Exeter shops Simon gives us his thoughts on these smart walking shoes;

Our feet are always changing shape and form, so for the past couple of weeks I have been on the hunt for a new set of walking shoes. Having previously had a pair of Merrell Accentor Sport GTX it was clear that I needed a change up, along with an up to date foot measurement, due to my toes clashing with the front of the shoe on downhill walks. Being an avid birdwatcher and photographer I knew I needed a shoe that could cope with a multitude of all day trail and hillwalking including long timeframes of standing around in one place. To my luck, I was offered to test out the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX.

If I am going to be completely honest, at first glance, I was certainly not a big fan. A plain black shoe that reminded me of the days when my mum would take me to Clarks for a pair of school shoes. Upon further inspection I noticed this isn’t a plain black shoe, there is so much more to it. The schoeller soft-shell upper met with a gripex tri-traction sole supported by Rolling Concept and a midsole that contains three TPU structures to hold the arch of the foot. Along with an elasticated lining paired with a GORE-TEX membrane.  Is there anything more that I could really ask for?

The shoes were a perfect match for my D width feet, feeling like a slipper as soon as they were on. Trying them on around the store I could tell I would be able to wear these all day long. The elasticated lining helps to achieve a sock-like fit, a major positive as it creates a custom shape to each persons foot. 

The best place I thought I could test these shoes out would be a trail walk from Stoke Canon to Brampford Speke. Walking on a combination of rock, mud, grass and through water these shoes did not disappoint. I was expecting at least some slippage when walking on wet rocks and through deep mud but to my amazement there was none. This is due to the gripex sole having two blends of different rubber enabling greater grip for a wider range of activities. 

There were no issues with breathability either in the Ultimate Pro’s. Whilst on a two hour walk I found that my feet did not start to overheat at any point. This is incredibly useful as it means the shoe can be used year round regardless of the weather. In addition to this, the schoeller soft-shell not only enables the shoe to be super breathable but also makes this shoe great in the wet. When paired with a footwear repellency spray the water and mud fall straight off the shoe meaning the GORE-TEX lining isn’t working too hard along with creating an easier cleaning experience at the end of the walk.

There is only one thing that I feel ever so slightly gets on my nerves and that’s the laces they come with. I’m not sure if it is the way they are made, the material they are made of or a fault of my own but they seem to be unusually slippery when tying them together. This makes it a little tricky to get a close fit to the foot but it is something that is definitely easily fixable.

To conclude, the Mammut Ultimate Pro GTX are the perfect match for all your trail walking needs come rain or shine. With ultimate grip, breathability and flexibility you will have no issue when you come to a change in the environment around you.