Hi-Tec was founded in 1974 and created the lightweight hiking category with the introduction of the Sierra Sneaker and Sierra Lite hiking boot. Today, Hi-Tec remains true to its heritage, offering technical footwear and apparel for outdoor adventure. With over three decades of product and performance technology innovation, Hi-Tec is committed to making rugged, durable products for work, trails and life, authentically inspired by the real outdoor experience. Hi-Tec almost singularly focuses on developing attractive, comfortable, lightweight high-quality shoes at a fair “true value” price. They apply high technology build processes and leverage innovative materials to ensure the ultimate in comfort, whether your needs are performance-oriented, or more leisure wear centric. Besides their gear, one great thing about Hi-Tec is that they put their money where their mouth is, supporting such groups as the National Parks Conservation Association.
Hi-Tec was gracious enough to send our whole family boots to try out. We all got insulated hiking boots, though Laima’s were more of the casual variety (Park City Sport 200), with a hook and loop closure rather than laces. While Laima appreciated the comfort and that they had a rugged hiking sole, the lack of laces made them inadvisable for more than a casual stroll. For all the details, see Women’s Endurance Gear. The kids each got a pair of the Renegade Trail WP Juniors to try out and as a word of caution, all the kids’ boots ran a full size small – the kids weigh in over at Kids Try Gear.
• Waterproof suede leather and mesh upper
• Thermo-Dri® waterproof/insulated construction
• 400g Thinsulate™ insulation
• Metal top hooks and Ghilley lacing system
• Abrasion-resistant heel and toecap for protection
• Heel kickoff design for easy shoe-removal
• Waterproof bootie construction
• Comfort-Tec sockliner
• Board lasted with steel shank for added rigidity and support
• CMEVA midsole for cushioning
• Winter Traction, siped outsole rubber design
These boots are big, and clunky, and really look like they mean business. That is why the most amazing thing about them is that they are extremely light and comfortable. They fit true to size, even a bit roomy, which is nice in a winter boot, as they are comfortable with a variety of sock thicknesses.
I wore these boots for both work and play. The coldest was for a full-day job outing in Milwaukee, WI, where the wind chill was a steady 15 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. No problems for these insulated boots. Feet stayed toasty and dry all day. Several snow outings showed that the waterproof boots are so only up to the lace line. The picture below shows me standing in the Salt Creek, moments before plunging my foot further in, soaking that foot in the process. The nice thing was that my feet stayed warm even soaking wet, which is a real confidence booster in a winter boot. This past weekend we headed out to Starved Rock State Park, where we hiked hill and dale and hundreds of steps up staircases in near-Spring conditions. No complaints from either me or the kids, as they were comfortable on all terrain.
After hiking on cement, through leaves, dirt, snow, and water, I have to say that these are really incredible boots. While feeling overbuilt and protective, their light weight makes them comfortable for wearing all day. These boots stack up very well against boots that cost far more – recommended.
Hi-Tec thought of a really humorous way to introduce their new trail running shoes, the V-Lite Infinity series, boasting flex-zone outsole technology ™, S.U.Z.E. (seamless upper zone engineering) and with some models including ion-mask technology. Join the Infinity Team at http://www.hi-tec.com/infinity/us/athletes/ and become a runner reviewer. Not sure what the qualifications are, but I applied and never heard anything. Maybe you’ll have better luck!
Based on the quality of footwear, comfort, and usability, I hope we can continue our partnership with Hi-Tec and bring you more reviews of both their variety of footwear as well as apparel.
(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog – courtesy of Hi-Tec Sports USA, Inc. I did not pay for the item, receive payment, or agree to give it a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)