Lafuma Trek Tech Boot - First Look

Are two laces better than one? We try out Lafuma's mountain walking and trekking boot with its snowboarding-derived double-lacing arrangement.

Posted: 17 August 2006
by Jon

Lafuma Trek Tech - First Look

Price: £90

Weight: 1625 grammes (pair size 43)

Features: Mountain walking and trekking boot with Lafuma's new Dual Lace System, leather than nubuck upper, Gore-Tex lining, Phylon mid-sole, Vibram Revolution outsole, protective toe bumper.

Perfectly competent walking boots.
Dual lace system has limited effect, too much padding leads to lack of precision.

What's It For? Lafuma says that the new Trek Tech is 'designed for serious trekking through to mountain hiking'. Most obviously though, it's a vehicle for Lafuma's Dual Lace System, more of which in a moment...
The Techy Bits The Tech Trek is a fairly standard issue walking boot with Gore-Tex liner, Vibram outsole and nubuck upper, but for one thing, the Lafuma Dual Lace System.

Apparently borrowed from snowboard boots, the system features two laces, a thin inner one with a cordlock-type closure which tucks away under a Velcro-secured flap and a more conventional outer lace which you tie a knot in.

What's it for? Apparently it reduces the internal volume of the boot and minimises slippage reducing excess foot movement and giving a 'perfect-fitting boot in a simple, quick, neat and effective system'.

How It Works To be brutal, we've never really seen the standard lacing system used on the majority of boots as a significant issue. As long as the lace hardware allows slick movement of the laces and there's preferably a locking hook at ankle level to allow differential lacing of forefoot and ankle - you can keep the forefoot snug without overtightening the boot higher up - we've been happy. As we see it, boot buying is all about choosing a boot that suits your foot shape and volume...

So, we approached the double-laced system on the Trek Techs with a certain amount of scepticism. On the OM test foot, the boot felt a bit loose and swimmy, not helped by the excessive amount of foam used by many manufacturers for 'instant comfort' in the show room.

We started by lacing the boots quite casually and found them imprecise and swimmy in a way that reminded us of giant teddy bear paws or Salomon's Adventure Trek 7. Just the situation the double-lace system is designed to combat, so we tweaked them up good and snug and carried on walking.

There was an immediate improvement, though we still found them a bit imprecise. Then we slacked off the outer lace on one boot completely and found it made relatively little difference, presumably because the thin inner lace was doing most of the work. Then we slacked off the inner on the other side and, surprise, surprise, the sloppiness returned to that side, though it could be mostly combatted by snugging up the outer lace.

Strangely the boot felt bendier and less precise underfoot than it did if you flexed the sole in your hands, possibly because the high-ish volume inner allowed too much movement however much you tightened the laces, possibly because the ankle area is so heavily padded that your ankle moves around too easily. We didn't like it on rocky ground for that reason.

We also found it impossible to get the forefoot snug but leave the ankle a little looser for walking comfort, which seems to be a basic fault of the system.

Initial Verdict

Dual lacing may work well for snowboarders who can simply cinch their feet in place without worrying about foot and particularly ankle movement, but we reckon it's of questionable value to walkers, though it might be good for, say, technical ice climbing boots.

It doesn't help that the base boot is a little over-padded and has a high-ish internal volume presumably on the basis that it can be adjusted with the inner lace giving an imprecise feel underfoot. Yes, the lacing does take up much of that slack, but it makes more sense to find a boot that fits your foot properly to begin with.

We certainly wouldn't buy this boot on the basis of the lacing system. We've used conventional lacing systems which have performed better, so what you're left with is a perfectly competent, if slightly imprecise, over-padded boot, that you should consider if it fits your foot.

Lafuma web site

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Discuss this story

I searched everywhere for a comfy pair of boots after the awful pair of North Face ones I had - these impressed me in the shop and were exceptionally comfy on the initial try on.  I have quite wide feet, so I sometimes struggle to find something I like.  I go through boots at a rate of about a pair every three years - I got these ones in January, and have done several Munroes, most of Wales and the Lakes, dog walking every day and a two weeker in Switzerland with no problems.  The dual lace is excellent once you get it dialled in - get the inner one as tight as you can and do the outer as you would with regular boots.  I scramble most of the time in them, the only problem is they are incompatible with crampons.... I have just discovered a love for more technical stuff but I am annoyed that my new (ish) and comfy boots cant join me on the ice.

Posted: 11/09/2007 at 20:40

I want to buy these boots.I looked everywhere and I could not find any how or where can I get these?

Posted: 23/12/2013 at 11:49

I wanna buy these boots I looked everywhere but I could not find any how or where can I buy these?if anyone knows please help me

Posted: 23/12/2013 at 11:51

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