2 friends and the coast to coast walk

Cheers Fitness Footwear by theshed
November 30, 2008, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well the walk is now over but our walking continues.  For me the walking continues in new boots since my trusty Grisport boots gave way on me towards the end of the walk.  While I was putting them on at Park House I noticed the soles had cracked and the sides were splitting.  They lasted the rest of the walk but now they are in boot heaven along with all the other well walked pairs.

While I was on the walk I got an email from fitnessfootwear.com offering me some free boots in exchange for a link on this blog and a review of their boots and service.  I’m not sure whether it was some great coincidental timing or whether they had been reading my Twitter status about the boots but either way I jumped at the chance of not forking out for more boots.  They offered Michelle some too so she’ll be following up with a review at some point.

With it coming up to winter and us fancying some winter walking I opted for the fairly sturdy pair of Merrells to the right.  And so begins the review…

Their website seems simple enough.  I have to admit to not using the payment section but most websites are pretty similar these days.  The trouble with websites though is an obvious one, you can’t try on the boots before you try.  Every good walker likes to check the fit.  I’m not sure what their returns policy is either so I couldn’t tell you if you could get them and then easily send them back if they didn’t fit.

The boots arrived fairly quickly and they arrived by Royal Mail which is always good by me.  I hate most courier companies, especially City Link, since if you’re not in the force their own delivery schedule onto you.  Royal Mail I can just pop to the nearest delivery office.

Anyway, the boots.

I love Merrell shoes and haven’t bought anything else for about 4 years now except for some lightweight gym shoes so I expected a lot from these boots and I haven’t been disappointed.  Looking at them you would think they are heavy but they aren’t.  They’re not the lightest boot on the market but they are well worth the weight.  The eyelets on the boot are fantastic, having ball bearings so the pressure of the laces are evenly distributed across the whole boot.  It does make it slightly more difficult to maintain the pressure across the laces as you tighten them but that’s not too bad.  There is one problem with the laces and that’s the lace locks, they’re just not good enough.  They’re too small and fiddly so to get the laces into them quickly and easily is difficult.  They should be bigger.

The soles are nice and stiff, maybe a little stiff for some but for the amount of weight I carry (115kg + pack weight) they are great.  The uppers are stiff too which led to a little bit of soreness around the toe bend when I first started wearing them.  They are still softening up but they should be fine.

Breathability seems pretty impressive for a full leather boot.  I was expecting my feet to be horribly sweaty after walking but they weren’t any better or worse than my other boots.  One thing is for sure, these boots are warm.  The walks we’ve been on haven’t been cold but my feet have always been toasty, a little too toasty on a couple of occasions.

These boots also seem to be very waterproof.  I’ve purposely put them through plenty of puddles and long wet grass and not one bit of water has got through.  Wet grass used to be the worst for my other boots, soaking them rather quickly.  It doesn’t bother these ones.

The last thing that I noticed was the grip.  First time out they didn’t seem too grippy and I was a bit worried they wouldn’t do too well on grassy slopes.  Now that they’ve been on a few trips they seem as grippy as they need to be.  The sole clears grit quickly but they weren’t so good clearing particularly clay heavy mud.  That day got the old calves working as my boots got a few pounds heavier.

All in all I’m well chuffed with the boots and I’m well chuffed with Fitness Footwear.


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