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Updated on October 26, 2017
After a brief hiatus, we’re back with more goodies from our fabulous friends at Hi-Tec. This week we’re giving away the Tauranga WP, a waterproof suede leather hiker. This boot is chock full of features including waterproof bootie construction, a moisture-wicking liner, a heel-abrasion resistant panel and a TPU shank for extra support.
How can you make these fantastic boots yours? It’s easy. Post a comment answering the following question: Where is your favorite hiking spot and why? We want to know where you go to get away from it all, and what makes it such a special place. Perhaps it’s near a gorgeous field of wild flowers or a mysterious cave that always keeps you wondering. Wherever it may be, tell us all about it.
And in two weeks, our staff will pick their favorite response. The winner will be announced Wednesday, December 8, 2010. The lucky commenter will then be sent a brand new pair of Hi-Tec’s Tauranga WP. It’s really that easy!
Want to learn more about the Tauranga WP? Check out the following review written by our in-house graphic designer and Harry Potter fanatic, Corey S.
This contest is open to the U.S. and Canada only. If the winner’s size is out of stock, Hi-Tec will replace with another style of equal of lesser value.
I don’t consider myself a hiker. At all. I’m more like a slow walker. I like to take it all in. Smell the roses. And then smell them again.
And that’s precisely why the Tauranga WP is perfect for me. It is more of a lifestyle shoe that adapts to a variety of activities—whether it’s slow walking, climbing a rock wall or going out to lunch with my friends. It can be both rugged and casual. Multi-versatile. (Wait, is that a word?) It’s the kind of shoe I can wear to work and not have to change before hitting the trails.
For the purpose of this review, I wore the shoes for a week during all my daily activities. This includes work, play and Applebees. Yes, I said Applebees. Sadly, due to my grueling schedule, the shoes saw no grass or gravel, just a pavement trail near my house. Still I was able to gauge how they would perform if challenged with rougher terrain.
If I had to assign a rating for comfort and fit, I’d give the Tauranga WP a four out of five. I have another pair of similar trail shoes from The North Face. Compared to those, the sole on this shoe is less stiff. This is positive because there was no break-in period. I just tore these bad boys right out of the box and laced them up. It feels comfortable and true to size. While it does slip a bit, it doesn’t dig into the back of my heel like other boots do.
Many leather shoes have the tendency to scuff easily. Because of suede construction, these shoes are that much more durable. I feel like I could wade through a pile of spiky rocks, and the shoes would remain scratch-free. Not so sure I can say the same for myself, but you get the picture.
Now I don’t know if I am using the Ghilley lacing system correctly because, well, I haven’t been using it. I just slip the shoes on and off. I do tighten the laces a bit here and there, but there’s been no tying or untying. I believe it has saved me at least five minutes this week. As for the moisture-wicking liner, I really never had a chance to test it out. I will say that I didn’t experience “swamp feet” at all—a major plus indeed.
Lastly, I can guarantee the waterproofing works wonders. On my way to work this morning, the shoes met a torrential downpour. Not only did my feet stay as dry as the Sahara, they were quite toasty. In fact, I had to look down to make sure I didn’t forget to change out of my fuzzy slippers.
Aside from the positives, which there are many, I have two negative points. As a man with very flat feet, I need ample arch support to keep me going. Unfortunately I found the Tauranga WP lacking in this area. I am going to buy an insert to boost the support. Additionally, I was really bummed when I noticed a color difference from the online photo of the shoes compared to the pair I’m wearing. The green is more tan, and the chocolate is browner. Even the laces are more of a tan color. So buyer beware.
Other than that, I would most certainly recommend these to the casual hiker who is looking for a sturdy, waterproof trail shoe that could possibly moonlight as a pair of fuzzy slippers. Possibly maybe.