New in for review is a pair of Anatom's Q3 walking boots and they came complete with Andrew from Anatom to explain what makes them tick...
Anatom is a Scottish company which owns Teko socks and is the long-time UK distributor for Superfeet footbeds, so you might say that they know a bit about feet, so it was an obvious, if ambitious step, to create their own outdoor footwear brand, Anatom Footwear.
We first saw the range in the summer of 2010 – see our KORS report – but it's only now that we've actually got a pair in for test. The Q3 is a light-ish, full-leather, mountain walking boot created for below the snow-line walking in UK conditions and carefully developed by the Anatom guys.
Italian Components - Romanian Assembly
The components of the boot are mostly sourced in Italy, where they know a thing or two about outdoor footwear and put together in a modern factory in Roumania, which is in the same area as plants used by brands like Scarpa and Asolo.
All the components, says Andrew, are chosen to be durably consistent over the lifetime of the product, so the fit stays constant rather than degrading over time. The leather, for example, is top notch full grain stuff from a specialist Italian tannery, which isn't cheap, but should be consistently durable and waterproof.
Speaking of which, after a lot of testing, Anatom opted for its Tri-Aria waterproof liner, which uses three layers; a wicking lining, open cell foam backing and then the PU-based membrane itself. Then there's a Bioform Frame, the stiffening between leather and liner and heel and toe inserts which are thermo-plastic, because it takes the shape of the last really well. And to add a bit. of luxury, the inside of the ankle collar is lined with calf leather.
Underfoot Goings On...
Underfoot there's a nylon mid-sole stiffener which gives good lateral rigidity but isn't too rigid longitudinally, while the outsole is a classic Vibram unit.
There's no EVA or PU cushioning, because Anatom reckons it degrades with use, so shock absorption is courtesy of dual density honeycomb rubber.
One unusual touch is the flat lambswool foot bed, chosen for good moisture and temperature management and because it adapts rapdily to the shape of the foot.
The whole boot has a solid, well made feel to it – weight is 880g per boot – and combines a snuggish heel fit with a roomy forefoot. The Q3 comes in just one fitting by the way, the lighter Q2 has a choice of two widths.
First impressions, proper indoor wandering round the kitchen ones, are that it's a proper, classic, solid, below the snowline UK mountain boot for people who want a bit of stiffness on rocky terrain but don't want a full-on four-season boot. It also feels decently, but not excessively padded and was instantly comfortable on the OM test foot.
We also reckon it would happily accommodate a flexible trekking crampon for the odd snow and ice walk, even if that's not its prime function in life.
The Anatom Q3 retails for £140 right now – or if you buy from Tiso, £150 with an upgraded Superfeet Energiser footbed – we'll be stomping about in ours over the next few weeks with a view to comparing it with some of the other options out there.
More Anatom information at www.anatom.co.uk .