ECCO ULTERRA HIKE SHOES in action in the Dales September 2014

SLIGHT DELAY IN THIS POST due to the unforeseen need to earn some money.

I have been lucky enough to be given a pair of the Ecco Ulterra Hike shoes to review.
I have no direct connection with Ecco, but I am very grateful for the shoes and the opportunity to test and review them.

However, the fact that they are free will NOT deter me from saying exactly what I think about them, which anyone who know, knows is true.
If things are good I say so, if not....Yep...I say so.

The shoes arrived in time for my trip to the Dales with Carl and Lynsey.
Indeed, I had been working up there the week before in Cumbria, so they also saw a bit of action there.

I have previously been lucky enough to have some Ecco Biom Ultra shoes and they were very good indeed

You can see my REVIEW HERE

I also have some BIOM TERRAIN II Boots that I bought for myself and they are equally excellent see review of these HERE.

BUT... Back to these shoes



GORE-TEX® lining keeps water out for all weather performance
Deeply cushioning foam mid sole is resilient, giving long-lasting comfort through any activity
Stability and dynamic support throughout foot's movement is assured by RECEPTOR® Technology
Low cut, durable Yak leather upper and an adjustable lace closure, for a capable hiking shoe
Tough and flexible, rubber out sole offers vital flexibility for movement as well as trustworthy traction


I got mine in an EU 45.
I normally take a 46 but personally I find that Ecco come up about ½ a size larger.
So after my boots and the Ecco Ultra's I got these in the 45.

This turned out toi be absolutely SPOT ON

I am a UK 11, but the ECCO Site suggests I need the 45 looking at their size chart.

These are a comfortable fit and usable out of the box.
Definitely no need to wear them in.

The Ulterra's are made with a Yak Leather Upper, and a Gortex membrane as well.
In boots I find that to be overkill, since leather rarely needs Gortex as well, but with shoes, I find it less of an issue

Straight out of the box, they felt comfortable.

Unlike the Ultras's these are definitely NOT a Trail shoe.
They are a proper hiking shoe (approach shoe)

The sole feels stiff and robust.
The grip looks good.

The inner fits the foot (my foot well)

I have BROAD feet, so maybe if you have narrow feet, they will need a different inner or sock combination

I wore these first time in the hills with no prior wearing in, using a single pair of X-SOCKS.

Absolutely perfect with the size I got.
No foot movement at all inside the shoe.
Room at the toe, and the heel felt snug but firm and well supported.
No slip on the hill.

I did adjust the lace tension depending upon terrain



Looking inside with NO Insole

 These seemed absolutely fine.
Plenty of cushioning, and firm underfoot.
In the Ultra's I had to use Superfeet Blue, because they were just not stiff enough for variable terrain.
But these were absolutely fine.


During the 2 days, we walked on 

  • Hard rocky ground
  • Road
  • Trails
  • Gritty Trails
  • Boggy Ground
  • Slippery Grassy Descents
  • Muddy sections 

On all they were fine

What you want from a shoe like this is stability and grip and comfort.
I have already covered comfort.

As you can see from the above we walked on various terrain, other than ice and snow, and I will come back to this later in the year.
But I am guessing they will be as good as the BIOM Terrain's

They are solid underfoot with no awkward ankle movement or roll.
We walked through quite a lot of wet grass on day two, as well as wet tracks.
No water got in.
OK, listen, they are shoes.
If the water goes over the top of the shoe where the foot goes in, they WILL get wet.
You wouldn't have a bath in them so don't walk through rivers.

But there was no water in these at all.
I would expect in hot weather that these would get damp inside with perspiration, but I do not think that is the season they are for.
If you want some Summer shoes that breathe in all conditions, then get some Ultra's and slap some Superfeet in them

These were great on all terrains.
Bearing in mind, that I wore them 1st time out of the box for 2 days I had no problems.
Actually less feeling on feet than my inov8 Roclites.
Not even the need to add any tape to my feet, and I always used tape with other trail shoes just as a precaution

So, by now I am liking them a lot

I will come back to the longevity of these later in the Autumn after a few more miles of hammering, but there is not even a hint of any wear or abrasion after a couple of days.

One of my HUGE whinges about the inov8's apart from the fact that the soles wear out, is also the fact that by 200 miles, the inside of the heel cup stitching is completely worn through and torn, which is asking for rubbing and a blister.

Not even a hint on these.


I found these absolutely fine on all terrains.

As a reminder, they were used on

  • Hard rocky ground
  • Road
  • Trails
  • Gritty Trails
  • Boggy Ground
  • Slippery Grassy Descents
  • Muddy sections 

from steep and dry to steep and wet, both up and down, on grass and also on rock and muddy peat and shale.

I am used to trail shoes, and they performed well.
I do tend to use walking poles with a bigger pack, and I was using poles this time.


The sole of these looked good out of the box, and that assumption did not prove to be wrong.
These have a more than adequate and aggressive sole for most terrain

Here they are on my feet on a hill somewhere

That was somewhere near HERE

Wild Camp in Dales above Malham Tarn

Descending the next morning.
Wearing the Ecco Ulterra's
Ascending and Descending on all terrain, these were good.
There was no foot movement as long as the laces were set at the correct tension


This brings me AGAIN to my only whinge about Ecco boots and shoes.

The laces are quite slippy (OK, let's be brutally honest, far far too slippery), and I think I would prefer to see proper metal rather than material hoops in the middle, and at the bottom. But I will come back to these in time. Maybe the webbing hoops will be robust enough. It is too early to really criticise.
But, I suspect that over time, the webbing hoops will fray.
The laces however, are not great.
It is difficult to keep them tied up well and get the desired tension.
I think this is totally down to the lace design themselves.
I rarely have a problem with my inov8's

I believe however, as we speak, Ecco are looking into this, and I would love to see a better less slippy lace.
In fact I would love a pair to test in these as soon as they have some, because these are such a good shoe other than that, that I intend to use them a lot.

And by that I mean A LOT!

At the top you can see from the photo, that I doubled the laces through the hole.
Ideally I think a pair of holes close together would be good so that a nice even tension across the top of the foot can be obtained with even tension.

Listen, I am nit picking here.
You can always buy a pair of laces.
All in all, these are pretty bloody good OK.



Because I am STILL a complete SKINFLINT, I would probably wait for a Sale price to buy a pair
cos £140+ is a lot of money, and I have College Fees to spend all my money on, for very needy offspring, but I rarely buy current generation shoes or trail shoes.

IF I really needed a pair however, then the  answer is YES.
I would certainly buy a pair.

And to add to that.

What will I have on my feet for the TGOC Challenge next May


A pair of Ecco Ulterra Hike Low Cut shoes.... That's for sure!

So, that is it for now......................................

Winter is drawing in, and I expect my next trip late October/Early November
MAY depending on terrain and weather be in BOOTS.

That will be my BIOM Terrain II boots..

What would I change, if anything?

The laces, and maybe the webbing on the laces for something a bit less likely to fray.
Having said that, it is unlikely that lace tension on these will be like that needed on boots.

That's it then


Especially if you have broader feet.

All this said, SHOES are a personal thing.
The things that go inside them are YOUR FEET, not mine.

They may not suit you at all

BUT... They are seriously worth a look

I loved EM!


DALES DAYS & FINE FRIENDS (oh, and a bit of Gear)

A one and a bit day trip to the Dales with Lynsey Pooler and Carl Mynott.

One Upon a Summer Evening - By  errr... ME! :-) 

OK, the music title doesn't quite fit because it was late September but....

I made my way to the Pooler's domicile in Stockport courtesey of Alistair who had been for a bimble in the Lakes.
Of course if you know Alistair, he does NOT bimble.

I had been working in Cumbria since Wednesday, so this was a lucky coincidence, and made my journey a lot easier.
By the time we got back, Carl had already arrived and eaten all the Pizza, si it was just as well we stopped on route.

And thus it came to pass after a fine evening, that may well have involved beer, that we got up on the Saturday and after some navigational discussion, arrived in Settle via a lap of the town and a small excursion outside, and a visit to Booth's to buy a bacon roll and coffee.

Back to park the car (quite legally I might add) under the eye of the lady in the house with the net curtain eyes.

So eventually at a time that may or may not have been approaching gone the hour of 11.00 am which is really quite a late start, but of course we had now had late breakfast, we meandered our way out of Settle via a short excursion up
a cul-de-sac (I hate navigation in towns) and out towards the Dales

Here is an approximate map.
With hindsight on Sunday we should have gone left at the road and come in via the track, BUT, we had a deadline for getting back, and it is a LONG drive from Stockport back to Fenland, and the proper walk was Sat with the wild camp

I am not going to write this up as a route.
It was just a couple of days in fine company taking a genteel stroll.

Weather turned out nice as well.

Apart from lunch on day 1.
That was horrid.

Looking back to Settle

By now we had navigated past the long horned cows.
I was going to take a picture of the small calf.
NUT there was this bloody great bull.
Or was that later in the day?
To be honest Sat night wiped out a LOT of memory.
We carried on until about 13.00 when as the cloud and mist started making it cold, we squatted down behind a wall for shelter and had lunch.
It was not nice weather, but Carl had brought a large groundsheet, and we used that to sit on.


As we started to head off, the mist and rain blew away.
As it happened, far far away.

"Which was NICE!"

It looks ok.
BUT, WTF is the point of the little gate thingy?

Dropping down to Malham after lunch.
The rain suddenly went, and the views were back.
Then the sun came out.

The biggest problem with Malham, and I have no problem with people going out into the countryside. As long as they respect it, I think it is healthy and increases awareness of our wonderful country.

But it was a nice day, and a Saturday, and Malham was heaving with drive in tourists.

Top of Malham Cove

Malham Tarn
Malham Tarn
From the top right end of the Tarn, having directed a chap with a dog and a MAP, which he seemed incapable of being able to work out, we headed right up and over towards Out Pasture.

I meet a lot of people with MAPS out in the fens trying to find out where they are. It never ceases to amaze me how little they understand the map. No ability to look at the geography around them.
Maybe when people buy maps, they should be tested.

Sorry a momentary lapse there.

The actual location of the wild camp is not exact.
Nor is the route to be honest.
But I think, having not looked at the map, cos I didn't have that bit with me at the time.
It's a long story!

Anyway, it was getting late now, and we needed to be getting tents up by about 6.30, so we could PARTY.
Trouble is we needed water, and there wasn't any.
Should have been.
Just wasn't any.
Too dry.

Had the same thing with martin a couple of weeks before in the Lakes.
Were there should have been streams there was **** ALL.

Eventually we got to where there should have been a stream.

Carl dropped his pack, and taking all the water bladders headed down the stream to find some flowing water.
I popped up to the top of the hill right to get a better view of likely locations.
As it happens, there was a superb limestone pavement at the top.
Nowhere to cam, but I could see some likely locations.

The next 3 photos are phone, I left the camera at the bottom with the pack, but they show the terrain.

I headed back down to Lynsey.
Carl was not back yet, but we headed off leaving a large grass arrow pointing in direction.
I carried Carl's pack as well, because he was carrying (we hoped) all the water.

A few hundred meters further on we found a couple of likely spots.
OK, but a bit exposed.
I said to Lynsey I was going to pop over a bit further to see if there was anything over the edge.

AND as luck would have it, we found a BRILLIANT spot, with just enough shelter.
I went back and got Carl's pack.

By now he had come back up with water, and as luck would have it, had spotted us so didn't have to go all the back up to the top.

We found some good spots, despite SHEEP shit, and set up tents ready.

As our food was cooking, we may have had a beer.
I say beer.
Carl had brought some cans of Tennent's Super which those that know it, is 9%. 

In fact I had carried one of them.

Look, it was a high wild camp and beer.
Don't knock it.
It gets the job done.
Bloody quickly as it happens :-)

The fact that between Lynsey and I we also had about half a litre of single Malt may also have added considerably to lack of memory in writing this.

We tried to tempt Lynsey with the Super, but being a purist, she declined with a look of total disgust.

So, all the more for us then :-)

And thus with pictures of a brilliant pitch, and fine sunset, we ate and then partied into the early hours. Well to be honest much earlier. More late hours.

Lynsey's Laser Comp.
Carl's TS
My sil hexPeak

Cracking Views

Cracking Weather

My hexPeak, with setting sun.
Getting to love this shelter
As the sun set, the food cooked, and I finished the can of Super

A couple of Phone camera shots, since I had left the camera in the tent

Food was eaten.
Mine was a 3 cheeses pasta and then it was time to head to Carl's Party Tent for more beer, and much Malt Whisky.

A great wild camp, with great people, who I hope I can call friends.

Suffice it to say, that the next morning Carl and I had headaches.
Now it may have been the Super is all I am saying.

And then it was morning.
I had somehow managed to eat all my breakfast bars in the night.
I have no recollection of this, but heh.

Camp all tidy and checked, we headed down to the stream to pick up a route down to eventually pick up the track through to the road.

The Ecco Ulterra Hike shoes c/o Ecco.
First time out and excellent.
I will review these separately, but I really liked them.

Looking back

Descending to the stream
Looking down to the farm
We crossed the small stream on a fabulous little bridge.
It very wet underfoot for the first time despite the fact there was no rain. Probably some mist and dew in the valley overnight though & the Ecco shoes were totally waterproof.
I stopped to take some photos.

We crossed round the farm and then back to the road, where this fine door awaited us.

And this old building

There was bit of a road bash now until we cut off again back onto the track.

Somehow here, we missed the path on the ground.
This may have been because there was no path on the ground.
Anyway, we ended up dropping down a bit early and having to follow a tough track and then the wall.
I followed the wall along to eventually come out by a gate on the road.
Lynsey and Carl went over further back, but I hat stinging nettles.

View across to Malham Tarn
On the way down there were quite a few of these

And one of these

Sadly the frog leapt just as I was taking the photo of it in Carl's hand.
I need to practice more with close up photos.
I guess it would help if I wore my ******* glasses.

 And after this I took no more photos.

I should have really taken one of the bacon sandwich in Settle.

And here are my two fine companions.
Nay I should also say, MUCH YOUNGER companions.

So we got to the road, and headed into Settle.
Stuffed gear in the car, and then went and got a BIG pot of tea, and bacon sandwich before heading back to Stockport to drop Lynsey Off.

Say bye to Alistair, and then drive the loooooonnngg drive home to the Fens.
Carl dropped me off in Bottisham and then headed home too.

It had been a cracking reunion, all be it a year late.

Maybe we should do one in 6 months time to fill in the gap.

That sounds like a cracking good idea to me.


For those that like this sort of thing

SHELTER  -  Luxe hexPeak

hexPeak from BOB

This shelter grows on me the more I use it.
It is appearing more and more bomber.


NEMO ZOR Regular Sleeping Mat


Marmot Arroya

Had this for a while and it is good down to about -2 C
Will probably use the RAB from now on in though until the weather gets warmer again


I had used my Mariposa (now sold) on a trip earlier.
But since I got this Gossamer Gear Gorilla from Martin, I thought I would give it a go.

I still like the Mariposa, but this is a cracking pack.
In fact, the best pack I have used, even though
I really, really, really covet the new one.

That and a Set of the LT4 poles.
Maybe Gossamer Gear will let me try a pair for the TGOC and PRE TGOC Training next year.
I chap can dream...


Ecco Ulterra Low Cut Hiking Shoe

I was given these by Ecco to use and review.
And I can say that I am very grateful and lucky.
I have no affiliation with ECCO, but they have been kind enough to let me have them.
I will be doing a proper full review during this week.
As anyone knows, I tell it like it is,
so if they are good I say so,
and if bad, I also say so.

And I have to say "I like these!"

In fact so much I have already decided that they will be my choice for the TGOC next year, unless I wear them out before then.
Could happen, I have a lot of trips planned.
Well, most are in my head but...

A proper approach shoe rather than a trail shoe.
But much lighter than your average approach shoe.
Yak leather and Gortex lined.
Comfortable out of the box and no wearing in.
I find Ecco come up slightly big, so got a ½ size down. (Just as well)

Anyway.. more in a later post, but a great shoe.


I have always been a gas user, and in certain conditions, I will still use gas.
But for a short trip like this I thought it was time to take
the Whitebox stove from Bob and Rose & Backpacking Light
I had used it with Martin a few weeks earlier and it needed another outing.

It performs very well, but does need a stable base, or a pot holder.
Balancing the pot on the stove I think is a potential hazard.
I would NOT use it inside the porch until I have figured out a way to support the pot on something else.

However, next time out will be the Flatcat Gear Snow Lepoard

That's enough gear for now.