I originally saw Haglöfs’ new Escape Ventilator shoes a while back, but as samples are always size 8’s I couldn’t try one on until a production test pair arrived on Friday morning.
I took them out of the box, stuck them on, thought “They feel okay”, jumped in the motor and headed for Glen Coe.
When we arrived and I was getting the Wheelie ready to go, Joycee reminded me that I was still wearing them. But they felt fine so I decided to keep them on for the trek, I did pack my original choice (Salomon XA’s), just in case.
On the trail they felt immediately friendly, even with the Sole insoles ready-fitted. These mold to your feet with time as well as with heating them, and when I checked them today, I could already see a little shadow of my foot on them. They are higher volume than a lot of trail shoes, but even with thin running socks on it was okay, I had no rubbing or hot spots. The lacing is wide and goes quite far down your foot, and after a re-tighten after two or three miles it was secure. The upper fits the Ventilator name very well, I could feel the raindrops through the mesh during the showers that passed over me, but in the bright sunshine surrounding these mini cloudbursts they dried quickly and my feet stayed cool.
After Ba Bridge where the cobbles start was the bit that was worrying me, but although it was harder going as expected the flexibility of the shoe nd the cushioning on the sole kept me comfy and unscathed.
The grip wasn’t overly stretched on this terrain, but there’ll much more asked of these shoes in the next few weeks. For now though, nine miles straight out of the box, including the bit of the West Highland Way that’s hardest on my feet without an issue has impressed me.