The mid vojo (or maybe “voho”) boot comes in a colour described as “burly yellow” of all things. I tried out the size 9 of the waterproof and breathable boot which is all about the Texapore lining and weighs in at 1kg for the pair. My normal size is an 8 but due to their slim fitting nature, I went up a whole size.
The Texapore fabric used here can be found in a range of Jack Wolfskin products and is a classic hardshell jacket material which is waterproof, windproof and breathable. In a boot, this means reliable waterproofing which is hardwearing and shouldn’t let you get all sweaty when hiking. The mid-boot design won’t give you full ankle support but sheds that extra material in favour of lowering the cost and making a lighter, more multi-purpose use boot suited for day hikes and with the nicely cushioned sole and a good grip, the Vojo are a comfortable and easy choice for light hikes and day to day use.
The outer is a mix of suede leather and textile fabric.This is where the Texapore lining is allowed to breathe. The rest of the inner lining is a breathable fast-drying polyester. There is a significant amount of good, tidy stitching on the outside. The round laces easily pull through the fabric loops and then cross around two pairs of lace hooks at the top should you need the full and firm support that a mid-boot allows.
The toe box in the Mid Vojo boot is fairly narrow and the tip of the boot is hard due to being reinforced with rubber and suede underneath. The tongue and top of the boot has a little padding but nothing too over the top.
Now with waterproof boots, whatever the liner or outer, there is always a discussion to be had about whether it’s better to have higher boots with waterproofing to stay dry, or mid-boots, or shoes, waterproof socks or even just sandals and deal with the wet as it comes. I think it’s not about getting wet so much as about getting dry. I find that in the UK, if I get wet, I’ll be staying wet as there isn’t enough time or sun to get fully dried out before wanting to be back on your feet again. The last time I followed the stay light and embrace the wet mentality, my trail runner shoes got wet in the first 10 mins of a hike and my feet stayed wet for a week despite the heat of the July sun. My choice now, is to boot up and stay dry in the first place so a waterproof boot is essential.
Boots are usually chosen over shoes for their ankle support. From customer feedback and online response, it seems inconclusive as to whether boots help support your ankles over shoes, or whether wearing shoes gives you the extra flexibility you need to look after and strengthen your own ankles, so you have to make your own choice here. A mid-boot sits somewhere in the middle. Now for me, I find I can just as easily jar my ankles in boots as I can in shoes so for me, I choose boots for their greater ability to stay dry and be coupled with gaiters. Maybe gaiters and waterproof shoes would work? I don’t know.
For light walking and day hikes with the snug fit comfort of a boot but in a fully waterproof and breathable mid-boot, the Jack Wolfskin Mid Vojo Hike Texapore Boot is a decent option. It appears well made and stays lightweight keeping you fast and mobile. It’s slim fit might be a problem for some but gives it a trainer feel and makes it suitable for a bit of everything. Fabric outers can need a little more TLC, dirt and wear will cause the fabric to start absorbing water, doing damage and making your feet cold, so keep them clean and occasionally treat the fabric with a waterproof boot spray to keep them in top shape for many walking seasons.
Being fabric, breaking in is minimal as the boot is naturally very flexible. The sole is thick and wasn’t uncomfortable when walking on loose stones. The grip is generally good and not noticeably slippy on algae surfaces but the grip could have shedded sticky mud better when walking over fields.
Light, waterproof and cost-effective also makes the Mid Vojo Hike Boot a great option for DofE. Be sure to add them to your kit list.