Three-four season multi-day tramping boots are foundation equipment that are reliable and comfortable in a variety of conditions.
Leather is still the optimal material for long term durability and comfort. Synthetic boots tend to be lighter and faster drying. Avoid uppers that have seams in high-wear areas (such as the sides of the midfoot).
This protects the top of the foot from the lacing and keeps debris out of the boot. Pay attention to how it fits around your foot and ankle. Tongues should be gusseted to at least three-quarter height and ideally full height for maximum protection from trail debris.
The taller the cuff, the more protection there’ll be for your ankle bones and lower leg but very tall cuffs might restrict agility and are heavier and slower drying. Boots with two sets of lace hooks in the cuff are a good mid-point option.
Boot midsoles consist of a variety of rubbers including EVA and PU. They provide the balance between footbed comfort and a stable and protective platform for the foot. For longer trips on rough terrain, firmer boots are preferred both for protection and to prevent foot fatigue.
Shanks are usually plastic or fibreglass. Sandwiched between the midsole and the outsole, they provide stiffness for crampon use, edging and rugged terrain. Some boots include a ‘rock plate’ to protect the foot on uneven ground.
A perfect fit takes time to determine and each brand will be slightly different. Try several models and don’t determine fit until the boot is laced correctly and you’re standing up. Allow a little space for foot swelling and thicker socks.
Laces should be easy to adjust and flow freely through the eyelets so you can create a precise and comfortable fit. Lace locks keep the boots firm in the midfoot and heel and prevent the laces from loosening.
Boot soles will be a high-carbon rubber that provides a balance between firmness (for edge ‘bite’ on the slippery slopes), durability, and friction (on wet rock for example). Look for a heel that will provide good braking on descents.
Boots with a firm toe box will protect toes from rock strike. A rubber rand (the strip around the edge of the boot upper) helps protect feet, makes the boot more durable and improves traction when scrambling in rocky terrain.
Boots have a waterproof and breathable lining (often Gore-Tex or equivalent) which helps keep feet warmer and dry. The lining also holds water and increases drying time.
Use Tramping Upper Hydrobloc nubuck leather Construction Wide last, Gore-Tex lining, asymmetrical rubber rand, cushioned heel, soft junction at heel for flexibility, dual density PU wedge midsole, TPU shank insert, alloy lacing, flexible crampon compatible. Outsole Vibram Star Trek Weight 1640g. www.huntingandfishing.co.nz
Meindl Island Lady Rock $699
Use Tramping Upper Multi-piece leather Construction Gore-Tex lining, quadruple stitching on exposed seams, internal polymer toe cap, DIGAfix lacing system supports the ankle and secures the heel, PU foam midsole, heat-activated memory foam padding, orthotic full-length polyamide medium flex shank, flexible crampon compatible. Outsole Meindl Multigriff rubber Weight 1440g. www.meindl.co.nz
Meindl Island Lady $699
Use Tramping Upper Multi-piece leather Construction Gore-Tex lining, quadruple stitching on exposed seams, internal polymer toe cap, DIGAfix lacing system supports the ankle and secures the heel, reinforced laces, PU foam midsole, heat-activated memory foam padding, orthotic full-length polyamide medium flex shank, flexible crampon compatible. Outsole Meindl Multigriff rubber Weight 1400g. www.meindl.co.nz
LOWA Women’s Mauria GTX WXL $679
Use Women’s-specific, heavy-duty hiking Upper 2.2mm breathable nubuck leather Construction waterproof Gore-Tex lining, wide fit, C4 comfort tongue, Flex-fit Synchro for natural forward flex, padded cushioning on lower leg, X-lacing stud holds tongue in place, heel and toe rand, 5-3mm medium flex nylon stabiliser, PU midsole. Outsole Vibram Apptrail. Weight 1250g. www.Lowa.co.nz
Scarpa SL Active $579.99
Use Multi-day tramping Upper 2.7mm one-piece full-grain leather Construction Wide last, PU midsole, leather and ‘37.5’ fabric lining for moisture management, high cut articulated ankle support, full rand, micro-pulley speed lacing system, internal heel support, crampon compatible Outsole Vibram Biometric / XS Trek Weight 1620g (m), 1350g (w). www.southernapproach.co.nz
Asolo TPS 520 GV Evo $559
Use Technical tramping Upper 2.8mm full-grain leather Construction Wide fit, single-piece water-resistant upper, Gore-Tex lining, dual-density PU midsole, shock-absorbing outsole, micro-pulley lacing hardware, foam footbed, padded ankle collars, nylon supports, flexible crampon compatible Outsole Asolo Vibram Triple Power Structure. Weight 1660g (m), 1440g (w). www.oms.co.nz
Asolo TPS 535 Evo Widefit $509
Use Tramping Upper Single-piece 2.6-2.8mm water-resistant full grain leather Construction Wide fit, tall collar Cambrelle lining wicks sweat, board lasted, foam footbed, padded ankle collars, nylon supports, dual-density PU midsole, flexible crampon compatible Outsole Asolo Vibram Triple Power Structure. Weight 1600g (m); 1440g (w). www.oms.co.nz
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX $499.90
Use Alpine trekking Upper 1.6mm suede leather, wear-resistant fabric Construction Gore-Tex Extended Comfort membrane, full rubber rand, 3F heel hold system, climbing lacing, Ortholite footbed, nylon shank, TPU midsole, flexible crampon compatible Outsole Vibram WTC Weight 1400g (m), 1140g (w). www.bobo.co.nz
Asolo Fugitive GTX $469
Use Tramping Upper 1.6-1.8mm Water-resistant suede, high tenacity nylon Construction Wide fit, Gore-Tex lining, anatomic footbed, Duo Asoflex lasting board, PU midsole, rubber toe cap, flexible crampon compatible Outsole Asolo Syncro Weight 1380g (m) 1100g (w). www.oms.co.nz