brasher Countrymaster II GTX Walking Shoes

If you're a cartoonist, I'm sorry, but I'm going to dispel a myth about us anglers right now; we don't all wear wellies. Not all day. Some of us hardly ever wear them.

Nor do we wear moon boots when the temperature gets above a certain temperature. And waders are worn, usually, only when we're wading.

No, some of us wear shoes, trainers, boots, sandals and all manner of 'normal' looking shoes a lot of the time, the only difference being that they might have to endure a little more abuse than a stroll up the High Street to the nearest Costa coffee shop and back. Our shoes often get wet, scuffed and worn for longer distances than others.

It doesn't stop us from having decent shoes, though. Far from it. Take the brasher range, for example....

brasher are a specialist footwear manufacturer, who provide a range of shoes, boots, socks and other bits and pieces for people who like walking. When I say 'walking', I mean walking – up hills, across fields and (here's where anglers come in) along rivers!

brasher Countrymaster II GTX Walking ShoesTo the untrained eye, their shoes look far too good to be outdoor shoes; a bit 'posh', if you like, especially compared to the boots you'd find in a fishing tackle shop. And I suppose, in a way, they are a bit 'posh' for angling per se. I certainly wouldn't don my pair of Countrymaster II GTX shoes if I was going to be bivvied up round a lake in the middle of winter for a long weekend, or sitting on a beach in the middle of winter all night!

No, I reserve these for my refined jaunts along the river. Those days when you might wander along, throwing a lure around, and then decide to stop off for a pub lunch, without the fear of wondering whether you'll get served or not. These shoes are nice and will get the approval of any dress code.

That said, do NOT underestimate brasher shoes and boots. They are serious walking shoes, designed to be used, not just impress!

Straight out of the box, these shoes were comfortable. They are extremely light and flexible, so no breaking in was needed. If you have a look at the spec-sheet on the brasher website, you'll see that they benefit from a Gore-Tex breathable and waterproof lining, which is essential for anyone who spends any time near water. Even on dry days, bankside vegetation can be very wet.

The soles are extremely cushioning and have good grip. The leather uppers fit comfortably and they are a pleasure to walk in. There is a very noticeable difference between a pair of shoes and a pair of genuine walking shoes, and these are most definitely made for walking! From day one, I drove and walked in them and they had that familiar feel that you'd usually only get from a pair of shoes that were well and truly worn in.

If the Countrymaster II GTX is indicative of the rest of the brasher range, then it definitely gets my thumbs up. They're not budget shoes, at £130 a pair, but they don't perform like budget shoes, either. I won't say they'll be my main fishing shoes, but they're a pair of walking shoes that will get lots of use and, if I happen to throw a bit of fishing in the mix, I'll know they're up to the job!

Check out the brasher range at

Elton Murphy, February 2013