COOL BOOTS FOR WARM DAYS
We try cool walking shoes for warm weather – plus our first glimpse of a new GPS device
What to walk in when the heat hits.
FIVE OF THE BEST SUMMER FOOTWEAR OUTPATH GTX SHOES Salomon, £135 02070 783 528, www.salomon.com
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 www.asolo.com
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.grubswarehouse.com 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
LA VAL PLUS BOOTS www.aku.it
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.mammut.com
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.