User Review: Cabela's Perfekt Hikers (8")
Materials: Combination smooth leather and nubuck leather
Use: Meant for "extensive walking and moderate trekking"
Break-in Period: A couple of days of walking around
Weight: 3.6 lbs.
Price Paid: $130 (on sale)
The only reason I'm taking off a star is because ultimately these boots didn't fit my wide feet. I'm putting this review up as an aid to people who might have similar problems finding a fit for their high-instep, wide at the ball, long-toed, narrow heeled feet.
These boots are quite impressive. The uppers are a combination of smooth leather around the laces, with a rand made of rough-out leather. The lacing system is well done.
The boots are tall for a hiking boot, at 8", which gives them great ankle support for their weight. The soft Achiles tendon cutout area is well-designed. I didn't feel any constriction at all.
The very comfy footbed is made of cork, is very nicely supportive and provides great cushioning. It's supposed to mold itself to the shape of your foot, but I didn't keep the boots long enough to be able to confirm this.
The stitching seems very solid, and the (glued-on, molded) sole looks tough, even though it's a Meindl sole, not a Vibram or Skywalk.
I would be giving these boots a solid 5, except that they just didn't fit me. I have wide (EE) feet, with a not-so-big heel and ankle (shaped sort of like a slice of pizza with a high instep). This makes it very tricky for me to find a boot that fits. This boot came very close, except that there is a seam on the inner lining that goes right over the bony area at my pinky toes. The boots feel like they place a tight ring wrapped around the widest area at the ball of my foot. After a couple of hours, this makes my feet very uncomfortable. It's not that the toe box is small, because it's actually quite roomy (another indication of a very intelligent design). It's just that the area right where the lacing starts over the ball of the foot is very low. I guess I have too high an instep for these boots.
I would imagine that if you have more normal-shaped feet, these boots would be a great deal at their current sale price ($60 less than the new 2005 model). They are very well made and look like they should last a long time.
Cabela's offers a return policy where you can try the boots out for up to a couple of weeks on rugs or other non-challenging surfaces and return the boots if they don't work out for you. This is quite fair, but not the best you can do.
L.L.Bean and Sierra Trading Post offer a 100% guarantee that allows you to return boots even if you've taken them out on the trail. I'll be trying a pair of Alico boots from Sierra...
Right now I'm breaking in a pair of Danner Mountain Light II, and I'll report on how these do once I've taken them out on the trail.
To those of you who can simply go to your local sporting goods store and find lots of boots that fit you: I envy you!
Where to Buy
The Cabela's Perfekt Hikers is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Cabela's website.
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