Bates Hot Weather Combat Hiker
Excellent all around hiking boots. These boots are durable, comfortable, breathable, and provide good support.
- Length of laces
- Cheap insoles
I got these boots after searching long for an affordable American made hiking boot. They are hot weather, non-waterproof military boots.
I bought these a little over a year ago and have since put a couple hundred miles on them with absolutely no problems or issues. They provide great support in all terrains and have good comfort, feel, and breathability. The nubuck leather used on these is a higher quality than is used on most hiking boots and is about twice as thick as you would normally find.
The Vibram soles used on these provide great traction in most conditions and even perform well in wet conditions and wet rocky creek crossings. The tread has held up surprisingly well and shows very little wear after a couple hundred miles.
As good as these boots are, there is room for improvement.
First is the insole.
These are cheap and poor quality that provide little support. The very first time I put the boots on I knew they had to go. After changing them comfort is excellent.
The second issue are the laces.
They are way to long and have to be double bow tied to keep them from dragging the ground. Of course this is a simple fix, either replace them or double tie them. One good point of the laces though is that, the way they are made, they grip themselves well and do not try to loosen as you are tying them up.
One note to potential buyers. Bates shoes run a half to a full size larger than stated size. Mine are a 9 1/2 but are closer to a 10 1/2. This is the case with all Bates shoes I have encountered.
Overall I am extremely happy with these boots. And I couldn't be happier with the price I paid for what I got. Judging from the current age, wear, and condition, I expect many more years of service from them. I would, without reservation, recommend these to anyone that wants a good boot that does not need to be waterproof.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
Hot weather version of military issued mountain combat boot series (with variants).
- Improved "venting for breathability on later "C", and "D" and later variants.
- Great support for heavy loads
- Very durable and grippy Vibram Bifida sole on A/B variants, later VIBRAM CROSSBOW sole used on later variants.
- Can be found for sub $100 price point as surplus
- Runs BIG (order a size down...width is about normal)
- Would have been nicer to have more of a mid boot (see Bates Combat Hiker Waterproof)
- Overkill for a hot weather boot
- Heavy compared to civilian lighter weight vent boots
As the other reviewer stated, these run LARGE (width is normal). I had to go down a full size (unlined hot weather version of military boots tend to run larger due to reduced lining, etc. I suspect).
There are several different variations of these boots by BATES, with the designation of E03612, from "A"-"D" versions. Versions "C" and "D" added some additional venting holes, and the soles changed from the VIBRAM BIFIDA starting with the "C" variant, to the VIBRAM CROSSBOW sole.. These boots are HOT WEATHER wear, and are not waterproof. Ideally the "C/D" versions with the most venting would be the best model to get (google BATES E03612 C (or D) to see the final "improved" variant).
Notice the additional venting on the upper as well on the "C/D" versus the A or B variants!
Bates does decent footwear. These boots would be considered HEAVY when compared to their civilian "breathable" models. You cannot beat the durability, nor the grip of the VIBRAM BIFIDA (designed for mountain combat boot series), or VIBRAM CROSSBOW soles used on later variants.
I'd recommend these boots for temperate to hot weather heavy use. They do not unfortunately dry/drain like the older PANAMA style jungle boots, but they do offer vastly superior support under load (steel shank, etc.).
For cooler weather consider the Gore-Tex lined BATES COMBAT HIKERs (excellent boot made on the same DANNER 850 last.. now used on the DANNER Crater Rim boots).
Decided for me it was overkill for a hot weather boot. Ultimately too much limning still for a non-waterproof boot, too slow to drain/dry versus a standard jungle boot.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89
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Reviewers Paid: $89.00-$100.00