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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

March 2008 Boots Review: Mid-Duty Boots

by: The Backpacker Editors, Photos by Julia Vandenoever


Lightest
Aku Suiterra Injected GTX

After a 25-miler in the Tetons, our Northwest editor declared this high-cut a versatile performer for its low weight. The fit is luxurious, cradling the heel and supporting the arch while allowing the toes enough space to avoid jamming on long, steep descents. The boots remained comfortable throughout a 10-hour day carrying 35 pounds. With a moderately stiff midsole, excellent torsional rigidity, and a rigid exoskeleton, the Suiterras proved super stable during miles of off-trail scrambling. Yet a collar that flexes in all directions made for easy trail striding: "I practically jogged down the numerous switchbacks of the Alaska Basin Trail," he said. Most impressively, they weigh in a half-pound or more lighter than comparable models. Waterproofing proved flawless, but breathability was just OK; they felt a little warm on hot days. Best for medium-volume feet. $210; 2 lbs. 6 oz.

Garmont Sitka XCR
These boots perform well above their weight class. "I wore them on a three-day scramble through Utah's Waterpocket Fold, and they felt featherweight and bouncy underfoot, yet they had the support and armor to bash around on steep, fractured rocks," our Rocky Mountain editor said. Ventilation is good for a waterproof leather model, thanks to a fabric tongue that seems to pump in air with every stride. The deeply lugged outsole with its beveled edge feels plenty stable. Traction is decent and it excels at striding. Bottom line: A great value for moderate-load backpacking in rough terrain and soggy weather. Best for wider, high-volume feet. $160; 2 lbs. 8 oz.



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READERS COMMENTS

lone star.a.t.10
Mar 02, 2011

I finished the Appalachian Trail in the same pair of Keen Targhee II Mids I started with. Yeah, they were shot. But they were damn comfortable! Would like to see a Vibram deep lug sole as apposed to the slick carbon rubber. I think that would do alot with the sole separation issues also.

derek
Nov 29, 2009

I got my aku suiterra injected GTX from sierratradingpost.com .. the aku website it aku.it

Jeff
Mar 11, 2009

I still have my OneSport Moraines... Best boots I've ever owned or tried.

I'm disappointed to see one positive review after another though... It leaves the impression that the reviewers are afraid of offending an advertiser.

Trey Porter
Jan 04, 2009

I have low volume feet and have found Montrails to be a good fit, and adequate quality. I also have ridgid flat feet (the really bad kind of flat feet) and the Montrail GTX Classic (not "Classic" when I bought them) have lended great support. I also have the circulation problems that many low-volume feet have. I find that lacing around the (Dorsalis pedis - mid tongue) AND a tongue pad helps distibute the pressure.

mark zele
Oct 01, 2008

Ratings boots that can not be purchase makes no sense. AKU website is in French, toll free number 877 864-7249 is disconnected and no major distributors on East coast such as Campmor or Easter Mountain Store have them in stock. Don't forget boots you have to try first.

Danny Helfen
May 08, 2008

I used to have a pair of One Sport Moraines. Are the Montrail Helium comporable to the Moranes?

Ana C
May 03, 2008

Does anybody know where to buy AKU Suiterra injected GTX?

Chris
Apr 22, 2008

Keen Targhee II Mid absoute rubbish, they leak like a seive and the lugs come off the sole, comfortable? Yes. Practical? NO! I have sent 3 pair back

Rich Dubiel
Apr 21, 2008

Thanks for nothing. What about people (men) with low volume feet?!

Rich Dubiel

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