On test: Women’s summer walking boots

If like me
you like the idea of a summer of walking but a traditional walking boot just
seems too chunky and heavy, it’s time to check out a growing range of summer
walking boots. Designed for fairer weather on trails and hill paths, summer
boots still offer good grip, reliability and water resistance but they are
lighter and less bulky.

Many boots
now also come in a fit to suit either women or men, because after all, the average
male and female foot is very different. And while looks aren’t everything in a
walking boot, it does help their versatility if they look good enough to wear
to the pub if you happened to be passing one after your walk.
Regatta’s Lady Carbon Mid Boot

Regatta
sometimes ask me to give their new clothing and boot ranges a test. I am often out and about in the
Scottish countryside so I have plenty of opportunities for testing and it means
I end up with outdoor clothing and footwear that I really like!

What Regatta
say about the Lady Carbon Mid Boot: A lightweight sporty walking boot with a
mesh and suede upper and Isotex waterproof and breathable fabric bootee liner.
This boot performs well and looks great.

This
ticks all the boxes for most women who want to walk in the fairer summer
weather. But how does it feel to wear?

As
soon as I put my feet in the boots I knew it would be a comfy walk. These days,
boots should not need a great deal of “walking in” and if you wear a good
quality pair of walking socks, a boot should feel great on the foot from the
start to the end of your walk. Make sure the boot fits neatly, but not so tight
that it pinches. A thumb’s width space at the toe of the boot will prevent any rubs
on the toes, or damaged toe nails.

This is a
lightweight boot and feels similar to a trainer but with a half-height ankle.
If you’re walking on firm trails and hill paths there is no need for a high
ankle. While higher ankles do serve a purpose on more rugged ground, keeping
your ankle well supported, on easier going terrain it’s not necessary. A
mid-height ankle is usually a lot more comfortable too.

I liked that
I could easily pull the laces tight and keep the tension on the open eyelets
right to the top of the boot. To keep laces in place a top tip is to wind the laces round themselves twice, instead of
just once, before securing at the open eyelets. This stops them from unraveling
as you walk.

The insole is
also firm yet bouncy. It’s hard to explain but it felt as though it supported
my foot and instep yet when I walked in the boots they made me feel light and
bouncy. This is a very similar feeling to a new pair of trainers.

The boots
come in grey with red or yellow stitching and look rather nice. I know this
shouldn’t matter but these boots would also go well with jeans on a wet and
muddy day walking the kids to school, to the shops or out for a dog walk with
friends.

RWF256 Lady Carbon Mid X-LT 76Q

Out on the trail in Regatta Lady
Carbon Mid Boots

Strolling out
the miles felt very natural. A rewarding climb of Conic Hill near Balmaha on
Loch Lomond-side, as well as an afternoon walking the dog on the West Highland
Way, north of Glasgow, provided two different testing terrains. The boots felt
lovely and light on the hill climb and made good work of the descent too. If
was a fairly dry path so grip was good and I deliberately walked through some
muddy sections to see if my feet stayed dry. They did!

On the West Highland
Way I was able to walk at a good speed and even broke into a run when chasing
the dog. Because the boots are light they are fine for a short run, although
they would not be the kind of footwear for trail running of any great distance.

Both walks lasted
a couple of hours and my feet felt dry, sweat-free and comfortable. I didn’t
actually feel the need to remove them until much later in the day – and after
an outing to a handy country pub in each location. Planning a walk that ends
with a great place for a coffee and cake is the perfect way to go!

 

 

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