Warning: Muddy boots throughout!
Hiking boots and I don’t have the most romantic story. I have difficult feet. I’m flat footed in my left, with one dodgy ankle. Trying to find a good pair of hiking boots which fits my criteria has been a challenge:
- Exceptional ankle support
- Not made out of leather or suede
- Foot support with added room to flex
I contacted household name Hi Tec to see what they could offer me. Unfortunately (and this is common with most manufacturers) trying to find non leather and suede is a challenge! Luckily my 2nd choice and the only ones I could find weren’t made out of either although I can’t give them the vegan stamp of approval.
I have tried them out on various terrain including two North East Wales hill hikes which I wrote about.
Tip: break them in around the house first and on short trips like a dog walk.
Why men’s hiking boots you ask? Well, I’m blessed with slightly larger and wider feet and women’s hiking boots tend to not fit. Stupidly I went for a size 8 which were far too big, the size 7 are a perfect fit. I’d say they’re generously sized. Instead of sending them back, Hi Tec asked for me to donate the 8 which I thought was lovely.
I’ve to admit, when I first started out, hiking boot features were just something of a blur to me. If they looked good, they’d surely fit good right? Er no. It’s been a long journey choosing the right hiking boot and I think I’ve found a pair which are my trusty companions.
Walking on air :
It takes a little getting used to. The boot rocks -heel to toe – which mimics how we’re meant to walk anyway. A durable fork shank really makes a difference. They help to ease the stress in your arches and encourage natural movement (a big plus from a flat footed yetti) A CMEVA midsole helps to absorb shock from the impact of uneven and hard terrain and it helps to keep the foot in a natural position.
They have been super comfortable to walk in. I had one day of rubbing but that was down to not thick enough socks.
I was a little apprehensive of the ankle deign. I like mine a little higher. That said, the synthetic upper and rubber outsole makes for one heck of a sturdy and supportive boot. I even did a few night walks (which I’m always a little apprehensive about) but was fine. The laces are worth a mention in these hiking boots too. They’re certainly tough which helps with a snug fit.
I may have had to call upon some male strength to tighten them.
I can confirm they’re waterproof, breathable and light weight. I think they’re the lightest weight hiking boot’s I’ve had actually. Grip wise I can’t comment properly because when they’re brand new, they have a bit of extra shine on them and until I really walk them in, I’ll be able to tell you more about the grip. They’ve been great on wet and muddy days. On icier days here in the Welsh hills, more care has to be taken but I think that’s the same with most hiking boots. And actually, if you’re hiking in icy and snowy conditions then you’d have crampons.
Tip: boots need to be cleaned regularly and sprayed with waterproofing spray should you want them to keep the water out.
I love the design of them -the green is a nice contrast from gray and I think they make a great unisex hiking boot. I genuinely don’t suffer from hardly any pain in my lack of arch like before. The most I’ve paid for a hiking boot is around £45 and I do notice a different in quality. I think for outdoor gear usually, the more you spend the better quality it is. I’ve noticed a distinct different in quality with these hiking boots. I think for £79.99 with a 60-day comfort guarantee- they’re fantastic value for money and as I’m learning, you can’t put a price on your foot health!
I’m certainly thankful to have them during my 1000 mile walk challenge in 2017.
Update: Grips have been very good! One set of laces snapped but that’s because I was tightening the bootup wrong – pulling the laces up from the ends rather than starting to pull them from the front of the shoe, therefore I put too much pressure on the lace!
Have you tried any of Hi Tec’s products? What do you think?
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post but the walking is all mine!