brasher Tour GTX/Roam GTX shoe
Weight per pair (size 9) 975g; (size 5) 841g
Material: suede and synthetic mesh uppers with Gore-Tex lining
Country of manufacture: China
brasher’s new lightweight Tour GTX is aimed at walkers on low-level routes who need a rugged shoe without the need for full-on boots.
It’s also de rigeur to be seen in a decent pair of approach shoes for that all important post-walk trip to the pub or a wander round the shopping delights of Ambleside or Fort William.
brasher’s big selling point for its boots is its reputation for comfort and the Tour GTX satisfies in this respect.
The shoe, which has a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane to keep feet dry, is quite spacious at the front of the foot, a feature it shares with the Fellmaster GTX boots we tested earlier this year.
The Tour GTX, and its women’s version the Roam GTX, have a shock-absorbing EVA footbed with gel inserts at strategic points and on hard and rocky surfaces this did cushion virtually all of the impact, making it a very comfortable piece of footwear.
It also has memory foam around the cuff of the shoe and the tongue also has extra padding, all of which make for a very comfy environment for the feet.
The heel box is more snug and we felt no movement of the foot inside the heel in use.
The shoe uses a combination of suede and mesh, which helps keep feet cool – you can certainly feel the breeze through the mesh on a windy day.
The men’s version comes in a brown and black combination and the women’s is shadow and rabbit – a dark grey combination. The footwear has that traditional brasher hallmark design.
The shoe features brasher’s own Travel Active sole, which we put to the test in a variety of situations and terrains.
Although the shoe is aimed at low-level trails and everyday use, we thought we would go a little higher, and used a pair for our standard ascent and descent of Pen-y-ghent.
The route is a mixture of maintained tracks, easy rocky scrambling and loose, gravelly paths.
The shoes made light work of the route and grip was good, both on the rocky sections and was particularly reassuring on the loose downhill sections.
There was a tendency for the foot to slide forward in the shoe a little when coming down the fellside, but a slight tightening of the laces – which are a flat profile and lock well – alleviated this.
The rand of the toe box is tough and protects from knocks on the rockier sections of route.
brasher also provided a pair of Travel Lite socks and the combination of these with the Tour GTXs left feet feeling less tired and battered than wearing heavy boots.
There was no evidence of heel-lift on the upwards sections and, although the Tour GTX is not as light as some of the specialist fellrunning shoes, the 975g weight of the size nines is a good compromise that enabled a fairly swift ascent.
What use you would put the Tour GTX and Roam GTX to is down to the type of terrain you envisage encountering. We certainly wouldn’t contemplate off-path excursions into boggy areas wearing these as the relatively low cut of the shoe design would allow mud and water to come over the ankles into the shoes.
But for maintained or engineered paths and tracks where you might encounter odd stretches of muddiness, they are ideal.
And they have become our footwear of choice for everything from those aforementioned pub outings to general pottering about in the outdoors.
The Tour GTX is ideal for everyday use – its Gore-Tex lining will keep out the wet British weather – and on paths where boot use is probably not called for.
Switching to these very comfortable shoes will cut fatigue and give reassurance on surprisingly stony ground.
And if you are on more difficult terrain, stepping out of your boots and into these shoes at the end of the day will be a great relief.
The Tour GTX and Travel Lite socks (retailing at £11) were provided by brasher.
Details and stockists are on the brasher website.
We weren’t so keen on: