Thursday, 8 October 2009

DANCING SHOES: First Impressions

As regular members of the congregation will be able to tell you, back in June I decided to go all 'lightweight' with my feet.

I invested in a new pair of lightweight slippers - my lovely Salomon Quest 4D GTX's and saved quite an astonishing half a pound in weight on each foot from my old faithful leather Scarpa Nepals.

They have been serving me well and have taken me on various trips up hill and dale with no ill-effects at all. Indeed, there have been no nose-bleeds and contrary to expectations, my feet did not fall off and I did not turn into a girl.

This set me to thinking. Now that 'thinking' thing is a rare thing if you live inside my head and so I was loathe to ignore the results of my (very rare, it does have to be said) thoughts. It sort of went like this:

"Those light-weight slippers were quite comfy, even on the rufty-tufty bouldery stuff. Even on the rufty-tufty bouldery stuff, wearing my rucksack... my feet were slightly less tired at the end of a walking day... (Mind you my body was still totally knackered as per usual, but that's just age and not getting out enough.) I just wonder if I went a bit lighter and try for some of those plimsolls that all the Hobbits on the Challenge like so much....Perhaps with a Gore-tex lining to keep my tootsies warm and dry?"

And at this point I woke up and it was all a dream... Or not, in fact!

I was then approached earlier this week by a splendid chap called Adam from who asked me if I would like to choose footwear from the North Face page of his online emporium to test. I thought this sounded like a very sweet move.  And - I would get to keep them after the test.

Now that sounded even sweeter! The reason for this wonderful bout of generosity is that Adam wants to get his web-site 'out-there' amongst the online outdoor community and so he has also approached other bloggers as well with this very generous offer. That seems like a pretty good way of doing things to me.

So I browsed his pages very carefully and just happened upon the answer to my earlier thoughts. Yes! They had a pair of North Face Hedgehogs GTX XCR in a rather natty colour-way of Charcoal Grey and Sage Green. So - sartorial standards will be kept up to the mark. - After all said and done - you wouldn't want to see me dashing about the fells in anything garish and luminous, would you? Surely not. No indeed not!

Well - I finally agreed to all this and sure enough, one day later a pair of the said shoes have arrived at Mission Control! That's pretty impressive, I thought to myself!

So - to vital statistics:

Old Scarpa Nepals: 966 grams per boot. Salomon Slippers: 701 grams per boot. North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR: 454 grams per dancing shoe!

That's a whopping great weight saving of.... 512 grams per foot! That's 1 lb and 2 ounces per clodhopper in old money! Hey - I am now uber-ultra lightweight! I'll be living under tarps yet - you just see! Ooh - I forgot - I am - my house's thatch has a tarp covering a leak!

They look very well made and have a substantial sole-unit that is torsionally quite stiff - which I like a lot. There is ample room in the toe box and they feel quite snug. I like the lacing system - and I will probably play around with the lacing. First impressions: I like them. A lot. So thank you, Adam. I will let everyone know how I get on with them after they have been out for a few walks and then later on after they have taken a bit of a hammering.

In a richly deserved and blatant plug, you can find Adam's online emporium here:


  1. I think I might know whats going on. Perhaps, lighter, more flexible footwear is aiding your circulation and more blood is getting to your head? Intrigued to see what effect even lighter footware has on your cerebral activity!

  2. You didn't go for the Foil Grey and Popsicle Pink? I'm crushed!

    (Word: socto. Seems like a good one, for a post about boots.)

  3. DH: Maybe I should go for Point Shoes (ballet slippers) next time around and take up an OU degree with the extra cranial blood flow! I think I could try one of those lightweight tu-tu's too. More air-flow around the nether regions.

    Shirl: Popsicle Pink eh? I know I am getting in touch with my feminine side with all this culinary zeal, but perhaps that a step too far. One for Lord Elpus perhaps?

  4. Wait until you feel the first trickles of frozen scottish ooze seep over the top. And lovely Goretex to keep it all in too.

    There'll be tears before bogtime, mark my words ;-)

  5. Testing... first attempted comment from new phone... PW

  6. "tears before bogtime"
    NIce work Phil! We shall see...

    PW: Yes, Yes, YES!!! Well done sweet thing! Now try a post to your blog?

  7. ...tears before bogtime...

    Oooh, excellent! I like :)

    (p.s. Oh noes! Now I can't post from my desktop via my Wordpress account! It's all too complicated... *breaks down and cries*)

    PW (Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

  8. Popsicle would match my windshell nicely, pity about the light grey: should have been dark grey or black!.

    Not personally invited, I checked the site:- wot no mens in Popsicle??.

  9. Big Bruvver,

    You've been given a pair of 'Trainers'..You'll be wearing hoodies and baseball caps next with low slung jeans and underpants on display!...Just remember the fumes that your feet generate.. Can you put these Fuel injected,XR3,Gti, turbos in the washer'll need to after you've had them on your plates for a few days.

    Lots of love
    Little Bruv with the perfumed feet

  10. Ah, Bruvver with the perfumed feet: This year I am mostly wearing my Paramo Velez hoodie and my Lowe Alpine cap. As my belly bids for freedom over the top of my jeans, seemingly my old man's big pants are working their way up my torso to reveal their waistband.
    I am there at last - down wiv the kids, where it is at, man.

  11. Welcome to the Hedgehog Owners Appreciation Society

    On 2nd pair

  12. Plimsols?


    Alan Sloman in PLIMSOLS???

    AND enjoying it!!!!

    Beware this blog has been corrupted, aliens have taken over and this isn't really Alan.

    You'll be saying you're off Whisky next.

    Never heard such a thing, after all the ribbing us Inov8'ers have had over the years.


  13. ooh

    Hello Uncle Bob

    Did I use the 'P' word? ooh - I see I did...

    What was I thinking?


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