Hi-Tec’s Flagstaff Waterproof boots are a hidden treasure of sorts. Although they have a lower price and a sportier, athletic design than most hiking boots, they are still classed alongside far more expensive brands due to features such as their shock-absorbing soles, their easy-breathing mesh-and-leather exteriors, and their overall sturdy build. They are a veritable steal—read on to see why!
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- Gusseted tongue keeps out anything small objects such as pebbles, gravel, plants, and bugs
- True to size, according to customers who are largely satisfied with the sizing and width
- Easy to slip on and slip off, due to shoe construction and sewn-in loops in front and back specifically for donning and doffing shoes in a hurry
- Weight: This is one of the heavier shoe brands, weighing about 1.5 lbs
- Requires roughly 1 week of breaking-in time in order to ensure comfortable use
Hi-Tec Sports USA was founded in 1978 and is best known as the company that produced the first lightweight hiking boot. Today, the company has spread its mission worldwide, bringing lightweight, well-made, and comfortable outdoor footwear to over 70 countries around the world.
The Flagstaff has a very stylized exterior design which incorporates both suede leather and mesh. It comes in two color combinations: brown with yellow accents, and charcoal gray with red accents. It ensures a snug, secure fit using a versatile lacing system made up of a unique combination of lacing eyelets and loops.
Customers have praised the Flagstaff’s sturdy build, which is lauded as supportive without being overly stiff, and thus very comfortable even for those on long trips. Additional padding is provided by the removable EVA midsole, which dissipates shock upon impact and prevents blisters from developing. Customers reported blister-less, dry feet even when hiking without socks!
Other standout features for this product include:
- Ion-mask hydrophobic technology
- Multi-directional lugs for traction on varied terrain
- OrthoLite sock liner on rubber sole, which not only provides an extra layer of waterproofing but also is praised for its anti-odor, anti-microbial, and cushioning functions
- Exemplary ankle support, provided by two things: first, the high front tops and tongue, which offer ankle protection and minimize the chances of your ankle going the wrong way in the case of a fall. Secondly, the shoe collar features a plush lining, which adds comfort and keeps the collar from being too confining.
Compared to Timberland’s White Ledge Boots, this product has superior waterproofing, and it is highly recommended that you choose this product if you plan on hiking in areas with high water or frequent rains. However, it has slightly less ankle protection due to the low-cut back. This can either be an asset or a setback; users with larger ankles have found the Flagstaff to provide greater mobility and comfort.
Compared to the Salomon’s Quest 4D GTX Backpacking boot, Hi-Tec’s product has more ankle comfort but less exterior ankle and toe protection because of its lower rise. It is slightly heavier, each shoe weighing about 1 lb 9 oz in comparison with the Quest’s 1 lb 6 oz, a difference that should be negligible to most users, since both shoes are praised as lightweight and easy to walk in. The shoes have the same adaptability for weather due to their mesh and suede mixed exteriors, and they have the same anti-microbial, cushioning OrthoLite foot beds. They have also both been highly praised for the sheer level of relief they offer hikers even over an extended period of time. The fact that these two shoes share so many qualities makes the Flagstaff a remarkably good buy for its price range and it is extremely affordable.
In a Nutshell
This is highly attractive and athletic hiking footwear, built to give you maximum comfort while covering long distances. Among its biggest assets are its customizable fit, its waterproofing technology, and its comfortable padding on the soles and the cuffs. It is extremely sturdy, providing support without being overly stifling, enabling your feet to breathe even as they traverse all day long. These attributes help to compensate for the fact that these boots are on the heavier end of the spectrum; while you will have to expend a little more energy walking, you will also be able to cover more ground, and your feet will run less risk of developing painful blisters along the way. The icing on the cake is the price, which is very low compared to other footwear that is equal to it in performance. All in all, this boot has extremely good value; your wallet—and your feet—will be happy about it.