Wifey: “Hey, can I try on these new boots?”
Moi: “Uh, sure Honey, but I need them back for the review I am writing for Ryan at Snowshoe Magazine.”
Wifey: “Well, OK, but can I have them when you are finished? They look and feel great.”
Darn, the wife likes my new Columbia Bugaboots which translates into sharing or a complete surrender of my new lightweight Columbia Lite-Omni hiking boots. As many of my readers know, I live part of the year in Winter Park, Colorado which has a top elevation of 12,060 feet. In a good winter, (like this one), we can get up to 400 inches of the fluffy white stuff. Durable boots are a way of life here and are the basis of many a heated discussion. We had a holiday party several years ago where a guest’s brand new hiking boots were taken by mistake from the mud-room. That is how gunfights used to begin in the Old West Colorado mountain towns!
Yes, hiking boots is serious business here and having feet stay warm and dry during long hikes and snow shoeing is often a problem. Many boots I have previously purchased, look great in the store or in the catalog, but in reality, are not designed for the tough Rocky Mountain environment. Nothing is worse, than when I am 5 miles from home and feel the moisture seeping in my boots, resulting in cold and wet tingle in my toes. I need boots that don’t make a fashion statement, they just need to WORK!
Here is my list of wants/needs in hiking wear:
B. Comfortable, dare I say Snug.
C. Easy to get on and off. AKA: secure fit.
D. Not so heavy that they are cumbersome.
E. Reputable company.
F. Ok, Ok, they should also look cool.
I am delighted to say the Columbia has hit it out of the park with their Omni-Lites. A solid looking green and black designed shoe which looks great, right out of the box, with no significant wear-in period. I took these puppies for a long initial test hike in 2 feet of packed powder snow on the Wolf Park Trail in Winter Park. They had a good secure feel without any slippage. The tread is serious stuff. They were as warm and snug as my sheepskin slippers with no leakage or external moisture. The best part of this design is the weight: only 1 LB 6 OZ per shoe.
To read Claude’s entire blog report, visit http://bit.ly/hwyYHT.