615g (size 7)
First up, Karrimor gets bonus points for submitting the only women’s boots under £100 – as a general rule you can count on the Lancashire company to offer good quality kit at more affordable prices.
So why is the KSB 300 so cheap? Partly because it’s made from material rather than leather, which is also why it comes in as the third lightest boot on test, even though the pair I had were half a size bigger than the others. KSB stands for Karrimor Sports Boot and the original KSBs were Karrimor’s first entry into the footwear market, in 1980, and the first time leather had been replaced with lighter textiles and suedes.
The KSB 300 is made from a 2mm suede/cordura fabric mix with an eVent lining that, as the photos show, took a serious pounding in some serious mud and water but kept my feet dry. eVent has the added plus of being breathable, although I do find fabric boots smell a lot worse than leather ones far sooner. The boots also have a Vibram sole and this, combined with the lugs, gave it good grip in the mud. The midsole uses what Karrimor calls its Frameflex Original technology that claims to offer ‘three-season support and flex for when users may be trekking for longer periods’ and, even though they’re not as supportive as some boots on test round the ankle, I’d definitely feel happy taking them on a multi-day hike. There’s also an extra supportive toe cap which is always good to protect the toes from rocks and bumps.
Looks-wise the boots are nice, with some added swirly detail in the stitching which still looks pretty despite the mud. The boots were a bit too big for me (try before you buy) but comfy anyway.
In conclusion, the KSB 300s won’t last you as long as some of the tougher leather boots on this test, and they’re not quite as supportive, but they’re a great, light, good value boot for pretty much all levels of hiking.
In a line: Good value lightweight fabric boot
Value for money: 9