The Berghaus Supalite II GTX Walking Boots retail for £155 and are described as being durable, lightweight, waterproof and comfortable. I have owned them for 4 years now, using them almost every day. Read on to see how they have performed…
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These were my first ever pair of proper hillwalking boots. When I bought them, I really wanted to invest in a good pair of boots. I had become a dog owner and was walking him everyday, spending lots of time in the outdoors again, wearing down all my high-street boots quickly as a result.
I was working for an outdoor shop at the time and had received lots of product training, learning about the benefits of having a pair of quality walking boots. I wanted to begin hiking on more challenging terrain and maybe even climb my first mountain. It was time to make the investment.
Brasher to Berghaus
After researching the boots we sold in store at work, and trying a few pairs on with advice from a friend, I decided that I wanted to buy some GTX Supalite II’s. At the time, the boot was produced by Brasher, which has since merged with Berghaus (which is why my boots pictured here are branded ‘Brasher’) – the boot has remained the same, but now carries the Berghaus branding.
My new walking boots needed to keep my feet warm, dry and not feel too heavy to walk in, as I planned to use them daily. I also needed boots that I could wear on my first visits to the mountains, so something comfy with ankle support and good grip was essential.
I chose these boots because they were waterproof, made from quality leather and have sturdy Vibram soles. I also liked the classic brown leather styling, preferring this to some of the multi-coloured and more modern/sporty looking boots available.
Brasher seemed to me, a really good company to buy from. They took a lot of pride in the production of their products. I was told that each boot passed through 200 pairs of hands before it reached the shop, with all the raw materials being carefully sourced and selected for quality.
A good investment for your feet
Although retailing at £155, they are expected to last around 5 years with correct care and average usage, making them an affordable investment.
I’ve had my Supalites for 4 years now and they feel like a second pair of skin. I’ve always used a pair of Superfeet insoles in them. These may have contributed to helping the boot stay in good condition, as they reduce wear on the insole and keep the boot more rigid.
In this time they have been on daily dog walks along pavements and forest paths, they have taken me up my first mountains in Italy, Wales and Scotland. I’ve also worn them on hikes in Sweden, Norway and Finland and they have always looked after my feet, keeping them dry and protected.
I have tried to take care of the boots, making sure to clean and treat them regularly with suitable leather treatments such as Nikwax leather polishes and waxes. It’s is only now, after all this time, that the boots are in need of some restoration or replacing, as the grip is worn away heavily underneath.
Resole or replace
Ideally (in the interests of being more eco-friendly, saving money and retaining comfort) as well as because I’m interested in the seeing results; I would like to send the boots off to see if they can be re-soled. I recently contacted Berghaus to enquire about re-soling and they gave me a contact for somewhere that can potentially restore the boots. This is expected to cost about £50 if they inspect the boots and deem them suitable for resoling (ie. not too worn out that replacement soling would be impossible).
If the boots cannot be resoled, then I would definitely consider re-buying the now Berghaus branded version. I’ve worn a variety of other boots and shoes over the past 4 years from time to time, such as Meindl Bhutan’s, Meindl X-SO 30 Lady GTX’s and Alfa Walk Queens and I can honestly say that these have been my favourite in terms of comfort. Though they can be a little soft for carrying a heavy pack on rocky terrain – you might want something sturdier for this.
They are not totally comparable with all of these, as they are designed for different applications; but they are my go-to pair, my old faithfuls and I would definitely recommend them to all ladies who want a lightweight, comfortable hiking boot for day hiking in forests and hills.
Update on resoling – Jan 2019
I didn’t resole my boots in the end. I continued to wear them until they were beyond repair. So I bought a new pair of the same boots, which I am wearing in well! Like the last pair, they became second-skin comfortable really quickly and I didn’t have any problems with blisters or rubbing. I recently used my new ones to walk part of the South Downs Way and it is clear that a sturdier boot is probably needed for carrying 18 kilograms on your back. However for a lightweight hillwalking boot, I can’t recommend them enough.