Ecco is not a name normally associated with hiking boots and I was surprised when these appeared as an entrant for the Scandinavian Outdoor Award last June. Once I’d worn them on the mud, loose soil, wet grass, rock and snow of rough Swedish mountains for a couple of days I was not surprised when they won the award. Indeed, they were my choice. They are very comfortable yet supportive and protective boots. Made from soft yet tough yak leather, they are well-cushioned and have a sole with a deep tread. Built on a curved last that helps the foot roll they are very flexible at the forefoot while being reasonably stiff toe-to-heel. There’s a stiff external heel support that keeps the heel in place well and a solid toe bumper. The lacing has a locking hook that pulls the boot in around the instep so it feels firmly in place even if the top lacing comes undone. The boots have a Gore-Tex lining and some internal padding so they are quite warm, making them more suitable for cold than hot weather. Flexible walking crampons can be fitted – though I haven’t yet been able to try the boots out with these. The fit is on the wide side at the forefoot but snug at the heel, which is ideal for my feet. Those with narrow feet might find them a bit sloppy.

Any drawbacks? Well, the lightly padded footbeds are pretty flimsy and unsupportive and the weight is on the high side for lightweight boots. They’re not cheap either but I do expect them to last well.