I love trying out walking boots, and the latest pair I’ve been testing out are these Brasher Supalite Active GTX which to be honest are more like trainers to wear because they are so light. Designed for leisurely walks rather than high mountain trails, because they are rather like trainers they have an out-of-the-box comfort that means you can buy these and bung them on your feet for a weekend camping and traipsing about without worrying too much about braking them in first.
To give you the technical specification, what we have here is a lightweight, breathable and abrasion resistant Wolverine pigskin suede upper with fabric panels, a supalite sole unit with shock absorbing EVA midsole and ortholite dual density footbed, and a GORE-TEX lining. What this means is you’re getting a supple but durable boot that is waterproof and easy to wear.
And that is the key here – these boots have been designed by Brasher not for the seasoned hiker who clambers up mountains on a Monday evening after work for a microadventure (my new favourite term – I definitely need to have one soon!) that involves fells, scrambling and wild camping. Rather, these are for us ‘normal’ folks who want something good and strong to look after our feet and despise getting wet socks when we’re out for a Sunday afternoon explore.
Fit-wise these have a nice round toe with plenty of room all the way up the foot (they’re quite wide) and lots of padding to hug your foot tightly and keep it warm and snug. I did find the pad on the heel, which I think is supposed to act like a shock absorber for a part of the foot that actually takes a massive beating when you’re stood up all day, a bit strange to start with but after a few miles actually I found it quite comfortable. The laces are very easy to do up well (and the laces are plenty long enough), and the sole offers a fair amount of grip on different types of terrain such as grass, mud, maintained footpaths, concrete and rock/gravel.
You’ll have spotted that the looks are quite conservative – they look like a standard pair of walking boots – but that means they’ll be easily worn with anything and aren’t going to look terrible as soon as you get a little mud on the suede. Talking of mud, and therefore water, the GORE-TEX lining means you can be sure you’re not going to get wet toes in these; the light showers I experienced during testing were thankfully no match for these boots. Oh and in the temperatures we’ve had this summer I can honestly say my feet didn’t get too hot – the breathable element works (when combined with my walking socks) – and my boots still smell pretty fresh too!
Having worn these boots quite a lot for countryside walks close to home I appreciate that they are light and airy and comfortable. Having that trainer-like construction they have moulded to my feet quickly but are still looking fairly new (no walks in the heavy rain and mud yet!). Thankfully the support around the ankle isn’t compromised so much that you can’t rely on these to look after you.
These are the perfect boots to put on and lace up for a quiet and relaxing wander along the paths close to my front door.