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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

On Test – Bareskins Booties

bare skin boots

I tell you what – these things are revolutionary. They’ll change the face of walking. Designed by Big G of Emperor’s New Boots, they’re Brilliant for British Bogs. They dry instantly, are extreeeeeeemly lightweight (I defy anybody to find lighter footwear) – they have some kind self-mending mechanism which repairs any small nicks or itches, they’re really cheap and they’re so simple a toddler could quickly learn to use them.

On the downside, they’re absolutely useless on steep grass or small pebbles or scree. Or thistles.

Bogs present no problem, though and there’s none of this fannying around trying to find firm ground – no, you just plunge on through.  Warm cow pats are a joy.  Peaty stains just fall off.

dog think, think dog think

All this was because I turned up at the little concrete car park at the foot of Swindale with two proper boots. Unfortunately, these were from different pairs of boots and both were left feet. I started off walking in trainers, so. This was fine on the road, but the first squishy bit of bog  after joining the corpse road to Mardale was unpleasant and, as with the nudieboots, they were lethal on steep grass. So I took ‘em off. I walked about four miles over the grassy moors just left of Swindale. Its pretty much all grass and bog, so I managed to get a fair pace on once I’d got used to the tickling. The squishy bits were refreshing. I collected rare sedges between my toes. A Fully Equipped family with a dog did a double-take. It was quite good, really.

high street from rowantree howe

high stile

I did 8 miles and 1400 feet of upness and bagged the Birkett Brown Howe. I was also going to go for another one on the South side of Swindale but I’d have never got there in one piece. Brown Howe was nice, though and has a fine view of Haweswater and High Stile and stuff like that.

Never mind.

It was the dog’s fault. he makes such a fuss when the rucksack comes out, I tend to forget stuff in all the..er….   thing……

 

26 comments:

markswalkingblog said...

Mike, I wonder how many people will start reading this thinking they have come across a new brand of UL footwear. Very funny :)

Alan Sloman said...

Do they go well with the Virtual Trousers?.

Tip: Don't wear that ensemble north of the border, not unless you want free B&B for the rest of your days...

Mike Knipe said...

What yer tryin' ter say, like, Mark....?

Mike Knipe said...

Virtual boots Alan...! There the very next thing, I expect...

Mike Knipe said...

Dammit, what we want is a mechanism to edit comments, taking out spealin mistakes. They're there their.... dhuhh.....

beatingthebounds said...

First it was 'no maps'. Now boots. What will you be doing without next? It's a public service you're carrying out here trying out cutting edge weight saving ideas like this so the rest of us don't have to. Like that chap in TGO who advocated making your own tarp from clingfilm. Or something like that anyroad. I hope that these feats of derring-do and experimental minimalist hiking won't go too far. I imagine you saving weight on food and foraging for bog-cotton and tormentil salads. I recall that Hamish Brown got there with the virtual trousers some time ago, but I can't see the good citizens of Crook and Billy Row taking too kindly to naked ramblers.
(Have to confess I did the same thing with mismatched boots meself a few weeks back - I walked in a pair of brogues which didn't do my plantar fasciwhatsit much good.)

Louise said...

Cheers Mike, needed a good giggle before I could face the day.

Zed said...

Trouble is, the manufacturing standards vary so much. Mine are hopeless on mud with any slope to it.

4 Winds said...

The Mk 2 version isn't too bad on pebbles and stuff, but oyu can't get hold of a pair until your Mk 1s have thoroughly worn in.

Mike Knipe said...

I'm about to test out an extremely lightweight method of accomodation provision. Its called a de bit card. Prolly a French idea, I suspect. Too cold to lose any more clothing, though...
Zed - this is true. What's needed is some kind of natural hobnail. Placing the nails at the front and not along the sides is a serious design fault.
Mk2's are very gnarly, I understand, 4winds. Mine are quite sensitive. But then, I'm an artist. 07:21 is still the middle of the night here in Crook, Louise. You can get stuff for insomnia y'know. Its called "merlot".

owdbum said...

A good idea these 'bareskin booties'...nobody gunna buy em though, not until they've won 'best in test' in Trial Magazine...send a pair to that Geoff bloke (the gear guy) can't imagine the postage costing much.

Mike Knipe said...

You can't buy these, Owdbum, and once they've been fitted, you're not really supposed to take them off.
Unless you're Long John Silver.

OWDBUM said...

http://owdbum.blogspot.com/2011/09/forget-what-i-said-before.html

Mike Knipe said...

Ooer - A fig roll. I like the video. I have the t-shirt....

Dawn said...

Love it, brought a smile to my face.

peter crawford said...

No way does such footwear exist, Knipe, or am I missing something ?

Mike Knipe said...

They definately exist, Peter. They're a bit retro, admittedly...

terrybnd said...

Bloody brilliant! Aint laughed so much at a blog post for long time. :)

James Boulter said...

Can you get them in half sizes?

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks dawn and Terry - we aim to please...
James - I believe they might do. I also discovered recently that they're very useful in more advanced arithmetic. I can now count up to twenty. Multi-tasking, see?

john donohoe said...

You have discovered why Scots Gaelic numerology is in units of 20, like our French allies with their quatre vingt. Frostbite losses in a typical summer does complicate matters, though

Mike Knipe said...

I once managed to count up to twenty one, John. I was having a problem with my trousers at the time, I seem to remember.

Anonymous said...

I have been telling you lot for years that GOG is the best thing for walking. Dries instantly, self repairing and cheap. Now try using it all over instead of just on your feet!
Grumpy.

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks, Mr G, good advice, I'm sure, though p'raps not around the judicial facilities in Stirling.
..Slight delay on the blog due to me doing some enjoyable family stuff.... normal service resuming very shortly

Jules said...

Very funny - thanks for cheering me up!

BTW I was once told that during the Crimean War (or somesuch) Britain sent out adelivery of new boots to the forces via ships - left boots in one boat, right boots in the other. And, of course, one sank. That's millitary intellegence for you.

Anyway, I reckon that puts you in good company!

Mike Knipe said...

Apparently, Jules, army rations used to come in unlabelled tins, so you could open several tins of toilet rolls before you got to the corned beef.....