Review of Brasher Supalite II GTX Walking Boots [updated]

Having a good, well worn in, pair of boots is pretty damn important when it comes to hiking – let alone attempting a 13 day, 185 mile, epic hike across the hills and valleys of the Wales / England border.

The Brasher Supalite II GTX Walking Boots were ideal boots for Offa’s Dyke – they are comfortable and lightweight, but are still water proof and offer sufficient support. They are available from White and Bishops for £111 (they are also available for Women)

Whilst training for Offa’s Dyke, I wore my old, well worn in, pair of leather Brasher boots. However disaster struck a few weeks before our challenge began, when they finally fell apart (after many years of abuse). I got a pair of Brasher Supalite II GTX’s as a replacement, and they arrived three days before we started Offa’s Dyke.

The first thing you notice about the boots is just how light they are…. a mere 1160g per pair (for size 9). Even now, two months on, it still surprises me how light they are. Reducing the weight on your feet reduces the amount of energy required, meaning you can enjoy your walk more!

The Supalite II GTX are also extremely comfortable – most of the leather of the boot is light and flexible, although the heel and toes is toughened for added protection. The lining is leather, and there is a padded ankle cuff. This is, without a doubt, the most comfortable hiking boot I have ever worn – it almost feels like you are wearing a pair of hiking trainers!

I was a bit sceptical about the “out of the box comfort” marketing slogan – however it is actually true, and what better proof than walking 185 miles over 13 days, just 3 days after taking the boots out of the box. I expected my feet to end up being a mess of sores and blisters, but instead I only had two tiny blisters (on one big toe and on my heal) which appeared and disappeared over a couple of days during the trip – even my old worn in boots would have caused more problems!

Despite being so light and comfortable though, the Supalite II GTX boots still offer the ankle protection you need when out hiking. There were a couple of times on Offa’s Dyke when I could easily have, at the very least, twisted my ankle, without the boots’ protection.

The boots have a “Supalite™ sole unit with REVA midsolesole for enhanced grip and durability” – personally I am not really sure what that means, but I certainly had no problems with grip on Offa’s Dyke!

Some people may not like the visual appeal of the boots though – they are certainly quite “traditional”. I was indifferent to the look at first, but to be honest I warmed to it over time – and anyway, you aren’t doing it right if you boots aren’t covered in mud! (the boots are GORE-TEX® lined, so are waterproof!)

Overall these boots are perfect for the kind of hiking I mainly do (countryside, hills and well walked mountains), and I wouldn’t think twice about recommending a pair for anyone considering walking a National Trail.

Features:

  • Upper – Durable full grain leather
  • Sole – New Supalite™ sole unit with REVA midsolesole for enhanced grip and durability
  • Insole – Injected 3D nylon fibre glass
  • Weight – 1122g/pair
  • Lining – Full leather lined for comfort. GORE-TEX® Performance Comfort Footwear

[Brasher kindly sponsored us on our Offa’s Dyke challenge – however this review is a true and fair reflection of my opinion of the Supalite II GTX boots]

UPDATED: 7th December 2011

I love these boots – they are the best walking boots I have ever owned. However, since I joined the ‘dark side’ and tried a pair of Keen Targhee II walking shoes (http://www.mycountryside.org.uk/2011/04/14/review-keen-mens-targhee-ii-walking-shoes/) they have sat in the cupboard unloved. Only now as the weather is starting to turn am I starting to think about giving them a clean ready for use again.

10 Replies to “Review of Brasher Supalite II GTX Walking Boots [updated]”

  1. I had similar thoughts about my supalite GTX boots. Comfortable, nice soft leather lined, however after 2 years of very occasional country walks in them and virtually no wear on the soles, these soles just came away from the boot. I tried a shoe repairer and then tried Shoe Goo glue to fix them but nothing worked. Very dissapointed and I shall not be buying Brasher again.

  2. I use these boots for working in the landscapeing industry fitting decking fencing and tiering gardens and as i have artheritis in one of my ankles i need something comfy and supportive.
    I stand all day and work constantly in a muddy garden and find that these are the best pair of boots i have ever worn but they only last about 2 years
    if you break this down in real costs i wear them about 35-40 hours a week 48 weeks a year which is about 1.50 per week and less than 3p per hour and as i dont think many ramblers or hikers punish the boots in this fashion i think they are the best value of any boot, as matter of interest i am on my forth pair of these fine boots and will use them all my working life

  3. I’ve had Brasher Supalites since they first appeared and have gone through several pairs, being a regular hill walker.
    I must say that they do not last as long as they used to. Furthermore, the initial comfort isn’t as good as it used to be and the waterproofing of my latest pair has only lasted 18 months. Is this due to cheaper manufacture in China [originally they were UK made and later in Portugal, if I remember correctly]?
    I contacted Brasher and they insisted there was no change …….. the wearer knows all, I say.
    Maybe that explains the Supalite II GTX bit! let’s hope so or another excellent British product will disappear down the economic plughole. Walkers show there opinions with their feet!

  4. Brasher boots sold their soul years ago. They are trading on a old reputation .If it was a new company, people would not speak so highly of them .

  5. I found Brasher’s Supalite to be the only walking shoe suitable for me. But 18 months later, and only one walking holiday completed, the leather on the right boot came away from along the side, from where my pinkie begins, and now lets in water. Very disappointed that, for the initial cost and subsequent – very little – wear, I got such poor value. I brought them back to the shop and they were very unsympathetic and said ‘tough’, no guarantee and that they could not be mended. Can anyone recommend I try another pair of Brashers, that I was just unfortunate, or another similar make, please?

  6. I am currently looking to buy a pair of boots and these boots caught my attention. After reading people’s comments I will not buy them for sure. Why oh why does everything have to be ruined and done cheaply these days. I am seriously planning to spend as much time outdoors as possible this year so if you can recommend something else then please do.

  7. I have my brasher boots 3 months now. Very ccomfortable but hard to break in. Left shoe gave me trouble with blisters on heel. Went Omagh a long hike up a mountain and find my right foot soaking…..so not waterproof. Disappointed….i would be as well off with a cheap pair.

  8. hi i bought a pair of brasher boots about 18 months ago wanted a good quality boot to walk in WHAT I GOT WAS A PAIR OF BOOTS I HAVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO WEAR LESS THAN A DOZEN TIMES
    AFTER ABOUT 20 MINS WEAR ON A GOOD DAY MY HEELS ARE BLISTERED WENT TO THE SHOP I BOUGHT THEM FROM THEY SAW THE STATE OF MY HEELS TOLD ME TO CONTACT BRASHER DIRECT WHICH I DID THEY TRIED TO SAY I WAS NOT WEARING CORRECT SOCKS EG THEIR MAKE TOLD THEM I HAD ALSO BOUGHT SOCKS SAME TIME AS BOOTS HAVE TRIER 2 PAIRS OF SOCKS SILK SOCKS COTTON SOCKS NOTHING STOPS THE BLISTERS WHICH THEN TEAR OPEN ACCROSS MY HEELS HAVE NEVER HAD SUCH A PAIR OF CRAPPY BOOTS AND DEFINATELY NO CUSTOMER SERVICE SO £130-00 PAIR OF BOOTS SAT IN CUPBOARD ANYONE ELSE HAD SAME ISSUE

  9. Certainly sounds as if there are some issues here with how long these boots last, which is the one thing I was unable to find out after Offa’s Dyke – unfortunately illness stopped me walking afterwards, and they were replaced by a pair of Keen Targhee II walking shoes the following year and have not been out of the cupboard since.

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