Tough, firm and flex­i­ble: footwear for big days out.

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Gear Test -

THIS YEAR, COUN­TRY WALKINGhas WALK­ING has tested more pairs of walk­ing boots than ever be­fore. Leather and fab­ric, speed­boat and su­per­tanker: we’ve looked at pretty much ev­ery big-sell­ing boot you’re likely to find in a gear shop or good web­site, and put it through its paces in ev­ery wild place we could find. In the next few pages you’ll see our find­ings, abridged but also fully up­dated af­ter even more ex­ten­sive use. Almost all of them come with a wa­ter­proof mem­brane, but there’s a huge va­ri­ety in terms of fea­tures, weight, build and in­tent. So it can be hard to sin­gle out a boot that’s great for almost ev­ery­thing, but thank­fully we have a fairly per­fect ex­am­ple right here…

OUT­SOLE Most walk­ing boots are geared to­wards pro­vid­ing you with good trac­tion over mul­ti­ple sur­faces – which means a good, com­plex tread pat­tern and an shape that ei­ther rolls nat­u­rally or bites deeply into the ground to keep you sta­ble. Many boot brands part­ner with out­sole spe­cial­ists Vi­bram, who pro­vide a range of de­signs based on what the boot man­u­fac­turer wants to pri­ori­tise. On this AKU Su­per­alp boot, the biting heel and com­plex, sticky lug pat­tern are geared to­wards rocky and muddy ter­rain, pro­vid­ing great trac­tion on the most un­cer­tain of sur­faces. TOE BOX A tough toe-box might add a bit of weight, but it doesn’t half give you con­fi­dence on rocky ter­rain where your poor old toes are your first line of de­fence. In this case the toe-box is part of a full wrap­around rand, a polyurethane border which en­sures that the cir­cum­fer­ence of your foot is pro­tected from bumps and scuffs. Not all boots need this amount of pro­tec­tion, but here it works per­fectly.

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