One of the problems that I have had with most of my hiking and climbing boots over the years is that although my my feet are not exceptionally wide my little toes get squished. The problem seems to be that in most boots the wide part of the toe box never extends far enough back. I was therefore interested to see the TrekSta line of boots in the Mountain Marketplace at the Banff Mountain Film Festival that claimed to fit better and “let your toes spread out naturally for better balance and zero crowding”. I had to try some on, and indeed the fit appeared to be very good. So I bought a pair of their Alta GTX boots, a solid leather boot that I intended to use for off-trail hiking, scree bashing and scrambling. So how did these boots work out over 50 plus days in the backcountry this summer?
A lot of our hiking this summer has been on rough, bouldery, flood-damaged, ankle-turning trails and the Alta GTX gives good grip on wet rock and greasy boulders. They perform very well on steep side slopes, with firm edges and lots of ankle support. The boots are well made and show no signs of excessive wear and tear after a summer of use and abuse, and little in the way of maintenance. I even used them to paddle across knee-deep rivers a couple of times and they dried out fine with no loss of flexibility.
The fit is very good, but be warned, they are leather boots and do need a little breaking in. It took four or five outings and some experimenting with the lacing for my heels to become snug in the back of the boot and stop lifting when ascending steeply. They come with extra long 180 cm laces that allow you to take a turn around the back of the boot to help mould the boots to you heels. I later replaced the laces with shorter 137 cm ones.
I have always been leery of Gortex-lined boots, never really believing that the material allows perspiration to escape from the inside very well, and although at the end of a long, hot day I still had damp socks, on more normal days my feet kept dry. On the other hand, the lining and the boot construction certainly keeps the water out. A couple of weeks ago I sloshed around the bogs of West Bragg, and although I felt the sudden cold of the water my socks remained perfectly dry.
I am very pleased with these boots — my little toes are now a rosy pink instead of a bruised purple. I’m thinking of buying one of their lighter-weight boots for trail walking.
Presently there are only a few dealers in this area that carry the TrekSta line. However, they are gradually expanding their retailers and hope to have four or five dealers by next spring.
TrekSta will be exhibiting in the Mountain Marketplace at the Banff Mountain Film Festival again this year and are giving away a pair of boots each day as well as selling the boots at 25% off. Even if they don’t have the model you want, try their boots on for size. You can always order online from their website later on.