Select Page

Our guide to 5 top active/travel crossbreeds

Our guide to 5 top active/travel crossbreeds
If you have found it difficult to find a lightweight hiking shoe which doubles as an excellent travel companion, then here are five crossbreed models that  impressed

Prices vary from £80 to a hefty £145 but, having said that, don’t let your budget decide, rather, let your feet do the talking. We particularly like the new Cameros Wide from Hanwag, with its wide toe box, and its striking looks. The Varane Sport from Regatta, on the other hand, or foot,  is ridiculously light, so perfectly fits the bill for travel and packing. Mammut’s T Aenergy (no, that’s not a misspelling, although the computer’s spell check kept going crazy), comes high on the tick list for multi-purpose use, and Aku’s La Val Low Plus, although at the top of our price bracket, is another versatile contender and will see you easily yomping across the valleys. And finally, the Berghaus Expeditor is lightweight, flexible and fully waterproof, and again hits the proverbial nail on the head for excellence. We leave you to ponder…

hikers

Hanwag Cameros Wide offers comfort straight from the box and is a winner on looks

HANWAG CAMEROS WIDE

Ok, so the name is a dead giveaway. If you like a wider fitting forefoot, like me, then this stylish G-1000 shoe is for you… and me. Comfort comes straight from the box, and the styling is spot on, too. Hanwag has zeroed in on the burgeoning active/travel crossover market, so the Cameros Wide slots neatly into the manufacturer’s Trail & Travel line. Built over a WIDE last, the shoe provides extra room at both the forefoot and ball of the foot. The shoe is certainly well geared up for changing conditions, as the soft leather and perforations around the cuff, along with the Hanwag Bio Ceramic lining, boost breathability and make for effective regulation of the foot temperature. You have seen me mention the G1000 fabric before. That comes courtesy of the Swedish brand, Fjallraven, who make superb outdoors clothing. It is a smart move because is is far more breathable than a membrane, and water repellency also plays a part. Available in men’s and women’s versions, I reckon Hanwag have about nailed it with this striking looking shoe. £130, www.hanwag.de

hikers

Regatta Varane Sport is possibly the lightest shoe we have tested to date

REGATTA VARANE SPORT

I opened the box and lifted out the Varane Sport, not expecting it to be as light as expected. In fact, not as incredibly light as it was. With that, you would expect plenty of mid flex, and the shoe doesn’t disappoint. Constructed with an athletic-inspired, mixed microfibre and canvas textile upper, the Varane Sport is grounded on that lightweight EVA sole unit which offers extremely good traction, thanks to the rubber pods. This is a great pair of shoes for travel, a weekend break in the city, or indeed a walk in the countryside. Weighing in at a mere 218 grams, the shoe benefits from a deep padded collar and tongue, so you are pretty much guaranteed all-round comfort throughout the day. The Varane Sport also hits the shelves at an excellent price point, too. £80, www.regatta.com

hikers

Mammut T Aenergy Low GTX is a multifunctional shoe, which offers robustness and support

MAMMUT T AENERGY LOW GTX

With Mammut’s trademark, swing tag splash of red and black, you can expect to see some colour on the footwear, too, and the Aenergy test pair runs true to form in a classy red and gray. If you are into multiple outdoor pursuits and therefore looking for a multifunctional shoe, then the Aenergy is definitely worth checking out. Robust and supportive, and packed with style, it again is spot on for travel and all-round day wear, whether you are hitting the high street or crossing country terrain. I like Mammut’s sole concept and optimum heel fit, with its customised support and cushioning, absorbing natural foot roll and thereby preventing the chance of twisting. The shoe boasts a simple speed lace system, securely locking in the 360-degree heel support. The Aenergy also benefits from being fully waterproof. £110, www.mammut.ch

hikers

Aku La Val Low Plus has a wonderfully soft leather lining and nubuk outer

AKU LA VAL LOW PLUS

The Italian brand has been making steady footfall in the market, and the leather-lined La Val Low Plus will make even further strides into the walker’s psyche. The shoe is essentially for low-level hiking, and again is a strong contender for casual wear. In fact, I love the styling and versatility, with eco-friendliness at its core, via the Zero Impact full-grain leather lining, obtained through a chromium and heavy metal free tanning and re-tanning process. The nubuck upper is also from the Italian tannery DANI. In fact, the soft, supple nature of the lining makes for an extremely comfortable shoe, taking cushioning to the max. The Michelin Pulsar tread was inspired by mountain bike tyres, so you can expect excellent grip. £144.95, www.aku.it

hikers

Berghaus Expeditor Act AQ is a technical variant with rugged looks and traditional styling

BERGHAUS EXPEDITOR ACT AQ

Berghaus never fails to deliver, and in the Expeditor you have a lightweight, flexible, comfortable and fully waterproof shoe. Made from British suede with breathable pores, it has Berghaus’ own AQ branded waterproof lining, so you can expect performance and comfort throughout the day. Typically for Berghaus, the Expeditor’s rugged looks offer a certain jack-of-all-trades appeal, and it will certainly appeal to mountain walkers looking for a traditionally styled shoe with excellent cushioning. Grip is courtesy of Berghaus’s Opti-stud design, so expect to take mud, wet grass and a bit of rough stuff in your stride. £99.99, www.berghaus.com

Tester: Michael Cowton

About The Author

Mike Cowton

Michael Cowton, an outdoors writer, editor and photographer with a passion for nature-based travel and wildlife. He is a former editor of EcoTravel, Outdoor Pursuits, Camping, Lakeland Walker and Which Motorcaravan magazines, and national newspaper journalist.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Videos

Loading...

Professional Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!