Thanks Wacmtracm. That's why I come hear to learn and grow wiser. You've definitely got me curious and skeptical of what Cabelas is peddling - I won't say i'm convinced yet. It could all be a bunch of gossip and conjecture, but I won't buy another pair without checking more. My most used pairs are quite old and may be originals and the new ones not as good. Worth checking. I bought the the other pair in Switzerland about 5 years ago, and didn't notice a difference, but maybe they are different than what Cabelas has now. Again, I'd like proof vs hearsay, but some pointed questions to the right people should help get there.
Inany case, I love my "old school" Meindls. May try some of the Italian ones still - we'll see.
I see little talk dedicated to the stiffness of the boot. There's a little info on this on the 1st page of the second link above I wrote. I put many miles on my boots in true backcountry, much of it off trail. The only place I would want a boot as stiff as the Kenetrek some of these other super expensive boots is if I was in snow. That boot feels like an alpine mountaineering boot to me--to back that up, it's set up to accept crampons. There's VERY few hunts where that would be advantageous at all. Every boot is different with a different purpose and different fit. You need to try and find one that works for you the best for most of what you do with it. There is no one perfect boot. Do not buy a Chinese made boot. These are typically junk. Stick with US or Italian made in general.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia
The only place I would want a boot as stiff as the Kenetrek some of these other super expensive boots is if I was in snow. That boot feels like an alpine mountaineering boot to me--to back that up, it's set up to accept crampons. There's VERY few hunts where that would be advantageous at all.
JMDen - glad you said what I was already thinking. Some of these threads I've looked through have some people acting like "the stiffer the better", "they feel like a ski boot" - like that's good(?). I hate walking in ski boots from the lift to the car or to the bathroom - let alone for miles in the woods. Yes, you want stiff, good support, but only to a point. If you are using crampons or something seriously technical like the face of the mountain I showed earlier - then get the stiff-as-a-ski-boot ones. Uncomfortable, painful, and at some point dangerous (when using them in the wrong conditions), when you can't get SOME lateral range of motion from your angle on some rocks, slopes, etc. (God gave you that joint for a reason). I want sturdy and tough, but I don't need "ski boots" for elk hunting. They are tough, but I haven't had to rappel for them yet...
Apair of aluminum crampons is standard equipment for me.Would not be able to hunt the areas I do with out them and be safe.Have to go look for one I lost last year.Like the stiff boots for same reason,dig into side hil, know as the sidehill gouge.This is not the type of hunting that many do, but it puts you with them where I hunt, and to stay on a track like this w/ my 338 Norma
I picked up a pair of Kenetreks two days ago. I've worn them to work the last two days and must say they feel great. Zero hot spots. Not even at the collar at the top of the boot or on those two bones on the sides of your ankle that look like an adams apple. Nice and secure and sturdy enough for the extra weight of a pack, rifle and some other gear. I'll try them in the round pen tomorrow.
I never thought of crampons. What time of year do you use those?
I have had to use them as early as 1st. day rifle.It is a secret I have had in my close circle of hunting buds.We have real step terrain with lots of bear grass,those firtss snows before you have a good base or on your way up to deeper.The muleys and elk I hunt run some real step stuff,even more now with wolf pressure.you can go up or side hill just like a deer.But they are grabby and you need to be carefull and not hook you leg, they also catch the brush.I shot a 6x6 on last day one year and headed down a chute, my buddy without said "NO WAY'' see you over there.Took him an extra hour to catch me, just another tool for hunting.I have started seeing some tracks from them in the last few years.