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BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots review


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  • BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots

    Score

    9/10
    • Style:
      9/10
    • Fit:
      8/10
    • Performance:
      9/10
    • Ease of use:
      10/10
    • Durability:
      9/10
    • Value:
      8/10

    Pros

    • Ideal for wide feet
    • Easy to put on and take off
    • Versatile and designed for work – good for walkers and around the yard
    • Adjustable calf
    • Waterproof
    • Easy to maintain

    Cons

    • I’d have preferred a slightly snugger fit around the ankles
    • Bit more shape for support with the arches of the foot
    • They start to look “worn in” quite quickly, so keep them looking spic and span with dubbin

    Manufacturer:

    Bareback Footwear

    Price as reviewed:

    £195.00

    BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots

    I can’t remember the number of times I’ve bought a pair of trainers, walking boots or yard boots that have claimed to be waterproof, but turned out not to be. So when I read manufacturer BareBack Footwear’s claims that their Quebec boots wouldn’t let the water in, there was no option for me other than to throw them in at the deep end – literally! For where I live in Hampshire, in a valley through which the River Test flows – and surrounded as we are by all its little tributaries and water meadows with random pools and streams running through –  here was my chance.

    BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots in water

    So I headed for our local water meadow, found myself a stream and stood in it, almost willing the water to seep through so that I could say “told you so”. But I am thrilled to report that not a single drop penetrated the Stormproof Wil-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane of this chunky workhorse of a boot. Having said that, I’m not going to do this on a regular basis as I don’t want to run the risk of stripping the colour out of the leather.

    I would have been disappointed if the BareBack Footwear Quebec boots hadn’t been waterproof because I’d already fallen in love with them when I opened the box they arrived in, each lovingly protected in a soft-cloth boot bag of its own. And the smell and feel of their Italian leather was just wonderful and told me that this was a quality boot that deserved to be looked after.

    As much as I wanted to keep these mid-length boots “for best”, they have been thoroughly tried and tested in all weathers and have withstood all sorts of terrains – boggy, stony, muddy – with flying colours, which makes them ideal for country walkers and equestrians. The BareBack Quebec boots are made from full-grain waxed leather, edged with piping, finished with immaculate stitch detailing and lined with a Stormproof Wil-Tex breathable and waterproof membrane so you won’t get waterlogged feet out on wet walks.

    BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots buckle

    And there’s a brass buckle at the back so that you can adjust the fit of the boots around your calf – great for putting them on and off quickly and making for a slightly snugger fit around the leg, from narrow to wide. And the leather boot pull on the top of the boot at the back is reinforced with stitching – it’s useful for pulling the boots on, but I don’t think you’ll need that; I didn’t as the boots are very easy to get on and off. 

    In terms of sizing, they are true to size, if not a little generous and the manufacturer recommends that if you fall between two sizes, choose the smaller. But I’m a definite UK7 (or EU40) and have wide feet, so that’s the size I plumped for. And what’s really helpful is that the manufacturers offer an over-the-phone fitting service to help match requirements to the perfect size and style of boot. 

    They advised me, once the boots arrived, to try them on with a “normal” sock, which I duly did. At first, I thought they might have been too snug on the foot, but wearing them around the house for an hour or so convinced me that they were ideal. When people say “they’ll stretch to fit”, I never believe them but there were never any doubts with these boots – the leather is so beautifully soft that they’d moulded to my wide feet in no time at all, without any pinching or rubbing or having to squeeze my feet in. Then after a couple of days of wear, I tried them with a thick, woolly ski sock and they were just as comfortable.

    BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots heel

    What I particularly like about the Quebec is that the heel is wide, chunky, with a good bearing surface and being flatter to the floor provides better grip in slippery, wet, muddy conditions. I have wellies with a slightly raised heel that I feel less confident in when walking in muddy conditions. But the Quebec’s anti-slip, sturdy polyurethane and rubber sole gives reliable traction on all surfaces. What’s more, the boot is super-comfortable, thanks to a removable X-Comfort memory foam insole – again which provides support to the foot – and a gel insert in the footbed for cushioning and shock absorption.  

    If I had one criticism – and this is purely on a personal level – I’d have preferred the BareBack Footwear Quebec boots to be slightly snugger around the ankles with more support for the arches on the top of the foot, but then I do have a ‘clicky’ left foot which is the result of putting my foot down hidden rabbit holes on the chalk downlands where I live! But generally they are supportive – and are a great all-weather boot and wouldn’t look out of place in summer with a pair of shorts. But with a “normal” sock as the boots’ lining is toasty.

    When it comes to maintenance for keeping the boots at their best, I’ve never had a leather boot that you can just pop under running warm water to get clean. But you can with the Quebec, thanks to the leather being waxed and waterproof. However, leather boots don’t look after themselves, so I have plastered mine with copious amounts of dubbin to help keep them looking at their best and in great condition. 

    BareBack Footwear Quebec Waterproof Boots

    The Quebecs are available in a choice of four colours  – I tested the chocolate brown, but there is also the option of mocha tan, black or navy. They are available in a good range of sizes – EU36/UK3 to EU46/UK12 – so should accommodate most people.

    Verdict

    I had really high hopes for the BareBack Footwear Quebec boots before they arrived for testing and I wasn’t disappointed. To say they were everything I imagined them to be sounds really cheesy, but they are. They’re stylish, good-quality, easy maintenance, a great fit, comfortable, versatile and practical – I could go on! They are ideal for anyone with wider feet and I have no doubt that they’ll stand the test of time with some TLC with regular rinsing under the tap and coatings of dubbin to keep them clean and in good condition.


    Who tested these boots?

    Jane Gazzard is a sub-editor on Horse & Hound. She’s worked on a wide range of magazines, including another national equestrian title, and has written two books with Olympic riders. Over the years, Jane has owned and ridden a variety of horses and competed in a number of disciplines. She tested these boots with the help of her spaniel, Jed.

    Find out more about how Horse & Hound tests products

    What is a first look review?

    These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts.


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