May 26, 2024

BRANDECOSSE VOLPE MID-ANKLE FOUR-SEASON BOOTS

To begin with a word or two of explanation. Volpe (vól·pe) means Fox in Italian and while I am at it, I omitted to cover this point in my previous Brandecosse footwear review, Capriolo means Roe Deer. So there is a wildlife trend here for this Scottish brand From my perspective if these boots are worthy to be named after such animals, they are likely to be good for me… and they are.

A phone shots from my first time out on Dartmoor wearing the Volpe boots ~ there was plenty of ‘Dartmoor Sunshine’ and conditions like this on the two-day outing [©JG]

I have to say that for my first couple of outings in the Volpe boots, no self-respecting fox would have been anywhere near the conditions we were out in! Dartmoor was at its most challenging after, and during, the heavy rain periods we had a while ago. This was a baptism of fire – well water really – for these boots, and I have to say I was somewhat surprised and pleased that I came through with dry feet… and I wasn’t even wearing gaiters. A bit lucky but for sure the Volpe footwear did its bit and kept the moisture out after some considerable time spent wading through peaty water and bog. Most, if not all of my friends on these outings had wet feet. We were off to a great start.

Here showing the design features of the uppers and the soles ~ the lacing system is a combination of D-rings, rollers and open hooks to allow for easy adjustment [©MG]

After Dartmoor it was off to the Lake District and then on to the Yorkshire Dales. Since then, they have been out on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall and then back to Dartmoor, where I was last weekend, again doing lot of river crossing, and once more my feet were dry at the end. For most of these trips away the Volpe boots have been accompanied by the Capriolo boots, which I wear for less exacting days out and for general travel and driving if I know I will need to be well shod when I get out. A very good combination.

The very good cuffing around the collar of the boot and the tongue offer good all day comfort [©MG]

The Volpe is a good-looking purposeful boot which is always a good thing. Reasonably high, a mid-ankle style boot, this design of course does a lot to keep the wet and ‘countryside’ on the outside. They are made from robust 2.4 mm Nubuck leather uppers, backed up by Sympatex for added water resilience.

This model is well protected with a substantial rubber rand right around the boot, protecting both toe, heel and sides. In Italian footwear construction this, usually vulcanised rubber, tape over the joint between sole unit and upper is described as ‘foxing’ so perhaps this is where the Volpe name comes from? The outsoles are a purposeful Vibram model,called Winkler Evo, and they offer decent traction both up and down hill. The lacing is made easier as some of the fixings have tiny rollers in, so the lace pulls through with ease and also allows for movement in use. A further addition to comfort is the insoles, which are nicely padded so offering insulation and comfort. Around the ankle is ventilated leather cuffing which offers good comfort, and this is backed up by an extra flexible section let into the area around the Achilles.

This shows well the heel area of the boot which gives both flexibility and protection, essential in these Dartmoor conditions [©JG]

If you fancy a high leg 9-inch boot, there is a version known as the Tasso (Badger). I have not tried these but they look exactly the same as the Volpe, just taller.

Now showing the signs of use ~ the soles grip well on Dartmoor granite and loose grit and the wearer’s feet are well protected in these conditions [©JG]

These boots just feel comfy from the moment you put them on and when you stride off with a pack on, they make you feel good and set for the walk ahead. You get two sets of laces with these boots, both to offer a colour choice and of course a spare set. These boots, as the Brandecosse name suggests, are designed and marketed in Scotland but manufactured in north-east Italy by Calzaturificio Diemme, or the Diemme Shoe Factory.

During our Lakeland walks there was plenty of mud and wet to contend with [©JG]
Another phone pic ~ the Brandecosse Volpe boots in the wet above Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales where they performed well on the tricky and slippery rock which abounds around here [©JG]
Finally, our walk in Lakeland Langdale included a number of stream crossings and rocky sections where these boots felt both secure and comfortable [©JG]

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