Even the Ultimate Pursuits website describes this as an SPD hiking boot, which will put some folk off, but beneath the rambler looks lies a seriously tough trail performer. As well as the hike styling, it also uses a shorter, broader fit than old Shimano shoes and Anglo Saxon feet will feel instantly at home.
The combination of hooks and rollers for the laces helps speed up lacing and loosening, as well as
ensuring even tension and pressure free fit. There's an elastic loop to capture stray ends, too. Our worries about heel rub or Achilles tendon problems from the high tall collar never came to anything and stability is excellent on loose stumbling ground. A higher inside cuff stops crank clobbering too, although it'll chew paint and anodising off very quickly. A big toe bumper gives a very protected feel, and there's a full GoreTex liner to keep your feet dry without getting sweaty - and while spray gets in the top, it's reasonably warm in winter. Vibram sole isn't super grippy in the wet but it's adequate in most conditions and the sole is flexible enough for walking, but still gives a reassuringly solid pedal push. They're heavy and expensive, but durability is excellent despite several months of severe abuse.