The dual-density rubber midsole provides support, even when we hiked with packs in excess of 60 pounds, and the soft layer on top of the insole made it a boot we were happy to wear all day. The ankle cuff is soft enough to allow for forward flex on uphill hikes.
The high ankle cuff and Schoeller stretch fabric on the upper mean we never had to worry about debris getting into the boot, even after hiking in what one tester described as “a screefield covered in volcanic horror” on a test trip on Kauai. The Gore-Tex-lined upper held up against rain and creeks, and the toe bumper kept our tester’s feet safe in uneven lava fields.
After months of testing on granite, lava, and soft soil, we are sold on the Vibram Winkler outsole, which uses blocked lugs in the heel and toe, plus deep chevron lugs in the midfoot. The hard, sharp edge of the outsole makes it easy to cut steps into hard snow and the square toe lugs allowed us to edge our way up steeper rocks.
The Tower Trek’s upper and outsoles show little wear and tear, even after hundreds of miles on abrasive terrain. Credit the full PU rand around the boot and the tough outsole.