Chunky, leather and waterproof â€“ these hiking boots are just like dadâ€™s.
Karrimor is a great British institution thatâ€™s been kitting out walkers for decades. Itâ€™s an affordable brand, and one of the great things about them is that they have a decent childrenâ€™s range of footwear.
Our resident Scotland Outdoors teenager, Charlie, is shooting up at a rate of knots, and outgrowing everything, so itâ€™s nice not to have to pay the earth for a new pair of boots every year.
This is not the first pair of walking boots Charlie has owned. Heâ€™s been through several other pairs (Karrimor as it happens), but this is his first leather pair. All the others have been canvas or suede â€“ a bit more flexible for little feet.
The basic shape and structure of the boot is no different from the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s versions of the Skido boots â€“ they are just smaller â€“ coming in sizes 3-6.5. I think itâ€™s quite good that they are the same â€“ it makes your child feel all grown up and wearing a proper walking boot just like mum and dad.
Thereâ€™s not much need to break in walking boots anymore, but Charlie did wear these around the house for a bit, and then on short but challenging walks over rough terrain. He declared them â€œbrilliantâ€ â€“ so I felt we were ready for a much longer multi-day hike along the Great Trossachs Path.
Most of the track was made up of either small rough stones or tarmac, so the going was fairly easy, although Charlie was wearing a hefty backpack, which put a bit of extra pressure on him.
However, it did rain almost constantly for four days â€“ and this was a real test for the waterproof claim. Charlie never complained of having wet feet, and although his socks were a bit damp at the end of the day â€“ we put that down to perspiration rather than water getting in.
We wild camped, so we were amongst long, wet grass. One of the things Charlie loved about the boots was that they were really easy to put on. Just like most adult hiking boots, the top three lace lugs are hooked, so you can undo the laces and get in and out of the boots without much hassle. The ankle collar is sloped slightly and thereâ€™s a bellows tongue which helps with that too. All this proved useful when nature called and you needed to get your boots on and leave the tent.
The cushioning around the ankle collar is fairly decent, and the moulded sole is quite impressive â€“ having a good amount of multi-directional grip in all the right places. The heel is chamfered, which helps when walking long distances, and although Charlie complained about the rucksack, he never once moaned about his feet.
These are excellent value, and made to the standards of an adult boot.
- Leather uppers
- Breathable lining
- Metal eyelets
- Moulded sole
- Cushioned ankle and tongue
Junior boots from Â£17.00. There is a childâ€™s version in even smaller sizes, but it is a different design. See the Karrimor website.
You can read more about Charlie and Neilâ€™s Great Trossachs Path trip in issue 33 of the magazine.