Gear reviews are a new thing that will be added to tips + tricks Saturdays with the aim of helping YOU choose the best gear for your hike/camp/travel adventure. These reviews will be honest, unbiased and real. I won’t be sharing pretty pictures of unused gear. They will be tried and true gear that I personally use myself. Expect to see worn boots, muddy trekking poles, faded hiking bags and more. These are things that I actually use and can recommend. I would never review anything I haven’t used myself. That’s not how I roll, baby. For the first gear review, I will be reviewing Karrimor Boots. These trusty boots have been on all my hikes over the last two years so I feel like I can confidently have a thing or two to say about them.
Please note, this post contains affiliate links which means that if you decide to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You don’t have to though, but it does help my feet stay covered in boots. I only recommend products that I have actually used and can stand by 100%.
- Weathertite/waterproof/breathable lining
- Reinforced heel and toe
- Thick laces with large metal eyelets
- Padded collar and lining
- Dynagrip sole
In stock online or in store (I think it was sports direct)
I invested my pair of Karrimor Boots 2 years ago when I was in the UK. I was starting to spend more time on Dartmoor and needed a proper pair of boots. Trainers and welly boots weren’t cutting it anymore. Because my feet are quite small I found out I could fit a junior’s pair of boots and pay half the price of women’s hiking boots. What a win! However, you can buy these boots in women sizes as well as men’s sizes.
These boots lasted me miles around the rugged terrain of Dartmoor and various walks around Devon, England. When I returned to New Zealand, my boots were the first thing to go in my suitcase. Since being back they have walked many a time throughout the Ruahine Ranges, they have conquered the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, trekked through some of the most difficult terrains up Atene Skyline Track and Mt Karioi and squelched through the never-ending zigzag of Beehive Creek a few times as well as dozens of other hikes.
I found these boots wonderfully comfortable. My first hike with my Karrimor Boots was on Dartmoor. I didn’t wear them in first, I just wanted to use them, so use them I did. This was a risky game. Luckily, not one blister appeared on heel or toe which was a bonus. They weren’t too heavy on my feet and the padding around my ankles both supported them and was comfortable to wear. No more welly boots for me. I was a proper hiker now!
Wear + Tear
My Karrimor Boots lasted the distance, literally. It was only my last two hikes did I notice that the sole was starting to come away but that didn’t affect the wear. The sole clung on in there right till their last hike. One last hurrah around Atene Skyline Track and they were retired with pride. In fact, I can’t bear to throw them out because there are too many memories attached to them. They now sit on the porch looking resentfully at my new boots.
Generally speaking, a good pair of hiking boots should last between 500 and 1,000 miles. My boots probably did the mid to lower end of the spectrum. But that was because once I got back to New Zealand I may have slipped a little in the looking after them properly stakes. When I got home from a hike I chucked them under the carport or on the porch and there they sat, still covered in mud until the next hike. In hindsight, its actually surprising they lasted as well and as long as they did.
How My Karrimor Boots Wore + Tore
- Laces: The laces never needed replacing even though they came home soggy and caked in mud the majority of the time.
- Lining: The padded lining never ripped, despite me being a little on the rough side with them.
- Grip: The grip on the soles was still grippy. Except through mud. But then what does grip through the wet mud?
- Sole: The sole did start to come away after a couple of years. It still clung in there and didn’t come completely away. This did affect their waterproofness though. The last couple of hikes I ended up back at the car with wet toes.
In the beginning, the only time I got my feet wet (apart from the lovely sweat that happens on a hike) was when water went over the top of my boots. The last couple of hikes I did as the sole started to come away they lost their ability to keep my feet dry. But they did last two years until that happened so not bad going considering I stomp through a lot of puddles. Sometimes by accident, other times not so by accident.
These Karrimor Boots were durable. The types of terrain they hiked (and lasted easily) were:
- Creek crossings
- Ice + sleet
- Dirt tracks
- Tree root tracks (it’s a real thing)
- Rocky tracks + sheer rock cliff faces
- Steep inclines and descents
I would recommend actually looking after your boots properly. Not like me. Clean your boots when you come home from a hike, store them properly, let them dry out, reinforce the waterproof of them with shoe protector spray and use a leather conditioner if your boots are leather. This will ensure your boots really do last the distance.
Skipped to the end? No worries here is the gist of my Karrimor Boots
- Comfortable to wear, even on longer hikes.
- They were black. I know this isn’t a major feature for most, but for me, I loved this. When purchasing my latest pair of boots I couldn’t find any black women’s boots. Only girly colours and I’m not a girly colour kinda gal.
- Not terribly expensive compared to a lot of brands.
- I liked the fact that the top three eyelets for lacing up were hooks. This ensured that I could lace up the boots with ease to support my ankle better, or keep the last eyelet free if I didn’t need so much support.
- My Karrimor Boots lasted the distance. For the type of hiking I do and the terrain this is important. I don’t want to be purchasing new boots every year.
- The leather never cracked, despite my poor effort of looking after them.
- All the stitching stayed put.
- The lining didn’t tear or wear away.
- The sole came away after a couple of years which affected the waterproof of the boots
- While this didn’t affect the use, just the aesthetics, the eyelets did rust after a while. Possibly because I didn’t dry out my boots properly after my hikes.
If you want a mid-range pair of boots perfect for all types of terrain then Karrimor Boots are perfect. They are durable, comfortable and do what they say they do. Hike well. You can’t ask for much more than that really.
The only reason I upgraded was the fact that the sole started coming away. A waterproof pair of boots is needed as we are coming into winter here in New Zealand and I am planning on doing lots of hiking over winter. I probably wouldn’t have bothered upgrading just yet if it was still summer as they still hike well.
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