I reviewed these boots on the request of Go Outdoors, my favourite walking equipment emporium and despite my usual avarice for any new walking equipment I almost turned them down. I’ve had an awful time with Hi-Tec boots in the past. Although they are generally quite cheap I haven’t been able to say they were good value for money. GO have a good selection of Hi-Tec boots, all sorted onto their own special sub-section on the website.
Despite the history, I thought everyone deserves a fourth chance, so I agreed to take them and give them a proper test. I took them to Skye with me and although I couldn’t risk walking in them for the long walk sections, I did use them in the evening for local walks around the croft and and for a walk up Beinn Bhreac, across some rather muddy and horrible terrain.
The ones I chose were Hi-Tec Ottawa WP Walking Boots; usual price around £80, but available through the GO website for £50.
Having worn these boots on a number of excursions now, I feel I am able to offer an opinion on their performance.
Fifty quid these days doesn’t get you very much it seems.. a meal out for two maybe, (if you lay off the vino), 7 gallons of diesel or a basket of basics down the supermarket perhaps?
Well, £50 will buy you these Hi-Tec boots, which to be fair are entry level footwear probably geared for the less serious walker. As I’ve only used them for a relatively short time, I can’t comment on their durability. On the face of it, they appear strong and well made.
They weigh less than I imagined they would (unfortunately my scales are broken at the moment and none of the Hi-Tec literature gives a proper weight for them) and are comfortable, offering good (padded) ankle and inner arch support.
The most negative observation I have made in the time I have used these boots concerns the laces.
The upper eyelets into which the laces have to be hooked are not flush with the boot leather, consequently it’s often possible to locate the lace between the hook and the boot, which is mildly frustrating.
The soles offer good grip, performing equally well on slippery rocks on the beach and loose inclined surfaces on the yomp.
Only time will tell if the investment of a hard earned £50 on a pair of boots, from a manufacturer better known for squash court shoes, remains worthwhile.
I’ll continue to use them for local walks and I’m sure, they will convey me many more miles than the 7 gallons of diesel would, had I chosen to spend the cash on that instead!