I bought myself a rather pretty pair of Keen Shasta WP mid-boots. I did not buy them because they are pretty, but to replace my Merrell Siren Ventillator shoes which I have worn out. I thought these might make a nice summer boot instead of my Brasher Hillmasters, which I love, but can feel a bit heavy on a hot day.
I've been wearing them around the house for a few quiet days, the most energetic bits were probably trotting up and downstairs for forgotten stuff (it's an age thing) or hanging washing on the line. Then, I wore them to walk to the hairdressers, a round trip of 4.5 miles on level tarmaced cycle path and pavement. Not much of a test you might think, but it was enough to have produced a cracking blister the first time I did it in my Brashers, so a place to start. There were no problems at all, no rubbing, no over-heating and no discomfort in the arches or soles of my feet.
The next thing I tend to do is wear them for the standing around jobs. Now, I know I won't be standing around in them, but if I can wear them comfortably all day with a couple of hours ironing and the like, I can judge if they give enough arch support and cushioning to the soles of my feet. And so they do. I haven't managed to get into the hills wearing them yet, I may have a rough track walk on Monday and hopefully a low ridge walk in the Cromdale Hills before Thursday.
The dilemma will be on Thursday morning, before the Trusty Sidekick takes me to Inverness to catch my bus to Shiel Bridge. Common sense tells me I won't have worn them enough to know whether they will be a good choice, but they are a lightweight, being leather with breathable mesh underlays. They are described as waterproof and breathable, which certainly fits the bill for me too. But are they a risk? Trusted, comfy, heavyish Brashers versus lighter, waterproof, breathable, (pretty,) unknown quantity.
I feel a couple of tussocky hills coming on....