With feet that are prone to blisters and more used to walking in wellies and trainers, I wasn’t quite sure how I would get on trialling a very traditional looking pair of walking boots like the Lomer Gardena. However, after two weeks of daily two-mile walks and a seven-mile hike, my feet were still intact with no damage to report and I was impressed.
Like the Lomer Gottardo Mens Boots we tested recently, the Gardena is a newcomer to British shores and now stocked by Millets on the high street.
The Lomer ladies walking boots which have a one piece 2mm leather upper really do offer an all round, good, comfy boot, whether for short or long walks or on flat or hilly conditions. And what better weather to be testing them in with lots of wet and slippy conditions around. The advantage of Lomer’s one-piece leather construction is that there are no seams and sewing to clog with mud and dirt or let in water, and the result is a boot which is (with careful treatment) going to last you a long time.
The boots contain a MERTEX membrane to increase the waterproofing. This also allows your feet to breathe, although through a full leather upper it’s not exactly the same level of breathing as through a lightweight synthetic boot. That said, I never experienced particularly sweaty feet. There were certainly no weak points in terms of water ingress and my feet stayed dry through many muddy puddles and lots of wet grass.
In terms of grip, there are no broken or sprained ankles to report. The grip really was put to the limit on some steep, slippery paths, but they held their own. The Vibram Viking sole has been designed to offer good grip in a variety of directions for multi-surface use (that’ll be well-made trails and a little bit of off-road stuff to you and I then). I found the descriptive diagram shown above to be quite interesting.
The lacing system works very well, employing metal eyelets and round laces. They were easy to lace, and were easily adjusted to give a secure fit. The ankle has plenty of foam to keep things comfortable and snug, and the dirt out of the boot.
The only downside was that the mud did tend to stick to the soft nubuck area at the ankle of the boot. This could just be my walking style and heel kicking or the fact that the material here was differently textured which allowed the muck to stick to it more.
These were not the lightest boot I have tried; however, they certainly did not feel heavy when they were on. They weighed 1636g which is significantly more than a synthetic boot, but again these things are a trade-off.
Summary: The Lomer Gardena have really had a good test in some slippery and wet conditions. They’re comfortable, supportive and grippy. The one-piece leather upper is a boon for cleaning and lifespan of the boots and the price is very good indeed for the offering. The only thing to note is the mud gathering around the top of the shoes, so it’d be interesting to hear whether other owners experience this anomaly. If you’re planning on walking the Lake District fells or just a stroll around the local woods, these boots certainly would do the job for both.