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Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX boots

Over the last two weeks I’ve worn these boots everyday. They have been worn walking, driving, coaching rugby, dog scootering and about the garden. The terrain they’re crossed has been varied; road, forest track, hill paths, pub carpets, mud flats, beach, snow and ice. The boots are designed for walking. They are Goretex lined and true enough my feet seemed to be dry no matter what the under foot conditions were. Admittedly I didn’t go and actually stand in a river or let the waves come in over them but they crossed plenty boggy areas and burns in their travels. They are fairly light weight, weighing in at 599g according to the Berghaus website.

The boots have a suede upper and are available in navy/grey, brown/sand or black/black. I was lucky enough to get a pair of the blue/grey ones. The blue seems a nice dark one and has survived without scuffing too badly so far. I didn’t put any magic waterproof sprays on them as I wanted to see how they coped without. And the answers seems to be not bad at all.

The boots have an integral EHS – Ergonomic Holding System, am not exactly sure what this means other than it’s meant to hold your foot in place and prevent it slipping around inside the boot. If that’s what it is meant to do, then it achieves it well. These are a comfortable boot both on the up and down hill.

When I first put them on I was slightly concerned that they might be a little narrow as I have quite a wide foot put my fears were unfounded as the boot very quickly adjusted to my foot. After a few walks they seemed to have moulded quite nicely and after yesterday’s 6 hours in the rain, sleet and snow, they still were as comfortable as when I started.

The lacing is a standard 4 four affair topped off with 3 lacing hooks at the top, the first of those (from the bottom) being set slightly behind the others, part of the EHS. I found the heel instep deep enough to hold the strap of my gaiters. I wore the boots with gaiter on a number of occasions and found no difficulties with that at all.

The boots are light weight, suede and mesh topped and I think advertised as a 3 season boot. I wore them out in snow, sleet and thick mud without any trouble. I found that they were reasonably waterproof, however I did find after about 4 hours on a hill that was waterlogged and my feet were almost continually immersed that they did start to let in dampness. Even damp, my feet didn’t feel particularly cold nor was there any major slippage of my feet inside the boot. A couple more hours and my feet were still fine though even wetter but absolutely no sign of any blisters or even reddening of the skin. They were wore in combination with a decent pair of bridgedale socks.

The boots give plenty of support, I would like to say I slipped deliberately to test them, but truth is, it was muddy on the hill and I lost footing a couple of times on a sloped peaty track. It wasn’t the boots’ grip that failed but slabs of earth sliding away under my weight. Several slips later and ankles were without any damage. The boots however were flexible to attempt to leap small ditches and burns without feeling that I had two unmoving weights strapped to my feet.

The boots were totally soaked yesterday and yet had dried quite nicely overnight in the backporch. Ready for tonight’s dog walking in the woods. The water seems to have given them a wee bit of a wash and whilst they no longer look brand new they look good enough to head off to the pub for the next rugby match. The rubber from the sole is built up slightly at the front of the boot and has protected the suede from too much abuse on rough tracks and going through heather.

I often have to pop a pair of sorbothane insoles in boots due to my history of bad kness and 100KG+ body but I felt absolutely no need to do so with these boots, even walking along roads they seems to have plenty support and not too hard a sole.

I would recommend these boots as a good light weight pair of boots for hill walking, dog walking and generally walking anywhere there is challenging terrain.
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