Contour Pathfinder Boots First
Weight: 1604 grammes (pair size
Suede/Cordura uppers, rubber soles, laces, eyelets, no
seem to have run through the Contour story about ten times on the
site already, but now we've got a pair in our hot sticky paws. For
the full background, see the links to previous stories at the bottom
of this page, but in a nutshell, these are budget-priced boots that
promise excellent quality by using the patterns - 'knives' - from
discontinued Scarpa boots, manufacturing in Roumania and using
rubber, but non-Vibram soles.
We went for the £60-odd Pathfinders, which are an unlined
Cordura/suede 'fabric' boot clearly based on the Scarpa Lite Trek,
which has just been superceded by a new model, the Peak Gore-Tex.
First impressions are positive. The boot feels well made with good
quality uppers and a sturdy sole. There's a good combination of
lateral stability and lengthways flex, about right for a three-season
boot. One obvious cost-saving details is that the lace eyelets are
more basic than the slick 'Minispeed' eyelets used on Scarpa models,
so there isn't quite that smooth-running feel when you tighten the
laces. Only time will tell if they're prone to rusting.
Fit is based on a British-specific last and very similar - not
surprisingly - to classic Scarpa, which means highish volume and
medium broad forefoot. They were instantly comfortable on a five-mile
moor-top walk, fitting the rather British OM test foot well, so if
Scarpas or Brasher fit you, these probably will too.
Own brand sole feels grippy and
cushioned on hard ground
Lateral stability is good, with a confident feel on uneven ground and
the own brand Contour rubber sole gave good grip on rocks and was
comfortable on flat, hard ground with a nice cushioned feel. In fact
the rubber used feels slightly softer to the hand than the Vibram
equivalent, so it may possibly wear faster with rocky, abrasive
walking, but really only sustained walking on rocky ground will tell
whether that's the case or not.
We haven't used them in wet conditions yet, but without a
waterproof / breathable lining, we aren't expecting much in the way
of serious water resistance. The pay off is that they should be more
breathable, making them a good option for warm, summer walking and
If you do want a fabric boot with a waterproof breathable
membrane, the Explorer at £79.95 is the same boot, but erm, with