Price Paid: 220.00 USD
The Alicosport Summit is a great all leather boot for the money!
I have had these boots for two years and have put about 400 miles on them, mostly in rocky steep terrain. I was looking for a tough, rigid boot that would fit my wide feet and hold up to years of backpacking and hiking.
I am happy to report that the Summits have met my needs, they are a great old school backpacking boot. They show little signs of wear, all the stitching is just as neat and tight as the day I got them. They are like a good baseball glove.
If you are looking for boots that are lightweight, or flexible, or ready out of the box, don't buy these! These also do not have Gore Tex liners, which I do not like.
But, if you need serious protection from rocks, total waterproofness, rigidity for climbing steep rocky slopes, and the ability to use crampons or snow shoes, and are willing to waterproof boots the right way, take a serious look at these.
The Summits are a one piece full grain leather boot with a welted sole and Vibram Montagna Block tread. You will have to add aftermarket footbeds, and waterproof them with a waterproofer suitable for oil tanned leathers. I am using Superfeet Green footbeds and Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP waterproofer.
After a lengthy break in process of about three months, and adding footbeds, these boots became very comfortable, just as comfortable as my older Scarpas and Asolos. I love the rigidity provided by the half shank for kicking steps and edging rocks on trails. The built in rocker makes trails that are flatter and easier going, a breeze to walk down.
The glove leather liner in these boots has synthetic liners beat hands down as far as I'm concerned. The leather liner is cooler in summer, and if the liner is waterproofed along with the outside of the boot it makes getting some water inside less of a big deal, you just dry them out with a bandanna or pack towel. This helps with stream crossings on rocky streambeds where you might get some water over the top, just remove your socks, roll up your pants, and cross in the boots and wipe them out if needed, put the socks back on and go. I don't always carry shoes for stream crossings and a leather liner makes a big difference.
The padded tongue and padded scree collar are comfortable and show little signs of wear just like the rest of the boot.
The lacing system in these boots is rugged and I haven't had any problems other than having to replace laces.
I would say the Vibram Montagna Block sole on the Summits is not as grippy as my Asolo hikers (which wore out quick), but the more I wear them the better they seem to get.
The only place I could find these boots was Sierra Trading Post, I don't usually mail order boots, but after trying on a buddies pair I had to try them out for myself. I have wide feet and ordered the wide size, and a half size larger than what my feet measure. I got lucky maybe, but the Summits fit good.
I plan on buying another pair soon, I don't want to wait until they decide to quit making these!
Once again, these are great for backpacking on steep, and or rocky terrain, and a good boot for the money.
Use: Walking straight compass lines through the woods
Break-in Period: 2 weeks for me
Weight: 235 lbs
Price Paid: $120
I love this boot. I am a Forester and need a boot with a sewn sole instead of glued to hold up to the adverse terrain that I deal with. My job is all bushwacking and no trail walking. These are my wet weather boots because of the thickness of the leather. Tip for break-in, neats foot oil. It will soften the leather and speed up the break-in. After broken in don't use the neats foot oil again until the leather needs rejuvination after extended wet/dry periods. Otherwise the leather will be to supple and lose its durabilty and supportiveness.
My two complaints with this boot is a wide is a little too wide and the sole is a little slippery. Fortunateley this can be solved by putting thicker insoles in.
As for the grip, they can be resoled for about $40 by you local cobbler with the classic and still the best vibram sole. I haven't resoled yet, because they aren't that slippery and after wearing them for awhile you adjust to the weakness and dig in with the sides and heel instead of the toe and ball.
They will keep you feet relativeley dry. I think on the trail they would keep you feet pretty dry. My experience has been that walking through brush and grasses will soak your feet a lot faster than puddles on a trail. I think it's a surface tension thing.
These are a bulletproof boot. I have worn them for three seasons now and will probably wear them for at least three more. I wear them at least 2-3 days a week for eight hours at a time for 26 weeks a year. The key to this boot is maintenace. It's all leather and must be oiled and waxed. Nixwax is not enough. Neither is bee's wax or sno-seal. The best treatment neats foot oil and then sno-seal over top.
DO NOT HEAT THE BOOT. It only cracks the leather. Wash the boots let them dry so that when you push the leather it feels damp, but no water squeezes out. Then apply a light coat of neats foot oil. By the time you have both boots treated the first boot will be ready to treat with sno-seal. Rub it in with you fingers or a leather glove. At this point I usually put them on my boot drier which uses very low heat circulating through the boot. By treating the boot while still wet and driing them from the inside with a boot drier I believe all the oil and wax is being sucked into the leather. I use the same process with Obenauf's leather perservative minus the neats foot oil because it contains oil.
You must treat them everytime you soak them or else they will dry rot. This is my ritual for boot care. Try it, it will work. I make my living on my feet and in my boots. One of my co-workers got the same pair and only got two seasons out them because he didn't treat them.
Use: rough trails, weekend backpacking, fair-weather mountain-climbing
Break-in Period: A good week of stomping around, with three applications of Nikwax
Weight: 4 lbs.
Price Paid: $130
I bought these on sale because I wanted a tough pair of "old-school" hiking boots that would A) fit my weird feet (EE wide at the ball, smallish at the heel with a tall instep) and B) last a good, long time. That these Alico Summit boots are made in Italy did make them more attractive to me. These boots are made with 3mm thick full-grain leather uppers with glove leather lining inside, along with a deep-lugged Vibram Montagna outsole and Norwegian welt construction (sole double-stitched to upper, not hot-glued on). They're quite impressive looking.
The design of the boot isn't as impressive as some -- for instance, the tongue is not of one piece with the upper, and I worry about seepage through the seams. I would have liked the lacing to extend more to the toe-box area for a more secure hold on the entire foot. But for only $130 (the cost of many lightweight cloth-and-leather boots), I think these are acceptable trade-offs.
These boots are heavy by today's standards, at a listed weight of 4 lbs. for the pair, and they feel even heavier than that. However, they are solid! It took a full week of walking around home and office to loosen them up to the point where I felt comfortable taking a hike in them. I never got anywhere close to getting a blister.
These boots have a lot of room inside, and I did have to experiment with aftermarket insoles in order to get a good fit. I've settled on a pair of Odor-Eaters Ultra flat insoles on bottom (to take up some of that extra room), with the original equipment insoles on top. These two insoles in combination with my usual thin liner socks and heavy wool hiking socks seem to have done the trick.
After taking them on some day hikes over snow and ice covered boulder fields in the Poconos, and some snowshoeing with a good amount of off-trail bushwhacking through rhododendron thickets, I can say that these boots are rugged and well up to anything I'll be throwing at them. They are very supportive and the outsole gives tremendous traction. The soles are just stiff enough to allow scrambling up snow-covered rocky inclines by kicking steps with the toes of the boots. The boots are waterproof enough, especially after a couple of applications of Nikwax.
My only problem with them is their weight. After I got home from my first full-day hike in these boots, my right hamstring went into spasms for a bit. I suspect that I wasn't used to tromping around in such heavy boots and my legs were a little traumatized as a result. I've never had this problem before or since, but I figured people should know that heavier boots like these require some extra conditioning of your legs. The extra weight is the only reason I gave these boots a 4 (one point off for being heavier than expected). But if you know you want heavier, extra-rugged, all-leather, Italian-made boots, then consider these a bargain!
Materials: 2.6mm leather upper, leather lining, Vibram Montagna outsole
Use: Long dayhikes, weekend backpacks over rugged terrain
Break-in Period: a short hike or two will do it
Weight: 4 lbs.
Price Paid: $129.95
This is the third installment of my review of these boots. I returned the size 9.5W I had griped about in my last review, and exchanged them for a size 10M. I was having problems with my toes slamming up against the front of the boot on steep downhills, and I wanted to make sure that didn't happen again. I also found the boot to be generally loose, so I went with a normal width instead of wide, even though I measure in at an EE width. It can get complicated getting a good fit, especially with my weird dogs!
Wearing my just barely broken-in size 10M's, I climbed Algonquin in the Adirondacks, 8.6 miles r/t with 3000 feet of climbing, in about 8 hours. I chewed the leather up pretty good, but a cleaning and a little Nikwax and they look great once more. The Vibram Montagna soles gripped the large bare rockfaces really well, and the boots gave me plenty of cushioning from the rocky trail. Ankle support was great. My feet felt fine for the next day's 8 miles in the woods around the Paul Smiths area, with some bushwhacking. The narrower width kept my toes from sliding forward, and I had plenty of toe-room, but the boots now feel a little long -- the arch area feels like it's too long for my foot. But like I said, my feet felt very good the next day. I had no blisters, not even close.
So far I have to say that these Alico Summit boots are really well-made, sturdy, and nice-looking in an old-fashioned sort of way.
The downsides are that the boots are heavier than most, and feel a bit 'big' on one's feet. But the wide footprint really feels stable. The heel area is a bit too roomy for my feet, but is close enough. The instep area is a bit tight, but bearable (there's not a whole lot of padding under the tongue, but enough to get by).
I've tried a more high-tech boot with cemented-on Vibram Bifida sole, but they don't feel right on my (weird) feet. They feel constricted in the toe-box. I also tried a traditional Italian forestry boot (very big and sturdy looking) but found that they are also too narrow in the toe-box and don't provide enough cushioning from the rocky trails I travel.
I think I need something with a wide ball, narrow heel, high instep and round, roomy toe-box. So far, the Alico Summit has turned out to be the best boot for me, but not perfect.
Materials: 2.6mm Leather Outers & Soft leather linings and tounge
Use: Backpacking, 40lb Pack, Tough Trail
Break-in Period: 10 to 20 Miles
Weight: 4.0 Lbs
Price Paid: $135
These are rock solid no B.S. old school Backpacking boots. The quality of materials and craftmanship is excellent. Right out of the box plan to put in some cushion insoles under the existing insoles (Dr. Scholls Work boot insoles worked for me), they just seem to be designed to require this. It's also a good idea to treat them with a good waterproofing/conditioner. I used Grangers for smooth leather.
They must be broken in for about 10 or 20 miles and then go for it. You can forget about your boots and worry about your other gear.
I bought these boots because I had problems with sore ankles and feet with other Made In China boots that felt great right out of the box in the store but let me down when carrying a 40 pound pack on a tough rocky trail.
I have never used these boots in very cold or snowy weather but they stood up well to two days in the rain.
Materials: 2.8mm leather uppers, Vibram Montagna outsoles
Use: rough trails, light mountain-climbing, some bushwhacking
Break-in Period: a couple of weeks of hiking and walking around
Weight: 4 pounds for the pair
Price Paid: $130
This is a follow-up to my previous review. I've been on several winter day hikes in mountainous areas in the three weeks since then, and now have a better idea of how these boots perform.
- I made a mistake about the thickness of the leather used for the boots' uppers. It is between 2.6 and 2.8 mm, not 3.0 mm as I erroneously stated. That makes these boots more of a "midweight," but heavy for that class at 4 lbs. a pair. They are a bit heavy for long hikes on rolling trails, but not overly so. They are heavy and stiff enough for good support while climbing the many rock ledges in the Catskills.
- The shape of the boot has changed as they've broken in. My wide feet have stretched out the ball area, maybe a little too much. Also, the length seems to have shrunk a little, which has caused my toes to touch the front ends of the boots on steep downhills, especially when the boots have been wet for a while. Nothing serious, but a little worrisome. I'll have to return them if it gets any worse...
- The heel area of this boot seems too large. In order to keep my heels firmly seated in the boots, I've had to crank down hard on the laces. This has caused some slightly painful pressure spots on my rather high insteps and at the front of my ankles, as there isn't much padding on the back of the tongues to protect them from the pressure of the laces. A thicker tongue would help.
- I was hoping that this heavy of a boot would provide lots of ankle support, but I find that it's only adequate, not great. But I can't complain, as the leather is soft enough to be quite comfortable.
The Alico Summits have done very well for me on steep, rocky trails in the Catskills and with snowshoes in deep snow. I've only had the slightest hint of water seeping in (these boots are leather-only, no Gore-Tex in them) and my feet have stayed nice and warm at all times.
All in all, I'd be very satisfied with these boots if they fit me a bit better. But I have truly strange feet (bony, with a combination of smallish heels, high insteps and EE-width balls), but those of you with fairly high-volume feet should find these boots to be a great fit.
I hope this has been helpful to somebody out there...
Use: Day hikes and some everyday use
Break-in Period: A couple weeks
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $130-140
I love these boots! Though they are heavy, they treat my feet quite well. I've had mine for over two years, and they are still in great shape. The Vibram sole is tough and handles any terrain well. An added bonus, for me, is that they are old school. No plastic or any of that other garbage on the outside.
Materials: All Leather
Use: Heavy Pack
Break-in Period: 10 miles or so
Weight: 4.25 lbs.
Price Paid: $104+ shipping
Well made Traditional Stitched Vibram sole backpacking boot. Leather lined, no Gore-tex here and a bit heavier than most. Since I wear construction boots every day the weight seems AOK. Other than Limmers, Norwegian Welt boots are getting hard to find and those fine shoes are beyond my budget. Danner still makes the Mountain Lights, but I'm no fan of Gore-tex, or its competitors, so they're out.
My fourth pair of BP boots in 15 years. The first pair were Fabiano Rios. I wore them to death, despite the tight toe box. Pair # 2. Salomons came apart at Philmont. Sierra Trading took them back, no issues. # 3's are Scarpa M3's, good boots, after 6 years they're goin down. Had these about a month and already I love them.
I should say I've not worn them outside yet. These are wider with more volume than most Italian made or designed boots. Also they're taller than any hiker I ever owned. I bought three different sizes. Normally I wear size 8.5/9 wide. The 8.5 Mediums fit great, a bit snug as new boots should be, but no issues of any kind. The 9M & 9W have gone back. I should note that skimpy footbead says 42M on it. Most shoes labled 42 carry a US size 9, or maybe a 9.5.
Why not five stars? Well the footbed for one thing, count on replacing it soon after break in. Also I worry the half shank, instead of a full nylon shank will allow too much flex, we'll see. At this price I'll take the risk on the shank.
Update: January 30, 2007
OK, so I lied, well maybe not. I had the experience as another poster here. The 8.5M seemed AOK, then as the boots broke they felt shorter. My toes started to move forward, bad things were afoot. Luckly STP still had the 9M, so I exchanged them. Next the unthinkable occurred, a pair of near new Limmer Standards on e-bay, Size 8.5M, in wink of an eye they were mine. I'll keep the Alico's as a back up plan.
Awesome boots. Got them as a gift my freshman year of high school, just as great 4 years later.
I expect these boots to last as long as i do.
Use: Work, meter reader 6-10 miles daily
Break-in Period: 2 days
Price Paid: $135
The boots fit true to size. After applying Obenauf's leather protector, (best I've found), the boots broke in after two days and about 10 miles. They are expertly crafted and built to last a lifetime. I live where it is hot in summer and cold in winter. These boots never fail me.
Materials: Leather, non Gore-Tex good Vibram tread
Use: all around use
Break-in Period: 2 weeks
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $135
Good multi purpose boot. Fits my wide foot well. Some might consider it to be to heavy. I much prefer this boot over a Gore-Tex boot. It is acceptably water resistant. This is a much better boot than the lighter duty Tahoe which has a poorly made sole and insole.