Wow – where to start!
Two main categories – traditional leather boots, still favoured by many or Gore-Tex or similar. Leather boots probably need more looking after to keep them waterproof, regular cleaning, waxing, etc and are heavier, but could last for many years. Gore-Tex are lighter, but still need cleaning and waterproofing and probably won’t last longer than a couple of years. I am currently wearing Scarpa Gore-Tex which I am very happy with.
Whatever you buy the most important thing is to buy them from somewhere who know about walking boots. Never buy off the internet or mail-order as you can’t try them on. When I bought my last pair I tried on every size from 9 to 11 as they all vary so much – which is why you can’t buy without trying. Kountry Kit in Tavistock are brilliant. They really know about boots and will take so much care helping you to decide. I must have spent nearly an hour trying them on! However, don’t buy cheap, a decent waterproof pair will cost at least £100.
Avoid GoOutdoors in Plymouth unless you want to be served by a sales assistant with no useful knowledge. They have lots of cheap boots but take a look at the reviews – most are dreadful and even if they claim to be waterproof they probably won’t be. Buy only Gore-Tex and not a cheap imitation.
However, there is another alternative. Judy and I have both bought Neoprene wellies! They are brilliant, especially on the moor. I’ve avoided walking in wellies all my life but I did most of the Remote series in these, easily walking 10 miles without problems. Mine are Muck Boots, Judy’s are Bogs and we are so happy with them. They have boot like soles and fit nicely at the ankles. But again they are not cheap. The recommended price is way over £100, but we paid about £70. You can probably get these on the internet as the fit is probably not so crucial, but we both tried our on first.
Hopes this helps!