Kit Review – Chatham Catamaran Sailing Boots
Having to wait for consecutive paydays to afford the kit I needed for training, I procrastinated on the boots. I wasn’t sure if a cheap (£45ish) pair of rubber ones would be sufficient or to splash out on leather. I ummed and aaahed for ages and read loads of kit reviews with conflicting opinions. In the end I considered that if there is one thing that I do not want sloshing around in the cold, it’s my feet. Warm, dry feet that are less inclined to smell (leather breathes better) are a must so…leather boots it is.
I decided on the Catamarans because I’d read good things about the brand being a mid-priced, comfortable working sailing boot. I ordered my normal UK size 6 but when they arrived, I could barely get my foot in! Really really tight. I knew even with stretching, I would never fit my foot plus nice thick socks to keep my tootsies toasty. Thankfully, the lovely people at Lifestyle & Heritage were kind enough to arrange a courier pick up and a size 8 replacement (yes, they were really THAT tight). Unfortunately, they arrived via Royal Mail after 2pm on the day I had to head to Gosport for training. I had already left. Cue Benny Hill music and much cursing. Made it training – sailing boots in hand – with 3 minutes to spare.
So what do I think of these boots?
The boots themselves are pretty comfortable. They felt a bit tight on first wear with a pair of thick woollen socks but after a day of running around on the winches, they had stretched sufficiently that I could put on an even thicker pair the next day. No chafing at any point and good support for my arches. After day 3, I did worry that I’d gone too big and the stretch would make them too roomy but hey ho…more socks can’t be a bad thing out on the water.
They held up well against the wet. We weren’t exactly drenched during the week but we did get rained and I did drop some boiling water on my toes in the galley – didn’t feel a thing. They were warm and didn’t smell too bad by the end of the week. Note that above I said leather is “less inclined to smell”, not that they doesn’t smell. Contrary to what you will read in some marketing blurbs.
If there is any criticism of these boots, it’s the wear on the toes that you can see in the pic. I mean, OK, the deck feels like sandpaper but you need grip! It’s the same on every big boat! I would have expected the leather to fare better. It’s pitched as a proper sailing boot and the more pricey Dubarrys and Mustos on board (think £250 upwards) didn’t look even half as bad. Still, as long as they buff up and keep the water out, I don’t much care. Being on a racing boat is not a fashion show.
Posted on July 22, 2016 by Shona Davies
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