10.13.2014

ECCO ULTERRA HIKE SHOE REVIEW SEP 2014

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ECCO ULTERRA HIKE SHOES in action in the Dales September 2014

SLIGHT DELAY IN THIS POST due to the unforeseen need to earn some money.

I have been lucky enough to be given a pair of the Ecco Ulterra Hike shoes to review.
I have no direct connection with Ecco, but I am very grateful for the shoes and the opportunity to test and review them.


However, the fact that they are free will NOT deter me from saying exactly what I think about them, which anyone who know, knows is true.
If things are good I say so, if not....Yep...I say so.

The shoes arrived in time for my trip to the Dales with Carl and Lynsey.
Indeed, I had been working up there the week before in Cumbria, so they also saw a bit of action there.

I have previously been lucky enough to have some Ecco Biom Ultra shoes and they were very good indeed





You can see my REVIEW HERE


I also have some BIOM TERRAIN II Boots that I bought for myself and they are equally excellent see review of these HERE.




BUT... Back to these shoes










MANUFACTURE INFO


Site INFO





GORE-TEX® lining keeps water out for all weather performance
Deeply cushioning foam mid sole is resilient, giving long-lasting comfort through any activity
Stability and dynamic support throughout foot's movement is assured by RECEPTOR® Technology
Low cut, durable Yak leather upper and an adjustable lace closure, for a capable hiking shoe
Tough and flexible, rubber out sole offers vital flexibility for movement as well as trustworthy traction

COMFORT AND SIZE

I got mine in an EU 45.
I normally take a 46 but personally I find that Ecco come up about ½ a size larger.
So after my boots and the Ecco Ultra's I got these in the 45.


This turned out toi be absolutely SPOT ON

I am a UK 11, but the ECCO Site suggests I need the 45 looking at their size chart.

These are a comfortable fit and usable out of the box.
Definitely no need to wear them in.

The Ulterra's are made with a Yak Leather Upper, and a Gortex membrane as well.
In boots I find that to be overkill, since leather rarely needs Gortex as well, but with shoes, I find it less of an issue


Straight out of the box, they felt comfortable.




Unlike the Ultras's these are definitely NOT a Trail shoe.
They are a proper hiking shoe (approach shoe)


The sole feels stiff and robust.
The grip looks good.

The inner fits the foot (my foot well)

I have BROAD feet, so maybe if you have narrow feet, they will need a different inner or sock combination

I wore these first time in the hills with no prior wearing in, using a single pair of X-SOCKS.

Absolutely perfect with the size I got.
No foot movement at all inside the shoe.
Room at the toe, and the heel felt snug but firm and well supported.
No slip on the hill.

I did adjust the lace tension depending upon terrain

INNERS

 




Looking inside with NO Insole


 These seemed absolutely fine.
Plenty of cushioning, and firm underfoot.
In the Ultra's I had to use Superfeet Blue, because they were just not stiff enough for variable terrain.
But these were absolutely fine.











WEAR & TEAR & USAGE


During the 2 days, we walked on 

  • Hard rocky ground
  • Road
  • Trails
  • Gritty Trails
  • Boggy Ground
  • Slippery Grassy Descents
  • Muddy sections 

On all they were fine

What you want from a shoe like this is stability and grip and comfort.
I have already covered comfort.

As you can see from the above we walked on various terrain, other than ice and snow, and I will come back to this later in the year.
But I am guessing they will be as good as the BIOM Terrain's

They are solid underfoot with no awkward ankle movement or roll.
We walked through quite a lot of wet grass on day two, as well as wet tracks.
No water got in.
OK, listen, they are shoes.
If the water goes over the top of the shoe where the foot goes in, they WILL get wet.
You wouldn't have a bath in them so don't walk through rivers.

But there was no water in these at all.
I would expect in hot weather that these would get damp inside with perspiration, but I do not think that is the season they are for.
If you want some Summer shoes that breathe in all conditions, then get some Ultra's and slap some Superfeet in them

These were great on all terrains.
Bearing in mind, that I wore them 1st time out of the box for 2 days I had no problems.
Actually less feeling on feet than my inov8 Roclites.
Not even the need to add any tape to my feet, and I always used tape with other trail shoes just as a precaution

So, by now I am liking them a lot


I will come back to the longevity of these later in the Autumn after a few more miles of hammering, but there is not even a hint of any wear or abrasion after a couple of days.



One of my HUGE whinges about the inov8's apart from the fact that the soles wear out, is also the fact that by 200 miles, the inside of the heel cup stitching is completely worn through and torn, which is asking for rubbing and a blister.

Not even a hint on these.


STABILITY

I found these absolutely fine on all terrains.

As a reminder, they were used on

  • Hard rocky ground
  • Road
  • Trails
  • Gritty Trails
  • Boggy Ground
  • Slippery Grassy Descents
  • Muddy sections 


from steep and dry to steep and wet, both up and down, on grass and also on rock and muddy peat and shale.

I am used to trail shoes, and they performed well.
I do tend to use walking poles with a bigger pack, and I was using poles this time.


GRIP/SOLE

The sole of these looked good out of the box, and that assumption did not prove to be wrong.
These have a more than adequate and aggressive sole for most terrain






Here they are on my feet on a hill somewhere


That was somewhere near HERE

Wild Camp in Dales above Malham Tarn

Descending the next morning.
Wearing the Ecco Ulterra's
Ascending and Descending on all terrain, these were good.
There was no foot movement as long as the laces were set at the correct tension

LACES

This brings me AGAIN to my only whinge about Ecco boots and shoes.





The laces are quite slippy (OK, let's be brutally honest, far far too slippery), and I think I would prefer to see proper metal rather than material hoops in the middle, and at the bottom. But I will come back to these in time. Maybe the webbing hoops will be robust enough. It is too early to really criticise.
But, I suspect that over time, the webbing hoops will fray.
The laces however, are not great.
It is difficult to keep them tied up well and get the desired tension.
I think this is totally down to the lace design themselves.
I rarely have a problem with my inov8's

I believe however, as we speak, Ecco are looking into this, and I would love to see a better less slippy lace.
In fact I would love a pair to test in these as soon as they have some, because these are such a good shoe other than that, that I intend to use them a lot.

And by that I mean A LOT!


At the top you can see from the photo, that I doubled the laces through the hole.
Ideally I think a pair of holes close together would be good so that a nice even tension across the top of the foot can be obtained with even tension.

Listen, I am nit picking here.
You can always buy a pair of laces.
All in all, these are pretty bloody good OK.


CONCLUSIONS

WORTH IT?

Because I am STILL a complete SKINFLINT, I would probably wait for a Sale price to buy a pair
cos £140+ is a lot of money, and I have College Fees to spend all my money on, for very needy offspring, but I rarely buy current generation shoes or trail shoes.

IF I really needed a pair however, then the  answer is YES.
I would certainly buy a pair.

And to add to that.

What will I have on my feet for the TGOC Challenge next May

YEP...........CORRECT

A pair of Ecco Ulterra Hike Low Cut shoes.... That's for sure!

So, that is it for now......................................

Winter is drawing in, and I expect my next trip late October/Early November
MAY depending on terrain and weather be in BOOTS.


That will be my BIOM Terrain II boots..

What would I change, if anything?

The laces, and maybe the webbing on the laces for something a bit less likely to fray.
Having said that, it is unlikely that lace tension on these will be like that needed on boots.

That's it then


SO, all in all, A VERY GOOD WALKING SHOE.

Especially if you have broader feet.



All this said, SHOES are a personal thing.
The things that go inside them are YOUR FEET, not mine.

They may not suit you at all

BUT... They are seriously worth a look

I loved EM!