Cotswolds Abbeydale Mid Womens Walking Boots – Review
By Alex Crabtree
As winter has well and truly kicked in and, at the time of writing, Christmas approaches; a keen walker like myself needs to know their feet will be kept warm and safe whilst tackling the elements over the coming months.
A new pair of walking boots had become essential in recent weeks. So, I was pleased when I came across the Cotswolds Abbeydale Mid Womens Walking Boots from Charles Clinkard. A pair of boots which looked good on the picture, sounded great in the description…I think these were the pair for me.
But when they arrived, was I going to be as pleased with them as I’d hoped I’d be…?
What Charles Clinkard say:
“Lightweight and breathable hill and trail walking boot. A waterproof membrane keeps feet dry whilst a memory foam footbed moulds and cushions the feet, keeping adventurous feet comfortable.”
“Thick closure system”
Firstly, and I don’t say this lightly, the comfort that these boots provide your foot is amazing. It was quite surprising, you could almost be wearing slippers such is the feel when you put the boots on for the first time. You feel it underfoot, and especially so in the heel.
They also feel great when you take a few steps in them as well. I noticed the thick closure system around the ankle, which wraps nicely to your heel and just finishes this comfort factor thing off nicely.
My initial impressions of the Cotswolds Abbeydale Mid Womens Walking Boots were that these were going to be a huge benefit, not just to my feet but my enjoyment of walking too.
“Pleasing to look at”
How they are on the eye is another plus point for me. Usually, I’ll plump for a pair of walking boots that just do the job. I’m not overly bothered about how they look, they’re going to get dirty anyway, right? That said, this light blue pair (which I’d say are more lilac) really pleasing to look at. It also suits the sort of colours I like to go for in the rest of my walking regalia.
Dropping from the eyelets are four reflective grey/silver stripes, and pops of pink in the sole and through the laces compliment the blue well. As far as fashion on the footpath goes, these look nice. I’d say noticeable, but tasteful – a pair that I’d feel happy wearing.
Putting the look and the comfort factor together, I felt sure these boots were going to be a great choice. But, were they made for walking? It was time to test them out…
So, off me and the hubby went on a three-mile loop, taking in North Dean Woods, Calderdale (situated just behind our home), and heading over Norland Moor. Then, we’d drop down the valley to Sowerby Bridge before heading back home along the local canal, the Calder and Hebble navigation. Being on our doorstep, this is one of our regular walks, around four miles long but with a multitude of paths and rat-runs you can take, So, it’s an amble that never becomes a routine. We change it up every time, so occasionally come across the unexpected.
Our very own happy valley, situated in the Happy Valley.
Heading into the woods from our house, I was paying attention to how my feet felt in the Cotswolds Abbeydale Mid Women’s Walking Boots. You do that on the first outing of any footwear, don’t you? They felt light, which was great – but my feet also felt comfort and protection. Again, there’s this slipper feel inside the shoe with breathability, but a robust structure to boot (pun intended).
“Fights away the water”
After a steady one mile climb to the top of the woods, we were faced with tackling a particularly wet and puddly bit of pathway as we entered Norland Moor. We couldn’t avoid it, and this is where the shell of the shoe showed me its worth. Bye-bye lovely clean new look! But hello to the soft, material-feel shell that fights away the water with ease. That’s the real test, isn’t it? Well, these boots passed easily, and the way the tongue is attached to the shoe meant that there was no way these feet were getting wet today!
As for the sole, I didn’t get any slippage on any of the terrain we marched through. We took on a 25 metre muddy incline, a gravelly slope or two, and a standard mix of dirt tracks and pathways. The shoes’ rubber soul is quite substantial and handled our walk with ease. And what I really like about it, is how springy it feels. It packs a bit of energy back into the leg, and keeps you going.
We finished our walk, and my feet still felt good when I got home. Not tired, and blister-free. A brilliant result, especially for a first outing without the need for any breaking-in.
I know that how you look is way down the list of priorities when you’re walking or hiking. But it can’t be a bad thing when the two can go together, right? Well, the Cotswolds Abbeydale Mid Womens Walking Boots fuses function with looking good very easily. And I’m really pleased to be the proud owner of such a pair.
At a modest £83.99, they’re a mid-range price and I have to say I’ve spent more money on other walking boots and been disappointed at their low-budget feel and comfort. I think these are incredible value for money, and if you’re looking for a new pair, or perhaps wondering what to gift your walking partner this Christmas, you wouldn’t go wrong with these.
A fantastic pair of boots, giving my feet the love, comfort and protection they need.
The Cotswolds Abbeydale Mid Womens Walking Boots are available from charlesclinkard.co.uk – RRP £83.99