I like boots for walking, always have. I feel that they give more support and grip than shoes, I have only had walking shoes for day to day wear, cycling and short dawdles with the kids. I was not expecting these to change my opinion. Now obviously this is weather dependant and I wouldn't wear them while up in the Munroes but for some of my short to mid distance walks I will probably start to wear these more.
I have to admit to being a little sceptical when I received this package through the post. That lasted right up to the point when I opened the box. These shoes look good quality from the off (if you ignore the colour of the laces, which look to me like safety shoe laces) and they are fairly light. These shoes are rated as 2 season, although as with everything else, this is subjective. I wore these on an extremely cold day with a good pair of thick socks while trudging round the coast with no problems. The manufacturer also states that they have a breathability rating of 2, which is nice, as no one like stinky feet. They are available in 2 colours, Black which is Grey/Red and Orange which is Tan/Orange. I reviewed the Black pair.
The uppers are made from Wolverine suede, with an Isodry liner. This, to you and me, is pigskin suede with a waterproof liner and taped seams with a moulded footbed. There is a Phylon midsole that, according to the advertising blurb, improves the comfort of the shoe as well as providing cushioning and flexibility when in active use. The shoe feels very stiff and holds the foot in place extremely well, when you get walking the shoe is comfortable and easy to walk in. The soles are own brand and very chunky. They give a lot of traction even on wet rock and you soon become confident in their ability to keep you on your feet.
The laces (although not the right colours in my opinion, they just don't look right) are flat, which I think is brilliant. Round laces although a lot stronger do slip, especially when wet and they drive me barmy. Flat laces will not last as long as round but do not slip so less time spent stopping to retighten loose boots/shoes.
On a particularly boggy coastal path this last weekend they proved their waterproof label with ease. I almost went ankle deep on a number of occasions, not a drop passed through to my feet. They scrub up easily enough when being cleaned too.
The sizing is slightly small, not so much that it notices day to day, but if you put on a pair of thick socks it can squeeze a bit, which should be borne in mind if ordering. I have worn these on a daily basis since receiving them and have been extremely pleased with them. I can see these being my regular wear over the winter and for out on the hills in better weather next year.
On a side note, Mrs Gramps reckons that the laces look okay and that I just have no taste or fashion sense, so I will leave that conundrum up to you.
Men's Cyclone Waterproof Shoes provided by Mountain Warehouse.