I like the term “travel shoes”. The name evokes an idea of holiday – going away – spending the day on your feet because you are having a break, taking some time out. These new Brasher Roam GTX ladies travel shoes are for just that – enjoying a city break, doing a coastal walk, or taking the forest trail.
For me at the moment the path is more often a tarmac or concrete one rather than a footpath as I train for the London MoonWalk. That’s travel right? So I put these on and went out to see what the shape and comfort of the shoes was like. The above is a terrible shot, I apologies… these next few show off the shoes better:
I love that shoes are so packed full of technology. The Roam GTX have been developed specifically for women, designed around the natural shape of the feet, giving them space to relax as well as support. There’s a shock absorbant EVA footbed and gel inserts anatomically positioned to provide extra cushioning and stability by “promoting the foot’s natural rolling motion”. There’s memory foam in the collar and tongue for extra comfort, and the waterproof and breathable gore-tex lining keeps feet dry. Upper-wise Brasher have used suede and breathable mesh in the design, and have a “travel active” sole for grip and performance.
Look and Fit
These look like a pair of walking shoes don’t they? The shape and design is exactly as I’d expect a pair of walking shoes to look. Which is a good thing – I like a traditional pair of shoes, classic design. They work perfectly well with walking trousers, tracksuit bottoms, linen trousers and boyfriend style jeans – not a fashion statement of course but designed for comfort and durability.
The mesh and suede upper looks great, and the black solid toe is wide and rounded which means your toes have loads of room inside. The shoes are fairly low at the ankle too which I like because they’re less likely to rub, and the memory foam in the ankle/tongue is snug.
The laces are long, maybe a little too long, but that gives plenty of room for adjustment. I did find it was difficult to get the laces secure to start with. An extra lace hole so you can use the heel lock lacing technique would be useful, but after a few wears (and therefore once the memory foam had started to mould to my feet) I found it was much easier to get these to stay in place. If anything, after 13 miles I found these were a little tight.
Splodz Blogz Verdict
You’re supposed to break in shoes if you’re going to walk miles and miles in them, and I always wear new shoes around the house before going anywhere in them, it’s best to give your feet a chance to get comfortable in them. I’ve now done a handful of walks in these, the longest being 13 miles this weekend, and I’ve found these do a good job. The cushioning inside the sole is really good, I am very heavy on my feet (they really take a battering), and I had no sore spots in these.
I went for a size 7, and they are fine for normal walking, but by the end of my 13 miles on Saturday, with my feet having enlarged inside the shoes, I did wonder if I should have gone for some bigger ones. But actually I don’t think so – shoes do mould to your feet anyway, the padding shapes around your toes, and these are plenty wide enough. I should add I didn’t get any blisters, I could just feel the shoe tightly – I wasn’t in enough discomfort to change the lacing.
Apart from walking I have found these great for cycling to work. The grip on the bottom fits with my pedals really nicely (I don’t use clip-ins, just standard pedals), which made my feet really secure. This is great news as it means the shoes are versatile enough to cycle to the local nature reserve, walk around it, then cycle home. Sounds silly because trainers would normally be good enough, but I would choose these instead due to the security on the pedals and the grippy sole for the trail.
In comparison with my other pair of Brasher shoes – the Kuga GTX I’d say the wider toe area is more comfortable for my toes, and the lower ankle height is kinder. Both have their place but these lightweight versatile travel shoes probably have more uses, although they don’t look as good with jeans.
Brasher’s Roam GTX travel shoe is available online for £120.