The Berghaus Supalite II GTX is the lightest boot TGO expert Peter Macfarlane has tested recently and he found it a good minimalist boot.
The Berghaus Supalite II GTX are indeed the lightest three-season walking boots that we’ve tested recently, although the style and materials are what you might be expected to find in a traditional hillwalking boot. Beyond those first impressions the feel of the Supalite is closer to a lightweight fabric fastpacking boot.
The upper is one-piece leather with the only stitching lines around the tongue, the heel reinforcement and the main seam at the instep. The leather is soft but still required some breaking in to feel comfortable. The inside is a softer sheep leather, which feels very comfortable indeed. Although the heel is a little roomy for my foot shape this lining did seem effective at minimising abrasion as I tried various sock weights to tune the fit. The Supalites are quite low-volume so I left the basic but effective Ortholite insole in place rather than try to tune the fit with other footbeds.
The leather upper is very easy to keep clean and will be easy to reproof in the future. The inner lining also protects the Gore-Tex membrane from dirt and abrasion so should extend its life. There is padding around the ankle and the tongue, and the toe box is reinforced. The overall feel is still minimalist, however, and I found myself approaching loose, rocky terrain with the same careful mindset as I would in lightweight trail shoes. The lacing is a mix of metal eyes and hooks, and it runs smoothly with a little cleaning after every trip. The sole is Vibram rubber and has quite an open and shallow tread pattern. This works well in most situations, but it struggles for grip on wet grassy or muddy terrain.
Tested by Peter Macfarlane
Woodland Trust ranger Peter is a UK9, with a narrow heel, wide forefoot and average volume. He wore these boots regularly through 2022 and into 2023 on big hill days and backpacks, and in nature reserves and forests. Useful for gauging like-for-like performance were his deer fence inspection treks across open terrain in the Kilpatrick Hills. He weighed the boots on his own digital scales.