OVERALL SCORE: 4.5/5
I bought these boots to replace my old ones that I have had for 9 years. So far, I have been using them mainly on low level park walks, hillier walks with the dog and I have taken them out for a long thrash on occasion. I am limited by the current travel restrictions (Feb-21) so I cannot get to any serious hills, however, I have been using them almost daily for the past few months in various levels of winter weather.
Overall they have performed well against everything I have been able to do with them so far. I found them easy to break in, easier than other leather boots that I have had before and once I had broken them in, they have been comfortable, dry and snug ever since.
I have found one area in which they seem to struggle slightly, and that is when there is snow lying on the ground, the tread seems to quickly fill up with snow and create a flat icy pad on the bottom of the boot. This is not ideal as you can then start sliding around. It is an easy fix however, as you can knock off the snow that has accumulated on the boot. I am not 100% sure why this occurs, but I think it might have something to do with the pattern or the depth of the tread on the sole.
Comfort and Fit
I’ve nothing to complain about here. When I first put the boots on to start wearing them in and around the house to break them in, they felt well cushioned, if a little stiff. After a few days of wearing them in and climbing up and down the stairs the stiffness was gone and the soles had moulded to my feet somewhat. The first meaningful trip outside the coped with well, conditions wise they handled the mud, rain, tarmac and footpath all fine, no issues at all as you would expect from a modern boot.
With regards to the fit, the heel padding inside is pretty comfy and allows for a decent amount of flexibility there. I have quite narrow heels, so the good level of padding helps reduce slipping at the heel. As these are the MID version of these boots, there is also a low and a high version, the collar of the boot sits just above the ankle bone, giving support to the ankle without restricting movement higher up the calf.
In the front end of the boot, the laces come pre-threaded through the four sets of closed eyelets. Personally, I think I would have liked the closed eyelets to stop at three, giving me more open eyelets to play with. As it is there are two open eyelets above the closed ones, totalling six eyelets. I think an even split 3/3 of open and closed eyelets would have been better and helped with keeping the heel secure through better tensioning of the laces across the instep and ankle.
As it is though, the additional padding helps me with that anyway, so its not an issue for me, but it your foot is different, or you prefer a different fit, you may find that the lack of a third open eyelet may cause your heels to slip a little. There are ways to lace your boots to help prevent this too, so don’t worry, these boots will still work for you!
There are a couple of technical parts to these boots, although they are not the most technologically advanced. The first thing is that the mesh used on the boots is both breathable and waterproof. I like that the material chosen has both of these features, the waterproofing that has been applied has held for me so far, I have not yet had to re-proof them to better their water resistance. I also like the fact that my feet have not got too hot due to this breathability.
Dynagrip is the Karrimor name for the technology that they use their soles to improve grip and shock absorbtion. After a walk of 10 miles I can tell that the shock absorption is good, in so much as I have not had sore knees or lower back from these boots.
I mentioned in the introduction that I had issues with the boots grip in the snow, so I am not completely confident in the design of the DYNAGRIP soles for this purpose, they certainly seem slippier than my old boots were. In the normal conditions that I do the majority of my hill walking in however, the grip and traction offered by the soles is great, including in the wet.
Having tested these boots in every terrain that I currently have access to, I can say that after 6 weeks of nearly daily use, that I have had no problems with any aspect of the boots durability. Having tested them on tarmac, hills, mud, snow, ice and everything in between, I have covered a range of terrains and given these boots every opportunity to fall apart. They have not done so.
There is a bit of blind spot in this testing, and that is I have not yet taken them on a hike longer than about 10 miles and I haven’t tested them on the harshest terrain like boulder fields or overly rocky ground. The current travel restrictions are hampering my ability to get to the right sort of ground as I cannot travel outside of my council area. An area that does not include any hills of note.
To be honest, I don’t have any concerns that they won’t stand up to this test when it eventually comes, but I did want to say that they have not been tested in the harshest of environments…yet.
The boots feature a padded ankle collar, a feature that I really like. I have had boots in the past that have rubbed or cut into the backs of my calves during a long walk, which is awful. However, these boots do not have this problem due to the padded collar. It is still stiff enough to provide the support needed, but it is comfy enough to reduce the pain of high ankle boots. They have done a good job of treading that line.
The next feature listed is something called the ‘Frame Flex Chassis’. This is the underlying skeleton of the boot and the way it is designed to flex with your foot as you walk. As someone who is not a huge boot buff, or particularly interested in the physics of boot design, all I can say is that it works. In the past with various sets of boots that I have owned, I have had sore and tired feet after a long day wearing my boots. This has not happened with these boots and it is due to the Frame Flex Chassis. My feet are no longer fighting with the sole of the boot all day, but supported in the way that they flex and bend whilst walking.
The manufacturers recommended price for these boots is £69.99. However I have found them here on Amazon for £39.99-£49.99, which is a steal for these boots. Whilst they have their issues, the main one being grip in the snow, the Karrimor Mount Mid are good general use boots that will cope with anything you can throw at them.
By comparison, the other boots that are out there on the market for a similar price are likely to have poor quality, or not be able to cope with the thrashing that the Scottish countryside can dish out on occasion. With the technical aspects of the Frame Flex Chassis, they are probably more comfortable to wear and walk in too.
For under £50, you could do a lot worse than these boots. Its a recommended from me.
Overall, as you will probably have guessed, I would recommend these boots. I think that they way they are built and the levels of comfort I have experienced make them worth every penny of their low price tag. If you are looking for a specialist boot that will do you serious winter trekking or extended periods in the winter, I would look elsewhere.
For those of us who do the majority of their walking in the spring, summer and autumn and want an all-rounder that will cope with the specific challenges in each of these seasons, I don’t think we need to look much further than the Karrimor Mount Mid walking boot.
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