Alan, and a few other people asked if i (Sheila), was going to put a review of these Walsh boots on the blog. I've had a think about it and decided that it could only be beneficial to readers as their seems to be a shortage of reviews specifically about outdoor gear for ladies.
Well let me start by saying "I am not a boot fan". I much prefer trail shoes of the un-waterproof type and where required, i supplement them with waterproof socks. After all, if you get water inside a waterproof boot it stays there with no escape route apart from taking them off and draining them out.
So why have i got a pair of boots. You may well ask.
Well it started in early December 2012 when we were getting our gear ready for Martins Christmas walk. I expected snow to cover the ground as it did last year and i was a little worried about cold feet all day.
Alan was feeling rough with flu and was browsing the internet between moaning about shivering and feeling dreadful. He must have been listening to my apprehensions about cold feet because he said "have a look at these boots, i think they will suit you and for the price must be worth getting".
The boots were Walsh Enforcers.
Now i also don't like boots because when they are wet and mud covered they usually weigh a ton and i dislike the whole experience. I wasn't convinced it was the right way to go but Alan kept saying "Give them a go, Walsh make good shoes. They will be worth every penny". I said ok,ok, and ordered a pair.
Walsh, i eventually clicked, was the same company as make the running shoes of note. I have seen lots of Norman Walsh running shoes on the fells and therefore i was a bit surprised to see a boot and at such a cheap price, because i know what good shoes they make.
So they arrived, i was impressed with how light weight they were. I actually said “wow" they are nice. Basically a high running shoe. The sole was the typical Walsh sole. I think they only do one type and it looks nothing like a Vibram.
The web site actually says it's an all new Pyra grip sole but to me it looks exactly like every other pair of Walsh's i've seen. Not that there is anything wrong with it btw.
They are now a month old and i have been out in some dire weather, mainly wet, boggy, light snow and some frozen tracks. I am still impressed. I don't fell run, so all my comments are just about walking in them although no doubt you can run in them.
The boots are a size 5.5 and each boot weighs 395gr. That's measured on our own scales. I don't know what the official figure is.
Two tone grey with a red trim upper, a waterproof and breathable membrane. I have been pleased with the results so far, they have kept my feet warm with only a lightweight sock and dry as a bone.
I found the ankle collar quite firm at first and just a little uncomfortable on my right foot. I put this down to me not wearing boots for so long although why one foot was a little sore and the other one ok i don't know. Maybe i had the lace too tight.
So with this in mind i made sure it wasn't too tight next time out. It didn't make any difference, my right ankle still felt a bit sore.
A month in and around 60 miles done, there is no soreness, so i can only suggest that the problem was my soft ankle.
I'm not 100% sure. It's not a problem now though.
The tongue is comfy and bellows type, easy lacing, and i like the rand protection. The toe protector is not huge but i wouldn’t expect it be on a lightweight boot. There is also a pull tab on the heel.
The boot itself is quite flexible in the area of the ball of the foot but very little elsewhere and holds the foot extremely well. There is no heel lift.
I think i have found a last that is made for me.
The Pyra-Grip sole works particularly well when contouring, this works brilliantly on everything except smooth wet rock where i felt i had to be careful. There's no slipping on wet grass or muddy surfaces due to the shape and depth of the sole lugs. And walking on hard surfaces is not uncomfortable.
The insole is basic but adequate and i don’t feel i need to change it for a better quality one as yet.
After Martins Christmas walk these boots were caked in a limestone concretion. They looked like i had been working at a cement works. This was due to walking along the Tissington trail in very wet conditions. Alan got the job of cleaning them and he says he was amazed at just how easy they were to clean and how well they looked afterwards.
So, i can no longer say i don’t like boots. I barely know i have these on my feet now.
They only cost £34.99 from Sportsshoes .com. Truly amazing value for money.
I am so pleased Alan persuaded me to get them and i wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.