HarkilaProhunter GTX Boots
- By Chris Parkin
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 26/01/2017
As well as clothing I have come to respect as some of the best, Harkila also offer a wide variety of boots. Very technically designed and specified to suit specific needs and environments, harsh or hard surfaces, abrasive scrub or extreme cold weather, the laboratory testing these boots undergo seems merciless so how do they work in the real world?
The Pro Hunter GTX is described as an all season boot. Available in 7.5”, 10” and 12” heights in standard format along with specialised variants showing Kevlar reinforcement, Mossy Oak camouflage or an XL insulated model for extreme cold. The ubiquitous Vibram sole here is given a tread pattern named “Tsavo Fire & Ice” joined up with a memory footbed named “SUPO” with shock absorbing gel pads.
The 12” GTX model on test certainly seems appropriate in my mind for arduous hill stalking in Scotland where ankle support is paramount but as a side factor, extra support on the shins seems to allow the wearer to get away with a slightly looser foot. When coupled with the right socks (Harkila “Expedition” socks were used on test), this can in itself assist with wriggling those cold toes without feeling you are sliding into the front of your boot every time you descend a hill.
I was assured of a 100% waterproof guarantee from the Gore-tex membrane laminated to 4 other layers for protection, insulation and padding. The construction is advertised to be 25% more breathable
than equivalent boots and as I wore them from February onwards last year, they have certainly proved capable in warm, cold, wet or dry weather.
Four pairs of eyelets on the foot of the shoe combine with 7 speed lace pairs on the leg, a full-length tongue with draught/water seals prevent any leakage or lace trapping when pulling them on or off.
After a few days of wearing in, the multi-layered construction softened where it needed to and soon became comfortable and confidence inspiring. The `all-season` rating was spot on and space for my toes never seemed to mean a slipping heel so no blisters. The sole was fairly stiff meaning not too much bend in the foot which can be tiring and grip was effective on all but ice. To really punish the boot, I forded a river with loose laces to tempt leakage but I’m glad to say none occurred and the Harkila supplied “Expedition” socks with 83% wool blend were suited to spring weather with padded comfort but no sweaty feet, further evidence of boot breathability. The rubber protector rising from the sole has stayed firmly adhered to both upper and lower surfaces and even deep peaty soil has failed to mark the subtle 2.4mm dark brown leather. I would describe fit as generous but `give` in the fit is minimal with `wear in` time.
These boots are available in half sizes from 5-13 then full sizes 14-17. The Harkila Prohunter GTX 12” boots are priced at around £259.99 and Harkila Expedition Socks are £24. In this price range boots need to offer top performance, and these Harkila’s certainly worked for me. For more information, visit www.seeland.com
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