I'm a professed aficionado of the low-rise, trainer-style walking shoe, and, thanks to The North Face outlet at Cheshire Oaks, I've been affordably working my way through their ladies' selection. However, I've been struggling with their sizings, and so when TK Maxx offered me a once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy some Berghaus Kontort, I leapt at the chance. The weekend just gone was my first chance to try them out.First off, the Kontort wins big for its hardcore trainer look. Make no mistake, you won't be trail running in these, but they do look as though they're capable of withstanding a good amount of water, with a nice big wavy rubber seal that rises onto your foot from the sole-upper join. The laces go far down over the toes, providing a great way of adapting the fit, and the insole feels firm and supportive without being obstrusive. My only gripe with a lightweight walking shoe like this is the lining; if Berghaus, and others, could be convinced to make the lining around the heel a bit more substantial, I feel sure that it would pay them back in spades. The Berghaus Kontort features a seam right up the centre of the heel panel, making for an uncomfortable walk as the (admittedly very flat) seam began to grate on my pesky heels. It looks like this will be the second pair of walking shoes I send off to Feet First to have leather patches sewn in over the heels; my very first pair of walking shoes had this modification, and the lining lasted longer than the rest of the shoe, which is both a joy and a rarity. So, the Berghaus Kontort were ideal for a reasonable ramble of 7 miles or so, through woodland and over beach on a warm day. As a regular user, I'm happy with the ankle support provided by walking shoes, and think that this pair have made a great investment, though they are heavier than some. Those with wide feet may need to experiment further for a close fit, but for me, these were successful straight from the (non-existent) box. For the foot update – I did get blisters from the shoes on that first walk, partly because of the heat, because I chose very light cotton socks, and because it was a longish walk for a first time out. A blurry picture attached shows one of my blisters in all its glory – sorry about that. I'm hopeful that both the shoes and my feet will adapt to these but I'd be happy to splash out on the heel lining if they don't, as experience shows me it's worth it (and I can afford it, given the bargainous TK Maxx price of the shoes). A no score draw between shoe and foot, I'd say.
Nice review. What did you do with the left-over lining from your last pair?
On this occasion, I’ll happily accept the blurring in pic 2.
The lining has just disappeared off to the shoe recycling bank. Rammel-clearing, you know? And taking a picture of my blisters was really tough, but I feel lucky when I see these: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/culture/employees/bd-employee-adam-smart-shows-off-his-blisters-bwarning-pg13-imageb