We're not going to run an in-depth review of the Aldi walking

boots that go on sale from tomorrow, 17 April, 2008 as

part of Aldi's special buys walking range, but we were intrigued by a

25-quid boot with a Vibram sole unit...

aldiboot01.jpg

So are they rubbish? Well, let's start with the raw spec, which

isn't half bad for a pair of boots costing £25 and includes that

Vibram outsole, Cordura and suede uppers, a Ten-Tex, really,

waterproof liner, PVC toe and heel reinforcement. Weight is 1300

grammes for a pair of size 43.

They look fine in an early Hi-Tec sort of way and details like the

lace fittings and that Vibram sole unit are convincing. Unfortunately

Aldi has metaphorically shot itself in the foot with the cheap and

nasty footbed supplied with the boots.

aldiboot02.jpg

It's basically just a flat, felt thing and gives your feet

absolutely no support at all. Combined with what feels like quite a

basic last, it left our feet swimming around inside the boot and

allowed our heel to lift and rock around. Not good on rougher ground

and not good full stop in fact.

As an experiment, we bunged in a set of Superfeet Green footbeds

and they instantly transformed the feel of the boot. both by reducing

the volume and supporting arches and heels securely. With the

Superfeet in place, the boots felt stable and useable whereas before we'd have

paid money not to wear them.

They're still quite basic, but with a better footbed, we'd happily

use them for country ambles and we reckon Aldi would have been better

off speccing a decent footbed rather than the big name sole unit.

aldiboot03.jpg

Overall with a better footbed the Aldi boots weren't bad and at

the price were great, with the stock footbed though, we'd give them a

miss. Overall it underlines what we've always said, which is that

footwear is one area where it makes no sense to skimp on quality -

poorly fitting boots can ruin your day with a constant littany of

discomfort.

We'd be more inclined to buy from Aldi's clothing range where

cheap and cheerful won't end in blisters. Not bad, but if they fit

you and you fancy some budget boots, make sure you swap those

footbeds out for something more supportive. Oh, and the Vibram sole?

Felt fine to us.

More from www.aldi-stores.co.uk,

those with a sweet tooth might like to note that the outdoor

selection includes Kendal Mint Cake...