Thursday, 13 September 2018 16:05

Hiking & Approach Shoe Group Test Results

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Now it's time for the scores from each of the reviewers on the respective shoe. The team has put the shoes through various challenges and all have found a nice spot for each of them. 

In order to have a winner and as we know a bit of health competition is good for us, we have chosen five elements and split it down to give a score out of one hundred. They are listed in order of how they were published through the week, not rank.

Aku Tengu Low GTX

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 My overall impression is a seriously hard-wearing shoe that suits rocky climbs. I have used them during our hot 2018 summer and they are far too warm in hot weather. Now we've entered a cooler spell I've been really comfortable. They are a reasonably heavy shoe at 546g each, but the pay-off is the solid sole and overall feeling of stability and confidence.

Aku Scores 

Anatom Skyetrail 

4609F59E B97D 4EA9 9DBF 0483AB40D15E

Wearing the shoes all day for near 24 hours and continue to climb mountains, hiking in the heat or in the rain my feet didn't suffer or feel confined within the shoes.
In the rain, kayaking, river wading or climbing over wet rock the shoes never lost grip and never felt unsecure on the ledges.
Not just in poor weather but the heat too, loose gravel and rocks can be an issue and rolling your feet but this wasn't an issue in these shoes.
The size 42 (size 8 UK) is 373gms which is light, the size 12 which I needed weighed just a little more than 450gms.
Having a light shoe is helpful for multiple activities and keep you fast on your feet for trails and climbs. It adds to the comfort and enjoyment of wearing them and knowing you can do most if not all activities in these.
River wading, climbing the Welsh coastline or hiking 20 miles in the rain my feet remained dry throughout and even in the muddy conditions the shoes keep their structure and remain fairly clean too as the water and mud just runs off.

Anatom Score

Zamberlan 125 Intrepid RR

AD5593FD E317 4975 989E DB4049D0A9BA

The Intrepid RR lives up to the Zamberlan tradition. The sole unit is thin so there is a bit of comfort lost but the balance of the precise nature of the grip achieved, the relatively light weight and the way the shoe wraps around the foot all the way to the toe means that from Spring to Autumn the Intrepid will allow you to get anywhere with confidence. 

Zamberlan Scores

Columbia Peakfreak Venture LT

9990ED35 4B54 4E42 B0CB EC5C0EE525A8

 The waterproof material worked well and kept my feet dry in all sorts of conditions. I found them to be on the warm side, but the breathability kept my feet from being uncomfortable sweaty and the cushioning on both the upper and insole meant that long days on the hill caused no discomfort. I’m typically a size 10 and these were spot on in that size, with plenty of room in the toe box and no movement in the heel. I tried these on all surfaces and they gripped well on everything but muddy slopes, where the small size of the lugs meant they didn’t dig in. Having smaller size lugs does mean that they are better on every other surface though, so it’s always going to be a compromise and I feel that these have it right for normal walking conditions. All in all, these are a great pair of shoes that are ideal for trail and mountain walking in changeable conditions.

Columbia Scores

Lowa Locarno GTX Lo

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 A good shoe that'll look as good day to day or even in the office as it does on the hill. Possibly a little understated for some in that it doesn't shout out "Look at me, look at me I'm outdoorsy" but enough to get you the nod from those in the club.

Lowa Scores

Berghaus Explorer Active GTX

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My time with the Explorer Actives has on the whole been positive. They have coped with the unseasonal warmth surprisingly well (it was easy to forget they were waterproof!), and coped with what little adverse weather we have had without loosing step. The technology used in these shoes works passively to ensure all-day comfort on non-technical trails, yet their visual accessibility makes them wearable long into the evening. 

Berghaus Scores

Overall the scores of the shoes were high, the majority being in the mid 80’s but the stand out shoe is the Anatom SkyeTrail. With it’s flexability of use and the comfort level it has topped this group test.

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