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 fitnessfootwear.com 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: