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EMS Backcountry

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The Backcountry has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2023.

These boots attracted my attention with their lower cost, less weight and for being waterproof. The waterproofing is due to the inner bootie of EMS System III material which is their brand name for the material known as Gore-Tex. These boots are very sturdy in the ankle (which is good for those rough trails) for split uppers. The boots also come with the EMS insole system for better fit of ones foot. I personally use the WIDE insoles, but there are two other insoles for medium and narrow feet.

There are a few drawbacks. Although the EMS System III makes the boots waterproof, I find that this material does not breathe nearly as well as Gore-Tex and therefore I end up with wet sweaty feet. In some very cold or deep snow conditions the boots are not as warm as they could be.

Other than that a great boot for being waterproof and relatively light weight. I've had them for a year and expect to get several more years of good wear out of them!

Materials: split 1000 Cordura and suede leather
Use: moderate trail with moderate pack
Break-in Period: 10-15 trail miles or 1 week
Weight: 2-3 lbs each
Price Paid: $120

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