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Härkila Pro Hunter GTX

Del 1 av Sam Thompsons artikelserie

Sam Thompson är en fullfjädrad engelsk lantbrukare som skriver och bloggar om sina upplevelser på engelska landsbygden. Exklusivt på HittaVapen.se delar han med sig sitt brittiska perspektiv på jakt till svenska läsare.

Nedan följer hans erfarenhet ute i skogen med Härkilas Pro Hunter GTX stövlar.

“Good boots, and a good bed; for if you’re not in one you’re in the other” Is a sentiment often heard around the hill and fell country where I spend most of my time. When working among this challenging and often dangerous terrain, good footwear; providing ankle protection as well as weather protection is as vital as anything else. Both wellies and boots have both advantages and disadvantages, and I have own both for various tasks. I am a firm believer that when one is undertaking something that doesn’t require constant aquatic walking, or fast changes of footwear, the welly is beaten hands down by the boot. Now if you are a shooter of, say, high Devon pheasants where ones merely steps from leather lined Range Rover to leather shooting stick peg in one’s fashionable leather lined wellies this probably does not apply. However if strenuous walking is required upon uneven ground, there is a lot to be said for the boot.

I decided that a pair of high legged boots would be better for the sort of work and shooting I undertake at the moment, while keeping my dying but reliable Gronnel mountain boots for mountaineering. So after looking at a few of my favourite makes; Meindl, Lowa and Black Islander I was recommended Harkila by a stalking friend. I have long known of Harkila’s reputation for clothing and have always been impressed by them and their sister company Seeland. My choice was soon between the Meindl Dovre Extremes and the new kid on the block, the Harkila Pro Hunter GTX. I currently wear a pair of Meindl’s for forestry work, and I have known about the Dovres for a long time, they have a reputation with keepers, stalkers and shepherds that is hard to ignore. To be honest I was ready to buy a pair until I found an issue that has haunted me since my early teens. My feet are a size fourteen, and although I rarely fall over in the wind, it’s generally a pain because buying boots in that size is hard work. Meindl said they could have a pair with me in 4 weeks, whereas the local shop had the Harkila set in and ready to go. So I went home with a big moose covered box, by Harkila.

Harkila had the following to say about the Pro Hunter boot

Pro Hunter is an "all-year" boot at the top of its class, the ultimate boot for the sportsman who wants the best materials and highest standards of comfort and protection. Manufactured with the best shock absorbing sole units from the world renowned Vibram and unprecedented levels of stability and fit. The Pro Hunter won Best Footwear in The Shooting Industry Awards 2011.

Isn’t that all very impressive. My own impressions of the boots are good ones. They are very comfortable, supportive and waterproof, without being too heavy. Although my mountain climber and fell running mates still frequently
ask me when I’m off to the moon when they see me in them. The lacing system is good and seems to be more hardwearing than the Miendl one. The rubber rand seems to be of good quality and has yet to start breaking away (something you see in cheaper footwear). The sole is by Vibram, and that’s about all I really need to say – in other words it’s bloody good. The lining is Gore-Tex, and although there are a number of newer waterproof fabrics coming onto the market now I really trust the little yellow writing, it’s only let me down once, and that was my fault.

The thing that really impressed me was that they really allow for a lot of ankle movement, despite their height. I think this is possibly due in part to the two wee bumps you can see just above the ankle at the rear of the boot that are made of softer material, as well as the fact that the Nubuck leather seems more flexible than the full grain alternative. I’m yet to wear the boots through a full winter, however they seem to be doing very well both on the heather clad grouse moors of the Pennines as well as the craggy mountains of the Lake District so far, both in horrible weather and in the hot sunny spells we’ve had recently they seemed perfectly up to the task without being cold or too hot. I think they’re a sound investment for anyone who does considerable amounts of work and walking in tough country, and coupled with a pair of good gaiters (my preference is the English made Black Islander Deluxe model) you won’t be far out for any keepering, shooting, beating or stalking that the British Isles can throw at you.

Sam Thompson is a writer who works in land management. He shoots and stalks wherever he’s invited and blogs at ardaleditch.wordpress.com

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