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Product Reviews

We love to hear about the adventures your Grisport boots have accompanied you on. It is always great to hear feedback about the mechanisms of the footwear as well. So we have put together this new page for product reviews and stories. Watch this space for more reviews in the near future!

Dartmoot Review

Review by Phill Sorrell

"Grisport get a 'well done' sticker for comfort. In the brochure, they talk about ergonomic shaping designed to adapt to any foot – I cannot speak for all feet, but my two certainly feel snug and well supported in their respective shoe. I have also not had any hot spots or sore bits, and there has been no signs of rubbing at all from day one.

The shoes are waterproof, thanks to the breathable Spotex lining, and despite numerous mires, bogs and river crossings on Dartmoor, my feet remained dry. That presumably means that the lining is also sufficiently breathable to get rid of my perspiration and, whilst I have not used the shoes on a very hot day yet, my feet have not felt overly hot during a hike. Obviously being shoes rather than boots means you are more liable to have water (or bog) come in over the top (although you also tend to be more careful!). There were a few times when this happened, but the snugness of the inner lining against my socks meant not much of the shoe actually got wet and it seemed to dry fairly quickly.

To be honest I absolutely love these shoes, and since taking them out of the box they have completely usurped my other outdoor footwear choices as my primary walking shoes. They are well made and comfortable, waterproof and with good grip, and for me are the perfect balance between full hiking books and lighter hiking shoes (their weight is 1040g).  All in all I find them perfect for 3-season use on Dartmoor. In fact I am really struggling to find much to be critical of, and, at around £70-£80, it is no wonder that they won ‘Best Value for Money’ for a walking shoe by‘Which?’"

Read the full review at Philsorrell.com here.

Crusader Review

Review by Patrick Norris at Footsteps Northumberland.

"I was able to give my new Grisport UK walking boots a good test over the Christmas week and I'm pleased to say they performed well. On Sunday, I walked along the Pennine Way south from Kirk Yetholm, following the path over the high route and back along the low path to my start point. It was cold, very cold in fact, with snow covering 100% of the ground above White Law Nick. Despite the freezing conditions, my feet remained warm and completely dry throughout the day. Although the snow was soft and only really ankle deep these sturdy boots with their Vibram soles did the job for me that day.

"On New Year's Eve, I was able to test my Grisport UK boots on what is at this time of the year, one of the wetter routes that I use in Northumberland National Park. The Breamish Valley and the route from High Cantle to Linhope follows a high ridge, which is extremely wet underfoot, particularly in the Winter months. The boots kept my feet warm and dry all day, despite splashing through and across some soggy terrain. Backed up with a pair of Rab gaiters, the Crusader boots again did the job over 16 km of wet peaty ground reinforcing my confidence that they will serve me well into the future."

Go to Footsteps Northumberland's website.

Peaklander Review

 Review by Alex Roddie.

"MY TESTING

When I published my first impressions, I had only walked a few miles over easy ground with these boots. Nevertheless, I was impressed: it’s a classic case of under-promising and over-delivering. At such a modest price you don’t expect much, but they offer a great deal.

Since my initial piece I have used the Peaklanders for a number of hikes through the Lincolnshire Wolds. I originally planned to take them to the Scottish mountains for some more extensive testing, but other commitments led me to postpone my trip so I have not had the chance to try them out in a more rugged environment yet.

Nevertheless, I think my testing is fairly representative of what the target market wants from these boots. I have walked about thirty or forty miles in them so far, covering a variety of terrain from tarmac roads to muddy paths, moderately steep (if low) hills, and some swampy terrain too – in short, the kind of terrain you could expect to find on any walk through the British countryside.

HOW HAVE THE BOOTS PERFORMED?

In a word: great.

I don’t mean ‘great for the price’, I mean great – as traditional leather walking boots go, I genuinely have never used better. They’re as comfortable as my old Brashers but have far better grip, thanks to the excellent sole unit, which is indistinguishable from Vibram to all practical purposes. The uppers are very robust and the stitching is of high quality. They keep the water out, too, unless any comes in over the ankle cuff. This can be a concern in some situations (which I’ll come to in a moment) but for general countryside walking it’s an edge case.

The waterproofing is easily capable of handling terrain like this, but what about Scottish bog?

I have wide feet, but requested my usual size (45) and after adjusting the fit with volume reducers the result was just right. They flex in exactly the right place and in exactly the right amount for this class of boot. Even the lacing hardware is rock solid and would be excellent at any price.

So, when viewed in context, compared with other models in this class of footwear, the Peaklanders give a stand-out performance. They offer everything you need from a pair of hiking boots at a truly excellent price. Let me repeat it: £85. You could spend twice that and get boots that don’t deliver as much. For a certain type of walker this is quite simply a no-brainer purchase.

But who is that walker? Fifteen to twenty years ago that would be an easy question to answer, but it isn’t so straightforward today.

THE LIMITATIONS OF TRADITIONAL LEATHER BOOTS

In my opinion, the disadvantages I’m going to mention now are inherent to the entire class of traditional leather boots. I have never found any boots that do not show these characteristics to some extent, so this should certainly not be considered a smear on the Grisport Peaklanders. I stand by my comment above: the Peaklanders are excellent, not just for the price, but at any price.

However…

I always get blisters when I hike in leather boots. The make or model doesn’t matter, and I’ve experimented with various sizings both up and down from my standard size 45. Thanks to better socks and footbeds I have successfully eliminated the heel-lift blisters I suffered from ten years ago, but nevertheless when hiking in leather boots I always get one or two blisters after about fifteen miles, even with trail-hardened feet. The Peaklanders are, unfortunately, no exception to that rule. After one longer walk I found a small blister developing on the sole of my right foot.

In my case, the causes are heat and perspiration. My feet get hot when I’m hiking, and when you add perspiration to the mix it results in a blister factory. Unlined leather boots are slightly more breathable, but they require more care to keep them waterproof and I’ve come round to the view that if you’re going to wear full-blown hiking boots you might as well go for ones with a waterproof and breathable liner. The Peaklanders are waterproof, but they are no more or less breathable than other boots in this class I’ve used. You can limit the problem to a degree by airing your feet every hour, but ultimately it’s a losing battle.

There’s also the problem of drying the boots out. If you get the boots saturated – which I guaranteewill happen if you’re stomping through the bogs of the Highlands, for example – then it’s impossible to dry them without the aid of a drying room. This is not likely to be a big deal for the walker who stays in hotels or bunkhouses, but for people like me, self-powered and sleeping in the wild when we go into the mountains, it’s a huge disadvantage.

The Peaklanders are reasonably lightweight as leather boots go – lighter than the Brasher Hillmasters – but they still add 560g to each foot. That’s twice the weight of the footwear I generally prefer to use in the mountains, and after fifteen miles or so I really noticed the extra mass I was carrying around on the end of each leg.

Detail of the ‘Track-On’ tread: as good as Vibram

For the reasons listed above, I switched to trail shoes for all of my summer mountaineering and backpacking earlier this year. This decision has helped me to walk blister-free for hundreds of miles through some of the roughest mountain terrain in Europe, including the entire Cape Wrath Trail and a glaciated 3,000m peak in the Alps. Trail shoes have their own disadvantages, but for me, and an increasing number of other hill-goers, these drawbacks pale into insignificance compared to the benefits.

SO, WHO ARE THE GRISPORT PEAKLANDERS FOR?

It isn’t an easy question to answer.

On the one hand, you have the many superb qualities of the Peaklanders. They’re inexpensive, the quality is second to none, they’re durable, and they will cope with any terrain the British hills can throw at them. On the other hand, you have the increasingly powerful influence of lightweight backpacking, which is starting to affect the gear choice of regular hillwalkers who may not have considered lightweight footwear before. The use of trail shoes is now mainstream for hillwalking and backpacking in the UK, despite the occasional grumble.

But trail shoes haven’t completely taken over yet, and I don’t think they ever will. It takes a considerable degree of experience and self-knowledge to be able to say, I can safely and comfortably use running shoes for this objective. Personal preference is also a factor and a huge proportion of users simply prefer boots over shoes. I can’t see that situation ever changing.

So, who are these boots for? I think they are perfect not only for beginners, but for anyone who prefers traditional leather boots for any reason. I think it would be difficult to find a better pair of three-season boots for the price, and indeed you could pay considerably more without finding this level of quality and durability. If I could sum them up in one phrase, I’d say incredible versatility and value for money.

The Peaklanders are great for general countryside walking and hillwalking. For day walks of moderate distance where you’re likely to encounter rough terrain or just muddy paths, it’s actually hard to go wrong with these boots. I think the disadvantages of leather boots only really come into play if you’re walking very long distances or staying out in the wild for several days. Again, personal preference is vital here; if you’re predisposed to like traditional boots, there’s no issue and you will be very happy with this choice. If you’re predisposed to prefer trail shoes, the Grisport Peaklanders are unlikely to switch you back from the dark side.

FINAL WORDS

The Peaklanders have found their niche in my outdoor footwear collection. I will continue to use them for muddy day walks of moderate length in the Lincolnshire Wolds or the Peak District, mostly in the autumn and winter. There are some walks where boots are just what you want – let’s face it, mesh trail shoes can be the wrong choice if you’re only going out for a few hours and want to keep your feet dry. I may keep gear spreadsheets and know how much all my stuff weighs, but sometimes I still want the reassurance of a stout pair of boots.

The Grisport Peaklanders are some of the best leather walking boots I’ve ever used, and the quality is simply astonishing when you consider the price. If you are looking for a pair of three-season hiking boots then I can wholeheartedly recommend them."

Read the full review here at Alexroddie.com

Timber Review

Review by The Helpful Hiker.

"I used our recentjaunt up to the Peak Districtto try out a pair of boots that I had been sent fromGrisport.

I generally tend to shy away from choosing leather boots as I have always assumed that they are heavy and rigid. I think this is based on my memories of the boots that my parents had when I was growing up. I remember them feeling like lumps of concrete on my little feet. Anyway it turns out that things have changed a bit since then!

I was sent a pair of ‘Timber’ boots to try out and, overall, I was very impressed. Firstly, as they are designed for lowland walking they were very light, in fact they were no heavier than the synthetic boots that I usually wear. Secondly, I loved how supportive they were, especially around my heel.

I was worried about using them out on a walk without wearing them in properly, however I had no issues at all. They were very comfortable right from the beginning, with no rubbing at all. The size 6 (my usual size) fitted perfectly. Our walk incorporated a few different terrains, including muddy hills, boggy grassland, tarmac and a bit of scrambling up to Thor’s Cave-not to mention the slippery rocks inside.  They had plenty of grip and coped admirably with the mud. We had hoped for some wintery weather for our walk, however it was so mild that Luke had even worn shorts on the drive up (this did turn out to be a little optimistic!) This meant that I was very grateful for the breathable lining, especially as I had worn my thick winter socks.

As of yet I haven’t found any negatives to these boots. They are comfortable, keep my feet dry and are flexible, yet supportive. With a RRP of £79 they also seem very good value. Obviously, I haven’t been able to try them out for an extended period yet, but hopefully I will be able to test them out further and report back.

The Technical Stuff

RRP: £79

Sizes: 36-47

Weight: 1000g

Spotex waterproof and breathable lining

Waxed leather upper

Vibram rubber sole

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of boots for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own."

Read the full review here at thehelpfulhiker.com

 

 

 

Watch this space for more reviews!