Two month review of Ecco Ulterra mids

Ulterra mids from Ecco

Ulterra mids from Ecco

I was approached by a company working for the Danish shoe manufacturer Ecco. They asked me to try out a pair of their new Ulterras and review them. I was very interested after reading some good reviews from a number of outdoor bloggers who had used the Biom Hike and decided to go for the mid version of the Ulterra which launched this autumn.

Specification

A mid style boot utilising unusually Yak nubuck uppers and a Goretex lining.  Yak leather is used in a number of Ecco boots and I am not aware of other companies using this material.  A size 41 weighs 510 grams (weighed by me).

Appearance

An attractive mid boot in red and grey. The boots would look good either on the hills or in town.

In use

I always seem to find quite a break in period with footwear and have rarely found that straight out of the box experience which is often quoted. I think this is me rather the boots or trail shoes.   I have a further problem in that my orthotic inserts raise my feet slightly in any footwear and it takes awhile to settle down. After this initial period I found that the Ulterra were one of the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. Possibly it was the Yak uppers or the foot beds or both but whatever it is, it feels spot on.

I have used the boots on daily dogs walks around the Wolds and a one day walk since receiving them in September, so they have had quite a good test. I  would have like to have done more but my recent house move has meant  backpacking has been thin on the ground.

The sole is quite aggressive and has coped well on rock and stony areas, on road and on dry surfaces.  The walks directly from the house are on areas  of  very heavy clay and at times I have slid on the very sticky surface. I would probably find this with other footwear with similar soles. Only boots with deeper soles or specific trail shoes for mud would have coped better. Over the last two months I have seen a small amount wear on the sole and I was able to clean them up so they looked almost brand new for a  business trip to Copenhagen. The Ulterras look good in the urban environment and they kept my feet dry and warm during strong driving rain and temperatures around 2C over the three days I was there.

Summary

Comfortable with a good fit.

Attractive looking mids.

Good grip on most surfaces, only slippage on heavy clay.

I would recommend them for spring and early autumn usage.  In the summer I use by and large non Gortex lined footwear because they are often too warm for me but of course this is personal choice. Little to be negative about other than the Goretex lining.

The Ulterras can be bought on-line here and I assume they will be available in the Ecco retail outlets in the UK. I certainly spied a pair in the shop window in Copenhagen last week, but they do come from Denmark!

 

 

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7 Responses to Two month review of Ecco Ulterra mids

  1. AlanR says:

    They need to be good to pay £150.00 for a pair of light mid boots. I do like light mids even over a pair of non membrane trail shoes and the sole looks excellent but not sure i would pay that much. Still, to some the money is not the be and end all. Good review Mark.

  2. AlanR says:

    Ooops, sorry Mark i meant to ask, How long do they take to dry from sodden.

  3. goldghost says:

    I just used these for nine days of hiking in the Himalayas in mixed weather with pack. By far the best walking shoes I have yet had. So comfortable they were like wearing slippers, Very grippy soles for a very lightweight pair of boots. They seem to place and support the foot amazingly well. All in all it seems Ecco really know their stuff and actually put some serious design nous into making their walking footwear.

    The funny thing is that I was very apprehensive about using these and actually took a pair of trail runners as back up. This was because these boots are actually quite uncomfortable when just sitting still or driving for example. They fit my feet very snugly especially the tops of my feet to the point my feet go a bit numb. The sole is also hard not springy. So superficially they feel unforgiving. However these problems did not apply on the trail actually walking. Quite the opposite, no blisters and not even a hot spot. I did not break them in. I am now seriously impressed with them.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I have worn them extensively, mainly for day walks. I agree they are very comfortable. The reason I don’t take them on extended trip is the problem with any membrane containing footwear that if they fill with water they are very difficult to dry rather than non membrane footwear whilst will get wet will dry quickly.

  4. goldghost says:

    Further to my previous comment. After the 9 days in Nepal and a few demanding day walks in the Caucasus I wore the boots for a 17 day 230km hike on the Larapinta Trail in outback Australia. Again they were very comfortable and good to walk in but they suffered on this boot killing terrain. Outback Australia has very sharp, hard and abrasive rocky terrain underfoot and the Larapinta is notorious for stripping the soles off footwear. By the end of this walk I have a hole in the right toe, lugs torn off on the soles and the sole separating from the upper. They lasted…..just!

  5. goldghost says:

    The problem I see with aggressive soles/lugs on lightweight boots is that the actual outer/vibram style layer of rubber is very thin. This rubber is very abrasive resistant and hard wearing but structurally weak. When you bend your foot and push off on steep climbs the vibram layer tends to fail at the base of the lugs.

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