinburgh or Dublin and maybe check out a couple of historical spots.

On the flip side, if you plan to spend the majority of your time outside, hiking through the countryside or even maybe taking the time to go on one of the many multi-day treks that are on offer in both countries, then a solid pair of durable hiking boots are going to be a must.

Regardless of what kind of shoes you end up bringing, there are a few attributes that all footwear types should share. The most important of these attributes for the best shoes for Ireland and Scotland is that they are waterproof.

Both countries are known for being very rainy and stereotypes ring very true, meaning that you’re going to want all of your gear to have some way to keep you warm and dry. And there is no worse feeling than having cold, wet feet. Therefore, ensuring that your hiking or walking shoes for Scotland or Ireland are made to stand up to the wet weather conditions that you’re sure to encounter (even if you’re only visiting the cities!) is essential.

London-Scotland-Ireland itinerary
Hiking boots can be necessary to tackle uneven terrain

The other thing you should look for in a shoe that is comfortable to wear for many hours while walking. Though we do recommend renting a car for any longer routes through Ireland and Scotland, it is still very likely that you will spend a lot of time on your feet exploring cities or historical sites, and you need a good and supportive pair of shoes to make this comfortable for you.

All in all, Scotland and Ireland are also fairly casual settings, even in the bigger metropolitan areas, so there is no need to bring a pair of fancy or dressy shoes or boots for your sightseeing. While I wouldn’t recommend walking around the streets of Edinburgh or Dublin while wearing a pair of hiking boots (more so because it will make you stick out like a sore thumb as a tourist), there is no pressure to sacrifice comfort for stylishness. In cities, you’re fine to wear more casual footwear even in more upmarket establishments.

If your Ireland or Scotland itinerary sees you wandering through both the cities and hiking in the country, I would recommend planning to bring at least two pairs of shoes. One pair of hiking shoes or heavy-duty walking shoes and another pair of comfortable, everyday trainers or city boots is what I would recommend bringing with you.

Scotland or Ireland
Hiking boots may not be necessary if you’re only visiting historic sites

The Best Walking Shoes for Scotland & Ireland

So now that we’ve determined what features to look for when hunting down shoes for your trip, these are our top recommendations for the best walking shoes for Scotland and Ireland:

Ecco Soft 7

If you’re looking for the perfect women’s shoe for wandering around the city streets of Dublin, Inverness, Galway or Edinburgh, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Ecco Soft 7 (also available on Zappos here) .

This Danish-designed walking shoe is almost instantly comfortable and requires little to no break-in period to be ready to explore those winding city streets. They come in a range of colours to suit any personality and they have great arch support and padding to make sure that your feet do not hurt even if you’ve been on your feet all day.

These shoes are also quite durably made and they can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear without damaging them, which is why they are the top women’s shoe I recommend for travelling all of Europe along with being the best walking shoe for Ireland or Scotland.

They are also very lightweight, meaning that they won’t weigh down your luggage if you need to pack them away. As they are the shoes that I personally travel with to all of my destinations and wear basically every day, I have no hesitation in recommending them.

So if you’re looking for the perfect pair of women’s city walking shoes for Scotland or Ireland, then you really can’t go wrong with the Ecco Soft 7.

Ecco Byway Tred

While I wholeheartedly endorse the Ecco Soft 7 shoe as a great all-around women’s shoe for travel, the Ecco ByWay Tred (also available on Zappos here) is an excellent choice for men.

These leather shoes are smart in design without sacrificing comfort and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the situation. They are also made with the same great arch support and durability as their female counterparts, making them great for spending all day walking through cobbled city streets.

They come in a couple of different colours depending on your own personal style and are also very durable and can be worn for years to come. If you’re looking for the best men’s walking shoe for Ireland or Scotland, then we definitely recommend the Ecco Byway Tred.

Adidas Gazelle

If you don’t want to make the investment of the Ecco shoes listed above, then the Adidas Gazelle shoes (also available on Zappos here) are an excellent alternative option.

Coming in both men’s and women’s styles, these are the shoes that we used to travel with before we bit the bullet and purchased the Ecco shoes. They have decent arch support and are durable enough to handle a year or two of daily wear and tear, but they are not as well-made as the Ecco shoes.

They do come in a range of colours and styles to suit any personality and they are a bit more trendy than the previous shoes, however, they also do not dress up as well as the Eccos shoes, either.

However, if you want a solid pair of trainers with good arch support for your trip to Scotland or Ireland, then the Adidas Gazelle is a good choice for you.

Clarks Muckers Ruck Rain Shoe

If you want both a stylish and practical pair of women’s waterproof shoes for Scotland and Ireland, then you cannot go wrong with the Clarks Muckers Ruck Rain Shoe.

These leather shoes are durably made and completely waterproof, perfect for keeping your feet warm and dry throughout your trip. They are also stylish enough to wear with a cute outfit or out to dinner in the city, while also being water-resistant and hearty enough to go for a gentle walk in the countryside.

The shoe is made to withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear, meaning that you should be able to wear them for years to come.

Clarks Un Map Warm GTX

For men who are after a shoe with similar features to the above item, you can’t go wrong with the Clarks Un Map ankle boots.

These stylish ankle boots are made from a weathered leather and are fully waterproof while still being breathable. They also have a slip-proof rubber sole making them ideal not only for city streets but also for some walks in the countryside.

They are durable and well-made, meaning that they will last you for many years and are comfortable and supportive enough to walk in for hours at a time without getting sore feet.

So if you’re looking for a great men’s waterproof shoe for Ireland or Scotland that can easily transition from city to country, then the Clarks Un Maps are a great choice.

The Best Boots for Scotland & Ireland

If you’re planning on doing a bit (or a lot) of hiking or hillwalking while in Scotland or Ireland, then you’re going to need a sturdy pair of hiking boots for your trip. These are our picks for the best hiking boots for Scotland and Ireland:

Merrell Moab 2 (Click Here for Men’s)

The Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes (also available on REI here or available on Zappos here) are some of the best boots for Ireland and Scotland. They are sturdy, well-made, durable, and waterproof meaning that they will protect your feet of any of the length of Scottish or Irish walk that you might do.

They have an advanced arch and ankle support and they will make sure that your feet are comfortable and protected no matter how long your walking for. They are also equipped with a great grip meaning that you can easily navigate wet or slippery terrain without the worry about slipping.

All in all, the Merrell Moab 2 is a great all-around hiking boot and is an excellent choice for your trip to Scotland and Ireland.

Columbia Newton Ridge (Click here for Men’s)

The Columbia Newton Ridge (also available on Zappos here) hiking boot is a great option if you’re looking for a more heavy-duty boot for Ireland and Scotland, especially if you’re planning on undertaking any of the more challenging treks in the countries.

This is a proper hiking boot, equipped with fantastic full ankle and arch support meaning that you can hike for hours upon hours without risking injury. The rubber sole has a great, non-slip grip perfect for the slick and wet terrain and the waterproof material is sure to keep your feet warm and dry.

If you’re after a durable pair of proper hiking books for Scotland and Ireland, then the Columbia Newton Ridge boots are a great option.

Timberland Chocorua Trail (Click here for Men’s)

A good alternative to either of the two hiking boot options listed above are the Timberland Chocorua Trail boots (also available on REI here or available on Zappos here).

A good option for boots for Ireland or Scotland along with just being a solid pair of hiking boots to own in general, these waterproof boots have good support for both your arches and ankles. They also have an advanced gripping system on the rubber soles and are comfortable to wear for hours on end.

Like the Columbia boots above, the Timberland Chocorua Trail boots are best for avid hikers looking for some solid support and are truly a great choice if you’re after the best hiking boots for Ireland and Scotland.

Finding the best shoes for Scotland and Ireland doesn’t have to be a hard task once you know what to look out for. So long as your shoe is comfortable, supportive, and will keep your feet dry, you are sure to have a great trip to the British Isles.

Are you looking for the best shoes for Ireland or Scotland? Have you found them? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. When she’s not dreaming of far-away lands, Maggie enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, Harry Potter, and coaxing stray cats into her home.

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