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Editor Dom Holtam puts the Condor LCX boots from Le Chameau to the test and finds them to be a great boot for UK highland and lowland stalking
For the past couple of months, I’ve been giving my feet a treat with the latest Condor LCX hunting boots from Le Chameau. It is a famous name in the welly game and still top of the wishlist for fieldsports enthusiasts and festival goers alike, but their leather hunting boots have lost ground against other brands in recent years and this new contender is designed to re-establish Le Chameau at the head of the sector.
They certainly look like a premium product, with oiled nubuck uppers and quilted green detailing. What attracted my attention first, however, was that the Condor LCX has been developed to be the lightest and most comfortable hunting boot on the market, weighing just 1,490g per pair.
They are certainly lighter than their looks suggest and only my Lowas have them beaten – but those are significantly shorter and not leather.
Designed in partnership with tyre experts Michelin, the ‘Deep Forest’ sole is based on motocross tyre technology, resulting in an exceptionally light, hardwearing and comfortable outsole that offers flexibility and grip in the most demanding terrain. It seems to shed dirt pretty well and avoid clogging while never feeling cumbersome.
This is not an out-and-out mountain boot with super-rigid ankles. It is more flexible, while still giving good support, and offers a surprising degree of ‘foot feel’ when creeping slowly, trying to pick your way silently into quarry.
If you are up an alp after chamois every couple of months, a more specialised boot might be better – but for UK hunting, lowland or highland, it seems to strike an excellent balance.
Using a complex 5-layer construction, the LCX lining prevents water permeating the boot while simultaneously allowing vapour to escape easily. My feet never felt uncomfortably hot or sweaty during sustained wear and they certainly live up to the waterproof billing during recent heavy rain and flooded fields.
Le Chameau advise ordering a size larger than you would usually due to the tighter fit. However, I have quite narrow feet so ordered my usual UK 10.5 and found the fit to be excellent. I have dispensed with a second pair of socks using one medium thickness sock and finding that sufficient. If you have wide feet, then the sizing advice will make more sense.
Some boots require hefty breaking-in periods, but I wore these around the office for a day or two and on a couple of dog walks and there wasn’t any discomfort or rubbing so they got promoted straight to active duty.
I do find the bottom speed lacing arrangement is a bit tight and can be fiddly to disengage with cold fingers when taking the boots off. And as always with a hunting boot, longevity and durability in hostile environments are the most telling assets.
So far so good, then, for the Condors and whereas some ‘winter’ boots get put away for the warmer months, I can see myself keeping these on for the whole year.
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