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Having never owned a pair of walking boots, and with winter fast approaching these boots seemed like the perfect mix of walking boot with winter warmness so I bought them for around £45 so I could walk the dog in comfort! It is definitely worth shopping around, as I noticed that prices vary hugely between retailers, and also different colours vary a lot in price too.
Its pretty obvious that there is an element of function over fashion with these boots. The walking boot aspect is there with the thick soles, plastic shell over the toes and generally looking pretty big and wide. However they more than make up for it with the masses of faux fur and deisgn details. I originally wanted the black ones, but ended up going for brown/ cream as they were considerably cheaper - And I'm so glad I did. They are two tone, with lighter coloured fur, and a sand coloured suede leather which looks much better in real life than in the pictures (plus it really doesn't show the dirt).
The boots lace up, but don't come apart (quite hard to explain - there is no 'tongue', the laces just tighten up the fur) so can be quite tricky to get on and off unless you really loosen the laces, but this isn't too much of a problem really. There is also a toggle to alter the shin diameter at the top which means that they look great over skinny jeans, but are not so chunky that they can't be worn under straight leg jeans too. The only complaint here is that the laces are reeeeeeeally long, and I found that they caught on each other when walking (embarrassing!), so now I tuck them in to the top of the boot and problem solved.
I'm not going to lie - These need a couple of wears in before they feel truly comfortable. To begin with they feel very rigid, and they did rub slightly on the back of my heel. However this doesn't last long and they are now so incredibly comfortable I feel I could walk for miles in them! Also they have the faux fur lining throughout, and they just feel so snuggly and soft.
The sole is fairly stiff, so there's not much flexibility when walking which does take a bit of getting used to (also took a bit of getting used to driving in them so this is worth bearing in mind).
I found reviews to vary hugely in the sizing for these boots. I'm roughly a 5.5, sometimes taking a 5, sometimes a 6 depending on the make of shoe. Some people recommended to go a full size up (half sizes are available in this boot), but I plumped for a 6 and they fit perfectly. Large enough that I could wear chunky socks without feeling cramped, but not so large that they feel huge with normal socks. So my recommendation would be half size up, or if between sizes like me just go for your normal larger size.
Cold, rain, snow, and ice:
These boots claim to be waterproof, and so far they have lived up to this claim! I have walked in torrential rain in them, through puddles, been splashed by cars and not once have I come back with wet feet. Or cold feet. These are just so warm its untrue, and I tend not to wear thick socks with them either. The furry lining helps with this too.
I've held back from reviewing these until I'd tested them in the snow, as this was one of the reasons I bought them before winter set in! In the snow, as with rain they are fab. Still toasty, warm and dry tootsies when I got back! These boots have a chunky sole with good grip, and on fresh snow, or slightly compacted snow/ slush they are outstanding and give you that confidence of walking in these conditions and was pounding around when others were cautiously tiptoing.
However, when the snow gets really compacted, and is pretty much ice they suffer just like any boot and I did slip around a bit on really icy patches. To be honest though, no amount of chunky sole would cope in these conditions and its silly to expect them to without the use of those spike things so I'm not marking them down because of this.
In all, I think these boots are fantastic value for money and I'm so pleased I invested in them as they have had so much use in the 5 months or so that I've owned them and would recommend them to anyone as a sturdy pair of weatherproof winter boots.
*~*Introduction and my reason for purchasing these boots*~*
Although September is not yet upon us I found myself having to wear my winter boots recently as the weather was particularly wet, which was quite depressing really as it's *supposed* to be Summer but as these boots were the only real waterproof footwear that I currently own then don them I did.
I purchased these 'Hi Tec St Moritz Ladies Winter Boots' last year around November as my then current Winter boots were more suede effect and whilst they looked the part they weren't particularly good at being water proof and the lack of grip on the sole made walking in snow and ice an impossible task, so I started searching online for something that would fit the bill and came across these..
*~*What Hi Tec have to say about these boots*~*
(Please note that this part contains 'technical' information taken from the official website though the remainder of the review is entirely in my own words)
"...*The waterproof suede leather and mesh upper provide protection from even the deepest of snow banks, while ThinsulateTM insulation keeps the warmth inside your boot.
*Metal top hooks and a Ghilley lacing system allow for quicker lacing to reducing the amount of time you will be exposed to the elements.
*An abrasion heel and toe cap provide extra protection, while the faux-fur lining provides warmth.
*A comfort-tec contoured sockliner gives that extra bit of cushiony comfort, so you can stay out even longer.
*The board is lasted with steel shank for added rigidity and support, and the CMEVA midsole gives you even more cushioning. With the winter traction and outsole rubber design on these you'll never have to worry about losing your footing..."
*~*Price and availability*~*
I purchased these Hi Tec boots through the Littlewoods catalogue, as I have an account with them ,and were priced at £79.99 at the time of buying though due to the fact I had accrued almost £20 in commission I used this against it as part payment and so they only cost me £60, which I deemed a good price for what looked and sounded like a very good quality boot.
Having looked online I see that the prices vary from £45 up to £80 depending on where you choose to shop so it really is wise to look around. They are available in different styles and colours though my '200' style boot is in black as this was the only colour choice available from Littlewoods though having looked at the official Hi Tec website it also comes in a stylish brown/ beige.
St Moritz is available in the following ladies UK sizes:
If wanting to purchase directly from the website, or simply for more information, then check out www.hi-tec.com/uk
*~*My experience of wearing these boots*~*
What I liked about these boots when I first saw them was the thick fleece that not only lined the rim of the boot but continues down even to the toe. So often winter boots look warmer than they are with a hint of fleece at the top for show but then inside the boot is plain and this makes a difference in the cooler weather considerably as the cold seems to penetrate no matter how thick the boot may look.
I ordered a size 4 and size 5 to see which would fit the best as generally I am a shoe size 4 but thought these may be too tight fitting if worn with thick socks. When they arrived I was glad I'd ordered both sizes as the 4 were very roomy, even with thick socks, and the 5's were simply too big - to the point my feet slopped around in them and would have been too uncomfortable to walk around in, especially in snowy weather which was the main reason behind my purpose.
The boots themselves are furry near the rim with a thick warm fleece throughout as mentioned and feature large eyelets for the ultra thick laces that accompany them. The eyelets near the top are made from a sturdy metal (6 in total with 3 on each side) and the lower eyelets are made from an integrated cord like material which are again extremely sturdy when the laces are pulled. The laces themselves are also made of a very thick cord and are a matching black in colour with a tube like appearance, though my only criticism is they are not very long when choosing to weave throughout the upper eyelets and there is little leftover for tying securely. I was slightly concerned by this at first thinking they would come undone too easily but luckily there is also a cord that is threaded through the rim of the boot which tightens securely enough against my calf when pulled and fastens via a toggle which holds the boot in place comfortably.
The grip on the sole of the boot is amazingly thick and rigid and was a drawing point when I saw it I have to admit. I've worn boots in the past that have claimed to have a non slip and grip sole but never live up to their own hype so I was hoping that these St Moritz boots would be the ones that finally didn't let me down. The toe area of the boots is steel capped and I instantly became aware of this fact the second I tried them on as my legs suddenly felt very weighed down!
I'd only owned these boots for a short period of time before we had a flurry of snow and even worse - black ice on the pavements and roads. I don't drive and school is a good 20 minute walk away from our home so good quality footwear is a must but something that is comfortable on my feet is also a top priority. The boots were felt heavy when I started walking in them though I worked in an engineering firm before becoming pregnant with my first son so I'm no stranger to wearing steel toe capped boots, though these felt incredibly heavy. Once I had gotten used to the weight they were easier to wear, though I did notice a slight ache in my calves at first (though that's not a bad thing though).
The boots felt incredibly warm and even my toes felt toasty to say they are steel toe capped - the extra layer of fleece all around the inner boot really did make a difference compared to other winter boots I'd worn in the past and I had no hesitations that my feet might feel cold at any time. The boots felt comfortable when I slipped my feet into them and once I secured the toggle they were tight, but not uncomfortably so, and didn't dig into my shins at any point (the boots come up halfway between my ankle and knee).
I am uber` impressed with these boots as on that first walk to school on black ice I would have slipped and landed on my bottom at least half a dozen times had I been wearing my old boots. These St Moritz just glide over any surface and are literally like a tank (though thankfully not in appearance) and ice and snow didn't faze them in any way. I really hate ice more than snow and am always really apprehensive about walking on it but I felt really in control when wearing these and not once did I lose my footing.
The grips on the under side of the sole really come in to their own on slippy surfaces and it almost reminded me of wearing a pair of football boot with spikes (not that I have ever worn any!). These boots are just amazing and grip on the most iciest surfaces imaginable. They are incredibly warm to wear and despite the outer material being made of suede they are indeed waterproof as I've worn them in all types of wet weather (including the heavy rain we've had this summer) and they simply repel the water keeping my feet and lower legs dry. Because of the cord around the rim this also helps keep warmth in and water out when tightened sufficiently and I really cant praise them enough.
They are very easy to clean as well as they were recently covered in mud and a quick wipe down with a wet cloth was enough to suffice and they looked as good as new once they had been wiped down so maintenance wise they are easy to upkeep.
I wore these boots for several months over the winter and at one point wore them several times a day every day and they were very comfortable each time. Yes my calves ached slightly for the first few days but once my legs got used to the heavy feeling I didn't notice them and a slight aching calf isn't the end of the world if it means these boots stop me sliding all over in icy conditions.
Look stylish, toasty and warm and most importantly have a fantastic grip so they get full marks from me.