Hi-Tec Ravine Boots Waterproof Nubuck With Vibram Outsoles

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Consider hiking footwear like a tool and, like with any tool, you want to pick the right tool for the right job! When picking the right footwear for hiking, you want to consider three key factors: the weather, the terrain and mileage, which is an important factor because if you want to cover a lot miles during the hike, you will need lightweight footwear to enable you to travel fast.
Trail running footwear are best if you are going to be hiking somewhere hot and dry with a flat/smooth terrain as you will need incredibly breathable footwear with a mesh upper, thin outsole and low top since less support is required.
In the other hand, if you plan to be walking somewhere with a rugged terrain like the South West Coast Path (England's Longest National Trail) on a rainy winter day, you want full leather boots with waterproofing to keep your feet warm and dry.
The Hi-Tec Ravine boots are the right footwear for rainy/cold environments with a mixture of rugged and dirt terrains. The upper of the Ravine boots is made of 2mm waxed full grain leather, which is very durable and can easily outlast the soles of the boots if maintained adequately.
Full grain leather is not only the strongest but, it's also the most water-resistant type of leather, although full grain leather, by itself, is not fully waterproof. The upper of the Ravine boots does integrate a two-way waterproofing system, consisting of a durable water repellent coating (Hi-Tec's I-Shield) and a waterproof membrane (Dri-Tec).
Unlike Durable water repellent (DWR) waterproofing, which is coated on the material and eventually wears off, the Dri-Tec waterproof membrane is integrated within the leather, which won't wear off until the leather wears off, making it a somewhat more permanent waterproofing solution.
Being made of waterproof full grain leather, the Ravine boots have to be regularly shined and waxed with cream polish to nourish and maintain the waterproof and healthy look of the leather, which is prone to easily scuff.
If you need to wash off any dirt, it's best to use a water/vinegar mixture or natural soap without any additives to prevent potentially damaging the waterproofing structure of the leather.
When waxing the Ravine boots, you want to stay away from fatty shoe polishing products because it makes full grain leather less breathable and will also clog the porous Dri-Tec membrane, making the feet feel clammy.
The Dri-Tec membrane is designed to allow the leather to naturally wick moisture/sweat from the inside of the boot to the outside, while preventing water from getting into the boot.
Thanks to the wicking properties of the Dri-Tec, the waterproofing membrane doesn't hinder the boots ability to breath in certain weathers, specially in warm/humid environments. The Ravine full leather boots should be able to keep your feet dry and warm even when there is a humidity and temperature contrast between the inside and outside of the boot.
The Ravine full grain leather boots weigh just 1.5kg and are designed to accommodate wide feet. On a pair of size UK 9, the widest part of the boot (front) measures 11cm wide with a slightly narrower width on the mid-section and heel (8cm and 8.5cm respectively).
The inside of the Ravine boots is equipped with a 4mm thick, springy foam insole, 3M’s Thinsulate insulation to keep the feet warm and open cell polyurethane foam (Hi-Tec's OrthoLite), which provides a good level of comfortable cushioning. Being open cell foam, air is able to get through the foam, maximizing ventilation under the feet so, bad odors can escape.
The Ravine boots are also equipped with a shock absorbing rubber midsole, which is sandwiched between the outsole and upper of the Ravine boots. The rubber midsole provides added cushioning so, you don't get blisters easily. Most importantly though, the midsole provides rebound when stepping on hard/rocky terrain.
The midsole is highest (3cm high) around the sides and back of the heel, which can provide some protection against side impacts to the heel. The midsole gradually declines towards the mid-section and front where the midsole is lowest (1.5cm high).
On the side of the Ravine boots, there is a small, protruding metal bit with the word "waterproof" engraved on it. This brass-looking bit of metal engraving adds a nice subtle styling to the boot but, it may also provide some protection against scrapes and possibly act as a shield against impacts. That said, this metal bit is very small, measuring just 16mm long.
The Ravine full leather boots also provide very good ankle protection, thanks to a 14cm high top with a thickly padded collar. The backend is slightly recessed and features a short leather pull tab to help foot insertion.
Hi-Tec logo branding etched on the tongue
The tongue of the Ravine boots has a stitched design so, the tongue is sewn to the sides of the boot, preventing the tongue from sliding off to the sides. The stitched design of the tongue also makes the upper of the Ravine boots completely sealed shut to the outside.
The front of the tongue is padded and covered with a leather strip made of the same leather material as the rest of the boot. The rest of the tongue is covered with a softer type of leather.
The tongue measures 15cm tall and 9cm wide towards the top, which is the widest part of the tongue. The metal eyelets of the Ravine boots consist of eight loop holes and six hooks, which allow quick undoing of the nylon laces.
For any serious walking/hiking, the Hi-Tec Ravine nubuck boots are perfect as they provide very good traction on hard and soft terrain, thanks to the Vibram outsole, which is the same type of rubber outsole used for mountaineering boots.

The Vibram outsole integrates Hi-Tec's M-D Traction so, it's non-slip and deep threaded. The outsole thread patterns of the Ravine boots consist of right-angled rear lugs and forward lugs for acceleration and stopping when coming down a hill. The arch area of the boot also integrates ridges that provide added support to the arch of the feet.
The front lip area of the outsole is also ridged and raised high to provide the toes with frontal protection and precision grip when climbing on rock. From heel to toe, the outsole measures 2cm high, while the front lip of the outsole measures 3cm high. The toe cap area is hard but, if you require toe cap reinforcement, it's best looking into the Magnum Strike Force 6.0 boots. Buy the Ravine boots on Amazon. Check out also the Assault Tactical 5.0 boots and the Raven Mid rambling boots

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