Here are some thoughts on boots I’ve loved as well as exerts from and links to reviews and buyers guides.
They give great ankle support, don’t compress the Achilles tendon and breath pretty well for what they are – which is a weird hybrid of fabric and a gore liner. The waterproof liner, when it works, works great. You can wade through streams, stomp in mud, and walk along a wet, grassy path all day without and water getting in.
I replaced the stock inners (it also comes with volume adjusters in the box) with a pair of Superfeet, but that’s got a lot to do with my feet and the fact that I use aftermarket inners in just about all my shoes and boots.)
A great boot at the price and well worth putting on your wish list.At this price and specification Karrimor have aimed the Solitude GTX right at the hillwalker who wants a great performing boot at a budget price.
Raichle Men’s Scout (90 pounds)
Salomon Men’s Adventure Trek 7 (100 pounds)
Vasque Zephyr Hiking Boot (70 to 100 pounds)
If you are looking to do more serious winter climbing though and need to wear crampons you may want to look at a genuine winter boot, which this really isn’t. I’ve written reviews on the La Sportiva Makalu and Scarpa Manta that you can read on this blog. If you are interested in serious high altitude climbing you may also want to read the article I’ve written on Scarpa’s Omega boots.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2009
I just bought another pair of Karrimor KSB 399 boots after my previous ones had worn out. I found them on special at Amazon for £45 pounds and fired off an order right away. One change is that the liner is now made from Event fabric rather than Gore-tex. I’ll keep you updated on whether they are as great as my old Karrimor boots were.