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Welcome to our humble blog that will follow the misadventures of very average camping, hiking/rambling enthusiasts based out of Oxford. We will blog on camping trips, latest hikes, equipment reviews and whatever takes our fancy...

Monday, 31 January 2011

The Boot Review - Three Peaks Challenge

When it came to choosing the correct type of hiking boots for our 24hr Three Peaks challenge it could have become a long and arduous process for each of us.

Deliberation was made over whether looks or comfort was more important. In the end, all our problems were solved thanks to Hi-Tec who very kindly kitted our hiking party out with their top selling hiking boots; the V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi, the V-Lite Rapidtrail Ultra WPi for the men, for the lady in our team the V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi. We are all very grateful to Hi-Tec for this. The V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi's won the Which Best Buy for walking boots (May 2010), so we were in the best of company when taking on this challenge.

As with all new things, it is a shame that they get dirty and stained so quickly but that is not the case with these boots which feature ion-mask technology by P2i, making them extremely hydrophobic and dirt repellent. You can see the technology in action here:

With our footwear sorted we were ready to take on whatever Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon had to through at us.

The Rambling Hikers Three Peaks Boot Review

James: The boots were on the whole comfortable, offering excellent support with the waterproofing technology, keeping my feet dry and warm throughout all three hikes. If there is one fault, the tongue of the boots did not give enough cushioning on the descent leaving blisters towards the end.

Hugh: Whatever the walking occasion there is nothing more important than good footwear and attempting the Three Peaks Challenge during a sodden October weekend proved to be a stern test for my Hi-Tec V-Lites, but a test that passed with flying colours. Walking for hours at a time my feet were comfortable, well supported and dry. I stood in a Ben Nevis mountain stream (below image) to test the ion-mask technology and found the entire boot, including laces and tongue to be impenetrable to continuous flow of water. Overall, an excellent walking boot.

Testing the boots out near the Halfway Lochan, Ben Nevis
Iain: The V-Lite Rapidtrail were a revalation throughout the Three peaks with my feet hardly aching at all at the end of the challenge. Well-padded on the sharp rock edges of Ben Nevis, well-balanced on the narrow ledges and steps of Snowdon and of course the waterproof technology kept nature at bay. Very good and comfortable throughout.

Chris: The first time I wore the V-Lite Rapidtrail boots was on the four hour hike up Snowdon, having had to change my original boots due to significant water uptake. In such I was wary as to how comfortable they would be as it can take a few walks to wear new footwear in. The Rapidtrails fitted extremely well and supplied support in all the right places, being comfortable, lightweight and sturdy. In regards to the ion-mask technology, I enjoyed walking in and out of streams and puddles, watching the water bead and slide off leaving the boot completely dry. All in all I was very impressed and just wished I had wore them throughout the challenge.

James and Iain at the halfway point - Ben Nevis
Rachel: Echoing James's comments, the boots were superb and my feet stayed dry throughout. The only problem was the tongue rubbing at the beginning of the hikes causing a few blisters, however by the last peak, once they were worn in, this was no longer an issue.

Greig: I can only comment positively on the V-Lite Altitude Ultra's as they performed well on all three peaks. Testing out the ion-mask technology claims, I endeavoured to put them through every river, stream and puddle I could find, including heavy rain towards the top of Ben Nevis. In each instance they passed with flying colours, my feet remained dry and comfortable. The only issue I had is the concern that has been expressed already, that they rubbed initially causing blisters until worn in. Overall, very happy with the boots and would recommend them to serious and casual hikers alike.

The Ramblers

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