74085LTR - Ahnu Montara Boots - Kathy Waters
- Sep 25, 2012Ryan,
Below is the text for my LTR on the Ahnu Montara boots. The HTML is in the
test folder at: http://tinyurl.com/9sncg94
I awaiting your edits and comments with appreciation for the work you
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
As in my Field Report, all of my backpacking and hiking time while wearing
the Ahnu Montara boots was in southern Colorado except for a three-day
weekend hiking trip in September to the mountains near Beaver Creek in
Summit County, Colorado.
While in the backcountry, the terrain varied but was primarily alpine
mountain trails in the high desert foothills and valleys of the Cooper
Mountain range in Fremont County. The Beaver Creek area is typical Rocky
Mountain pine and aspen mountain terrain, seems like all of it is "upwards"!
On two different overnight trips and several (4-5) day hikes, my hiking took
place in the Royal Gorge BLM (Bureau of Land Management) District which
abuts the north boundary of our property in Canon City, Colorado. Elevation
is roughly between 5300 ft (1600 m) and 9100 ft (2770 m). This summer, we
broke all sorts of temperature records here in Colorado and temperatures
during the daytime very often exceeded 90+ F (32+ C). While it has been said
that our heat is a "dry" heat - it's still been very hot. I've often
remarked that an oven is "dry" heat as well! Thanks to our desert climate,
we usually reached a low at night 70 F (21 C) or slightly lower for
This most recent foray (Beaver Creek) was in much cooler weather with a high
of 72 F (22 C) and off-and-on drizzle - no snow though. Below are a couple
of pictures on the Beaver Creek Corkscrew trail.
Taking a break on the trail
Aspen leaves-covered trail
I also wore the Montaras for some casual wear outings such as ziplining near
the Royal Gorge. Between the zipline platforms there was some rough terrain
totaling a couple of miles (3 km) of hiking along an old mining road. I was
certainly glad to have on good hiking boots!
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I've easily put an additional 50 miles (80 km) on the Montaras during the
last two months. I probably would have worn them more but it's been so
exceptionally hot this past summer. While I almost always wear mid-height
boots due to my fear of rattlers and prickly vegetation, this year I've had
to force myself at times to wear these heavier boots rather than some of my
other lighter weight trail shoes. And while the Montaras are not the
heaviest boots I own, they are still heavier/hotter than trail shoes.
Nonetheless, I did wear the Montaras backpacking and greatly appreciated the
support and protection they afforded me especially when carrying a backpack
weighing in excess of 25 lb (11 kg) or so. Thanks to the generous insole
cushion and outsoles, I never suffered any adverse effects from rough
terrain, no sore arches or blackened toenails from steep downhill climbs. I
never even felt the need to put in after-market insoles either. And I do so
like the stiff ankle support which balances out my natural klutziness a bit.
Recently, I did have a problem on an 8-mile (13 kg) day hike though. I don't
know why but suddenly the right boot started to rub the inside upper part of
my foot where the tongue of the boot is attached to the boot body. I sat
down on the trail, pulled off the boot and examined the lining to see what
was causing the irritation but couldn't find anything unusual. I tried
lacing the boot up more tightly, then loosened the laces, then wiggled the
tongue around several times, to no avail. It was annoying but not enough to
ruin my enjoyment of a wonderfully beautiful hike through aspen groves and
fortunately, the skin didn't blister. I have no idea why the rubbing
occurred and the next day I didn't feel a thing! Maybe it was the socks I
had on. Normally I wear a pretty thick hiking sock but I was trying out a
pair of compression socks which were more lightweight than my usual choice.
Yeah, it was probably the socks!
Dust and mud have played havoc with the pretty tawny port color of my
Montaras and they no longer look like new. As a matter of fact, they look
quite disgustingly dingy right now. I suppose I will have to clean them up
when I get home from my latest trip and get them ready for winter when I
know they will be front and center in my boot line-up for snowshoeing. Bring
on the snow, eh?
I really like the Ahnu Montara boots for their great ankle support, sole
cushioning and waterproofness. They kept me steady on "iffy" terrain and I
found them to be "sticky" enough for the granite slabs as well as the
ball-bearing-like scree I often encounter. Despite the abuse I've given them
via scuffs, mud, prickly vegetation and stream-crossings, the boots have
held up well. In my previous experiences with Ahnu boots, I've had similar
results so I expect the Montaras to be in my backpacking wardrobe for some
My only negative comment would be they turned out to be too hot for this
abnormally hot summer and I passed them over on a couple of trips just for
that reason. I am, however, looking forward to wearing them a lot this
coming winter (and future winters) for snowshoeing backpacks.
My sincere thanks to and Ahnu for the opportunity to wear these boots.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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