When my last pair of boots became worn out, I decided to look for a cheaper alternative , but still maintaining a reasonable quality.
I comprised a small list of things I wanted to see in a boot. Basically, 3 things:
- Vibram Soles – they’re hard wearing and tend to provide good grip. The top brands use Vibram for a reason
- Leather Upper – Leather has it’s own natural waterproofing, and is easy to maintain.
- Waterproof liner – Originally, I wanted a gore-tex liner, but that increased the price considerably, so any waterproof, breathable liner would be acceptable.
After quite a lot of hunting, I eventually came across Grisport. I’d never heard of them as a brand before, and doing some searching online, it seems there was very little in terms of reviews on their products available, too.
So, my purchase of the Quatro boots (which I bought from Head to the Hills), was a bit of a gamble. I couldn’t find any local stockists to try them on, though I did find a store which sold the Dartmoor shoes, so I could at least gauge the correct size, and get a look at the build quality. They seemed to be of a reasonable build, so I took the risk and bought the Quatro boots.
On to the boots themselves!
As you can see, the boots have had a fair bit of use. I’ve owned them now for a couple of months, and I’ve climbed Corbetts in them, and gone for several longer distance walks in them. After all, it wouldn’t be much of a review if I’d only used them around town!
As you’ll see from the picture above, it doesn’t take long for the leather to take a bit of a beating, but I don’t personally mind that. I quite like a boot to look like it’s been used a few times!
What is important is that the boots have still maintained their waterproofing. I’ve had to cross various burns and streams in them, and so far, they’ve not let any water in – A plus for both the leather upper and the Spotex lining!
You’ll note from the picture above that the boots have, what they claim is a Support System at the heel. From their website, it advises: The new support system prevents lateral movement of the heel even on the roughest terrains. It seems to work, too. Prior to purchasing these boots, the shoes I was wearing had given me an acute case of Achilles Tendonitis – so heel pain was a major concern of mine when getting these! I’ve actually had no heel pain in them at all, and the heel seems to be held quite firmly in place.
The boots have been comfortable from the outset, which I was relatively surprised about. I can wear them all day with no problems, so hopefully, come April when I walk the West Highland Way, these boots will keep my feet nice and comfortable throughout.
Sadly, here’s the downside of the boot. The sole. Don’t get me wrong, the tread pattern is quite good, and there’s a fair amount of grip on most terrain – however, the lug depth is terrible!
I’ve measured the depth of the lugs, and at about 4mm, the lugs simply aren’t deep enough for my liking. In wet, muddy, conditions, you’ll probably be slipping and sliding all over the place. Also, with such a shallow lug depth, I don’t hold out too much hope for the longevity of the sole. I suspect, with regular use, they’ll probably last a year at best before they’re worn out and provide no grip at all.
It’s a real shame, bedcause otherwise, the boots are really quite good!
Overall verdict: 3/5
They’re not a bad boot, and for an infrequent user, they’ll probably be ideal. They’re waterproof, easily maintained and comfortable from the outset, but the lug depth really lets them down. Had the soles been better, I would happily have increased that to a 4 out of 5.
In saying that, though. I reckon they’re going to be good enough to get me through the West Highland Way in April… how much longer after that, I don’t know, but I’m sure they’ve got enough staying power to survive a week of constant use.
24/02/11 – Update:
I thought these boots were going to be quite good and comfortable, but recently they have let me down. For some reason, I now get heel rub on my right foot and a rubbing of my ankle on the left foot. As you can imagine, that makes the boots more than a little uncomfortable and painful, so I would definitely be loathe to recommend these to anyone.
I am now wearing Mammut/Raichle Mt Trail GTX boots, which were significantly higher price, but have so far been more comfortable. I will post a complete review of these once I have had sufficient use of them over a long period of time.