Posts tagged lace
The Salomon Comet 3D Lady GTX are a lightweight hiking boot designed with stability and support in mind. With a high-cut profile around the ankle, a protective rubber toe cap and gore-tex layer for waterproofing, they protect you from the ground and the elements. They are tested by and for women – with a specific last, collar shape and sole hardness based on women’s input.
I have been sent a pair courtesy of Snow+Rock to try out, and I have really enjoyed stomping about in them over the last couple of months.
The first thing to say about these is that they were immediately comfortable. They felt light on my feet and the positioning of the laces meant I got an excellent fit without any difficulty. That “from the box” comfort is down to this boot being fairly soft in construction – a mostly fabric upper with nubuck leather overlays and a flexible sole so you can walk naturally from the first step. This may of course mean that they are not as robust or give less protection than some other similarly priced boots, but you always need to spend time breaking in an all-leather boot, and stiffer soles would mean you feel the ground under your feet a lot less, so I would much rather go for something like these Salomons.
The waterproofing comes from a Gore-tex layer. Some people find the GTX layer mean your feet can’t breathe as well, but I haven’t found that with these; I think it’s the breathable layered upper that means my feet are very comfortable even after wearing these for several hours at a time – although it’s always nice to remove your boots at the end of a long day on your feet. And thanks to the recent weather I can confirm that these are definitely waterproof…!
Underneath I appreciated the well designed lugs which gave excellent grip. The soft sole meant I did have to walk a bit carefully on rocky ground, but on the paths and meadow-type-terrain I generally walk these gave me a good stable stride and I was able to forget about what was on my feet and enjoy the walking and the views.
What these Salomons provide is a nice looking waterproof hiking boot that is comfortable straight from the box. For the kind of walking I enjoy – countryside trails, muddy paths, hills, and a bit of gravel and tarmac thrown in, 4-10 miles at a time, these are ideal. I would also be more than happy to rely on these for a peak or two (or three!).
Find them on the Snow+Rock website for £140.
The Hi-Tec Sierra Sina 200 WPI shoes are warm, waterproof and durable snow boots designed to keep your feet warm and dry whatever the weather. With a leather and nubuck upper, they incorporate a 200g Thinsulate insulation, a moisture wicking lining, and a Vibram rubber outsole ideal for snowy and icy conditions.
I chose these myself from the current Hi-Tec range after being offered a pair to review. I liked them the most from the selection because they didn’t actually look like snow boots… they are just like skate shoes, which I love to wear thanks to their comfort and style.
Here are a few photos of them before I took them out in the rain…
These were comfortable from the first time I wore them, which was actually to walk to the shop one pretty yucky day in early January. It was raining, was very cold, and even though I was worried about ruining the light coloured nubuck leather uppers on these, I wanted to give them a try. My feet thanked me – they were toasty warm, completely dry, and lovely and snug in these Hi-Tecs.
Actually I needn’t have worried about the upper. Sure these shoes don’t look like new any more, but the uppers didn’t ruin, they just dried out (thanks in part to my Stuffits!) a bit darker than before. They are comfy shoes, not smart ones, so that’s fine.
I also took these with me to Finland, where they have proper snow (and proper winter temperatures)! These were my shoes of choice when wandering around in the evenings – they are much less bulky than normal snow boots like my KEENs so I could wear them with my straight cut jeans, and I reckon they kept my feet as warm thanks to that insulated lining. I’ve come across Thinsulate in gloves and hats before, but this is my first experience of it in shoes – it works.
I found myself wearing these to work for a day too. I decided I needed something properly warm and comfortable thanks to the very icy pavements – I didn’t want to be stuck in the office at lunchtime thanks to unsuitable footwear, or break my neck getting to a meeting. The Vibram soles worked a treat and, even though I was definitely careful – I didn’t want to end up with anything broken, I felt very secure with these on my feet.
I do like these a lot and I have been wearing them a lot while it’s been cold. They an easy-wearing shoe, cosy and comfy, that keeps what’s on the inside dry and warm even if the outside is disgusting.
A short while ago I tested and reviewed a pair of Salomon trainers that had a new-to-me lacing system which locked shut and didn’t budge, keeping the trainers securely on my feet without any worry.
Greeper Laces have a similar look about them, and come with the tagline “once applied, always tied”. They are replacement laces for sports and other shoes that will never come undone – perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to stop, bend down and re-tie laces at any time.
These standard oval laces (available in a range of nice bright colours so you can pick something that doesn’t clash with your shoes quite like mine!) sit in a ready-tied nice neat bow. To loosen them you pull the tab down towards your toes, to tighten them you pull the loops as you would a normal bow.
Unusually, you ‘install’ these laces upside down – that is, from the top of your trainers down to the bottom. You end up with two ends which you tie (the knot is under the plastic cover at the bottom) together, ending up with laces that can be done up really quickly and then stay like that until you choose to loosen them. Completely perfect for anyone competing in a triathlon where the transitions can be equally as important as performance in the three disciplines, they are designed for anyone who wants a locking lace system that uses traditional laces rather than elastic ones.
These do indeed work. The laces stay put. And despite the clashing blue and green I reckon they look great too.
It seems like a very long time since I won the KEEN Playtime Tester prize… but it hasn’t been until this last couple of weeks that I’ve been able to give the KEEN Hoodoo High Lace snow boots a really good try. I will be honest and say I very nearly bought this pair of boots last year before we went skiing. I’d tried them on, found them at a decent price, but something stopped me. I’m not sure what. I loved them from the pictures, and wanted them badly. When I won the competition and was allowed to choose four pairs of KEENs it was an absolute no brainer, I had to have these.
The Hoodoo High Lace boots are calf length lace up hiking boots with a thick chunky sole and insulated sock. This is what the website says:
The Hoodoo High Lace tames snow banks and cold fronts with ease. Lined with plush synthetic shearling, the high shaft combines handsome oiled nubuck leather with a fast and easy lacing system for a stylish look that’s easy to get into. Inside, a KEEN.DRY waterproof/breathable membrane and 200g KEEN.WARM insulation keep feet warm, dry, and happy—so you can enjoy winter wherever you are.
I have to say, they only just fit around my legs. I really do have large legs, I hate it, really hate it, but because these are lace ups I can get away with it. Now they’re broken in I can get them laced up better too, the sides of the boot have softened up and they are easier to lace up now they’re not as stiff as when I first got them out of the box. That of course is generally true of any boot. They fit under my ski pants and my boyfriend jeans well, look great over leggings, but I couldn’t get them over or under my straight cut jeans – they wouldn’t do up when the jeans were tucked in and the jeans wouldn’t stretch over the top; I just had to choose my outfits to go with them.
Walking around in the snow was a doddle. The massive lugs on the bottom of the boot gripped onto the thick fresh snow in Finland with no problem at all. I did fall over twice – the first time I was running through the snow when all of a sudden it was at least twice as deep and I sank(!), and the second was when I was walking down a steep icy path – oops. So not fool-proof but better than standard hiking boots. They’ve also been great in the slush and ice this week at home; I walked up the hill into the village on Monday morning and felt very sure footed when others were wobbling around treading daintily. Don’t get me wrong, when it got really icy on the pavements I was careful – I’m not stupid (!), but I was confident that if there was grip to be found, these would grab onto it.
I can also confirm that they keep my feet warm and dry – even in deep snow and at -22C to -28C in Finland last week. I obviously wore them with ski socks while out there as I wanted to give my feet every chance possible, but I can honestly say that my toes were quite happy even when my fingers were moaning! The toe protection is great too, that solid area keeps my feet safe when I inevitably bash into things (so clumsy!), and also help the boots keep their shape.
We had great fun on a couple of walks in the snow in Finland taking in the scenery and snapping photos, having something decent on my feet made a big difference as I didn’t worry about them. Playtime is definitely back in these. I’m so pleased with them. They do their job as all-weather boots without a problem, and fit with my idea of what snow boots should look like. Let it snow!
Being a Playtime Tester has turned me into a proper KEEN fan. Put it this way, next time I need to buy a pair of shoes or boots for the outdoors then I would definitely consider KEEN. The shapes are just right for my feet, with plenty of space for me to wiggle my toes without them being sloppy. And they look great too – the range is full of rugged looking shoes suitable for wearing all day and for various activities. And yes, that’s a glowing review, I can’t help it! I now have my eyes on a pair of the canvas mary jane style flats for the summer.
So thanks KEEN. I’m looking forward to Spring to see what you come up with next.
That’s it. The Christmas and New Year break is over. I’ve had a really lovely couple of weeks off. But now it’s back to work. I can’t complain really, the day job is fine, but that still doesn’t stop *that* feeling in my stomach on a Sunday evening – the Sunday night blues plague me once again…
Shoes might help! New shoes always help. Actually I really need to sort out my work wardrobe - one pair of trousers and a couple of ok dresses are not going to see me through to Spring. As always I will start with my feet.
I fancy a pair of brogues. You already know I am totally comfortable in Dr Martens (and I wear those to work as much as possible), but I fancy some shoes. Here are my top three from the Spartoo website:
Here’s a traditional looking brogue by Costa Costa in a fantastically feminine bright patent red. I love them, so shiny, they’d certainly add a pop to any office based outfit.
Still patent (I so love patent shoes at the moment – that’s ok isn’t it?!), these Stéphane Gontard brogues have a softer shape and ribbon laces that make them positively girly. And being black they will go with everything.
But I think these are my favourites:
The slightly higher heel means these chunky western-style brogues by Bronx will just elongate my legs just a teeny bit. I love the detailing on the toes and sides. Yes?
The second pair of KEEN shoes I chose as part of my Playtime Tester prize earlier this year was the Arcata shoes in black. These are from their Spring/Summer collection.
Part of the KEEN BLVD range, these are designed for every day casual wear. They aren’t for miles and miles of serious walking, they are for more relaxed days mooching around town or wandering around lakes or cultural landmarks (note they are still designed for playtime!). I chose them because I liked the styling (you all know I like the Converse-look and I guess these have something of those about them) and thought they’d go nice with jeans or walking trousers for day time activities.
They have an upper made from a combination of leather and canvas, and those aluminium eyelets are recycled – these are durable and eco-friendly. Labelled as 100% vulcanised footwear they are supple and lightweight with a grippy sole for pavements and paths.
I am really happy with them, they fit me really well. They have quite a wide fit (they are actually quite a big shoe) and are low at the ankle – my feet spread out in them which makes them ideal for wearing after a day-hike when my feet aren’t feeling that fantastic. The footbed is springy and I find my feet stay really cool thanks to the canvas. With them being canvas and suede these aren’t suitable for jumping in puddles, but I have had them on in a rain shower and they didn’t ruin (these photos are all taken after quite a bit of wear – I got these probably two months ago now).
If I could choose a third pair from the Spring/Summer range (which I can’t as my second two pairs were from the Autumn/Winter range) then I’d be a bit braver and choose something a bit more unusual like the Harvest Mary Jane. I love the design of these but have no idea if they’d suit me or if my friends round here would snigger at my feet if I wore them! Maybe if I win another KEEN competition sometime I’ll go for something different. Wishful thinking maybe! But to be fair, I’m more than happy with my Turia Sandals and these Arcata shoes – I chose well I reckon!
I do love these every day sneakers and genuinely enjoy wearing them. My feet are very happy in them. Thanks KEEN
Find the KEEN Arcata Shoes on their website for £54.99.