Millets HQ have headed out of the office and taken to the outdoors to put our Hi-Tec boots to the test. We’ve trudged through mud and puddles, walked on grass and gravel, and climbed up and down hills so we’ve got a good idea on what works and what doesn’t with these selected walking boots.
The Hi-Tec boots we have put through the paces are the Basecamp Altitude, Bandera and Ox Chukka, so let’s meet the team and see what they thought…
The first time I wore these was for bonfire night and I wore them with trainer socks, boy did they rub my feet. Never underestimate the power of wearing correct socks with your walking footwear kids. The next time I gave them a go I wore appropriate padded boot socks (smartwools) and took them for another spin to Wakefield’s world famous Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It was a cold, wet, blustery day and I felt equipped with my new Peter Storm waterproof 3 in 1 also. These boots were perfect for this activity and kept my feet dry the whole day even after splashing about in puddles and mud. Definitely waterproof! What I liked best about these boots as someone who isn’t that outdoorsy, are that the brown leather style almost makes you feel like you’re just wearing brown non-walking winter boots. Perfect for anyone a bit style conscious. The only thing I would really improve on them is the stiffness, the leather can be quite tough at times and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for movement. However, I’m sure after a few more wears this will soften.
These Bandera Hi-Tec boots are extremely comfortable. There is plenty of cushioning around the ankle that prevents rubbing and the suede mesh material keeps the shoe breathable. The thick sole ensures a great grip and the versatile lacing system tightens or loosens across the whole foot. The Bandera Hi-Tec boots are both waterproof and the grip and rubber outsole are extremely durable. They can rub slightly at first so ensure you wear walking socks with them, but overall a great boot!
My first outing in my Altidude Basecamp walking boots was trudging through the country gardens at Castle Howard. Some of the paths were covered in mud and puddles but the shoes could definitely handle it. To put them further to the test I took a hike with the rest of the Millets HQ through the Lake District, tackling rocks, steep ascents, streams and even snow. My feet remained completely dry and warm, so I can say with confidence that they are waterproof, and my grip didn’t suffer. There were no embarrassing slips and slides thankfully! The collar was a bit stiff at first and rubbed slightly, but softened after a couple of outings. The leather upper is so easy to clean, mud just wipes off, which gives me peace of mind when I get home and my boots are covered in it. Definitely recommend!
I found the Ox Chukka to be comfortable and well-built with a sturdy fabric and suede upper. This firmness impaired the lacing system however, which because of looseness did affect water ingress from the top of the boot. However, to clarify I was using them for cycling which technically is not their intended use and I think over time these fabrics would become suppler and therefore more malleable. The Ox Chukka looks technical and at this price point has lots of merits but for serious all weather hikers I would choose something more significant.
Check out our great range of Hi-Tec footwear here and let us know what you think of your boots in the comments below.