Aigle GTX & Harkila Big Game Boots
- By Pete Moore
- 1 Comments
- Last updated: 26/01/2017
Heavy Duty – the Aigle Artemis GTX High
The first boots on test here are Artemis GTX High from the respected and long established Aigle brand. Standing 10” in height, you certainly feel the benefit of the extra leather framework. The upper is manufactured from split leather, polyamide and ‘synthetic’ material. Far more suited to the rough and tumble of the high and rough terrain, the polyamide lining holds the surprisingly generous internal ‘padding’ and a true Gore-tex membrane makes them fully waterproof yet sweat is allowed to wick away.
Aigle use their ‘X-Act’ concept, the term used for the ‘shoe architecture’ optimising foot support throughout maintaining that the heel to toe footbed stays true for optimum wearer comfort yet is forgiving enough to flex yet still give solid support from the lower heel to the ankle and beyond. Lacing is catered for by 4 pairs of captive lace retainers and 5 pairs of open speed lacing clasps at the top. Further comfort and insulation is aided by the padded top section coming down lower than most high leg boots at the rear offering unhindered movement. The toe section has a generous rubber toe bumper, the heel is also reinforced for extra protection and the grip given on muddy ground is one of the major plus points.
The black lower heel, toe protection and full Vibram rubber outsole is quite durable whilst the cleat and lug layout offer superb grip and the lower section has shock absorbing qualities.
Harkila Big Game GTX - ATV for your Feet!
Next up is the Harkila Big Game GTX 10” Realtree APG which seems like a brute of a boot, but closer scrutiny and on first slipping them on you quickly realise these have the comfortable foundations of all the boots in the Harkila range. The 1000 Denier Cordura upper is lined with Gore-Tex Memory Fit lining to give a perfect fit and is made so it actually moulds to the shape of your ankle as you wear it.
Harkila’s own design Sport Ortho Sole has a heavily cleated outsole, moulded EVA midsole for good support and shock absorption. This sole has a built in short shank giving support to the heel but allowing the front of the sole to flex easily, making this instantly comfortable and also quiet when stalking.
Obviously these aren’t light summer boots. They’re classed by the company as ‘For use on all lowland conditions and light mountain walking.’ I’d say you could climb K2 wearing these, as the solid feel you experience when wearing them is little short of having your own ATV on your feet!
There’s no denying the high quality of build of both boots featured. The Harkila are ‘incredible’ in relation to overall foot protection but don’t think the Aigle are slouches in this department either. In fact some might find the Harkila too heavy, in contrast the Aigle are a good compromise for protection and flexibility. Having said that I must state the Harkila boots don’t feel cumbersome and for very extreme weather you’ll be glad your wearing them.
These two pairs are of boots are both high performing and well featured, particularly for hostile terrain or when the weather turns really nasty - I can’t recommend them highly enough…