Written by Leandri De Kock

Cape Town is without a doubt the hiking capital of South Africa. And a footwear brand synonymous with hiking is most definitely Hi-Tec. As someone who loves the outdoors but rarely ventures out into the mountains, the idea of a shoe designed to keep you stable on a rocky uneven path intrigued me enough to test out the brand’s Condor shoe, a model that claims to do just this.

The promise of shoes that won’t let me down while I run, climb or navigate unchartered territory and uneven terrain was a good enough excuse. Start small they say, easy does it. A fairly easy trail in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch seemed unintimidating enough for a beginner. Sunscreen lathered on, water bottle in hand, laces tied and safely secured in the nifty lace pocket, I was ready to head out.

The difference in this footwear from the kind I had worn on previous hikes was almost immediate. The mesh lining provides comfort and breathability, and suddenly walking seemed like less of an effort. I sped up my pace and was able to glide over rocks, sand and uneven terrain with ease.

The rubber outsole and moulded impact-absorbing midsole gave me a literal bounce in my step. Most impressive was the heel stabilising system. As a dancer, I don’t generally struggle with balance or weak ankles, but when I take on certain fairly simple activities like running, I find that my ankles feel unstable and wobbly. I might have found the solution to my problem, running uphill and downhill with the the Condor supporting me through every unstable stride, I never felt the urge to stop or slow down.

The best part is the look: it has a striking silhouette that is built for the outdoors but is sleek enough to not look out of place under city lights. Features like the high-performance synthetic upper, soft mesh lining and a moulded impact-absorbing EVA midsole ensures comfort for longer. It also has an external heel stabiliser system and rubber outsole for grip and stability. My conclusion is that the Condor is all you need for the perfect outdoor adventure, or in my case, to take up a new hobby like hiking or running.

Features include:

– High performance synthetic upper for support, durability and breathability
– Lace pocket to keep laces secure
– Soft mesh lining that provides instant comfort
– External heel stabiliser system
– Moulded impact-absorbing EVA midsole ensures long lasting cushioning and comfort
– Rubber outsole that improves grip and stability.

Picture: Supplied

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