It was the year Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government won its second term and cruise missiles arrived at Greenham Common sparking huge protests.
And 1983 also saw the appearance of the brasher Hillmaster boot, which has been pounding the country’s fells and countryside ever since.
On the 30th anniversary of its launch the Hillmaster II GTX will hit the shops, after a 10-point improvement plan by the brand which carries the name of Olympic gold medallist Chris Brasher.
The original boot was developed by Brasher, a keen walker and mountaineer, who posed the question: “Why can’t walking boots be as comfortable as trainers?”
At a time when walkers had to suffer boots made from thick leather, incorporating steel or wooden shanks to make them stiff for climbing, the Hillmaster broke new ground.
The new Hillmaster II GTX still incorporates many aspects of the original design and 30-year heritage, but with increased performance and better comfort.
The key changes in the new boot are:
- Gender-specific comfort fit for both men and women, tried and tested for all day walking comfort
- Fabric lining for enhanced comfort
- New lightweight and hardwearing Hillmaster sole unit with cushioned comfort and reduced lug depth which brasher say offers anti-clogging, superb grip and durability
- PU midsole and rand offering shock absorption and protection for all day walking
- Soft, supple and abrasion resistant luxurious full grain leather upper 2.2 to 2.4mm for men and 2.0 to 2.2mm for women.
- Revised collar and tongue pattern for enhanced comfort
- Repositioned locking hook for extra heel hold
- Memory foam in the collar and tongue, plus additional ankle foam pads, for added comfort.
brasher has stuck to its traditional styling for the Hillmaster II GTX, with both the men’s and women’s available in chocolate colour. Weight per pair for size nines is 1,482g and the boots, which are due in the shops from early 2013, are set to retail at £150 a pair.
A completely new addition to the company’s range is the Supalite Active GTX, weighing a fraction over 1kg a pair, and aimed at low-level walkers.
As with all brasher footwear, the company claims its customary ‘comfortable straight from the box’ properties, after rigorous testing by Ken Ledward and his team at KLETS.
Mr Ledward, who has been involved in brasher testing since the early 1980s described the new boots as being ‘as comfortable as a pair of trainers’. The company said Chris Brasher would be proud.
Key features include:
- 1.4mm to 1.6mm lightweight, breathable and abrasion resistant Wolverine pigskin suede upper with fabric panels
- Bi-flex cushioned insole board for flexibility and trainer-like feel
- Lightweight Supalite sole unit with shock absorbing EVA midsole for excellent grip
- Engineered tongue system for enhanced comfort
- Rubberised toe and heel print for extra protection
- Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear waterproof and breathable lining
Weighing 1,048g per pair size 9, Supalite Active GTX is available in men’s and women’s specific sizes and colours are Military/Black for men and Carbon/Grey for women. It will be available in store from March 2013 with a retail price of £130.