Brasher has a long association with lightweight comfort, and the Antuco GTX is a new product for 2010. It is designed as a classic nubuck hiking boot for hill and valley walking on well-defined paths and trails. It benefits from a little more stiffness than some to ensure that even rocky paths are comfortable.
The Brasher Antuco GTX has a good clean leather upper with minimal stitching, which means that it should prove to be pretty durable. The tongue is synthetic, but the rest of the upper is made from nubuck leather with lots of stiffness so it does not distort as easily as others when handled. Equally when the whole boot is held between toe and heel it offers a great deal of resistance to bending and twisting, which shows it will provide good support on the hill. The toe box is particularly stiff so it should be ideal for protecting the foot against stray boulders and the heel cup is stiff too, which is again useful for reducing movement of the foot inside the boot. Underfoot the sole unit has a good set of deep lugs and a pronounced heel breast for braking power downhill. And in addition to the stitch-free leather upper this boot also benefits from a Gore-Tex lining to help keep your feet dry.
On the hill
The Brasher Antuco GTX does not feel quite as comfy straight from the box as some of the softer boots, but it is when you take this boot onto rockier ground that you immediately notice the difference. While other boots are bending and forcing the foot to work hard, the Antuco is taking the stress and strain out of rocky paths. The sole has enough stiffness to resist the pressure of stones coming through the sole unit. Also you can scramble about on rocky ground more easily in these than others as you can stand on small edges without the boots rolling off the hold. The sole unit is a little narrower than some others though and the foot feels higher above the ground. This makes the foot feel less stable on each step than it could. Also when the boot is used on grass and smoother paths it is not quite so bouncy and springy as others. But as a boot for hill-walking where the terrain is always going to be varied it performs really well.
Upper 1.6-1.8mm oiled nubuck leather with Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sole Brasher with EVA cushioning
Sizes 7-12 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 1464g (pair, size 11)
Made in India
Stores in the UK 98
Stockist details tel. (0191) 516 5780; www.brasher.co.uk
The Brasher Antuco GTX has a well-proven Gore-Tex waterproof lining with a good leather upper; more stiffness and support than other boots to make rocky ground comfortable; good aggressive outsole. But the boot is not as well-cushioned underfoot and does not feel as instantly comfortable as some; the sole is narrower so each step does not feel as stable as other boots. It’s a good, practical boot benefiting from stiffness and support, which makes walking on rocky ground feel more secure and comfortable. It won both the Trail ‘Best Value’ and ‘Best in Test’ awards.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2010