I’m always looking for footwear for anywhere, footwear that can function as casual around-town shoes and also be capable of withstanding the odd off-road ramble. They need to be lightweight, waterproof, and be able to provide a sure enough grip on muddy tracks. These two fit all these criteria.
Teva Arrowood WP 740g £90
Teva, of course, is a brand famous for its rugged sandals and in these shoes, they’ve incorporated their famous Float-Lite sole construction.
They’re smart enough to wear if you’re going out for a meal or a meeting, but technical enough to cope with easy trail walking. T
he shoes have full-grain water-resistant leather uppers and the soles provide good traction on wet surfaces. They’re pleasantly light, weighing not much more than 700g a pair.
What’s apparent, when you slip them on, is that the soft leather makes them instantly comfortable and additional stiffening at the heel hold the foot well.
Add foam padding around the angle and the tongue, and you’re good to go for all day. The soles also give a good amount of underfoot cushioning, augmented by a PU insole. Being 100% waterproof means they’re ideal for our weather but could get quite warm if things heat up.
AKU Bellamont Plus 950g £160
Straight out of the box these feel and look like things of beauty, as you might expect from an Italian brand. Perfect for those business meetings, they can also cope with tougher environments, being completely waterproof.
What’s also unique is that they’re environmentally friendly. The nubuck leather has undergone chrome free tanning and the outsole and midsole utilise recycled rubber. Even the laces are made from 100% cotton. (And you get a second pair in the box, just in case you don’t like the colour).
These are heavier than the Tevas but once on your foot you won’t really notice as they’re so comfortable. The leather seams are all watertight and well stitched and you’ll easily survive those city downpours.
On mountain tracks the toe and heel reinforcements help protect from bumps and scrapes and the Vibram sole copes extremely well with slippery surfaces. My only problem was I hated taking them out in the mud, as it seemed a shame to submit such stylish shoes to this kind of punishment.