Before I wind up into my by now customary diatribe let me first give credit to my online buddy Scott of the highly entertaining blog “Splendid Isolation” for the term Jessiehiker. Sadly this most expressive and mocking of terms cannot be found in any dictionary and so it is left to the reader to conjour up, in the main, unwelcome images of what the word Jessiehiker might entail.
I think it is safe to assume that Jessiehiker casts doubt on the manliness (my apologies ladies) of those individuals obsessed with the lightweight gear mantra. Are these people scared of big clumpy 4 season boots for summer walking? Where is their backbone? Oh…I see…it’s been converted into chitinous exoskeleton to make it lighter. No matter, the sad that fact is I purchased a pair of Jessiehiker boots for trail walking through the summer months. They were tested….and they were found wanting!
Here they are, the tractor soled miscreants. A pair of bottom end Berghaus “gutties”.
I can sense the puzzlement already…”gutties”? I know you’re all pronouncing it incorrectly even though I can’t actually hear you at this moment in time. First of all what are “gutties”? Gutties are the name once used in Central Scotland for plimsolls, gym shoes, pumps or sandshoes…those black canvas, brown rubber-soled, soft shoes used by millions of kids for PE until trainers became de rigeur.
Anyway back to the pronunciation. In the word “gutties” the two t’s are silent and are replaced by the equivalent of 2 glottal stops. Glottal stops are comparatively rare in the English language so that is probably why you might only find them north of the border. The word is effectively pronounced gu-(pretend you are choking on your own vomit)-ies. Welcome to the Central Belt.
Enough of phonetics and back to the gear review. Me…a gear review? Don’t hold your breath. Let’s face I’ve never really understood the need for balanced reporting so why should I deal in positives while I can find a whole dose of negatives to play about with.
It all began so well. They gaped a bit more than I would have liked, but they stayed on my feet pretty well with a few good days walking and no blisters. All in all my feet were fairly comfortable…apart from one thing.
Grain…lots and lots of grain. Following a right of way through a grain field ended up with my gutties full of what felt like miniature ball bearings. Not only did the gutties gape, I found to my horror that the long tongue was not sewn in and was allowing anything above ankle height to make its way between the tongue and the rest of the shoe. My gutties contained more seeds than a bag of bird food. It took me days to rid myself of the lumpy underfoot sensation.
I had just managed to rid myself of the last of the grain field when we decided to take the Fatdog a walk along the Fife Coastal Path near Elie. We went to the beach…