Brasher’s all-leather Supalite boots have been around for many years. I wore a pair of the first version, which didn’t have Gore-Tex linings, on the Arizona Trail in 2000 and found them very comfortable. For this year Brasher has introduced the first fabric and suede Supalite model, the Active GTX. This has the same sole as the leather Supalite but looks very different. It has solid toe and heel bumpers for protection and is reasonably laterally stiff, which is good when traversing steep terrain. The boots flex easily across the forefoot which makes them very comfortable as they don’t restrict foot movement. There’s a Gore-Tex membrane inside – it would be good to see a version without this for warm weather walking.
I wore the boots straight from the box for hillwalking in the Cairngorms (below the snowline) and they have proved very comfortable. The sole grips well on a variety of surfaces and the cushioning is okay though not as substantial as on some boots. The fit is on the wide side, which is just right for my feet. In temperatures not far above freezing with slush on the ground and a stiff wind the boots were perfectly warm. I suspect that in warmer weather I’ll find them too hot, especially as the tongue and ankle are well padded, which adds to the warmth.
The Supalite Active’s are lightweight – the test pair of size 9s weighs 1064 grams. The price is quite high for fabric boots but the quality is good and they should last well.