Finding ideal everyday outdoor footwear is no easy task. My home is filled with boots, the majority of which haven’t met my overly high standards. However, one pair that has is the Osprey Boots from Field & Moor. Not only do they do a perfect job when the weather is at its worst, but they also are rather beautiful.
My wife and I are avid walkers and are huge fans of the countryside. At every opportunity, we’ll head out to fill our lungs with fresh air whilst admiring and appreciating the incredible biodiversity surrounding us. As every keen hiker will know, there’s nothing more vital than practical, comfortable footwear in addition to the right outerwear.
When I was invited to try a pair of Osprey Boots from Field & Moor, I must admit that I did so with some trepidation. Because as I’ve mentioned, I have boxes of boots purchased from some of the outdoor industry’s most illustrious names that have been confined to the corner of our ‘never again’ room.
Boots need what I call ‘bedding in’, a pair that might feel comfortable when you try them on, stands a good chance of being as comfortable as donning a sack of spanners on your feet after a few miles! And, it takes many miles of walking over varied terrain to find a pair of boots you can trust.
Now that we’re in the midst of the colder months in the UK, proper footwear is essential. The ideal solution would be footwear that can be worn all year round and designed for all but the hottest weather. As boots are my everyday footwear preference, I was keen to find out whether Field & Moor’s Osprey Boots would meet my lofty standards.
Before I get into the details of how the Field & Moor boots performed, let’s look at the story behind this footwear brand.
The Field & Moor Story
The man behind Field & Moor is James Waddell. During the past couple of months, I’ve spoken to James on the telephone, and I will say that he is hugely passionate about footwear.
Before forming the brand, James spent more than thirty years working in the footwear industry with international brands such as Clarks, Wolverine, Aldo, Steve Madden across eighteen different countries.
During his time in the industry, he decided it was time to form his own high-quality boot brand, and his target was affluent consumers with an active lifestyle in outdoor and country pursuits. He wanted to create comfortable footwear with character, made with the finest materials, using handcrafting skills, which has been honed over many decades and passed down through generations.
With the help of your British designer, Hannah Stiles, James began the task of finding the right factory to help him to turn his vision into a reality.
He headed to trade fairs to meet factory owners based in Milan and London, leading to meetings with fifteen family-owned factories in Portugal and Spain. After months of endless meetings and research, James finally found the ideal factory in Spain to help him to launch Field & Moor.
Fast forward to today, and Field & Moor has two collections, comprising of Chelsea boots and Country boots. All the boots in the collections adopt the name of a British bird of prey which ties in with the brand’s logo and will undoubtedly appeal to its customer’s appreciation for nature and the countryside.
About the Osprey Boots
Field & Moor offers a wide range of luxury boots for men and women. As I tried the Osprey Boots, it’s these I will be focusing on. The boots are by no means small; they measure 11″ in height and boast a double strap to go around the chin. The Osprey Boots are available for men and women, and in my opinion, this specific model is the standout boots currently available from the company.
From the day they were launched, the boots have proven to be extremely popular. James told me, “It is encouraging that there has been a lot of positive feedback on the fashionable look of the Osprey Boot – thanks to its military influence – and suitability for driven shooting etiquette with its distinctive style.”
Such has been the popularity of the Osprey Boot’s; customers have even started to ask for them to be modified to meet their exact requirements. If you tried this with one of the more prominent international brands, they’d likely laugh in your face. However, as Field & Moor is a smaller company, they can accommodate certain specific requests. According to James, getting the boots modified takes around 6 to 8 weeks as each pair needs to be constructed by hand.
The Field & Moor Osprey Boots arrived in a large black and gold branded box measuring 14″ x 18″. Inside, each boot was housed inside a black drawstring bag and adding to the luxury feel was welcome literature and two branded wooden shoe brushes. Before I go into my experience with the boots, let’s take a look at their construction and design.
The Osprey Boots are made with thick, high-quality hydrophobic leathers backed by a storm welted construction. Another innovative feature with the boots is the leather is bent back where the upper joins the sole to ensure the best water resistance. The boots also benefit from triple-stitching, which provides extra strength, support and durability.
Other nice touches include the Bellow tongue that is the same thickness as the main part of the boots and continuous leather around the foot up to the upper point of the laces. This combination prevents water penetration even when stepping into marshy ground. The Osprey Boots also benefit from a double buckle which is adjustable and helps to protect the lower leg. Another standout feature of the boots is the Vibram Montagno Commando sole which makes the boots ideal for walking in upland areas and muddy and snowy conditions.
The Osprey Boots are made with a full-length leather lining set above the cork footbed, which provides extra foot insulation from temperature extremes. You might have noticed that the boots have an additional piece of leather at the base of the laces. At first, I thought this was part of the design. However, I discovered that this was a gun rest that protects the boot vamp from unnecessary wear.
As mentioned, the Osprey Boots are 11″ tall, and some people reading this review might prefer something slightly shorter. Fortunately, Field & Moor are already on the ball in this respect as they will be introducing a 9″ version minus the double buckle. The smaller version features the same combination of eyelets and ski hooks to secure the foot and is also suitable for upland terrain. Like its bigger sibling, the 9″ boots feature the ‘Gun Rest’ and extra leather protection on the vamp, making them ideal for motorbike riders, particularly useful when lifting the parking arm.
How did the Osprey Boots perform?
For our testing, we chose a six-mile country walk around some quaint villages in North Yorkshire. We were very fortunate with the weather as the walk took place under clear blue skies.
The Osprey Boots felt very secure on foot, thanks in no small part to the double strap set up. Although the boots are large, they were surprisingly light, weighing in at 925g each. To provide some context, my current go-to mid-size walking boots are size ten leather/suede Trezeta’s, and these are only around 200g lighter, barely noticeable on a relatively-level walk.
I was keen to find out how effective the Vibram soles on the boots were, so I chose some loose stone paths to walk along. As I expected, the Vibram soles did a first-rate job, and there was no discomfort whatsoever. The boots were also excellent in keeping my ankles stable, even when walking on larger loose stones.
One of the drawbacks of walking longer distances outdoors is that most people’s feet tend to expand, which I have experienced on numerous occasions, making buying the correct boot size tricky. James has thought of this with the Osprey Boots and designed them to be worn with thick outdoor socks. On our test walk, I wore a pair of thick Merino mountaineering socks and didn’t notice any discomfort with my toes. However, I must add a caveat: my feet do expand the longer I walk, so it might be a different matter if I doubled the distance.
The Osprey Boots are beautiful to look at, and I noticed admiring glances from the people we passed. However, as good as they looked, this walk was about testing them, so I found a clear stream and decided to stand in some water about 3-4″ deep. The last time I did this with some dedicated walking wellington boots was a disaster as I found a hidden split where the upper joined the sole. However, this time there was no such problem. The only issue from my water test was my wife becoming embarrassed as I stood motionless in the water, sporting a large grin as people passed by.
The Field & Moor Osprey boots were excellent. Aside from being beautifully made and suitable for many outdoor pursuits, they look great. I can now understand why they are in such high demand. I found the boots ideal for shorter walks in the country; however, I doubt they’ll feature in our longer, more extreme hikes.
These boots, in my opinion, are ideal for wearing on a day out at one of the Royal Country Shows or for casual leisure time in the countryside. Although my initial testing showed me that they would do well in more extreme outdoor activities, in my opinion, the Field & Moor boots are too attractive. They deserve to be showcased rather than bullied by a Godbold.
Field & Moor Osprey Boots – Where and how?
To see the full range of footwear currently available from Field & Moor and to place an order for the Osprey boots, please visit www.fieldandmoor.co.uk. The company is offering free postage in the UK and subsidised postage costs around the world.
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