Brasher Mens Hillmaster Classic GTX
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Take to the hills in this popular and highly regarded walking boot from Brasher. It is hardwearing, lightweight and comfortable, with a REVA midsole for shock absorption The rubber outsole has a unique anti-clogging design; the well padded collar gives comfortable ankle support; and the Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable lining helps to keep your feet cool and dry. Weight 1328g per pair.
Official Brasher Mens Hillmaster Classic GTX specification from Brasher
Brasher Mens Hillmaster Classic GTX Reviews
Reviewed by Barry Hughes (Invergordon) on 2005-12-11:
General comments: I've had these Brasher Hillmaster GTX boots for six years and they've done a few miles now. The first thing I noticed about these boots was how comfy they were from the day I bought them and even now they are still comfy for a day out on the hill.
The sole could probably do with being replaced now as it is starting to resemble a slick tyre but it has lasted well .Even the laces have done well - one of the original pair finally snapped last November and they have been replaced with shiny new Brasher laces. I haven't really had any problems with these boots - they've coped with a waterlogged week in the Cairngorms , breaking trail through18" of soft snow on Ben MacDui ,lots of boggy summer hillwalking and even a spot of easy rock climbing. The leather does scuff easily even on a gravelly path but it looks as good as new with a bit of polish . Although recently I tried the Brasher nourishing cream and it seems to be longer lasting than the shoe polish and if you believe the label it is better for the leather no doubt. The low cut around the ankle does make for comfortable walking but offers little support if you go over your ankle and sharp stones can be felt through the soles in comparison to more sturdy boots . However , when I get myself organised , I will send them off to get re-soled and hopefully get another 6 years out of them. An excellent pair of boots.
Pros: As comfy as your slippers from day one.Cheaper now than six years ago.
Cons: A touch soft on the rockier stuff.
|This review has 4 comment(s):|
Tony Baker responded : I am on my 5th pair of Hillmasters over about 15 years. They have taken me to Iceland, New Zealand Alps, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, the Tatra, and the Dolomites every year - oh and around 600 Munros. I wear them with crampons in winter. You might guess that I like them!
However I would not advise repair. I once had a pair resoled as good as new, but they came back at least half a size too small and I had to give them away.
Superbly comfortable, and very waterproof, I can't recommend them highly enough. (2006-08-07)
Trevor Lingard responded : First pair was returned within 30 days due to the breakdown of adhesion between rand and upper leather of each boot. Replacement pair returned within 30 days due to the adhesion between sole at the heel of each boot and leather upper breaking down. Very dissapointed with the product.
Mr Brasher will be turning in his grave if he saw the deteriation of quality in his boots. (2009-07-29)
tom barnard responded : Going to buy some of these will let you know how they do (2010-01-11)
Mike Lewis responded : I'm on my first pair of Brashers. I walk about 60kms a week, rough terrain, water, mud..you name it.
The boots are light, tough and very comfortable. I've had them on for as much as 12 hours in a day, and they still feel like slippers!
I have suffered from all kinds of foot problems in the past, these are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned.
They do scuff easily, but who wants to walk around with a pair of boots that look like you just started walking yesterday? :)
I use Neatsfoot Oil on mine about every 90 days..takes the shine off, but conditions the leather really well.
Just one criticism. The heels seem to wear down quite quickly. I know this is a symptom of my walking style, but nonetheless, I see the heels/soles will wear out much quicker than the uppers could ever do. (2010-02-18)
Reviewed by Ben Johnson (Bath) on 2006-01-01:
General comments: The Brasher Hillmaster has been a permanent fixture on the shelves of British outdoor retailers for many years now. I bought my first pair over ten years ago and although they have now lost their waterproofness they are still extremely comfortable and more than capable on a dry day. The Hillmaster certainly paved the way for the modern lightweight leather boot and helps push aside the nightmare of stiff boots that took 6 months to break in. The modern Hillmaster is soft and light, you're out on the hill straight from the box. Like all Brasher boots the Hillmaster curls up at the toe, this can be a little strange if you haven't experienced it before, but you soon get used to it. The Hillmaster's sole is comparatively soft to the widely used Vibram and hence wears slightly quicker, although it does make for it with excellent grip. Being Gore-Tex lined they only require the use of a leather conditioner to keep them in good condition. A common mistake is to use wax or dubbin; this will only make the leather soft and oily, impeding breathability. Steer clear!
Pros: Lightweight, good price, a true British classic.
Cons: Upturned toe not to everyone's taste. Low back means it does not have quite the same level of all round ankle support as other similar boots.
Reviewed by Tom Graham (Devon) on 2006-01-05:
General comments: These Hillmaster GTX boots from Brasher are extremely comfortable and have been a regular top scorer for many years now. The one piece leather upper gives great protection against water and this is enhanced with the goretex lining. Mine are now getting old and have started to lose waterproofing but I still would not hesitate to recommend them as they will certainly go the distance. I still wear mine in dry condtions due to the amazing comfort of the boot. I once made the mistake of adding sorbothane insoles to the boot, this just resulted in blisters. There is no need to even replace he insoles as they are so comfy. The only thing that I am not sure about with these boots is the rubber rand that runs between the sole and the leather upper. This does a great job for a while but mine is now peeling off and I reckon it is the cause of the 'leaks' still I guess it would be easy to replace and this would help to extend the life of the boot. The sole is perfectly good, although not sure why they don't use a vibram sole, as these seem to be the best in the trade.
Pros: Mega comfy and good lasting boot.
Cons: Waterproof tends to go when the rubber rand wears.
Reviewed by Chris Chaddock (Staffordshire) on 2006-01-22:
General comments: In terms of comfort the Brasher Hillmaster Classic boots are without doubt the most comfy I've ever owned. As other reviewers have stated they are like donning a pair of slippers and I have no hesitation in recommending them for that purpose. However I must state that I had mine for 12 months, after which they began to disintegrate. Here is the problem. The boots are absolutely fine for walking and rambling and had I been using them for simply this purpose then I'd probably still have them. However, I used mine in decent mountain country and so was doing a fair bit of scrambling. The problem arises with these boots in that if you are climbing and using the balls of your feet it flexes the boot and eventually causes the rubber rand to detach from the boot. This is what happened to mine until the complete rand came away and the boots were leaking left, right and centre. I got quoted a silly amount of money to fit new rands and I simply decided to get new boots as opposed to forking out for the repair and risking the same occuring again
Pros: Extremely comfortable with a Goretex lining and serves the low level walker with a lightweight, waterproof boot. The leather uppers are extremely good quality and the ankle padding reduces injury to turned ankles. Decent laces too, which some manufacturers sometimes overlook.
Cons: Doesn't cut the mustard in harsh mountain terrain and the rand is prone for coming off. Although I'd only had mine for 12 months, there were signs that the soles were getting heavily worn.
Reviewed by Ross (Aberdeen) on 2006-03-01:
General comments: I found these boots by complete accident. I'd not even heard of Brasher when I went into my local outdoor shop to buy my first serious leather boots. I've always been limited by my foot size (UK 14) so these were one of only two pairs I could take. I got lucky. The first major plus is the weight of these boots. The GTX's were the lightest pair I picked up and this has made a huge difference on multi-day treks. It's like wearing trainers and just as comfortable. But light does not mean unsupportive! I've put these boots through hell and they're as good as new. I'm a big guy (120kgs) and usually carry a full pack with tent, etc. and they're comfortable, grippy and supportive. They've adequately protected my ankle after every dodgy mis-step. The leather takes some looking after (to be expected) but is completely water repellent. The inside of the boot is Gore-tex which has dried them out swiftly when I've gone knee-deep in streams. When they need replacing, I'll buy the same again in a second.
Pros: Light, supportive, very comfortable, waterproof, quick drying, grippy sole, big sizes, only £100....what else do you need?
Cons: Does exactly what it says on the tin. They're not designed for 4 season and the sole is nowhere near stiff enough for winter/ice walking but they never claimed it was!
Reviewed by Alex C (Cambridge) on 2006-03-08:
General comments: As commented by a few people these Brasher Hillmaster boots were comfortable straight away. I used them very hard and so they only lasted 3-4 years which was a bit of a disappointment. The uppers cracked and gave up keeping my feet dry (so presumably the waterproof membrane broke as well) despite always keeping them well waxed, but by then I'd worn the soles right down so there was little or no tread left. I used these boots for all my undergraduate field trips, including 5 weeks of geological mapping in Norway and they were always very comfortable and supported my feet very well. I even did some scrambling and winter hillwalking in Wales in them and they were fine.
Cons: Generally perfect for 2-3 season hillwalking actually. Maybe could be a bit longer-lasting.
|This review has 1 comment(s):|
Ian Reynolds responded : I have had the same problem as Alex and another reviewer made a comment about scrambling.
The uppers on my right boot gave way at one of two heavy creases that developed letting water in. The left boot is fine. I reckon there is some inconsistency in the stiffness of the leather uppers. I think the right boot was less stiff and in June we went up Ben Nevis. Not quite scrambling but lots of 'step-like' walking on the front bit of your foot as you negotiate the path. I think this caused stress on the less stiff right boot.
I have sent pics to Brasher and have yet to hear from them. (2008-09-06)
Reviewed by K (London) on 2008-01-13:
General comments: These boots are so comfortable! I have struggled all my life to find a pair of boots that fit my foot well as I have big and wide feet. The hillmasters stand up to very harsh treatment and as yet (Iím on my 2nd pair) I have never had the sides split like that of cheaper boots that I have worn. I would advise to treat the leather, but it will last very well even if you don't. I can't really think of any major drawbacks to these boots other than the soles which tend to wear down a bit, but then again Iím sure every boot in the world has this problem. The pull out soles are always a good selling point and they donít seem to wear! Even the laces last! All in all I would recommend these boots to anyone who loves to hike or even if you just need a nice pair for good fitting boots that wonít provide hours of pain from bilsters.
Pros: Long lasting
Cons: Sole wear (but this really is a minor thing, I have used my ones day in day out for a few years and had no major problems from this)
|This review has 1 comment(s):|
joanne halliday responded : I have had my brasher air 8's for at least 5 years, and love them. They have taken me for hundreds of miles, over many different terrains and only recently, up a boggy hill in Poolewe, began to leak. The soles are very worn, and loathe to give up my boots, I was looking to get them serviced. When I first bought them, I got a leaflet detailing a service, which I have since lost. Could anyone out there please direct me towards a company which services these boots efficiently? (2008-01-30)
Reviewed by Dave Kelday (Yorkshire) on 2009-01-23:
General comments: I have been disappointed with these Brasher Hillmaster GTX boots
Cons: The leather uppers rotted apart at the welting on both sides of both boots about where the toes meet the foot. The soles have worn out after about 3 years (so not too bad there) and for many months there was a ridge of hardness in the sole at the front of the heel, making for a bruised feeling in the foot. They are also quite heavy (compared to my previous Meindl fabric boots). For the price and from the brand I expected much better.
However my wife bought a pair at the same time and she has not had these problems - only commenting on the heaviness of the boot.
Reviewed by Angus Orkney (Scotland) on 2010-07-15:
General comments: Brasher Hillmaster Classic GTX. I bought a pair of these a couple of years ago after popping into an outdoor shop to try on a pair of half price Berghaus boots. The Berghaus boots were comfortable but a bit too restrictive around the ankles and quite heavy - I was looking for something less so, something more usable for everyday use as well as for serious hikes. I tried on the Brashers and despite being twice the price of the reduced Berghaus boots, they were immediately a perfectly comfortable fit and much lighter. So I threw caution to the wind and bought them. I have had no regrets. I walked out of the shop wearing them and have hardly taken them off since, they are easily the best boots I have owned. On long hikes they have never caused any pain, friction or pressure points. They have remained totally watertight and I have only ever suffered wet feet when stepping into boggy terrain up past the height of the boots. As with all my previous boots I have maintained the Brashers by coating them in dubbin every few weeks and before a trip. The only downside is the rubber rand has begun to separate from the leather which I suspect might be why they occasionally let in moisture. Otherwise the best boots I have owned by a long shot.
Pros: Out of the box comfort and fit. All day comfort and quick to dry when sweaty. Lightweight.
Cons: Pricey. The rubber rand has started to separate from the leather and sometimes lets in moisture. Slippery on moss covered rock and certain types of native Scottish Highland vegetation.
Reviewed by James Thacker (Warks UK) on 2010-10-20:
General comments: Current Brasher boots are not comortable at all like the first peir I had
Pros: Light weight and curved base asssists walking but..... [see below !]
Cons: I bought some new Brasher Hillmaster GTX boots in Dec 2009 and I have been extremely disappointed with them. I have had the fitting checked twice and they have been back to Brasher but they continually give my blisters. I understand from the retailers, Winfield at Feckenham, who have been very helpful, that I am not alone in experiencing problems with new Brashers heving had older ones which were fine. It is very unsatisfactory for a £120 pair of boots. There is step in the lining behind the heal about one a quarter inches above the sole plate and I think this could possilbe be something to do with it as the old boots are smooth in this area
|This review has 1 comment(s):
A C English responded : I too have the impression that the quality of Brasher products has deteriorated in recent years and I fear that Mr Brasher would turn in his grave if he saw what is now being sold in his name. I wear Brasher walking shoes every day and Hillmaster boots when walking (most days) and in each case am on my second pair, but I am hesitant about replacing my present boots with another set of Hillmasters. (2011-03-14)
Reviewed by G Craig (Glasgow) on 2011-04-12:
General comments: The boots are light and comfortable to wear. they are soft enough that they do not need any breaking in. The drawback that I find with them is that they do not grip well on muddy rocks or on wet grass.
Pros: They are light, waterproof and comfortable.
Cons: Way too expensive.
Don't grip well
Reviewed by Steve S (Lancs) on 2011-08-03:
General comments: On my 3rd pair of Hillmaster GTX loved the previous 2 pairs, had this pair approx 7 months (Dec 2010), the heel cup is signifcantly stiffer on this pair & consequently they are not shaping to my foot resulitng in regular full heel blisters despite well over 100km of use. The second pair had a similar issue when new, but were broken in within a few months, this is just not happening with the new boots!
Pros: Light & waterproof
Cons: Expensive & blister making machine if the heel of your foot is the wrong shape!
Reviewed by Allan Jamieson (Wishaw) on 2014-08-06:
General comments: I've had quite a few pairs of these boots over the years and always found them to be exceptionally comfortable boots with good ankle support. In comparison to the Supalite II boots which I also have, the Hillmaster boots are just so much more comfortable, you can wear them all day and your feet won't ache at all, which is a lot more than you can say about the Supalite's!
Just to comment on the issues mentioned above about changing build quality and differently shaped boots, I'm sure that Brasher did change the shape of the lasts or whatever it is that they use to make their boots, so there could well be an issue for some people who used to wear the older versions without any discomfort.
Pros: Comfortable and reasonably lightweight, decent build quality
Cons: Brasher sole units are a bit on the soft side
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