I have never been a girly girl. I don’t remember ever doing the pink thing. My mum can probably confirm or un-confirm this, but I’m sure that I have always much preferred green or blue or brown or black to pink, and have always preferred getting out and about than painting my nails or wearing dresses. It’s just not my thing; I always prefer a different option.
So when I opened my latest shoe box from Hi-Tec my first thought was… wow… they’re pink. So pink. So very pink.
These are the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite Original, a lightweight suede and mesh walking boot.
Colour aside, they have a great retro walking boot look to them, and are indeed very light. The suede and mesh upper is thin in most places, but they have a padded collar around the ankle for support and comfort. There is a removable sockliner for cushioning and a (bright white) rubber outsole for grip.
And did I mention that they are bright pink?
Hey, I’m up for pushing my fashion boundaries because let’s face it I’ve never actually been fashionable. So I got them on my feet, laced the bright white laces up, and went for a short walk with my sister.
My first impressions were actually very good. Our chosen route was four miles up a steep grassy path onto the ridge close to my house, along the muddy Viking Way, and back down the hill on a tarmac pavement. The mud meant the soles are not so white and the upper is not so pink any more, but they gave me good support and kept my feet dry in the squelchy conditions.
I want to give a specific mention to the laces. Strange, I know. But I found the laces on these boots were a) plenty long enough to tie in a double bow – something that is often not the case and then really annoys me, and b) sat really well on the boot giving me a good and secure fit. The eyelets are in exactly the right place – I had total control over how tight the boot was over the top of my foot and around my ankle, without one being dictated by the other.
Since that first walk I’ve worn them a fair bit around and about, including one Friday when I wore them to walk home from work. I actually ended up walking over seven miles that afternoon, mostly on pavement, and I found them very comfortable for that. I did have a problem with the rubber outsole, though… when it’s damp underfoot that sole turns any metal and even cobble stones into an ice skating rink. I had a few dodgy moments when stepping on manhole covers and nearly ended up on my backside when I stood on a metal strip embedded into the paving slabs – eek! It’s strange because on the grass, gravel and muddy footpaths I was provided with steady grip. Just be careful when walking on normal pavements in the rain…!
I don’t think Hi-Tec have designed the Sierra Lite for long distance treks across peaks or full day hikes on all terrains – they haven’t got the cushioning or support needed for that. What they are is a walking boot absolutely ideal for low level trails and rough ground over short to mid-distances. Think walking the dog across fields, Sunday afternoon walks in country parks and nature reserves, long strolls along coastal paths, that sort of thing. The price certainly reflects that – £49.99 is a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a pair of decent walking boots for general outdoor use.
If I am totally honest I would never have chosen these for myself – colour aside, I would generally go for something with additional support and more cushioning. But I will say that I do like them. I like the retro-esque styling (they also come in a beige colour!), and they fit really nicely and are comfortable. I’ve even grown to like the pink. A bit.