Hmm. OK – all black? Really? For a boot designed for hot-climate hiking? Curious. They do come in other colourways with a bit more pop, but still. Then, whoa – they are seriously light in the hand. The look and feel fits with the current vogue for boots which lean into trainer stylings, with softer uppers and the sole which curls up the toe-tip just like your classic Nike or Saucony runners (which I have a soft spot for, so I’m into that). This feels like a little step-change for a Craghoppers design. A more minimal, sleeker and contemporary styling than usual, and better for it, I think.
There’s decent flex when I give them a little push and pull and the grip and tread looks just like the type that gives me the confidence I need when following my nose off the trails and seeking out hidden viewpoints or signs of wildlife. Heel guard feels solid too, also the toe cap. Good. I’m already keen to see how the breathability claim plays out in balmy heat. One slight worry: they look a little too slight, maybe even flimsy. Have the designers oversteered toward ultralight too much? Easy to see that happening.