Go Guide: Hiking the Scottish Highlands
For a backcountry boot born from long treks in Europe, what better spot to put it into action than the Scottish Highlands—the vast area northwest of Glasgow.
We asked Fort William outdoorsman Colin Barr to test out a pair of our new Karraig boots, and we tagged along as he set off into the breathtaking landscape right in his backyard.
Check out the video below and keep reading to learn about what hiking gems shouldn't be missed on a visit to Scotland.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE HIGHLANDS?
Colin: The Highlands' charm is with the wildness of the area. If you want to, you can go days without seeing anyone. It's an unforgiving landscape, but very rewarding for those that make the journey away from the well-beaten paths.
If you want to, you can go days without seeing anyone.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HIKE OR SPOT THAT YOU OFTEN GO TO?
One of the most overlooked areas in Fort William is the North face trail up to the CIC hut on the Ben. It offers an imposing view of the Ben that many never see despite being at the top. Another classic, and a challenge for anyone, is the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glencoe—some serious scrambling and exposure make for a great day out."
Q: FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER BEEN TO THE REGION, IS THERE A JUMPING OFF POINT THAT YOU RECOMMEND?
The biggest mistake many make is trying to rush 'round Scotland. With miles of single-track roads, you won't get anywhere fast! Many drive directly to Skye and miss the journey along the way. The West coast holds so many gems—the best way to see it is to island hop. It's so unique and each island holds a different charm. The journey through Glencoe and a short hike to the Hidden Valley is a must. Ironically it's at its best when it's cloudy and foreboding, it's really atmospheric.
Q: WHAT MAKES THE KEEN KARRAIG A GREAT BOOT FOR THIS REGION?
The Karraig excels in the Scottish environment—bogs, mud, river crossings are all in the first few meters of any hike. Having a wide and stable forefoot and solid heel brake are essential. The locking cleat allows for infinite adjustability for when the going gets flatter, and having a solid waterproof membrane means it will become a staple boot for the Highland walker.
As you go further and deeper into nature, reliable equipment is key. Our European-designed Karraig boot is gear for your feet that's built for sure-footed performance and comfort. With premium construction, a heel brake for protection on the descent, and our highest-traction rubber outsole, it's our most technical backpacking boot yet.
BACKPACKING BOOTS TO GO OFF THE GRID