When you’re out on a hike the quality of your boots is a major factor in how it goes. Good boots that are comfortable and effectively waterproofed make for a safe and fun trip. Cheap boots, or boots from questionable manufacturers can lead to blisters and unhappy hikes. Hi-Tec has been making excellent boots based on their motto of Comfortable Anywhere since 1974. Today we’re doing a Hi-Tec hiking boots review to help you find the best boots for your situation.
Hi-Tec Hiking Boots Review
Hi-Tec is one of the most celebrated hiking boot manufacturers in the world. They’ve been creating innovative and reliable products for decades and continue to offer great value for their pricing.
Picking out the best Hi-Tec boots really comes down to where and for how long you’re hiking. We’ve gathered several types of their boots across a range of intended uses and price points to help you make your decision.
Wild-Fire Gamekeeper Waterproof Walking Boots
The Wild-Fire Gamekeeper boots are serious boots for serious trekking. They’re made from soft yet durable suede uppers with an MDT rubber outsole.
They incorporate a Dri-Tec membrane for waterproofing and an XLR8 midsole to reduce weight. This makes them capable of standing up to hard hiking under wet conditions.
One of their added comfort features is an Ortholite impressions sock liner. It contains slow recovery memory foam that offers superior cushioning to make hard and rocky trails feel much more comfortable to your feet.
Skamania Waterproof Hiking Boots for Men and Women
The Skamania are mid hiking boots available for both men and women. They offer increased comfort and lighter weight for short hikes with their lower ankle coverage.
They’re made from a combination of leather and fabric panels and use a grippy MD-Traction pattern on the outsoles for maximum stability. They’re fully waterproofed and contain a cushioned DTA midsole for added comfort and lower weight.
The Skamania mid hiking boots aren’t quite as robust as larger backpacking boots. If you’re planning a weekend hike or going on day hikes they’re a great way to save on weight while still benefiting from excellent comfort and grip.
Storm Waterproof Men’s Light Hiking Boots
The Storm hiking boots are a lightweight pair of men’s day boots designed for rugged terrain. They use Michelin rubber outsoles with an aggressive MD-Traction grip.
They’re fully waterproofed using a Dri-Tec membrane and incorporate Hi-Tec’s ultra comfortable DTA midsole. This serves to reduce their weight and improve impact cushioning.
The upper portion of the boot is made from suede with fabric venting panels. This gives them great durability and excellent breathability.
Altitude VI Waterproof Wide Hiking Boot
The Altitude VI hiking boots are all leather boots designed for rugged environments. They stand on Michelin rubber outsoles with an aggressive MD-Traction grip pattern.
They include Dri-Tec membranes for effective waterproofing and breathability. Hi-Tec also added an i-Shield coating to help the leather repel water and oil. This keeps your feet dry and makes them easier to clean.
The Altitude VI boots are built using XLR8 midsole liners for excellent weight reduction and effective impact cushioning. They incorporate a Ortholite impressions sock liner to add even great comfort.
Bandera Waterproof Hiking Boots for Men and Women
The Bandera hiking boots are durable mid high boots intended for day hikes and overnight treks. They’re made from a combination of leather and fabric with nylon lacing straps.
They’re fully waterproof using a Dri-Tec liner and have a removable molded insole for additional comfort. They have an added steel shank to help keep your feet level on the roughest of terrain.
St Moritz 200 Insulated Boot for Women
The St Moritz women’s insulated boots are designed to provide maximum warmth and comfort. They’re made from waterproof suede and faux-fur with a rubber outsole.
They include thinsulate insulation on the upper along with a fleece lining. The St Moritz boots are built for casual everyday wear in winter conditions.
They aren’t intended for use out on the trails and as such they lack many of the more technical features of Hi-Tec’s other products. For their intended use they’re excellent products that are attractive to look at and very comfortable.
Sierra Tarma Waterproof Hiking Shoe for Women
The Sierra Tarma hiking shoes are ankle high leather boots designed for women. They’re made from a combination of Nubuck and suede with a waterproof Dri-Tec lining and an i-Shield coating.
This causes them to repel water and dirt while still maintaining comfortable breathability. They use an MD-Traction outsole and an EVA midsole for maximum grip and comfort. Their Ortholite impressions sock liner gives them even greater support.
This makes them suitable for all day wear on rugged terrain. If you’re looking for comfortable and dependable all terrain hiking boots the Sierra Tarma boots won’t let you down.
Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Hi-Tec Hiking Boots
There’s a large range of styles and types of Hi-Tec hiking boots available. Picking the best one for your needs really comes down to comparing your budget, how you intend to use them boots, and what specific comfort/durability features you need.
Hi-Tec boots come in a variety of sizes with many different mid and outsole types. You can also choose between different insulation types and levels as well as multiple waterproofing treatments.
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Hi-Tec boots are quality boots at a very affordable price. You can find entry level pairs that start around $40 and higher end models with lots of technical features for around $150.
In between those prices they have a range of products with varying levels of quality and extra features.
Research has shown that every pound you carry on your feet is the same as adding an extra five pounds to your waist. Hi-Tec has done considerable research into reducing the weight of their hiking boots.
Some of the most important of these new technologies are V-Lite, DTA, and XLR8.
V-Lite – V-Lite is Hi-Tec’s signature boot technology. They’ve been focusing on making boots lighter through materials and design since the introduction of their first lightweight boot in 1976.
V-Lite focuses on using less rubber in boot construction as well as lighter materials in midsole construction and overall boot design.
DTA – DTA is a lightweight midsole insert designed with ergonomics in mind. It’s built to improve the transition from heel to toe without adding additional bulk or weight.
XLR8 – XLR8 is described by Hi-Tec as the ultimate mid sole technology. It’s 10% lighter than standard EVA and absorbs more energy from every step.
Hiking boots need to have aggressive traction. They’re designed for walking over long distances on rough terrain. With this in mind Hi-Tec has pioneered many new technologies and partnered with the best in the business.
Many of their most technical boots have outsoles made by Michelin. They’ve been producing high quality rubber products for over 126 years and know their stuff. MD-Traction technology is combined with these quality rubber outsoles to create the best grip possible in all conditions.
Many of their outsoles are made by Vibram. They’re well known for the quality and durability of their outsoles. Vibram soles also incorporate Pentagrip technology to provide greater slip resistance even in wet conditions or in the presence of oil.
With hiking boots waterproofing is one of the minimum features needed. Hi-Tec boots use a number of different waterproofing technologies depending on the type and size.
Dri-Tec – Dri-Tec is the signature waterproofing membrane used in Hi-Tec boots. It’s designed to block water from entering the boots while still remaining permeable to sweat and water vapor from the inside.
i-Shield – i-Shield is an invisible coating applied to the surface of Hi-Tec products. It acts to repel water, oil, and dirt. This helps prevent water from sitting on the surface of your boots and slowly being absorbed.
Thermo-Dri – Thermo-Dri combines 3M’s famous thinsulate insulative layer with Hi-Tec’s own Dri-Tec membrane. It greatly increases the warmth of your boots while still allowing sweat to evaporate away.
Comfort and Durability
Hi-Tec boots are made to be some of the most durable hiking and outdoor boots on the market. What really sets them apart is how effectively they combine this rugged design with comfort enhancing features.
Vibram and Michelin soles are highly resistant to cuts and abrasion over time yet still provide excellent support and impact resistance. Dri-Tec, i-Shield, and Thermo-Dri provide different levels of waterproofing but also allow breathability and greater comfort.
With hiking boots weight is one of the biggest factors in determining comfort. Generally it’s a battle between making the lightest possible boots and the most durable possible boots.
Hi-Tec has struck a good balance with their V-Lite and other features that gives good durability with excellent comfort.
If you’re looking for quality hiking boots Hi-Tec has you covered. They offer boots for any budget and any intended use.
You can find fully insulated mountaineering boots all the way down to comfortable trail running shoes for day hikes.