Hi-Tec Bandera

By | December 10, 2014

Hi-Tec BanderaCurrently on the market for just fifty dollars, the Men’s Bandera promise big name quality at a bargain basement price. Hi Tec are well known for the quality of their hiking boots but can they deliver at this price point? Surprisingly, they can.

Comfort

Like most Hi Tec boots, the Men’s Bandera score highly in the comfort department. They took me two days of light wear to fully break in. After that, I wore them on a six hour hike and they held up well.

The removable insole hugs your heel and the EVA mid sole provides excellent shock absorption. The collar is pleasingly soft and it’s stiff enough to increase stability without restricting movement.

The textile uppers are made primarily from a breathable nylon mesh. And this results in a surprisingly breathable boot despite being completely waterproof.

The one thing that I didn’t like about these boots is that at 1.5 pounds, they are a little heavy. It’s not a problem on short hikes but for anything five hours plus you might want something lighter.

It’s also worth noting that while they provide a lot of toe room, the rest of the boot is a lot smaller than its size would suggest. I’d therefore recommend going up at least half a size compared to what you’d usually buy.

Stability

These boots are designed for light hiking and the tough steel shank provides more than enough stability for this purpose. Unfortunately these boots are not suitable for carrying heavy loads or for tackling any kind of elevation. Even light terrain for greater than ten miles would start to exceed their limits.

Traction

Traction is provided by a carbon rubber outsole. This was obviously chosen to keep the price low. Despite this fact, they are indeed non slip and provide decent traction over most surfaces. If you plan on doing most of your hiking over gravel however, you should probably look to spend more on boots with a Vibram outsole.

Waterproof

The Men’s Bandera are claimed to be waterproof and waterproof they are. I walked in the rain, through puddles and wet grass. I returned home with spotlessly dry socks. The suede while easily stained, also dries surprisingly quickly. They therefore make for ideal winter boots.

Style

Speaking of suede, the Bandera come in a choice of brown or tan. I purchased the tan version and found them both low key and good to go with just about anything. Unlike some boots at this price point, they don’t look cheap.

Durability

I haven’t worn the Bandera for long enough to judge durability but they do appear very well made. My previous experience with other Hi Tec boots has always been positive in terms of durability too.

Reputation

Customer reviews for the Men’s Bandera are generally positive. At the time of writing, they’ve been reviewed 80 times on Amazon for an average rating of 4.0 stars out of 5. Multiple reviews claim two years wear which is excellent for the price. I’m also not the only person who was impressed by the comfort levels.

Verdict

In conclusion, the Men’s Bandera aren’t perfect and they won’t take you up a steep hill. They are, however, comfortable, durable and excellent value. Just don’t forget to go one size up.

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