I’m not writing this Karrimor hiking boots review after only a few weeks or months of use. It’s not a first impression. It’s my honest opinion after putting my boots through their paces for around two-and-a-half years. I had my Karrimor hiking boots for a long time and I worked them hard in six different countries.
My boots have pounded the pavement in the City of Durham. I wore them during a hiking trip in the Spanish mountains and they were on my feet while I walked through the streets of Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Düsseldorf. They traipsed through Dutch countryside and strolled along Portuguese beaches. They were the best pair of boots I ever had. I only threw them away after the soles became so thin their further use was impractical. Bearing in mind the lifespan of most of my footwear, I was truly amazed they lasted so long.
Why I Chose Karrimor Hiking Boots Over Other Brands
The company has a number of different footwear options available but I bought Karrimor Mount Mid Men’s Walking Boots. Before I bought my boots, I was unfamiliar with the Karrimor brand and I spent quite a long time comparing their boots to walking boots made by other manufacturers. Some of the alternative options looked pretty good too, but the Karrimor boots seemed more sturdy and I felt sure I was looking at something that was built to last.
Another thing I liked about the boots was the generous padding around the ankles. When you’re just walking the streets, having good padding around the ankles is not so important. If you’re walking in the countryside or following mountain paths, it’s quite easy to catch your ankles on a rock. If that happens it can hurt a lot so I like to have a pair of boots that’s got me covered.
Although the upper part of the boot is probably about 80% leather, there are some mesh panels as well to help your feet breath. The mesh has been treated to repel water, but if you’re going to be going to a lot of very wet places it helps if you spray them with some waterproofing spray. When I was examining the boots I was also impressed by the quality of the plastic overlay around the toes. Stubbing your toe is not usually as painful as banging your ankle, but it still hurts so the more protection the better.
However, when I want to buy a new pair of shoes or boots, the quality of the sole is one of the most important factors. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of buying shoes that had such a stiff sole that it split while walking. I’ve also bought boots that appeared to have a nice thick sole that later turned out to be hollow at the heel. When I buy something I expect it to last. A new pair of Karrimor hiking boots has a very thick sole. I pressed it, I tapped it I could see and hear it was solid. It was also easy to see it was sole that would grip the ground well.
Things I noticed While Wearing the Boots
Karrimor Mount Mid Men’s Hiking Boots don’t have holes for the laces. There are six pairs of metal hoops. I’m not sure of the correct name for these hoops but when I was in the shop I thought they were all the same. They are not. The top two hoops are more like hooks. They are open, so you can place your laces under them instead of threading them through them. Although this is not an uncommon walking boot feature, not all walking boots are easy to unlace/lace up quickly in this way.
The other thing I discovered was because metal can be pretty hard on laces, Karrimor Mount Mid Men’s Hiking Boots need to have thick, good-quality laces. The original laces were very tough. I can’t remember how long they lasted but it was a lot of months and may even have been a year. I made the mistake of replacing them with thinner laces. They only lasted a couple of weeks. After that, I tried to buy the thickest laces I could. In all honesty, none were as strong as the original laces, but they did last a number of months. The laces used in the pictures that accompany my Karrimor hiking boots review are too thin. I only used them because they were the only laces I could get at the time and I knew my boots walking days were numbered.
Another thing I noticed was, even though the boots have mesh panels that allow the feet to breathe, the boots still began to smell after a while. My answer to this was to stuff them with newspaper when I was not wearing them. It’s an old trick and it takes away the pong. More recently I learned a bar of soap can do the same thing so I started using soap instead because it gave the boots a nice smell.
I can’t say my feet ever felt unpleasantly hot when the weather was warm, so that must have been due to the vents. What I did notice was my feet always felt nice and warm in the winter.
The Condition of My Boots When I Threw Them Away
I threw the boots away because the area of the sole, under the balls of the feet, had become so thin I could feel any imperfections in the surface I was walking on and if I stepped on a stone it felt really unpleasant. Strangely enough, it was only the right boot that was affected. It must be due to the way that I walk. The area around the heel of the same boot had also lost some of its tread. There was no real wear and tear on the inside of the boot or any other problems at all. I bought them because I thought they looked sturdy and time has proved me right. When I buy another pair of hiking boots, as I will in the near future, I’m going to try and buy Karrimor. I was impressed with the pair I had and can give Karrimor hiking boots my highest recommendation.
Update: If you scroll down to the comments section, you will see the Karrimor brand appears to have gone downhill. I no longer recommend the company’s boots and would never consider buying any other Karrimor products.
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19 thoughts on “Karrimor Hiking Boots Review (My Opinion After 2 Years of Use)”
Just to clarify, if you look in the tongue of any walking boot now it says made in China or Vietnam, they are all the same. I get maximum a year from boots, whether they be Karrimor at £40 or Merrill Moab at £110, I find they all wear and leak at the same rate, the only exception and I’ve had them all, are the Manta Pro GTX mountain boots, ideal for winter hikes but too overkill for a 15, 20 miler in summer in shorts and t-shirt with the dog. My advice? Buy Karrimor, chuck em when they get shabby, buy some more.
If you read the other comments you will see people are complaining about their Karrimor hiking boots falling apart in record time. Viktor said his boots were coming apart after 3 hours. Another site visitor said the lace holders broke in the shop while they were trying them on. That’s a very poor state of affairs.
Based on what people are saying, on this blog and elsewhere, I won’t be buying any boots that bear the Karrimor name.
You are wrong when you say all walking boots are made in China or Vietnam. There are plenty of brands made in other countries of the world.
For instance, Zaberlan hiking boots are handmade made in Italy. They are a little expensive, but I bet the quality is better than Karrimor.
There are also still a few companies that make their boots and other footwear in the UK. Bison Bushcraft is one example. Their boots are too expensive for me to consider, but each pair is handmade to order.
I’ll be needing some new boots again soon, so I’ll try another brand and see how it goes.
Just to confirm what you have said here, I braved Sports Direct in Newcastle-Upon_Tyne today because I have worn Karrimore Mount Mid 8 boots for several years and been very pleased though some very intense hiking. Yes, they eventually leak, but otherwise they were grand.
However, the one’s I tried on today where not at all the same boot. They were labelled on the inner tongue Mount Mid 9, by the way, but otherwise looked the same, however the fit was noticeably different. There was an odd hard arch in the sole of the shoe that met the pad of my foot in an odd way, would never do for hiking and would likely cause ankle distress. Also the metal eyelets looked like they would not last and there was shabby glue work on the front of the shoe where the body meets the sole.
Needless to say, I did not buy them. I am sad about this because the Mount Mid 8 were among the most comfortable hiking boots I have ever owned. Alas, no more…
Thanks for sharing your experience in such detail. It’s truly a shame that this has happened to what was once such a good UK brand.
Unfortunately, a lot of (once good) brands seem to be going downhill. Too many companies these days appear to want to cut their production costs to increase their profits.
I used to have a very good laptop backpack by Port Designs. I carried my computer and other important items in it for many years and the quality was excellent.
Based on the strength of such a good experience, I bought another Port Designs backpack for my laptop. That was 18 months ago, and I’m not impressed with it at all.
The padding is not as good as that of my previous bag and the pull-out waterproof cover let the rain through right from the start. I have to safeguard my computer by placing it in a carrier bag. The top handle started coming away at the seams after only a few months. I’ll never buy anything made by Port Designs ever again. Like Karrimor, the company (it’s French) is now using factories in China.
I know this is a bit off-topic. I only mention it because I find it amazing that companies can build a reputation by providing high-quality products and then throw it all away just to make a quick buck.
I have used more brands of work and hiking boot that most people. In my life a 5 mile walk is more common than 5 minutes to the shop.
Karrimor are not the best shoes I’ve owned; but I have recently brought my second pair of Hot Rocks in a row. I admit the quality has gone down hill.
However my previous pair still lasted 8 months before feeling a bit word and 11 months before the sole began to slip away from the body of them.
To most people 11 months doe not sound good. But for me 11 months is a long time. I regularly walk distances up 10 miles as part of a normal day. They get lasting pair of boots i ever owned was a pair of Soldiwler 95s (Standard Issue Military Boots). Price has always been a big challenge for me.
I’ve gone through almost every good quality brand of boots or hiking shoes in under 6 months. The one brand I have never owned in Magnum Footwear. They are very expensive.
Karrimor are only generally a midrange shoe in my opinion. And although the very first Karrimors I owned nearly 4 years ago were definately better quality; proving the change in ownership has effected them, they are currently the number 2 in lifespan for the shoes I have owned. Given that number 1 is Issue Millitary, not just military Grade; id still.spend the 40-50 pound they cost. Mind you for that money I would like to find a pair to last me 12 months or longer.
I do have a 14 month old 2 piece (removable thermal fleece inside) Karrimor jacket that has prove itself in all weathers.
I think they may have been going through some major operation changes. I am curious to see how long my new pair of shoes last.
Thanks for sharing your experience. As you say, the quality has gone down hill. That’s what a lot of people are saying, all over the internet. It sounds like you were a little luckier than most people and got more use from your boots than the average Karrimor customer does. As you can see from the other comments placed on this blog, most people have a less satisfactory experience with Karrimor boots. It’s certainly not a brand I would buy again.
I’m currently using a pair of boots made by X-Hiking. I bought them at Wynsors Shoes. I don’t see them for sale anywhere else so, it could be the shop’s own brand. I’ve had the boots a year and like certain things about them but there are some negatives too. I won’t be writing a review for a while though. I need to wear them out first. When I checked the Wynsors Shoes website I noticed the type I’ve got are no longer available so they may not have been a hit with customers. I
I was given a pair of new Karrimor Vibram boots. I am ‘funny’ about boots, I expect them to keep my feet dry & allow my foot to move with ease. The tongue bit cracked & peeled showing the appalling quality of the plastic upper within 3 times of wearing them on gentle walks to wear them in. Made in China. I went and bought a pair of steel capped TuffKing boots for £35.00.. what bliss! Leather onto which I put Mink Oil & left it on for 24 to help preserve & make the leather supple. They’re comfortable, warm & once on the foot surprisingly not heavy.Great value. And they are a size 5! I thought they only made boots for men but apparently they made small sizes as there are so many more women working on construction sites.
So you bought steel toe safety boots for hiking? Hmmm
I have a pair of the Karrimor mounts, and found them to be very good, especially for the price. I’ve used them for long days in north wales, SW coast path and dartmoor.
The only downside that I would say is the grip isn’t that good especially in the wet,
My boots were good too, but they were produced before the company was sold. As you will see from the other comments posted here, these days people are having a lot of problems Karrimor boots. Feedback left on other sites tells the same story. I have to wonder if your boots were produced before the company changed hands. Some suppliers, who have a slow turnover, may still have stock that’s been sitting on their shelves for many years.
I just tried a pair on in the shop and one of the lace holders snapped & popped out with minor force… on both left & right boots!!
Thanks for the comment. It’s yet more proof that Karrimor hiking boots are no longer as good as they used to be.
After lot research I bought karrimor ladies boots worst walking boots I have ever worn ,I wish I had never bought them not comfortable I have had many boots shoes in the past but these have been my worst purchase never buy karrimor again
I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with your Karrimor boots. As you will see from the other comments on this page, the Karrimor brand no longer appears to be as good as it used to be.
I wrote this review based on the excellent experience I had with the pair of boots I bought before I left the UK and began travelling. I hoped it would help other people who were looking for a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Now, people who visit this page will see all the complaints and realize this is a brand to avoid, so this is still a helpful page.
It’s a great pity the company changed hands. A lot of people used to heap praises on the Karrimor brand. Now there is an ever increasing amount of complaints.
My karrimor are rubish after 50km hiking Great look but quality very bad in my opinion
My boots were fantastic but a lot of people are complaining about Karrrimor hiking boots online. There have been some changes with the company. Different people own it and the boots are now made in China. They used to be made in Britain. I wouldn’t buy this brand now. It’s obviously not as good as it used to be.
A few months ago I spoke to a lady who works in the shoe store where I bought my Karrimor hiking boots. She told me they used to be good but she doesn’t recommend buying them now. Like you, she says the quality is very poor now.
50km? Consider yourself lucky. Mine just started disintegrating after 8 hours of work. I had them replaced and the new pair started falling apart after 3 hours!
My Karrimor boots looked like that after 6 months of normal use ,not hiking.
Not waterproof , not breathable , not hard wearing.
As above one heel wore a lot more than the other.
Got them replaced.
Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience. My Karrimor boots where excellent. I stand by everything I wrote in the review. However, I’ve been reading some reviews on other sites, including Trustpilot. A lot of people are reporting bad experiences with Karrimor boots now. Some of them are saying they’ve had Karrimor products in the past, and they were very good, but the quality has gone down the pan. One guy says, “Once great, terrible now.”
When I write product reviews on this blog, they are based on my own experience. In this case, it was very good, but I know things can change. I’ve done some research and the Karrimor brand seems to have gone downhill. Probably because the company is no longer owned by the same people. It’s a pity. Hope you have better luck with your next pair of boots 🙂