Why We Chose The Ecco Exohike: Excellent leather, innovative sole, sock-like fit
We’ve never featured anything from Ecco on Outdoors Magic before. To be honest, we’d never really seen the brand as being ‘outdoorsy’ enough – more so the kind of brand we’d go to if we needed shoes to wear to a wedding. We’ve changed our minds now though. Why? Because, these are some very decent walking boots.
What we hadn’t realised about Ecco under will did a bit of research is that all of the leather they use comes from their own tannery which they first set up in 1985. In fact, on their website Ecco say that they are the only major shoe brand to own and operate its own production and retail facilities. The main advantage of this, from a consumer perspective, is that they can have full control of the production quality and the environmental standards.
“It’s got a very supple feel to it, in fact it’s some of the smoothest leather you’ll see on a walking boot.”
That means when you buy a product from them, you can be sure that it meets all the right criteria set by the Leather Working Group, an audit control agency that assesses the environmental performance of leather manufacturers all over the world. They look at things like energy required to produce a square foot of leather, the impact on water supplies and the proportion of waste that is recycled.
So what about the leather on the Exohike then? This, according, to Ecco has been tanned in a way that reduces the amount of water and chemicals that are required (by how much, we’re not sure). It’s got a very supple feel to it, in fact it’s some of the smoothest leather you’ll see on a walking boot. It still feels durable though – enough to cope with any big days in the hills. It is a shame, however, that there’s only a protective rand for the leather on the heel and not on the toes. We can see some damage being inflicted there eventually. Another potential concern we have is in the amount of stitching; there are a lot of overlapping panels here and therefore a lot of potential for things to start coming apart.