Contour Trail Walking Boot for Men and Women
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Trail Walking Boot for Men and Women
Contour says:"The Trail is designed for lightweight walking use throughout the year."
Features to Note:
- Fabric/suede upper
- Breathable, waterproof Hydroban lining
- Cushionlight sole unit
Contour's Trail is a light-weight, good looking walking boot that is designed for the UK market and made in Romania.
It has a relatively wide fit and I found it to be immediately very comfortable. There's a generous amount of padding around the ankle, tongue and in the sole.
The relatively simple lacing system made it easy to get a good fit around my foot and ankle.
The sole has a more aggressive tread pattern than I've seen on other boots at this price - and it certainly provided good grip on the mud and wet grass I encountered on several winter Shrophire walks. My feet were warm and dry throughout several long, cold and wet days - I've not yet had opportunity to wear them during warmer weather!
There's an all round rubber band to help protect the upper from scuffs and scratches. Overall the finish looks very good.
On the downside, the Trail's sole is very flexible - both laterally and longitudinally. So whilst it's generally a very comfortable boot there's not really enough ankle support for extended walking over rocky ground or when carrying a heavy pack. There is also little in the way of toe protection.
The lack of lateral stiffness and support mean that Contour's Trail is not the best option for prolonged walking over rocky ground or for backpacking with a significant load. However, they are a good value option for low level walking - along canal towpaths, over moorland - or for less rocker hill paths.
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• My sister bought me these for my 60th birthday in 2007. I did one or two walks in the UK. In 2009 I joined a bushwalking club in Brisbane Australia and did less only about 8 walks because I found them rather long and exhausting in the heat. I subsequently joined a less ambitious walking group which did 2 hour night walks once a week. I stopped going to this after I retired in 2012. I took the boots with me on a 3 month visit to the UK in 2012 but wore them only for a few short walks in wet conditions. I have not worn them since as I've tended to wear my trail running shoes which are more than adequate for track walking here. I intended to take the boots with me again to the UK this August as I'd like to do some hill walking while I still can but was surprised to find deep cracks where the upper has begun to separate from the sole in several places. The extent of this cracking probably renders them uneconomic to repair. This is not exactly a complaint as I have had them nearly ten years but then, my sister has had her leather hiking boots much longer and they are still serviceable. I am wondering whether the problem is with their exposure to the higher temperatures here in Queensland as I have not worn them all that often and they have been in the wardrobe for most of the time. Apart from the deterioration described they still look almost new with little sign of wear on the uppers or tread. The intention of this review is merely to draw your attention to the problem with the lack of longevity of the material used for attaching the sole to the upper. I am not attempting to seek any redress as they were only 60GBP (and not my 60GBP) so I've had money's worth even for the minimal use over that time and will probably be buying new boots - just feels rather wasteful to have to throw them away when they still look so new. The boots were comfortable except as my heel bedded into the insole I did find they were pressing on my ankles causing some slight discomfort. I probably need a lower cut boot for my particular anatomy.
• These boots appear well made and feel comfortable,Unfortunately every time I wear them I develop a painful reactive rash around my ankle . I wear walking socks,, I have tried all types of combinations of sock but the rash always returns. I do not have an allergic reaction to anything else and certainly not to my other walking boots.
Pauline Burney, Isle Of Mull
• When I started using these boots they were very comfortable but after some use I started to get some discomfort just above my toes. On examining the boots I can feel that there is some stiff material inside the toecap which ends near the base of your toes. When the boot is flexed there is now an obvious crease in the uppers at this point. The fabric of the boot has now softened and when the boot is flexed this material being stiff does not flex in the same way. The result is your toes are pushed against its hard edge causing the discomfort. Checking my Brasher boots shows that they do not have this type of construction and I do not have the same problem.
Peter Hedges, Stow On The Wold