Sprayway Iona Mid HydroDRY boots, RRP £90
These are a brilliant option for beginners like me. Previously, I’ve always worn trainers for country rambles. But now I’ve started walking more regularly, I was curious to see whether using proper walking boots would enhance the experience. At under £100 the Iona boots from Sprayway – founded in Greater Manchester in 1974 – are relatively affordable, and a good option for an entry-level walker.
Straight from the box, I found them comfortable, partly thanks to the cushioned foam midsole. I thought they might seem heavy and bulky, but instead I felt quite agile in them – they seemed surprisingly lightweight and responsive. The ankle support was good and they kept me feeling stable and secure on rockier ground.
The rubber outsole was grippy on less demanding terrain, though less capable on the ultimate test – wet rock. The uppers are a combination of suede and mesh and are easy to look after – they still look good after prolonged testing. Beneath the uppers, Sprayway’s HydroDRY waterproof lining kept my feet dry during periods of moderate rain but I found that it won’t withstand a prolonged soaking. Review: Camilla Brock
Facts at a glance…
- Uppers: Suede and mesh
- Outsole: Sprayway’s own SW055 rubber compound
- Midsole: Moulded EVA
- Waterproofing: Sprayway’s down HydroDRY breathable membrane
- Fitting: Regular
- Weight: 400g per boot
Also consider: Oboz Sawtooth Mid B-Dry walking boots, RRP £143.99
One step up from the Iona in the £100-£150 price category, the Sawtooth Mid B-Dry offers more substantial protection on the trail. These boots, from a footwear brand founded in the US state of Montana, have sturdy uppers made of Nubuck leather and cordura fabric. They won’t feel as nimble as the Iona but they have a pretty effective waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry. The fit is regular to slightly wide, and the cut will suit feet of fuller form. Review: Joe Pontin