We’ve used all sorts of boots at M&R and our experience with boots at the cheaper end of the market hasn’t always been positive. So our expectations for these Karrimor Monsoon Mid Waterproof boots wasn’t particularly high to start with considering the RRP of £69.99 and a general availability around the £50 mark.
They boast a Weathertite waterproof and breathable liner, with a pigskin outer. This clearly did the job, with the boots shedding water exceptionally well the first time around – reminiscent of water off a non-stick pan. How this fares over the longer term is questionable, as it is in any product review that’s not long term. Bookmark this page and come back in six months as Tryfan Willams conducts a long term review to see how they fare. Like any boot, you’ll need to keep them well proofed as the only certainty with all boots is that they will leak, at some point. Proofing with a product designed for leather and fabric will keep this performance up.
Another feature that stood out was the substantial protection around the toes. This protects the shoe from wear, as well as the foot, on rockier terrain. The grip was more than adequate as well considering that it’s a generic sole on a budget boot, rather than a Vibram. As for the fit, they fit me fine as they have a sufficiently wide toe for my foot, though as always you’ll need to find out if they your own foot or not.
Of course, at this price point, there’s got to be compromises and a serious downside right? Well, not exactly serious downsides, but a few drawbacks the user needs to be aware of. We didn’t like the lacing, this took a bit of tugging and tweaking to get right, but suffers mainly as there’s only one hook at the top as opposed to two and so it’s harder to get the tension up. Neither is the tongue sewn up as high as we’d like. Splashing in the puddles to test waterproofness allowed some water ingress that was presumably from this source. It wasn’t a lot, and not as if I was then sploshing about with a boot-full of water, but it would build up over the day to damp feet at the very least, if for instance you’re walking in the rain or over wet grass.
These are far from the boots you’d add to your wish lists, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive first pair of boots you can’t go far wrong. So if you’ve got a kid going on a DofE expedition, you’ve decided to try the hobby out this summer or you’re running to a really tight budget, you don’t want to shell out hundreds for a top of the range boot. In that instance, these Monsoon boots come highly recommended.