We try cool walk­ing shoes for warm weather – plus our first glimpse of a new GPS de­vice

Countryfile Magazine - - Contents - Words Hi­lary Cloth­ier (HC), Daniel Gra­ham (DG), Joe Pon­tin (JP) Pho­tog­ra­phy Steve Say­ers

What to walk in when the heat hits.


If you’re used to a sturdy, mid-height hik­ing boot, this light­weight, mod­ern­look­ing al­ter­na­tive may ini­tially feel a lit­tle too min­i­mal for the tri­als of the trail. Its col­lar and tongue sit low around the base of your an­kle and with a weight of just 335g, it’s 200g lighter than your av­er­age hik­ing boot. How­ever, far from a hin­drance, its slight na­ture is an as­set. The Outpath is de­signed for fast movers. Its Quick­Lace fas­ten­ing means that the shoe is eas­ily slipped on and off, while the High Trac­tion Con­ta­grip out­sole en­sures a strong grip on a range of ter­rains. It’s

com­fort­able, too, thanks to the cush­ioned sole, and the Gore-Tex lin­ing keeps it wa­ter­proof. Avail­able in a va­ri­ety of colours for women and men. • For a lit­tle more an­kle sup­port, take a look at Salomon’s Outpath Pro GTX. Ver­dict: Light­weight shoe ideal for fast movers on a va­ri­ety of ter­rains. DG

FAL­CON GV Asolo, £184.96

If you have reg­u­lar to nar­row feet, these pleas­antly light­weight women’s boots (at 428g) could be ideal for sum­mer. Ital­ian-de­signed, the boots have up­pers made of suede and tough cor­dura fab­ric, while a Gore-Tex

wa­ter­proof lin­ing keeps your feet dry. The Me­ga­grip Vi­bram sole has fairly shal­low lugs and de­cent but low­pro­file pro­tec­tion at the toe, so the boot feels com­pact and dis­tinctly un­clumpy – while still grip­ping well on a va­ri­ety of sur­faces. While the Fal­con is of­fi­cially a sum­mer boot, it coped well with the late win­ter mud and snow in March, with­out feel­ing no­tice­ably cold. With that in mind, I’d say the Fal­con would ac­tu­ally make a de­cent year-round boot, pro­vided that you haven’t got any­thing re­ally rugged in mind, and you choose a pair with room for some thick socks be­neath. Ver­dict: Grippy, light and nim­ble. JP

DIS­COVER TRAINER Grubs, £119.95 www.grub­sware­ ŕŕŕŕŕ

These de­cep­tively light­weight train­ing style shoes for women are ver­sa­tile enough for all kinds of uses, per­form­ing well on most ter­rains, whether you are gar­den­ing, power hik­ing or walk­ing the dog. They have a re­in­forced toe area with a light layer that is great for ground work in the gar­den that doesn’t re­quire wellies or stur­dier boots. The Dis­cover gives strong sup­port, es­pe­cially for the in­ner part of the foot and arch, en­abling a good sense of bal­ance for any ac­tiv­ity. They are light and

com­fort­able. The breath­able fab­ric al­lows your warm vapour to es­cape so your feet are less likely to over-heat on warmer days. The wa­ter­proof mem­brane kept my feet dry even when rock­pool­ing. On a good ram­ble that doesn’t in­volve too much scram­bling, I’ll be pulling on these, not walk­ing boots. Ver­dict: Good for warmer sum­mer out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. HC


These are mighty hand­some boots. Not flash: just qui­etly stylish and ca­pa­ble. They are not for high moun­tain hikes or sop­ping moor­land, but are well suited to a va­ri­ety of sur­faces up to the mod­er­ately rugged. They pos­sess the

low pro­file that makes them suit­able to knock around in; the well-judged mid-height an­kle sup­port, in par­tic­u­lar, is dis­tinctly un­bulky. The Miche­lin Pul­sar out­soles have shal­low lugs but are rea­son­ably grippy. They feel very

sta­ble – an ef­fect of the mid­sole, made with two ma­te­ri­als (one softer) fused to­gether and de­signed asym­met­ri­cally, to dis­trib­ute your weight over a larger part of your foot. As a re­sult, you bear the load more evenly; a big ben­e­fit if you have a long day’s walk ahead of you. Note that there is no wa­ter­proof mem­brane – so it’s down to you to keep the up­pers waxed and water-re­pel­lent. Ver­dict: Stylish, ideal for easy walks.

ALNASCA KNIT LOW Mam­mut, £119 uk.mam­

This in­no­va­tive Swiss-de­signed shoe (for men and women) is built around a lin­ing ‘sock’ of stretchy ma­te­rial. It ex­cels in hot weather be­cause the up­pers are made of a ‘knit­ted’ mesh fab­ric, which lets plenty of cool air in. The sticky rub­ber soles are bril­liantly grippy on slip­pery rock. So they are great for sum­mer walks on hard ground. On the down­side, the lugs are shal­low, and don’t cope well with claggy Bri­tish mud. As ever, fit de­pends on the anatom­i­cal quirks of your feet – there’s no such thing as the shoe that fits ev­ery foot. The Al­nescas were not a per­fect match for my (slightly nar­row) feet; and while they came through a nine-mile walk with no ill ef­fects, my heel never felt se­cure enough no mat­ter how I tied the laces. But your feet might fit them per­fectly; so try be­fore you buy. Ver­dict: Cool in hot, dry weather, but make sure the fit suits you.

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