Regatta Enroute X-LT Travel Shoes
I have always promoted the idea of boots for walking but many friends have challenged that idea saying that for many walks a pair of sturdy shoes is perfectly acceptable. So when the chance came to review these “travel shoes” from Regatta I jumped at the opportunity to give them a try. Described by Regatta as “great for everyday use” they were tested in far more arduous conditions than the manufacturer probably anticipated.
Over the years I have always walked in traditional high sided walking boots with chunky Vibram soles. Experts have always recommended this as the footwear to use. There have been many times when they have felt bulky and heavy, with perhaps a sense of overkill on many walks. Keen to see how lighter shoes would perform I have been testing these Regatta Enroute X-LT shoes for over a month.
Since their arrival the shoes have been used in a wide variety of environments from city streets sightseeing in Edinburgh to more demanding use on mountain paths in the Austrian Alps, Peak District, Lake District and Snowdonia. Initial impressions were favourable especially in regard to weight. As they walking got tougher, there were a few occasions when some ankle support would have been useful but this was outweighed by the superior grip from the excellent tread pattern on the sole. Even when crossing slippery limestone rocks the grip was far better than from my conventional boots. This was helped by the comfortable footbed, which did much to reduce stress on my feet and proved a comfortable basis for lengthy walks.
We have not been blessed with very much dry weather this summer so crossing muddy fields, paddling across swollen mountain streams and walking in heavy rain proved an easy task for the ‘shoes’. The only time I got wet feet was when the water was deeper than I had thought!
The verdict : perfect for summer walking in light to medium conditions including scrambling at lower altitudes. I would perhaps return to heavier boots for serious mountain routes although the benefits of lightweight construction made walking a joy especially at the end of a long day. Despite the advantages there was one key annoyance - the laces could do with being shorter by a few inches as even with a double knot I kept stepping on the ends. Apart from that I shall keep using them for much of my walking although the lack of ankle support will mean they will see very little use in true mountain environments especially when conditions under foot are extremely rough.
Review date - 5th October 2007 - Reviewed by LJ