Review: HiTec Valkerie i Waterproof
My feet are short and wide with no arch, and my ankles have been sprained more than I’d like. This means I need boots which are really wide, don’t have that obnoxious “arch support” crap, and are tall and tight enough to stop my ankles from rolling when I clumsily misstep. Enter the Valkyrie i WP from HiTec—these boots fit my feet like a glove…or boot.
As I mentioned above, these are great for those fellas with wide feet, no arch, and need ankle support. I was extremely impressed at how easily I was able to put them on—due to the 2 optional eyelets on at the top of the boot, making it easier to push the tongue out without almost unlacing the whole thing. If I’m wearing these around and not on an actual hike, I just lace up one of those optional eyelets so I can walk more normally—but when I do go hiking, this sucker gets laced up all the way so I don’t roll anything.
The only issue I have with these is it rubs up against the back of my leg in an awkward spot. They do a great job at covering up my ankles, but they stop a few inches below my huge calves, which when walking around and not going heel-toe it digs a bit into my leg (flatfooted me tends to smack my whole foot down at once, but if I walk like I’m supposed to, it works perfectly fine).
As for the waterproof function—yes, they are absolutely waterproof. It was raining one weekend night, so I decided it was a perfect chance to take a walk to the bar a mile or so into town. These worked like a charm, keeping my feet perfectly dry while stomping around in the puddles and mud.
The Vibram soles live up to their reputation. They’re crazy rugged, look badass, and have some awesome grip. I was thrown off by the little part sticking out from the heel. Then one day after I unlaced them I stood up and resumed my normal removing of shoes using my feet instead of my hands. I was astounded to learn this little part sticking out is genius for stepping on and pulling your foot out! It’s the little things in life…
Design and Aesthetic ★★★★
If the pictures don’t do it justice, then trust me, these are some pretty sweet boots. The matte black is awesome, although it shows dirtiness easily—but isn’t that the point of boots? I’ll admit, the blue laces were a little odd to me at first. I didn’t know what to think of such an abnormal color for laces (I’m used to the good ol’ black or brown). After using these for a while, I love the quirkiness.
These boots are very well constructed, with the sewing and glueing as perfect as I can hope for. I’ve had boots before which fell apart after only a handful of hikes, but I can already tell these ones will last me years before they start dying (if they every do).
The waterproofing component works up until a couple inches from the top of the boot (where the tongue separates), and from what I can tell, it’s not going to make my socks soggy any time soon.
I put these things through my normal stress-test of pulling, tugging, throwing, smashing, and of course walking. Nothing did much to phase them, except the matt leather parts getting a bit scuffed.
I’ve been lucky enough to have most of my shoes last me for years after I left my parent’s nest, so getting a new pair of shoes is something I suck at. Thankfully the kind folks at HiTec are amazing and helped me find the best shoes to fit my short, wide, flat, weak-ankled feet. And they were right, these are amazing. If they hold up for years like I’m expecting, they’re more than worth the $130 MSRP price tag (which I got lower than that, because who actually pays full price for stuff?).
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