GEAR | Superb Comfort From The Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite i Waterproof Men’s Walking Boots

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After walking in these boots for the past couple of months, I thought now would be a great time to publish my review and share my thoughts to coincide with National Walking Month, which runs now until the end of May. Read on to see what I thought.

Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite i

What are they?

Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite i Waterproof Men’s Walking Boots
£74.99
Buy them here

Technical features

  • Waterproof suede and mesh upper provides durability, breathability and comfort
  • i-shield repels water and dirt and is resistant to stains
  • Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane keeps feet dry
  • Guesseted tongue keeps debris out
  • Abrasion resistant heel and toe cap protects against rough terrain
  • Ghillie and hardware lacing system offers a secure fit
  • OrthoLite® Impressions insole with slow recovery foam delivers superior cushioning with instant long lasting comfort
  • Lightweight, durable ‘fork shank’ ensures flexibility and stability
  • Moulded impact-absorbing EVA midsole ensures long lasting cushioning and comfort
  • High performance Michelin rubber outsole provides multi-surface traction

The Verdict

I don’t know about you, but it is a celebratory moment when new walking boots arrive. On the one hand there is the delightful machine aroma of “new”, the rustle of the paper packaging… the scrupulous, unspoilt attention to cleanliness.

Opening the box and peering inside is like witnessing a pair of newborn kittens all bleary eyed and covered in fur. Then, the dim awareness that is the best these boots will ever look, that their ruination will be upon your feet, that it is incumbent on you to show these kittens new heights, strange landscapes and vistas before their inevitable demise. That, through the soil, mud and tears, you are entering a soleful partnership.

A colleague of mine, once uttered some profound (yet unsolicited) advice to me; “If you’re going to get married, get married to a plain Jane.” And then he stared off enigmatically into the distance as seems fitting after making such a prognostication. Plain, dependable, reliable is one thing but where’s the excitement in that?

Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite i

I must admit that upon opening my box of Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite boots and peering inside to my kittens within, I instantly thought i’d certainly found my plane Jane, though at this point I wasn’t entirely sure about the whole marriage thing. The boots are a muted greyish brown colour and appear quite understated, utilitarian even, bringing to mind something from the Eastern Block. Look more closely though and there’s a flash of colour waiting to be discovered inside the boot in the form of an orange band which secures the inner sole in place – could these boots be more exciting than they appeared?

So, not wishing to judge a book by its cover, I carry on, encouraged. Suddenly, a little voice whispers to me “try me without socks on.” I don’t know what provoked me to try (perhaps the intrinsic promised comfort of the boot fabric, that comfortable-looking spongy inner), but I comply, and the
results are like slipping onto a warm, sandy beach. An absolute delight!

Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite i

These boots really deliver an unexpected dimension of pliancy and ease which permits great freedom of movement and foot support. I never usually go walking without socks but can honestly say even in this state, I had absolutely no discomfort or pain. Quite the opposite actually. The boot has a sustained and delightful light springiness, which I would never have guessed on first appearances.

The boots feel sturdy without too much weight and whilst they don’t offer the best ankle support, the support they do offer is good (especially at this price point). The boots also have excellent grip and handle all terrain without you even noticing. From walking in the Scottish Highlands to easy strolls through the Cheshire countryside, these boots deliver.

And so, with the Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite boots I feel like I have discovered a little secret. You CAN have your cake and eat it! Whilst passers by see me with plain old Jane on my arm, I am walking barefoot on a beach with Audrey Hepburn.

Take a look at the pros and cons list below for some of the stand-out features.

Pros

  • Incredible comfort thanks to the wonderfully cushioned footbed
  • Decent ankle support and good lacing system
  • Really excellent grip form super chunky soles that surprisingly don’t make the boot too-heavy
  • The clever ‘kick-off’ zone at the back of the boots means you don’t have to worry too much about damaging your boots when you remove them by standing on the heel

Cons

  • A bit plain in the old looks department, though actually I’ve come to like their understated look

Hi-Tec Altitude Vi Lite i

Thank you to Hi-Tec who sent us the featured product to review.