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Our review finds the new Explore GT Surround shoe from Haglofs has more in common with a pair of slippers than with clunky hiking boots of old
Price
£150
Value
8
Quality
9
Performance
8
Looks
6
Comfort
9
Overall Score
8
+
Slipper-esque comfort and an incredible lightness for a GoreTex-lined shoe
Colourways are strangely dull, but the options work for a sport/travel crossover
haglofs.com

Haglofs have combined two innovations to great effect in the Explore GT Surround; firstly the GoreTex Surround technology provides a greatly enhanced level of breathability, and secondly the sole unit is shot-through with air channels for the same purpose.

If your active travel means warmer climates you may well think GoreTex lined footwear a hindrance rather than a bonus; heavy, membraned hiking shoes can prove super-sweaty in good weather.

The Explore GT Surround may force you to reconsider. From the moment these shoes are slipped on to your feet there's an evident lightness that we've only ever encountered in the most minimal of running shoes. They are immediately slipper-comfy.

But the lightness isn't simply an effect of the weight. What Haglofs call 360 breathability - the shoes breath through the sole as well as through the upper - is genuinely noticeable, and creates something like an air-conditioned micro-climate around your whole foot. If you feel like you're walking on air, that's because you are, in the form of air channels running through the sole unit.

Whether those holes will allow in debris, which could degrade the GoreTex membrane more quickly, only time will tell.

Haglofs don't specify whether the Explore GT Surround is designed for hiking or running, but they seem to handle both with stability and traction, although they're clearly not designed for long treks with a heavy pack.

The only real downside is they're not very pretty - which is strange for Haglofs. On the other hand, for a travel/sport crossover the muted colourways may prove handy for blending in at the bar.

Great design which could encourage more hikers to take the reassurance of waterproofing into warmer climates.

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