Just arrived at the OM office is a pair of the new for spring 2012, Mammut Brecon boots, a leather, three-season model designed specifically for us Brits – hence the name.
All Leather Uppers
We previewed them a couple of weeks back, but it's always interesting to see new stuff in the flesh rather than in spec sheets. What we can tell you straight away is that the Brecon is, for want of a better word, a 'handsome' boot. The uppers are made mostly from 2.2mm waxed sueded leather and there's both a rubber toe protector and a bit of reinforcement at the heel too.
The ankle cuff uses soft leather over foam for an upmarket feel and the top of the tongue and the area around the top three lace hooks is tough-feeling Hypalon-type reinforced material.
Gore-Tex And Vibram
Also present and correct is the ubiquitous Gore-Tex waterproof liner and, underfoot, a reassuring Vibram MT Traction outsole. The whole boot has an air of quality about it and feels, well, solid and decently made. It's manufactured in Romania by the way, a country which is developing a growing reputation for boot making.
Weight for our test 43s – size 9 – is around 1570 grammes, so not 'lightweight', but equally not massively heavy for a mountain-walking, three-season boot either.
The initial press information on the boots suggested that they were slightly more flexible than would be produced for a continental market, but they're still more than man enough to cater for those who prefer a bit of underfoot stiffness on rough terrain, with a fairly traditional feel to them rather than being a scaled up trainer, if that makes sense. Plenty of ankle wrap too.
Last But Not Least...
We've always liked the Mammut last – previously it was Raichle – it's reasonably snug at the heel with a medium volume sort of forefoot, which we find comfortable. As with all boots, however, you need to try carefully before buying and select a brand which has lasting to suit your particular foot shape, but we reckon the Mammut last is broadly UK friendly. Fit is helped by slick-lacing hookage as well.
The Brecon isn't cheap at £145, but it's at the lower end of the ballpark for top-notch, three-season leather boots and definitely looks like one for the short-list if you're after a boot for all-round hill and mountain walking outside of snow, though you could of course man up with micro or even flexible trekking crampons.
The one note of caution we'd sound is over the lack of an all-round rand. Mostly we think the toe and heel protection should be enough, but if you put in a lot of miles on rough, loose, scree or similar terrain, the uppers, just above the sole line, may suffer.
More once we've used the Brecons a bit. They're new for this spring and should be in the shops early this year, think February or March.
More Mammut at www.mammut.ch.