Dr Martens Rosa ST steel toecap rigger boot

I asked for more protection and support around my ankles and I got it. But I am not a fan of rigger boots either, although I have to admit the Rosa St has attractions. Just feel the luxurious faux-fur lining. Shame the sensation is lost on my thick socks, which, combined with the lining, caused overheating in the early autumn months. January was different, however. That is when the lining is really appreciated.

Again built on a women's last, this boot is just the right shape. The Rosa St shares all the features of the Izzy St in terms of toecap, anti-static and slip-resistant sole, Goodyear welting, air cushioning and Smartmask footbed, Cambrelle lining, water-resistant treatment and Agion scent protection.

Rigger boots are not the easiest in which to walk. I reckon it takes some practise and I certainly tired quickly. I also found driving difficult - the car more so than the tractor. But with their comfort and warmth, I think they might work well for anyone standing on a concrete floor in a packing shed.

Dr Martens Rosa St Rigger Boot, in sizes 3 to 9, is available online (www.drmartens.com/uk - 0845 437 3141), priced £90 (free delivery).

Tested this issue

Makita Sprint Trainer
Makita Super Safety Hiker Boot
V Tech Thunder Waterproof Safety Boot V1215
Dr Martens Izzy St Boot
Dr Martens Rosa St Rigger Boot
JCB Fast Track Safety Boot
Dickies Fury Super Safety Hiker Boot
Steitz Secura Vario

The Reviewer

Sally Drury, technical editor, Horticulture Week

Safety footwear is a must for outdoor work. Just think of the mess your toes could be in without the protection of a steel toecap, or of the pain a nail would have caused had it not been for a steel midsole.

By their nature, safety boots and shoes are strong and can be stiff and restrictive. They can also be heavy, leading to fatigue. Difficult to walk in, some can make driving almost impossible. Ill-fitting safety boots and shoes can be unforgiving. Yet I wear my safety boots to shows and exhibitions.

I can spend all day on my feet, jogging between press meetings and outlying exhibits. Once asked how I manage to stand all day, I replied that it is down to my "perfect" boots. I have worn them for 15 years. Well, not the same pair, obviously. But each time I needed new boots I replaced them like for like - and there is the dilemma.

As an advocate of trying new machinery, I am always preaching that it is good to explore the latest developments rather than just sticking with the same model or brand year after year. So here is the challenge: can I find another pair of safety boots or shoes to match my preferred footwear?

This trial has been conducted over 18 months, with each pair of boots and shoes being subjected to a variety of tasks from walking and driving to digging and general outdoor duties. Each item has been worn in both wet and dry conditions, on grass and concrete as well as sandy and clay soils.

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