The Carbon Jr. has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2021.
Historic Range: $22.95-$32.95
Reviewers Paid: $35.00
Recently, we purchased a new pair of shoes Hi-Tec Carbon Jr. shoes for my 8-year old son. My wife and I have a pair of Hi-Tec Altitude hiking boots and we love them. Naturally, based on our own experience, we expected the Carbon Jr. to be a well-made shoe that would stand up to the normal wear and tear of an 8-year old.
Boy, were we wrong.
After he had worn them for almost a month, I noticed that a few of the shoe lace loops were starting to wear through the fabric. I was disturbed by this but let it pass.
A week later, the shoes got a good soaking when my son decided to play with the garden hose. They sat maybe a day drying. When I noticed the inside wasn’t drying fast enough, I took out the foot bed and opened them up so they could dry quicker. Imagine my surprise to see that the bottom of the shoe underneath the foot bed had basically come apart. Parts had rubbed off in little pieces or come loose completely.
Worst of all was that the shank had come loose in one of the shoes and was moving around (potentially dangerous) and both shanks had started rusting (after only about 2 days)? If this was after only 1 month of normal wear and tear (and not even from constant wear) and 1 day of being wet, I hate to think how they would have reacted if we had washed them in the washing machine.
I realize that the Carbon Jr. isn’t listed as waterproof or even water-resistant, but since Hi-Tec wants to tout its durable outsole, I would expect the rest of the shoe to hold up for more than a month and the insole to be able to hold up to a little water (and certainly not come apart if it does get a little wet).
We still love our Altitudes, but, we may have to think twice before purchasing another pair of Hi-Tec shoes for kids.
Materials: suede leather, nylon upper, EVA footbed, carbon runnber overlasted outsole
Use: normal 8-year old boy wear and tear
Break-in Period: None. Shoes were comfortable and flexible from beginning.
Price Paid: $35