When I was a wee lad, I remember donning walking boots and swinging my legs around like a pair of pendulums. They were like part of an Iron Man costume and I felt like I could kick through walls and vapourise sheep poo with a mighty swing of my boot. Alas, they were also completely knackering for a little chap who grew up in the city with holidays spent in the Yorkshire Dales. My Iron Man boots weighed at least a hundred tonnes each by the end of a long walk (and only half of that weight was the enormous clags of sheep poo).
So I understand the need and benefits of a lightweight boot and the Supalite 2 GTX from Brasher is, according to Brasher, the lightest leather boot in the UK.
Updated for 2012 and now made in leather which is tanned and treated in Britain by Pittards of Somerset, the Supalite 2 feel fantastic when fresh from the box, and you still get a waft of that leathery class smell over the gasses from the rubbers and glues. The one-piece leather upper looks great and they have nice shelf-appeal.
Brasher has managed to justify the name Supalite by shaving off enough of the boot to bring them down to 1122g a pair. Meaningless to most of us, but a real-world comparison would be that they’re 430g less heavy than my vaguely similarly targetted Anatom Q2 boots. That’s considerably more than a can of Coke in difference.
So, have they compromised by taking this much ‘stuff’ out of the boot?
Well, yes, of course they have. But I don’t think that matters a hoot if you’re buying it for the right purposes. The Supalite has been around now for 10 years, and has sold rather well so there’s a proven market for a lightweight boot which perhaps doesn’t offer as much support as a hiking boot, or even a more chunky walking boot, but offers more protection than a shoe.
There’s a full GORE-TEX lining which means you get total waterproofing and a fair degree of breathability. And the grippy Supalite sole has chunky knobs which clear light mud well. Just enough foam around the ankle and tongue ensure a snug fit, and a series of metal eyelets work to fine-tune the fit.
We gave the Supalite 2 GTX to a new reviewer named Neil who, as an older gentleman that takes leisurely strolls on well-made paths, was the perfect candidate for the test. So impressed was Neil by the Supalite that he composed an original verse in their honour:
What is it you need when you put on a boot?
In essence, it’s somewhere to put your foot.
But more than this, these take care of your soul,
Simultaneously making sure you don’t slip down a hole.
Fine, soft, brown leather encased near perfection,
Light, yet well grounded, ensuring all-round protection.
Untouched by the elements, yet breathing freely,
Allowing you to experience wherever you want to be;
New England and falling leaves,
French golden October, environments for these
New boots for walking, many years in the making,
So now we are talking, let’s get calculating!
Stylish, good looking, sturdy and sporty,
And exceptional value at a hundred and forty,
In Euros or Sterling or get out your Marks,
Up highways and byways, up mountains, in parks.
Out of doors and in to the wild,
Getting in touch with your inner child
Who likes to play when they are in the wood,
Imagining for a moment that they are Robin Hood
In Sherwood Forest or The Forest of Dean,
These are the boots in which you will wish to be seen
They don’t need breaking in before you can break out,
So hurry up, put your boots on, get out and about! ‘
Summary: The Brasher Supalite GTX is a fully waterproof, breathable, and very lightweight leather boot. The quality of manufacture is great, and if you need a boot which is a companion for leisurely long walks on decent paths, and don’t plan to divert up mountains then take a look.