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Reviewers Paid: $59.00-$70.00
My experience with the HiTec Explode is positive. I found it to have good all around support. Now the previous reviewer seems to have had a poor fit, and that is a big issue, as no poor fit will ever work, no matter how well the boot is made.
The Explode is an inexpensive boot, and for the price the value is very high. Now compared to a $300 pair of boots, it may be cheaply constructed, but in its price category it is an excellent value.
Compared to the other HiTec models, this boot has a very stiff sole, and a lot of ankle support, so it feels like your feet are doing very little work while hiking. Climbing a steep slope is particularly enhanced with this model over the other HiTec models.
They are also very stylish, which is odd for a boot.
I am a very large man, at 350 pounds. And I do a lot of hiking over loose rock on sloped surfaces, so I give a boot a good workout.
These are very cheap boots, so don't expect them to last years. I tend to wear the insides out on my HiTec models first. These are not a replacement for serious mountain climbing boots.
HiTec boots are true to a size. I wear 13's, and no matter what model I buy, a HiTec 13 always fits me. Other boot makers have a wider variety of sizing, and seem to assume thick socks are to be used. I live in the heat of Texas, and wear standard white cotton crew socks.
Materials: Leather, nylon, man-made materials
Use: Light hiking
Break-in Period: very little break-in
Weight: light weight 1.5 pounds
Price Paid: $59
Not at all impresed with these boots. Although the ankle support is nice and high, the soles look good and have good traction...the uppers provide no support at all, feels like wearing a slipper. The innners are totally flat (not good for high or medium arches) and seem to be incredibly high volume (I was sliding considerably laterally). Not to say it's a bad boot, but not the boot for me (ordered it on line without trying it on).
Materials: leather/nu buck
Use: scrambling, speed hiking, day packing
Break-in Period: to be determined
Weight: 1.5 lbs./each
Price Paid: $70