Berghaus – Explorer Ridge Plus Boots

30 years ago, leather walking boots were big clunky lumps that rubbed your feet for the first few weeks of ownership and aided walking almost purely by the amount of momentum generated from the sheer weight of them. Waterproofing was achieved by substantial application of dubbing and we were all grateful for the arrival of modern, lightweight, fabric boots. Thankfully times have moved on again since then, and it’s now possible to have the best of both worlds. Enter the hybrid Goretex and full grain Pittards leather Berghaus Explorer Ridge Plus boots.

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On first arrival, I wore these boots everywhere, including round the house, much to my wife’s consternation, for a week non-stop. I’m pleased to report that unlike old-school leather boots, they didn’t need any breaking in at all and are instead incredibly comfortable, like wearing a pair of gloves.

To add to the usual hill walking I’ve recently taken up Nordic walking (using a different type of walking poles to add to the exercise). I found that these boots worked well for both traditional and Nordic styles of walking, and were very good in particular on rough and stony ground, because of the strong sole. For the sole Berghaus have used a combination of an integrated ‘TPU PLANTAR-PLATE’ for rigidity, along with a lightweight EVA midsole for shock absorption, and topped all of this engineering off with a new OPTI-STUD outsole. Regardless of the technical blurb, I can say that it all works well.
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These boots are also waterproof, thanks to the Gore Tex element, so no hours of rubbing in dubbing is required. They also work well on mud (and snow), so deploying them in bad weather is a no-brainer.

My only complaint is the lack of a pull loop on the back – when you’re halfway up a mountain and have whipped your boot off to get rid of a pesky stone, those pull loops come in handy. There is a small tab instead, but if you’re wearing gloves or have cold hands, a loop is far better.

Overall however, these are comfortable, rugged and sturdy boots, and are now in regular use, showing no signs of flagging any time soon.