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Just for a change, and to prove we're not sexist, we test a pair of women's shoes from Hi-Tec
Pointy-toed shoes have been my downfall, not morally, you understand. As a teenager, in an effort to get the boys, I forced my double D wide feet into needle point sling-backs and minced around model-style. I didn't get the boys. Instead I got severely squashed feet, the consequences of which didn't hit me till my 40s. Now, buying shoes is an ordeal.

So I was delighted to be presented with a pair of Hi-Tec's Custom V-Lite VBK golf shoes. They looked just perfect for my deformed arthritic toes - broad, roomy and soft. First step (no pun intended), put them on. That did prove difficult. I hunted the house for a shoe horn but no luck. So, after much grunting and shoving I finally managed to get them on. Once on they proved roomy. I should have worn them round the house to break them in. But no, true to form, I went for 18-holes straight off. That is a test.

I came back with the glimmerings of a blister on one heel. But next time out, no blister. There was lots of room for me to wiggle what few toes I can wiggle and there were no pressure points.

The specifications say these shoes have a one-year waterproof guarantee. I avoid playing golf when it's raining but often play just after it's rained and the ground is waterlogged. So far, two months in, these shoes have lived up to their guarantee and my feet have been bone dry. My last shoes leaked like a sieve from underneath but true to British form I didn't go back and complain, which I should have done, I just vowed never to buy that make of shoe again.

Also, these Hi-Tecs have a Sympatex membrane, new V-Lite outsole, 30-day comfort guarantee and custom fit foot-beds. I haven't used the latter but perhaps when the leather has stretched a bit I might find I need them.

I'm not sure I'd be persuaded to buy something that says it has a 30-day comfort guarantee. I sort of expect a shoe, once it's been broken in, to remain comfortable. Come to think of it, I've never had a shoe that wasn't comfortable if I'd managed to wear it okay for 30 days. Still, they've got to say something on their promotional blurb.

I have a thing about most golf shoes being mainly white. It strikes me, particularly in the UK climate, as rather inane. They look fantastic when they are new and, I have to say, for someone who has a love/hate relationship with golf, these spanking new Hi-Tec golf shoes renewed my enthusiasm. They looked good, they felt good and I played fantastically well (for me). The shoes are fastened with Velcro, which is certainly easier than laces.

I don't know how secure a fastening the Velcro will be in six months time but so far, so good. I did have a pair of sandals that had Velcro fastenings and after a while so much fluff had stuck to the Velcro that it no longer proved to be an effective fastener.

All in all I am impressed with these shoes and they are the first ones I have had that have proved to be comfortable and watertight straight out of the box. 81/2 out of 10. Oh, and the price of £49.99 is pretty impressive, too.

Diana Campbell, 36 handicap.

©    2 - APRIL 2004

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