I have to admit that I’m not that keen on the styling of Brasher boots in general although, being the owner of a pair of Kiso GTX walking boots, I can’t deny their quality.
But these Kuga GTX shoes, which are essentially hard-as-nails trainers, are a different bag of monkeys altogether because I love them in every way.
Slightly reminiscent of Nike Air Max 95 trainers, which I’ve coveted for ages but never got round to buying, they’re sleek and sexy without shouting: “Hey you! Yes, you! Look at me cos I’m right fit! Feast your eyes on my rubber! Sniff my uppers! Finger my aglets!” – like the Nikes do.
No, they’re more subtle than that. They just purrrr gently and give you sultry bedroom eyes from afar, like Mrs Muz does to me when she’s gnawing on a Curly Wurly. They tease and tempt and…
Anyway, I digress. The point is that they’re great.
Featuring nubuck leather and breathable mesh – all double-stitched together for extra ruggedness, the major selling point is the Gore-Tex lining which I can verify works a treat because I have put these shoes through hell and high water – literally – for the last month.
They have survived numerous trips to Tesco and the Co-op (hell), 10-mile yomps to faraway beaches, uphills, downhills, puddles, streams (high water) and endless hours of fossil-hunting on a dangerously rocky beach on Skye. You should see my bruises. I almost broke my leg, you know. I really did.
Anyway, not once did they leak. As the Gore-Tex is a liner the outside of the Kuga GTXs got wet of course, but nothing crept through to my socks and my tootsies, protected by toughened toes on the shoes, stayed lovely and dry throughout. The chunky rubber soles are impressively grippy too and have saved my bacon many-a-time when trainers would have just given up as I clambered around on rocky outcrops and wotnot.
The materials are a little scuffed now and they do pong a wee bit, but if I attacked them with a damp cloth and sprayed some Frebreze inside they’d be like new, so I can see them lasting many years to come without problems. That’s handy because they’re so comfortable and supportive – that’s the shock-absorbing midsole and TPU* plate, doncha know – that I’d live in them if I could.
Don’t buy them thinking they’ll replace your hiking boots though because they won’t. They’re an excellent general activity shoe but don’t have the ankle support or mega-gnarly soles you’ll need on Ben Nevis.
SUMMARY: Excellent walking shoes that are well worth the money because of their quality, ruggedness and comfort. Equally at home with shorts on the fells as they are with jeans at Maccy Dees or down’t pub. I really can’t fault them.
More info: brasher.co.uk
* I don’t know either… thermoplastic polyurethane… possibly.