What’s more important when you’re battling the outdoors and braving the elements: Looking on trend for all the passers-by (by which I mean sheep), or ensuring that your feet stay dry and warm for the long-haul? So often, it seems, you have to make a choice between the two when it comes to outdoor clothing and footwear – keep it stylish or, skip the looks, and go all-out practical.
But wait! Here is, seemingly, a good-looking hiker that’s technical, practical and sustainable(ish) to boot (sorry, not sorry, for the pun). Introducing the Pallatrooper Hiker WP+. It’s the third iteration of an ongoing collaboration between the French outdoor shoe specialists Palladium and the British BCorp Finisterre. And it’s packed full of all-weather, Earth-friendly features.
The boot is a reimagining of Palladium’s iconic Pallatrooper, that has its origins in early 20th Century aviation history. It’s been slingshot into the modern day with some eco-friendly materials, hefty waterproofing and contemporary design touches, while maintaining a classic hiking boot silhouette. The crafted metal eyelets and colored laces also share that sense of history, conveying images of mid-century explorers on barren mountainsides.
The Pallatrooper Hiker WP+ is doing all it can to protect its wearers’ feet. First off, it’s fully waterproof thanks to its Sympatex waterproof membrane and a water-repellency treatment on the outer material. Inside is a merino wool sock liner to keep your toes toasty. And on the bottom is a cleated sole which provides non-slip protection. Whatever gets thrown at it — rocks, rain or the occasional cow dung (unpleasant but sometimes unavoidable) — this boot has you covered.
Once you’re in from the outdoors, you can appreciate its construction, which features a range of recycled materials. There’s a recycled PU upper, PET recycled back strap webbing, recycled laces, a recycled rubber vamp overlay and a recycled waterproof bootie. Don’t say we don’t bring you the recycled goods. The side panels are made from organic wax canvas and the sock liner is made with non-mulesed merino wool.
Mulesing, if you’re wondering, is a pretty nasty practice where parts of the sheep’s skin are cut off to prevent fly egg infections. To make matters worse, it’s often done without adequate anesthesia. Non-mulesed wool, therefore, is thought of as a pain-free alternative. Not perfect, but better.
The boot is finished in a couple of classic yet contemporary color options: Apple Cinnamon or Olive Night. There are joint brand logos across the Pallatrooper Hiker WP+ including a Palladium logo patch on the inner ankle.
It looks like a great bit of kit. Sure, you could wear this hiker about the city but we suggest taking it somewhere a little more challenging: see how it handles in the wilds of Scotland, on the rugged North Atlantic coastline or on a long stroll through your local woodlands. Let us know how it goes.