review

Hi Tec Raven Mid WP Review Waterproof Rambling Boots

Monday, December 14, 2020

Feeling the earth beneath the feet is a routine experience a lot more people are appreciating more during lockdown! While walking barefoot would be ideal, it is not always possible or practical; hence the need for footwear. The sole purpose of footwear is to protect and make your feet more comfortable to walk on so, you can easily go about your business.
Shoes, boots and sandals are three types of footwear and, while you could technically throw anything on your feet, you can get a lot more mileage with the right footwear. Imagine doing ballet pirouettes in a pair of hiking boots and, likewise, doing trail walking in a pair of ballerina shoes. Getting the right pair of shoes for the activity helps massively. For short or long walks, the Hi Tec Raven Mid WP work well as they have a softshell upper, rugged sole and high-top ankle support.
The upper on most walking shoes is typically made to be breathable to allow inside moisture to escape so, the feet don't get as sweaty. If the upper is coated with waterproofing, it can sometimes hinder the ventilation of the shoe. Fortunately, the upper of the Raven Mid WP boots is lined with a breathable waterproof membrane (Dri-Tec) which prevents water from getting into the boot while, allowing sweat to escape the boot. Dri-Tec is Hi Tec's in-house technology and, it performs similarly to Gore Tex, doing a superb job of beading water, making it roll off the boot.
Being a hybrid of a running shoe, the Hi Tec Raven Mid boots don't need breaking in like a pair of hiking boots do. The overall height of the Hi Tec Raven Mid WP boot is 17cm tall from the bottom of the outsole to the tip of the collar. The collar of the Raven Mid boot is angled and thickly padded, offering coverage protection across the ankle region, including the small bone that sticks out of the side of the ankle.
More protective padding can be found inside the tongue of the Raven Mid boot, although only partially since the tongue is not entirely padded. The tongue padding measures 8cm long and 10cm wide. And, it has breathable mesh on the backside along with the shoe tongue label. The front of the tongue is shielded with a thin layer of rubbery fabric material and a small oval rubber piece that has the word Hi-Tec embossed on it. The length of the tongue is 15cm long and it's covered with soft fabric material. There is enough tongue excess to lace up the boot all the way up. 
The Hi Tec Raven Mid boot has a similar gusseted tongue design as the Ravine boots; hence the sides of the tongue are sewn along the upper of the boot and towards the collar to keep the tongue in place and to prevent dirt, rocks and bark chippings from getting in. The gusseted tongue slows down water ingress too but, it is not coated with waterproof/water repellent material. Running across the top of the tongue, there is also a thin webbing material mostly sewn to the tongue aside from two small loops to pass-through the laces. These small loops are located at the base of the tongue and half-way through the tongue.
There a total of 14 eyelets, seven on either side of the tongue. Eight of those eyelets are punched eyelets, reinforced with metal rings. The top eyelets consists of two metal closed hook eyelets and four metal hooked eyelets for speed lacing the boot. The hooked eyelets are secured to the boot via metal rivets, making the eyelets strong and durable.
Like most trainers, the outsole of the Hi Tec Raven Mid WP boots has a beveled design so, the outsole is thicker at the heel (4cm high) and thinner towards to toe area (approx. 2cm high). The Raven Mid use the same type of carbon rubber outsole found on running shoes so, it's very grippy and provides good traction on flat surfaces. The arch has been reinforced too with thicker, harder rubber.
While the Hi Tec Raven Mid are softshell walking boots, the upper is slightly harder due to the waterproof membrane and the coarse fabric material reinforcing the ankle area and the front of the toes. There is no metal toe cap though, so if you require that type of protection you should look to the Magnum Strike Force 6.0 boots.
Because the Hi Tec Raven Mid WP boots are designed for rambling, the boots have a sturdy and stiff midsole backbone that provides support and stability to prevent the boot from excessive bowing and twisting side to side. For hill walking though, the Ravine boots are a better option because they have a more aggressive outsole with deeper lugs for gripping into more difficult terrain. The lugs on the Raven Mid WP are similar to that of running trainers but the midsole is stiffer; hence it offers less rebound.
You can walk and run in the Raven Mid WP boot more comfortably than you can with a proper hiking boot but, if you plan to be running the "concrete jungle" or doing Spartan racing, you're better off wearing the Magnum Assault Tactical 5.0 boots as they are lighter and provide more rebound. The Raven Mid WP boots weigh 984 grams, which is still very light compared to the Ravine hiking boots, which weigh 1500 grams. The Raven Mid WP insoles weigh 16 grams and have good cushioning support for the heel.
The Raven Mid WP boots have a good breaking system for hill walking, although it doesn't have the same performance as the Ravine boots, which have pronounced multi-directional lugs that provide superb security when walking down steep slopes. You can buy the Hi Tect Raven Mid WP boots on amazon. If you're taking part in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, these boots are DofE Recommended Kit for walking boots.

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