After years of being unhappy with walking boots and never finding a pair that does what 'it says' Andy, the Wales Outdoors owner has given up with seeking the perfect mountain footwear. Instead he's going for cheap and cheerful and putting up with the associated elements of poor design.
Andy recently retired a pair of Salomon Boots that were uncomfortable from the get go (they got better but it was a few months of pain) and despite costing £140, were never waterproof. And in Andy's experience, no fabric boot, no matter the cost, is waterproof. So, he was on the lookout for replacement boots and noticed a Go Outdoors ad for Regatta Burrell Mids, reduced from £120 to £40. Now, Andy doesn't believe for an instant that the boots are worth £120 to that that reduction is a true reflection of the recommended for sale price, but hey, £40 for a pair of decent boots? Worth a punt.
So Andy bought a pair and subjected them to a full week of walking in both the Brecon Beacons and in Snowdonia, averaging about 15km a day in all types of weather from the insanely wet and windy through to the delightful sunny and warm.
Despite causing a blister on his left little toe and despite creating an ache and sometimes a sharp pain to his Achilles Tendon the boots were in general great to wear and comfortable. No toe bruising on long descents!
The Regatta Burrell's feel like they hug the foot but due to the soft materials they are manufactured from, a bit like a trainer, they bedded in well. The Vibram sole provides great traction on rock and over grasses alike and that along with the 'hugging' nature of the fit, gives confidence over all terrains.
I can't attest to their waterproofness as on the first day of use they got a soaking in appalling weather and never really dried out. But this is not an issue for me as I don't believe that fabric boots at any price can ever be waterproof, at least I've never found a pair that are. So, I recommend a pair of Sealskinz socks to wear on wet walking days. These are always a great waterproof layer.
I recommend these boots and might go buy another pair to store away and use when the first has had their day, while they are still available at £40, a real bargain in mountain boot pricing.
This is what is says on the Go Outdoors website:
'Comfortable, lightweight and weatherproof walking boots that'll let you venture out in confidence.
Regatta's Burrell Mid is a rugged and durable walking boot that doesn't compromise on comfort, perfect for hiking in the hills and exploring off the beaten track.
It's made with a lightweight PU nubuck and breathable mesh upper, built around a seam-sealed Isotex membrane bootee liner, and coated with Hydropel water-resistant technology - providing complete waterproof protection both inside and out.
Underfoot you have a Vibram® Grivola sole system which is a durable lightweight rubber outsole, with stability perimeter and deeply set lugs providing traction, self-cleaning, and secure braking.
Rubberised toe and heel bumpers
Stabilising shank technology for underfoot protection and to help reduce foot fatigue'
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