Jessiehiker Boots

13 Jul

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”.

Jessiehiker boots

Jessiehiker boots

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…



Posted by on July 13, 2009 in General Drivel


15 responses to “Jessiehiker Boots

  1. BG!

    July 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Oh, now you’ve gone and let the cat out of the bag (as opposed to keeping a dug in a bucket?).

    Did Scott not tell you that his blog’s a “social experiment”? We’re OK to add it to our blogrolls (a passive measure), but we’re not to actively broadcast the fact that it exists.

  2. fatdogwalks

    July 13, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I thought he’d been a bit too cosy of late…him and the dugs. It’s time that rather good blog of his was given a bit more airtime. Anyway I’m not exactly noted for doing what people want me to do 😀 !

    It is a classy dug bucket though 😆 . Well worth the visit. In fact you can all go and see what the dug bucket looks like at

    What d’you mean I’ve done it again?

  3. BG!

    July 13, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    It’s good to see that the old “red rag to a bull” tactic still works 🙂

    Maybe you can tempt the young whipper-snapper to sign up to the Outdoorbloggers forum? He was a tad reluctant while he was in mufti, but now you’ve outed him he might relent.

  4. mike knipe

    July 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I can report that the glottal stop is alive and well and living in t’ peoples republic of Yorkshire. In fact, in the fair city of Bradford, all hard constonants, some soft ones and other more random ones are replaced by glottal stops.
    Thus “A cu’ a wo”a an’ a pla’ a ta’a pie” refers to the potato pie washed down with a cup of corporation pop traditional for tea in some parts of the town.

  5. fatdogwalks

    July 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    It was too good a chance to have wasted Stef 😆 .

    Maybe the term Jessieblogger will spur him into action 😉 . 😀

  6. fatdogwalks

    July 14, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Christ Mike…it took me 5 minutes to work that out…and that was with the translation beside it.

    That’s a hell o’a lo’a glottal stops for one wee sentence!

  7. Scott

    July 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Now, look, I don’t want to offend anyone here.

    I’m not opposed to Jessiehiking per se. I have friends who are Jessiehikers. I’m not interested in joining in myself, but that doesn’t mean I think there’s anything immoral or perverse about it.


  8. fatdogwalks

    July 14, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    That was very restrained of you Scott 😀 …and I thought the whole point of blogging was to offend people…or have I just picked up the wrong end of the stick as usual?

  9. scott

    July 14, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Ssshhh. I’m trying to create a false sense of security, in the hope that somebody comes along to explain excitedly how you can use cocktail sticks for tentpegs.


  10. fatdogwalks

    July 14, 2009 at 7:25 pm


  11. BG!

    July 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Cocktail sticks? Ideal fuel for stoves, IMO.

  12. fatdogwalks

    July 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Sorry Stef…site admin spotted a banned word in your recent comment and has taken appropritae action 😉 .

  13. Paul

    July 15, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I wonder if the people who take care of the Fife coastal path are aware that some guttie wearing hikers are secretly removing beach loads of sand in their footwear!

  14. alan.sloman

    July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    In a sudden iuncontrollable urge to go super dooper ultralightweight, I recently tried very hard to buy a pair of plimmies, and ended up with some slippers that covered the ankles, with a nice full bellows tongues and big long laces and a roughty tufty sole unit.

    ooh! They’re boots, ain’t they?

  15. fatdogwalks

    July 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Paul, I would suspect this would be the case as there are significant numbers of Jessiehikers on the “Path”. Surely those who maintain it must be aware of the situation. 😀

    Great to see you on the blog Alan. I see you’ve thought about this subject for a while 😆 .


    Having removed, so I thought, the contents of both the wheat field and the beach from my gutties I was puzzled that I could still feel sharp lumpy bits poking into the soles of my feet as I walked the dog. I muttered darkly about the limited usefulness of my new footwear as I hobbled after the unsympathetic hairy brute.

    After about the 7th day I happened to hear the rattle of many tiny bead-like items as I shook one of the offending shoes. I thought for a minute and then started to rip out the insole, to be covered in a tidal wave of sand and grain. I couldn’t even start to figure out how such quantities of debris had made their way below the insert.

    They are marginally more comfortable now, but some small bits of something still lurk in their depths.


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