Berghaus Pro Rush Mid 2008

The Pro Rush lightweight 3-season boot is designed for the ‘toughest fast moving outdoor routes’ according to Berghaus, but the main news here is the unique Opti Stud sole unit, which aims to give optimal grip on a variety of terrain. You get a Gore-Tex XCR lining too behind the unusual synthetic upper.

Design
The Pro Rush benefits from 21st century technology that allows an external spider of rubber to cradle the synthetic upper. This external cradle is moulded into the rand that encloses the toe for extra durability on rocky terrain. The upper does not have the open mesh construction of other boots, but this could be seen as a benefit as it means less water soaks into the upper, to allow faster drying. The shoes look narrow and pointy compared to alternatives, so they may suit a narrower foot. The outsole is particularly impressive, thanks to the use of unique studs that are both deep and widely spaced for maximum durability and grip without clinging onto mud for too long. There’s no heel breast, like other boots here, so in theory these will not excel in downhill mode.

On the hill
The boots felt superb to me, but my feet are very narrow and I suspect that those with wider feet may not like this option as much as I did. They were comfortable straight from the box and they offered a little more support than other shoes on rocky ground, while the upper provided reasonable protection for the foot when attacked by loose rocks. But what really set these boots apart was the outsole grip, which happily clawed its way up the muddy slopes that characterised the Lakes this summer. Mud didn’t cling to those lugs too badly either. There is just about enough stiffness to tackle scrambles too, and that narrow profile helped with foot placements. I also found these good on loose scree. They are definitely ideal for tackling mud and slightly more rocky terrain, and so I’d recommend them for anyone who wants to save weight while maintaining as much general hill performance as they can.

The low-down
A cracking pair of lightweight boots that do what most hill-walkers will require if they head onto a mixture of hill terrain. The fit may be too narrow and pointy for those with broad, stubby feet, though. Also you’ll get more durability and even better performance from a full-weight boot, but if you want to save weight then these are ideal. What’s more they are fast-drying and don’t drag too much mud home from the hill either.

Comfort 4   
Waterproofness 5    
Grip 4   
Durability 4   
Value for money 5

Upper synthetic EVA Breathe, Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sole unit Opti Stud
Sizes  6-11 (men’s);  4-8  (women’s)
Weight 1172g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Contact – tel. (0191) 516 5600; www.berghaus.com
Verdict
Pros these offer superb grip on mud, they are lightweight and fast-drying, making them an excellent all-rounder for any lightweight walker
Cons others are lighter and more breathable, and heavier boots certainly will offer better performance overall
Overall a grippy shoe that is also light, fast-drying and relatively durable, making it ideal for general valley and hill-walking if you want to save weight on every step. It won our ‘Best in Test’ award.

Stop press! A couple of weeks after the above review was written, these boots started to leak.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008