Annick, our store buyer for Simply Hike recently took a pair of the women's Brasher Supalite II GTX Walking Boots for a test drive, here is what she said...
- Straight out of the box comfort means no breaking in before hiking
- Full grain Pittards leather for durability but soft and suppleness for comfort
- Lightest boot in the UK at 1122g a pair so you won’t tire as easily.
- This is a traditional classic brown boot and I love its appearance. It’s made from classic full grain leather with a delicious new boot smell and the ankle cuff looks very comfortable. When trying them on they felt comfortable but the cuff was quite bulky which might be a problem for hikers with high or protruding ankle bones.
- Cool feet; my feet remained cool while fitting and walking around before heading outside despite wearing thick walking socks. This would be the Gore-Tex doing its breathable magic!
- Brasher claimed that the Supalite II was the lightest boot in the UK when it was launched and these really do feel lighter and less ‘clumpy’ on my feet than boots I’ve had in the past. The size 10 weighed 1.22kg but if you compare this to a similar boot like the Meindl Toronto which weighs 1.46kg then there’s a 240g difference. It might not sound a lot but my stride did feel lighter.
- Nice size, I actually found I was half a size down compared to what I normally wear. Brasher are said to be good for wider British feet too so my foot sat very comfortably inside with plenty of room in the toe region. I worried that the toe box would cause bruising as it was quite stiff but I didn’t notice this at all during use.
On the trail:
The Brasher Supalites were certainly very comfortable out of the box and would be great for general walking. As it was a cooler day the leather felt stiffer than I would have liked so I would definitely look to wear these in, despite what Brasher say. The memory foam cuff definitely needs time to mould to your ankle and took around 2 weeks to feel like a snug pair of slippers so consider this if you’re planning a hike.
The sole was quite rigid and as the insole is removable I added my Superfeet insoles in their place after a few uses. The boot had a nice roll to it from heel to toe which helped. The grip on the sole is good on wet grass and surfaces thanks to tiny pores in the lugs which creates a mini suction. Cheaper boots can have issues with slipping on wet ground so it’s great that these are reliable and would be fine walking in rain and snow year round.
As usual the Gore-Tex component was brilliant and despite walking through some puddles and wet grass my feet remained dry. Brasher comes with a year warranty but Gore-Tex always comes with a lifetime guarantee so I was happy knowing that if I thought they weren’t waterproof or breathable I could return them for repair or replacement. Breathability was ok; my feet did warm up but didn’t feel damp after walking all day and I attributed part of this to good merino wool socks.
The lightness of the boot was noticeable and I found both my feet and legs didn’t feel tired after wearing them all day. I definitely felt I could walk for longer and my feet didn’t ache afterwards.
Care and Cleaning:
Brasher suggests to actually wash the inside of the boot out which is not something I’ve come across before but as it’s a full leather lining then this is fine to do. I did this after a few uses, even though it wasn’t necessary, and I like the idea that the boot will remain smell free. Remember to remove the insole first which can also be washed separately!
Care is easy; just use a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple and nourished. This helped with making the leather softer for me and therefore more comfortable. I used Meindl Sportwax after using the Brasher Cleaner but there are other options available.
- Laces are shorter than I’d like despite my foot width being standard. Something to consider if you have a wider foot as you might want to add a longer pair of laces to your basket.
- You don’t get a Vibram sole from Brasher which was a shame as other boots at the same price have added this technology in. I didn’t think it was necessary as the sole unit was great but if you prefer Vibram technology then it’s something to consider.
The lightness of the boot was definitely a plus; I could walk further and longer without feeling tired and I loved how supple the leather became after a few wears. I’ve had these boots now for 6 months and they’re so comfortable. There are reviews and comments on forums that a lightweight leather boot compromises on durability but I haven’t had any issues with scuffs. I have used these on low level paths which may be why I haven’t had any issues but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use these in the mountains too.