Classic Hillmaster walking boot gets a redesign plus there's a new super-comfortable fabric Supalite suede and fabric model for 2013.
Brasher's product team has clearly been dead busy making boots - not only is there the new Supalite GTX lightweight boot due out this autumn, but for early 2013, the classic Brasher Hillmaster has had a complete redesign and there's a new fabric and suede dreamboat called the Supalite Active GTX.
New Hillmaster II GTX
The original Brasher Hillmaster dates back to 1983 when Chris Brasher rewrote the walking boot rule book with his newfangled, light and flexible Brasher Boots and waved goodbye to sole units stiffened with steel shanks and clumpy, thick leather uppers and has been going strong ever since.
For 2013 the boot gets a complete makeover based on a huge wear-testing programme involving not just professional testers, but normal walkers - in total, says Brasher, there were 11 different variations in the boot and 20 testers with lots and lots of miles of walking.
Think of it as a sort of 'people's boot'. Main changes are a gender-specific - fit good news for women, who tend to have narrower heels and lower volume feet - memory foam padding throughout along with a fabric lining for improved comfort and super supple leather in different thicknesses for men's and women's boots to keep a consistent level of flex in the uppers.
Plenty of changes down below too including a rand which is an integral part of the moulded mid-sole and a redesigned outsole unit with shallower lugs, a redesigned tread pattern for better grip and clearing and a better footbed with heel and arch support. Oh and there's a Gore-Tex Wwaterproof liner as well.
The boot's still recognisably a classic Brasher, but seriously improved, says the brand. Weight is 1482g for a size 9 men's model and the boots will be around in early 2013 or possibly even later 2012 with a suggested price tag of £150.
Brasher Supalite Active GTX
Also new for 2013 is a completely new model called the Supalite Active GTX, a 1048g addition to the Supalite family of ultra-light walking boots and claimed by Brasher to be 'as comfortable as a pair of trainers'. The uppers are a mix of fabric panels with abrasion-resistant Wolverine pigskin suede.
The insole board is designed to give trainer-like flex and cushioning - there's additional cushioning below the heel - with forefoot bend and a bit more stiffness at the heel and there's a running shoe-type EVA mid-sole as opposted to the PU used for the Hillmaster.
Underfoot there's a lightweight Supalite sole unit and heel and toe protection should help with durability. We had a quick try-on and, allowing for the boots being straight out of the box, they felt pretty comfy straight off with a nice soft feel, but decent stability. Not quite 'trainer soft' exactly, but somewhere between trainers and boots we reckon. And of course they'll probably soften up further with use.
Nice alternative to the leather Supalite, similar weight at just over 1000g per pair and with a price tag of £130. Should be in the shops in March 2013.
Details of the current Brasher range of footwear and socks at www.brasher.co.uk.