Vango Contour II Women’s boot, £70, www.vango.co.uk
Incredibly light, these boots could be thrown on for a quick walk anywhere – good enough for a summer stomp up a not-too-challenging hill, and light and comfy enough for an easy low-level walk. My main complaint about them is that I found the ankle too high – laced up tightly enough to keep the boot supportive and snug it’s uncomfortable. The stiff tongue has a tight, semicircular shape that digs in. Perhaps someone with longer legs wouldn’t have the same problem…
On the plus side, it’s a nice-looking boot, and the sole feels supportive and comfortable when roadwalking. The suede and nylon upper with Protex waterproof lining worked well enough in a soggy long-grass meadow and my feet stayed dry when sploshing through streams. My feet also stayed cool and comfortable.
These would make a great ‘starter’ boot for someone just beginning hillwalking, or looking for long-distance comfort over not-too-difficult terrain – so long as they find the ankle a comfortable fit.
Vango Women’s Explorer, £60 http://www.vango.co.uk
Approach shoe? Trainer? Vango don’t give a name to this ‘shoe’, but it’s the sort of thing I’d want to change into from my boots when heading to the pub after a day on the hill, or to wear walking to the crag when going rock climbing – so, call it what you will.
Unfortunately, I’m not likely to be wearing it much for either of these things, or anything else for that matter.
There’s not much to say about the shoe’s appearance – it looks like a fairly modest trainer, nothing flashy or fancy, solid and sensible looking. I’m not sure about Vango’s sizing though – ostensibly these were the same size as the Contour II boot (reviewed here too), and to look at them you’d think they’d be similar but the fit was completely different. Unlike the boot, these were tight and uncomfortable at the front with pressure on the toes, and a really oddly-angled tongue that needs to be twisted and tucked before the shoe can be laced up. The fit around the ankle was good and snug, but my feet got uncomfortably hot in these shoes, even after only an hour’s wear and not really doing much in them.
They feature the Protex waterproof lining again, and I guess for someone with different shape feet from me they’d be a good buy – I really wanted to like these, but they just weren’t right for me.