|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – April 2009
The North Face packs extreme waterproofing and long distance comfort into this bargain boot.
From the snowy San Francisco Peaks to the muddy North Cascades to the epically wet Welsh highlands, the common reaction among testers to these Gore-Tex all-leather hikers was: "very waterproof." And this well-priced high-cut has other qualities seen in boots that cost at least $40 more, including good ankle support on mucky trail and steep slickrock; a reassuringly stiff midsole that can handle 40 to 50 pounds easily; a firm heel cup that keeps feet locked in place; and leather exoskeletal reinforcements extending from the heel to the cuff.
Best of all: It's stiff in the right places–namely, from heel to arch–with a more supple flex in the forefoot than many leather models in this category. That gives it a slightly softer feel over miles of walking. But take note: These boots are definitely for cooler temps, and the lugs skate on wet rock. Best for narrow to average, medium-volume feet. $190; 3 lbs. 2 oz. Thenorthface.com