The chaps at Anatom told me a story about how comfortable their boots are; one of them had taken a box-fresh pair of their walking boots, stuck them on his feet and then run a marathon. I smiled politely and looked impressed, but wondered if the runner had been some kind of masochist. I break in a lot of different shoes doing reviews for GearWeAre, and my feet are a mess!
However, the story stuck in my head and after a couple of days of wearing the Anatom Quadra-2 (Q2 from here on in) around the local fields on dog-walks, I decided to put them to the test by wearing them all weekend at a 3-day music festival in the north of England. With a combination of sun, rain, dancing and standing for hours it would be a great real-world test in comfort. And with spending a night in a tent, it’d be perfect to test their anti-microbial (no stink) claims too.
After 30+ hours of bouncing around a field, tip-toeing through crowds doing the don’t-spill-my-beer dance and wading through the “swamp” near the gents loos my feet felt great. No rubbing; no hot spots; no sweaty dampness. What looks like a stiff and unyielding upper had simply snuggled around my foot and protected it without drama. Impressive.
And what was more impressive was the fact that, despite a day of warm sun and a freak shower of rain, enough cheap cider to fill a barrel and a large curry, the smell from the boots which were stored 5 inches from my nose in our tent was non-existent. The soft and fluffy woolen insoles seems to work very well indeed at minimising odours from sweat.
Anatom use a breathable waterproof membrane called Tri.aria, which to date has worked really well. The boots were coated with Nikwax Waterproofing for Leather before I got them, which has helped shed water very well, but with this in mind I’ve been deliberately walking through abrasive wet grass to try to cut through it and test the leather and membrane. No luck, my feet have stayed dry, no matter what.
Looks wise, the Anatom Q2 are a classic leather style boot brought up to date with a chunky Vibram sole that’s as sticky as a forgotten fruit pastille in a jacket pocket, and set of easy-threading metal lace loops. The uppers are made from full-grain leather, which is basically cow backside with a shave and colour job – nowt more. They look brilliant.
The fit of the boot is interesting. I have fairly narrow heels and wide forefeet and they fitted perfectly. Anatom make each boot in two different lasts (a Last is a model of a foot used to build a boot around). You can read more on that here.
Comfort around the inside of the boot is achieved by an all-over layer of squishy foam from toe backwards. At the front it’s about 2mm thick and barely noticeable, but at the heel, ankle and tongue it’s much thicker and results in a hug-like feeling to make your foot feel secure and loved. Oh, and the foam is breathable, so it doesn’t impeed the Tri.aria membrane’s usefulness.
At £110, the Anatom Q2 is priced bang-on with very similar boots from Scarpa and Brasher. And it’s worth every penny, especially since you get a lifetime warranty with every pair.
SUMMARY: Superbly comfortable full-grain leather boots with a brilliant Vibram sole giving it a contemporary twist on a classic look. Slip them on, straight from the box, and hit the trail with no breaking-in woes or battered toes. Designed for hills, rather than mountains, but with enough support for when it gets a little bit gnarly. Waterproof enough to keep out streams, and breathable enough to stop things getting too sweaty. Great boots for the price.