New out for 2013 the Brasher Supalite Active GTX is a suede and fabric-uppered addition to the leather-uppered Supalite II GTX, itself the successor to one of the first lightweight walking boots on the market.
The new boot’s marginally lighter than the leather version, though only by around 60g per pair, but more importantly it looks more, well, ‘normal’ than the conservatlvely-styled, brown boot original. Otherwise it’s very definitely a lightened-up traditional all-round walking boot rather than a new generation, minimalist beastie.
Lots of development’s gone into the new boot with weight savings from both chassis and uppers. The sole unit has lightened, mud-shedding lugs to cut weight there and fabric uppers shed weight compared to leather.
One really interesting point that isn’t obvious from the outsde is that the stiffening board in the sole unit has a cut-away under the heel to increase cushioning comfort there and it’s something you can really feel.
Brasher’s Supalites have always been a nice balance of traditional Brasher comfort and fit with reduced weight and the new boot carries on the good work. It has Brasher’s traditional generous fit, but maybe slightly slimmer than before, and thanks to generous padding around the high ankle cuff is comfortable straight out of the box.
Go for a walk and the boot just works. There’s plenty of cushioning underfoot, particularly at the heel where that cut-away means you’re directly over the the shock-absorbing mid-sole rather than a stuff board.
There’s enough flex for easy walking movement too, but also enough torsional stiffness to give good support on more uneven terrain. One aspect of the lightweight sole unit is that the multi-directional lugs are less deep than on more traditional Brasher designs, but 90% of the time grip is reassuringly secure, though we suspect they might struggle in really nasty soft stuff.
As with most lightweight kit, we suspect durability won’t be as good as with heavier, traditional stuff, but it’s good to see a toe bumper and suede protective rand in place, though we’d avoid extended scree outings. We’ll also be keeping an eye on sole wear.
Most testers will pigeon-hole the Supalite Active GTX as a ‘low level’ boot, but to be honest, if you’re good on your feet, there’s no reason at all why it won’t cope with general mountain walking below the snowline.
A cracking mix of traditional Brasher virtues like instant comfort and well-developed features and lighweight construction that gives imrepssive performance straight out of the box. They also look a little more contemporary than previous Supalites, which may help to sway those who see the brand as a bit old-fashioned.
- 1.4-1.6mm lightweight, breathable and abrasion resistant Wolverine pigskin suede with fabric panels.
- Supalite sole unit with shock absorbing EVA midsole.
- Ortholite dual density footbed.
- GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Footwear wateroroof liner