Sunday, 14 November 2010

These boots are made for walking - but which ones are made for me?

I went into GoOutdoors yesterday afternoon to try on some new walking boots.

When we first started walking I bought a cheap pair from Regatta as I wasn't sure whether it was something I would be doing regularly. Overall, so far they have been great. Really comfy straight out the box and I don't think I've ever had a single blister. The only factor that has let them down is that since our Snowdonia trip stepping in any kind of puddle has resulted in rather soggy feet. Now I didn't mind too much in the summer, I resigned myself to thinking it was a great way of keeping cool. However, now that its somewhat colder that's not really what I'm after. I've tried treating them with Nikwax but still the water gets in.

So I had a look at the shoe wall and picked out a few pairs to try on that were around my budget price of £100. I liked the look of the Brasher Antuco though I didn't know anything about them. Also there were the Brasher SupaLite GTX which I'd read a bit about. Thought I might as well try on the Hillmaster too and one of the Scarpa boots.

I really wasn't keen on the look of the SupaLites, but knew logically I should be looking for performance over style so gave them a go. Wow, I could seriously have forgotten that I actually had anything on my feet. They are so lightweight and really soft and cushioned around your ankle. I was most disappointed that they felt so good.

I kept trying on our boots, then putting the SupaLites back on, then mixing and matching. Nothing else felt the same. The Hillmasters logically looked very similar in terms of materials. But they seemed much wider and my foot felt a bit lost in them. Back I came to the SupaLites. But I don't want the SupaLites, they won't look exciting in my stocking at Christmas!

Then I came home and began trawling the internet for walking boot reviews and now I'm totally confused. No-one seems able to agree! Half the reviews say they've been worn daily for years and they're the best boots ever, the other half say they fell apart really quickly. Half say they've walked in streams to clean them, the other half say they leak. And there doesn't seem to be any authoritative lifetime test reviews, perhaps because gear moves on so quickly.

So what do you do? I guess you just have to buy the ones that seem right for you and hope that they pass the test of time.

That sounds almost like a decision. But then I have just spotted the Brasher Lithium GTX with 40% off...

So what did I choose? Click here to find out and read the out of the box review.

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