New year, new lifestyle. It’s time to join a gym or try a fad diet to work off those Christmas calories. Or maybe you’re smarter than that? Walking is great exercise, I like walking and I walk a lot. According to my fitbit, I average 13,000 steps a day. So, the lovely people at Hi-Tec asked me if I would like to try their Forza Lite Mid Waterproof men’s hiking boot.
“Of course”, I said and I took them to Amsterdam for the weekend. We were visiting this beautiful city and taking in as many sites as possible and that involved even more walking. From museums to coffee shops and through the rain, for a city break, these shoes were really tested. The boot is very comfortable. No breaking in, no blisters, so no complaints so far. I was, however, conscious of the boot edge rubbing my leg on the lower part of my shin. This quickly diminished and could be for a number of reasons. Most likely, my unnaturally skinny ankles.
The outsoles are designed to deliver the perfect balance of traction, protection and durability. This ensures that both up and down hills, the foot moves as naturally as possible. But as many of you know, Amsterdam is not known for hills, it is very flat. To test foot movement, I needed to get mucky. So how do they fare when trudging through the Berkshire countryside? Pretty good actually. The lugs are chamfered to quickly discard dirt and water and this improves traction on wet and other types of terrain ensuring I was as sure-footed as a mountain goat.
After wearing the shoes all day I expected my feet and back to be tired and that I would be looking forward to taking them off when at home. But these hiking boots are designed to flex and reduce foot fatigue, they are light and not overly cumbersome so no real urge to kick them off.
The boots are wide fitting, which is great for me as I find that more comfortable. It became fairly obvious as I attempted to climb some narrow stairs that the length from toe to heel takes a bit of getting used to. But this is typical of hiking boots, not this pair in particular.
Hi-Tec also sent shoes for Delilah. Being a picky young lady, I expected her walk away (pun intended). But she was straight in, laced up and off she went. Similar to my experience, she didn’t complain once about them. Either the way they look or in terms of comfort. She was so happy, jumping and clicking her heels. Anyway, she’s still of that age where she wants to be like her Dad and wear the same shoes. How long will that last?
Delilah is wearing the £39.99 Penrith Mid Kids, which are similar to mine in terms waterproofing and moisture wicking but also have a contoured CMEVA sockliner which gives you a comfortable, springy platform for a smoother ride.
Click here to find out more about CMEVA
As you may have noticed, I write about Dads not giving up on appearances through all the family mayhem. The Forza Lites are somewhat stylish which, dare I say it, is not what hiking boots are not known for. Do I need to be stylish as I trundle over to the office in the morning and back again in the evening? With my headphones on, I’m pretty much in my own bubble but these shoes ensure I don’t slip and I can stay dry. However, when I get to the office, it’s best that I change into something a little less clunky. There are no hills in an office. Well, not mine anyway.
If you are getting outdoors, then these shoes offer great value for money. They are very comfortable out of the box and in use are waterproof and breathable. I can’t vouch for the durability having only had them a number of weeks but they look like they will last especially when compared to other boots in the same price range.
Available from HI-TEC £79.99