Hi-Tec Wild-Fire Low i WP £70

TESTER Gra­ham Thomp­son

Trail (UK) - - SHOES VS BOOTS -

■ Ma­te­ria● Up­per suede and syn­thetic mesh, Dri-Tec wa­ter­proof lin­ing

■ So●e M-D Trac­tion sole

■ Me■’s 6-13 ■ Wome■’s 3-8 ■ Weight 1202g (size 11)

On pa­per, this lower-priced shoe has all the ba­sic fea­tures needed for walk­ing out­doors: a wa­ter­proof lin­ing, some re­in­force­ment in the toe box and heel cup, and an ex­ter­nal syn­thetic toe cap and heel cup to pro­tect these ar­eas from abra­sion. Un­der­foot there are some quite ag­gres­sive sole lugs, but you don’t get a sub­stan­tial heel breast for added trac­tion. Once on, this did not pro­vide the close­ness of fit of other shoes ei­ther. On rocky paths it was no­tice­able how lit­tle stiff­ness there was in the fore­foot of the sole, as jagged rocks eas­ily pressed through, lead­ing to dis­com­fort. So while the cush­ion­ing works well on level paths, as soon as the ter­rain be­comes rocky, the draw­backs of this shoe are very no­tice­able.

PROS Price, weight, com­fort on level paths with­out rocks, wa­ter­proof

CONS Even level rocky paths caused the sole to flex too much to main­tain com­fort, lack of heel breast lim­its grip on muddy slopes, up­per is un­likely to be as durable as those with less stitch­ing and less mesh

BUY IT IF You want a shoe just for for­est tracks or moor­land paths rather than any­thing too rough and rocky

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