Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX walking boot | Tested and reviewed

Notable for its knitted collar, we test out Berghaus' VC22 Mid GTX walking boot, keen to find out whether it is a standout option in the highly competitive lightweight walking boot market.

LFTO tester wearing Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

Walking boots brandishing the Berghaus name normally come in the form of a faithful and familiar leather construction. Not so here – the VC22 Mid GTX with its synthetic upper brings Berghaus into the world of lightweight walking boots.

Berghaus describes the VC22 Mid GTX as a ‘mid-cut multi-activity' walking boot, which is a rather broad description to say the least. For better or worse this means the VC22 Mid GTX aims to satisfy a wide customer base by being versatile.

But there are countless models of walking boots with the same intent, so the question is whether the VC22 Mid GTX can stand out.

LFTO tester wearing Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX
Price: $270.00

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Durable for a lightweight boot
  • Versatile performance
  • Good waterproofing
  • Mid and Low versions available

Cons

  • Knit collar makes it harder to get on

Design and features

Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX knitted collar
©LFTO

This boot has an unusual feature: a knitted collar sewn into the ankle cuff. The logic behind it is simply ‘extra comfort’ but looked to us like a potentially effective anti-debris defense. In addition to this stretch knit collar is a Gore-Tex waterproof lining to prevent water ingress.

The upper is fully synthetic, which invariably means low weight and high comfort, but poorer durability compared to leather boots.

That said, we were pleased to see that Berghaus had the wisdom to give the VC22 Mid GTX a stiffened toe and a strip of TPU reinforcing around the whole base of the boot's upper. This is something often missing on many lightweight walking boots, which leaves them more vulnerable to wear and abrasion.

Berghaus has employed the use of a Vibram sole. The lugs aren’t particularly aggressive or deep but do have quite wide spacing, which helps to shed mud buildup.

Performance and comfort

Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX sole
©LFTO

Our main test of the VC22 Mid GTX was in the Cumbrian Pennines around High Cup Nick. The route included farm tracks, wet and dry rock, and boggy terrain. Where we found the VC22 Mid GTX struggled most is where almost all hiking footwear does – on the wet rock.

But where it performed better than expected was over the boggy terrain. It kept traction and, impressively for a boot of this type, the water out despite getting frequently submerged. Obviously the VC22 Mid GTX isn’t adept at muddy and boggy terrain but it’s good to know it can cope if needed.

Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX Gore-Tex label
©LFTO

In terms of fit, the VC22 Mid GTX has a moderate width and is very comfortable. You may have read from some customer reviews that the knitted collar makes the VC22 impossible to get on. That's a bit dramatic, because while we found it isn't as easy to get on as a boot with a regular tongue, it's not that bad if you loosen the laces properly. And we found the big benefit is that the knitted collar practically eliminates grit getting into the shoe.

Unusually for a lightweight synthetic boot, we felt well protected wearing the VC22 Mid GTX too. The midsole soaks up the rough stuff underfoot while the toecap and TPU reinforcing fend of scrapes.

Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX reinforced toecap
©LFTO

Sustainability

Sustainability isn’t generally a lightweight, synthetic walking boot’s strong suit. This is largely because the upper wears out a lot faster than leather, and, like trail running shoes, almost render boots of this type a consumable item.

To Berghaus’ credit, we found the VC22 Mid GTX is tougher and more durable than many ultralight rivals, so it should last longer. You can also do your bit by giving your boots a regular clean and reproof with Grangers or Nikwax products. This helps keep the fabrics in good condition and maximise longevity.

Berghaus is also a certified B Corp, which ensures it is transparent and adheres to high standards concerning community, customers, workers, governance, and environmental impacts.

Berghaus has a comprehensive in-house repair service too – although this is more for its garments and partners with Lancashire Sports Repairs for full boot resoling.

Price and competition

Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX and rival products
©LFTO

In terms of other lightweight walking boots that offer decent levels of durability, the VC22 Mid GTX comes up against a handful of competitors.

These include the Oboz Katabatic Md Waterproof, La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX, and Scarpa Rush 2 Mid GTX. The VC22 Mid GTX stacks up well against these rivals in value. It costs the same as the Oboz (£170 at the time of writing) and undercuts the Italian brands by £20 to £30.

Of all these options the La Sportiva has the best outsole, especially for dealing with muddy terrain and slippery descents. And the Scarpa feels the most agile. But like the Oboz, the VC22 Mid GTX is a reliable all-rounder.

Verdict

LFTO tester wearing Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX
©LFTO

The Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX vies for position in a highly competitive arena, with more and more outdoor brands introducing lightweight footwear.

Where we found the VC22 Mid GTX’s strengths lie are in its decent foot protection and relative durability. If you’re after a super cushioned midsole or an ultralight construction, look elsewhere.

But if you’re after a reliable, lightweight, three-season boot, or maybe considering switching from a leather boot to something lighter, the VC22 Mid GTX should be on your radar.

How we tested

Chris Williams hiking in Lake District wearing Artilect Divide Fusion Stretch Jacket
©LFTO

Chris Williams is one of our staff writers and carried out our test and review of the Berghaus VC22 Mid GTX boot.

Chris has been with LFTO since 2021 and has several years of journalistic and outdoor industry experience, in addition to enjoying a lifetime’s worth of hiking.

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