Landing at the Outdoor Enthusiasts HQ for review is the Women’s Hi-Tec Sierra Lite Original Walking Boots. Although marketed as a walking boot, the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite looks more like an every day pair of shoes and would match quite nicely with a pair of jeans.
Sent to us in a bright pink with white and pink laces, the boots will definitely brighten up any shoe cupboard but let’s see how they fare in the great outdoors.
The boots are sturdy and fairly light in weight though they are not the lightest walking boots around. They have a suede and mesh body with a padded collar and a rubber MDT outsole. Inside, the boots feature a removable EVA sockliner which adds cushioning, and moisture wicking lining to keep your feet dry.
Worn with a thick pair of walking socks, the boots were comfortable on the feet. The lacing system which has two hooks for a more secure fit felt strong and tight around the ankle whilst the padded collar added welcome cushioning. However, it was apparent that these boots were not top of the range walking boots. The walls of the boot are noticeably thinner than other walking boots, though if they were any thicker, the compromise would probably be made in the weight and bulkiness.
With the temperature around 3 degrees, my feet were quite nice and snug inside the boots. However, I switched my walking socks to a standard pair of socks and the difference could be felt immediately (though we realise that most walkers would be wearing the boots with walking socks). The level of insulation provided by the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite boots is similar to that of a standard pair of trainers.
It’s a dry day but we found a few damp and muddy areas near a river to see how the boots fared when they came across water. With a suede and mesh upper, the boots are not marketed as being waterproof. My feet stayed dry when I quickly submerged the boots in some damp muddy puddles and would be fine in light rain and snow, but I would not feel confident if the boots were worn on a long hiking trip during adverse weather. The suede material also appears to hold the dirt on the shoe and make the boots harder to clean.
In terms of traction, the rubber outsoles did a good enough job and I felt quite stable when walking through the muddy areas. However, if I was walking uphill on wet, muddy terrain, I would not feel so confident.
After a three and a half hour walk, in a standard pair of trainers, my feet would probably be feeling a little sweaty. On removing the boots, my feet were a little warm and sweaty but not as much as you would expect meaning that the moisture wicking lining had been working.
Overall, the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite walking boots are probably more suited for the occasional walker and it would probably be more accurate to say that the boots were more of a multi-activity footwear which are also suitable for every day wear. With an RRP of £49.99, the boots are in the cheaper range of walking boot products but for the price, the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite delivers the basics for a walking boot. However, for an extra £25 or so, you could probably pick up some significantly higher quality boots which in our opinion, would be worth it. But these Hi-Tec Sierra Lite walking boots would not disappoint a newbie at walking or a non-serious walker.
More details on the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite Original can be found at the Hi-Tech website.