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We review the Alt-Berg Yan Tan boots, a lightweight and breathable boot aimed at all-terrain summer walking.

altberg yan tan
Overall Score
Waterproofing is ineffective

British manufacturer Alt-Berg makes a wide array of walking boots and is justifiably respected for the variety of its fitting options. The Yan Tan slots into that tradition and offers a nubuck leather/fabric mix construction with a focus on breathability rather than waterproofing.

It's worth mentioning straight away that Alt-Berg itself markets the Yan Tan as having a 'medium' level of waterproofing, pointing out that while the boot carries a Sympatex membrane to help keep water out, the upper of the boot is permeable. Consequently you shouldn't expect waterproof performance from these boots. Indeed we found that an hour's walk in torrential conditions was enough to achieve total ingress of water.

That aside, these are a supple, light (an impressive 650g per boot) and extremely comfortable choice of footwear that you could combine with a pair of waterproof socks or effective gaiters to use in all conditions. Or you could simply accept that they will only withstand light rain and use them in hotter conditions when their breathability proves a real asset.

That nubuck leather upper makes for an extremely comfortable boot with the Kevlar panels adding support and durability. Meanwhile the A-Forme last is aimed at recreating the foot's natural alignment within the boot and creates a nicely supportive feeling that effectively prevented any undue aches or pains during our testing.

The toe-covering rand is robust and effective and although the Vibram Tsavo sole isn't the most technical, it's still a solid choice for hillwalkers and mountain folk looking to explore everything the British outdoors has to throw at them.

Note that there are no 'men's' and 'women's' versions of the Yan Tan, rather a single unisex boot which comes in sizes from 3-14.

In conclusion: For us the ineffective waterproofing is a letdown, but the consequent breathability is very welcome on warmer days and in every other sense these are a comfortable and desirable pair of 3-season boots.

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