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!
Review by Country Walking Magazine, May 2019.
"It’s flabbergasting that Grisport can sell such a solid, comfy, high-spec boot for £99. If you’re looking for a low-cut leather boot for all-round walking and especially hills, the Fuse is really all you need. It’s (mostly) all here – grippy Vibram outsole, cushioned insole, easy lacing, protection through midsole and heel, and firm ankle padding. The only quibble is toe protection, as there isn’t much of it. But I’ve gone for miles in the South Downs and the Dales wearing these and they’ve been as comfy as something twice the price. They’re good in farmland too, because the outsole has plenty of traction through churned-up gateways without getting clogged with muck at the same time. The Spo-Tex membrane also works fine. Although the Fuse is sold as unisex, it may not be suited to women with smaller feet, but Grisport does make other leather boots for women, such as the Hurricane. If the Fuse fits you though, this is an utterly charming boot at a truly remarkable price. NH
Value For Money *****
Dales-and-Downs type terrains, but it will do mountains too."
"I love a new boot day! I finally treated myself to a new pair of boots this week. I did my research and finally committed my spend on a pair of Women’s Grisport Glide High Rise Hiking Boots (they do men’s and unisex boots as well).
I spend a lot of time in walking boots from my working life as a Rights of Way Officer to my personal adventures around the UK and abroad a good pair of boots is essential. I have quite odd feet and find it really hard to find a good pair of boots that fit like a glove but the Grisport boots hit the spot.
I bought these from a high street stockist as I like to try them on before buying but you can always buy them online and send them back free of charge if using Amazon which I do for most of my other products. See the links below if you’d like to grab yourself a pair of these lovely boots.
I got straight out to put the boots to the test on my daily dog walk route which at the moment is pretty much under water with the constant rain we’ve been subject to recently. I set out on a 4.5km dog walk on flat terrain and by the end I was very pleased that the boots felt moulded straight away and had no soreness or blisters which is great for a first ‘wearing in’ walk. The walk consisted of concrete tracks to nearly ankle deep water and plenty of mud EVERYWHERE, the boots soon lost their new shiny look and kept my feet toasty warm and dry.
The boots are made in Italy and only weigh 440g per boot, they’re super lightweight and incredibly comfortable. The boots are made from waxed leather with a spotex waterproof and breathable membrane lining, the heel and sole are made of triple density mid sole with vibram rubber sole. They have a padded toe-joint and collard and fasten with a six hook eyelet system. Hands down the most comfortable and sturdy boots I have tried.
My boyfriend has a pair of the Men’s Grisport Saracen Hiking Boots (I know super cringey being matchy matching) he swears by his boots and we both think they’re the best boots on the market for regular walkers. We bought his pair on a whim whilst on holiday on the Isle of Arran as his old boots were rubbing, we bought them from Arran Active and he didn’t have a single issue wearing them for walking straight away up mountains and across the rugged coastline of Scotland.
Boots always need a bit of TLC to keep them waterproof and make them last years especially when they’re being worn day in day out and all over the UK. I like the Grisport waterproof cream as it is so easy to apply with the included sponge to rewax and take care of my boots.
Whilst I’m on about Grisport products, the boots fit perfectly with a pair of Grisport merino wool socks on to make the perfect combination.
Grab yourself a pair of Grisport boots from Amazon and don’t forget the waterproof cream to keep them in good nick!"
Like most outdoor bloggers, I sometimes get offered products to review. Often I turn the offers down, usually when the product in question is not something I would use (like the one season sleeping bag with arms and legs!) or I do not think that much of the brand. Just occasionally however the offer really resonates and it seems like destiny! This was the case back in July when a representative for Grisport got in touch on Twitter asking if I wanted to review something from their range. It did not take long to spot ‘Dartmoor’ on their website…. a pair of ‘Dartmoor’ shoes just before I move to Dartmoor?!! It was surely meant to be!
[Disclosure – these shoes were provided by Grisport for me to give my own personal opinions on them and they have no influence on these personal views and no editorial control.]
Never heard of Grisport? Nope me neither. They are an Italian company, based at the foot of the Dolomite mountains, which have been manufacturing footwear since 1977. Their product range is distributed in the UK by GRS Footwear, based in the North East. What jumped out at me from their brochure is that the product range is entirely developed and manufactured in Italy from a factory covered in solar panels which supplies 70% of the required electricity, and the company is committed to the rights and dignity of their staff. Excellent ethical and environmental credentials- a good start!
In the box the Grisport Dartmoor walking shoes (I went for brown) looked, felt and smelt premium, wrapped in thick dark brown tissue paper, and on initial inspection looked to be well constructed. With a waxed leather upper shoe and Vibram rubber sole, they certainly looked the part!
Grisport call the Dartmoor a walking shoe, although arguably you could just about call it a low-cut hiking boot. They say it is designed and built to cater for walks of all levels of difficulty from leisurely strolls to strenuous ventures. After a handful of initial walks in the countryside of Buckinghamshire and the parks of Bristol, I have been testing them out for the last two months on Dartmoor.
In past reviews of shoes, I have been fairly critical of lacing mechanisms – whether that includes odd fabric loops around the back or poor ‘undo-y-ness’ coefficients (where a lace unties after a few steps). In comparison the Grisport Dartmoor shoes were near perfect – a single tie of the laces kept the shoes snugly tied and in place with rarely any hint of coming undone despite hours of bog and moor. Yes I know that is what shoes are supposed to do, but obviously no one has told Keen or Merrell!!
Grisport get another ‘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 one thing I noticed straight away with the Vibram soles was a slight roll under the heel. Rather than being flat, it is an oval and it rolls with you as you walk. It is presumably some clever feature of the Vibrams, but it certainly felt very odd especially when walking on a flat surface, and it took a while to get used to. Otherwise I found the grip to be excellent across a variety of terrains including mud and dry granite. What did catch me out a few times however was the lack of middle ground between having full grip and no grip, especially whilst clambering over damp granite to bag a Tor. One minute you feel like you are stuck to the rock with glue… the next you are sitting on your bottom looking a little embarrassed!
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?’
This has been the year where we as a family have become more outdoorsy. My husband has always enjoyed spending time in nature and I’ve more suddenly developed an interest in having more family adventures in nature, exploring with the kids now that they’re a bit older.
One of our favourite things to do is to drive out to the countryside and go for hikes in the woods — it’s a simple activity but it’s fun and lovely and all you need is yourself and a good pair of walking shoes. Maybe a little picnic too if you’re staying out for quite some time!
My husband has a new pair of hiking shoes from Grisport — the Grisport Airwalker Walking Shoes (£85.00) He really needed some proper walking shoes as he would usually just wear a pair of sneakers that didn’t offer any support or grip.
The Grisport Airwalker Walking Shoes are part of the Grisport Active Range. What made us choose them is that they look great for walking but don’t have that typical hiking/walking shoe look which makes them more versatile. They look slightly sporty but also smart and look just as suitable for a hike in the woods wearing shorts as they would with a smart pair of jeans and a polo shirt if you want to pop into a pub or go to a restaurant. They’re definitely a very stylish pair of walking boots!
These shoes are really sturdy yet sleek and the quality seems amazing! The upper is made from leather and the inner has a Gritex water resistant lining. The inner is well-cushioned around the sides for comfort and have an active air cushioned leather insole too. This allows great ventilation to minimize odour and moisture and also has anti shock systems that absorb shock on impact. The outer sole is anti-static and offers great grip on all surfaces.
The shoes are lightweight and ergonomic. My husband says that they’re more comfortable than any other shoes he has which is great!
He’s really pleased with his new walking shoes from Grisport — he likes them so much that he says he’s going to use them as his regular autumn/winter shoes too.
"I have only ever owned two pairs of leather walking boots and, I must admit, they have not been my most favourite! They were both pretty heavy and took several months to 'break in' and I endured plasters and blisters in the process. With the development of waterproofing for materials, I have much preferred the lighter-weight webbing type boots and these are what I tend to spend most of my time in (if I am not wearing wellies!)
When Grisport approached me and asked me if I would be interested in trialing a pair of their leather boots, I did think I might prefer some of their other range of boots.... those that were more similar to what I currently wear, but was more than happy to give them a go!
When the packet arrived, I thought they must have sent me a material type boot, as the box weighed hardly anything! When I opened it, I must admit, I was astounded at how light these leather boots are. At only 885g, they are actually lighter than my current boots! Straight away, I could see the leather on these boots was nothing like previous pairs I had owned. Soft and supple, these boots felt like they had been broken in already.
These boots have a waxed leather upper, with no lines of stitching that may cause any weakness for water ingress. They are cushion-lined with a Spotex waterproof and breathable lining, ensuring that, if your feet get hot, you do not get a sweaty build up of dampness inside the boot.
The tongue of the boot is attached up to lower ankle to ensure no water gets in if you do walk through water and the laces run through a 'self-locking' hook which keeps them tight.
The ankles bones are often a place where rubbing occurs, but these boots have a soft, cushioned ankle section.
My feet are very narrow, yet I was able to tighten and adjust them for a really snug fit... in fact, I was astounded at how light and comfortable they felt as soon as I put them on.... my opinion on leather walking boots was about to change!
The sole of the boot is thick and study, made of Vibram rubber. It had some 'gvie' in it, so I felt it would cope well on hard ground as well as soft. The tread pattern is well defined, so should stop the boot from being too slippery when out and about.
It was time to get these boots on and get outside. I was reluctant to go too far in them first time, as I still believed these boots would hurt or rub my feet in some way... for the first few outings at least.... but I was wrong!
I have now been out in these boots for the last month or so and I can quite honestly say, they have not hurt or rubbed my feet in any way whatsoever! Their soft and supple leather, combined with the adjustable lacing has meant that these feel like they were made for my feet and they are the closest I have come to a pair of slippers you can wear out on a dog walk! An exaggeration, you may think... but, honestly, I am very impressed! I simply love these boots!
I love outdoor gear, but like to look good as well. These boots are not too bulky and look as good with outdoor trousers, as they do with my jeans! I would wear them as a general boot with jeans! The boots perform brilliantly in wet grass and damp conditions...
Light, soft and flexible, the boots are comfortable for walking, scrambling and climbing over a variety of terrains and stiles!
How waterproof are these boots though? Can they stand up to wet and soggy conditions? I put them to the test!
I have walked through very wet long grass, through puddles and even stood in a stream and these boots have kept my feet warm and dry! You obviously don't want to do any deeper than the tongue protection, but for most walking expeditions from a dog walk to a day in the hills, I am confident these boots are easily up to the task! What else can I say?
I have worn these boots for a month now. I have dried them and used a Nikwax cream on them to keep the leather soft and waterproof.
Leather boots are an investment and proper care is essential keep them looking good and functioning well. In an ideal world, you should clean your boots after every instance of wear. I simply wipe mine down with a cloth and then pop them in my hall; a cool location away from a direct source of heat such as a radiator as this can cause the leather to dry too quickly and to crack.
These boots have already become my favourite and I can see them walking many miles over the coming years... a big thank you to Grisport for sending me them!"
Go to WildlifeKate's website to read the full review.
"I was contacted at the end of the summer by outdoors brand Grisport and asked if I wanted to review a boot from their range. I went for the Grisport Quatro Backpacking Boot: based on the spec, the looks and some online reviews. Now, I’m actually very happy with the Altberg Tethera boots that I have, they’re solid boots that have stood up to anything the moors around me (and more mountainous trips) have thus far thrown at them. But they can almost be a bit too ‘solid’ in summer or autumn and for ‘lighter’ trail walking, feel a little inflexible (which is the point, I know).
So the chance to trial a lighter (but still robust) boot appealed to me. Actually, I weighed each boot and there isn’t that much in it: the Altbergs came in at 810gm and the Grisport Quatro at 750gm .. but they ‘feel’ much lighter. They also have, in my opinion a less rigid heel. But rigid enough that my background-nag Achilles ache in my right heel is kept in check (compared to when I wear hiking shoes / trainers in summer). That’s (obviously) not a technical / lab-based review in terms of actual lab-tested rigidity of the heel or soles.
The fuller spec of the Grisport Quatro boot is:
• Waxed leather upper
• Spotex waterproof and breathable lining
• Vibram rubber sole
• Padded Toe-Joint – the bit that sits across the top of the toes
• Italian waxed leather. I’m not sure what the detail is in Italian versus other leather but this is sold as feature in the marketing literature.
I’ve worn the Quatro boots on three longish walks now, most notably on the recent Ennerdale hike. I like them, they are, to date, a very comfortable wear. And a particularly wet yomp across the moors above my village tested their waterproof credentials: they passed the test.
The product literature makes a lot of the flexible toe joint and the heal/foot ‘support system’ so it could be that that makes for the comfortable wear. Back to the Altebergs (the only boot I can compare against): both boots have Vibram soles. There’s a couple of mm or so (based on my metal tape measure) difference in the depth of the tread between the Altbergs and the Grisport (the Altbergs being deeper). Which may make a difference in terms of traction on muddier or indeed rocker sections of walks but I can’t quantify that as such.
For the price (about half the price of the Altbergs) I’d judge the Grisport Quatro boot as a good rambling / shorter treks type of boot."
Read the full review at Halfway Hike's website.
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.
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.
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."
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
"Then along came another offer to try a product from GRIsport – a british firm that I had never heard of but who produce a range of walking boots and shoes that are made in Italy. Since I was feeling insecure about my Merrells I was happy to try one of their mid boots and chose their Saracen in brown.
The boots tick all the usual boxes- waterproof and breathable (their system is called SPO-TEX) and with Vibram soles – these are an all leather construction. At 700 grammes each, they are a bit heavier than the leather/fabric hybids but not so much that they feel heavy. They have a flexible padded toe joint, which is noticeable when you wiggle the toe area. And they have a slightly wider fit than the Merrells- closer to the Berghaus boots which I found just right for my feet.
They were immediately comfortable when I took them for a spin round the lane. The next test was a proper walk. In a way I wanted this to be a wet one as I really wanted to see if they were fully waterproof. A 5 hour hike over Craig y Fan Ddu in the Brecon Beacons in mostly heavy rain seemed a reasonable test. Paths became streams and streams waterfalls. And my feet stayed dry! This was a challenging 6 mile hike with some steep climbs and descents and the grip was good – I slipped on the grass a couple of times but no boot could prevent that. Despite them being brand new my feet were entirely comfortable all day; I will happily take them on my next longer walk."
"2 years of use – the best boot for bushcraft?
I need most of my kit to just ‘work’. If I am aware of how my footwear feels on my feet then they’re probably demanding too much of my attention. I purchased these boots two years ago (from a local retailer), and despite my best efforts they have refused to die. They are battered and the leather has some deep creases, but they are still comfortable and waterproof. They’ve performed well in forests, rivers and mountainous terrain and still see weekly use. They’re the first pair of Grisports I’ve tried, and they’ve impressed me – so here is my long-term review.
I’ve probably bought a dozen or so ‘work’ boots in my time as an outdoor instructor, from general-use boots like these to B3 winter mountaineering boots. The ones that fit very comfortably from the start tend to be the ones that fall apart the quickest, so I didn’t expect too much from these Grisport Keepers as they felt like a pair of trainers from the start. They’re a little higher than I am used to, but with a flexibility that wasn’t restrictive. The whole boot is quite flexible along the length of the sole, and the lacing system is well-designed. Out of the box they are a dark olive colour, with decent laces and a Vibram sole with a deep tread pattern.
Real World Testing
These boots have been used for pretty much every outdoor activity that I participate in, from tramping around woodlands to scrambling up rock faces and along the strandline on the beach. Like all leather boots they need some maintenance (something which I tend to be a bit rubbish at), and I chose Altberg Leder-Gris for reproofing. This gradually changed the colour of the boots from their original olive to a deep brown after about a year or so – a clear version is also available. This also gradually softened the already supple leather – I was a little worried that this would make it more susceptible to scratches and gouges but it seems not.
The sole plate is also quite bendy, with noticeable flex just behind the toes. Around 6 months ago I noticed the leather starting to wear into deep creases here and the rubber of the rand JUST beginning to separate from the leather – but so far they remain waterproof enough to be confidently used when crossing shallow rivers.
The sole itself has kept me upright on muddy slopes and scrambling over boulders and rocks. They are definitely B0, although I have used them with MSR snowshoes on forest tracks and rolling terrain. The tread depth could be a little deeper, but I have never really felt unsure of my footing. High-legged boots can sometimes be a little restrictive, but I have not found that to be the case with the Grisport Keepers. The heel cup keep my foot planted and give me freedom of movement, but without losing security or stability. It was easy enough to sit on the floor, tuck my feet under a canoe seat or tackle a short technical section on a mountain walk.
The best way I can demonstrate my approval for these boots is by comparing them to a pair of Meindls that I bought around a year ago and have used and abused in a similar way. The Grisports are still holding themselves together and the Meindls have begun to fall apart at the seams, as well as beginning to sag and soften at the sides, reducing their security of fit. You can see this in the video below. There are of course a few drawbacks – being tall leather boots with a heavy sole they are a little heavy, they need regular reproofing in order to survive and they could be a little stiffer. If you want something for mountaineering it would be worth looking at something with a higher ‘B’ (stiffness) rating but the Grisport Keepers would be fine for bushcraft, hunting and general 3-season use. I have done around 2,000 miles in these boots over the last 2 years, and I think I would get around another 1,000 miles out of them. The tread is beginning to wear away under the forefoot and the leather is showing signs of age, but I would happily put them on and head out on a multi-day walk tomorrow with them."
"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.