Normally I go walking either in my trainers, or in a cheap and comfortable pair of hi-Tec boots. However, this summer we had decided to visit the Dolomites and I wanted something that I could use on the Via Ferrata's. Whilst my Hi-Tec boots have been really comfortable for walking, the soles are very bendy and not suitable for climbing.
I wandered into Cotswold's Chester store with the intention of buying a pair of Asolo Flame GTX boots. However, after trying a few pairs on I found that they were a bit narrow for my broad feet. Previous experience has taught me that if a boot feels a bit uncomfortable to start with, it will probably feel uncomfortable for ever.
The assistant suggested that I try on a pair of Meindl boots as they were a broader fit. He disappeared into the stock room and re-appeared with several boxes. I tried on a pair of Meindl Softline Ultras, which immediately felt comfortable. I tried on a few different sizes to make sure that I had got the best fit and wandered about the shop in them.
I bought them and wore them at home for about an hour before the holiday. I also wore them on the plane to Italy, but their first real test was a six hour walk around Sassalungo. This is definitely not the recommended method of breaking in new boots. However, I felt comfortable all the way round and at the end of the day my feet had no blisters or sore spots. I just hope that they last a long time, so I don't have to worry about buying another pair of boots for some time!