If you are looking for a shoe with a low-cost, high-value waterproofing solution, these are the shoes for you. Hi-Tec’s Women’s Altitude Glide WP Light hiking boots have a variety of things to recommend them: they have a low price, are specifically designed to fit women’s feet, and are overall classic boots with all the high-quality features that entails. Most importantly, however, they are made to keep water, snow, and dirt outside, exactly where they belong. With these on your feet, you will never have to worry about the weather conditions while you are out exploring—your Altitude Glides will keep you warm and dry regardless of what they are.
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- Minimal breaking-in time: according to some customers, they were able to walk blister-free in shoes fresh out of the box!
- Very lightweight
- Removable soles: you can remove the TrekLite EVA midsoles, leaving room for substitution of the innersole of your choice, if you have a preferred brand or model
- Sizing issues: Like many hiking boots, these run small, so most customers recommend ordering them at least half a size larger than your normal shoe size in order to accommodate your feet as well as bulky socks.
- Outsoles have been reported to wear more quickly, sometimes coming off in less than a year
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 Altitude Glide comes in two colors, both classic shades of brown leather. It has a black leather tongue and silver accents, making this shoe more durable than the Targhee II or the Newton Ridge Plus, but less breathable. This can be a big advantage in wintry conditions; with the right socks, these boots will keep you very warm. The bottoms are also designed to be durable: they are made of carbon rubber, with a waffle tread that provides traction in rugged and slippery terrain alike, and have a steel shank, which provides extra sturdiness and support by stabilizing your foot as soon as it touches the ground, minimizing the torsion and thus the risk of injury.
A noteworthy feature of this product is its waterproofing technology. Not only is it equipped with seam seals and designed to trap out moisture and keep your feet warm, but the interior features eVent waterproof membranes designed to keep out the elements while allowing perspiration to evaporate, keeping your feet from overheating. In addition, the steel shank is rustproof, meaning that you can walk through water and on wet ground without worrying about water damage.
Another perk is the Comfort Tec memory foam sock liner, which is made especially with women’s feet in mind. The liner conforms to fit the contours of your foot with each step, giving you custom-fit arch support as well as helping you remain comfortable as you traverse for long stretches of the day.
Compared to the KEEN Targhee II, this product’s exterior materials have greater durability and can handle the same tough conditions. Its middle-rise design is better at protecting your ankles, although its rubber sole only covers the lower front part of the foot and does not afford as much toe protection as the Targhee II’s rubber toe cage. For the style-conscious, the Altitude Glide’s appearance is more streamlined, dark, and rugged; this also means that it is a better option for handling dirt and mud staining than the brightly-colored Targhee II.
Compared to Columbia’s Newton Ridge boots, Hi-Tec’s shoes have less ventilation due to their full-leather exterior, but more temperature and moisture protection from the elements. Therefore, this shoe would be a better choice for you if you intend on trekking through colder, wetter conditions, while Columbia’s footwear may be better if you plan on going through hotter, more humid environments. In addition, this boot initially has more traction due to its carbon rubber sole, but the Newton Ridge wears less quickly and retains its tread longer.
In a Nutshell
This boot is, without a doubt, a very dependable short-term footwear choice. It requires almost no breaking-in time, and is very lightweight while maintaining comfort. In addition, it has top-of-the-line waterproofing technology, a wonderful memory-foam sole, and a beautiful, classic leather design. It has some minor flaws, such as the fact that according to some customers, the tread of the outer sole wears and loses texture more quickly than they would like. However, considering this shoe’s extremely reasonable price and its many useful features, it is still a good pick for those venturing into colder, wetter climes.