My trusty old Brasher walking boots are starting to give up the ghost. I am very very sad at this as they have walked miles and been with me for almost a decade. They have seen relationships, mortgages, jobs and friends come and go. They have walked through fields that are now covered by crappy affordable housing. The Hillmasters still feel warm and snug each time I put them on-despite the tear in the back. Sturdy, comfy and sure-footed. I have other walking boots and shoes, for snow, for summer, for expeditions- but these were simply perfect for the evening dog walk. For a winter in Cornwall stroll. Muddy lanes or coast paths these did it all. Gore-tex and leather clad they were epic.
I love the snug fit around the ankle, and the no nonsense build. They simply dealt with it all. I regularly walk along an old railway line near my house that at this time of the year is covered in big muddy puddles, and quite often I walk at night. Therefore having confidence in ones footwear is paramount.The confidence was learnt from these boots. Tonight I went out for a trek, in the dark, in the pouring rain. The path had long wet grass, deep puddles and very deep mud. Once home-and even to my surprise (I think one of the boots gore-tex is leaking) my feet were toasty and dry. Brilliant. The boots use the standard 6 eyelets, or rather 3 eyelets, and 3 enterable eyelets-so you really can get the boots as tight or as loose as you desire, and the fact the Hillmasters have a thick tongue means there is no chance that you will cut your circulation off should you tie them too tight.
The tread is a simple pattern, with lugs big enough to give you confidence and grip when you need it, but not so big that they rip the countryside apart. They are pretty great on mud, grass and rough terrain, but should you venture on to wet tarmac, or granite-then you need to bend over and kiss yourself goodbye. I have seen ice skates slide slower than these badboys. They truly will land you on your bum.
The leather is relatively thick and sturdy, but the front does seem to get scratched up a fair bit. Treated with Nikwak regularly this is purely cosmetic.
Modern flimsy boots just don’t feel the same. So the Brashers are soon to join the great closet in the sky, and I can safely say that the MkII’s will be on my Christmas list.
Below is a video of the next generation of Hillmasters.