Columbia like to tread their own path when it comes to technology, and the Conspiracy makes use of their sterling partnership with OutDry – a waterproof and breathable membrane that, unlike Gore-Tex, is bonded directly to the upper surface in a single layer. I’ve no complaints about how it held out the wet stuff, and it also keeps the weight down: these are by the far the lightest boots on test at only 325g per boot. Another reason for their fleet-footedness is the lack of rigidity in the mid and outer soles. In place of the heavy rubber rand and toe-boxes found on other products here, Columbia have left the mesh upper unencumbered in order to produce a soft and flexible boot. While that does make them undeniably comfortable, the lack of support and protection leaves the foot exposed when moving over rocky terrain. Best keep to easy-going paths in these.
Weight: 650g (pair)
Waterproof/breathable lining: OutDry
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 0808 234 0229, www.columbiasportswear.co.uk
These offer excellent comfort for lowland walking, but lack the strength to handle anything more challenging.