Montrail Traverse GTX
The Traverse GTX has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking boots for 2024.
Definitely not comfortable out of the box. Traverse boots share the tendency of many of Montrail's styles to become too narrow where my toes are widest and to turn inward at the toes. This causes my little toes to jam up against the side of the upper.
I've come to expect this design flaw from Montrail footwear, however, and my home remedy is to apply a shoe stretcher with a bunion attached, along with some shoe-stretch fluid, to make the toe box a little wider on the outside. That fixed the toe-jam problem. After that was done, the Traverse boots felt about as good as any boots I've ever worn.
The leather on the Traverse is not as water repellent as it should be. I took my boots for a couple of miles through ankle-deep snow, and the melt-water seemed to soak into the leather. If it weren't for the GORE-TEX liner, my foot would have gotten wet. (I guess that's why the GORE-TEX is there.)
It was one of those days when the temperature is about 30 degrees, and the ice or compacted snow underfoot just about wants to melt but doesn't, quite, until you step on it. Then, if you're on sloped ground, you might slip. I slipped a few times; didn't fall down though. I did move off the compacted area into deeper snow, and that made the footing better.
Still, the Traverse isn't too bad, after the toe box was enlarged. I might look into treating the leather with something to improve its water resistance.
Materials: Leather and GORE-TEX
Use: mountain trails in all weather, beside highways, sometimes with a loaded pack
Break-in Period: accelerated with shoe stretcher
Weight: pair 3 lbs 7 oz
Price Paid: $62
I've had these boots for three years now and they have performed well in all conditions- loose rocks, water, snow, ice and mud. The Gore-Tex waterproof lining really helps keep feet dry and the IntegraFit design is comfortable and gives good ankle support for backpacking with moderate loads.
Break-in time was minimal and durability is excellent; they don't show any signs of wear except for a few minor scratches on the leather which can easily be covered up with boot wax/polish.
If you wait for them to go on sale you can get them for under $100 like I did but they're worth paying the full price because they have the same quality as boots costing a lot more. Bottom line- highly recommended.
Materials: leather/fabric with Gore-tex lining
Use: hiking, light/mid-weight backpacking
Break-in Period: short (1-3 long dayhikes)
Weight: not heavy (under 5 pounds)
Price Paid: $90
These boots are very comfortable, hiking through rocky terrain, muddy trails, or just around town. I however had one boot blow out after a year (sole became detached from the front of the boot.) Until that time I would say the most comfortable, dry boot I have owned. Hopefully Montrail will repair or replace them.
Price Paid: $85
Very comfortable right out of the box. Have put many miles on them in the last year and they exhibit no signs of undue stress. Expect them to last many more miles.
Break-in Period: couple of days
Price Paid: $135
One of the best fitting boots I've owned. Trekked over twelve hours through ice, snow, tallus and scree and not a single blister.
Materials: Gore-Tex and leather upper. Vibram sole.
Use: Long hikes, backpacking
Break-in Period: 2 weeks
Weight: 2 pounds
Price Paid: $135
Had these boots for a year, hiked a lot in them, they were great hikers, pretty water resistant, good support, nary a blister.
However, after a year, one boot in the heel insert seems to have warped and the plastic is now pressing inward against my ankle. It's a shame because it's such a good boot.
I tried contacting Montrail customer support without a response. After reading reviews on this boot recently, this seems a common problem. Stay away.
Price Paid: ~$100
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