Thanks to the super-thick EVA midsole and burly forefoot plate, we were able to haul up to 40 pounds day after day without soreness. “The plate makes these shoes feel bulletproof,” one tester says. “They ate rocks and roots no problem on super-rugged Little Mount Susitna in Alaska.”
A sock-like liner connects the tongue to the upper, effectively acting as a gaiter, so debris couldn’t get in. “It’s like an armored vehicle,” our Alaska-based tester said after months of bushwhacking though mud and brush in Tongass National Forest.
Testers praised the boots’ comfy insole—which has a soft EVA upper and a stiff, supportive arch—but expect a longer-than-usual break-in period because of how stiff and structured they are.
All testers reported excellent breathability. The mesh upper allows them to breathe, even during hikes in the 90s, and dry quickly after stream crossings or surprise rain showers.