Remember the cheap Aldi kit we told you about recently? If you

don't check out the links at the bottom of this article, but the

bottom line is that the German supermarket has a range of insanely

affordable outdoor clothing on sale from today. We reckon overall it

won't win any gear shoot-outs, but if you want to dip a toe into the

outdoors without massacring your bank balance at the same time, the

kit is definitely worth a look.

We tried the jacket ourselves and were pretty impressed given that

it costs a mere 15 quid or so - innocent observers guessed at 50 quid

or more - but what of the £18 waterproof / breathable / nubuck

walking boots in fetching shades of blue? Unfortunately they didn't

fit the OM test foot, so it's over to Lorna Ford for some firsthand






Weight: 1130 grammes (size 7

/ 40)


Nubuck leather uppers, TenTex breathable /

waterproof membrane, padded collar and tongue,

Duratex insole, shock-absorbing mid-sole, rubber



Price, lateral support


Slight leak in the toe area after submersion in

pond, ankle trashing for Mrs Ford


never want to put those things on again.' - Lorna


Lorna was less then impressed, but here for the record,

is the sanitised version, courtesy of hubby Alex. What we

would say is that Lorna's main objection was that the boots

weren't a good match for her ankles, a common problem with

women who generally have lower ankle bones than men. Fit is

very personal and it's hard to like a boot that hurts


A bit garish...

On first glance they are a bit garish, or rather as my

son described them "they look like moonboots". Well blue and

grey aren't to everyone's liking, but I didn't think they

looked to bad. And they felt good. They were very light but

had lots of lateral support, if a bit lacking in the toe to

heel support.

They promised to be waterproof and breathable, so we

decided to give them a try, out on Cannock Chase for a

couple of hours. It was mostly dry underfoot, but there's a

lovely boggy area and a little stream to cross to test out

these very properties.

Bony ankles

We started out nicely, with Mrs F enthusing that they

were nicely comfortable on the feet, although she didn't

like the high cut of them on her bony ankles. To combat this

we tried a couple of different lacing methods, none of which

worked, and eventually Mrs F was complaining that they were

rubbing her ankle bones.

Then the stream appeared. Not deep, but deep enough for a

thorough test of the waterproofing of the boots. In the name

of Graham Thompson Mrs F entered the water - a good 4"

deep - and there she stood. The water beading off the

surface of the untreated boots quite nicely. She stomped

around and smiled - they seemed to be watertight!

Out she came and off we wandered back towards the car.

All the time they had been worn the quote "you get what you

pay for" had been chanted, but this chorus changed as we

walked along to "oh, I've got a wet toe".

The boots had let in just where the upper met the rand,

just by the big toe. The lining was good, but water was

allowed in through. The glue which secured one to the other

didn't quite make a good seal.

Ok, so it was a tough test, one that many, more

expensive, boots would also fail, but it was all we had to

test them. Mrs F refused point blank to stomp through

the only bit of bog we found in case she got stuck.

At the end of the day, Mrs F was happy to take the boots

off, and doesn't want to put them back on again! These boots

cost £18 - it costs that to get a family of four

into the cinema.

In a nutshell... In a nutshell they

weren't comfortable around Mrs F's bony ankles and

they let in water. On the positive side - if

they were to be worn by a nice lowland rambler who

went out just a handful of times a year then they'd

be a top buy. You wouldn't get wet from plodding

through puddles, although if you were to stomp

through a bog you'd probably suffer. Stick to nice

country paths and these boots would be fine. Go off

the paths and "you'll get what you pay for".


Where to Get


The Aldi range goes on sale from April 4 at all of the

UK's 262 Aldi stores. It's a 'Special Buy' which means

they're only on sale while stocks last. For details of your

nearest Aldi outlet see the Aldi

UK web site where you can also read about the frankly

rather disgusting sounding Choco Pillows - 'Crunchy

chocolate flavoured wheat and rice cereal with chocolate and

hazelnut flavoured filling. With added vitamins.' Yum...