Karrimor KSB Explore D30 (2014)

The Karrimor KSB Explore D30 is very lightweight and built around a fabric upper with suede overlays. There is quite a lot of stitching on the upper so I would not expect this to be as durable as one-piece leather upper design if the boot is used on rockier ground. The toe box is very soft, though, so this is not great on rock, but you do get a rubber toe bumper for extra durability. Underfoot the sole has widely spaced lugs that provide good grip, but there is virtually no heel breast, so on grass slopes the grip is not as good as some other options. The sole is also very flexible compared to other boots in the £140-170 price band, which again means this is not the best option for rockier ground. This boot is very similar to the Salomon Comet 3D GTX (£140) but it is slightly heavier and the fit is not quite as precise. However if you have high-volume feet it is possible you may prefer the fit of this over the Salomon. But the toe box is slightly firmer on the Salomon and also the flex is stiffer on that boot and so assuming there is no difference in fit for your feet the Salomon Comet 3D GTX is a slightly better option for the hillgoer.

Upper materials suede leather, synthetic fabric

Waterproof lining Event

Sole unit Karrimor

Men’s sizes 7-13

Women’s sizes 4-8

Weight 1472g (pair, size 11)

Website www.karrimor.com

Verdict

The price and weight are great, but the Karrimor KSB Explore D30 is not as good as other boots at this price for rocky ground; however if you stick to moors and valley walks it is certainly better than most boots with lower RRPs than £140.

Features 4

Design 3

Comfort 4

Performance 3

Value 4

Overall rating 4

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine May 2014

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Karrimor Serenity

An excellent price for a great-looking and good quality pair of shoes. The fit may feel a little harsh at first, especially around the ankles, but this should soften up after a few wears. The midsole flexes easily, both laterally and across the toes, and the uppers are soft too, making them best-suited to flat, low-level walks and casual use. You don’t get much reinforcement at the toes, either. The aggressive lugs on the Vibram sole provide good grip on most types of terrain, and there’s decent shock absorption, too. There isn’t as much mesh in the uppers as some, so they will feel hotter in warm weather, but there’s no worries with waterproofing as they come with an eVENT lining.

VITAL STATS
Sizes:
3½-8½
Materials: Pigskin/mesh, eVENT® lining
Sole: Vibram® Featherlite
Weight: 750g
Men’s version: No
Contact: 0870 838 7300; www.karrimor.com
• Review from Country Walking magazine, June ’11


Karrimor Cayman 2011

The Karrimor Cayman is a very robust sandal with plenty of practical features to make it useful for trekking. The outsole is what sets it apart from many others as it has really great lugs that are deep and widely spaced to give a good grip on soft ground. There’s also some good stiffness in the sole to resist pressure from more uneven paths when trekking. The footbed is reasonably well-cushioned too, making these quite comfy on the foot. The upper is fairly spartan with just the usual three-point strap adjustment to hold the sandal on your foot. The straps are well-padded, though, and when combined with the outsole makes for comfy and practical sandals. But some might prefer a sandal with a little more protection at the ball of the big toe in particular, even if they do not want an enclosed toe. While the Karrimor Cayman is very practical, no doubt a ‘cooler’ and less traditional style will suit some.

Upper tubular webbing, neoprene padding
Sole Vibram Atoll; phylon footbed
Sizes 7-13
Weight 716g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 250

The Karrimor Cayman is a well-priced, practical sandal that is great for use on campsites as well as trekking and travel. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2011


Karrimor KSB 300 eVent 2011

The Karrimor KSB 300 eVent weighs 1652g (pair, size 11); suede and synthetic fabric upper; eVent waterproof lining; Vibram sole unit with deep lugs for grip and good stiffness; good stiff toe box with rubber rand; great price for performance. But the upper and sole flex are a little softer than some similar-priced boots; a full leather upper may be more durable; fit is not as precise as some higher-priced options.

The Karrimor KSB 300 eVent is a good all-round hill-walking boot that is hard to beat for the price.

First published in Trail magazine May 2011


Karrimor Kalahari eVent 2011

The Karrimor Kalahari eVent weighs 828g (pair, size 8); eVent waterproof lining; pigskin and leather upper; Vibram sole with aggressive lugs; some mesh on upper for breathability; supportive heel; reasonably protective toe box; modern styling. But the sample provided was not very stiff in the sole, and too bendy for use beyond valley paths.

The Karrimor Kalahari eVent is a great price and features, but its bendy sole restricts use to smooth valley paths.

First published in Trail magazine May 2011

Karrimor KSB Skye X-Lite

A traditional looking leather boot, the KSB has a very relaxed fit with plenty of padding, so feels fantastic right from the box. They will especially suit women with wide feet with lots of room at the toes. A fairly stiff midsole makes them surprisingly firm underfoot, and suitable for a variety of surfaces. The chunky Vibram sole grips well on all surfaces, and provides great shock absorption too, with an eVENT lining to keep out water.

VITAL STATS
Sizes
: 4-8
Upper: Full-grain leather
Lining: eVENT
Sole: Vibram
Weight (tested pair): 1,200g
Men’s available: Yes
Contact: 0870 838 7300; www.karrimor.com


Karrimor Meridian Low event

A bit clumpier than most, mainly courtesy of a very padded upper, but they benefit from a very well-balanced midsole that does a good job of evening out the rough patches without feeling too stiff, and the eVENT waterproof membrane is excellent, keeping water out yet breathing well. They offer good protection for the toe and heel, and the aggressive lugs on the Vibram outsole seem perfectly suited to typical soft UK going. Generally a nice shoe well-suited to walking.

VITAL STATS:
Sizes
: UK 7-13
Upper: Suede/mesh
Waterproof lining: Yes
Weight (pair): 1,010g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 0870 838 7300; www.karrimor.com


Karrimor Aruba 2010

The Karrimor Aruba costs a fiver less than last year, when it was already an excellent-value product, so now it is hard to beat on price. It is a synthetic sandal, so it is fast-drying and potentially ideal for more active users who will use it for river crossings when trekking for example. The straps have Velcro adjustment at the heel, ankle and forefoot, while padding on the inside ensures the straps are comfy against the skin. The sole unit is well-padded to provide a comfortable ride on tarmac or rocky surfaces as well as softer terrain. There is also a good outsole lug pattern to allow this sandal to provide a good grip. The sole is stiff enough to make uneven ground comfortable too. Use this when functional performance is needed, and it should be ideal for backpackers and campers.  But this is a very open sandal, with minimal protection for the foot, so some care is needed when wearing it to prevent scrapes against the skin. The sole is not as stiff as some options and it does not have the same level of comfort when walking due to this. However these are minor gripes really as most users will find the Aruba excellent.

Upper synthetic webbing straps, neoprene padding
Sole Karrimor Islands, phylon mid-sole, shaved phylon footbed
Sizes 7-12  (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 744g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 350

The Karrimor Aruba is well-priced with great performance and good comfort and is generally ideal for camping, walking, travel and trekking. It won ‘Best Value’ in our review.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2010


Karrimor KSB 300 eVent 2010

The KSB 300 has been a mainstay for Karrimor for many years, and it remains an excellent boot for hill-walkers looking for good performance at a very attractive price compared with the competition. For a tenner under £100 you get a good supportive upper with reinforcement at the toe and heel. The toe box also has a large rubber rand for extra durability, and there is an eVent waterproof lining to guarantee dry feet. The outsole is a very good Vibram unit with very deep lugs to keep a grip in the mud plus a good degree of stiffness to take the pain out of rockier ground. But there is also good cushioning to make walks on rock and other hard surfaces comfy. A good general outdoor boot for valley, hill and mountain walking, but it is the price that really sets it apart. But the Karrimor KSB 300 eVent’s upper and sole flex are both a little softer than some similarly priced boots, which is fine for easier terrain but a drawback for rockier ground. Leather uppers are more durable than this in the long term as well.

Upper 2mm suede leather, Cordura, eVent waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Phoenix
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 1652g (pair, size 11)
Made in Far East
Stores in the UK 174

The Karrimor KSB 300 eVent is a good all-round outdoor boot that’s hard to beat for the price.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2010


Karrimor Whirlwind Weathertite 2010

At just £50 the Karrimor Whirlwind Weathertite offers an incredible set of features and a good performance to match. It is based around a conventional design of synthetic leather and mesh on the upper with a waterproof lining from Weathertite. The result should be dry feet as well as good breathability from that mesh, and good durability from the synthetic leather. At the toe there is good protection for the foot and a durable synthetic rand. The heel cup is also very supportive, making the upper ideal for rough ground. Underfoot there is a good degree of stiffness, again to make this comfy on rough and rocky terrain. Better still the outsole lug pattern is of tractor tyre proportions and looks ideal for moving through mud. This is well-suited to walking and general outdoor activity while the price is stunning. But it feels slightly ‘clumpy’ on the foot compared to some lighter shoes with a more controlled flex in the sole. Climbers and scramblers would benefit from a dedicated rock approach shoe, while runners would benefit from something lighter. Weathertite waterproof lining may not be as breathable as an eVent or Gore-Tex waterproof lining.

Upper synthetic nubuck and mesh, Weathertite waterproof lining
Sole Karrimor Vibram
Sizes 7-12 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 1088g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 174

The Karrimor Whirlwind Weathertite is a good shoe at an excellent price that is ideal walking, trekking, travel and taking part in general outdoor action.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2010


Karrimor KSB Softshell Mid Event

Light and comfortable with plenty of padding and a unique soft shell upper that’s beefed-up with welded supports and feels surprisingly stable. Low at the ankle, so better for easier walking on good surfaces. Kept water out and the midsole is quite supportive laterally yet gives easily enough to allow the foot to bend. Outsole worked well on most surfaces and offered excellent traction on softer ground going downhill. Exceptional value.

VITAL STATS

Sizes: UK 7-13; EU 41-47 Upper: Soft shell with welded supports Sole: Vibram Quest Waterproof/breathable lining: eVENT Weight/pair:  1,020g Contact: 0870 838 7300; www.karrimor.com


Karrimor KSB Peak II Event

Broad at the toe, yet narrow at the heel, the KSBs have a fairly distinctive fit. They’re reasonably well padded, feeling good from the word go, yet not too hot in milder conditions. The boots have a moderately stiff midsole, well-suited to all-round walking, and they’re reasonably light, so won’t feel clumsy on easier paths. An eVENT membrane provides the waterproofing and does a good job. Excellent value at £80.

 

Sizes: UK 7-12 including half-sizes, 12 & 13
Upper: 1.8mm waterproof suede/Cordura
Waterproof/breathable lining: eVent
Sole: Vibram® Winkler
Weight per pair: 1,260g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 01727 731 650; www.karrimor.com


Karrimor Aruba 2009

The Karrimor Aruba is a good, robust sandal. The sole unit is well-padded to provide a comfortable ride on hard or rocky surfaces. There is a good outsole lug pattern that will bite into grassy campsites and muddy ground to allow you to keep moving. Some reasonable stiffness in the sole takes the worst of the strain out of uneven terrain as well. The straps are a synthetic design, so they are fast to dry when they do get wet. Also, the Velcro adjustment is easy and they are comfortable too thanks to padding. There is heel adjustment as well as the usual ankle and forefoot. This makes the Aruba a good general sandal that will be fine for backpackers and campers looking for a practical option to use on a variety of terrain. But some other sandals offer more protection to the foot. For example the Karrimor Aruba’s straps are relatively minimalist compared with more enclosed sandals. Also the sole is not quite as stiff as some others, so you would not want to use these on too many rocky paths. Not a great deal wrong here though.

 

Upper synthetic webbing straps, neoprene padding
Sole Karrimor Islands, phylon midsole, shaved phylon footbed
Sizes 7-12 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 744g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 350

Verdict: The Karrimor Aruba is a good general sandal for walkers, campers and backpackers for travel, lounging or crossing rivers, and better still they are a great price.

 

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2009

 



Karrimor KSB Peak Event 2009

The Karrimor KSB Peak Event weighs 1400g (pair, size 11); stiff toe box provides lots of protection; Vibram outsole for good grip on a variety of terrain; good cushioning for hard surfaces; eVent waterproof lining. But very soft sole flex restricts performance to level paths; fabric upper not as durable as leather boots and those with less stitching; upper is not as stiff and supportive as it looks.

Verdict: The Karrimor KSB Peak Event is a good boot for moorland walks,  but not ideal for rockier terrain.

 

First published in Trail magazine May 2009


Karrimor KSB Skye X-Lite Event 2009

Karrimor has made great boots for many years, and the KSB Skye X-Lite Event is particularly good if your budget is £100. It has a full leather upper, so it should offer plenty of long-term performance, so that you are making the most of the cash outlay. There is a waterproof lining inside the upper to guarantee dry feet too. Also the toe box has good stiffness for rocky ground and the heel cup is reasonably supportive too, which is again ideal for rough ground. Underfoot there is a good, aggressive Vibram sole unit with decent stiffness and grip to tackle most terrain. This is a classic traditionally styled boot with a waterproof lining and it is ideal for general hill-walking, backpacking and moorland walks. But while the Karrimor KSB Skye X-Lite Event is good for the price, you can get better if you spend more money. It does not have the best level of underfoot cushioning, the outsole is not as stiff as some others, and the upper is surprisingly soft around the forefoot, all of which means that others are better if you are after a boot for tackling rocky ground.

 

Upper 2.4mm full grain leather, eVent waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Phoenix
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 1648g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 500

Verdict: The Karrimor KSB Skye X-Lite Event is a good, low-priced boot for general hill-walking with a waterproof lining, decent  durability and a good sole.

 

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2009



Karrimor Meridian Low Event 2009

The Karrimor Meridian Low Event multi-activity shoe weighs 1164g (pair, size 11); superb price for what you get; suede, synthetic mesh and rubber upper; toe box is solid and heel cup very supportive; eVent waterproof liner; aggressive Vibram sole unit. But very heavy, outsole flex soft compared to sturdy upper; feels ‘clumpy’; not a precise fit.

 

Verdict: The Karrimor Meridian Low Event is a superb price for a heavy but waterproof, durable shoe that offers good grip and performance.

 

First published in Trail magazine May 2009


Karrimor Kimm Event

The name suggests this trail-running shoe should be ideal for the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon (KIMM). The eVent waterproof lining means your feet will sty dry when running in the wet, but also cool, as eVent is among the most breathable waterproof linings available. The toe box is reinforced and the whole of the upper is exceptionally protective of the foot, making this ideal for scree and more rugged terrain. The heel is quite high-cut and supportive. Underfoot you get a very stiff sole unit that is ideal for mountain biking and walking on rough terrain, while some cushioning takes the strain out of pounding over hard tracks all day. This is a very durable design that would be ideal for mountain biking, walking and perhaps moving fast on the rough terrain on the fells. It would also be ideal for walkers wanting to travel fast and light, without having to commit to the drawbacks of dedicated running shoes in terms of support and protection for the foot. But at 900g (pair, size 11) this is a very heavy shoe compared to more dedicated running shoes. The sole is not as well-cushioned or as flexible as running shoes either, making this feel ‘clumpy’ by comparison. The outsole lug pattern is not ideal, particularly as there is no heel breast of note.

Upper Performance mesh & eVent waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Planet
Sizes 7-12
Weight 948g (pair, size 11)
Made in Vietnam and China
Stores in the UK 200Verdict
Buy it if you want a multi-activity shoe that is ideal for biking and hiking and perhaps the KIMM events if you don’t want to move too fast, but others are far better for moving fast in the mountains.

Review by Graham Thompson

Karrimor KSB 300 X-Lite Event

This is Karrimor’s updated version of its classic KSB 300 3-season boot. It’s now about 100g lighter. Also, the wide synthetic mesh panels on the side should increase breathability (if they’re not plastered with glue on the inside) and you get an eVent waterproof lining to keep your feet dry. The upper also features suede leather. The toe box is reasonably stiff to protect the feet on rocky ground and there’s a rubber rand for extra durability. Underfoot there’s a new Vibram sole unit, with a good pattern of well-shaped lugs to get a grip without dragging the mud with the boot. The sole has good stiffness for walking over rocky UK hills, while having enough flex to allow comfortable walking when backpacking on moors or along the valley.  Paying more for your boots will buy greater durability, a stiffer sole flex and probably more comfort, which would all be useful if you were heading for the roughest high mountain paths. A higher price would also bring a full rubber rand to protect the upper a little more on scree and rock.

 

Upper: 2mm suede, mesh, eVent waterproof lining
Sole: Vibram Phoenix
Sizes: 7-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight: 1652g (pair, size 11)
Made in: China and Vietnam
Stores in the UK: 150

Verdict: This is a good mid-priced option for those who want one boot for valley, hill, moor and mountain walking.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008


Karrimor Dartmoor Event

This lightweight multi-activity shoe from Karrimor weighs 1152g (pair, size 11). There’s an eVent waterproof lining, suede upper with mesh that’s supportive and protective upper, plus a solid toe box with rubber reinforcement and very aggressive Vibram sole unit. There’s good stiffness in the sole making the shoe excellent for mud and grass and reasonable on rocky ground. It’s also a superb price. However, a bit more sole stiffness would be good for rocky ground; others are lighter and less ‘clumpy’.

Verdict: A good shoe for the price, but a bit stiffer sole would be better.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008