Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gear Review: Zamberlane 636 Baffin GT RR Hiking Boots

Reliably invincible, blisterproof, old school leather boots

The Stats:
Price: $119.00 - 269.99
Construction: Leather
Weight: 1lb 12.74oz
Sole: Vibram 3D
Type: Backpacking

Pros: unbelievably comfortable, breathable, great ankle support, built well, durable, waterproof, good impact protection

Cons: hot, heavy

The Full Story:
I've owned a few hiking boots through the years, Coleman's that fell apart within a couple years, North Face boots that held up well but rubbed in all the wrong places, and REI boots that didn't stand the test of time. I've never owned a pair of boots like the Zamberlane Baffin's, they don't let water in, they don't give me blisters, they don't get too hot, they don't even show the miles and miles of abuse that have been laid down on them. They are so comfortable and supportive in fact I hardly ever wear regular hiking boots. I'm not a traditionalist but the Italian Leather design simply does not seem to have been improved upon with other boots made of high-tech synthetics. In the hundreds of miles I have put on these boots I've had blisters only a handful of times. Trail obstacles become nearly meaningless, muck, mud, even stream crossings can simply be rolled over by the 636 Baffin's like a tank. Their near invulnerability, legacy durability, fantastic protection, and comfort do come at the cost of some weight but even that is fairly in line with other backpacking boots.

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