First test: Boreal Hurricane (2012)

They say 1kg on your feet is equivalent to 5kg on your back – so a good way to conserve energy is to use lighter boots. But a lightweight boot is a poor investment if you have to replace it every year due to it wearing out. Also, you don’t want footwear that is so light that it slips off scrambling footholds, lacks grip and otherwise fails to make walking easy and safe. So there’s more to buying a lightweight boot than checking the number of grams.

Enter the Boreal Hurricane, a boot that is certainly light. It weighs 1284g (pair, size 11), which is a snitch above the £145 Brasher Supalite (1216g) for example but still lighter than conventional boots by around 300g per pair. However, that’s by no means the whole story...

The most striking feature of the Hurricane is the upper, which is modern and stylish while being extremely smooth and soft to the touch and exceptionally comfortable on. And as there is so little stitching, it is also going to be more durable than a more complex construction.

To give the upper some stability and support there is an injection-moulded external skeleton around the heel and forefoot, which gives just enough control to the foot to allow this boot to work well on uneven ground. There’s also some external reinforcement at the toe to improve durability, although the forefoot doesn’t offer as much protection from boulders as leather boots.

Underfoot you get a Vibram sole unit with a set of well-spaced lugs and a good heel breast for better braking downhill, a feature that is often missing on lightweight footwear. The stiffness in the sole is incredible as it feels just like a normal 3-season boot, with excellent rigidity toe to heel and laterally, meaning this boot really does perform well on rocky ground.

In use I have really grown to love the Boreal Hurricane for walking in valleys, over moors, up hills and onto some of Lakeland’s rockier fells. It truly has a proper sole unit, and after about 3 months of use that upper is still waterproof and it has not displayed any signs of wear and tear.

A lightweight leather upper will, I suspect, be more durable in the long term and it will protect the foot better, but it’s pricier too. The Boreal Hurricane is exceptional for its weight and at £125 it is an excellent price too, making it one of the best lightweight boots currently available.

Price £125
Upper material 3D mono-filament polyamide, Sympatex waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Skyrunning with EVA cushioning
Sizes 6-12 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 1284g (pair, size 11)
More information


The verdict

Its light weight, performance, style and price make the Boreal Hurricane the ideal boot for walkers looking to save grams and cash while still being able to enjoy the hills safely.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2012