Patagonia have a long history when it comes to outdoor equipment. Recently their attention has turned to reducing the impact of their products on the environment – we laced up their green Vagabond waterproof walking boots and stepped into the great outdoors.
We said green, but we don’t mean the colour – we mean the construction. The Vagabond is a classic walking boot, featuring a Vibram outstep, formed from Ecostep, which contains up to 30% recycled waste rubber, you get not only a sole you can rely on, but a responsible one as well. In side, and the Vagabond features a POLI-CORK footbed, which Patagonia tell us contains 70% recycled material.
In fact, everywhere you look, Patagonia have put in the effort to pump up the eco credentials of the Vagabond – the leather comes from responsible sources and dresses the exterior of the boot with panache – combined with the taupe upper it presents a stylish choice for boot connoisseurs.
The first thing you notice when you slide your foot into the Vagabond is just how comfortable it is – the Capilene lining is incredibly comfortable against the foot. The back of the boot features a good-sized tab making it easy to pull them on and the laces present the option of four lower eyelets for speed-lacing and two additional hooks should you wish to increase support around the ankles.
The tongue is sewn-in up the top of the eyelets, meaning the boots are waterproof during normal splashing through puddles or in wet grass. Of course, as these are waterproof boots, when combined with a pair of gaiters they would keep your feet good and dry. In our tests we could not fault the waterproofing and these boots performed as you would expect from something carrying the Patagonia label.
Walking support was good – plenty of grip provided by the Vibram sole and the sturdy uppers provide protection and padding. The ankle support is firm enough to provide confidence scrambling over rocks or tussocky grass.
The men's version comes in the brown/taupe that we tested, and a black/grey model, and the women get a blue version as well.
Overall there is very little to critcise, except one minor point: if you are not careful with your lacing the upper part of the tongue can move to the side and need pulling back central again – a minor point, but the only thing we could fault.
Patagonia have produced a wonderful boot, which presents a conscience-free choice to those who want to explore the planet without leaving too great an environmental footprint behind.