Frequently described as ‘Britain’s most loved boot’, the Brasher Hillmaster II has been a frequent sight on the British hills for 30 years, thanks to its weight, comfort and performance. The Hillmaster is no longer the lightest option out there, but it still offers great comfort and performance. It’s built around a leather upper with minimal stitching or obstruction at the flex point, which helps to improve comfort as well as durability as this is often the area where boots fail. The ankle cuff is very slightly lower than in some other boots, particularly at the back, which helps improve comfort. The padding on the cuff is also soft, although some newer designs are slightly softer. A rubber rand encloses the boot for more durability on rock and the upper itself is slightly stiffer than some lighter boots, which again is beneficial on rockier ground. To keep a grip the outsole has very widely spaced lugs to allow them to provide grip in soft ground without clogging easily. The sole flex is stiffer than some lighter boots, making the Brasher Hillmaster II better for rougher terrain, but it also rolls smoothly forward for ease of walking. The boot doesn’t feel quite as precise at the toe as some others when scrambling, which is due to it having a generally broader profile, but this does improve comfort when walking.
Upper materials 2.2-2.4mm full-grain leather
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Hillmaster, PU shock absorber
Men’s sizes 7-12
Women’s sizes 4-8
Weight 1634g (pair, size 11)
The Brasher Hillmaster II is a reasonably lightweight boot that’s very comfortable for walking and provides a good grip on moors and muddy ground.
Review by Graham Thompson
Published in Trail magazine May 2014