They might be budget-end, but these really come with enough grunt to venture into the hills. They have a high ankle, a substantial toe-cap, protection around the heel and a thick, meaty outsole. The extra rigidity in the sole was reassuring underfoot on steep stony paths. However, they don’t hold the foot quite as securely as the more expensive models here, meaning that my feet wallowed around in a slightly unnerving fashion on uneven ground. And while the deep cleats of the Vibram outsole cope well with churned-up paths, they don’t offer the traction needed for slippery rock. But Hi-Tec do a great job of balancing performance with comfort on a budget. For all the hardware in these boots, the suede and mesh upper remains remarkably flexible and my feet emerged from the boots much as they went in: still as ugly but unblemished by blisters or sores at least.
Sizes: 4-9 (including half sizes)
Weight: 1120g (pair)
Waterproof/breathable lining: Dri-Tec
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01702 561321, www.hi-tec.com
Strong, comfy and no-nonsense: an excellent all-round option, but will struggle on rocky ground.