OWNER REVIEW - Rocky 8” AlphaForce Zipper Boots
- Rocky 8” AlphaForce Zipper Boots
- Biographical Information
Name: Zach Wahrer
Height: 5' 10” (1.78m)
Weight: 155 lbs. (70kg)
Email address: wolfstamme@...
City, State, Country: Dublin, TX, USA
Date: July 25, 2009
I have been hiking and camping ever since I was a young child, seriously
backpacking for over a year and growing increasingly interested in
mountaineering. I also rock climb. Right now I mostly do three day, two
night weekend trips with my wife and two dogs for conditioning with a
bigger climb thrown in every so often. I generally carry a heavy pack
and seek the steepest terrain possible in order to train for trips to
big mountains. I have mostly been backpacking in hot weather, but am
also seeking some cold weather experience.
- Product Information:
Year Purchased: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.rockyboots.com
Manufacturer's Listed Weight: Not listed on website
Measured Weight: 3.4 lbs. (1.54kg) for the pair
Size tested: 10M
Widths Available: Medium, Wide
Sizes Available: Men's 7-11 w/ ½ sizes, 12-14.
Colors Available: Black
- Product Description:
Men's waterproof Rocky 8" Zipper AlphaForce Boots, made in China.
Full-grain leather and lightweight 1,000-denier nylon combination
uppers; Oil and slip resistant RigiTrac, non-marking outsole; Terra
Suspension footbed. It has a heavy duty 7” (17.8cm) zipper on the inner
side of the boot with a double snap flap that keeps the zipper from
unzipping while you wear them.
- Field Information:
I originally bought the Rocky AlphaForce boots to use them for training
in preparation to enlisting in the military, hoping to get something
close to the boots currently in use by the Army. As such, my initial use
was road and trail marching (of which I did probably close to 75 miles
(121km.) with a 60lb. (27kg.) pack over the span of three months. My
longest trip was 10 mile (16km) road march (Logan Co., Ohio) with a 30
lb. (13.6kg) pack on hilly terrain in sunny conditions of about 80
degrees F (26 degrees C). I also used the boots in cold conditions for a
6 mile (9.6km) winter training hike (Old Mans Cave, Ohio) with a 50 lb.
(22.6kg) pack over hilly, hard pack trails in temperatures around 30
degrees F (-1 degrees C). Comfort during these uses was excellent, even
with the quick marching on hard surfaces (roads, hard pack trails,
After my plan for joining the Army fell through, I became more
interested in backpacking and mountaineering. I continued using these
boots for backpacking and general hiking, finding them an excellent
choice for both. I use them on every climb we take.
11 miles (17.7km) on the Lonestar Trail in Sam Houston National Forest,
mainly flat, well established trail with temperatures in the 70 degree F
(21 degree C) range with some rain and a 51 lb. (23kg) pack.
9 miles (14.5km) over 3 days in Dinosaur Valley State Park, TX, on
rocky, steep trails with temperatures in the 90 degree F (32 degree C)
range with a 50 lb. (22.7kg) pack. On this trip we crossed a river a few
times and the waterproofing kept the water out all the way up to the
8” (20cm) mark.
14 miles (22.5km) over 3 days at Colorado Bend State Park, TX on rocky,
steep trails and some off trail hiking through scrub and cactus with
temperatures in the 90 degree F (32 degree C) range and a 42 lb. (19kg)
pack. Never got stuck by any of the cactus (prickly pear) plus the
8” (20cm) height came in nice when not on trail in the form of at least
some protection from possible snakes and tough plants.
5 miles (8k) over 2 days at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge,
OK, on steep, rocky trails and also scrambling and bouldering with
temperatures in the 90 degree F (32 degree C) range and a 42 lb. (19kg)
pack. We climbed Elk Mountain (2270 ft., 692m) which has approximately
600 ft. (183m) of vertical gain on a mile (1.6km) long trail. The boots
did very well, giving me excellent traction on steep boulders and hills.
I haven't used the boots extensively in snow, but have walked around in
a few Ohio winters in them with excellent results. The waterproofing
keeps you dry and the tread pattern on the sole seems to work well. With
a good pair of socks they seem to be decently insulated. I wouldn't want
to wear them in sub-zero weather, but I think they would be fine for
more temperate conditions.
Overall, these have been excellent boots for hiking and climbing, even
though I don't think they were designed with that use in mind. They
broke in fairly quick, with only minimal blistering (probably more from
wearing cotton socks than the boots themselves). They have held up very
well over the two years I have owned them and they seem like they will
give me many more years of use. They are extremely comfortable on long,
rocky hikes and the waterproofing allows you to slog through anything
less than 8” (20cm) deep without worrying you're gonna get squishy feet.
The zipper makes taking them off after a tiring day of hiking a quick
and easy affair. The one downfall of this boot is the fact that they
don't breath well. I don't have excessively sweaty feet, but the boots
seem to hold in all the moisture. Wool socks seem to help keep the
moisture away from your feet a bit better, but its still not ideal.
Other than that (and it's something I can deal with), they are excellent
boots for traction, comfort, durability, and style.
Doesn't breath as much as I would like
Leather seems to scuff easily (probably just natural to leather)
Could be cooler for hot summer hiking, warmer for colder winter hiking
Excellent traction on almost any terrain
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