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.
- 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.