I must be getting older; the seasons are definitely getting closer together. Change does happen, but as it’s often gradual you don’t always see it coming. This winter has felt tough on Keswick; storm Desmond forced me to change a lot of my normal routines. I’ve had to seek out new paths or have adventures finding new ways around fallen footbridges. I’m pleased to see lighter nights returning and spring in the air; winter didn’t last long.
We’ve recently moved office, which caused me to have a bit of a spring clean and de-clutter, but it only reinforced that feeling of getting older. Looking back over 20-plus years of paperwork, I discovered an old copy of our George Fisher ‘mission’. Our attitude hasn’t changed; we’re asking the same questions, looking for the same things with the same customers, quality walking, running, mountaineering. One of the most notable reccurring messages was ‘fit’; does an item fit, and will it give us a different fit? This applies to all our ranges, footwear, trousers or waterproofs jackets. Full sizes, half sizes, short legs and long legs, extra-small or triple extra-large; we do try to find them.
Every season it seems to be tough to find trousers with choices of leg lengths and sizes. We’re all different shapes, and trousers have the added complication of low, mid and high rise waist, wider leg or skinny leg, all this before we’ve got to which weight of fabric do you want, and not even mentioning colour! I was pleased to note this seasons Haglöfs’ strap line, “We don’t design trousers to be adjusted. We design them to fit.”
For men, we have three very different Haglöfs trouser styles. The Skarn (£130) uses a lightweight reinforced nylon stretch fabric in a slimmer leg fit, while the rugged Fjell II (£120) is a robust, looser fitting trouser with a mix of two different fabrics. Then the more classic trekking trouser, Mid II Fjell (£100) with the all-important back zip pocket. I think I’ve found a collection of waist sizes, fabrics, colours and leg lengths from Haglöfs, Arc’teryx, Rab, Montane, Sherpa, The North Face and Kühl to complete our trouser range. Women’s Haglöfs trousers include the Mid II Flex pant in short, regular and long (£130) which is a heavier weight than their classic Shale pant (£100) and more relaxed in the thigh. For women who don’t want a looser fit, or a traditional looking trouser, Montane have linked a performance stretch fabric with a skinny fit trouser to produce the Ineo Pro (£80) which complements their classic Terra Ridge Pant (£85). Rab, Sherpa and Kühl bring different fabric weights and there’s even a splash of colour from Arc’teryx with their Parapet pant in Allium (£85); I can’t wait for the proper summer to start, as this also comes in a short at £50 in a dark blue or a bright pink!
Now if you think finding trousers is hard, try keeping everyone happy with their feet. That’s a whole different width, length and height game. It is surprising year-on-year how regular we are as shoppers, which helps me but this year so many new shoes and boots are coming in. I’m excited by the new Hoka Tor Ultra Hi (£160, pictured above), ladies I’m sorry they’re a rather loud pinky purple but wow they’re comfy and I like the colour. I’ve used Hoka running shoes now for five years, and love them. The Tor gives running-shoe cushioning in a waterproof boot.
One of our favourite boot families here at George Fisher is Meindl, and this year they’ve not only helped us out with extreme sizes but also produced more boots in different widths. We’ve added the women’s Oviedo and men’s Burgos boots (£170) in a slim fit, and also more boots from their comfort fit range; the men’s and women’s Trento is £200. Scarpa has been busy with a plethora of new models taking you from lowland footpaths to scrambles up Lakeland ridges; the Ranger, R-Evo, Kailash and Zodiac all fit slightly differently. We also have new boots from Asolo, Salomon, Keen and Zamberlan; be prepared to sit down with your socks and an open mind, as I’m sure there’ll be something that fits.
All that’s left to do then is get out and walk or run; maybe aiming for afternoon tea and cake somewhere? Or is that my age…