This is the first stage of a longer review which will be completed at a later date for the reasons outlined below.
Anatom’s Quadra 2 boots are amongst my favourite general walking boots with a very comfortable fit and all-day wear ability. So I was expecting big things from their first Trail Shoe and threw them on as soon as they arrived.
I’ve worn Trail Shoes for years for everyday wear as well as actual trail walking, and I’ve come to expect a lot from a pair; to be as capable on muddy paths and wet grass as when wandering around the supermarket. Let’s face it, your average outdoorsy-type is going to wear Trail Shoes in more situations than they would Walking Boots.
The V1 certainly doesn’t disappoint on the actual trail, with a chunky, deeply grooved sole that grips brilliantly in mud and stony ground, never doing that disconcerting slip that takes away some of the trust between man and shoe.
The fit is generously wide which suits my feet, and the lacing system works well to keep things secure. A big toe bumper means your foot is protected from sharp shale, and a reinforced heel cup which is flexible under pressure keeps your heel and the shoe in close contact to help with support and reduce blisters. There’s also plenty of foam around the ankle to keep things snug.
The V1 is a good-looking shoe, with muted browns and greys and a subtle olive green dash here and there to lift it off the shelf a bit. I like the look, and especially the chunky sole. The upper is a polyester and suede affair, which is quite warm but continues the aesthetic of protection for the foot.
However, all is not love at first sight. I put the V1s on 2 weeks ago and wore them almost solidly for a week. I covered something in the region of 20 miles of varied trails, and spent the rest of the week engaged in DIY (house renovations) and working at a desk. They got a good all-round test, if somewhat intense.
Anatom have fitted the V1s with their Tri-Aria waterproof membrane, which protects your feet well from wet grass and rain, but I found it very sweaty at times and after a week the shoes smelled so awful that they had to live outdoors. [Cotton socks, 12-hours’ wear per day]
The insole in the left shoe lost its fabric cover completely after 5 days. Perhaps through a combination of heat and sweat (?), but it was somewhat quicker than I’d expect from a £65 pair of shoes.
But perhaps most importantly, but also most subjectively, I just don’t find the V1 comfortable to walk in. I supinate when I walk (roll on the outside edge of my foot), so I prefer a neutral shoe. The sole of the V1 feels to me to be dished, so the outside edges of my feet are being pushed upwards resulting in quite intense foot pains after a week of solid wear.
So, rather than give a definitive review to the V1 now, I’m sticking them back in their box and will re-review them in a month. I’m going to try a different insole and determine if the problem is me or the shoe, and wear them less intensely to see if that was a contributing factor.
For now if you’re interested in the look and sound of the Anatom V1, which is a very grippy, chunky, waterproof, good-looking trail shoe, have a look at some other reviews online and see if you can try a pair on for size. As always, don’t be swayed by a single review – shoes are very subjective things when it comes to comfort.