If something’s worth reviewing, it’s worth reviewing properly – right? At least that’s my excuse for the fact that I’ve spent the last 6 months thoroughly abusing my De la Vina Low boots (£90) from Teva.
I am tough on my footwear and incredibly fussy, so if I find a pair of boots I like I tend to wear them day in, day out until they literally fall off my feet. Which is precisely what happened to my last pair halfway through climbing up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh – not the most convenient timing. I was extra miffed as I’d spent £80 on a pair of boots that lasted less than a year, which did not sit well with my inner miser.
So off I went to the internet to find a pair of boots that would last longer than an ice-cube in a kiln, and lo and behold I found the De la Vinas. Made from waterproof leather with tough-looking rubber soles, they were exactly the kind of thing I was after. And they were pretty. So pretty.
Suffice to say, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pair of boots that were this comfortable right from the word go, or lasted so well. In the last 6 months they’ve taken me tramping up hills, through puddles/mud/brambles/probably cowpats, and even gone paddling in the sea (mostly unintentionally). Yet so far they are showing no signs of fatigue at all, though it’s worth noting that they do get scuffed very easily (the marks come out as soon as you apply a bit of polish). If you’re a fan of the lived-in look then this isn’t too much of a problem anyway.
They also go with pretty much anything from scrappy jeans to cute summer dresses (yes I do wear those occasionally. Once, maybe even twice a year..) They’ve become my go-to boots for countryside rambles on the weekends, but also scrub up well enough for the office during the week. And they have a side-zip closure, which is perfect for those of us who think that life is just too short for laces when there’s adventuring to be done.
Being a highly dedicated reviewer I even conducted a scientific experiment to test how waterproof they are. Which is to say that I went out for a walk in the drizzle – which became a torrential downpour about halfway round. The De la Vinas held up surprisingly well over several soggy and muddy fields, plus some pretty overgrown paths where the long foliage totally soaked my jeans. They did eventually begin to take on water and I ended up sloshing a bit, but considering that they’re not branded as proper walking boots I was fairly impressed with how long they held out, particularly as I hadn’t polished or re-waterproofed them in about 4 months. My feet were the driest part of me by the time I got home, though I’m not sure that’s saying much.
I wouldn’t wear these if I was planning on a serious hike over rough ground (especially if it’s crummy weather), but for everything else these are a pretty versatile pair of boots. And provided they last me another couple of years, I’ll consider it money well spent.
The De la Vina boot comes in ‘Black’ and ‘Bison’ (pictured)
There is also a tall version retailing at £120