By: Blonde Two
From time to time we Blondes are sent free outdoor products to field test and promote. We will always be honest about our findings and any products we don’t keep for ourselves find their way into our expedition stores. Great for us, great for you and great for our youngsters (although I shall definitely be keeping these boots!)
Smarter outdoor gear
If you have tried Rohan’s outdoor and walking gear you will know that they are specialists in kit that not only does its job well but fits in all the right places. You might not also be aware however that Rohan are also specialists in clothing and equipment for travelling. Careful packing can be the secret to an unburdened (and often cheaper) trip overseas, and finding footwear to cross the boundary between outdoor life and smart day-to-day life can make a huge difference. Although my new boots are not hiking boots, I have already found that they do the job I need them to do very well. In fact in just their first 24-hours of ownership I had already worn them to the beach, out for dinner and all day in the office to keep my feet warm.
Women’s ECCO Ukiuk 2 Sarbia HM from Rohan
When I chose these boots I was after something to keep my feet warm both in the campervan and after my chilly winter sea swims. For both I was keen to find boots that would pull on and off without any annoying lace tying or zip pulling (after swimming my fingers don’t always work too well). The Women’s ECCO Sarbia are lined with lambswool and I could tell they had an additional warmth factor as soon as I pulled them on. Their outer is yak leather that has been treated for water repellency and is very soft and pliable. What I really like about them is that they combine some top-notch natural materials (I would dress from top to toe in wool if I could) with comfort-giving new technologies. Although I initially found one boot tricky to pull on (I have one foot larger than the other) the flexibility of the leather soon meant that the boot had shaped to fit perfectly.
A trip to the beach
When else to test a pair of warm winter boots than on a cold water swimming trip to the beach. I like to walk on the beach after my swims so a misty January morning seemed like the perfect occasion for a field (well beach) test. I swam first and, with the water at 8.5 degrees, emerged with numb toes and tingling fingers (as well as a broad smile). The boots slid on smoothly over a thin pair of socks and started their warming so quickly that, by the time I was fully dressed, had finished chatting and was collecting seaweed for the garden, I had forgotten that my toes had ever been cold. The same wasn’t true for my hands however… Seaweed is cold at all times of the year!