The idea that some people may spend more time researching and funding their morning coffee than the footwear on their feet seems laughable when you write it down.
Considering the average adult clocks up 239,148 miles on their feet, and that the reader of these pages tends to do a little more than that, it’s pretty obvious how important your feet are. So, let’s make sure we clad them in the very best.
There’s an age-old argument amongst enthusiasts and professionals alike; Boots Vs. Shoes. It used to be pretty easy to choose. If you’re running/climbing, wear shoes; If you’re hiking over bad ground, wear boots. But nowadays, with shoes being blessed with some pretty fancy tech, and boots getting lighter and more breathable, the choice is a little less obvious.
Me? I prefer boots. Casting back to my cadet days, I just enjoy that snug feeling of lacing up some boots and feeling like I could take on the world. The feeling of dunking your foot into a freezing stream, waiting for that soggy foot feeling despite the GoreTex working it’s magic; You can’t really beat it. I’ve found myself detouring off the better-tracked path to ford a river that didn’t need fording, embracing my inner three-year-old vs. puddle scenario.
So naturally, when my last pair of boots failed me (See Boots – Meindl Litepeak Pro GTX) I was a little disheartened, but excited to start finding a worthy replacement.
Mammut is pretty well known across the industry, selling a wide range of equipment and clothing, ranging from good value accessories to their range topping ‘Eiger Extreme’ series. I was first attracted to the Kento Guide High GTX due to their super-modern looks and bright colours, despite employing some traditional materials and technologies. In summary, they are a full feature hiking boot, with a range of features designed to handle some mountaineering excursions.
Available in three different colours, Blue, Red and Grey, the styling is some of the most modern and radical available on the market at the time of writing. Maybe less suited to a traditional-led rambler, but they ooze style and function to someone like me.
Now first impressions were good. Very Good. I have feet that run a little wide, to understate, but the boots fitted perfectly from the first go. The finish on the leather is good and bright, with textured embossing up the sides.
As would be expected with a boot designed to tackle mountains, the insulation is noticeable, but not excessive. At the time of writing, they’ve seen the height of the British summer throughout Snowdonia and the wintered depths of the peak district’s endless peat, never running excessively hot or cold.
The Gore-Tex acts as expected keeping your feet dry and fatigue free, a nod to the membrane itself and Mammut’s efforts to incorporate it into their product; something bigger names have failed to do time and time again.
I’ve found the sole, a Vibram effort, to be perfect in both aggressiveness and support, all while allowing the user to attach some pretty functional C1 crampons. A nice balance between comfort, useability and function.
No complaints on the fit or wear of these then.
Despite their modern looks and streamlined design, the boots are pretty hard wearing. I’m obsessive in gear-care, so they do get cleaned and re-waxed/treated after each outing, which may not be as representative as your typical user, but there are few signs of wear after around 9 months of hard use.
Regardless, The embossing details haven’t lasted particularly well, and the ‘rubber rand’ is only really so on the front and rear of the boot; The black rand between the toe and the heel appears to be a lesser hard wearing material.
In addition to this, the supplied insoles are low volume efforts which leave a lot to be desired; if you value your feet I suggest investing in some ‘orthotic’ insoles – they quite literally transformed my hikes. The laces are particular thin, perfect for the modern looks, not so when you’re attempting to adjust them in the freezing mid-winter weather.
All in all, these boots are in brilliant contrast to my previous ones. A true all-rounder with serious bragging rights in the looks and function department. Time will tell on just how hard wearing they are – providing my inner magpie doesn’t see something shinier.
Stand Out Features
Upper: Heinen TerraCare leather Suede, Synthetic Textile
Lining: GORE-TEX Performance Comfort
Footbed: AIR-ACTIVE® SOFT PRINT drysole
Sole: vibram® Hexa Tech|PU wedge|Poro wedge|Dual Density midsole
Compatibility Rating: B1
Recommendation Rating: 98%
Mammut Kento Guide High GTX (Size 9) – £230 – Available from Mammut