Post image for Hi-Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Multi-Sport shoe

Hi-Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Multi-Sport shoe

April 23, 2017 · 5 comments


Some time ago I wrote somewhat scathingly about a writer for a national paper suggesting that walking shoes were just as good as walking boots for most hiking purposes. I still don’t agree with him but there are times when you are going for a walk on fairly easy terrain – by that I mean fairly flat, not very stony paths – when a walking boot that goes over the ankle can be unnecessary and rather heavier than needed. With  my current dodgy knee this may be my fate for a while so I thought I would try out a suitable shoe.

A trip to Go-Outdoors was a reminder that there are dozens and dozens of possibilities to choose from.  These days most such shoes are attractive and appear well-made. Most are constructed with a combination of fabric and suede uppers and a sturdy sole. Prices vary enormously from around £30 to well over £100.   I tried several different brands on and most seemed comfortable enough when walking around the shop. So how to choose?

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men's Multi-Sport shoe

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men’s Multi-Sport shoe

To my good fortune the nice people at High Tec wrote to me around the same time offering a pair of boots or shoes to review. The choice between paying for shoes and not paying is no choice at all as far as I am concerned so  after browsing their own very wide range I plumped for a pair of Signal Hill Waterproof Multi Sport shoes.   In blue – a rather lovely turquoise blue which is a current favourite colour. These cost £74.99 on Hi Tec’s website.

I thought they looked great fresh out of the box. They were sturdy but not heavy. Lacing them up was straightforward –  which is not always the case, some shoes can be quite fiddly. And they were immediately comfortable.  Not in the way that a slip-on shoe can feel comfortable  but in a reassuringly supportive way.

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men's Multi-Sport shoe

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men’s Multi-Sport shoe

In their new state they were just as presentable as a trainer or other leisure footwear so I just wore them as an ordinary shoe for a couple of days and they were just fine.  Nothing rubbed (they say they have an abrasion resistant heel) or became tight or irritated in any way.

Having passed the walking-about-town test I then went on a “proper” walk with them in my nearby wood. Here they had an opportunity to get a bit muddy and splash through a few puddles and they did that perfectly well. They claim waterproofness and I can’t say that I have tested this out. Even with waterproof boots I find that if the puddle is deep enough or the ground squelchy you can still get water coming over the top of the boot. With a shoe the threshold   for water penetration is that much lower. So they would probably be fine on a firm but wet surface but I wouldn’t expect them to keep me dry if I were to ford a stream.

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men's Multi-Sport shoe

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men’s Multi-Sport shoe

Even on unchallenging walks it is easy to stumble across something or trip. This shoe has a very reassuringly strong toe cap.  The sole is sturdy enough not to be uncomfortable on stony ground but not so thick as to feel inflexible. Its  elaborate design of zig – zags and grooves and criss-crosses must have been great fun for the designer. I can’t say that I have tested how well it grips in wet weather yet but if I find fault I will update this post.

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men's Multi-Sport shoe

Hi Tec Signal Hill Waterproof Men’s Multi-Sport shoe


Not being very sporty I don’t think that I am going to find out how suitable they would be for other activities but for a walk in the park I think they are great. But I’d still rather get my knee mended and get back into the hills with my boots.

So where is Signal Hill?







Anne Wareham April 23, 2017 at 1:44 pm

They don’t look very blue in your pics!

Charles April 23, 2017 at 1:45 pm


Kev the Yank May 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

I do hope your knee heals fast and completely, my friend!! Pretty good looking shoes, but with my wonky knee and now, plantar fasciitis, I still find my boots most comfortable and supportive (you know, kinda like Grace!) I know of 2 Signal Hills, one in california (lame, it is part of LA, not somewhere worth hiking) and one in Canada (Newfoundland). This was the site of the final battle of the Seven Years’ War in 1762, when the French finally surrendered to the British. AND, on 12 December 1901, the first transatlantic wireless transmission was received here by Guglielmo Marconi. That transmission was broadcast from Cornwall, UK. MUCH better Signal Hill!!!

Charles May 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

Thanks, buddy. Seeing surgeon tomorrow, so will know then whether he wants to cut me. Now I must look up your complaint! And thanks for your researches. Your Newfoundland site sounds like a candidate? Perhaps we have a signal hill in the UK. Love to Grace.

Charles May 2, 2017 at 9:11 am

Ok, have read about Plantar fasciitis. Nasty. Honestly , the things that can go wrong don’t bear thinking about.

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Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)