Brand new to the Berghaus line-up and standing out as being a departure from their softer, slightly middle-aged footwear, the FT18 GTX looks and feels like a svelte greyhound on the trails.
Everything about the FT18 GTX is streamlined and built for purpose, from the minimalist sole to the lacing system and heat sealed upper. At 400g per shoe in a UK 10.5 these easily fall into the lightweight category.
That’s not to say that the FT18 GTX’ don’t do comfort though. The Ortholite insoles provide ample padding for most, and the mid-sole offers a great balance between comfort, energy return and trail feel.
The heat sealed upper eliminates seams which can cause painful rubbing, this is clearly of benefit in footwear that’s designed for eating up the miles and we’ve had no problems at all so far in this regard.
Although there isn’t a massive amount of cushioning around the ankle and tongue the upper material compensates by being lithe and flexible, effectively doing away with the need for plump padding.
The thin layer of upper material is flexible but tough, and the solid heel cup holds your foot perfectly in place with the help of the simple but effective lacing system. The sole unit is stiff along 2/3rds of its length, this stops the sole from twisting too much on uneven ground, the forefoot still has plenty of flex in it though.
Internally the FT18 GTX work for low volume, reasonably narrow feet which means some might find them a little too slim so it’s best to try before you buy.
The Vibram Optistud sole has been tested in a range of conditions from wet grass to mud and slippery rocks and has performed as you would expect from a high performance technical shoe, providing grip in all but the worst conditions and loosest of ground.
The FT18 GTX is a great shoe for travelling, we would feel comfortable using it as our only shoe when going away into the wilds for long periods of time. Looks are subjective of course but we love them, once they’ve been given a good clean up they can easily pass as work, casual or general travelling wear, with an upmarket trainer look to them.
Overall a great option for the avid hiker and for those who appreciate a touch of outdoors chic in their street footwear.