Montrail Hardrock Mid GTX
The Hardrock Mid GTX has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking boots for 2024.
I bought these as a way to lighten my load, providing an alternative to my 3-4 lb leather backpacking boots. I was also thinking of Keen Targhee Mid or Merrell Moab. I chose these because they were on sale, but I was very close to getting the Keens.
I'm impressed. I chose a half size larger, and there is plenty of room in the toebox, length and width-wise. I'm a bit wide. I've put about 25 miles on them over several weeks. They are very comfortable. I live in rainy Washington, but it's been a dry year, so I haven't really tested the Gore-tex yet. I don't expect it to be perfect. These are very light hikers, just over a pound, and I expect my feet to get wet in a soaker. I walked across some creeks and stood in puddles. Although I could feel a chill against my feet, they were dry when I got back to the car.
I bought these for training day-hikes, as well as a two week trip this summer. If they get wet, I expect them to dry quickly. I might carry special liner socks, just in case, and still be way less than my 4 lb leather boots. On the drier days, I expect to feel the wonderful lightness of two less pounds on my legs.
They are mid-height, and grip the heel and ankle very well, with good padding. I think the ankle support is sufficient for multi-day backpacking, because there is a stiff outer material on the back that is very supportive, yet comfortable. The traction is good. The lugs are not very deep, so I'm wondering how it will wear over time. I'm sure this contributes to the light-weight. But they did well on ice and snow covered trails last weekend, just like my other boots do. Eventually, I put on my Yak-trax, and they handled those well without scrunching up.
They don't feel like tennis shoes, but I think they are lighter than tennis shoes. The sole is sturdy and supportive. Rocks and sticks don't bother me. The sole has a stiffener and I can feel it helping me to push off easy. Uphill or downhill, they are very comfortable and worry free. And I'm liking the lightness.
The weight is a radical change from what I'm used to, so I think they'll be perfect for my two week trek this summer, 93 miles. They might be revised and go by another name this year because I bought them on "closeout".
Materials: Synthetic, Gore-tex
Use: Training dayhikes, lightweight backpacking treks.
Break-in Period: Very little break-in.
Weight: 1 lb 15 oz
Price Paid: $85
I bought these for my wife for when she occasionally hikes with me. She is not into the outdoors, especially for the normal cost of equipment, so I couldn't pass up this pair when I found them on clearance. Who could complain about top-quality hikers for less than $20?
Her feet get cold easily when they get wet, so these offered a great solution w/ Gore-Tex and their light-weight design. She doesn't particularly like the coloring, but says that they are much better than "clunky boots".
She reports them to be very comfortable, with great support and cushioning. "My feet don't hurt after that hike" was her last report when I asked.
Materials: synthetic, Gore-Tex
Use: day hikes, overnight hikes w/ less than 25 pound pack
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $17 at Ross
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Historic Range: $19.96-$149.99
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Historic Range: $19.96-$149.99