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161 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2008
Verified Purchase
These have been great boots. I am on my fourth pair of the Altitude series- a version I, version II, and now 2 version IVs. All have been good buys for me. The version IV have been the best but all have been good.

First, I have a high arch and have always been hard on any footwear with a tendency to walk on the 'outside' of my foot. I wear these boots to travel in and work in while traveling. Many a mile in airports, many miles on concrete, gravel, dirt, and inside simulation facilities. When I travel I tend to only take these boots - my work rarely requires dress clothes, the boots look good in an open collar work environment, they are comfortable, and taking only 1 pair of shoes does cuts down on packing requirements quite a bit for longer trips (3 weeks or longer in duration).

I have taken these boots on three overseas trips - they did well in the Scottish highlands (twice), and London. They did equally well on the beaches of Hawaii, Myrtle Beach, and Cancun. They have done me well in wet and sand - hot and cold.

To add to this endorsement, not only am I hard on shoes I am also quite fat these days - topping 300 pounds. For my health I maintain a walking routine of 1-3 miles a day whenever possible. When I travel, these boots are also my walking shoes.

In general Hi Tec have always fit me well. I go back 40 or so years to wearing the Lite series of Hi Tecs while I was in my running the Appalachians days. Given my high arches, a tendency for very bad calluses, rebuilt right ankle, 2 knees that varied doctors have wanted to cut on since early Army days, and now my weight I am very picky on shoes. These are the best of the Hi Tec boot types that I have found.

I suspect I have seen the best of my current set of boots - maybe six more months or so of regular wear till they become yard work shoes till their final demise. I have never worn out the uppers in these boots. I have worn the sole down to a smooth surface and worn out the insides (after using new insole inserts a couple of times). They are tough boots.

And I have a back up pair ready to take the place of the current set.

On a down side, these style of boots (in general, not just Hi Tec) are not sturdy enough for doing squats in Power Lifting circles. One needs a higher and stiffer boot than what the modern ilk of hikers provides. This is the only limitation I have found for these boots.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2010
Verified Purchase
I have wide feet and somewhat high arches, which has made finding really good shoes for general wear somewhat difficult. And for that reason, I have stuck with New Balance shoes since my undergraduate days. They are well made, and have versions designed for various activities, including running, cross-training, and walking. And very importantly, they come in widths other than "medium," and provide the maximum benefit to my feet.

Recently on a trip to western North Carolina, I went hiking with a group of friends from the area. I soon found that my best New Balance shoes were not up to the task: the terrain soon overwhelmed them, and as the day went on, their ability to support my 200 lb. body failed. By the end of the day, my feet hurt so bad that I could barely walk. I was told that I absolutely needed to find a good pair of hiking boots if I was going to continue hiking.

I am one of those people who first do a lot of research before I make a new purchase, comparing features, price, availability, technical reviews, and feedback from those who have already made their choice. In the price range I was looking for, the signs all pointed to Hi-Tech. Lots of folks carried them, but Amazon's price was clearly the best. And so, tentatively, I ordered a pair.

I have now been wearing these boots for three months, and I have yet to put my New Balance back on for everyday use. I still wear business shoes to work, and the New Balance to run in, but the Hi-Tech Altitude IVs are absolutely my favorite. Why?

1. The fit was perfect from the first time I put them on. In fact, I would have to say my feet felt better in them almost immediately. The width was exactly as I needed, and the arch was just high enough to give me full support for a full day and still enable me to do everything I need.

2. They needed no "break-in period" and felt right from the first time I wore them. Even the desert boots I wore in the Middle East needed some period to adjust to my feet and to the way I walk, and the steel-toed work boots I bought from Wal-Mart still hurt my feet (after occasional wear for over a year). But these feel like an extension of my feet and skin.

3. They are waterproof, yet still allow my feet to breathe. Even my kids no longer run out of the room when I take my boots off (which used to be a regular joke around my house).

4. They seem to be wearing like iron. After three months, I cannot see any wear at all, not even negligible amounts. So I won't be buying another pair for a while.

All in all, these boots have my STRONGEST recommendation. You may find more costly boots, but I challenge you to find any that are significantly better.
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2008
Size Name: 9.5 2E USColor Name: Dark Chocolate
I'm on my 5th or 6th pair of these boots. I'm a meat cutter. I'm on my feet, in the cold for 8 hours a day. My feet are warm, dry, and comfortable. When I wear these out, I'll buy another pair. End of story.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2010
Verified Purchase
This review is not about the quality of the shoe (which looked quite satisfactory) but about the sizing.
The shoe runs both small and narrow (even though i ordered a wide).
FYI- if that happens and you have to return it- You will have to pay for the return shipping to amazon
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2008
I am very hard on soles and have finally worn these out after two years of hard use. These shoes do it all- look nice, keeps water out, and is the most comfortable I have ever worn. I am looking to get the exact same pair- but hard to find on sale anywhere but since the are so nice, they are worth the price.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
I hike several days a week all year in rough mountain terrain, much of it off-trail and over rocks. I've gone through several pairs of these Hi-Tec Altitude boots over the years. The factory supplied insoles are comfortable initially, but are made of a compressible closed cell foam that eventually does not rebound from compression well after some months of use. When the foam becomes compressed, the padded effect is lost and my feet begin to hurt. This can be solved by purchasing and installing an aftermarket pair of insoles such as the Sole Softec Ultra foodbeds, or another quality insole.

This problem is not exclusive to Hi-Tec, as I've seen it with other boots and running shoes also. Some aftermarket insoles/footbeds are made of resilient material that does not tend to stay compressed with heavy use. I am not sure why the manufacturers of boots and shoes don't just use suitable footbeds in the first place, but I assume that they save a little money by doing what they do.

Aside from the poor insoles, the boots themselves are comfortable, keep my feet warm in fairly cold weather even though they are not insulated, and the soles provide good traction.

UPDATE 2-26-2012

My son purchased a pair of these Hi Tec Altitude boots in the last year. After only 100 miles of hiking, the traction lugs on the soles were deteriorating very badly and coming off. Suspect a bad batch of the sole composite material. I purchased some of the very first Hi Tec boots when they first came out and they held up very well. Then, some years ago, our family had backpacked twelve miles into a designated wilderness and the sole of my daughter's Hi Tec boot completely separated from the upper. Lacking any repair material, I had to hike 12 miles out, drive to town several hours away, purchase a new pair of boots, drive back, and hike twelve miles back in with the new non-Hi Tec boots, just in time to join the family on a 12 mile hike out! I'd assumed that perhaps in the years that passed, Hi Tec had solved the quality control issues, that the experience was a fluke, and I went back to them. A mistake, apparently.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
I tried on several more expensive backpacking boots before settling on this one. I have high arches and this boot fit and felt the best. I've put 70-80 miles of backpacking on the boot, including some hard, heavy miles. So far the boot is holding up fine. And they feel great - like I'm walking on cushions.

The only downside so far is the leather has worn more quickly than I expected and the waterproofing seems to be wearing off - even after an additional waterproofing treatment.

Update:

My left boot stopped being supportive after about 90 miles of mid-weight backpacking (with 30-40 lbs). These boots are probably just not durable enough to rely on for backpacking.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2010
Size Name: 12 D(M) USColor Name: Dark ChocolateVerified Purchase
Over the years I've typically bought much higher end hiking boots but was tired of spending over $200 and wanted to find something comparable at a lower price point. These were recommended to me by a friend and after reading the reviews I decided to give them a try. I was not disappointed. I have taken them out a few times for both long (12-14 hour) and short (4-6 hour)hikes after breaking them in around the house for a couple of weeks. As a geologist I've also worn them to do field work a number of times and they have held up to climbing, hiking and all manner of abuse while doing field work. They are extremely comfortable on my foot and ankle, have given me no blisters and are light enough not to tire you out after a long morning of trekking through whatever it is you want to trek through. I didn't find my feet getting hot or developing hot spots and in the end, forgot about my feet altogether (Which is a first). They are waterproof as promised and heavy dew, shallow streams/mud puddles won't even phase them as my feet stayed dry all day long. The only test remains to be how well they stand up over time. I inspect my boots after every use and so far, they don't appear to have any weak spots at all. I highly recommend these boots for medium to light duty hiking or work scenarios.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2008
I purchased these boots at a very good price, but I still have problems with hot spots when I hike. These boots are warm and they appear to be well-padded. They also offer very good support. However, after about 5 miles of hiking, I continue to have some hot spots. I have a slightly higher than normal in-step, so if I tighten the laces, I get a hot spot on the top of my foot. I have also had hot spots on the bone on the high side of my ankle. I always wear good hiking socks, but this doesn't seem to help. A neoprene ankle protector has helped the most, but this makes my foot feel constricted after four or five miles. If you're going to do serious hiking,either allow a significant time for breakin, with short walks to be sure you have addressed any problems, or consider a higher quality boot.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
First off, I'm only giving this product three stars because of the tongue issue. In respect to every other characteristic the boots seem fine and a well made product for the price. However, my issue involves Hi-Tec marketing these boots as having a fully-gusseted tongue. They are not, the gusset only travels half the height of the boot so that's not a full gusset, it's a half. Error to Hi Tec for marekting them as such (it's not Amazon's fault, Hi Tec even markets the full gusset on their web site and Amazon mirrors these details here). If I would have known this I wouldn't have purchased, now I'll have to send them back.

Update: Even though I was disappointed because of the gusseted tongue issue I was prepared to keep these boots (after all, you generally have to pay quite a bit more for boots with a full-gusset) until I discovered a fatal flaw--poor stitching on the upper inside of the right boot. This stitching was so rough that I could feel it rub against the top of my foot after nearly every step, even through thick hiking socks. It wasn't so much of an issue after a 5-10 minute trial walks but after a couple hours of walking I had a nice patch of sore skin that hurt more with every step. I returned these boots and bought a pair of much more expensive Columbia Daska Pass hikers. I'm very pleased with the new Columbias. No bias towards Hi-Tec--the gusseted thing could be a simple mistake of the marketing department and the stitching issue was likely just a random defect. I will say , however, that in the future I will only be purchasing hikers in the in the class of the Daska Pass boots as the comfort, ergonomics and durability (at least in the soles, we'll see how the uppers hold up) are far superior.
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