“They’re nice.” said the Wife. “You can take those as your ‘best’ shoes.”
We’ve been married long enough now for me to take that as an unwritten threat that if I trash another pair of “nice” new shoes and turn up with her at another restaurant – albeit one which is an escape from a campsite in mid-wales – scruffy and muddy, she will point-blank refuse to be seen with me in public ever again.
So it’s just as well that Brasher – better known for their Walking Boots – sent over these Hurricane GTX shoes with the note that they are intended for “Well-trodden trails and casual use”. They are, for want of a better description, on-road “off-road” shoes.
Well, that suited me just fine because I was in need of a new pair of casual shoes, and in the market for something understated, but clearly marking me as being in the tribe of Outdoorsy. Something comfortable for the lazy trails around the supermarket, and rugged enough to combat the slopes of my local pub’s driveway in a drizzly day. Something that says “If I stood in a stream, my feet would be dry… but I’m quite happy here in Starbucks”.
That’s not to take away from the Hurricane GTX walking shoes one iota. They’re a nicely built shoe, with a full GoreTex membrane to keep out that stream (tested, and they worked superbly for a 2-minute stand in a stream).
They have a low-cut ankle which determines the depth to which you can enter the water, but the flip side to that is that they’re very comfy around the upper, and feel like stiff trainers, rather than trekking shoes. There’s a lot of flex in the sole, which makes for a comfortable wander, until you stray off-path onto gnarly stuff. And the tread pattern is aggressive enough to cope with light mud, wet grass and stream beds very well indeed.
The uppers are styled with big rubber bumpers front and rear. The toe box is stiff to protect your tootsies from stones, and the nubuck in combination with a higher heel area protect the sides of your feet better than trainers.
I love the styling of these shoes. I think they look great and have very happilly worn them with jeans, outdoor trousers and shorts alike.
I found the fit quite narrow around the toes and comfortably snug around the heel, but I have wide feet and a narrow heel. As ever with shoes, try before you buy!
Pricing could be a sticking point. They’re £95, which is a lot for a pair of casual shoes. However, you’re getting a full GoreTex membrane here, and what appears to be a well-made shoe with a ‘British Fit’. Is that a bargain… no. Is that a wise investment if you’re in the market for some casual+ shoes which are happy in pub, field or stream? Yes.
SUMMARY: Comfortable casual shoes which are a cut above trainers in terms of support and protection, but not hiking shoes proper. They look great and are as happy in the pub as on the trail. A full GoreTex membrane is a bonus. Recommended for those who want a good-looking all-rounder that isn’t going to get too extreme.
Price: £95rrp (£69 online, which IS a good bargain!)
From: Google Shopping