I’m a big fan of multi-active shoes, and they’ve long been a wardrobe staple of mine, superseding trainers some years ago. The support, comfort and crucially the waterproofness of this type of footwear makes them a firm favourite because when I dress each morning my day could go somewhere between muddy fields or supermarket, and everywhere in between. That’s what I suspect most ‘jack of all trades’ outdoors shoes do for most of their lives – put up with the unexpected.
The Berghaus Explorer Active GTXs are no exception to my happy feet criteria. They’re comfortable, with an Ortholite foam insole adding to that comfort and ensuring that the pong doesn’t get too bad. They add an anti-microbial treatment to the footbed to stop it getting whiffy.
They’re also grippy, allowing me to stomp along with minimal concern for what surface is underfoot, be it wet grass, mud or rocks, and they’re nice and stable too. The Vibram sole design doesn’t lend itself to easy ankle-turning and the footbed is deep and comfortable with plenty of padding to isolate you from the trail.
They have a fairly small rand on the toe-box, so possibly wouldn’t be the best thing for sharp-shale tracks (where a little more toe protection would be good).
Berghaus have used a Gore-Tex extended comfort lining in these Explorer Active GTXs, so all of the unwelcome moisture from wet grass and puddles is kept out, while allowing your feet to breath, and not create their own puddle of sweat. If you weren’t aware that there are different types of Gore-Tex, then this version is designed for all-day wear in shoes where the outer is thin – no insulated boots or winter wear.
All of that means that these approach shoes are great for those light walking duties, where trainers wouldn’t cut it and a pair of walking boots would be overkill. At around 750g they’re pretty light-weight for all-day energy consumption (in comparison to a heavy boot), and I like them a lot!