Diotto Auchleek Boots - Review
Chris Parkin reviews a premium Italian walking boot from Diotto Auchleek.
Don’t `read` a boot by the leather
Diotto are a premium Italian boot maker whose products are imported into this country by Swillington Shooting Supplies to their preferred designs. They certainly strike a slightly unconventional pose on first inspection as the external leather is finished in a stippled effect that promises hard wear resistance with a waterproof high rubber rand attaching the Vibram sole to the upper.
Designed to fend off tough conditions underfoot in cut forestry or very wet muddy conditions, I have given them a real battering through a few very wet miserable months, every trip out adding to that `broken-in` comfort as they mould to the contours of my feet and lower leg. At first I found it difficult to drive in them but after the first 10 hours of wear they are flexible enough yet still firm.
The most unusual feature is the boot folds in upon itself, overlapping down the front of the ankle and shin rather than featuring a normal separate `tongue`. They are surprisingly easy to lace as the speed loop studs are coated in a smooth anti-corrosion product which combined with the stiffer leg, makes lashing them up easier. The eyelets are also not so tight that you only half insert the lace only to find it slipping out later which is a real pain on some boots. “Wind-tex” is the name given to the membrane providing water and wind resistance with retained breathability and further proprietary coatings promise resistance to odour and staining, my feet are fairly good on the former but if you have real stinkers this might help!
The honest truth
I have to admit, I didn’t feel too keen on these boots at first but I wouldn’t swap them for anything now as they provide day long support and comfort with no wet sweaty feet and seem to ease tiredness. I wore them on a day at the range too and if standing for long periods in the butts at a target competition, you seem to be able to relax more, letting the high leg take the strain. When I returned to a standard height boot on rough terrain, I found myself stumbling on my ankles more regularly and at this point, the confidence given by a taller boot was strongly illustrated. I find I can afford a little more toe space with a high boot and the ability to waggle them can offer extra comfort and warmth. When traversing clear felled timber which is not only aggressive on the feet but the ankles and calves too, the protection offered by the sturdy build and tough external finish resists bruising on the ankle and lower calf which I really appreciated, especially when concentrating extracting a deer carcase, rather than just watching where you place your feet for silent stalking. The sole is firm and on rocky ground protected the foot, but you did lose a bit of dexterity in terms of the silent footstep over twig ridden ground but my feet stayed blister free throughout the `wear-in` transition.
A very tough boot for rough ground conditions.
Great protection offered to the lower leg not a trace of damage in 3 months hard use.
Good value for money.
Need wearing in but it is worth it.
The design struck me as unconventional at first but `wear-in` time has convinced me of these being excellent boots I wouldn’t be without, especially in tough ground conditions.
If you’d like to try a pair these boots can be purchased from Swillington Shooting Supplies for £210-00 www.swillingtonshootingsupplies.co.uk