Review: Brasher walking boots
Few people would decide to set off for a potential muddy, wet and rocky countryside walk in a pair of non-grippy fashion trainers. But then again, my friend, The Number One Fan of Doctor Who, isn’t like most people. He told me he was wearing his woefully inadequate shoes because his “actual” walking shoes had been the target of a peeing dog. I’m not convinced this was the case. Especially as The Number One Fan of Doctor Who has been known to turn up to work in his slippers. I think it was simply a senior moment. And boy did he live to regret his over-sight.
The mud and puddles on our round-reservoir stroll set amid gorgeous Ayrshire countryside proved to be way beyond what his trendy “vegetarian” (yes, it gets worse!) trainers could cope with.
But while The Number One Fan of Doctor Who ended up with sodden feet and muddy trousers, Little Miss Outdoors and I enjoyed the comfort and joys of our Brasher walking footwear. I was test-driving the new multi-activity outdoors shoe called the Argon. While Little Miss had on an attractive-looking (looks are important for fashion-conscious 11-year-olds) Chichon GTX for kids.
What Brasher say about the Argon: Ideal for low-level walking in warmer weather, Brasher’s new Argon shoe is ultra-breathable for prolonged comfort. Weighing just 684g per pair (size 5) and featuring a stylish suede and mesh upper for breathability, with uber-comfortable “Memory Foam” in the collar and tongue, this versatile multi-activity shoe provides amazing comfort and performance at a competitive price of £65.
Also featuring Brasher’s new All Terrain sole unit, the Argon offers superb grip, traction control and durability. It’s the perfect choice for fans of the great outdoors who are looking for a high performance shoe that can also be used for everyday casual occasions.
What I reckon: There are only certain times of the year – drier spring, summer and some autumn days – when I would consider wearing a walking shoe rather than a boot for a stroll in the countryside. I would tend to wear boots for most hill walks, while walking shoes suit lower-level, less rocky rambles and some smaller, not-too-steep hills. So the round-reservoir walk on a mostly sunny summer’s day was just the ticket.
The shoes were roomy enough in the length to fit my size 8.5 feet (I had the biggest size 8 women’s shoe.) (I can’t understand why more companies do not produce women’s size 8.5s and 9s these days as women are on average bigger and taller but that’s for another blog post…) I have a narrow foot and the Argons were neat enough to support my feet. My only gripe was that the sides of the shoe came a bit too high up my ankle and so they occasionally hit my ankle bone when my feet turned on their side a little. I think I may have quite flat feet, though, so for most people the shoes would be more than comfortable. (After a few subsequent wears the shoes did mould more to my feet and became a lot more comfortable.)
Apart from this the Argons did everything they promised:
* They gripped on dry and muddy paths.
* They took me up damp grass without slipping. Not even when I had to haul The Number One Fan of Doctor Who up a boggy bank because his “trendy trainers” were behaving more like ice skates.
* They kept my feet dry, even when we tramped through muddy puddles. If the puddles had been deeper there would obviously have been the potential for mud to spill over the top but in most summery conditions the shoes would be fine.
* They felt light enough for me to have a spring in my step for the five-mile, easy-going low-level walk.
* They didn’t hamper me when I raced up several flights of stairs to the reservoir path after being challenged by Little Miss.
* The laces also stayed tied for the entire outing, which can all too often NOT be the case.
* I found the shoes were easy to wipe down after the walk.
* The shoes look smart and trendy-ish enough to wear out and about for general active stuff, or even for a trip to the supermarket!
Conclusion: At £65 for a versatile pair of hard-wearing walking/activity shoes I think these are a good buy.
What Brasher say about the Chichon GTX: A children’s walking boot (arguably blue for boys and red for girls) with a GORE-TEX® lining that are ideal for walking on well-defined paths over moderate terrain. Upper is made of suede with textile panels, while the sole is made of a flexible material. Sizes 12 to 6.
What Little Miss Outdoors thinks: “Well, my boots are obviously better than his [The No1 FoDW]!” said LMO with a smirk. When I could tear her attention away from beautiful Mollie the Collie dog, LMO added: “They feel light and comfortable… There’s no rubbing… I like the colour and the laces are great as well… They are a bit wide for my skinny feet, but then all shoes are too wide for my skinny feet which is a real pain but with my thick socks they feel pretty good.”
At the end of the muddy walk LMO’s socks were still dry and she had ploughed through five miles without any foot complaints.
Shame the same could not be said for the No1FoDW. His feet were soaked through. In fact he was heard “squelching”. He had mud all the way up his trousers and somehow on his arms as well, possibly because he’d fallen over so many times. It is unlikely that he will ever got the mud out of his socks. And if he has to relegate the shoes to live with the other ones “that a dog peed on” then I don’t think it’ll be a great loss. He’s thinking of looking at the men’s Active Walking Shoes on the Brasher site!