Two boots from Hi-Tec's new for 2012 Sierra Lite range just touched down at OM Mansions - here's a quick look.
We carried a quick preview of H-Tec's new Sierra Lite range of footwear a couple of weeks back, so we won't go into exhaustive detail, but we've just got hold of a pair of the top-end Hi-Tec Sierra Lite I WP along with the much less technical, but urban-stylish Sierra Mid.
Hi-Tec Sierra Lite I WP
The Sierra Lite I WP is the latest in a long string of Hi-Tec lightweight mids, but it costs £125, something that would have been inconceivable, just five or so years ago. Why the hefty price tag? Well. Hi-Tec is simply making far better kit these days.
The Sierra Lite I WP, for example, comes complete with a custom Vibram sole unit and has an ion-mask water repellent treatment, which means the whole boots is highly water resistant. Lace hooks a decent quality, corrosion resistant items and the whole boot looks and feels pretty slick.
There's some unusual stuff going on here that's not immediately apparent either. The sole unit itself has relatively little padding, which we like as it keeps your foot closer to the ground making it more stable in our experience. But to add cushioning and reduce volume, the Ortholite footbed is a massively thick cushioning unit in its own right.
It must be around 1cm thick at the heel end and about half that in the forefoot. First impressions are that it feels nice underfoot and helps with a nice snug, medium volume fit at the heel end of things. We'll be interested to see how it works on the hill.
Uppers are suede and mesh with no waterproof liner, so they should be decent in hotter conditions and the looks are thoroughly modern and quite distinctive with the bright yellow graphics and mesh over leather construction. Finally at just over 1300g for a pair of of size 9s, they're not actually that light or 'lite' even, but as a pay off, they feel sturdy and workmanlike.
Hi-Tec Sierra Mid
From the other extreme of the range, we thought you might also like a quick look at the more fashiony Sierra Mid. It's a leather high-top boot complete with a Vibram sole. No one's pretending it's a hardcore wallking boot, but it should be great for pottering around town, has really comfortable soft leather uppers and would also quite happily take in the odd tow-path stroll.
They also have a much more conventional footbed. None of the super-thick stuff going on here. They weigh just over 800g per pair and sell for £89.99. Just a nice, semi-casual outdoorsy mid if you're looking for such a thing.
More information at www.hi-tec.com.