LTR - Ahnu Mendocino Boots - John Waters
Just in time, I've uploaded my LTR in the test folder at
http://tinyurl.com/8bfswzl and the text is below. Kathy's gone again and
I'm drowning in her work and mine.
Thanks in advance for the edits.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Over the past four weeks, we have been out in the backcountry on two
different overnight trips and several (4-5) day hikes. We hiked 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). These past few months we
broke temperature records here in Colorado and temperatures during the
daytime very often exceeded 90+ F (32+ C). We usually reached a low at night
70 F (21 C). However, it has been too hot to wear the Ahnu Leather boots as
often I would have liked to.
Fortunately, we managed to find time to get up into the high country in
Beaver Creek, Colorado this past weekend. So, I was able to put these boots
through a rather strenuous 9-mile (14.5 km) round-trip hike from 8,100 ft
(2488 m) elevation to 10,200 ft (3109 m) elevation. That's a 2,100 ft (640
m) rise in 4 miles (6.5 km), which is averaged at a 6-degree rise, and at
times (the beginning and end) was a 45-degree incline up and down a few
black diamond ski slopes. The weather was beautiful and the fall colors were
fabulous. And thanks to these boots, the trip was quite comfortable.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Throughout this field test, these boots have performed well. No long-term
break-in was required. No signs of any sore spots or rubbing for the most
part. That is except on drastic down-hill treks. I normally wear a 10.5 US
size and do not have problems with hitting the top of the toe box, but I
also don't normally travel for 4.5 miles constantly going down a 45 degree
incline. About half way down I could feel my 2nd toe (it's a little longer
than my big toe) hitting the top of the toe box. I had to stop and tie my
laces as tight as I could, much tighter than I would have liked them to be,
in order to stop my foot from sliding forward. I have not had this problem
with these boots scrambling through short rock scree hills and climbing over
boulders. So I can only attribute the need for an adjustment to wearing the
boots for several hours in 70 F (21 C) sunshine and maybe to my feet
slightly swelling after hiking uphill on such an incline. Anyway, tightening
the laces down really tight solved the problem.
I was concerned about the appearance of these boots after the wear and tear
I was giving them. They were really getting scuffed up. But, as seen in the
enclosed photo, they clean up pretty well with a simple cleaning compound.
In the photo, the right boot was cleaned and the left was not.
I have never felt my foot twist after trekking in the boots for miles and
miles (kilometers and kilometers - had to do the conversion) over all sorts
of terrain. I am especially wary of loose scree and small rocks and broken
shale. But I never felt like my ankle was going to twist and I was going to
be in pain for days. In fact, I forgot these boots were on my feet and I was
able to enjoy the trips.
Of course, where we hike, the exterior of the boots gets marked up with
small nicks and scratches. But, a leather treatment, as shown above, takes
care of getting the boots back into almost like new condition. The soles
have not worn at al. There is no delamination. No separating of the body
from the sole. No wear on the laces. Yes, the leather does look like it was
worn, as leather gets folds and looks softer as it flexes. These boots will
never look smooth new after they are worn and the more they are worn, the
more they will look like a well-worn leather jacket. Proof I used them.
After testing, in my opinion, the Ahnu Mendocino boots are hiking boots for
hikers who like performance footwear. They are sturdy, flexible and
comfortable. They protected my feet from rough trail and abuse from rocks
and bumps. My feet did not sweat and nor did the boots cause them to stink.
Even after hiking for miles/kilometers, there was very little odor when I
removed the boots. I have some trail shoes that stink after an hour on the
The Mendocinos inhibited twisting of my feet and protected me from twisted
ankles and pulled muscles. I felt very secure wearing them under adverse
conditions. So, yes I liked them. Alot!
Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Ahnu for the opportunity to try out
John R. Waters