The Dartmoor Suede boot from Gelert is advertised as an all round terrain boot, and and at just £59.99 its certainly one of the more affordable boots.
So what do they feel like on?
The first thing you notice when you put this boot on is the comfortable fit. Rather than feeling like a heavy duty walking boot they feel more like a pair of trainers, very lightweight and comfortable to walk in. Once tied up they feel very supportive around the ankle which is essential with walking boots. The toe feels fairly flexible but with enough spring back to be sturdy on rocky terrain.
So looking at the outside of the boot:
There is a rubber strip around two thirds of the boot to help protect against abrasion. This works really well as this is usually the first area that gets worn and split, which in turn allows the boot to leak. The boot also has a high water line with the tongue sewn into the boot, allowing you to be protected from water leaking in to a greater extent. This will protect you from those unexpectedly deep puddles and spray, at least up to about ankle level. You will get wet feet if you just walk through rivers though!
The grip on the sole is chunky and split up in to different patterns, each designed to aid a different movement and part of the foot.
So how did the boots get on when we tested them?
I have been testing the boots out in various conditions over the last few months. I used them on a days walking in the muddy and rocky welsh woodlands, an afternoon trekking up in the snowy hills and a number of shorter walks in the countryside through fields and along lanes. I also tried them out with a bit of a scramble through a welsh valley and covered rocky, wet, slippery, muddy and grassy terrain. I never felt unstable on my feet in any of these conditions and in fact the grip design seemed to work really well, especially on steeper sections where the toe was needed more to dig. The boot felt like it took some of the shock when descending rocky sections which won’t only help lower the chances of sore feet but also the knees. On one of the walks the track leads behind a waterfall. The path here consists of very slippery rocky coated in algae, so making sure you get a good foothold is key and I felt confident with my footing in these boots and never felt I was ‘going in’!
Whilst out in the snow and ice, I tested them out on all of the normal places a boot comes unstuck in such conditions. If I pushed it I would slide about on the ice but the boot felt comfortable walking in the snow and kept my feet warm and dry. The high water line also helped here.
I didn’t get any rubbing or hot spots when using these boots, and we did cover a few miles with heavy rucksacks in one instance. I must point out that good socks always helps here too, but a boot that doesn’t pinch or feel too stiff is always a bonus. This can mean the difference between a good day out and a disastrous one.
If you were being picky about the boot the suede does allow the mud to cling to it if allowed to dry on the boot, but cleaning your boots after a muddy walk is part of a good boot care regime anyway. And you maybe wouldn’t take this boot into extreme temperatures, but that not what this boot is designed for.
Overall I would consider this boot a great buy for £59.99 as a multi use all terrain boot for walking in the UK. A comfortable boot that I would feel confident walking in across a range of terrains in a range of conditions. And in fact I will be following this review with update in the future as I test it out in other conditions.
To find out more about these boots and where you can get your hands on a pair, visit the following link: