With a swing of my leg, the edge of my boot slashed a step in the snow that was wide enough to support my weight. Another swing and another step followed. Onward and upward, step by step, I climbed into the chilly Lakeland fells. I was wearing the Brasher Kanaga GTX, a new winter boot from a brand best known for lightweight footwear comfortable below the snowline.
Despite having lived in the Lake District for 20 years, I still never quite know what to expect during the winter months. Will the hills turn white or not?! In fact this winter there has been an excellent dump of snow, and Brasher has released this 3-4 season boot.
The Brasher Kanaga arrived at the Trail office last December, just in time for the snow and ice that hit the Lake District before Christmas. The boot certainly proved its worth in the Lakes as the snow had extended to valley level and so the Kanaga’s deep lug pattern was perfect for crunching through the drifts. There was plenty of ice too, so even at valley level, the extra stiffness of this B1-rated boot was great for kicking an edge to get a more secure grip without the sole bending and skidding off the surface.
The Kanaga has a stiff upper and a supportive ankle cuff, which again makes walking in snow and ice very comfortable. The toe box is stiff too, and ideal for kicking steps. Inside there is a Gore-Tex waterproof lining, and this is well-protected by a leather upper with minimal stitching that should help keep water out.
I then headed into Langdale where the snow and ice draped some of the Lakes’ most popular mountains. The Kanaga is not a fully stiffened B2 boot, so the extra flex available from its B1 sole was welcome on these relatively easy fells. Yomping up the paths and crunching into icy scree saw the Kanaga in its comfort zone. That rubber rand provided excellent protection against scree and rock, while the waterproof lining ensured dry feet during a day on the fells.
At 1840g the Kanaga is lighter than some similar boots, and at £155 it is also lower in price than most of the competition. The performance is ideal for easier winter terrain, and it will make an excellent choice for kicking steps or crunching across frozen turf.
Upper 2.2-2.4mm oiled nubuck leather; Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Foura
Sizes 40-47 (men’s); 36-42 (women’s)
Crampon compatability B1
Weight 1840g (pair, size 46)
Made in India
Stockist details – tel. (0191) 516 5780; www.brasher.co.uk
The Brasher Kanaga is a good price and weight for the performance; deep, aggressive lug pattern; good stiffness for easier winter terrain; leather upper is relatively stitch-free for durability. But higher-priced equivalents have even less stitching for even better durability. All in all, it’s a well-priced boot for easier winter terrain.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2010