Karrimor Whirlwind Low Weathertite Boots
There was a time when outdoor footwear either meant some wellington boots or a pair of stiff and sturdy leather boots. In the more recent past all that has changed and nowadays you have a choice of not just leather and not even just fabric, but a host of specialised membranes and layered products.
So scientific has the research and development become that it is possible to tailor your footwear to the exact conditions you expect to encounter. This means you don't need to wear a pair of heavy boots at the height of summer when you know the ground isn't going to be so bad.
Enter Karrimor Whirlwind low weathertite boots. At first glance these could be mistaken for trainers, made from fabric based on a synthetic nubuck and mesh they are light weight and far more comfortable than you expect a boot to be. The low cut gives a tremendous sense of movement and freedom and allows for easy walking, as a result they don't offer ankle support and if you wanted that then there are other boots in the Karrimor line up that will give it to you. The advantage of these boots is that on a woodland course in summer where gradients are not extreme you will glide around the course in total comfort.
Having said that, even though you might think you are wearing trainers these are in fact a highly technical low cut boot. The first thing that strikes you when you put these on is the weight, we are talking just 460 grams, which is just over 8oz per boot. When I think of 8oz I think of half a pound of butter, but that still doesn't really equate to how light these feel once on.
My normal winter boots weigh in at 930g each !! these are 230g each - that adds up to a stroll in what feels like your slippers.
Unlike trainers though these boots do offer some support through the mid sole using a technology called "frameflex tenacity" which offers 2 season stiffness, the compound is called "phylon" which adds 3 dimensional support but not weight. The level of support is indicated by the use to which the boot will be put - this one is rated 2 season so we are talking about a boot designed for summer use.
Just because it says summer on the label doesn't mean it will be sunny and dry , anyone who lives in the UK will know that just because the calendar says summer doesn't mean that you will be getting any of the weather most folks associate with that season, in fact it's more than likely that you will be seeing rain at some point in the week. That, however is not going to be an issue with this boot, one of the laminate layers is a waterproof and breathable membrane named weathertite®.
What did we ever do before these breathable materials were created ?, almost every item of my archery clothing has some form of waterproofing that is breathable.
I am always suspicious of fabric boots, I am a bit old fashioned and find it hard to believe that a boot so soft will actually be waterproof so I was pretty harsh when it came to testing, I am up early and the first test involved a walk through the fields early in the morning, long wet grass is perfect for finding out how waterproof your kit really is. Within 20 minutes or so my trousers are sucking moisture up the legs but despite being wet on the outside my feet are dry.
The real test is rain and last Friday was the perfect case in point, I was running an event outdoors and it was larruping down all morning, to make matters worse I had some heavy duty waterproof legs on, which sent the rain down my legs and on to the boots. to my surprise but great relief my feet stayed dry. Being low cut it was possible for water to get down my ankles luckily my wet legs are long. The boots stood up very well and the breathable part worked as it should.
These boots are from the Karrimor multi sport collection and are available in sizes 7-12 including half sizes, although the official price is quoted as £50 a quick trawl on the net will find you a pair of these for less than 30 quid. As most shoots are in gentle woodland, for summer wear when it's hot and you want light weight footwear these boots are terrific value and offer water proofness as a bonus.
Features & Design
Weighing in as light as your slippers these are not going to tire your feet, both breathable and waterproof. The low cut offers advantages in comfort and weight but doesn't offer ankle support
Total comfort, easy to wear and they really do keep out the water.
Value for Money
£50 is the rrp but on the net you can find these as low as £28, superb value and worth buying even if you don't shoot much !!
I find myself wearing these boots not just for summer shooting but whenever I nip out as these are the comfiest boot I own.