Monday, February 13, 2012

Take a Hike: Ahnu Monte Vista Boots

Ahnu Footwear's Monte Vista Leather Hiking Boots require virtually NO break-in time.

One of the cardinal rules of hiking is not to wear a new pair of hiking boots on a trek.  The recommendation is to walk around with them for a couple of weeks to break them in first.  I've hiked in supposedly "broken in" leather boots before and found the hard folds and creases chafed my inner ankle.  So much for that theory!  It's not just the time but the design or type of leather used along with a host of other things that will lessen or even eliminate break in time.

If The Boot Fits...
I also ice skate and am (painfully) familiar with breaking in hard leather boots which are essential for proper ankle support and landing jumps.  Believe it or not the same thing goes for any other leather performance boot.  

The heat of your foot eventually warms and softens the leather to your exact anatomy.  Newer designs have included heat molding which is done with special ovens in the skate shop and specially padded tongues with adjustable laces.

What I found with the Monte Vistas is that none of that was really necessary.  The leather is just the right thickness without being over-supple.  I did wear them a few times before going on the trail but there was absolutely no discomfort.  When I did take them out, they felt like butter but gave me complete support and agility.


  • Waterproof leather upper and an E-vent waterproof bootie for full waterproof protection.
  • Vibram outsole for traction and support on a variety of surfaces.
  • 200 grams of insulation to keep you warm.
  • Numentum™ Hike technology with high density lateral and medial stability posts on an EVA midsole keep your foot in a neutral position.
  • TPU shank for support and durability.
  • Speed lacing D-rings for quick lace-up and secure fit. 

When I saw Ahnu's new line of hiking boots, I was excited because I could see a lot of what I was looking for in a hiking boot. The first thing I noticed were the speed laces.  This type of lacing gives you the most control over how much support to apply to the ankles and lower calves.  During a long hike you'll really appreciate being able to make those sorts of comfort adjustments on the fly.  Add this to their Numentum™ Hike technology and you have a stable platform to keep your feet and ankles in a neutral position thus avoiding injury.
Kahtoola MICROspikes - mini crampons for added traction.

The Crampon Zone
I also like the waterproof and thermal properties of these boots.  It was very windy the day of my hike through historical Battleview State Park in New Jersey.  Despite low temps and a cutting 20 mph wind my feet were warm and stayed dry.  We even hiked over an active beaver dam!  We were mostly traveling over rolling hills but you can easily pull on a pair of Kahtoola MICROSpikes for more steep, icy areas.  They easily fit over any type of boot or shoe.  Snow, rain, mud were easily repelled but I recommend using something like Sno-Seal Shoe and Boot Water Repellent SprayThis will also help prevent ugly water stains that often appear on leather.

Now you can go out and blow your cash on a pair of Merrells (I have them and they are also great), but why should you?  The Ahnu line is VERY reasonably priced and uses the same top quality Vibram TM outsoles as Merrell plus a load of other features found only in high end footwear.  At only $200, the Monte Vistas are a steal for your next hiking adventure. 

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