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Pat Kinsella

Berghaus Revolute Active Shoe review: trail-tackling waterproof walking shoes

Berghaus Revolute Active Shoe review.

You won’t find Berghaus boots being given colourways such as ‘marmalade and seagull’ (a true example, honestly), and as much as I enjoy the Friday afternoon creativity of more frivolous brands when it comes to getting the right kit for staying warm, dry, and upright in the outdoors, I really respect Berghaus’s down-to-earth approach.

As soon as I started looking at the Revolute Active, I knew that’s what I could expect from this shoe. What I didn’t know, however, until I put it to the test on the trails, was how it would perform in comparison to the best hiking shoes on the market, which set a very high bar.

The shoes are tailor-made to perform well during the kind of countryside walking and hiking adventures the vast majority of us do for the vast majority of the time: relatively modest, half- or full-day outings along fairly well-formed footpaths in reasonable weather conditions while carrying a pretty small amount of weight.

In such scenarios, this tough trekking shoe provides comfort, grip, foot support and protection. It’s sensibly priced, and it will last for years without demanding anything more than the occasional wipedown – in all honesty, what more do you need?

Berghaus Revolute Active Shoe review

Price and availability

Available now for men and women in a range of sensible colourways, the women’s Revolute Active Shoe has a recommended retail price of £130/€140 (approx. $165/ AU$ 252). 

Berghaus delivers to the US; standard delivery is from £12.99, with the expected delivery time stated between 3-5 days. The brand also delivers to Australia for a standard delivery of £11.99. The expected delivery time to Australia is 12-14 days.

Who's Berghaus?

Pretty much everyone I know thinks that Berghaus is a German or Austrian brand (and, to be quite honest, I did too for many years, despite having used various pieces of kit bearing the Berghaus logo, from backpacks to boots).

In choosing a name that means ‘mountain house’ in German, the canny people behind the brand (which was actually founded in Newcastle in 1966 by a pair of British climbers and mountaineers, Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison, and remains firmly based in the north east of England) were obviously well aware this would happen and didn’t do anything to dispel the myth.

But with Berghaus, this is where the smoke-and-mirrors approach starts and stops. The apparel, footwear and kit produced by the brand are all invariably good value for money and refreshingly free of pointless bells and whistles.

The design is firmly focused on functionality rather than fashion, and everything from the choice of colours to the marketing language is aimed at people who genuinely get outdoors and get mucky, either through work or recreation (or both) and who are only interested in how the gear is going to perform.


(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
  • Gender availability: Men’s and Women’s versions available
  • Weight per shoe (size UK 10.5): 393g / 13.9oz
  • Colours: Men’s: Black & dark green / Black & dark grey / Dark blue & black / Natural & dark turquoise; Women’s: Black & dark grey / Black & dark turquoise / Dark purple & black
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Membrane: AQ lining
  • Sole: Vibram Eco-Step
  • Sizes (UK): Men’s: 7–12 (UK)  / Women’s: 4–8 (UK)
  • Best for: Day walks, hill hiking and non-technical trails for 3+ months of the year 

Design and materials

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Made entirely from synthetic and almost entirely recycled materials, the Revolute Active Shoe isn’t just a good option for people who prefer to avoid animal products and buy planet-friendly products, it’s also a properly tough item of footwear that will last for many years of and countless miles of use in all sorts of conditions, and the only maintenance required is a bit of a wash and wipe down after you have wandered through thick mud.

The entire upper is lined with the bio-based AQ breathable and waterproof membrane that Berghaus developed over a decade ago, which boasts a hydrostatic head rating of 10,000mm and a breathability rating of 8,000g per sq metre. 

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Available in men’s and women’s versions, the women’s Revolute Active Shoe is made using a female foot-specific last.

There’s a pull loop on the heel, plus a decent amount of padding around the bottom of the ankle, and the tongue is fully integrated to prevent the ingress of grit and trail juice. The lacing system is a bit basic, but there are two upper eyelets for achieving a really good, tight fit and avoiding the danger of losing a shoe when you’re traversing deep bogs.

There is also a generous degree of bounce in the midsole of these shoes, which have been modelled to a noticeable degree on some of the best trail running shoes out there. This is particularly noticeable in the excellent Vibram Eco-Step outsole, which is armed with large lugs (around 5mm deep), designed to provide rock-solid grip and control.

While not in any way heavy, especially compared to hiking boots, the Revolute Active is still considerably more substantial than the average running shoe. It features a protective rand that goes right around the shoe, with a toe cap supplying an extra bumper at the front.

Environmental considerations

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

As noted, this is a 100% synthetic shoe, which makes it a good option for vegetarian and vegan hikers. The breathable waterproof lining is bio-based. The upper and internal lining are entirely constructed from recycled polyester, and the insole is 86.5% recycled polyester.

There’s a QR code on the heel of the shoe, next to a ‘Made Kind’ stamp. Scanning the code takes you to Berghaus' website, which explains the company's commitment to environmentally friendly production processes. 

Performance and comfort

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

One of the benefits of a synthetic shoe or boot is that you can get them out of the box, put them straight on and hit the trails immediately, with no breaking-in required. This was certainly my experience with the Revolute Active, which fitted me perfectly and instantly felt comfortable on my feet.

I have broad hooves, but these shoes never felt tight, and I have yet to experience any hot spots or rubbing. There is plenty of room in the toe box, too, but despite all this, my feet feel securely held, especially around the highly cushioned heel, and there is no movement within the shoe.

I’ve been testing these shoes for several months, doing day-long hikes and short walks with the family during an incredibly wet end-of-winter, a beginning-of-spring period in soggy South Devon, where the hills have become mudslides and the woodland trails have mostly morphed into bogs.

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The AQ lining has impressed me by keeping the elements out and allowing me to walk with dry socks. Conditions have not been sufficiently warm to allow me to get a real feel for the breathability of the membrane, but I have been tackling some steep hills while wearing these shoes, deliberately pushing them hard, and so far, I haven’t felt my feet overheating.

The Vibram Eco-Step outsole has also proved excellent, supplying really good traction on some super slippery ground when you’re going forward and excellent control during descents. The lugs are pronounced and relatively aggressive, but they are sufficiently spaced out to avoid collecting large amounts of mud.  

While excellent for walking along footpaths at sea level and taking on most forms of hill hiking for three seasons of the year, the Berghaus Revolute Active Shoe doesn’t pretend to be supportive or tough enough to tackle more technical alpine trails. Nor is it designed for use during mid-winter or when you’re trekking with a weighty hiking backpack. Used within its large comfort zone, however, it’s an excellent shoe.   


(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

As is typically the case with Berghaus gear, the Revolute Active Shoe delivers exactly what it promises to when you wear it in the type of terrain and kind of conditions it has been designed for. This is a solid, reliable, waterproof shoe for casual walks and harder hikes on non-technical landscapes, which offers a good grip on rocks and mud. It’s comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time, and provides decent support and protection for your feet. The fact that it’s made almost entirely from recycled synthetic materials makes it extra impressive.

Alternatives to consider

For a slightly more nimble shoe, check out the impressively lightweight Columbia Facet 75 walking shoes, which are ideal for speed hiking and fastpacking. At the opposite end of the scale, the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 is a more robust, extra supportive and hardier hiking shoe, offering more rigidity along the shank. A bit pricier, the Arc'teryx Aerios FLs are more like a shoe-boot lovechild and offer some degree of ankle support.

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