M Timberland LiteTrace Boot Review
by David Chenault
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One of the most conspicuous differences between the stereotypical ultralight hiker and the traditional backpacker is footwear. Tall leather boots to protect the feet and ankles are still the conventional recommendation for the latter, while most ultralight hikers favor trail runners of some sort, low cut shoes with soles that are typically much more flexible. One need look no further than the BPL forums to see that while this generalization may not be true for every individual, the zeitgiest of traditional, heavier backpacking sees boots as necessary and proper. The threads, which appears at least fortnightly, invariable ask some variation of the following: will my feet and ankles be ok if I give up my big boots?
For this review I will stand this question on its head - assuming that light and flexible trail shoes are best for the de facto hiker, largely irrespective of pack weight, and from this ask rather under what circumstances might a waterproof boot be useful. There are actually two questions here, for the utility of boots and the utility of waterproof footwear for hiking should be addressed separately. After these questions are examined, I will in conclusion discuss the virtues of the Timberland LiteTrace, how the boot does and does not fit into the conclusions concerning the utility of boots for lightweight wilderness travel, and compare the LiteTrace to the closest currently available competitors.
- The Niche of Waterproof boots
- The Appropriateness of Waterproof Footwear for Wilderness Travel
- The Role of Boots in hiking success
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