Fall Gear Review
Welcome to autumn 2017, so far we have observed the aspens go from green to golden and finally drop their leaves. Meanwhile the cottonwoods along the Rio Grande are just past their peak colors, this all begs the question, have you found time for yourself to get outside and enjoy the weather?
The fall is a magical time to be outdoors, enjoying the color changes, watching the wildlife, and getting a reprieve from the heat of summer, are just a few reasons I enjoy fall in New Mexico.
I have spent a lot of time hiking this season and like most of you, I have cycled through various types of footwear depending on the day and time of year. Running shoes for the early morning jog, water shoes for Stand Up Paddle boarding, to hiking boots for snowshoe trips, those long walks, and overnight trips.
Back in January I picked up a pair of La Sportiva Trango Hiking boots. These were to replace a pair of Asolo Fugitive GTX boots that I had worn out....way out. I have a knack for being hard on gear and wearing it out prematurely, so when I find a something that can really stand up for the long haul I am super excited.
Both boots feature a Gore-Tex liner for waterproof and breathability and both pairs run about $200-$250 depending on where you find them. I like to think that if I spend that kind of cash, the more use them, the less they cost me in the long run (per /use cost). Whether you break the cost down by the miles you hike or the number of trips you have, you can't put a price on good boots which keep your feet blister free.
I have hiked with other folks who buy for the name brand, and they blister on the first day. The true trick of a great pair of hiking boots is finding the correct fit for your foot. I always start at the cheapest pair and work up from that point. What you’re looking for is proper fit; specifically a good fit that keeps you free of blisters and discomfort. Once that is achieved then you’re well on your way to a good pair of boots.
So let's get down to brass tacks. The La Sportiva Trango hiking boots have been rock solid since I picked them up. Easy and short break in time, think less than 20 miles for me that was 2 trips up La Luz. This break in time resulted in zero blistering of my heels, toes, or the ball of my foot.
The longest period of time I wore these boots without a change of footwear was for 6 days of elk hunting in the Gila Wilderness. The average distance covered was 12 miles a day under load (full packs) on some of the most rugged territory I have hiked. During this time the boots felt great in the heat and on the sharp rocks that make up the wilderness area. One day in particular I spent a lot of time walking downhill over and through scree fields. This was the only time I experience any blistering. Which to be fair was on the tip of my toe and more likely caused by the continuous down slope hiking.
External Wear and Tear:
The boots took a beating in the last 11 months; there is no doubt about it. Unlike other places New Mexico has some of the most rugged terrain I have ever hiked. But the boots have stood the test of time for me this season. They are wrapped in a rubber rand around the tip of the toe box, and heel. They have a Vibram sole for great traction and a long life. The area between the sole and the boot body, or mid-sole is made of EVA foam, which is durable, but shows the miles. Lastly the upper body is a type of abrasion resistant polymer mesh, which seeming has held up extremely well.
Would I buy this boot again? Yes, after wearing my Asolo Fugitive boots for well over 5 years, I was looking for a change. The La Sportiva Trango is a light boot that appears to be built just as tough, and I hope will last just as long.